Parents
How parents want to see their children educated?

Student Engagement in Learning
By Bob    November 28, 2006 -- 09:54 AM

I would like to invite parents who have children in the VUSD school district to participate in this blog. This blog is meant to be one way to encourage reflection and communication with our parents and educational community. Please refrain from naming and making derisive comments about individual teachers or administrators.  I will have a different topic weekly and you are encouraged to participate.

How would you like to see classroom teachers engage your students in learning?

What activities and learning have you found engages your own son or daughter in learning?




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Comments:
By SNemmers      December 8, 2006 -- 05:22 PM
My daughter has had a couple of very good teachers in Vista. The reason they were good was because they kept their classes engaged -learning by pounding on their desks (in high school), putting nonsense questions on tests, ridiculing themselves, bringing in a collection of pigs for the students to pick one and write an essay about. Teachers should be taught to continuously ask themselves if they would be interested in how they were presenting material. As a teacher of adults, I know I have had to result in acting/joking/workshops/role-playing/whatever to keep people engaged. Students are no different. There is a general lack of understanding on the teachers' part that students get very bored. Bring it to a level that interests them. Understand that they are there to learn and it is a big disappointment to waste their time with a boring same ol' same ol' teaching style day after day.

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By Laura D'Agrosa      December 1, 2006 -- 04:09 PM
I would like to see that kids that are ready for more of a challenge are provided an opportunity or forum to expand their education. Can there be competitions (either group or individual) that challenge all of a grade instead of just a class? Spelling bees, math challenges, grade level history meets, or PE challenges are some examples.

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By small Bob      November 30, 2006 -- 10:23 AM
I think it is so important to make learning relevant to students as Chris suggests. The student engagement piece is critical to whether students tune into the learning or tune it out.  Also, as Colleen suggests the interactivity of the curriculum is a key component. Please feel free to pass this website along to other parents in VUSD so that they can comment.  Thanks so much.

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By Melody Campbell      November 30, 2006 -- 09:48 AM
I would like to know if there is any way that the teachers at Madison can communicate to a parent of a student who is struggling before it is too late. The online grades are very helpful, but are not updated as often as needed. By the time the end of the first trimester came, the grades that were posted online were not the grades that came home on the report card. I was shocked that the teachers don't have more help in inputing grades. Is there a way that another employee can help with this??? The school seems full of administrators (wasn't another counselor just added to the roster??) and the teachers have a lot of students.
I also found mistakes on the online grades, probably because our teachers are working just to catch up by the end of the trimester.
We love Madison, but it is evident that assistance is not available for those teachers who need it.
My son needed some guidance on how to raise his grade and I could have helped. But, like I said, it was too late. The grades online did not reflect what came home on paper.


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By Chris Day, RBV PTSA President      November 29, 2006 -- 01:45 PM
I cannot speak for elementary schools, but I would like to see high school teachers use materials, information, and stories that my son can relate to. By making it personal, he would take a greater interest in listening to the teacher, and thus actually hear what he is supposed to be listening to. I would like to see all teachers "raise the bar" and then allow students to ask questions, rather then dumbing down the information for the lowest student in the class. I would love to see projects done in various mediums other then essays; projects like the History Day, the USO show, and Junior Exhibition make learning more interesting and students get to show off some talents that rarely get to be seen in the classroom anymore. Finally, I would like to see teachers that are excited about teaching, and are willing to interact with all their students, drawing all of them into discussions by showing interest in what students have to say. Too many teachers drone on without actually checking to see if the class is "listening."

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By Colleen Hervey      November 28, 2006 -- 09:06 PM
I would love to see more teachers use an interactive curriculum that involves role-playing, music, art and lots of discovery learning. There are teachers at Madison who use these techniques and they have been very successful engaging their students. Their teaching has had lasting effects on my high schoolers.

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By Gwyn Grimes-Madison PTA President      November 28, 2006 -- 07:10 PM
I would like teachers to set aside time for one-on-one time with each student on a regular basis. I believe that is the best way to understand their students and for the student to become comfortable with the teacher. The more comfortable the students are with the teacher the more willing they will be to express themselves.

I think when my children are given assignments that allow them to show some creativity in their work this engages them. Repetitious work tends to numb them and rush to complete it rather than understand it.


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Bob
Parent Interest in Their Child's Learning
Murrieta, CA

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