Gibson Weekly Wire 10/15/2020

Greetings Gibson Families,


As we progress through the year in the Distance Learning Environment, it might comfort you to know that the research tells us teaching from a distance is not necessarily more ineffective than teaching in person.  Our teachers have been researching the most effective ways to educate in this new frontier and we feel it important to share what we are finding with you.  Much of what we share with you is from “The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents: How to Support Your child’s Academic, Social, and Emotional Development in Any Setting” by Wiseman, Fisher, Frey and Hattie.  

These authors are known in the educational field for their work focusing on Effective Teaching Practices. What their research shows is there are certain factors that impact student achievement in any setting.  The first and most important factor is the teacher (teacher efficacy and credibility), followed by teacher-student relationships, interactive videos and intelligent tutoring systems (ie: Khan Academy, Smarty Ants, etc). What these researchers are finding is that Distance Learning is not going to harm your child's education if there is a partnership between you, your child, and the teacher.  You may have to be more involved than you were in the past, but trust that if you let the teachers teach, and your child is involved in the lessons and independent work - learning will occur..  

Each week, we will bring you a topic that will assist you in making Distance Education work for your child. This week we will focus on Establishing Routines. Think back to Fall 2019, when your child attended a brick and mortar school; there were a number of routines that she engaged in on a daily basis. There was a time to wake up, time to get dressed, a time to brush teeth, a time to eat breakfast, etc. There was a procedure for going to school, one for coming home from school, one for dinner and bedtime.  During the pandemic, it seems that for some families, many of these routines fell by the wayside. 

Routines are known to reduce stress.  One of the best practices we can enact during Distance Education is to establish family routines. Children should be a part of establishing a checklist for these routines.  It is important for your child to feel like she is going to school (even when they are learning from home). It is an important mindset. If children are ready for school, look like they are ready for school, they will mentally be ready for school.  

Consider the routines that are important for your family to function and the habits you want to build in your child. 

  • What are the daily self care needs of your child (ie: wake up on time, brush teeth, brush hair, get dressed, eat breakfast, etc.)?  Develop routines to accomplish the tasks before the start of the school day. 

  • Make sure your child is ready for school each day (ie: dressed with learning materials ready - Chromebook on, at the table/desk)

  • Develop a schedule for your child to follow 

We hope you spend some time thinking about the information and spend some time as a family developing routines. Next week we will look at Creating a Learning Environment at home. 

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