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Tyrolean Inn Restaurant - Warm Sunshine and Cool Beer | New Leaf Community Markets
  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County
A Sampling of Perspectives on Education
August 12, 2010
Go Boogey Boarding While you Can
This Week
Aloha Celebrity Races & Polynesian Festival
Back to School: Math Fun!
Back to School: Music Therapy for Children with Special Needs
Back to School for Tweens: Resolve to build character
Back to School: What Makes a Great Teacher?
Click to view our Business Directory
  Go Boogey Boarding While you Can

(Site Photos) boogeyboarding.jpg

It's still time for boogey boarding -in a wetsuit! 

We can't possibly fit all the calendar events into the newsletter, so be sure to check the online Events Calendar for more events!  Fall Classes are shaping up.  You will find them in Resources and the Class Calendar.

Here's a little back to school food for thought -

Math Fun!  ~  Music Therapy for Special Needs Kids  ~  Tweens: Resolve to Build Character  ~  What Makes a Great Teacher?

These and other articles they link to are thought provoking.

Enjoy! Parmalee

  This Week

Event Calendar

Below is only a partial list of upcoming events and activities so be sure to click on our EVENT CALENDAR so you do not miss anything >>

Use the PARENT PLANNER to click on events and resources you are interested in and click PRINT MY PLANNER to print or email your list.

Be sure to check out Fall Enrichment Classes in our Class Resource Section.

Keep checking our Class Calendar for new offerings.

 

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School

Corner



Village Preschool Open House, 8/14, 12-4

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Fulfill
Your Child's

Horse Dreams!

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Back to School
&
Back to the Ranch

September Special
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Horsemanship
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Willow Pond Ranch

10 minutes from Soquel

477.7058

Home to Mild Mannered Rescued Horses
Host to Children
Who Love Horses

(Business Logos) FreshPrepLogo.jpgJody makes main dishes that would take me hours to shop for, assemble, prepare, cook and wash pots and pans before ever getting to eat.

 

One of my recent favorites is her pork loin with plum sauce. I pulled the marinated pork loin out of the freezer, placed it in the pressure cooker, and in no time it was tender and perfect on top of linguini.

 

This month I'm ordering

Bourbon Glazed Pork Loin Steaks,

Mojito Chicken and

Mexican Layered Caserole.

 

FreshPrepKitchens.com
429.1390
Front St, Santa Cruz


P.S. Please tell Jody I sent you. You will be pleasantly surprised!

The city allows dogs off-leash in designated zones within the following parks from sunrise to sunset.

Always talk to dog owners before allowing children to approach.

(Site Photos) DogsSittingforTreats.jpg

DeLaveaga Park

Frederick Street Park

Grant Street Park

Mitchell's Cove Beach

Pacheco Avenue

Ocean View Park

University Terrace Park

(Site Photos) DogKatiePriyaStick.jpg

 Aloha Celebrity Races & Polynesian Festival

(Special Event Page Graphics) Polynesian2.jpgPu Pu O'Hawaii Outrigger Canoe club
Discover the excitement of outrigger canoe racing, taste of the tropics- fresh flower leis, Hawaiian shaved ice, Maori face paint...  Sunday, 9:00am

ALOHA CELEBRITY RACES & POLYNESIAN FESTIVAL
Designed especially for new and novice paddlers, the Celebrity races are a chance to discover the excitement of outrigger canoe racing. Join the fun or cheer for friends in the race. The Polynesian Festival follows with a taste of the tropics- fresh flower leis, Hawaiian shaved ice, Maori face painting, print making and dance performances. Co-sponsored by Pu Pu O'Hawaii Outrigger Canoe Club.

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Babysitter Training with CPR
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  Babysitter Training with CPR
Red Cross
Date: Every Su and Sa (Jan 8-Jun 25) from 9:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: ages 11-15 ONLY
Details: Babysitter Training with CPR for Ages 11-15
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
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All Disabilities Parent Support Group
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  All Disabilities Parent Support Group
SPIN
Date: The 3rd Sa of every month from 10:00am to 12:00pm
Details: 'All Disabilities' Parent Support Group
City: Capitola Phone: 831.423-7713 view all details >>
     
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  Back to School: Math Fun!

(Site Photos) SukiRedHead_138.jpgHomeschoolers are constantly sending out information about cool resources they found, great projects that inspired their children, and new curriculum they're trying. I try to keep up on it all, but a lot of it slides right by. Occasionally I really try out a recommended website or book. But sometimes it's a slower process.

In the case of story-based math learning, it was a process of being nagged, over and over, by a continuing refrain from the chorus. On every "great math resources" list I'd come across one. Or a friend would mention one. Or I'd see a recommendation on an e-mail forum.

(Products/Books) SirCumferenceandtheFirstRoundTable.jpgThen one day I typed "Sir Cumference" into the library's online search engine, and we had a revelation.

Math stories work!

I need to distinguish math stories from that dreaded staple of math textbooks and standardized tests, the story problem. Math stories are to story problems what sugar is to saccharine, or hiking a beautiful mountain trail is to look at photos of a beautiful mountain trail. Saccharine, photos, and story problems assume that the goal is the answer. But what's important here is the actual experience.

The first math stories I brought home recently were the Sir Cumference books. Our local library had two of them, so I ordered them and placed them on the table by the couch where we keep our books in progress. My daughter was immediately drawn to them - she loves knights. The titles are wonderful: Sir Cumference and the Dragons of Pi; Sir Cumference and the First Round Table. She devoured the two I had ordered that day, all by herself.

That evening, after the kids were in bed, my husband told me something with awe on his face: "Do you know that our daughter explained to me the relationship between the number of vertices and edges in a geometric solid?"

"Sir Cumference," I answered.

"Sir What?"

In each story, the characters (charmingly named things like "Lady Di of Ameter") take part in solving a mystery involving math. I am sure that my daughter had no idea that she was "learning" anything of any use, but she was clearly retaining concepts, some of them much more advanced than the math she is able to do on paper. The next day I went to the Bookshop and got the whole series, since the library doesn't have it. They've been in constant rotation ever since.

(Products/Books) PenroseMathematicalCat.jpgRecently I was at a meeting and recommended these books. Another mom recommended a book that she'd recommended before, but now that I'd had the Sir Cumference experience I was starting to get it. The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat starts with an introduction about the real Penrose, and it has his actual photo. Then the story immediately dips into fantasy.

The real Penrose likes to sleep on his mistress's math papers and books. The fictional Penrose interacts with characters from those papers that come to life and pose him questions he (and your child) had never considered before. The topics covered, as in Sir Cumference, are often rather esoteric, but they lead to deep understanding rather than a shallow attainment of a skill. My daughter loved the chapter about creating stars within other shapes. The chapter on base 2 led her and her brother to spend some time trying to stump each other with bigger and bigger base 2 numbers to translate to base 10.

Another example of math stories is recommended Heddi Craft: the Life of Fred series. As the publisher describes it: "In his everyday life he first encounters the need for each new part of mathematics, and then comes the mathematics." Each chapter presents Fred with obstacles that can be overcome with math, and ends with a small number of math problems related to the text. Heddi says that the beauty of it is that it's not a textbook chapter with 20 questions of each type, but rather a simple quiz that makes sure the child gets it, then moves on.

These three examples are all rather different in their form, but their aim is the same: If you create a world in which math matters, kids will learn it. And all three of these worlds draw kids in, sometimes without their knowing that it's the least bit educational. And they will acquire a deep understanding rather than a superficial skill that they can easily forget over summer break.

The knowledge kids acquire depends on the child, his or her math skills, and - I think this is key - the involvement of the parent or teacher. I have seen this quite clearly: Sir Cumference was just left strewn about our house. My daughter reads them, but we have never actually sat down and done any math associated with them because I was just enjoying how much she was enjoying them and talking about the concepts she was learning.

(Products/Books) SirCumferenceandAlltheKingsTens.jpgWhen she saw Penrose, however, she refused at first to even look at it. "That's boring," she said. No knights. No color pictures. Lots and lots of text. So one night when she was drying off from her shower, I just sat down and started reading the first story out loud. My involvement, this time, led to a very different type of interaction. She was not only interested in the book, but willing to do some of the exercises with me, and then inspired to go off on her own and do more.

Last year I attempted to do the "leave it lying around the house" method with Life of Fred, and got the same "that's boring" response. I think what she really means is, "I'm going to need your involvement here," so when we're finished with Penrose, I think I will once again start Life of Fred and see what happens.

If you're interested in these books and more, check out Living Math, a wonderful math resources website. She doesn't have a page specifically for math stories, but many of the books she recommends are in story form.

Suki Wessling homeschools her two children and finds time to write!  You can read more of Suki's blog, Avant Parenting, here>>>>.

  Back to School: Music Therapy for Children with Special Needs

by Marya Stark

Have you ever had the experience of looking at your child and thinking to yourself "wow, my child is quite musical?' It is easy for many parents to see how innately musical children are, sometimes without any formal learning or musical examples from the family. It seems as though music runs through their veins from the day they are born, breathing through them as naturally as the air. The field of Music Therapy has taken note of this for many years, and has developed a modality of therapy that builds upon this natural affinity children have for musical play to help them in reaching their highest potential in learning, self-awareness, and creative self-expression.


Music Therapy is based in the philosophy that indeed all humans are born with an inherent capacity and aptitude for music. Through the study of how music affects the physical, mental, and emotional processes, professionals agree that music is an important aspect of a child's development. It has been shown to stimulate, motivate, and inspire children in ways that no other medium can. Musical play allows for access into the child's heart, addressing them as a whole being and giving them the freedom to be who they truly are. It offers a key to unlocking aspects of the self while simultaneously supporting their learning on all other levels.


One of the things that differentiates music from other therapeutic modalities is the neurological and physiological phenomenon that occurs when engaged in a musical experience. A brain has many different centers of activity. One area of the brain may function in interpreting language; another may process emotions. A third functions in storing memory, while yet another is responsible for motor functioning (ect.) When a child is engaging in a musical experience however, whether it is dancing or playing instruments, it is the only experience where the entire brain is active. This is one of the things Music Therapists mean when we say music works with the whole child, because it literally does!


When taking a child's growing brain into consideration, musical experiences are incredibly valuable for supporting specific areas of development. For example, if a child is diagnosed with Autism and has certain delays in formulating speech, music therapy supports their speech development by directly addressing it through the words of a song, supporting it with the rhythm and melody, and indirectly addressing it by stimulating the neurological connections to more developed aspects of their brain. Music uses the strong points of a child to help support the growing ones. Because of this aspect, music gives the child the opportunity to already be successful, and have a place for unlimited expanding potential.


Some of the Special Needs populations served by Music Therapy:
Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, Apraxia, Down Syndrome, TBI, ADHD, Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, William's (Site Photos) MaryaStarkblackwhite.jpgSyndrome, Physical and Emotional Trauma, Other Varying Developmental Delays.


Some of the Goals Addressed by Music Therapy:
Language Development, Communication Skills, Cognitive Skills, Social Skills, Engagement, Self-esteem and Self-expression, Behavior Management, Relaxation, Attention Span, Emotional and Spiritual Development, Coping Skills, Sensory Integration, Body and Spatial Awareness, Motor Skills, Imagination and Creativity

For more information on Music Therapy, Contact Marya Stark MT-BC, outofthesilence@gmail.com

  Back to School for Tweens: Resolve to build character

by Liza Weidle, Parenting Tweens Examiner

If only building character was as easy as putting together the Lego set some kids got for Christmas. It takes a commitment to help young people become interested in demonstrating good character.

Some parents think they can't possibly add another thing to their busy schedule. "My plate is already too full," said one mom. The truth is, building character is the foundation - the plate - that holds everything else from soccer to homework. If character is your child's foundation, then the tough issues that confronts him or her will seem easier.

Resolving to build character doesn't have to be difficult. Pointing out the character traits as they appear in everyday life can become as natural as breathing. Sign up for character building newsletters, including subscribing to receive the features that appear on this page. The stories that will be worked on in the "Parenting Tweens Examiner" will feature at least one character trait that centers on a current events story.

When you see character in action, talk about it. Even better, role model good character!

Learn to use "character" language when talking with your tween. Reinforcing language sounds like, "the kids from Pilgrim Academy showed kindness when they collected food for the hungry." "It took courage for you volunteer to lead the class discussion."

Here are the top eight character education traits as defined by Wake County Public School System:

Courage: having the determination to do the right thing even when others don't; having the strength to follow your conscience rather than the crowd; attempting difficult things that are worthwhile.

Good judgment: choosing worthy goals and setting proper priorities; thinking through the consequences of your actions; and basing decisions on practical wisdom and good sense.

Integrity: having the inner strength to be truthful, trustworthy, and honest in all things; acting justly an honorably.

Kindness: being considerate, courteous, helpful, and understanding of others; showing care, compassion, friendship, and generosity, and treating others as you would like to be treated.

Perseverance: being persistent in the pursuit of worthy objectives in spite of difficulty, opposition or discouragement; and exhibiting patience and having the fortitude to try again when confronted with delays, mistakes, or failures.

Respect: Showing high regard for authority, for other people, for self, for property, and for country; and understanding that all people have value as human beings.

Responsibility: being dependable in carrying out obligations and duties; showing reliability and consistency in words and conduct; being accountable for your own actions; and being committed to active involvement in your community.

Self-discipline: demonstrating hard work and commitment to purpose; regulating your self for improvement and restraining from inappropriate behaviors; being in proper control of your words, actions, impulses, and desires; choosing abstinence from premarital sex, drugs, alcohol, and other harmful substances and behaviors; and doing your best in all situations.

  Back to School: What Makes a Great Teacher?

(Products/Books) TheTalentCode.jpgDaniel Coyle, The Talent Code Blog

What makes certain teachers so magical? What qualities should we look for, and what ones should we ignore?

In the last month we've seen a provocative new wave of reporting and research on that old and important mystery, from Elizabeth Bennett (New York Times Magazine), Amanda Ripley (Atlantic), and two terrific new books, Teaching as Leadership, The Highly Effective Teacher's Guide to Closing the Achievement Gap by Steven Farr, and Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College by Doug Lemov.

You should check out the stories and accompanying videos for yourself, but here's the key point: great teachers share certain signature traits. Some of these traits are no big surprise - for instance, great teachers don't see mistakes as verdicts, but as opportunities for learning; great teachers are immensely skillful at "holding the floor;" i.e. managing attention. Others are a bit more surprising.

(Products/Books) TeachLikeaChampion.jpgTrait 1: They set big, ambitious, highly specific goals.
The key word here is specific, as in "my students will progress 1.5 grade levels this year" or, in the case of basketball, "our team will score an average of 50 points a game." Great teachers are constantly looking for vivid, trackable measuring sticks - which, by the way, are frequently creative (for instance, an orchestra could track the number of pieces it plays perfectly).

That sounds rather obvious, but the real art is in setting the right goal, making it visceral, and using it as a type of powerful magnet, orienting the mindsets, aspirations, and identity of the group. Above all, the goal is to avoid not having any. As Farr writes, vague goals are a kind of motivational smog, dimming expectation and achievement. Great teachers are allergic to vagueness.

Trait 2: Great teachers are constantly revising themselves.
They see their own work as never quite good enough. Behind the scenes, they tear up old lesson plans and draw new ones. In addition, they are magpies, stealing good ideas from fellow teachers, borrowing techniques, relentlessly upgrading their game. This finding seems strange, until you (Products/Books) TeachingAsLeadership.jpgthink of them as engaged in constructive editing. Like any good business or athlete, they are involved in an internal kaizen process, always looking hard at results, finding tiny ways to improve. They're obsessed with honing their neural circuitry.

Trait 3: Great teachers radiate satisfaction with their lives.
They simply love teaching - a finding which seems warm and cuddly until you consider the hard numbers: according to a study in the Journal of Positive Psychology cited by Ripley, teachers who scored high in life satisfaction were 43 percent more likely to perform well in the classroom than their less satisfied colleagues. Their zeal is not coincidental; it fuels the work of the job, allowing them to reach out again and again, engaging students.

It's also interesting to note what qualities are not on this list - namely that Dead Poets' Society, leap-on-the-desk quality known as charisma - which doesn't turn out to be nearly as valuable we might instinctively suppose. (Ripley's article contains a scene of two aspiring teachers competing for a job with Teach For America; one is charismatic and charming; the other quiet and prepared. Guess who gets the job?)

The lesson: sorry, Robin Williams. While the desk-leaping sizzle of your charisma is hugely enjoyable, it's useful only when paired with the thick, juicy steak of real educational skills.

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