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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

March 28, 2013
A Gem in our Museum Repertoire

Suki: Our Thorns and Our Gifts

Science with Christine: Earth Spin Changing

Is It OK To Place Students In “Ability Groups”?

This Week
Watercolor SHow - Best of the Central Coast
Bully-Proof, Raising Your Resilient Child for LIFE!
Click to view our Business Directory
  A Gem in our Museum Repertoire

(Holidays) EasterScene.jpgThere's a gem of a museum in our county, The Agricultural History Project, and they have a great day planned for the children this Sunday, Easter on the Farm.  Egg Hunts will be every ½ hour in four separate age groups: from 3 and under up to 12 years old. Everyone who participates will have a special Easter treat. Activities for children and adults include: hat and basket making, face-painting, hayrides, games with stilts and hoops, chalk drawing, and others! They are also gathering stories this year from all ages on your experiences and thoughts about farming.

Check our calendar for Easter Events.  Are you looking for a Spring Break Camp? Call these Kid Camp Pros who know how to make camp fun!  Click here to get a preview of April family events.

Families are speaking out about their desires for the kind of community they want Santa Cruz to be.  One organization, Take Back Santa Cruz, wants the city to put families as first priority and plans to hold council members accountable for measures and policies that ensure safety for families.  This is a challenging goal and they welcome your participation.

A NYT reporter takes a look at us, "SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Keep it weird? Or keep it safe and clean?"   "Keep Santa Cruz Weird" was the longstanding, if unofficial, motto for this small beachfront city proud of its tolerance and its offbeat vibe. People came for Santa Cruz's 1960s-imbued live-and-let-live attitude, its progressive politics, the great weather, the University of California campus, the hard-partying surfing scene and the freewheeling drug culture.   But "Keep Santa Cruz Safe and Clean" began appearing on bumpers in recent years as the city was rattled by acts of violence, its streets and parks seemingly overwhelmed by homelessness and drugs. To hear the supporters of the new slogan, Santa Cruz's famous tolerance was guilty of enabling..." Read the entire article.

My humble suggestion: 1) Scratch "weird" and have a contest to find a positive key word for Santa Cruz.  Unique is much more complimentary to our diverse population, but so over-used. Let's get creative!  2) Take a tough love approach to our problematic citizens; retain our compassion, kindness and respect for individuals, do not enable harmful habits and set firm standards.  Grow up Santa Cruz.  Do I sound like a teacher?  Any teacher knows that without "rules for kids" anarchy reigns.

Lorraine Pursell is coming to town.  If you would like to bully-proof your child for the 21st century, go to one of her upcoming talks, Raising Your Resilient Child for Life!.

Happy Easter,  Parmalee

 

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  Suki: Our Thorns and Our Gifts

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(Books/Products) Book_TheCaseoftheDeadlyDesperadoes.jpgWe just read The Case of the Deadly Desperados for my daughter's book club. In the book, the narrator, P.K., is a "half breed" child living in the Old West. After his foster parents are murdered, he is chased around Virginia City by the killers, who want a letter that he has in his possession.

The most interesting thing about the book was the author's choice to endow the narrator with what his foster mother called his "Gift" and his "Thorn." The reader learns from P.K. that his Thorn is that he cannot show or recognize emotions, and that his Gift is his extraordinary memory and ability to do math in his head. Though child readers didn't really notice it, P.K. is clearly portrayed to be autistic in a time when autism wasn't recognized.

P.K.'s physical journey in the book is his attempt to keep one step ahead of his pursuers. His emotional journey, however, is one in which he learns to understand both his Gift and his Thorn and how to use them to his advantage.

I was reminded of his Thorn today, when my Thorn (or perhaps, one of many!) reached out and ... Read more>>>>>

 

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  Science with Christine: Earth Spin Changing

(Photos General) EarthSpinning_NASA.jpgOur world is merrily spinning around like a top. We can measure this spin and we get more exact measurements all the time. We have found changes in the rate of spin, both in response to external factors and stuff happening on the earth. Just like a spinning top can slow down due to other factors.

Something odd happened in 2009. The ocean currents around Antarctica slowed down, which sped up the Earth. Our days were shorter by about 0.1 milliseconds. I hope you noticed!

Scientists noticed the slowdown, and then went looking for a reason. They were surprised by the current change, which they still don't understand. A current idea is that the wind speed over the ocean slowed down, which slowed down the current. Once the wind speed picked up, the current sped up and the Earth slowed down. We know the winds slowed down, but we don't know if that is the cause.  Read more ...>>>>>>

Click here for more science with scientist and mom, Christine Cockey.

 
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  Is It OK To Place Students In “Ability Groups”?
New findings based on more than 20 years of research suggest that despite decades of controversy, elementary school teachers now feel fine placing students in "ability groups," reports Greg Toppo in a very interesting article in USA Today:

(Photos General) Children_WateringBrains.jpg"The research, produced by the centrist Brookings Institution's Brown Center on American Education, finds that between 1998 and 2009, the percentage of fourth-grade teachers who said they created ability-based reading groups skyrocketed from 28% to 71%. In math, between 1996 and 2011, the practice rose from 40% to 61%. The practice remained fairly constant in eighth-grade math, rising from 71% to 76%. Data for other eighth-grade subjects was incomplete or inconclusive.

Brookings researcher Tom Loveless said the practice, frowned upon for decades and dubbed a civil-rights issue in the 1990s, likely gave way in the last decade to new demands from the federal 2002 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law, which required schools to focus on struggling students in reading and math.

"Despite decades of vehement criticism and mountains of documents urging schools to abandon their use, tracking and ability grouping persist-and for the past decade or so, have thrived,' Loveless said.

Grouping works within a single class and is typically done just at the elementary school level. Tracking is a larger, more institutionalized form of grouping that involves moving students into different classes. It generally takes place in middle school and high school.

Patrick Boodey, principal of Woodman Park School in Dover, N.H., said the new findings on ability grouping are accurate but added that teachers have gotten more sophisticated: They now use "dynamic grouping' that moves students as their skills improve. Groups sometimes change week to week. "It's constant,' he said." (Read more here.)

This last point is the key. If the ability groupings are truly "dynamic"-if they are fluid and responsive to changes in students' developing skill levels-then they carry exactly the opposite message from the old-style fixed groups. Dynamic grouping tells kids: If you work hard, you can improve.

Of course, there are also benefits to combining students of different ability levels together, and I hope teachers find opportunities to do that as well.

What do you think? Have you had experiences with ability groups, old- or new-style-either your own or your children's?

Annie Murphy Paul is the author of the forthcoming book Brilliant: The New Science of Smart. Visit her website and sign up for her monthly newsletter.

 

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  This Week

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Submit your event!


Plan ahead.. Preview April Events!

 

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School Corner

Gateway School K-8, Ocean Friends and Family Day 3/28

 

Santa Cruz Children's School K-6, Open House 4/2

 

Spring Hill School K-8, Kindergarten Tour 4/8

 

Chartwell School K-8, Reading Program Components 4/10

 

SC Waldorf K-8, Morning in the Kindergarten 4/13

 

Gateway School K-8, Open House 4/16

 

Mount Madonna School Pre-12, Tour Day 4/17

Music Preschool

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Summer Camp Guide is coming in April!  Email us for information!

Internship for Teens!

Summer Science Field Trip
Assistants

Help in a fun summer science program that teaches kids real physics and chemistry activities in the multi-sensory outdoors. Science knowledge is helpful but not necessary. Join some wonderful teaching assistants and kid helpers for science field trips.

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Check our website,

osefun.com

for activity summaries, locations and dates. June 10-July 12

I am a Master Teacher at the top of this field and Director of the nonprofit Outdoor Science Exploration & Classroom Science Fun. Our shared goal is to help the kids learn about science and themselves. I also have an extra goal of doing as much as possible to develop your chosen strengths and goals.

Irvin Lindsey
info@osefun.com
(831) 423-5925

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 Watercolor SHow - Best of the Central Coast

Santa Cruz Art League
Come see the best watercolor paintings of the Central Coast
Date: Every day (Mar 30-Apr 21)

The Best of the Central Coast

S.C Watercolor Society's "The Best of the Central Coast" - Come and see the beautiful, luminous watercolor paintings from these very talented artists of the Central Coast!

Reception: Sun. April 7, 2-4pm
Questions: Aimee 425-5954 or email: seawall@cruzio.com

 

Happy Easter and Spring Break
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Eggstraordinary Egg Hunt
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  Eggstraordinary Egg Hunt
Roaring Camp Railroads
Date: Every day (Apr 15-Apr 16)
Ages: All
Details: Hunt for thousands of chocolate candy eggs hidden by the Easter Bunny in a redwood forest and win prizes
City: Felton Phone: 831/ 335-4484 view all details >>
     
Happy Easter and Spring Break
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  Bully-Proof, Raising Your Resilient Child for LIFE!

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You're a caring, concerned parent looking for SHORTCUTS that STREAMLINE your efforts to raise your kids as good citizens- safe, happy and confident in the 21st Century, BUT...

Are you:

-Worried that your child will be hurt?

-Sleepless about their future?

-Concerned that you are giving them all the guidance they need?

-Wondering if they'll make the best choices when you're not there?

-Crossing your fingers that your child will choose the right friends?

If any of these describe you, then clear your calendar, mark this date and get ready to be empowered and encouraged!

Tuesday, April 16 at 7-8:30 pm, Aptos Times Building (insert google map) Register here: www.yourkidslovinglife.com/bullyproof-tpg

In this empowering 90 minute talk you will learn about...

  • What your child needs for handling life confidently in 2013 and beyond
  • Your empowerment tools to steer them from harm
  • Why instinct and intuition are your child's built-in protection
  • Your child's self-esteem checklist for the 21st Century
  • Masterful parenting and how simple it can be if you watch this 1 thing
  • What it takes to get him or her safely to adulthood
  • Pivotal points in your child's life and how not to miss them

Lorraine will hold a Question & Answer session after the talk.

Lorraine Pursell, former local leader and 12 year parenting pillar in our community, is visiting us from Hawai'i to speak on this important topic! Help us show Lorraine that we mean business by being strong parents, and turn out for this community-wide event! Please join us in warmly welcoming her with our own special brand of Santa Cruz County Aloha!

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