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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

October 9, 2013


More Smart Learning Strategies

Suki: Talk to Your Kids
This Week
Celebrate 100 Years of Wharf History
Click to view our Business Directory
 

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Wharf_Pelican.jpgHappy 100th Birthday to the Santa Cruz Wharf where you can watch sea lions vie for beam space, eat fried clams, have dinner in front of a beautiful sunset, find resort clothes and locally made gifts and t-shirts, fish off the pier, rent a kayak and look back at the Boardwalk!  Saturday is a great opportunity to learn about Santa Cruz history from photos and more!

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Seaworld_KidsDolphins.jpgSan Diego attractions have joined together to form "Kidvasion", a month of free entries for kids under 12 to over 100 venues.  Many of them are major attractions like SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari.  Now that is a good deal and good marketing.  It's a much larger population than Santa Cruz County, but just imagine what something like this could do for Santa Cruz businesses.  Check out the San Diego Kidvasion posting.

There is some great research being done on the science of learning strategies.  This kind of knowledge was not available until recently except anecdotally and sometimes in the classrooms of exceptional teachers who discovered how to teach both content and the "how-to's" of learning.  Which do you think is more important in the long run?  You're right!  I don't suppose the "how-to" skill can be tested, but I would rather be good at learning and so what if that doesn't show up on test scores.   Annie Murphy Paul sifts through scientific studies and puts it into laymen's language for us.  Today's article gives two lists of how-to's.  We created a pdf for you to download and share with your children, friends and teachers.

This is another one of those full weekends where you may feel torn choosing among many fun family events.  Here's a link to the entire weekend.  Enjoy! Parmalee

 

(Ads 2013) MountMadonna_2013October.jpg

  More Smart Learning Strategies

by Annie Murphy Paul

What's the key to effective learning? One intriguing body of research suggests a rather riddle-like answer: It's not just what you know. It's what you know about what you know.

To put it in more straightforward terms, anytime a student learns, he or she has to bring in two kinds of prior knowledge: knowledge about the subject at hand (say, mathematics or history) and knowledge about how learning works. Parents and educators are pretty good at imparting the first kind of knowledge. We're comfortable talking about concrete information: names, dates, numbers, facts. But the guidance we offer on the act of learning itself-the "metacognitive" aspects of learning-is more hit-or-miss, and it shows.

(Photos General) StudentExcited.jpgIn our schools, "the emphasis is on what students need to learn, whereas little emphasis-if any-is placed on training students how they should go about learning the content and what skills will promote efficient studying to support robust learning," writes John Dunlosky, professor of psychology at Kent State University in Ohio, in an article just published in American Educator. However, he continues, "teaching students how to learn is as important as teaching them content, because acquiring both the right learning strategies and background knowledge is important-if not essential-for promoting lifelong learning."

Research has found that students vary widely in what they know about how to learn, according to a team of educational researchers from Australia writing last year in the journal Instructional Science. Most striking, low-achieving students show "substantial deficits" in their awareness of the cognitive and metacognitive strategies that lead to effective learning-suggesting that these students' struggles may be due in part to a gap in their knowledge about how learning works.

(Photos General) StudentStudyingLibrary.jpgTeaching students good learning strategies would ensure that they know how to acquire new knowledge, which leads to improved learning outcomes, writes lead author Helen Askell-Williams of Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. And studies bear this out. Askell-Williams cites as one example a recent finding by PISA, the Programme for International Student Assessment, which administers academic proficiency tests to students around the globe, and place American students in the mediocre middle. "Students who use appropriate strategies to understand and remember what they read, such as underlining important parts of the texts or discussing what they read with other people, perform at least 73 points higher in the PISA assessment-that is, one full proficiency level or nearly two full school years-than students who use these strategies the least," the PISA report reads.

In their own study, Askell-Williams and her coauthors took as their subjects 1,388 Australian high school students. They first administered an assessment to find out how much the students knew about cognitive and metacognitive learning strategies-and found that their familiarity with these tactics was "less than optimal. "Students can assess their own awareness by asking themselves which of the following learning strategies they regularly use (the response to each item is ideally "yes"):

  • I draw pictures or diagrams to help me understand this subject.
  • I make up questions that I try to answer about this subject.
  • When I am learning something new in this subject, I think back to what I already know about it
  • I discuss what I am doing in this subject with others.
  • I practice things over and over until I know them well in this subject.
  • I think about my thinking, to check if I understand the ideas in this subject.
  • When I don't understand something in this subject I go back over it again.
  • I make a note of things that I don't understand very well in this subject, so that I can follow them up.
  • When I have finished an activity in this subject I look back to see how well I did.
  • I organize my time to manage my learning in this subject.
  • I make plans for how to do the activities in this subject.

Askell-Williams and her colleagues found that those students who used fewer of these strategies reported more difficulty coping with their schoolwork. For the second part of their study, they designed a series of proactive questions for teachers to drop into the lesson on a "just-in-time" basis-at the moments when students could use the prompting most. These questions, too, can be adopted by any parent or educator to make sure that children know not just what is to be learned, but how.

  • What is the topic for today's lesson?
  • What will be important ideas in today's lesson?
  • What do you already know about this topic?
  • What can you relate this to?
  • What will you do to remember the key ideas?
  • Is there anything about this topic you don't understand, or are not clear about?

I love to hear from readers. Please email me at annie@anniemurphypaul.com. You can also visit my website, follow me on Twitter, and join the conversation on Facebook. Be brilliant!

 
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Harvest and Halloween Events!

Welcome... Enter!

 

  Suki: Talk to Your Kids

(Photos General) SukiWessling2013.jpg

When my children were small, we were fortunate that our lives intersected briefly with a wonderful woman who was temporarily working as a babysitter. She was a refugee and had gone from being a respected professional in her native tongue to a naive beginner in America. As such, she had the unusual experience of being able to learn from the ground up again, something that most of us are not brave enough to do once we're adults and have established ourselves in a profession.

Since childcare is an easy occupation to enter when you are a newly arrived foreigner in this country, she made money by working in preschools and babysitting while improving her English so that she could go back to the field she had her degree in, social work. Never having paid much attention to the raising of children, it was fascinating to be included in her process both of learning how to care for children in any culture, and also in looking back at the culture she'd come from with a more critical eye.

One day she told me that the thing that had most impressed her about the interactions in our family was that we talked to our children like they were people. "In my country," she said, "we just tell them to do things and we tell them in a special voice you use for children."

She mimicked the sing-songy voice that you'll hear coming from parents of many cultures. She was right that this voice, as sweet as it may have been intended to sound, is usually used to issue orders.

"OK, Benny, it's time to take your medicine!" we coo at our kids. "Now Susie, you know we don't treat our friends that way."

It turns out that our social-worker-turned-babysitter was on to something that researchers have found marks a huge difference in how families raise their children... Read more >>>>

Suki Wessling writes about parenting, education, gifted children, and homeschooling at Avant Parenting.

  This Week

(Graphics) EventCalendar.jpg(Ads) SantaCruzParentFacebook.jpgBelow 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 >>

THE WEEKEND

 

Free Events Parks A-Z Classes for Kids
Family Events Museums Library Ongoing
Parenting Workshops School Events Support Groups

 

School Corner

(Photos General) WinslowHomer_Classroom.jpg

Chartwell School K-12, Free Workshop - Technology 10/9


Good Shepherd PreK-8, Harvest Festival 10/12


Gateway School K-8, Fall Festival 10/13


Gateway School K-8, Open House 10/16


Spring Hill School K-6, Invention Convention 10/15


Mount Madonna PreK-12, Campus Tour 10/23


Lucille Packard Children's Hospital, Autism Spectrum Disorders,  Parent Education Program, Navigating Social Services 11/9

(Logos Event Calendar) SanDiego_Kidvasion.jpg

Christine: What are Tears?

(Photos General) Tears.jpgLiquid in the form of tears leaves our eyes for multiple reasons. What do we know about tears?

First of all, we shed tears for different reasons. If material such as dust enters our eye, our body automatically washes it out with liquid. We also use tears to keep our eyes moist. Certain physical responses such as yawning or laughing may also trigger tears. Finally, strong emotions such as anger or great joy can make us cry. 

Tears have different chemical makeup depending on why they are occurring. ...
find out more>>>>

 

Christine is a scientist and mom.  You can find more of her essays here.

 

Harvest and Halloween Events

Welcome! Come In!

(Holidays) Halloween_JackOMouseatDoor.jpg

Ask Nicole!

 

Dear Nicole,

 

My 5-year-old daughter doesn't like to try new activities since she started kindergarten. She says things to my partner and me, like "I always mess up" and "I can't do that." She used to be so cheerful and outgoing, but now we're really concerned about her self-esteem. What can we do to help her?

--Martin, Santa Cruz

 

Dear Martin,

 

Kindergarten is a special time. Your daughter is no longer a toddler and not yet a big kid-a fact she likely knows because she's becoming more self-aware. She also may understand which activities come easily to her and which are more challenging. And she may be starting to compare herself to others. These are all natural parts of development.

It's common for children's self-esteem to fluctuate as they have new experiences and try to figure out who they are as individuals. The good news is that there are several strategies you can do to support your daughter's development. Here are a few:

Encourage your daughter's efforts, not just the end result. For example, if she's drawing a picture of a tree, sit with her and ask her about it. Discuss her color choices, the size and shape of the tree and the level of detail in her drawing. If she says it's not a good tree, praise her for trying - "I just love that you're drawing and being creative." Point out something she did well - "I like the way you colored in all these leaves." Ask her to name something she did well. This process will help her replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

Even though you probably think it all the time, tell your daughter out loud and often that you love her. You can also show your love by focusing on her needs. When you are fully available when she needs you, you send a message to her that she is special just the way she is. And that makes her feel good inside.

 

Nicole Young manages Santa Cruz County's Triple P - Positive Parenting Program, the world's leading positive parenting program. For more information, including classes and one-on-one meetings to help parents handle everyday parenting challenges, visit triplep.first5scc.org.

(Photos General) Dog_Camper.jpg

 Celebrate 100 Years of Wharf History


Santa Cruz Wharf
Learn about and celebrate wharf history via a MAH pop up museum
Date: 10/12/2013 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm

(Special Event Images / Graphics) SantaCruzWharf.jpgTHE SANTA CRUZ WHARF IS IN THE HEART - CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF WHARF HISTORY
The Museum of Art and History will host a "pop up museum" in which community members will engage photographs and historical objects related to the wharf's 100-year history.

 Community members will also be encouraged to bring photographs, artifacts and stories to share as well and can order a free scan of their fave photo from Bay Photo.

 Historian and author Geoffrey Dunn will be on hand to facilitate the activities along with special guest Santa Cruz Mayor Hilary Bryant. ROMA Design Group will also be on hand to solicit the community's ideas and vision for the wharf as part of the Master Plan process. Fine wines by Vino Prima will be available as well as hors d'oeuvres by Firefish Café, Olitas, Stagnaro's, Gilda's, The Dolphin, Woodies Cafe and more.

Visit santacruzwharf.com or call 831-420-5273. FREE!  •website Santa Cruz

Free!
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  Free!
Date:
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Harvest Festival
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  Harvest Festival
Good Shepherd Catholic School
Date: 10/12/2013 from 11:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Harvest Festival
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 476-4000 view all details >>
     
Free!
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  Free!
Date:
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Friday the 13th Flashlight Tours
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  Friday the 13th Flashlight Tours
Winchester Mystery House
Date: The 13th of every month from 6:30pm to 10:30pm
Ages: Teens and up
Details: Tour the rambling, mysterious mansion at night with only the moonlight, a souvenir flashlight, and your imagination
Special Instructions: 13TH OF THE MONTH IF IT'S A FRIDAY!
City: San Jose Phone: (408) 247-2101 view all details >>
     
Happy Birthday to the TANNERY!!!
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  Happy Birthday to the TANNERY!!!
Tannery Arts Center
Date: 06/18/2016
Details: The day of revelry includes a full afternoon and evening celebrating creativity with art experiences, food and free performances
City: s.c. Phone: 831-621-6226 view all details >>
     
Free!
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Welcome Back Monarchs
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  Welcome Back Monarchs
State Park Natural Bridges
Date: 02/13/2016 from 11:00am to 4:00pm
Details: Habitat hikes, active games and crafts for children, face painting, butterfly garden tips, along with live music
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 423-4609 view all details >>
     
Free!
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  Free!
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Free!
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Woodland Gardening
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  Woodland Gardening
Santa Cruz County Parks
Date: 09/14/2014 at 10:00am
Ages: 16+
Details: Here's your chance to learn about the dos and don's of woodland gardening.
Special Instructions: Please call 831-335-9348 to sign up
City: Felton Phone: (831) 335-9348 view all details >>
     
Santa Cruz Open Streets
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  Santa Cruz Open Streets
Santa Cruz Open Streets
Date: 10/13/2013 from 9:00pm to 2:00pm
Ages: All ages
Details: Play in the street on West Cliff Drive!
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Super Kid Triathalon
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  Super Kid Triathalon
Super Kid Triathalon
Date: 10/19/2014 from 8:00am to 1:00pm
Ages: all ages
Details: A great event for the whole family and gives your children the opportunity to be active and healthy.
Special Instructions: register with Finish Line Productions
City: Live Oak Phone: (831) 476-7946 view all details >>
     
Free!
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  Free!
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Free!
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  Free!
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Harvest Faire and Steam Festival
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  Harvest Faire and Steam Festival
Roaring Camp Railroads
Date: Every day (Oct 3-Oct 4) from 11:00am to 2:00pm
Details: Roaring Camp HarvStep into the incredible world of steam power at the Harvest Faire & Steam Festival presented by Kinetic Steam
City: Felton Phone: (831)335-4484 view all details >>
     
     
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