Results of the Multi-literacy Survey
On Tuesday, February 2nd, a Family Multi-literacy Workshop Evening for English Class families was held at school. During the planning period, before the workshop evening, both parents and pupils were asked to participate in anonymous surveys. The results of the surveys are available as pdf files in the links here: Results of Parents’ Multi-literacy Survey and the Results of Anonymous Survey by Pupils
Several interesting facts surfaced as a result of the surveys. For one thing, children are reading far pleasure less than their families think they are. Also, children are using the Internet without the permission of their parents.
Interactive Family Media Evening
On Tuesday, the 10th of February we held our first ever interactive media evening for English Class families. Not everyone was able to participate so we would like to encourage you to read about the activities at the link above and to think about the following.
One of the goals of this evening was to show the many different types of media that exist: print media, social media, photography, advertising, cinema, broadcasting (radio and television), and/or publishing, etc. along with some of the devices used to deliver media. This is all very overwhelming for adults, not to mention children. Another goal was to get family members interacting in a fun, safe and interesting way.
Children all have a basic need to feel safe and loved. By setting down firm guidelines for the use of media in your family you are actively taking one big step in this direction. 1) Set time limits on electronic media use, as well as 2) limits on the content of what is being watched or played. Screened devices shouldn’t be in a child’s bedroom. Age restrictions should be observed (even if a child has older siblings). Above all, take an interest in what your child(ren) are interested in, be it gaming, surfing, or using social media. Take an active role in media education and help your child(ren) prepare to be an active participant in his/her/their future.
By limiting screen time and offering non-electronic formats such as books, newspapers and board games, and watching television together with your child(-ren), you parents can help guide your child(-ren)’s media experiences. Help your child(-ren) to become truly media literate!
First Parents’ Evening of the 2014-15 School Year
On Wednesday, August 20th English Class teachers met with parents in their respective classrooms. The purpose of the evening was to set the tone for the school year and to review English Class policies.
Parents in the second grade were encouraged to write their own child’s positive traits on the petals of a flower that was taped to the lid of each child’s desk. What a treat for each second grader to start the following day by reading the supportive words of his or her parent(s)!
Parents and Digital Literacy
Digital literacy and safety were the themes of the day on Wednesday, October 16th when all of the English Class pupils participated in age appropriate activities relating to information technology. Now we would like to bring parents into the big picture.
It is a given fact that home and school need to work together to make sure that our children are safe and successful while using new technologies. All too often children explore new technological games, programmes and forms of social media before their parents are even aware that they exist.
In order to encourage lifelong learning, it means that these new tools should be made available for use, but it also means that we need to guide and supervise our children into being responsible and safe while doing so. We heartily recommend a very useful site called Common Sense Media.org offers all kinds of basic information for parents of children at various age levels. Besides being very informative on basic media issues, there are tips for families along with a media agreement that you can tailor to meet your family’s needs. Take the time to look at this site.
Another invaluable site for parents is Kidsmart.org.uk which deals with parental controls, including tips for specific devices. There are also links to useful information, videos and much, much more in simple, understandable non-tech terms.
Family Flea Market
The first ever Family Flea Market, organized by the English Classes and held on Sunday, September 22nd, was a great success. In fact, it was so popular that several requests by families were made right away to have another one in the spring. Families had an opportunity to spend time together while making money for themselves selling whatever things were outgrown or causing clutter. This fundraising event will help to pay for some new Windows tablet computers for the English Classes. Warm thanks to everyone who put in their time and effort to make this the success it was!
At the beginning of the school year, on the 26th of August, English Class parents participated in a Parents’ Evening, the theme of which was parental involvement.
A PREZI presented the surprising distribution of time in a child’s day along with the amazing benefits of reading 20 minutes per day. This Parental Involvement presentation, created by one of our English Class teachers, is available for you to see here.
After the presentation, parents had an opportunity to participate in short workshops. One of the workshops had questions to which parents wrote replies on Post-its. This is a summary of the questions and replies from that particular workshop.
What does school in the future require from teachers, parents and children?
-open minded students and teachers
-communication, e-learning, flexible school hours
-We need to practice communication (teacher-child-parent) which is all new to us.
-School in the future requires involvement from teachers, parents and children.
School is important because…
-school is the spiritual yard for children. School can offer children what parents cannot.
-school can change the world. This school seems to be the most international place in Pori. I appreciate that my child gets to live in this society.
-education instills values, respect and independence.
-English Classes provide the possibility to learn a second language at a very young age. Huge advantages in the future
-cooperation and working together with children of different ages
-school teaches independence to children
Does your child seem happy and engaged at school?
-“Yes” was the unanimous answer, ranging from “yes, very engaged normally” to “yes, for the most part”
Does he or she have friends at school?
-Again, “yes” was unanimous with one parent adding, “yes, many”.
How can we improve on children’s happiness/joy at being at school?
-activities to bring children and parents together
-We should get to know parents and classmates better.
-to be keen on their school days
-by getting to know families in the class
-have some coordinated activities at recess
-do a lot of sports activities, trips. Tell him he is good/excellent in front of the class
-maybe more activities with different age groups in school. More visits and activities outside of school.
-If somebody is lonely, the parents can call other families for coffee to get to know one another better.
How is media (TV, computers, iPads, smart phones, games and the Internet) influencing our children’s lives? What effects does it have on our children?
-Children are affected by the language used in the media: OMG! LOL!
-time-consuming on the one hand, but on the other hand, they need to learn how to use it.
-Too much time in front of the TV (playing games) causes addiction. Kids get anxious.
-Media can build up an autonom world in the child’s head –far away from the real world. Sometimes protection is needed because, e.g. the Internet is open to everyone and not totally taken care of by authorities.
What can you do to protect your own child, or is it even necessary to protect children from media forms?
-limited daily media time
-follow age limits (TV programmes, games, movies)
What do you hope your child learns this year?
-reach the goals of the grade
-sometimes upper graders could work harder
What can you do to help your child succeed this year?
-encourage them to do their best
-get to know other parents
How much time do you expect children to spend on homework assignments?
-nice that weekends are homework free for 1st and 2nd graders
-max. 0,5 h for 1st and 2nd grade
-1 – 1,5 hrs. for 3rd grade and up