April 2016

Dear District 39 Community,

 

Here are some D39 updates:

Customized Learning/1:1 Update

The March Board of Education meeting included an update on the 1:1 initiative. It is clear that our 6th-8th grade students are thriving, and this program will be extended in 5th grade next year. One highlighted benefit is an increased focus on customized learning. Technology facilitates learning by assisting teachers with individualizing for students. For example, a learning experience may be enhanced through a “flipped” science unit. This means students access traditional lecture content from home. They can learn at their own pace and level; then students come to class armed with questions and are ready to participate with their peers in experiments. Clearly, technology helps teachers more closely monitor students and modify instruction as needed.

 

Homework

I’m guessing that homework is a topic that comes up in your family, at least occasionally. Too much, too little, too hard, too easy…is it done…etc. I thought this article made some excellent points about parents and homework.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/03/22/fourth-grade-book-report-let-your-fourth-grader-do-it/

 

Mindfulness

I have had a few exchanges with staff recently about the benefits of mindfulness. Some staff members were already incorporating this into their lives and classrooms. One staff member sent me the image below and it really got me thinking…mind full or mindful? Where did I fit? You will see at the center of “mind full” is a car, which made me realize that driving often raises my anxiety level. So, I tried a one-week experiment to be more mindful when I drive and it really helped! I’ve asked our administrators to try this too: find one thing that adds stress or anxiety to your life and simply pay attention to your body, mind, and emotions. No need to develop a “change of habit” plan, the act of paying attention alone makes a difference. Maybe this is something you can try too!
Mindful or Mind full?

 

Your partner in education,


Ray Lechner
Superintendent

Wilmette Public Schools District 39 • 615 Locust Road • Wilmette, IL 60091 • 847-256-2450

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