Monday, December 6, 2010

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Important Questions

Prepare yourself for parent-teacher conferences by thinking about what information parents really should have.
Here are some examples.

  • What will your students learn this year in key subjects like math, science, history, and English?
  • Are there challenging academic standards in place at your school, and how do they compare with those at other school districts? Show these standards to parents.
  • How will you inform students about the academic standards they're expected to meet? What kinds of projects and assignments have you planned that will help your students meet higher academic standards?

  • What kind of information do you use to evaluate students? How do you know if they're academically ready to move on to the next grade?
  • How are grades determined in your classroom?

  • What can they do at home to complement what is happening in the classroom?
  • How can they know on a daily basis what homework has been assigned?
  • How can they support your efforts in implementing higher academic standards?

  • What if their child is a slow learner and falls behind, or is a fast learner and is bored?
  • Are summer school, tutoring, or other programs available for students who need more help?

  1. What skills and knowledge will your students be expected to master this year?
  2. How will your students be evaluated?
  3. What can parents do to stay more involved in their child's academic progress?
  4. How do you accommodate differences in learning?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Keeping Your Kids Safe On-Line

Like any new technology the internet is full of potentially good outcomes but it comes with plenty of potentially negative outcomes.  This has always been true of any new technology.  Try to remember that the technology itself isn't good or bad, its how we choose to use it that's good or bad.
First, some of the good stuff we can get from the internet:
  • Improved communications via email, instant messaging, internet phones and video.
  • Data storage and sharing across the world
  • The potential of networking ideas and knowledge without boundaries
  • The democratization of information
Then some of the bad stuff:
  • Internet crime such as online scams
  • Misuse of information for negative results
  • Character attacks and "cyber-bullying"
  • Exploitation of children and child predators
So how do you educate yourself on the bad stuff so you can help kids avoid it?  It should be no surprise that there is a whole bunch of websites out there that can help you: 
This site provides some practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help people guard against online fraud and protect personal information. 
They advertise themselves as a "Family Guide to making the Internet and technology fun, safe and productive."  Try this site for more detailed information about protecting kids on the internet.
Be Cyber Safe is a good overview of the dangers that are out there for kids while they are online.  It's full of information and links to additional resources.  Definitely a good site to check out.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Writing Strengths and Weaknesses in Your Child

Writing doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Take this quiz to learn your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and use this printable writing activity to help encourage his developing skills.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Preventing Cyberbullying

What Parents Can Do 

  • Don’t put a computer in your young child’s bedroom. Keep your computer is a busy area of your home.
  • Set up e-mail and chat accounts with your children. Make sure that you know their screen names and passwords and that they don't include any personal information in their online profiles.
  • Regularly go over their instant messenger "buddy list" with them. Ask who each person is and how your children know him or her.
  • Discuss cyberbullying with your children and ask if they have ever experienced it or seen it happen to someone.
  • Tell your children that you won't blame them if they are cyberbullied. Emphasize that you won't take away their computer or cell phone privileges - this is the main reason kids don't tell adults when they are cyberbullied.
  • Watch out for signs that your child is being bullied online - a reluctance to use the computer or go to school may be an indication.
  • Contact your child's school, local police or your Internet Service Provider if the bullying is severe. It's a criminal offence to threaten another person.
Please let us know of any in-appropriate activities that your children talk to you about so we can help guard against it in our school!

Many of these points were adapted from National Crime Prevention Council 2003 and Media Awareness Network

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Keep Your Child Safe On-Line

Tips for keeping your child safe online
1 Tell your kids:
>> Never share names, schools, ages, phone
numbers, or addresses
>> Never send pictures to strangers
>> Keep passwords private (except to parents)
>> Don’t open any mail from strangers
>> If something mean or creepy happens,
immediately get a grown-up
2 Visit only age-appropriate sites. Check out the
site before your kids visit. Know what features exist –
chat functions, game play, virtual worlds.
3 Search safely. Use safe search settings for young
kids or filtering software to limit inappropriate
4 Avoid strangers. Tell your kids that people aren’t
always who they say they are in cyberspace. If
someone they don’t know talks to them (outside of
controlled environments like Club Penguin), tell
your kids they shouldn’t respond.
5 Be a good cyber citizen! Remind kids that an
Internet playground is still a playground and they
need to play nice. A good rule of thumb: If they
wouldn’t do something in real life, they shouldn’t
do it online. Show your kids where they can report
mean behavior or unkind content.
6 Online cheating? It’s still cheating and it’s a
no-no – pure and simple.
7 Keep the computer in a central place where you
can see what’s going on.
8 Establish limits on the amount of time they
spend online. Use a family media agreement. (Free
9 View your own habits carefully. You are their role
10 Set clear rules beforehand. But mostly, be involved
and have fun!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Social Networking: An Introduction

Some parents are eager users of new kinds of social networking; others feel intimidated by forms of technology they don’t use or understand. Regardless of your own comfort level, it can be scary to wonder what your kids will encounter online. This section offers basic explanations about social networking as well as some tips for using these tools in safe and healthy ways.

Did You Know?

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of teens with profiles on social networks believe that a motivated person could eventually identify them from the information they publicly provide on their profiles.

1. Nearly 54% of the selected profiles revealed details about risky sexual lifestyles, drug addictions and violent encounters with peers.

2 Nearly three quarters (73%) of online teens use social network sites.

3 Even if you don’t use online social networking yourself, it’s good to understand what your child could be using it for.

There are many benefits to using these Web sites, but there are also some dangers. Take the time to make sure that your child knows what’s appropriate—and what’s not—when it comes to social networking.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Avoiding Sickness

Reading, Writing and Sneezing: Sick Kids at School

What's a Mother To Do?

Caught between the demands of work and family, many parents are sending kids to school sick. School nurses say it's happening more often, as the demands on parents grow.

"The child gets stuck in the middle," complains Elaine Z., a school nurse in an affluent Boston suburb. "Many parents will give a child Tylenol in the morning, then four hours later, at 11:30, the temperature is up and the kid is miserable. I get really annoyed when I say, 'Honey did you tell Mom you weren't feeling well' and the child says 'Yeah, but she said I have to go to school.'"

On the other hand, this nurse sympathizes with parents who must make split-second decisions during the morning mad-dash.

"The problem is, the judgment gets colored by what kind of day the parent has ahead," she adds.

Little Help From Corporate America

Despite the bull market and boom economy, corporate America continues to see the issue of backup or emergency childcare as a parent's sole responsibility. According to the Families and Work Institute, only five percent of companies with over 100 employees offer help with sick childcare.

One such company is Johnson & Johnson, the nation's largest healthcare products company, headquartered in New Jersey. It runs child development centers at six company locations, each with a separate area for mildly sick children ages 6 weeks to 6 years. A full-time nurse is on staff to provide medication and supervision as kids engage in quiet playtime activities. Each sick care room has a separate ventilation system.

"If a parent needs to be at a meeting and the child is running a slight temperature, they can bring them in," says company spokesman John McKeegan. "It's part of what makes Johnson & Johnson a good place to work, part of what attracts young families and helps us keep good workers."

Though Johnson & Johnson is not alone -- Chase Manhattan Bank in New York and John Hancock Life Insurance in Boston also offer on site sick kid coverage -- 84 percent of children surveyed for a Families and Work Institute report say that having mom present when they're sick nears the top of their priority list.

Parent Checklist: When To Keep Your Kid Home

Some expert advice from school nurses and work/family consultants:

Don't go by fever alone. A child's temperature is lowest early in the morning; he may in fact be ill but have a normal temp right before school. Check coloring, appetite, behavior and the nature of the complaint (does she have a stomachache because she didn't study for the spelling test?)

Have a back-up system in place (and a back-up to your back-up!)Develop a plan with friends and/or neighbors who agree to be called at the last minute to provide mild sick care coverage. Reciprocate as best you can; if an at-home mom can keep an eye on your sick kid on Tuesday, maybe you can take her kids to the movies Saturday when you're off work.

Don't argue with your spouse about who stays home (otherwise your child will think that she's at fault for being sick.) Take the discussion into another room where your child can't hear.

Be direct and pro-active with your boss using statements like, "I'm going to be at home today, but here's my plan for finishing the report." Or, if your presence equals productivity, say things like, "I've talked to Sue about swapping shifts tomorrow and she's willing to cover for me if you give the green light."

Are you prepared for cold and flu season? Take this quiz to find out...

Internet Safety for Your Children

While the vast majority of education leaders would agree that students need to use 21st Century technology tools in order to gain the skills they will need to succeed in our fast-paced and ever-evolving world, they are nervous about allowing wholesale access to those tools on the Internet. Concerns about students being exposed to dangers like pornography, child predators, and cyber-bullying can prevent the progress in education that our students require to be successful in the future. But restricting today’s youth to conventional educational methodology is counter-productive.

At Loyd we use Gaggle for our student safe e-mail, blogging, chatting and social pages. It is protected by filters and school-enforced monitoring. For grades 3-5 we use gaggle to place assignments to help students learn to navigate the web safely and to live and work in the 21st Century. These are skills that are necessary in today's world. Surfing the web can be a safe and productive family experience!

For information on Gaggle go to Student Resources on our school web page, and click on the Gaggle icon.

For information on keeping your children safe on your home computer(s) go to