Is Homework Dying?

A San Francisco elementary school is "just saying no" to homework.

The subject has touched off an interesting debate amongst parents nationwide from those who are fed up with the headaches that homework creates to those who say homework is critical to competing in a global economy.

Fairmount Elementary, located in the city's Glen Park neighborhood, adopted the new no-homework policy this year. School officials sent a flyer home with students Monday which says studies show "there are little or no positive academic benefits of elementary school aged kids doing homework."


Book Clubs Start In October

Beginning in October, every student will participate in a book club. This semester, we will be reading award-winning books from the historical fiction genre. Throughout the next two months, students will use these texts to gather text-based evidence and provide annotations. They will analyze the main character, in terms of their bravery, and explain how he or she responds to challenges. The four titles selected for book clubs are (reviews courtesy of Amazon.com) listed below.

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick
In this Newbery Honor-winning page-turner, twelve-year-old orphan Homer runs away from Pine Swamp, Maine, to find his older brother, Harold, who has been sold into the Union Army. With laugh-aloud humor, Homer outwits and outruns a colorful assortment of civil War-era thieves, scallywags, and spies as he makes his way south, following clues that finally lead him to Gettysburg.

The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
Thirteen-year-old Sophie hears the sea calling, promising adventure and a chance for discovery as she sets sail for England with her three uncles and two cousins. Sophie's cousin Cody isn't sure he has the strength to prove himself to the crew and to his father. Through Sophie's and Cody's travel logs, we hear stories of the past and the daily challenges of surviving at sea asThe Wanderer sails toward its destination—and its passengers search for their places in the world.

Jason's Gold by Will Hobbs
"Gold!" Jason shouted at the top of his lungs. "Read all about it! Gold discovered in Alaska!" Within hours of hearing the thrilling news, fifteen-year-old Jason Hawthorn jumps a train for Seattle, stow away on a ship bound for the goldfields, and joins thousands of fellow prospectors attempting the difficult journey to the Klondike. The Dead Horse Trail, the infamous Chilkott Pass, and a five-hundred-mile trip by canoe down the Yukon River lie ahead. With help from a young writer named Jack London, Jason and his dog face moose, bears, and the terrors of a subartic winter in this bone-chilling survival story.

Ghost Canoe by Will Hobbs
After a sailing ship breaks up on the rocks off Washington's storm-tossed Cape Flattery, Nathan McAllister, the fourteen-year-old son of the lighthouse keeper, refuses to believe the authorities, who say there were no survivors. Unexplained footprints on a desolate beach, a theft at the trading post, and glimpses of a wild "hairy man" convince Nathan that someone is hiding in the remote sea caves along the coast. With his new friend, Lighthouse George, a fisherman from the famed Makah whaling tribe, Nathan paddles the fierce waters of the Pacific--fishing, hunting seals, searching for clues. Alone in the forest, Nathan discovers a ghostly canoe and a skeleton that may unlock the mystery of ancient treasure, betrayal . . .and murder.


Talking To Kids About Tragedy

When tragedy strikes, such as a the shooting at the Burlington Mall, it can be hard to talk with children about what happened. How should parents explain it? What information should be shared and what should you omit? Fortunately, the Mayo Clinic has provided useful tips to help start the conversation and comfort young children. 

Following tragic events, kids often experience a wide range of emotions. It is important to remember these reactions are typical. However, if your child continues to display anxiety for an extended period (more than a week or two), he or she may benefit from professional counseling. 


Mr. H Goes Back To Western

Mr. Hausman is going back to school. Yes, you read that correctly. Mr. Hausman has enrolled at Western Washington University to pursue a Master's Degree in School Administration. So how will this affect parents and teachers? For the most part, not at all. However, Mr. Hausman does have class every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 5:00-9:00 pm. That means he will be leaving Bay View around 3:45 pm and won't be available to meet with families after school. If you would like to schedule a meeting, please consider the other days of the week which are far more flexible. If Tuesday and Thursday are your only options, we can still meet before students begin at 8:30 am. Thanks for your understanding and support.