Welcome back from your time away from school. I hope you had time to enjoy your children and do some traveling. This you already know: vacations are such great ways to teach your children who at their tender ages, take in their surroundings in ways that are important to their learning. “First, I’d like to recommend that you look at your travels not just as a time to relax and get away, but also as an opportunity to learn and gather new experiences. If you consider that the true function of education is to enable children to successfully navigate the world around them, than travel probably does this better than any other single activity because it embraces such a diversity of subjects (Traveling with Kids: Building a Foundation of Learning, Tweet).”
A few weeks back, I was having a conversation with Lillian Shulman about writing. She said: I just had the most exciting teachable moment in fifth grade language arts. A fifth grade boy had just said to her as she was teaching about five paragraph essays: I have never liked writing. I never thought I could be a writer. Now, I got it, he said as he handed Lillian his writing. I thought essays were boring, but I got it. Lillian shared that she is so excited to see how the writing is going, and she then had a few students come to my office to share their essays. It was great!
This year as always, we have Michael Quinland Ph.D. and BOCES psychologist, LImor Tintweiss Ph.D. to provide our students with opportunities that allow them to share positive thoughts or a worry about classmates, teachers, parents and school in general. If there is anything going on at home or your child shares with you anything that has emotional overtones, these two talented individuals are here to help; do not hesitate to give them a confidential phone call.
Kindergarten Kindness and 100th day!
The Kindergarten class collected coins in an effort to raise enough money to sponsor their favorite Australian animal, a dingo, at the Australian Zoo. They were hoping to reach a goal of $50, the cost of caring for the medical and nutritional needs of "Myndee the Dingo." For a full week, the class used the coins in various math lessons. In math they sorted coins, counted coins, and figured out how many quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies it would take to reach a dollar. They enthusiastically learned to really appreciate the value of a quarter!
The following week, the students learned some exciting news. Not only did they meet their goal, but thanks to the generosity of our students and families, they surpassed it by far: raising nearly $250! This enabled them to sponsor some of the class’s other favorite animals -- a koala, a kangaroo, a Tasmanian devil and a red panda! The children continue to be excited and proud of themselves, and their teachers are too!
The kindergarten class celebrated the 100th day of school today. This morning, we counted to 100 by 1's, 5's and 10's. We made (and ate) Fruit Loop necklaces using 100 pieces. During math, we estimated how long we thought 100 checkers, 100 snap cubes and 100 popsicle sticks would be. We ended up being pretty close on all three! We also challenged ourselves to see how many times we could write our name in 100 seconds. Boy are our hands tired! Each kindergarten student worked on a 100th day project with their family. These amazing projects were so creative and will continue to be displayed outside our classroom for the next week, so please stop by to see them.
We are excited about this year's FA Auction theme of "Our Children. Their Future." We think the following project will be an interesting addition to the many wonderful things happening at the Auction. Please complete this quick questionnaire with your child by March 9, 2012.
It is important that parents keep a watchful eye on their children’s internet activity; I share some advice from an expert in the field. As we delve deeper and deeper into Cyberspace, Parry Aftab, the executive director of Wiredsafety.org gives us some tips for dealing with troubling messages. Please share them with your children, if you agree.
* Be private. Keep passwords, pictures and secrets to yourself.
* Take five. Instead of replying to a message that upsets you, step away from the computer and do something you enjoy for five minutes.
* Stop, block and tell. Stop before you reply. This way you will not do anything that you will regret. Block the sender. Tel someone you trust about the message.
* Save the evidence. Save mean messages on your computer or use monitoring software.
* Google yourself. Check to make sure your name is in any unwanted places. Tell an adult if it is. Your parents can help you take action.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it solely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one corner of the earth all one's lifetime."
-- Mark Twain
Have a good weekend!