Well wishes for winter break

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our students and their families a wonderful winter break full of relaxing, restful, fun, and rejuvenating wellness.  As we wrap up December lessons on cooperation, parents can extend the concept of cooperation by reminding students of what it takes to get along with others during the holidays.  As families gather and spend more time together, plenty of opportunities will be present for students to practice the skills they have learned up to this point in the school year.  We have reminded students that all the traits we cover in our lessons – responsibility, respect, commitment, and cooperation so far – are qualities they should be developing at all times, not just during the months that our lessons focus on them.  All four of these traits go into getting along with others as well as showing peach and kindness.  What a perfect time to practice them while family spends time with loved ones.

Many wishes from Mrs. Shala and Mrs. Ozmore for a wonderful winter break and a Happy New Year!

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What’s up in December?

For December, we are focusing on COOPERATIONCheck out what we are doing in classroom lessons:

Kindergarten: Kindergarten students are experiencing Personal Space Camp as we read the book by the same title (author Julia Cook) and practice some of the activities in the story.  Students learn about cooperation by giving each other appropriate and comfortable space to work and play.

First grade: We are reading another Julia Cook book (if you can’t tell, we really like her) called “Teamwork Isn’t My Thing and I Don’t Like to Share!”  In the story, a student struggles to get along with his classmates during a group project.  But he learns from his parents and soccer coach some tips for how to work with others.  Students then have the opportunity to work together, or cooperate, to create a t-chart of what it looks and sounds like with others are cooperating,

Second grade: We are reading “Pete the Pencil and Eddie the Eraser,” a student favorite!  Pete and Eddie work against each other to help their owner, the student using them for school work.  When things go wrong, Pete and Eddie learn they have to work together for everyone to be successful.  Students then create a spider web using yarn to illustrate how they are all connected to each other within their classroom environment.  When one person doesn’t cooperate, it affects the whole class.

Third grade: Students will work together on a tricky puzzle with a lineup of baseball players.  They will have to cooperate as they analyze the clues to figure out the correct order!

Fourth grade: Cooperation Squares!  Similar to third grade, the fourth graders will have a puzzle to solve as a group, but how will they do it when they can’t talk and have a few rules to follow?

Fifth grade: We will lead a discussion on cooperation and the many different ways it is incorporated into our lives.  Look for a handout to come home with your child’s thoughts.


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Talking about committment

Hello Parents!

For the month of November, we are focusing on the word “commitment.”  We have different character traits that we focus on each month and our classroom lessons are based on those traits.  For our commitment focus, we have worked with students on the importance of doing our best and not giving up.  We have also talked about goal setting and what it means to stay committed to our goals.  Here is a brief description of classroom lessons this month:

Kindergarten: We read Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg and talked about how some mistakes can be made into something better if we think of new, creative solutions.  Students did an imagination workout by turning doodles into new pictures and also watched a student favorite video about Ormie the Pig.

First grade: Students watched a video about a student committed to doing his best on a science project.  They then had the opportunity to recognize different situations as ones in which people were showing commitment or not.  Students were provided a handout to list different ways they can be committed in their worlds.

Second grade: In second grade, we introduced the idea of setting goals that students can work towards.  We read a story about a warm fuzzy feeling named “Wish.”  Wish often wished for things but had to learn through hard work and commitment how to make his wishes come true.  After a discussion about how to set goals and identifying personal goals, students created their own fuzzies.  They added eyes to their fuzzies (pom pom balls) as a way to signify that goals need vision for future steps.

Third grade: We read the book “Planning Isn’t My Priority” by Julia Cook to talk about how we have to plan and stay committed to reach our goals.  Students then completed their own wheel of fortunes for goals they would like to reach by identifying a goal and several steps they would need to take to reach it.

Fourth grade: Fourth graders viewed another student favorite video called Piper. After discussing the video and what it took for the main character to overcome his/her fear, students identified three goals to work towards.  They completed worksheets with the goals listed on the top and steps to complete on the bottom.

Fifth grade: We continued working with students on goal-setting after reading an inspirational interview done with Michael Jordan.  Students were then asked to identify their own goals and complete a sheet that listed steps to achieving the goal as well as challenges they could expect along the way.

As you can see, explaining the concept of commitment to Kindergarteners is much different than explaining it to upper grades!  Our hope is that all students will leave this month’s lessons understanding the importance of creative thinking, planning and goal setting and never giving up when things get tough.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!

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Presentation from Nov. 5th parent coffee available

If you weren’t able to make it to the November 5th parent coffee on safe internet and social media use, you can still see the presentation under the Parent Coffee tab.  Go to the Parent Coffee page and scroll down to click on the presentation.  Many thanks to Will Robinson for presenting such helpful information.  Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about this hot topic!

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UVA Saturday and Summer Enrichment information

University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education continues to sponsor a Saturday Enrichment Program for gifted or high-ability, high-interest students in KG through 5th grade.  The winter program dates are on Saturdays from January 19th to February 16th, 2019.  Applications are due on December 1st.  For more information and to download the application, please visit the program website at http://curry.virginia.edu/sep.

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