How many weeks left?

This is the question on everyone’s mind – teachers, parents, and of course, STUDENTS! – between spring break and the last day of school.  Sometimes spring literally seems to fade into summer!  But we’re not done yet and there’s a lot of great learning going on down the hallways of Tuckahoe Elementary.

In April, we focused on the meaning of integrity.  Counseling lessons focused on understanding what it means to develop integrity through making the right choices.  Students were challenged to think about how their choices can shape future decisions such as if they can be trusted in leadership roles or considered worthwhile friends.

For May, we’re focusing on perseverance.  As 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students participate in end of year testing, help us to remind and encourage them that they are all strong learners who will do a great job.  Summer is in sight but it’s not time to stop yet.  Even when we face frustrations, perseverance is about not giving up and seeing things through to the end.  We can remind our Kindergarten and 1st grade students of this as well.

And, as always, let us know how we can help your student or your family!

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Career month means showing some initiative!

March is our month to focus on learning about career education.  We are also talking about what it means to have initiative.  While having initiative at any age means taking care of responsibilities without being asked, initiative also goes a long way in determining your future job.  Here’s what each grade level did to leave a little more about the world of work:

Kindergarten: We read the book “LMNO Peas” by Keith Baker.  Not only did we identify which jobs, paid and non-paid, the peas have in the story but students then got to create their own pea of their future job.

First grade: We read “Who Will I Be?” by Abby Huntsman and talked about all the community helper jobs in the story.  Students then created their own booklets about different jobs they might see around town.

Second grade: We read “What Shoes Will You Wear?” by Julia cook which is a fun take on how different jobs might require specific footwear.  Students were introduced to work readiness skills they can start using now (such as being on time, being a team player and listening to others) and had the opportunity to think about the footwear they will need for potential future jobs.

Third grade: Students participated in an activity called “Why I Have To Learn Crazy Stuff.”  They were provided with pictures of items and had to think of different jobs that would use that item as well as what school subjects would be important in each job.

Fourth and fifth grade students start working with us on understanding the 16 career clusters under which all jobs are organized.  Students had the opportunity to use the Virginia Career View ( website to explore their interests.  After completing checklists, they were able to identify the top career clusters that matched their interests.  This information will be kept for them as they continue through school so that they can track changes and similarities in their interests over time.

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Celebrating diversity!

We’ve been talking about diversity here at TES during the month of February.  Check out the breakdown of counseling lesson activities:

Kindergarten: We read the book “Elmer” by David McKee.  Elmer is a colorful, patchwork elephant that doesn’t look like the other elephants he lives with.  But he learns how much the elephants appreciate his differences.  Students made their own rainbows based on their unique, individual colors.  Hopefully, you saw it!

First grade: We read the book “Making Friends Is an Art” by Julia Cook.  Different colored pencil characters have different personalities and learn to appreciate each other.  Students then paired up to learn new things about each other and to practice making friends by learning about others.

Second grade: Students got to watch the video adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ “The Sneetches.”  The Sneetches spend a lot of money to learn the important lesson that being different is okay.  Students were able to make their own Sneetch using colors specific to their own likes, dislikes and lives.  We had some colorful Sneetches!

Third grade: We read “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees, a student and counselor favorite!  Gerald the giraffe is basically considered clumsy until he learns to dance to his own music.  Students had fun learning about each other, including similarities and differences, by playing the popcorn game.  Ask them what it was like to be an unpopped popcorn kernel.

Fourth grade: We read “The Judgmental Flower” by Julia Cook.  One  young flower has to learn to accept the differences in neighboring flowers and that having lots of differences makes life more interesting.  Students completed their own flowers by using the petals to identify ways they can respect others’ differences.

Fifth grade: Have you ever heard of faces of diversity?  Maybe you will get to see one if your child brings one home!  After discussing what diversity means and how it impacts us in our daily lives, students drew their own faces.  What horror when they were then told to cut their faces into four pieces!  All the pieces were then shuffled and rearranged to make new faces, each one representing part of four different students.  Students talked about how we all come together with our many differences to represent a community that fosters respect for everyone.

Get ready for March which is career awareness month at TES!  Lessons will center around career education and Career Day is on Friday, March 29th!  If you are interested in participating and haven’t already contacted Mrs. Ozmore, please do so.  We love having parents share about their jobs!

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Spread a little kindness

We are starting off 2019 with KINDNESS!  Be on the lookout for information about The Great Kindness Challenge happening at TES and across HCPS next week.  Stop in a check out our Kindness Tree located outside the main office where students have the opportunity to grow the tree with their kind acts.

For lessons this month…

Kindergarten students learned about bucket filling and what it means to fill each other’s buckets with kind words and actions.

First grade students learned about how the Golden Rule applies to being kind.  We read a student and counselor favorite, “Do Unto Otters,” which goes into detail about how we should treat others in a cute and humorous way.

Second grade students heard the story “The Jelly Donut Difference” and learned about how we can show kindness at home and in our community.  They identified their favorite ways to show kindness and put those words on their own (paper) donuts.

Third grade students also heard a book about how to “Be Kind.”  (Literally, that was the name of the book.)  They then participated in the Kindness Write Around, finishing sentence starters on the various ways they appreciate other classmates.

Fourth grade students ready about Ordinary Mary who, with one kind act, multiplied the people impacted until kindness reached around the world.  Fourth graders also played the Kindness Game in which they had to compliment each other and themselves.

Fifth grade students watched a boomerang video about kindness on one community street.  You might ask what a boomerang video is.  Well, one person started with a kind act and by the end of the video, the kindness had spread through several other people and back to the one who started it.  Students then discussed quotes about kindness and came up with their own.

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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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