Friday, October 12, 2018

Social Emotional Learning

Here is a great article that summarizes some of the reasons for teaching social emotional learning in classrooms.It is a skill and a skill that kids need in order to be an adult. I tell the kids, whether you are flipping burgers at McDonalds or the President of the USA you need to make eye contact and be able to shake hands!



ALWAYS A GOOD TIME TO PRACTICE LETTER WRITING!

 Fundations Letter Writing Movies

Several years ago, then Kindergarten teachers, Heather Colwell and Kristie Maheras, created fabulous tutorial videos that demonstrate how to write Fundations lower case letters. Here they are online, making it possible to share with your class, individual students or as a parent resource.

http://www2.needham.k12.ma.us/eliot/technology/lessons/fundation_letter_movies/index.html


Quiet Time

Quiet Time is a gift.
The gift of silence in a very verbal day!
Kids can write, draw, finish work, relax. . . .


"The world of school is so focused and structured. Children move from activity to activity, lesson to lesson, and room to room, with barely time to breathe. Even recess and lunch often feel frantic. And during the school year, even though Heather and I try not to over-schedule, it doesn’t take much before guitar practice, swim team practice, and track practice fill every evening. It’s no wonder that children can have a hard time knowing what to do with “downtime” when they get it.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could build more downtime into each school day? In today’s hurried and harried school climate, it’s hard to imagine setting aside time to let students self-direct, but there would be some great benefits. Think of the powerful, important skills they would practice: self-initiative, creativity, self-regulation, and many more!"
-- Mike Anderson- Responsive Classroom consultant
 http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/blog/downtime








THE LIST of Trick Words from K/1

Here is a complete list of all k-1 words your kids should know. KNOW means being able to both read and write these words. We will not be assessing them on thse words. We will only assess on trick words taught in grade 2. You might want to "quiz" your children on these words at home and make flashcards/games to practise any unknown.

Trick Words


K

the
is
was
a
and
of


1st grade

to
he
for
as
his
has
you
we
I
they
one
said
from
or
have
were
her
put
there
what
she
been
by
who
out
so
are
two
about


into
only
other
new
some
could
want
say
do
first
any
my
now
our
over
come
would
after
also
many
before
called
how
your
down
should
each
because
people
Mr.
Mrs.
years
says
little
good
very
own
see
work
both
being
under
between
never
another
day
words
look
through
friend
around
circle
does
nothing
write
none
color
month

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Whole body listening

Whole body listening:
- brain for absorbing info
- ears for listening
- eyes on speaker
- shoulder facing speaker
- body still and calm. We talked about the various way kids can sit on the rug! Ask them about: mountain style, sideways, and cross cross!
- hands quiet and calm
- feet quiet and calm
- hearts for respecting speaker

Morning Meeting

What does a Morning Meeting actually look like?

There are four components to Morning Meeting: the greeting, a sharing, an activity and News and Announcements. The Morning Meeting always begins with a Greeting. There are an endless array of greetings children learn, sometimes in different languages, always interactive, welcoming, and personal. The goal of the greeting is for each child to be personally acknowledged and welcomed into the classroom circle each day, fostering a sense of belonging and community. 

Students will sign up for the Sharing component prior to the start of Morning Meeting.  Much time was spent modeling and practicing how children share and how their classmates respond to the sharing, it is common for the “sharer” to conclude his/her statement with, “Does anyone have any questions or comments?” The kids always sound so grown up when they do this! The result is a lovely exchange between and among the children, who often ask very thoughtful questions, make interesting comments, and even share compliments. They really do improve their ability to genuinely listen to each other! And of course, this sets the stage for carryover into academic learning. 

The group Activity, which follows, is to designed to build community culture by developing a class repertoire of songs, games, chants and poems that are always an upbeat, fun, and, at times, physical interaction. Activities are selected thoughtfully, choosing ones that reinforce academic and social learning and are appropriate to students’ age group and include everyone’s skill levels. Building on students’ success with each subsequent activity, they specifically are designed to engage children in a positive way with each other, make them laugh at themselves and with each other, and appreciate human qualities (sometimes strengths and sometimes frailties) we all share in common.

Morning Meeting ends with a reading of the morning message, which foreshadow the day’s activities. How the day begins really does matter, and the Morning Meeting sets the context and tone for each day with the goal of helping students’ put their best selves into their learning. 

Ask your children about Morning Meeting. They can tell you about the greetings they learn and even show you their group activities.

Energizers!



Energizers explanation from http://weblog.packer.edu/responsiveclassroom/about/


Teachers know it instinctively, they see it every day in their classrooms, and research supports it: To feel well and learn well, children need to move. And they need to move at regular intervals throughout their school day, not just at recess or during after-school free play. Children’s movement expert Jean Blaydes Madigan offers these thoughts on how movement helps learning:
Daily exercise cements the details learned in the previous 48 hours. If that physical activity doesn’t take place, anywhere from 20% to 80% of that learned cognitive information is lost. … When you sit longer than 17 minutes… your brain essentially tells your body,“You can go to sleep because no movement has occurred.” (MADIGAN n.d.)

Yet even though we know how important movement is for children, our packed school schedules often leave us feeling that we can’t spare any time away from lessons. That’s where the energizers come in. In just two or three playful minutes, energizers get children moving, breathing deeply, laughing, and singing or chanting together. Then, with spirits refreshed, bodies relaxed, and minds clear, they’re ready to refocus on more—and more productive—learning.


Energizers are a playful, purposeful way to incorporate physical exercise and mental stimulation into an already tight day. Using energizers doesn’t take much time, but it can make a big impact on learning.

SO WHAT IS AN ENERGIZER?
Energizers are quick whole-group activities that can be done anywhere and anytime in the school day. They can be lively or calming. They can have an academic component or can be just for fun. They can be used to transition children between learning activities, as a pick-me-up during intensive lessons, as a way to keep order during times of waiting, as a focusing tool to use when students are outside the classroom, and in many other ways. Energizers can be done with students in a circle, at their desks or tables, or even while they’re waiting in a line. What a gift—joyful, purposeful, engaging activities to help ease students through the school day!
Energizers can be used for many reasons, but their primary purposes are to provide:
Mental and physical breaks:The mind and body breaks that energizers provide help students refocus their energy and be better prepared for learning
Connections through play: Energizers provide a quick, safe, and structured way for teachers to connect with their students
Focusing: Energizers help gain students’ attention when they may otherwise be distracted.