Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Listening, Speaking, and Viewing

I came across this article and thought it was interesting. It was taken from

Listening, Speaking, and Viewing Listening, speaking, and viewing have been a part of your child's language development since infancy—starting with the cooing and ahhing of friends and relatives and moving to song tapes, television, and videos.

School experiences will help formalize the development of these important communication skills. Just as they read and write, children speak, listen, and view for a variety of purposes (and ones that they don't always get to choose). Responding appropriately to these different purposes for communication is what children learn in school. Listening Is there a parent alive who hasn't had to repeat the words, "Did you hear what I said"?

A common problem for children this age is following verbal directions. Keep in mind that hearing is different from listening. First the ears need to do their job, then the brain is in charge of follow-through. Think about a typical direction you expect your child to follow—for example, getting ready for bed. It sounds like a single step, but how many is it really? Stop what you are doing, clean up, find your pajamas, brush your teeth, pick out clothes for tomorrow, and so on. For a greater chance of successful follow-through, try breaking up directions into only two or three steps at a time. Ask your child, "Do you listen to an important phone message the same way that you listen to a joke?" Explain that he or she needs to adjust the level of attention, depending upon the importance of the message.

Consider that your child may need to take phone messages for you in your absence. One way to ensure that you get the complete message is to instruct the child to always ask for certain information when taking a message. Having a model to follow makes the job easier for children to do well. These are typical listening activities for these grades: * listening carefully to oral reading, discussion, and spoken messages * responding appropriately to questions, directions, or text read out loud Speaking Ask your child, "Do you speak to your friends the same way that you speak when you give an oral book report?" Explain that he or she needs to modify the speed of speaking for different audiences. Here are important speaking skills for this age: * reading orally with good fluency (expression, accuracy, phrasing) * giving precise directions or accurate information (such as a book report) * presenting convincing ideas ("But Dad, I need to stay up late tonight!") Viewing Ask your child, "Do you watch television commercials the same way that you pay attention to movies?" The point you are trying to make, of course, is that a viewer—everyone—needs to adjust the level of attention depending on what he or she is watching. It's also true that what people "see" when viewing the same program varies. A fun activity to do with your child is to watch a program together and then take turns describing it. What did you both see? The results could be quite interesting!

Your child needs to be able to do these two things: * view programs in a variety of categories (news, documentaries, movies, magazine styles) * evaluate and comment on what he or she sees Remember the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words"? Print and non-print media each have their own kind of effect on people. Sometimes you can plan on a certain kind of effect, and sometimes you can't or don't anticipate the effect. Schools help children begin to understand how different modes of communication work and what the advantages and disadvantages are of various types of media. With this instruction (which can be reinforced by you), your child can start learning how to make both critical judgments about the quality of media and educated choices about how to use these media.

Taken from



I wanted to remind you about what second graders need to know about the snow at school.

•    2nd graders need to have boots, jacket, snowpants and gloves/mittens to play in the snow. (hats recommended)
•    Students need to have a change of shoes (quick on/off highly recommended or practice tying shoes)
             (This really helps to keep our classroom clean and dry)
•    Snow can be used for building - but things build will probably be messed up by another recess
•    Kids can make snow "things"  and play and roll in the snow! (They can be kids)....
•    Snow must stay on the ground though (no throwing)
•    There is no throwing snow or eating snow at school.
•    The structure may be closed if it is slippery.

We will go out in the snow for recess and break. Without proper gear students will have to stay on the cleared blacktop area during break/recess.

If kids do not want to go in the snow there is a cleared blacktop area that they can play in.  It is strongly encouraged that kids still bring boots, as this helps to keep the classroom (especially the rug)  cleaner and dryer. 

All the "gear" is expected to go into your child's blue bag in the hallway (boots under the cubbies).  If you want them to bring this bag to and from school to make it easier for transportation that is fine, or it can remain at school.  If you have an EXTRA pair of snow boots, you might want to just leave them here!!!!

Please let me know if you have any questions/ concerns. 

Tooooo good to not share

Found this online and wanted to share:

26 Ideas for Acts of Kindness

Walk a neighbor's dog.
Photograph someone being kind to another.
Transport someone who can’t drive.
Invite a classmate to eat lunch with you.
Treat a friend to the movies.
Make a slide show of favorite photos for a friend or family member.
Make dinner for someone who has just returned from the hospital.
Plant a tree.
Surprise someone and invite him/her for a first-ever sleep over.
Write notes of appreciation at least once a week.
Give up your seat for someone, not just an elderly person.
Make a video for someone with whom you haven’t spoken in awhile.
Smile a lot. Hug a lot.
Donate to a food pantry or homeless shelter.
Tutor a student; be a reading buddy.
Put some coins in someone else’s parking meter.
Make a card at home and send it to a friend.
Help an elderly neighbor carry the garbage out.
Tell all your family members how much you appreciate them.
Bring flowers to someone who is sad.
Read to a child.
Donate 26 pairs of socks to a homeless shelter.
Give another driver your parking spot.
Make a CD mix of your favorite music for a teacher, sibling or a parent.
Donate books to a daycare center or school.
Collect mittens or hats and give to those in need.
Let someone go ahead of you in line at the grocery store.
Surprise construction workers on a cold, rainy day with hot chocolate.
Take your dog and pay a visit to a housebound person.
Visit someone who is sick and cheer her/him up with funny stories.  
Talk to a homeless person and have a “normal” conversation.
Send a handwritten note of thanks to a person who has helped you in   the past.      
Visit with an elderly person and listen to their stories.
Give a huge tip to someone when s/he least expects it.
Smile a lot. Love a lot.

Resilience at its finest!

I couldn't help but share this P&G commercial!

Falling down, struggling, making mistakes is all part of growing and learning! 

Out job, as parents and teachers is to teach resilience to our youngsters! We need to help them see mistakes are not only OK but necessary for growth!

Enjoy this little video... Although a commercial, it is a powerful one!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Food for Thought

  • What would be helpful?  When a child is sad, hurt, lonely, or angry, this phrase serves to keep the child in charge of her process.  Respect for the child’s body is one cornerstone of my work.  No kissing away a hurt without permission!
  • What’s your plan?  Useful when two children disagree, when a child and I are at an impasse, or when a child is working to solve a problem on his own, this phrase helps a child verbalize a course of action.
  • You feel strongly.  When someone is in the middle of a meltdown, these three words are emotionally cathartic.  They reflect back to the child her inner emotional reality which helps as she learns to connect with her feelings.  Also, “you feel strongly” respects a child’s right to define her emotional experience.  “You’re feeling sad” or “You’re really angry” – while possibly accurate, short-circuits the child’s chance to learn how she feels.
  • That was helpful/friendly/generous/gracious/etc.  The more specific our language with children, the more they can learn “life rules.”  We tend to casually drop guidelines without definitions.  Instead of: be kind, I need helpers, or share your toys, specific language supports the child’s growing knowledge of what it means to be a friend, to be helpful, or to be generous.
  • I see a problem.  I see two friends who both want ____.  What’s your plan?  I say it so often that I don’t often make it past the first sentence before children offer suggestions.  Allowing children the power to negotiate in the face of disagreement builds extraordinary confidence.
  • You wish you could ___.  I understand.  This phrase offers a basic empathetic connection with a child who feels strongly.  You wish you could play with the grasshopper.  I understand.
  • I will keep you safe.  Whenever I have to intervene with a child who is acting aggressively, I step in with as little physical restraint as necessary (blocking a hand from hitting, for example) and use this phrase.  Children need to know that we will help them when they feel out of control.
  • I remember when you couldn’t ___ and now you can!  Everyone is learning!  This phrase allows children to see their progress over time and celebrates the victories as they come.  One of our crew recently learned how to untie her shoes from a double knot.  I offered: I remember when you couldn’t untie your shoes and now you can!  Everyone is learning!  I glimpsed a face so full of pride it could not be contained without a joyful little dance.  Musician Tom Hunter has a song by this title and is the source for this insightful language.
  • You are in charge of your body.  I don’t want to paint!  No problem. You are in charge of your body.  I don’t want to eat my peas. No problem. You are in charge of your body.  I’m not tired.  No problem.  You are in charge of your body.  (Followed by, You can rest while your friends sleep.)