As an assistant principal and a father, I was able to relate to this article. Read it by clicking the link below.
At Reeds Road school, we are constantly looking for areas of improvement and ways to address students' needs. Last year, we decided to focus on bus behavior. As an addition to our student safety patrol, which has been around for years, we implemented a program called The Peaceful School Bus. Through The Peaceful School Bus program, students were polled on the climate of their bus to identify areas of need. This information was used by Mrs. Hayden, the school counselor, to develop classroom lessons on bus behavior. We also developed a system of rewards for students and buses that excelled in maintaining a safe and friendly atmosphere. While this was a good start, we wanted to do more. In November of last year, we decided to add a bus ambassador to each bus. A bus ambassador is a teacher or other staff member who “adopts” a bus. The goal is to have the teacher develop relationships with the students, as well as the bus drivers. They visit the bus a few times a week to remind the students about appropriate behavior, assist the drivers with any issues they may have, but most importantly, solve little problems before they become big problems. The end result was that the program was a success. In the two months after the implementation of the program, discipline referrals from bus incidents dropped about 50%. In addition, the severity of incidents dropped significantly. Due to the fact that their efforts made a difference, teachers enthusiastically volunteered for the program again this year. We are excited to follow up last year’s success this school year.
As always, we are open to any ideas you as parents may have. If you would like to share an idea or concern, please free to contact us. The door is always open.
I'd like to share with you a short article titled, "The Only Six Words Parents Need to Say to Their Kids About Sports-Or Any Performance. Click the picture to read the article.
Our physical education teachers, Jen Sawhill and Dave Fink are spearheading our schools Give Them 20 challenge. Give Them 20 is a national campaign to thank our veterans for all they have done for us. In our school, the PE teachers kicked off the campaign by challenging the 6th grade students to give them 20. The physical challenge can be 20 sit ups, 20 push ups or 20 burpees. This is an ongoing school wide event. As each person completes a challenge, they earn the opportunity to challenge others. Students, staff members and even myself have been challenged and have proudly accepted the offer. Each challenge is recorded on the Give Them 20 display in our gym hallway. During our Veteran’s Day assembly, we will demonstrate our respect by “giving 20”. We will also share our display wall with the Veterans, the display visually represents how many of us have accepted the Give Them 20 challenge in order to honor our Veterans.
This article was written by Esther Crain and shared on Yahoo Parenting on August 24, 2015
Whether it’s a classic such as Where the Wild Things Are or a new bestseller like The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep, bedtime stories have always been a big hit with little kids.
They’re a hit with moms, dads, and educators too, thanks to the awesome brain and behavioral outcomes they offer. Reams of studies link reading aloud to kids with academic success, creativity, and a stronger bond between parents and their offspring.
But it’s only recently that science has started looking into why books promote these benefits. One recent study from Psychological Science suggests that being read to builds a child’s vocabulary, and that in turn makes her more prepared to learn to read in the future.
Study authors evaluated the types and variety of words in 100 picture books and then compared them to the words toddlers and preschoolers use and hear when communicating with their parents and caregivers.
“Our study found that the books contained more unique words,” study coauthor Jessica Montag, assistant research psychologist at the University of California Riverside, tells Yahoo Parenting.
The thinking is, “the more unique words kids are exposed to when they’re very young, the bigger their own vocabulary gets — and that makes it easier to learn to read.” Previous studies have shown that the faster they pick up reading, the more academically successful they can be.
Another study out last month linked story time to a boost in brainpower. Researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center found that kids ages 3 to 5 whose parents read to them at home and had more reading materials in their house demonstrated more brain activity in the left side of the brain.
What’s that mean? The left side is where word comprehension, language, and imagery are processed. The study suggests that the more kids are read to, the more connections they make between words and objects. These new connections literally change their brain, preparing them academically and socially, Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus, study coauthor and program director of the Reading and Literacy Discovery Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, told Yahoo Parenting earlier this month.
Story time has nonacademic benefits, too. Reading helps relax kids (hence the point of reading to them at bedtime), and the close physical interaction of lying on or near a parent helps them feel secure and connected.
For all these reasons, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that moms and dads begin reading to kids when they are infants, setting aside a special time (even for just a few minutes), cuddling up, and letting little ones select the book to read from (kids love to make choices).
As for what to read at bedtime, “a variety of books that feature a diversity of words is good, but given how important it is to help build language skills in kids, the best book is the one your child wants to listen to,” says Montag.
A few suggestions from Yahoo Parenting: Goodnight Moon, Llama Llama Red Pajama, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, and All the Ways I Love You.
While it may be a little late to have this conversation with your children before school starts, it is worth sharing at any time. This is a letter a mother wrote to her son on how to handle bullying. As much as adults try to stop bullying, it still exists. We need to go beyond teaching our kids to protect themselves, and teach them how to protect others.
Have This Conversation Before You Send Your Baby Back To School
(By Glennon Melton and adapted with permission)
Tomorrow is a big day. Third Grade – wow.
Chase – When I was in third grade, there was a little boy in my class named Adam.
Adam looked a little different and he wore funny clothes and sometimes he even smelled a little bit. Adam didn’t smile. He hung his head low and he never looked at anyone at all. Adam never did his homework. I don’t think his parents reminded him like yours do. The other kids teased Adam a lot. Whenever they did, his head hung lower and lower and lower. I never teased him, but I never told the other kids to stop, either.
And I never talked to Adam, not once. I never invited him to sit next to me at lunch, or to play with me at recess. Instead, he sat and played by himself. He must have been very lonely.
I still think about Adam every day. I wonder if Adam remembers me? Probably not. I bet if I’d asked him to play, just once, he’d still remember me.
I think that people are put in our lives as gifts to us. The children in your class this year, they are gifts to you.
So please treat each one like a gift. Every single one.
Baby, if you see a child being left out, or hurt, or teased, a little part of your heart will hurt a little. Your daddy and I want you to trust that heart- ache. Your whole life, we want you to notice and trust your heart-ache. That heart ache is called compassion, and it is a signal to you to do something. It is saying, Chase! Wake up! Someone is hurting! Do something to help! Whenever you feel compassion – be thrilled! It means your heart is speaking to you, and that is magic. It means someone needs you.
Sometimes the magic of compassion will make you step into the middle of a bad situation right away.
Compassion might lead you to tell a teaser to stop it and then ask the teased kid to play. You might invite a left-out kid to sit next to you at lunch. You might choose a kid for your team first who usually gets chosen last. These things will be hard to do, but you can do hard things.
Sometimes you will feel compassion but you won’t step in right away. That’s okay, too. You might choose instead to tell your teacher and then tell us. We are on your team – we are on your whole class’ team. Asking for help for someone who is hurting is not tattling, it is doing the right thing. If someone in your class needs help, please tell me, baby. We will make a plan to help together.
When your heart speaks to you by hurting for another, just do something. Please do not ignore the feeling. I so wish I had not ignored my heart when it spoke to me about Adam. I remember trying, I remember feeling compassion, but I chose fear over compassion. I wish I hadn’t. Adam could have used a friend and I could have, too.
Chase – We do not care if you are the smartest or fastest or coolest or funniest. There will be lots of contests at school, and we don’t care if you win a single one of them. We don’t care if you get straight As. We don’t care if the girls think you’re cute or whether you’re picked first or last for kickball at recess. We don’t care if you are your teacher’s favorite or not. We don’t care if you have the best clothes or most Pokemon cards or coolest gadgets. We just don’t care.
We don’t send you to school to become the best at anything at all. We already love you as much as we possibly could. You do not have to earn our love or pride and you can’t lose it. That’s done.
We send you to school to practice being brave and kind.
Kind people are brave people. Because brave is not a feeling that you should wait for. It is a decision. It is a decision that compassion is more important than fear, than fitting in, than following the crowd.
Trust me, baby, it is. It is more important.
Don’t try to be the best this year, honey.
Just be grateful and kind and brave. That’s all you ever need to be.
Take care of those classmates of yours, and your teacher, too. You Belong to Each Other. You are one lucky boy . . . with all of these new gifts to unwrap this year.
I love you so much that my heart might explode.
Enjoy and cherish your gifts.
And thank you for being my favorite gift of all time.