Friday, January 16, 2015

Grimm 1/16/2015

PK-1 Principal/Director of Teaching & Learning
Sara Grimm
Twitter:  saramarleygrimm
SKYPE:  saramarleygrimm

Teaching Children the Value of Reading

In this digital age it is more important than ever to instill in our children a desire to read and to give them the understanding of the impact reading can have on the rest of their lives. The Teaching Children the Value of Reading Infographicis illustrates the value of the written word and how reading can pave the way to success.

Literacy corresponds with a child’s future ability to:
  • Attain personal fulfillment
  • Be understood and taken seriously
  • Take part in and understand civic issues
  • Earn a higher salary
  • Succeed in a chosen career path

Literate people are more likely:
  • To attend or take part in a sporting event
  • To do volunteer or charity work
  • To attend a performing arts event
  • To visit a museum

Tips for Influencing a Desire to Read
  1. Read Daily Have your child read for 30 minutes before allowing them to watch TV or play video games.
  2. Journal Writing - One’s desire to read is amplified by one’s ability to write.
  3. A Word a Day - Focus on expanding your child’s vocabulary and teach them a new word each day.
  4. Different Genres - Once your child is old enough to read regularly encourage them to read science fiction to poetry.
  5. Read Non-fiction - Encourage your child to read the news and memoirs to expand their understanding of society.
  6. Books as Presents - This gives your child a sense that books are special and important.
Apps to help
Technology isn’t solely a distraction from reading; there are many apps for the iPad that help to encourage reading in children and teens!
  1. Bookster - A reading storytelling app that reads to your kids, with the recording of a child their own age. It also records and plays their voices after they have learned the book, and teaches vocabulary throughout the process!
  2. Tales2Go - An award winning read on-demand app that allows your child to pick from a catalogue of thousands of popular children’s stories. The stories can be sorted by age group and genre, and will have your kid excited for reading once more!
  3. A Story Before Bed - A perfect interactive read-a-long experience that makes bedtime stories a seamless experience. You can even record story time so your child can watch it while you are away!
  4. PlayTales - Engaging sounds and captivating animations make reading a magical experience for kids from the toddler age through the tween-age years. It is multilingual as well!
  5. Good Reads - This social network for book lovers offers a place for your kid to review and share their favorite books while making friends who have similar tastes! How do you have a book loving kid? Surround them with other book lovers!

The latest research shows that one in three children is directly involved in bullying as a perpetrator, victim, or both.  Many of those who are not directly involved witness others being bullied on a regular basis. Parents, as well as schools, have the power to help reduce bullying. Here are some tips on how you can help.

*Talk with and listen to your kids. Spend a few minutes every day asking open-ended questions about who they spend time with at school and in the neighborhood, what they do in between classes and at recess, who they have lunch with, and what happens on the way to and from school. If your children feel comfortable talking to you about their peers before they’re involved in a bullying event, they’ll be more likely to get you involved after.

*Be an example of kindness and leadership. When you get angry at a sales clerk, another driver on the road, or even your child, you have an opportunity to model effective communication techniques. Any time you speak to another person in a mean or abusive way, you’re teaching your child that bullying is okay.

*Learn the signs. Most children don’t tell anyone that they’ve been bullied. Learn to recognize possible signs of victimization, such as frequent loss of personal belongings, complaints of stomach aches, avoiding recess or school activities, and getting to school very late or very early. Talk to your child and the teacher about what is going on at school and find ways to observe your child’s interactions to determine whether your suspicions might be correct.

*Create healthy anti-bullying habits early. Help develop anti-bullying and anti-victimization habits in your child as early as preschool. Coach your child on what not to do—hitting, pushing, teasing, or being mean to others. Help your child to focus on how such actions might feel to the child on the receiving end. Equally important, teach your children what to do—kindness, empathy, fair play, and turn-taking are critical behaviors and skills for good peer relations. Children also need to learn how to say “no” firmly if they experience or witness bullying behavior. Role play with your child about what to do if other kids are mean. They can, for example, get an adult right away, tell the child who is teasing or bullying to “stop,” or ignore the perpetrator and find someone else to play with.

*Establish household rules. Make sure your child knows that if he or she is bullied physically, verbally, or socially, it’s safe and important to tell you about it—and that you will help. Kids also need to know what bullying is (many children do not know that they are bullying others), and that such behavior is harmful to others and unacceptable.

*Teach your child how to be a positive bystander. Although it’s never children’s responsibility to put themselves in danger, kids can often effectively diffuse a bullying situation by yelling “Stop! You’re bullying” or “Hey, that’s not cool.” Kids can also help each other by providing support to the victim, not giving extra attention to the bullying behavior, and/or reporting what they witnessed to an adult.

Efforts to effectively address bullying require the collaboration of school, home, and community. Bullying is a serious problem, but if we all work together, it’s one we can impact.

Source: National Association of Elementary School Principals Report To Parents By Guest Editors: Shelley Hymel, Amanda Nickerson, & Susan Swearer

Web Resources’s Bullying Special Edition explores cyberbullying, action steps to take if your child is bullied, and more.
Check NAESP’s Bullying Prevention resource page for top resources, including articles, sample policies, and videos.

Preschool Program-Wide Positive Behavior Intervention System
Staff Member Highlight

Denise Sheehy is the first staff member to be highlighted for PWPBIS.

We would like to highlight Mrs. Sheehy for having a positive influence on teaching preschool students the program expectations of being safe, being respectful, and being kind. Denise goes above and beyond to give student's praise as she observes these expectations being followed in the classroom.  


Our preschoolers have been reviewing the rules and expectations of the classroom. They also started their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program. They began discussing what science is and what a scientist is. The students came up with a list of things about what they thought science and a scientist was, and then they read a book about each of these things. They are beginning a study on building and construction, so the students were able to explore with some new materials during centers related to this study. Their dramatic play center is now a construction site. Students are able to use different tools, a workbench, build structures out of blocks, pound plastic nails into a piece of foam, and dress up in hard hats and a construction vest. They were also able to use screws and wooden pieces to try and build structures. As we continue with the study students will get to explore with different building materials and they will move into our STEM Gizmo and Gadgets Kit. They also spent time this week reviewing the Jolly Phonics Letters they have learned so far by singing the songs and using letter beanbags.

Kindergarten students are participating in class discussions and activities by putting their responses on their iPads. The results are then displayed on the smartboard for the rest of the class to see. The responses were shared using the tool Primary Wall.

Students creating, extending, and describing visual patterns 

Kindergartener writing has come a long way so far this year. We started by writing some letters and are now working on many conventions of sentences and stories. Here a student was working on adding details to their writing.

First Grade

Students in 1st grade math are working on comparing and contrasting. Working with less than and greater than signs is sometimes a challenge.

In the picture the student is comparing animals weights in math: greater than, less than, or equal to.

Class 1B welcomed a Luther College January-Term student into their classroom this week! Miss Kristen Winter will be joining them for the entire month of January. She will observe and interact with first grade students and their teacher. Miss Winter is also planning several literacy lessons to teach us in the upcoming weeks!!

1st and 2nd graders got to Skype with Superintendent Mr. Carver while he waited to see President Obama speak in Cedar Falls on Wednesday.

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