rIt's been a busy week! This week we have been working on the Chromebooks. The children are getting better with logging on independently, but some children still need help. We have many children who can help now! The children are learning to navigate to the RGR site to work on the Playground. They are also learning how to get to our Google classrooms. We will be using two Google classrooms. One will have activities to support and give students additional practice with what we are doing in the classroom. We also have a Read the U.S.A. classroom that will be used to follow up on read alouds we do for the rest of the year that will take us to every state and the District of Columbia. You will hear more about that tomorrow. Later we will be adding some additional sites.
In math, we have started a new unit in measurement. The children will enjoy this unit with many hands-on activities. We are also learning about teen numbers, and numbers greater than 20 as well.
In Benchmark, we have been going through the writing process to write an additional event or ending to the story The Little Red Hen. We learned about brainstorming, planning, and writing a draft. We will work to fix up our writing, focusing on spaces between words, a period at the end of a sentence, and a capital letter at the beginning of the sentence.
In our Social Emotional Learning, we began talking about what it means to be a bystander and an upstander. We got to the bystander part, but tomorrow will focus on how to be an upstander. In school, while learning to be part of a group, children have to learn what to do when someone is hurting them or others. We can use DeBug for kid-size problems, and we can get adult help when we have been hurt or the problem was too big, but we also need to learn what to do so we are not in those situations. This is not easy and it doesn't happened over night, but we can learn to be more confident and persistent in asking for help. Today we talked about being a bystander. A bystander is watching what is going on and can go and report situations where someone is being hurt physically, intentionally left out repeatedly, or inappropriate language, comments or names are being used. When a bystander tells an adult about these situations it is reporting, not tattling, and the response of the adult will be to follow-through with a consequence as necessary. We read a story called Super Many Stands Up, by Kelly DiPUcchio. This story is about Manny who likes to pretend he is a superhero at home. He has different color capes he uses for saving the world different villains. At school he has an invisible cape, and when one of the characters is bullied, Manny stands up to stop it. When Manny stands up, others do as well, and the bully loses his power over the group. Manny was an upstander. Tomorrow we will learn more about being an upstander and what it is and isn't. We will practice walking, talking and showing confidence in our own inner strength by our body language. This is all part of building a stronger community that does not tolerate fighting, exclusion, teasing, and inappropriate language. These lessons are not one and done; they are lessons that will be repeated and that we will check-in with students to be sure they are being heard, supported, and that they feel safe. It's also important to know that the children who are behaving in an inappropriate way are getting the support they need to learn how to be part of a group and to get help in handling their own emotions and situations that led to their inappropriate behavior. I really stressed to the children that they do not have to feel alone and that their classmates are here to support them, as well as the adults at the school.
As we are approaching the holidays, we are seeing more emotional responses to situations. The children are chattier, sillier, and more easily upset over little things. This happens during times when there will be a transition to a break, around holidays and birthdays, and when the snow comes! We are going to maintain our routines, take a few more brain breaks, and engage in some mindfulness lessons and activities to help with managing those emotions. I will be sending information over the weekend about putting together a calm-down box which you might want to put together for your children in handling those strong emotions of happiness, disappointment, anger, etc. or times when your child just needs to take a break to be proactive so they do not get to a point where they are overstimulated and make poor choices. Grown-ups can use the tools in the calm down box too! I broke into the calm-down kit at my desk today when I had to ask six times to speak to a person when I called Comcast. I probably confused the robot because after asking to speak to a human or agent four times, I accidentally started saying I needed to speak to a grown up. That's when I broke into the calm down kit and grabbed a squishy. It helped. I was able to talk calmly to the human they finally connected me with to fix my problem who was indeed, a grown-up.
Have a nice evening!