FYI 6 December 4, 2016

Hello all,

Well the holiday season is upon us! I think that everyone, both students and parents alike are feeling the pressure of the season. I hope you can all step back, take a deep breath and enjoy some time together.

This week we continued our study of fish. Sally was a brave soul and dissected a fish for us to see! I think for many students, it was the first time that they have ever examined the internal anatomy of an animal. The reactions were varied but all were intrigued. We will continue our study until the New Year so feel free to dive into a "fishy" conversation.

For literacy, we focused on the story elements in fictional writing. We began by reading mentor texts as exemplars of good writing. Then we utilized story workshop to build our main character and setting. With the help of our fabulous parent team of Adam, Tracie and Dustin, each of the students crafted a story with a problem and solution. It was the first time the students were able to experience ficitonal writing but I hope that we will do much more in the future.

In math, we continue to develop numeracy by studying the number 6. Next week, I hope to more formally introduce "math talks" in our morning meeting. With math talks, a problem is posed and we work together to find a solution. It is an opportunity to share our thinking and to learn from each other. Hearing how other people think and approach math is a valuable opportunity to practice collaboration. I'll let you know how it goes!

The last week before break will be a busy one for us! There are a number of events that are now on our calendar that I thought you should be aware of. The first is our gingerbread making event with our buddies. We will be building on the 14th most likely in Doreen's room. On the 15th, we will have holiday centers with the Kindergarten pod after the recess break. At this time I am not sure what we will be doing but I will let you know as soon as the TK/K team figures it out. Last, on the 16th, we will have our own classroom celebration. After recess, we will have a reading of the Polar Express, decorating our houses, enjoying activities and food. You are all invited to join in and celebrate with us!

Upcoming...

December 14 - Building gingerbread houses,,,We still need candy!

December 15th - Holiday Celebration with TK/K's

December 16th - Room 6 Winter Celebration

Fish investigations, exploration, story workshop and the garden...

Holiday Stress

Posted on Edutopia - December 16, 2015

Families want their holidays to be happy for everyone, especially the children. Many parents do not realize that the holiday season can be a time of hustle, bustle and a never-ending whirlwind of stress for their children.

It is important to remember that children (and parents) need to find time to relax and enjoy a wonderful time of the year. How can children relax when they see their parents running around frantically shopping, baking, decorating and becoming stressed at the thought of blowing the holiday budget after one trip to the mall?

These tips may help both parents and children recognize holiday anxiety and feel less stress.

Signs of a child's holiday stress may include:

¥ Tears for seemingly minor reasons

¥ Nervous behaviors such as nail biting and hair twirling

¥ Physical complaints including headaches and stomachaches

¥ Regression to younger behaviors: bedwetting, temper tantrums

¥ Withdrawal from school, friends and family

¥ A change in your child's regular behavior

Here are some ways to reduce stress for the entire family:

¥ Remember routines - For parents of small children, this is especially good advice. During the holidays, children will find their routines disrupted. They are often dragged along on shopping trips or taken to special events. They stay up past bedtime and eat too many holiday goodies. When a routine is broken, stress can result.

¥ Say "No" - You don't have to accept every invitation to cookie swaps, parties and gift exchanges that you receive.

¥ Nutrition - Have you ever noticed the lines at fast food restaurants as the holidays approach? The lines are getting longer because people are often too busy to go home and cook a nutritious meal. Add all of those sugary holiday treats, and you end up with a stressed out, hungry family. Plan at least one healthy meal for the family every day. Take the time to talk and enjoy being together as a family.

¥ Family traditions - Many don't realize how important traditions are to themselves and their children. Family traditions offer great comfort and security for children. What are your family traditions? Perhaps your family would enjoy creating a holiday calendar or baking cookies together.

¥ Attitude check - Both children and their parents need to have an attitude check before the holiday season begins. Take a deep breath, and have everyone in the family pledge to make the holiday season a time of joy and peace. The less holiday stress you feel, the more relaxed your children will be.

¥ Rest and relaxation - Everyone, especially a child, needs to take a "time out" over the holiday season to rest and relax. A well-rested child will be much happier on a trip to the mall than one who is in need of a nap. Schedule some rest and relaxation time for everyone in the family.

¥ Favorite things - If you are traveling for the holidays, bring your child's favorite blanket or stuffed animal. A bit of home will help your child feel more comfortable.

¥ Laugh - Laughter is still the best way to beat stress and change everyone's mood from bad to good. Lighten the mood with funny movies, sledding or cozy chats over cups of hot chocolate (don't forget the marshmallows).

Make a stress-free holiday your new family tradition! Fond memories of the holidays are a beautiful gift you can leave with your children. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the holidays may be one of the few times when you can offer a present that only you can give — priceless memories of a holiday filled with fun, love and laughter for the entire family.

Credits:

Created with images by visualpanic - "anthony & the johnsons:knockin' on heaven's door" • jpeter2 - "winter nature bud"

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