Happy Lunar New Year to you!
Room 6 spent most of our week learning about Lunar New Year and the traditions related to this special day. We ate fried rice (Thank you Jennie and Meital), read books and made special crafts. On Friday, we met with our buddies and presented them with red envelopes and painted dragon pictures. After recess, we had Kinder pod centers which included making streamers, shakers, lanterns and fans. We tried traditional Lunar New Year treats and even practiced being the head of the dragon! We topied off our celebration by parading around the school and as Pace said, "We can scare away bad luck" so that we can have a prosperous and fruitful New Year!
Although the Lunar New Year was our focus, there were many, many highlights to our week. On Tuesday, we continued our science exploration of the human body with Sally and Michelle. We learned about the skeletal system and added that information to our diagrams. We also continued our work of counting to 100 with Christiana. With a classroom buddy, the students made collections of 100 items and some elected to make paper clip chains of 100! These will be on display along with any projects that will be brought in for 100th Day. If you still want to do a project, it is not too late! The 100th Day of School is still a week or two away...you still have time.
Upcoming in the next few weeks is the 100th Day and Valentine's Day. I have been giving Valentine's Day considerable thought, mainly because many of the students are emergent readers and have difficulty reading names. I would like to propose that if your son or daughter is thinking about giving out valentines, one of the options might be to put pictures on the envelope along with the names. I do have head shots of the students and can print/or send them to you. I just ask that if your child chooses to participate, that they include everyone in their valentine giving.
To celebrate the 100th Day, we will have pod-wide centers once again. I am anticipating that we will celebrate this day during the mid-block (10:30 to 12:00) but we are still finalizing the times. I am in need of extra volunteers for the event. If you can spare an hour, I could really use the help! Please let me know...thanks!
This week was also the official end of the semester. You should have received a progress report by e-mail. If you didn't, please let me know! If you have any questions about the document, I would be glad to answer any or all questions.
Don't forget we have a field trip tomorrow! Wear your Laps for Learning t-shirts and bring your car seats. All children should wear comfortable clothing so they can more around and should have their regular snack and water. We should be back for regular pick up aat 12:20. If you have a shift during a field trip time and are not driving, you are still expected to work your shift. I will have plenty for you to do in the "To Do" bin. Thank you!
Lastly, we will be meeting at Aqui's in Campbell for our "class meeting" this Tuesday, January 31st at 6:00. You are welcome to eat, drink or just visit! Please come, if only for a few minutes. Even adults need community building! See you there...
Posted at responsiveclassroom.org on 10/11/12
It’s a lot easier to stop a small mean comment than it is to stop full blown bullying. Nonetheless, in the moment, when you hear children (or adults!) say mean things to one another, it can be challenging to figure out how to step in. Recently Teaching Tolerance has been exploring this topic. In a recent survey of readers, they asked educators if they intervene to stop mean comments when they hear them at school. Sixty percent of those who responded said that they do intervene when they hear students use words that can hurt others.
Teaching Tolerance didn’t just gather the information or tell people what to do—they’ve also developed free resources to help educators improve our skills at responding to hurtful comments. Their publication Speak Up at School (downloadable at http://www.tolerance.org/speak-up-at-school) includes tips you can use to prepare ahead of time by planning what to say and practicing using those phrases with a respectful, firm, calm tone. They even provide a little fold-up pocket guide to refer to as needed in the moment.
Another thing the Teaching Tolerance poll uncovered was the fact that while a majority of adults said they speak up about children’s meanness, they behave differently towards adults. Only 20% of the respondents said they speak up when they hear a colleague say something that could be hurtful to others.
While this is not terribly surprising, it is concerning. Children model our behavior. They do what we do, not what we tell them to do. While adults in school make mean comments about children and about each other, children are listening and learning. Speak Up at School includes some tips for helping to marginalize hurtful comments made by adults. One important one is to assess the risk of speaking up and think, “Is there someone I trust—a colleague, peer, or mentor—to whom I can speak about this, to help me prepare for the next time this happens?”