Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Staying Happy and Healthy this Winter

Hello PG families:

As I write this, we're into our second snow day off due to the winter storm Juno. I imagine your little ones are anxious to return to school and get back into a routine of sorts. Hopefully, they've also enjoyed some time to play in the snow!

Winter can seem long, and even endless at times. It's the time of year where we are more prone to getting sick and families may be stuck indoors due to inclement weather. The CDC puts out a helpful list of hints to keep kids happy and healthy during the long winter season. Enjoy the list and keep yourselves and the little ones safe, happy and healthy through these long winter months!

1. Wash your hands often! Coughs/germs are abound in winter.
2. Manage stress. Have a balanced approach to work, home and play for the whole family.
3. Dress yourself and your little ones in plenty of layers so they can enjoy their time outside without fear of being too cold!
4. Plan fun indoor activities to keep your kids busy and active during the winter. Local libraries and museums often have fun, low-cost or free events for students and families in the winter.
5. Encourage healthy eating and good sleep hygiene! A great way to encourage healthy eating during the winter is to visit a local farmers market or grocery store and plan a cooking project with your kids. Give them roles/jobs to assist in making the meal and enjoy it together as you talk about your day. After dinner, have some low-key activities planned such as reading books together or watching a family movie. Have everyone get to bed at a decent hour at the same time. Liken it to hibernating like a bear! :)

In the meantime, be well!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Following Directions @ Pine Glen!

Hello PG family and friends!

It's been a busy couple of weeks since returning from break. Students have had to dive right back into academics, routines and rituals. Reinforcing these routines and rituals is important and something we continually practice as educators to help our students stay on track to be successful in and out of school.

One of the ways in which we reinforce expectations with our K-5 students is through teaching Dr. Hanley's Life Skills. These skills tell and show students what is expected of them in school and how they can be successful. In the Kindergarten classrooms this week, we focused on the following skills:

1. When a teacher calls your name, you stop what you are doing, look at the teacher, and say, "Yes."
2. When a teacher gives you an instruction, you follow it right away.

Students watched a PBS movie (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOeqgOM69KM) that follows kindergartners following directions on the bus and school and we had a discussion about the different instructions we have to follow at home, school and out in the community in order to be safe and know what is happening.

There are many ways to make discussions and activities about following directions both educational and fun. There are many links to videos online, books you can read and games to play (Simon Says is a great one!) to help in reinforcing both the idea and action of following directions.

In the meantime, be well!