Monday, August 5, 2013

We will be reading "Gregor the Overlander." It is my favorite children's book. Gregor is the first book in the "Underland Chronicles" series. I hope you love it too!!  (Suzanne Collins is the author that wrote The Hunger Games.  This was her first series.)

Bullying Concerns

Article from Kids' Health (see "Great Sites")

My son hates going to school because there's a boy who teases and picks on him every day. What can I do to help him?
- Jesse

Having to deal with a bully is hard for kids — especially at school.

Listen to your son's worries and convey that they're perfectly understandable and that it's OK for him to feel that way. Offer assurance without making him feel like you're trying to talk him out of feeling that way or dismissing his feelings.

As he tells you how he feels, be sure to repeat back his thoughts and feelings using phrases like, "I know you're feeling worried." When he feels understood by you, he'll be more receptive to your help and any advice on coping that you offer.

Let him know that everyone worries, even adults, at one time or another. But also make sure he knows that there are ways he can feel better and less fearful. Go over some strategies that he can use if someone teases him. Ignoring the bully and simply walking away or using humor to combat aggressiveness might get the bully to stop. Bullies often give up when they don't get a response from their target.

Try to get your son to talk about what has been going on at school — just listening can be helpful.

Although kids can resolve many incidents of bullying on their own, do keep an eye on the situation. If it persists, get involved by talking to your child's teacher or school counselor.

Bullying is a great concern to me, the 5th grade team, Mrs. Wilson and Mr. Chai.  If you have any concerns please let us know.  We can't help resolve issues that we don't know about.  Your child's happiness and safety is very important to Arnold.

The 10 Best Ways to Help Your 5th-Grader Succeed in School

The 10 Best Ways to Help Your 5th-Grader Succeed in School
                         By Ann E. LaForge (Parents Magazine)

1. Encourage reading in any way you can -

  • There is no way to overestimate the importance of reading.   
  • Keep reading aloud to your child (to strengthen his vocabulary, comprehension, and listening skills, as well as his enjoyment of reading).

2. Treat your child as though he's an author
  •  Let your child see you write — and correct your own mistakes; ask him his opinion on something you've written (i.e., "Is this note to the teacher clear?").
  • Show pride in what your child writes by displaying her stories for visitors and other family members to enjoy, or having her read them aloud.
  •  Read together, and talk about the books and authors you both love.

3. Make math part of her everyday life

  • Play with numbers, and to frequently point out the various ways in which math makes our lives easier.

4. Teach your child how to listen

  • Read aloud to your child on a regular basis —  Ask questions as you read, to make sure your child is understanding what she hears.
  •  Make sure the time your child spends in front of a screen is balanced by time spent with other people, talking face to face.
  • When giving directions, ask your child to repeat back to you what she heard you say — to make sure she really did hear, and does understand what she needs to do.

5. Support your child's teacher and the school rules

  • Your child be more motivated to work hard and succeed if she thinks you think that what she's doing is worthwhile.

6. Tell the teacher everything that's happening at home that might affect how your child behaves in school.
  • How your child feels about school?
  • What your child's special passions?
  • What your child's special needs are: anything from allergies to phobias, physical or medical conditions, learning problems or preferences, special talents, emotional concerns, and behavioral patterns.

7. Make sure your child is ready for school -Your child should...

  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour. Children who regularly go to bed later on school nights have a hard time keeping up in school, teachers say. A good night's sleep is the best guarantee of a pleasant and productive day at school.
  • Eat a filling and nutritious breakfast.
  • Put homework in her backpack, to bring to school. Fifth graders may be able to do this on their own, but it never hurts to ask, "Got your homework?" before your child slips out the door.
  • Know exactly who will pick her up and what will happen when the school day ends. If you anticipate any change in the daily routine, or in the person greeting your child after school, make sure you give plenty of notice.
  • Get to school on time — every day. Chronic lateness is not only disruptive to the entire class, it can make a child feel out-of-step all day.

8. Spend time in your child's classroom

  • All children get a real thrill when they see their parent in their classroom. It sends a powerful message that you care about your child, and about her education.

9. Encourage responsibility and independence

  • Whenever possible, let your child do things for himself — and for others.
  • Develop a homework routine.
  • Unpack his own backpack. Teach him that as soon as he gets home from school, he should unpack his backpack, put his homework materials in his homework place, and hand you (or put in a special place) any newsletters, notes from the teacher, papers to sign, or special work he's brought home.

10. Ask your child about school every day

  • Ask specific questions.
  • Read everything the teacher sends home.

Accountable Talk

Accountable Talk Sentences Starters

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This is the Franklin D. Roosevelt home in Hyde Park, NY. I worked for several summers here as a Park Ranger giving tours. It was a wonderful job. I love history. The only problem was I looked a little like Smoky the Bear in my park ranger uniform. Not good. FDR was the president during the Great Depression. We will be learning about the GD this year.