During the month of November, we are learning communication strategies for expressing our feelings and resolving conflicts with others.
With the Kindergarten students, we have read The Way I Feel by Janan Cain and discussed how our feelings affect our bodies. When we are happy, we have a bright, big smile and stand a little taller. When we are angry, our faces scrunch up we clinch our fists.
In 1st and 2nd grades, we have read Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Back Away. We discussed how to communicate our feelings to resolve problems with others. In 3rd grade, we have read Simon’s Hook and discussed strategies for solving conflict with others. 4th and 5th graders have learned the differences between rude, mean, and bullying behaviors.
Communicating how we feel can sometimes be a challenge, even for adults. Many times we say things like “You made me cry when you called me names.” However, the YOU in the sentence isn’t taking ownership of our feelings and usually has a defensive or threatening reaction because it implies blame. If you change the YOU to an I, then we more clearly can express the way we feel in a non-threatening manner and can lead to a faster resolution. Instead of YOU, try using an “I-statement” like “I cry when people call me names because it hurts my feelings.” The students will practice using I-messages to express their feelings.
Fall is finally here! It’s great to be into our regular school routine and seeing the wonderful things our students are learning. During our Classroom Counseling lessons in October our 1st through 5th graders learned how to use a Growth Mindset. We discussed how our brain learns and grows and how our thinking about learning can support this process!
You can also help your children to develop a growth mindset at home:
- Recognize your own mindset: Be mindful of your own thinking and of the messages you send with your words and actions.
- Praise the process: Praising kids for being smart suggests that innate talent is the reason for success, while focusing on the process helps them see how their effort leads to success.
- Model learning from failure: When parents talk positively about making mistakes, kids start to think of mistakes as a natural part of the learning process.
We learned that brain is malleable and can change over time with persistence, practice, and hard work. Keep up the great effort!
During the month of September, all students at Northwood learned about using Digital Citizenship skills across the school. They participated in digital citizenship lessons in their homeroom classes, in the Media Center, and also during classroom Counseling. We want to encourage all of our students to continue our school wide expectations of Responsible, Respectful, and Engaged behavior when they interact with others digitally.
During our Counseling Special, each grade level learned about Digital Safety and Responsibility. In particular, we made connections between our real-life interactions with other people and the interactions we have with others online.
Some great resources for your family on Digital Citizenship can be found at http://www.commonsensemedia.org .
It’s a new school year here at Northwood, and I am delighted to have our children back in school! It is such a joy to see all of their smiling faces!
As we readjust from “vacation mode” to our normal school routine, consistency and preparation are keys to a successful school year whether your child is a new Kindergartener or an experienced 5th grader.
- Establish morning and evening routines to make it easier for your child to be at school on time. Have their clothes prepared the night before and backpacks ready to go.
- Complete homework at the same time every afternoon in a special location. Older elementary students might prefer a quiet location away from distractions to work independently, while younger elementary children need more supervision and guidance to complete homework.
- Begin an evening routine and be consistent with an early bedtime. Most elementary aged children need about 10-11 hours of sleep per night.
All of these tips can help your child to feel more prepared and confident each day at school resulting in better social and academic outcomes.
Welcome back to school and let’s get started on a great school-year!