Hare Krishna Dear Parents
Krishna Kid of the Week
Disphika is an absolute angel. Always working hard and she loves to tidy up!
Social Skills…Super Important!
Top 10 social skills students need to succeed
Research has shown just how important social skills are. I agree with this 100 percent. From my experience, when children learn social skills they settle into their learning comfortably. That’s why their first year at school is so important and that’s why I am passionate about teaching them social skills that will help them for life!
Reading, writing, ‘rithmetic and… good manners? Researchers have found that 10 basic social skills such as taking turns, listening and simply being nice are just as important to children’s academic success as the subjects they study, and that students can and should be learning these skills in the classroom.
“If we increase social skills, we see commensurate increases in academic learning. That doesn’t mean that social skills make you smarter; it means that these skills make you more amenable to learning,” Stephen Elliott, Vanderbilt Peabody education and psychology researcher and co-author of the newly published The Social Skills Improvement System—Classwide Intervention Program, said. “In our research, we found that elementary (primary) kids and teachers value cooperation and self-control. When we intentionally teach and increase those behaviors, we reduce problem behaviors and maximize learning time.”
Elliott and co-author Frank Gresham identified the top 10 skills that students need to succeed based on surveys of over 8,000 teachers and over 20 years of research in classrooms across the country. They are:
1. Listen to others
2. Follow the steps
3. Follow the rules
4. Ignore distractions
5. Ask for help
6. Take turns when you talk
7. Get along with others
8. Stay calm with others
9. Be responsible for your behavior
10. Do nice things for others
Welcome to our new student!
It is such a pleasure to welcome Tavasmi to our class. She is Vraj’s little sister and I still remember her being carried in a baby basket to parent teacher interview when Vraj was in our class.
Learning Focus – How to Practice Spelling words…
Fun ways practice weekly spelling words…
Check out these fun ways of practicing our weekly spelling words…
- Spelling Word Memory: Create a double set of word cards and play a game of Spelling Word Memory by spreading out the cards face down and then taking turns flipping two cards at a time to find a pair!
- Flip 4 Steps: In just 4 steps, your child can practice reading, spelling, and writing his words. Have him flip over a word card, look at the word, say it out loud, say the letters, then flip it back over, and write the word on paper.
- Trace, Copy, Recall: Fold three columns on a piece of paper, and label one column ‘trace’, the next ‘copy’ and the last ‘recall’. Write the word in the first column, and have your child trace the letters. Next have her copy the word by looking at what she’s just written. Finally, have her fold (and hide) the first two columns and recall the spelling on her own as she writes the word independently.
- Spelling Word Race: Create two teams, with a player from each team taking the ‘pen’ at a time. Teacher (or parent) calls out a word from the list, and players race to write the word.
- Spelling Puzzle: Make a home-made puzzle by writing each word in large letters on an index card and then having the child cut each card apart. The fun is in putting the puzzle back together!
- Stairsteps: Write the words as if they are stairs, adding one letter at a time.
- Tic-Tac-Toe: There are a ton of cool ways to play with this old game! Create a larger-sized board and play tic-tac-toe where each player uses a spelling word.OR, have each player use an ‘X’ or ‘O’ but in order to place a mark on the board, she has to spell a word correctly.
- Window Writing: All you need is special wind0w-safe crayons to use, and Window-Writing makes learning spelling words totally crazy and so much fun!
- Flip and Rainbow Write: Flip a word card and have your child go through the rainbow, painting or writing each word flipped in rainbow colors. Make the first word red, second orange, third yellow, etc. OR write each letter in a colour of the rainbow.
- Water Paint: Use water and a paintbrush to water paint the spelling words. On a hot, sunny day, words disappear quickly—so spellers have to move fast!
Classroom Learning Focus
Oral Language- Speaking and Listening
Every morning we have an oral language lesson with the children. Each week we choose a different focus. It may be ‘using a clear, audible voice’ or ‘using more interesting words’.
Sometimes we have a talking circle where children add information to a topic or a news circle where children tell us about exciting events or experiences.
Some children love to talk and share while others are shy and need more encouragement.
Every Thursday we have Show and Tell. The children especially love this opportunity to show or tell something that is special to them.
You can help at home by helping them practice what they are going to say for their turn, (Wednesday homework time) Remember, it doesn’t have to be long…just a minute or two. Encourage your child to speak in a loud clear voice and give lots of information about what they are showing or telling. At the end we get one question and one comment from the ‘audience’.
And don’t forget the importance of children’s first language as outlined below!
Maintaining First Languages Actually Helps Students with English in the Classroom!
Critics may be skeptical about the possibility or the desirability of using children’s first language in the classroom.
Some may want schools to focus on English without any attention given to the first language of many of its students. Some people may ask: Isn’t English the most important language to learn in New Zealand
The belief is that “English is the language of power in the society,” This view that English is the language of power is something that some parents may also believe in within the home. Sometimes parents will encourage children to just use English, and try to speak only in English with their children.
In the classroom, however it is proven that a bilingual strategy is most effective. There are strong connections across languages in the sense that children who maintain their first language tend to do better in English. The research is totally convincing.
Maintaining two languages doesn’t in any way confuse children. Children are using their first language outside of the classroom anyway. We’re not talking about teaching the language within the mainstream classroom generally. What we’re talking about doing is allowing children to communicate naturally and this usually means going in and out of their mother tongue.
The Importance of Using First Languages at Home
Parents should know that interacting and communicating with children in their first language gives them the input that is necessary to build a lasting linguistic connections and foundation.
There is also a much greater possibility of strong communication in the home. Communicating with grandparents and relatives helps children maintain their first language. If they go back to their home countries during for visits to relatives they can then communicate effectively.
Parents should never worry that their children will be confused by encouraging such bi-lingual skills. English is the language of the school yard. It is also the language the teacher speaks. Children can absorb both languages and get to know when to use them appropriately.
Here are some tips to help students maintain their first language and feel good about it:
- Interact and talk with grandparents and other relatives.
- Spend time with children who have the same background
- Read in their first language.
- Watch videos in their first language.
Got this cool idea from Jessica. She brought in her ’tile art’ the other day. The children draw their pictures on tiles with markers. Kids love using markers and they loved the bright, clear finished look. We can then clean them off and use the tiles again. Thanks Jessica!