April 2016 Family Newsletter

Dear Readers,

March and April are busy times at Northeast Primary School! In addition to all the literacy, math and social studies that we are learning about, our students were able to enjoy the sounds of Irish music presented by Gypsy Reel on March 18th. It was fun to watch them try and do an Irish jig to the last song that was played. Another great event involved our very own famous PAWS puppets who reinforced PAWS expectations around respect, attention, hard work, and safety.

On March 31st students were presented with a wonderful musical called “The Clean-Up Kids” performed by our Grade 1 classes. With afternoon and evening performances, the “firsties” shined as actors and singers while learning about the environment. First graders also participated in a culminating activity for their solar system unit with a visit by Mr. Chris and his air-filled planetarium! It was out of this world. April 5th brought Kindergarten families to Northeast for a “Very Special Night” where our specialists, Mr. Bender, Ms. Hart and Mr. Cupoli showcased their Special classes for families. Grade 2 students have been busy with writing projects, using adjectives and describing problems, solutions and conclusions within interesting topics such as penguins and fairy tales. On April 7th we held our yearly PAWS celebration event “Turf Day” at the Spartan Arena. Stations were set up and students circulated throughout each station. This is always a LOT of fun for the children and adults.

Our annual fundraiser of Vermont and local products was a success, thanks to our community. These funds are used to support so many extra-curricular events that help our Northeast students become well-rounded learners! Mrs. Pagano’s, Mrs. Churchill’s and Mrs. Marallo’s classes all won a pizza party for being the highest sellers. Thank you for all of the support you provide to our learning community. Enjoy the wild and crazy Vermont weather!

7 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Be Physically Active

Did You Know? Only 1 in 3 children are physically active every day. Less than 50% of the time spent in sports practice, games, and physical education class involves moving enough to be considered physical activity. Children and teens spend more than 7 hours per day on average using TVs, computers, phones, and other electronic devices for entertainment.

About 1 out of 3 children is either overweight or obese in the United States. Overweight teens have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults. Here are 7 ways to get started:

  1. Talk with your child’s doctor about why physical activity is important and suggestions on a sport or activity that is best for your child.
  2. Find fun activities or sports that they enjoy. The more they enjoy the activity, the more likely they will continue it. Get the entire family involved as this is a great way to spend time together.
  3. Choose developmentally appropriate activities. For example, a 7 year-old child is not ready for weight lifting or a 3-mile run, but soccer, biking, and swimming are great.
  4. Plan ahead to find a convenient and safe time and place to exercise.
  5. Be a role model. Children who regularly see their parents enjoying physical activity are more likely to do so themselves. So, play with your child to help them learn a new sport.
  6. Turn off the electronics. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 1 to 2 hours of total screen time a day.
  7. Make time for exercise, but don’t overdo it. Exercise or physical activity shouldn’t hurt..

One of the most important things parents can do is encourage healthy habits in their children early on in life. It is not too late to start.

Playdough Power

Squish, roll, sculpt, mold. . . children love playdough. Add props from home and playdough becomes a powerful way to support learning. This lets children use their imaginations and strengthen small muscles in fingers—the same muscles needed to hold pencils. Using playdough supports your social skills such as sharing, taking turns, and enjoying being with other people. Playdough encourages language and literacy, science, and math skills—me time. When children use playdough, they explore ideas and try different approaches until they find one that works. They compare and contrast objects (“Mine’s a fat pancake and yours is skinny”), actions (“No, don’t cut it! Scrape it, like this”), and experiences (“We’re not making a snake—we’re making a road”). They come up with their own ideas, satisfy their curiosity, and analyze and solve problems. These are all skills that help children learn and succeed in school. Creating with playdough lets children feel competent (“I’m good at rolling the dough”) and proud (“Hey, I made a dog”). Pounding, flattening, and squeezing are healthy and safe outlets for extra energy and provide positive coping for strong feelings. During playdough time children talk about what they’re making and how. Engage with them and comment about their work (“You cut it again”). Ask questions so they can describe and think (“What does this do?”). Connect their play to the real world (“Can you make a red tomato? A green one might not be ripe”). Teach cooperation (“I can help you make your car”), and observe and compare actions (“I’m rolling my dough too”). Through hand and eye play, children develop eye-hand coordination, gain strength and improve dexterity, critical areas of physical development for writing, drawing, and other purposes. Playdough is a powerful learning tool for many reasons. And when you play with playdough at home with your children, you’ll discover the most important reason of all: it’s just plain fun! – See more at: http://families.naeyc.org/learning-and-development/music-math-more/playdough-power#sthash.5zHn3bGh.dpuf

Tips for Parents of Young Readers

The early years are critical to developing a lifelong love of reading. You can’t start reading to a child too soon! Read together every day. Make this a warm and loving time when the two of you can cuddle close together. Bedtime is an especially great time for reading together. Give everything a name. You can build comprehension skills early, even with the littlest child. Play games that involve naming or pointing to objects. Say things like, “Where’s your nose?” and then, “Where’s Mommy’s nose?” Or touch your child’s nose and say, “What’s this?” Say how much you enjoy reading together. Tell your child how much you enjoy reading with him or her. Look forward to this time you spend together. Talk about “story time” as the favorite part of your day. Read with fun in your voice. Read to your child with humor and expression. Use different voices for characters. Ham it up! Know when to stop. If your child loses interest or has trouble paying attention, just put the book away for a while. Don’t continue reading if your child is not enjoying it. Be interactive. Engage your child so he or she will actively listen to a story. Discuss what’s happening, point out things on the page, and answer your child’s questions. Ask questions of your own and listen to your child’s responses. Read it again and again and again. Your child will probably want to hear a favorite story over and over. Go ahead and read the same book for the 100th time! Research suggests that repeated readings help children develop language skills. Talk about writing, too. Draw your child’s attention to the way writing works. When looking at a book together, point out how we read from left to right and how words are separated by spaces. Point out print everywhere. Talk about the written words you see in the world around you and respond with interest to your child’s questions about words. Ask him or her to find a new word every time you go out. – Reading Rockets

Electronics and Media – Food for Thought

Today I did an experiment, I watched my boys play. As I sat quietly in the corner of the room I tallied how many times they looked at me for various reasons: to see if I saw their cool tricks, to seek approval or disapproval for what they were doing, and to watch my reactions. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was on some sort of technology what message would I have been sending? 28 times my angels would have wondered if the World Wide Web was more important than them. 28 times my boys would have not received the attention most adults are searching for. 28 times my loves would have questioned if they were alone emotionally. 28 times my kids would have been reassured that who you are online is what really matters. In a world where we are accepted as who people perceive us to be and not who we really are, in a world where validation comes from how many followers or likes we have, in a world where quality time with loved ones is being replaced by isolation and text messages from the other room, I beg you to be different. Please put down your technology and spend some time with your family & loved ones. The next generation of children is counting on us to teach them how to be adults, don’t be too busy on social media, you never know who is watching and what message you are sending. (https://www.facebook.com/scholasticparents/photos/a.445993437951.227359.41884262951/10152014248047952/?type=3&fref=nf&pnref=story)

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