With the holidays coming up, it’s easy for us to neglect our self-care. There are a number of health benefits linked to using mindfulness practices and meditation with students. GoZen, Cosmic Kids Yoga, GoNoodle Flow ,and GoNoodle Think About It have resources that allow you to pair mindfulness practices with your lessons on social-emotional skills and Zones of Regulation. Ashley Denisen, classroom teacher at Woodson, came up with some great resources we are trying at school and you could use at home as well.
Below are links to short (under 5 minutes), kid-friendly, guided meditations. Each video includes a brief description to help you choose the best time to try these techniques with your students. There are also some goodies at the bottom for your personal use.
If you’re looking for ways to incorporate mindfulness practices in your own day, whether at home or on the go, check out the websites below. They are all paid apps but have free features or trial periods that allow you to find the best fit for your lifestyle.
We are so thankful for our students and families this year!Kid Principal November
Enjoy our first edition of Kid Principal for the 2017-18 school year!
Well Parents and Caregivers-you have successfully made it through the first few days of kindergarten. Kids were up dressed, lunches packed, hugs and kisses and away we went. This week parents all over will be asking “How was your day?” when their children will get home.
One instance I heard about included a mom who asked that question and the response he stated was : “I thought they were going to teach us a bunch of stuff-but they didn’t”.
Now while learning looks different in kindergarten than say 6th grade-here are a few ways to create spaces and conversations around what your child did in school today.
1. Set time aside to listen to your child. As you know there is no such thing as multi-tasking with a 5 year old. Try to set at least 10 minutes aside for the “Great Day” conversations with your child. Turn the TV/Phone off or go in a space that could create uninterrupted time for the two of you. If you have multiple children-try to dedicate a few minutes of time to each individually.
2. Use specific open ended questions and wait time. For young learners time can be an abstract concepts. I can ask a student 30 minutes after breakfast what they ate and they might share with me what they ate that morning, the night before or two weeks ago.
Has this conversation ever happened in your house:
“What did you do today in school?”……(CHILD) “Nothing”. (PARENT) “You didn’t do ANYTHING in school?” (CHILD) “Nope”.
Asking big open ended questions has your child scrambling in their brain to retrieve specific information about a very large time frame.
Instead try the following:
- Wow-look at that (artwork/item brought home from school)! Did you do that all by yourself? Tell me more about it? (for example-what colors did you use? What words did you write? What things did you draw?).
- During play time what was your favorite thing to play with today? What was cool about it?
- Which friend did you play with on the (insert child’s favorite recess activities) Slide/Swing/Monkey Bars today?
- What story did your teacher read today during whole group reading?
- (Reference lunch menu): “Did you eat A lunch or B lunch today?”
3. Use visual cues to support background knowledge. Each day we as a school community try to post a picture or two on either the Woodson Facebook main page or on a teacher’s specific Facebook page. Teachers send home information either via email/Facebook or weekly newsletters. Use that information to create specific questions for your child to answer.Where is this picture taken at in your school (i.e. cafeteria)? What do you think these students are doing?
- Do you know any friends in this picture?
- Wow it looks like this class is reading a story-have you read that story? If so what did you like about it?
- Your school greenhouse looks really interesting-when you go out to visit what are you exploring?
- In the class newsletter your teacher said you are learning about INSERT TOPIC. What are two things you talked about today regarding (TOPIC)?
I certainly hope you and your family have enjoyed the first few moments of their K-12 educational journey. It is a true honor to be able to serve our youngest students (and families) in their journey to become something amazing!
Parents-Here are the 2016-17 Elementary School Handbooks for the
Austin Public Schools.
UpdatedEnglish Handbook 2016.2017
Please enjoy this month’s Critter Connection.
May Critter Connection
Please see this month’s Critter Connect as well as our Kid Principal!
March Critter Connection
Are you in need of an activity to work on over the spring break? Is your child ready to make the transition to laces on their shoes? Well if that is the case check out a few resources that have been shared with us that might help you.
Shoe Tying Made Easy
Tips and Tricks for Learning How to Tye Shoes
Clip from a previous blog post HERE
Here at the Woodson Kindergarten center we encourage students to be as independent as possible in taking care of themselves. One of those skills is tying shoes!
Here are some helpful hints and tips when teaching your child how to tie.
Tie something bigger
- Like a jump rope around a tree trunk!
Use two different color shoe laces
- This also supports identifying left and right
Sit behind your child, or have you child on your lap
- Drawstring pants or bag is a great alternative!
- Let your child guide you. Children are developmentally ready tie shoes at age 5 -6. If given enough practice, most children will be able to tie their shoes by 1st grade.
Greetings Parents-please enjoy this month’s Woodson News Video!
January 2016 Woodson News