Thursday, April 26, 2018

Wrapping Up the Year with Our Eyes Toward the Future

  May and June are upon us already, which means it is time to wrap up another school year and get ready for summer break!  This school year has come with a lot of change and growth at Young Scholars, but I am proud to say that we made it and have learned from our mistakes. 

  For our last guidance lesson of the year, we focus on looking forward with goals and how to survive the next stage of life.  My hope here is to help them prepare for their inevitable future and the years to come here at Young Scholars and beyond.  They need to learn that change is a good thing and that we can learn and grow from our past.

  If you would like help in getting your student through the summer and ready for the next school year, check out these helpful websites:

http://www.laparent.com/summer-activities-to-promote-learning/

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/bridging-summer-reading-gap/

https://www.edutopia.org/blog/7-ways-prevent-summer-learning-loss-barbara-dianis

https://www.brookings.edu/research/summer-learning-loss-what-is-it-and-what-can-we-do-about-it/

There is a lot of research that shows, students lose a lot of what they have learned over the summer and therefore, regress during the next school year; please help to keep your child engaged and learning throughout the summer months!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Post Spring Break Slump

  After our relaxing Spring Break, comes the month of April.  During April, the older kiddos take the PSSAs, which consumes most of their time.  While the younger students, get ready for spring and prepare themselves for the coming school year.

  I do not do guidance lessons for the older students during this month because their schedule is packed so much with testing.  However, I am still available to them throughout testing for any behavioral or emotional needs. 

  In regards to the younger students, I am doing career review lessons with them to help get their Career Portfolios completed for this school year.  This is a new requirement from the State of PA Department of Education.  There are 4 main Career Standards that PA has for grades K-12.  Each school year students will add pieces of evidence to their portfolio to show that they are learning those standards.

If you need any resources on PSSA testing here is a good website for you:

https://www.pgsd.org/Page/2837

If you would like more information on PA Career Standards, this website is for you:

http://www.education.pa.gov/K-12/PACareerStandards/Pages/default.aspx

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

March Pretesting Madness

  In March, we get ready for the dreaded, PSSA tests in April.  So for the kiddos that are lucky enough to get to take them, grades 3 and up, I do my lessons based on test anxiety and test-taking tips.  This is to help prepare them to put their minds at ease and get them mentally prepared to take the tests after spring break!

 For those younger kiddos, I will be doing various lessons on social skills.  They will be different for each class, based on their needs.  The hope here is to help them end the year strong and on a good note!

We are in the last trimester, so it is time to buckle down and do our best!

Parents please reinforce these things at home.  If you would like some tips please visit these websites:  https://childmind.org/article/tips-for-beating-test-anxiety/

https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/partnering-with-childs-school/tests-standards/8-ways-to-prepare-your-child-for-standardized-tests

http://www.scholastic.com/parents/blogs/scholastic-parents-learning-toolkit/4-ways-to-help-your-student-finish-school-year-strong

Monday, January 22, 2018

February is for Feelings

  With the new year underway and new goals in sight, it is now time to stop and think about how our feelings affect our behaviors.  The main focus for this month's lessons for the younger kiddos will be on how to identify and cope with various feelings.  While the older students will learn more about conflict resolution and ways to have healthy relationships with others; both situations occur when students' feelings get too big for them to sometimes handle.

  The best thing to teach your children when it comes to emotions, is that it is okay for them to feel different ways (angry, mad, sad, scared, happy, etc.).  However, it is not okay to let our emotions control our actions because that is usually when we end up getting into trouble.  In order to prevent this, we need to use coping skills (i.e., ways to calm down and make ourselves feel better).  This can be anything, as long as it is appropriate for school when used here.

  The conflict resolution strategies that I teach the students are:  Stop, Walk, Rock, and Talk.  Stop being stop yourself before you make a mistake or ignore the situation.  Walk away from the student if you can.  Rock is doing something to make a situation fair like "rock, paper, scissors or rolling dice."  Last, is talk, where the students should try to use "I messages" to tell the other student how they feel and what they would like the other student to change.  Please reinforce these strategies at home; they will help this school be a more welcoming, cooperative place to be.

Check out these websites for extra help:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201201/tips-helping-kids-handle-their-emotions

https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/coaching-children-in-handling-everyday-conflicts/