¡Feliz marzo! This is a big month for us at O’Hara! For one, Multicultural Night is just 2 weeks away! Check out http://multiculturalnight.wordpress.com if you have any questions, or just shoot me and email and I will be happy to answer them!
This week your kindergarteners and 2nd graders should have brought home books they have illustrated or written in class. I have video versions of both of these stories that may help you enjoy them with your child. Both, ironically, are based off of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but one rehearses shapes and the other fruits. I designed them years apart and somehow this year taught them on the same week. To listen to kindergarten’s “El Círculo Muy Hambriento” visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EegL4EQ9B8, and to watch “Señorita Taylor Muy Hambrienta,” visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pCpVSRg8mw. I hope you and your children enjoy these stories. 2nd grade stories should come back to school so we can display them proudly on our lockers for a little while. Kindergarten books can stay home.
My general newsletter topic this month is responsibility. Since working with the youngest three grades for 6 weeks now, I am reminded of the developmental process of turning happy-go-lucky preschool children into responsible school-aged children. Children become responsible and organized at different rates (I should know, I was one of the organization & responsibility late bloomers! – my mom will testify on that), yet there are some things we can do to help support them. For one, creating a system of organization will help children develop the necessary routines to build responsibility. Every classroom has a system of organization for homework (a folder, a binder, etc), and reminding students of the procedures already being used in school can help them attend to and rehearse the routine. Sometimes routines for home need to be initiated, like packing our own backpacks before bed. Getting your child involved in these routines will help him/her take ownership of the behavior. Ask some guiding questions – What classes do you have tomorrow? What will you need to pack? As they answer and pack their own bags, they will be practicing a life long skill! Though it’s nice to have them in the nest for now (I mean, look how cute they are!), one day you will want them to fly on their own. Now is a great time to practice “flying.”
Are they all going to take over flying immediately? Nope. They are going to weeble and wobble. They will need to be reminded of the procedures. They might even fall completely flat. It’s a fact of life, and it’s a powerful character building opportunity to fail at something, work hard to rectify the situation, and later be successful. So even if they forget their homework (some think I will sprout a 2nd head if this happens), teach them to accept it, take responsibility, and plan for success in the future. As a teacher, I know it’s hard to be disappointed in a student who says “I forgot my homework, but I promise I’ll bring it to you tomorrow” (and actually follows through the next morning). 🙂
The parents here at O’Hara are already doing a great job supporting their children in all the tasks we give them throughout their years with us. Remember, if you ever have a question about anything — whether it be homework instruction clarification, technical support with FCSpanish.com, or what have you — I am just an email away.
Happy March! I’ll be seeing many of you soon!
Señorita Jessica Taylor