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As we continue to discuss Responsibility this month, what are some ways parents and guardians can build responsibility in children at home?  Just waking up your child and sending them out the door isn't enough to build responsibility and prepare them for a successful day of school.  Creating a quick checklist for your child to complete before walking out the door each school morning is a great way to set them up for success.  What might be some items to include on that checklist? What time does school start? What time do you have to leave to arrive at school or at the bus stop on time? Do you have your lunch or lunch money in your backpack? Is completed homework in your backpack? Are there any papers that need to be signed by a parent or guardian that need to be returned to school? These are just a few ideas to make sure your child is ready for the school day.  Some items could be completed in the evening prior to bed time to ensure a seamless morning routine.   In looking back at this list, I do believe there are some lessons for me to ponder to ensure I have a drama-free morning as well.    Always learning, Mrs. Heinecke
Posted by mheinecke  On Oct 12, 2017 at 11:22 AM
At school this month, we are focusing on Responsibility.  Children need to learn that they are responsible for their actions and that their choices make a difference in not only their lives, but in others' lives as well.  How can adults help at home with cultivating responsibility in their children? Be aware of what your child does right.  Make the connection between studying hard and earning a good grade. Recognize connections between actions and consequences.  Point out the connection between going to bed too late and oversleeping, therefore, being unprepared for school. Reflect on choices.  Realize that children can make positive or negative choices.  For example, what would be a positive choice if a friend wants to play before homework is completed? Consider consequences and keep track of behaviors.  Did a positive choice lead to a positive reward?  Did a negative choice lead to a negative outcome?  Talk with your child about each scenario.  Reward your child for positive choices. Encouraging responsible behavior and showing that you care about decisions made by your child can lead to a pattern of positive decision-making.  We encourage positive behaviors at school through our SOAR initiative and hope positive behaviors are encouraged at home as well! Always learning, Mrs. Heinecke
Posted by mheinecke  On Oct 05, 2017 at 11:36 AM
As well all know, respect extends to all people~especially those who we consider different than us.  Getting along with others and making friends goes more smoothly if we all show respect toward those around us.  Furthermore, having positive relationships allows focusing on learning to come much easier for students in school. What are some ways as adults we can help our students and children respect those who might be a bit different?  Here are ways to think about those who are different: some people might have had an illness or accident that causes them to have their disability.  Others might have been born that way even though a person has a disability, they also have MANY abilities.  People in wheelchairs can do things you might not be able to do. look for similarities with those who are different.  For example liking the same sport, game, or musical artist. ask questions politely.  Children should know that it might be okay to ask questions if they are polite and respectful. And as a parting thought, as adults we need to think about our reactions to people with disabilities.  How do we react to and treat those who are different? Always learning, Mrs. Heinecke
Posted by mheinecke  On Sep 21, 2017 at 9:28 AM
In this day and age, we talk a lot about respect.  At school, we teach lessons and model for our students how to show respect to others. In fact, the R in SOAR stands for Respect.  How can parents and guardians help their own children think about ways to show respect for all people?  Together, you could make a mobile highlighting the importance of respect as well as to demonstrate ways to live out respect in our daily lives. 1.  Listen to others without interrupting. 2.  Use polite words. 3.  Follow the rules. 4.  Learn about the customs of other people. 5.  Take care of our environment. 6.  Don't use put-downs~about others or yourself. Use this list as well as other ideas you may have to create your mobile.  Cut out colored construction paper and draw a picture of each item from the list.  On the reverse side of the picture, write a few words explaining the picture.  Punch holes in each piece of construction paper and use yarn to tie each piece to a hanger.   When you are talking about respect at home you can use this mobile as a guide.  Remember:  it takes all of us to ensure respect is taught for this generation and others! Always learning, Mrs. Heinecke
Posted by mheinecke  On Sep 11, 2017 at 8:52 AM
If looking at the Supply List for a new school year makes you sweat, you aren't the only one.  How can you make sure your child has a successful school year?  Below you will find a few ways to ensure a smooth start to this and every school year: Set a schedule in your household.  Make sure your child goes to bed and wakes up on a regular schedule.  This routine should be started prior to the first day of school! Provide a healthy breakfast.  This is such an important piece that we even provide free breakfast for all children at school. Create a homework habit.  Make sure your child sets aside time for studying every day~even if it simply reading for 10 minutes a day.  Also, help your child break down larger homework projects into manageable doses. Ask questions.  Encourage your child to ask the teacher questions for clarification.  Contact the teacher if you have questions yourself!  Communication is the key to success.   Talk it up.  Everyday, ask your child questions about what he is learning in school.  Ask your child to explain confusing concepts to you.  This will help you and your child learn! These are only a sampling of ways to ensure a successful start to the school year.  The above topics will be addressed with more depth and clarity throughout the school year. Here is to another great school year! Always learning, Mrs. Heinecke
Posted by mheinecke  On Aug 28, 2017 at 11:23 AM
As the school year starts winding down, Motivation to learn tends to wain.  However, as educators we know that Motivation is the key to success in school and in life.  In a school building, we all want our students to want to learn.  What are some ways you as parents can motivate students at home? 1.  Stay involved.  Parental involvement will only benefit a child.  Parents can monitor study time and discuss progress with the teacher. 2.  Be adaptable.  Stay positive even if your child struggles in school.  Work with the teacher to find ways to help your child at home that will carry over at school. 3.  Encourage independence.  Give your child choices on which subject to work on first or provide different time limits to complete tasks. 4.  Give positive & specific feedback.  Say things like, "You answered those questions correctly~great job!" or "I can tell you put a lot of effort into that assignment."  5.  Continue & expand the learning process.  Take a family field trip to the local county museum or science museum.  This will show your child that you like to learn and want them to learn more as well. There are many ways to motivate young learners.  What are some ways you can think of? Always learning, Mrs. Heinecke
Posted by Guest  On Mar 28, 2017 at 3:05 PM
We all know that reading is so very important to success now and in the future.  What are some ways parents and guardians can help children with developing skills they will carry with them throughout their school years and beyond? 1.  Read more complex books.  This will push children to learn new words, ideas, and facts.  It will also expose children to more complicated plots and topics. 2.  Select books with some familiarity.  Knowing something about the topic or setting will make a tough book easier to understand.  If your child is reading a book set in Japan, encourage your child to talk with someone who may have lived there or look up facts about the country online. 3.  Do further research using an easier resource.  Investigating a topic using a picture book may help with understanding a difficult topic.  For example, read a picture book about Harriet Tubman when doing research on Civil Rights. These tips are just the 'tip of the iceberg'.  The important piece is to read, read, read! During this month of celebrating, "I Love to Read" let's all pick up a book and read everyday for 30 minutes!! Always learning, Mrs. Heinecke
Posted by Guest  On Feb 14, 2017 at 11:43 AM
Going to school everyday is one of the most important habits a child can learn at a young age.  As we embark on 2017, it is time to examine how school attendance has been for your child.  Research shows that regularly missing school can hurt both those students who miss school as well as their classmates. Missing school leads to multiple issues in the learning process.  When a child misses school, they miss out on learning and have a more difficult time catching up to their peers.  Most disciplines build on previous knowledge, so missing even one day can have a significant impact on future learning making it easier for a child to fall behind in the classroom. Missing school leads to lower levels of achievement throughout their school years and can even lead to absenteeism when a child ages and is old enough to hold a part-time job.  For example, by the time a child reaches 6th grade, if they have missed one day/week, they are more likely to drop out of high school. So, how does this impact a child's classmates?  When a child misses class, often the teacher will repeat material or pay extra attention to the child who has missed class.  Both of these acts take away from the learning process and progression of the entire classroom.  Additionally, missing school has more than a negative academic impact, it has a negative social impact on a child.  Building friendships, learning how to work with others, and developing responsibility are also huge pieces to the life-long learning process which are all learned in the classroom.   At the end of the day, attendance in school has many benefits beyond simply learning basic reading, writing, and arithmetic skills.  Showing up sets you up for success~both at school and in life!   Carpe Diem!! Always learning, Ms. Odegard
Posted by Guest  On Nov 29, 2016 at 2:49 PM
We all know that there is a direct correlation between parent/guardian involvement and student success in school.  With conferences coming up in the next two weeks, there are a few things that will enhance the connection between home and school creating a teamwork concept between parents and teachers. 1.  Set the tone.  It is normal to have questions at the beginning of the school year.  Building a strong relationship with the teacher can be done by showing your appreciation for what they are doing.  Ask questions respectfully  when they arise and have a positive dialogue to remedy any concerns.  Keep in touch with the teacher often; don't wait for issues to arise. 2.  Be positive.  All students have both strengths and weaknesses.  Enjoy hearing about the strengths of your child, but also be prepared to listen to areas of growth and be able to have a dialogue about how to best help your child.  Working with the teacher to improve any weaknesses will benefit everyone in the equation. 3.  Choose words carefully.  "Think before you speak" is a wonderful adage to remember.  Rather than demanding, make a polite request.  A helpful thing to think about is using We or I statements instead of You statements.  Remember:  the teacher is your teammate! As the year progresses, that direct and positive line of communication will only benefit your child's experience at school.  That parent-teacher team is a benefit for everyone! Always learning, Ms. Odegard
Posted by Guest  On Nov 04, 2016 at 10:03 AM
Continuing the conversation~Success!   Restrict Screen Time.  This is difficult for some families, but if you let your kids soak up too much media entertainment, their grades will eventually slide.  The more time a child spends playing video games the less well the child does in school.  That being said, there are some valuable video games.  If a game gets into problem-solving and strategizing (a great example is SimCity) it can be helpful and beneficial for developing critical thinking skills. Get Outside!  Being active, enjoying nature, and breathing in fresh air hasn't been formally studied for its impact on learning.  However, in informal settings, enjoying 'green time' has been shown to improve concentration.  A study in the Journal of Attention Disorders found a 20-minute walk through a park reduced symptoms of inattentiveness in grade-school children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  According to researchers, nature has been proven to provide a calming environment allowing for opportunities to reflect and rejuvenate. Sign up for Piano Lessons.  Really?  Yes!  Music has been shown to provide cognitive and social tools that help students academically.  The relationship between music and learning has been widely studied recently and there is always a positive outcome when music learning is related to what is happening in school.  Music learning not only helps a child academically, but can also help in the area of social skills and behavior as well.   There are so many ways school and home can work together for academic success.  Hopefully one of these ideas fits into things you are already doing in your household! Always learning, Ms. Odegard *Note:  Some data taken from the 7.26.2009 edition of the St. Paul Pioneer Press
Posted by Guest  On Oct 26, 2016 at 9:55 AM
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