Have you ever heard of bucket filling? Bucket filling is a lot like the golden rule: Do unto others as you wish they would do unto you. We all have an invisible bucket in our souls When our buckets are full, we are content and able to cope. When students have full buckets, they are able to learn. Their buckets are full of good thoughts and good feelings. They are able to be content and fulfilled at school. Filling each other's buckets helps students be fulfilled. When our buckets are empty, we are sad. When people dip our buckets by treating us poorly, we feel unfulfilled. When students have their buckets dipped, they cannot learn or be fulfilled at school.
We spend time at our schools helping your children learn how to fill buckets. "Bucket fillers" are those who help without being asked, give high-fives and compliments, and generally spread their love and good feelings to others. The simple metaphor of a bucket helps even preschoolers understand the importance of consideration and love, particularly towards those who need it. People who "dip" into our bucket often rob us of happy feelings by refusing to help with a task or by saying or doing cruel things. The challenge of "bullying" or "bucket dipping" can rear its ugly head anytime at school and is often contagious. We address it in a positive manner by teaching students to be considerate, generous, and thoughtful.
This link has many more ideas for how your children can learn to fill buckets instead of dipping them.
Parent are the greatest role model for their children. Grandparents, guardians, and care-givers also provide a great deal of role modeling for their children. Have you thought about giving your students access to additional role models? In other words, would you like your child to have role models outside your home?
One great way to accomplish giving your child more role models is through literature. Through books, students can read about role people they might someday want to become. Parents can hack this technique by reading books with their children about adults they want their children to become. If you want your children to grow up to be generous, read books about generous adults. If you want your children to be financially successful, read books about CEO's and other corporate moguls. If you want your children to be kind and gracious, read books with them about taking the high road.
Giving our children more role models can include much more than books. We can use movies, downloads, youtube, TV, and other media to give our children other role models. For more information about literature role models, check out the links below.
Families really just want their children to do well. Especially in school, sometimes parents can feel a great deal of pressure for their students to do well. Homework is one of those things that causes pressure. We would like homework to be a positive relationship between you and your child. We would also like to remove some of that pressure by offering some really helpful tips.
1. Most of our teachers, especially primary teachers, assign homework so that they can see what children really learned during the day. They use homework to gauge how much reteaching, or different teaching they should do. So if your child doesn't understand the homework, and none of your hints are helping, write the teacher a note on the homework. The teacher will be happy to help the child at school the next day.
2. Stay calm. Sometimes homework can take a little bit longer for some students. If it is taking too long, take a break. Avoid giving your child the answers to hurry things along. This can make your child frustrated, too.
3. Ask the teacher questions, and encourage your child to advocate for themselves by asking their own questions. Encourage them to look up the directions online, make sure they know exactly what the teacher wants, and make sure they know what they should be learning. It can be helpful to know why they are learning it.
Below find a resource from KidsHealth with more ideas for helping your child with homework. We are hoping to reduce your stress and increase your joy as your child learns at home.
One of the instructional goals of most primary teachers, those in grades preK-3rd, is helping your child develop number sense. Number sense is a sense similar to our other sense. It is to math what smell is to cooking. Number sense means your child has an automatic understanding of what numbers mean. Your child has number sense if they understand the relationships between different numbers. If your child can perform mental math, understands symbols, and uses numbers in the real world, they are on their way to number sense. As they get older, students with really strong number sense can estimate and average well, do calculations in their mind, and make a plan for solving a problem.
Number sense is really quite important to being successful in math early on. So how can we help children develop this number sense? One way is to play board games with your children. They roll a dice, count on, and begin to develop a deep understand of the relation those first six number have to one another. Maybe there is a spinner. If your child is rooting for the highest number, or the number they need to "get home", they are on their way to developing good number sense. The more varied the board game, the better. Look for age appropriate games with dice, cards to choose, or even money. Avoid games with elaborate money systems such as those in monopoly or life, unless your child is ready for these. also avoid games where the counting is done for you or the set up is electronic. Children don't pay attention to those number relationships because the numbers are done for them.
Another way is to have your child order things for themselves using paper money whenever possible. It is not necessary for them to count the change or even predict the change ahead of time for this to be a good exercise. They can buy a stamp at the post office. Buy one bottle of water at Berkots. Buy one taco at Taco Patio. As your children develop an understanding that the taco, stamp, and bottle of water are less than five, greater than one or less than ten, they are developing number sense. Your efforts at home will be coupled with our lessons at school. Your child has a better chance of working hard at understanding math if we all support their number sense.
For more ways to support your child's number sense, click the link below.
Erin Rae is the Curriculum Coordinator at Lockport 91.