Have you ever wondered how to get your child to really come to school every day, no matter what? Some absences are unavoidable. We understand that children will get sick and need to stay home occasionally. And if your child does have an illness, they need to stay home for the safety of students and staff, and so that they get better. The important thing is to get your children to school as often as possible.
But sometimes children will miss so many days of school that it impacts their learning. Did you know that sporadic absences, not just those on consecutive days of school, matter. Before you know it – just one or two days a month can add up to nearly 10 percent of the school year. Attendance matters as early as kindergarten. Studies show many children who miss too many days in kindergarten and first grade can struggle academically in later years. They often have trouble mastering reading by the end of third grade. By middle and high school, chronic absence is a leading warning sign that a student will drop out.
Have honest conversations with your child about attendance. Let them know that
This week, we will be off Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Day of Service. The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 20, 2020, marks the 25th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader's life and legacy. In 1983, in the Washington Post, his wife Coretta Scott King wrote "The holiday must be substantive as well as symbolic. It must be more than a day of celebration . . . Let this holiday be a day of reflection, a day of teaching nonviolent philosophy and strategy, a day of getting involved in nonviolent action for social and economic progress."
Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. The Corporation for National and Community service has been charged to lead this effort for the last quarter century.
Looking for a way to service your community this MLK Day? Click the link below to search for volunteer opportunities your families can use to reflect, serve, and commemorate.
Children are faced with many decisions to make, both at home and at school. sometimes we talk about how these emotions "get the best of us". what does it really mean for that to happen? It means that their emotions, strong or not, affect their decision making. Even when a child's emotions are very strong, they may still make good decisions,. We can help by adults modeling how to make good decisions, even when we are angry. and by talking that through with our children.
Ask your child to describe a time when he or she was angry or upset. Together, talk about the kinds of good decisions your child can make the next time his or her emotions are that strong.
M:How was your day?
M: Did you have fun?
M: what did you learn?
Sometimes getting your child to talk is hard! Maybe they are young and need to practice language more. Maybe they are older and tired! One strategy to help have better conversations with your children is open-ended questions.
A Question like “What color is that block?” evokes a one-word answer. But an open-ended question, “Tell me about the blocks you are using,” encourages a child to describe the blocks or explain what she is doing. There is no right or wrong answer here.
An answer to an open-ended question gives us a window into what the child is thinking and feeling. And the response is sometimes wonderfully creative. In explaining or describing, children also use language more fully.
It is difficult to change the closed-ended-question habit. But when we ask open-ended questions, children reap great benefits as they think through their responses to express what they want to say. And with their answers, we find out more about what they want to say. And with their answers, we find out more about what they think and feel.
M:Tell me about this (math test, notebook, essay)
K: Well we did this 3rd period. Here, look at this....
Active learning means taking advantage of a child's natural desire to explore through touch and sight. All children love to manipulate environments, items, and objects. The love seeing how things work and testing their own hypothesis of how they think things work.
You can support the energetic process of active learning by allowing time and space fo it! Making sure your kids get lots of opportunities to investigate what interests them—doing so allows them to solve problems, understand relationships about the world, and explore new interests.
Children use all their senses to make discoveries during active learning: how heavy, how large, how tiny is it? Does it smell good or bad? What makes that smell? In various environments, how will it sound (being dropped, being hit, being opened, being smashed)? What else sounds like that? How is it different from the other items? Focusing on more than just sight allows them to be more active and make more sense of the world.
Children who engage in active learning have the chance to become better learners. For example, active learning will help them later write better. It takes very refined movement of the hands and fingers to produce the penmanship required for writing. Squeezing clay, picking up puzzle pieces, and lacing threads through beads are ways for young children to practice using hands and fingers. Children without these experiences work harder to learn to write and to become proficient writers.
The next time you want your child to learn about something, provide the materials, space, and time. Then step back and watch. You will be surprised at how much more the child will discover through active involvement!
Erin Rae is the Curriculum Coordinator at Lockport 91.
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