There’s no denying that reading is an essential skill for academic success, but the best part of my role as the librarian is showing students how much fun it is to immerse themselves in a good book. My strategies vary based on the age, reading level, and individual style of each student, but below are four of my favorite ways to get kids excited when they visit the library.
On a typical school day, students are required to interact with peers and adults, assess situations, and decide upon action steps. A clear frame of mind allows students to effectively manage and reason through stressors in a positive, healthy way.
Sometimes, a child’s frame of mind is unclear or even completely clouded. What’s clouding their thinking and what can we do about it? Below are some examples of common mental filters that, despite being invisible to onlookers, color a student’s world in a way that significantly impacts their school day. Understanding what these filters are and how to combat them is imperative in knowing how to help and support children through their anxiety.
If you love the advantages a private school offers but you’re afraid of the high price tag, Sanford School can help allay your fear. During the past decade, there has been a national shift in the income ranges of families applying for help with tuition costs. At Sanford School, a preschool through grade 12 private school, more than 50% of students receive some form of tuition assistance. The two most common types are need-based financial assistance and merit scholarships.
When students come to art they may think they’re going to learn to draw or paint, but by the end of each
Have you ever wondered what teachers look for when considering a school for their own children?
Consistently, teachers agree it is important to visit a school on a typical school day when students are present. No surprise...these teachers also feel you should do your homework. Start with a list of questions that are relevant to your child’s development. After all, you know your child best. Here are some of the questions they suggest:
"Students are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors and succeed academically when they feel connected to school," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report. Having a home and school connection brings positive benefits concerning both academic success and healthy decision-making. Below are a few activities that can be used to strengthen the support network for children in the classroom to create a caring community.
knowledge is power: Learn about your students
- Collection Museum: During the first week of school we ask students to bring in something they love or collect, like shells, rocks, or Legos. They present to the whole group about their collection and then we display all of the items in a Classroom Museum and give students time to explore all of the exhibits.
- Star Student Program: Each week we choose a Star Student, and that child shares things about themselves with the whole group, such as bringing in their favorite book for a classroom read aloud. The rest of the students show how much they value the Star Student by writing kind notes to the child. At the end of the week, the Star Student is presented with a bound book that includes all of the notes from students and teachers talking about the things that make that Star Student an important part of the community.
When you hear the word “literacy” you probably
The transition from kindergarten to first grade can make parents and students feel excited and a little nervous about leaving “early childhood” and becoming a “big kid.” At Sanford School, teachers think about helping students do three things to ensure that students all transition smoothly: seeing a familiar face, feeling comfortable in the space, and getting used to the pace.
Seeing a Familiar Face
Students often feel less anxious about going to a new classroom when they know a little bit about the new teacher that they’ll have. To help with this, kindergartners have recess along with the first and second grades so that teachers can start to connect with the students they’ll have in a year or two. In addition, faculty members who teach “specials” like art, music, and technology constantly remind students that even though the homeroom teachers change, the specials teachers will remain the same, so they can plan to see many familiar faces the following year. To help drive home this point, the specials teachers always participate in greeting during morning drop off the first week of school so that students going into a new grade can see teachers that they had the previous year
The Four C’s
For years the world of school was focused on the Three R’s: reading, writing, and arithmetic. But in today’s world it’s not enough to read a book, write a story, and do a few math problems; we need to prepare our students for an ever-evolving global society. Now, education organizations around the country, including the National Education Association (NEA) are talking about the Four C’s:
- Critical Thinking
The Fifth C: Chocolate!
In the Third Grade we tackle the Four C’s and more through thematic learning. Thematic learning is when students focus on one theme that connects multiple subject areas. For example, in our Chocolate Economics unit we use the overarching theme of chocolate to bridge several content areas. Some highlights of the unit include:
- Science: Investigation of the cacao bean and its rainforest habitat, including the layers of the forest, the geography and weather conditions needed to sustain a tropical rainforest, and the importance of sustainability and conservation of these areas;
- Social Studies: Discussion of the history of chocolate, from the Aztecs and Mayans to the explorers who brought chocolate to various countries and continents;
- Reading and Performing Arts: Reader’s Theater performances—complete with costumes and music—of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Great Kaypok Tree;
- Economics (including research, writing, and math): Participation in the full scope of activities related to the business of chocolate-making, such as conducting market research, production of actual chocolate creations, branding & advertising via print and television, and, eventually, a Market Day where students sell their chocolate and calculate their profits, which are donated to charity organizations selected by the students.
DESIGN THINKING INSPIRES
Design Thinking is a teaching approach that incorporates the engineering design process in hands-on, collaborative projects. Students are guided through the design steps to problem solve. The process is meant to be repeated to create the best possible solution. Project-based and problem-based learning engages students while providing essential Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) skills that inspire innovation.