Reason to Celebrate
This is Totally Chipotle Day!
Trivia Question of the Day
History- Who was the first sportsman to have a bigger salary than the president?
Yesterday's Answer: Doplar Effect
There are more plastic flamingos in the U.S that there are real ones.
Student Tip of the Week
5/02/16 - 5/06/16
The Real Deal on Repeating a Grade
Some kids need to repeat a grade in school. This means that a kid who's in third grade would have to do third grade again next year, instead of moving on to fourth grade.
No one wants to repeat a grade, but if this happens to you, you're not the only one. Repeating a grade can be the right thing, though, because you get another chance to complete the work and learn what you need to know to do well when you do move up to the next grade.
Why Some Kids Have to Repeat
Most kids need to repeat a grade because they are having trouble with the work or other stuff they need to do in that grade. Some kids might have learning disabilities. For instance, a kid might have trouble reading. Other kids might have been ill or absent for a long time, so they didn't get a chance to learn everything they needed to learn.
Who decides if you should repeat a grade? It's often a team, including your parents, your teacher, counselor, and principal. Teachers and parents aren't trying to be mean when they decide a kid should repeat a grade. Everyone is trying to do the right thing so that the kid will learn what he or she needs to know before moving on.
You probably know that the stuff you learn is like building blocks. First, you learn your numbers. Then you learn how to add, then subtract. Later, you'll learn how to multiply and divide. If you didn't learn your numbers, how could you do other math?
Sometimes a kid might understand the schoolwork, but is having trouble with other stuff, like behaving in class and sitting still while the teacher is teaching. Sometimes, an extra year gives the kid and his or her family a chance to work through problems like that. If a kid is just refusing to do the work, that problem needs to be solved.
If You Have to Repeat
If you have to repeat a grade, you might be thinking: "Is everyone really moving on without me?" Repeating a grade might make you sad, angry, or both. It can be stressful. You might be upset because you won't be in class with all of your friends.
Try talking with your mom or dad, a teacher, or a school counselor if you're having these feelings. If you are worried about missing your friends, try to set up playdates or other times when you can play together. Ask for a parent's help with this.
You might feel embarrassed or ashamed about repeating a grade. You may think that people are talking about you or making fun of you. These feelings are normal. It can really hurt if someone teases you about repeating a grade.
You might want to think about what you could say to someone who teases you. Maybe you could say, "I needed to get better at some stuff. It's not a big deal." If you are teased, be sure to tell a parent, teacher, or counselor. Find a grownup who can help you figure out what to do.
If Your Friend Has to Repeat
Try to be kind if a friend needs to repeat a grade. Let him or her know you will still be friends. Try to get together after school, on the weekends, and during vacations. Support your friend and never tease him or her. Sticking by him or her in this tough time might make you even better friends.
Can You Avoid Repeating?
Sometimes, there's no way to avoid having to repeat a grade. If you have learning trouble or you missed a lot of school, there may be no way around it. But you might be able to make up work during summer school or with a tutor who comes to your house.
If you're struggling with school, be sure to tell a parent. Work with your teacher and the school counselor to figure out what the problems are and how to solve them. Try to handle problems right away, instead of just hoping things will get better. It's easier to catch up if you get help quickly.
School can be hard work — there's no denying it. But you can learn some strategies to help it go a little better for you. For instance, if you study a little bit each night, that can make it easier — and less scary — than having to learn everything the night before a test.
With school, set a goal for yourself and keep working toward it bit by bit. Ask for help if you need it, and you'll get there!
Teacher Tip of the Week
5/02/16 - 5/06/16
I love this graphic from Dmitri Martin’s This Is A Book. It is such an important lesson for our students.
I’ve noticed that students I speak to have a powerful fear of ruining their lives if they don’t get the right grades in the right classes while keeping up with the right extracurriculars.
Life, as they see it, looks like this:
- Get good grades
- Go to a good college
- Get a good job
These students think they’re not allowed to make mistakes or change their plans.
As adults, how many of us still even do what we studied in college? Has your path been a straight line, or have you switched majors, changed careers, rethought goals, ended relationships, or been laid off?
Success is, in no way, a straight line.
A Series Of Short Stories
Life isn’t a novel, but a series of short stories.
James Altucher, Author of Choose Yourself
The average career length is 4.4 years, and for younger employees it’s even less than that. The plan to graduate from college, work a 40-year career, and then retire on a pension is pretty rare now.
Our high-achieving, but stressed-out students need to hear this. There is no three-step plan. We don’t live lives with one long plot line. Our journeys stop, restart, and change directions.
An 18 year old’s future career probably doesn’t even exist yet! Kids will need to be adaptable, quick at recovering from failures, and good at recognizing new opportunities.
They need to stand out, not fit in.
There Is A Long Life After College
Let’s stop threatening kids that they “won’t get into a good college.” This creates a fearful future.
They need to hear that college is a life goal, but not the life goal. The real goal is to navigate that crazy, curvy line and pursue success.
I tell parents of these stressed-out kids that, rather than investing more in tutors and SAT classes, put those resources towards helping kids pursue what they’re interested in and (potentially) skilled at.
Get kids, even at an elementary age, hooked up with mentors. Let them see experts in action. Give them opportunities to experience what adults in their field of interest actually do every day. They should have chances to see how work differs from school.
Let’s focus students on the larger goal of pursuing a happy and successful life rather than the short term goal of “the right college.” Help them discover, and dive into, their unique intersection of interests and skills.
- Ask students “what are you interested in lately?” rather than “what do you want to be?” Ask them what the next step is to pursue their interest farther? How can you help?
- Have career days, but ask your guest speakers to discuss their journey, not just their destination.
- Promote curiosity in your classroom, and carve out time for independent studies.
Parent Tip of the Week
5/02/16 - 5/06/16
Talking Politics: What to Say to Your Kids
When it comes to talking to your kids about political matters, you may think that your 8-year-old would rather be playing video games or that your 14-year-old would prefer texting friends — but you might be wrong.
KidsHealth.org asked more than 2,000 kids and teens throughout the U.S. what they thought about recent presidential elections and how they might affect them, if at all.
A whopping 75% of kids and 79% of teens answered "yes" when asked whether they thought that the outcome of an election would change their lives. Nearly half of teens surveyed said that they believed they'd had at least some influence on their parents' choice of candidate.
So, if you think your children are only interested in talking about kids' stuff, think again.
In every election season, we see signs, bumper stickers, and ads for political candidates everywhere. Turn on the TV or radio or surf online and there's an onslaught of messages on everything from health care, the economy, and jobs, to war abroad and climate change.
As parents, we can't expect our kids not to be influenced by this media blitz. In fact, most teens who took our election poll ranked talked-about issues — like gas and food prices, education, health care, war, and the environment — as "very important" to them.
Knowing what kids think about these issues and how they might affect your family is important. Talking about it not only helps to promote learning and develop critical thinking skills, but also lets you clear up misconceptions your kids may have or calm any fears about the future.
Talk About It
When discussing an election, talk about what you believe and why — and ask your kids what they think and feel. This shows that you value their opinions and want to hear what's on their minds.
If their opinions differ from yours, that's OK. Use it as a teaching opportunity: Why do they feel that way? Can they come up with examples to support their view? Engaging kids in this way helps them to develop their own opinions and express their ideas.
More tips to keep in mind:
- Keep it positive. In the heat of an election season, strong feelings about tough issues can spark disagreements. Use the opportunity to show kids how to voice differences of opinion with respect, strength, and conviction. Say what you don't like about a candidate or his or her position and explain what you do like about your candidate of choice. Encourage your kids to do the same. Focus on the positive attributes of your candidate — talk about what you're for and your kids will too.
- Be reassuring. Perhaps kids are worried by what the candidates and others are saying about the economy or the job market. They might fear the family losing the house or a parent losing a job. Listen to their concerns and provide reassurance and perspective. If you're facing financial troubles, be honest and then tell your kids (in an age-appropriate way) what you're doing to handle the problem.
- Suggest they get involved. Many kids are quite interested in and concerned about current events. Taking action helps them feel empowered and effective, and builds problem-solving skills. Help kids think of what they can do. Talk about how small things can add up to make a big difference. If the environment is of particular concern, for example, maybe they'd like to find ways to help the family "go green" at home. Let your kids know that just like voting for a candidate can make a difference, so can working on an issue that you'd like to change.
Casting Your Vote
Talking with your kids about important issues, the electoral process, and why voting is important not only gives them a mini lesson on how government affects the world, but also shows that every person's opinion counts. Though they can't vote yet, they'll be able to someday, so it's important that they start becoming informed.
If possible, take your kids with you into the voting booth on Election Day to show them firsthand how the process works. Be a role model by setting a positive example that lets them know you value the right to vote. Show your kids the importance of voting — and they'll grow up knowing that every vote counts.