Science, science, and more science. We can never get enough of it.
This little flashback moment was from the first day of school. No sense in waiting to get us started. We had a guest teacher, Mr. Cory, who was a long time Seabury staff member. Mr. Cory taught about the speed of neurons. We tried to calculate the speed of the electrical current that moved through our bodies.
These simple movement experiments were designed to illustrate the speed at which our bodies transmit data through action and reaction.
We used connections through our feet and wrists, or elbows or hands to represent the neuron pathways.
Then we calculated the speeds and averages. Math and science in one lesson?! Hard to beat that.
It was a great lesson that spanned topics of pyschology, biology, math, and electricity. Integrated sciences at their best! A bit thanks to Mr. Cory for his hard work.
So much of a student's success in school comes from their ability to connect with peers and teachers. Each year we select specific activities for our classes geared toward helping establish those connections. In doing so we can promote comfort, trust, and friendships.
In these Hula-Hoop challenges, students either worked as a large group or in small team to move a the hoop. For some activities, that meant carrying the hoop with only your feet. In other activities, that meant linking hands and moving each student through the hoop.
Coordination and communication were really important parts of the success of our groups.
A little silliness certainly didn't hurt either.
The value of these early relationship building activities go far a single grade. These early, silly activities can lay the foundations for well developed connections that can follow students through school.
"Child development experts agree that close friendships can be good for children for a number of reasons. They can provide shelter and protection from traumatic childhood experiences, teasing and rejection among them. They can help boys and girls navigate their way through the social minefields that exist at school." - Scholastic
Here are a few highlights of tips I found really helpful:
DEVELOP A SLEEP ROUTINE
Getting enough sleep is critical for a child to be successful in school. Children who do not get enough sleep have difficulty concentrating and learning as well as they can.
Set a consistent bedtime for your child and stick with it every night. Having a bedtime routine that is consistent will help your child settle down and fall asleep. Components of a calming pre-bedtime routine may involve a bath/shower, reading with them, and tucking them in and saying good-night to them.
EATING DURING THE SCHOOL DAY
Studies show that children who eat a nutritious breakfast function better. They do better in school, and have better concentration and more energy. Some schools provide breakfast for children; if yours does not, make sure they eat a breakfast that contains some protein.
MAKING THE FIRST DAY EASIER
Many children become nervous about new situations, including changing to a new school, classroom or teacher. This may occur at any age. If your child seems nervous, it can be helpful to rehearse entry into the new situation. Take them to visit the new school or classroom before the first day of school. Remind them that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy about the first day of school. Teachers know that students are nervous and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible. If your child seems nervous, ask them what they are worried about and help them problem solve ways to master the new situation.
We are narrowing down to the last few weeks of school. For
some of us that is exciting, for other it is terrifying. Keep in mind that
you’re likely to see two reaction from kids. The first is excitement. Our more
introverted students will revel in their chance to have time in their comfort
spaces and loose schedules where they can have more say over their days. Our
more extroverted kids will have more feelings of worry or loneliness as they
worry about not seeing people over the summer.
There is third reaction that some of our students will face,
and that is hidden anxiety. I use the term loosely to address some of the
hidden manifestations of worry and fear. If you’re noticing things like… anger,
unwarranted frustration, sleeplessness, obsessions about the date or when
school ends, preoccupation with summer plans, or feelings of alienation…don’t
panic. It is really common for students to be afraid of the unknown that comes
with summer break. School, while occasionally daunting, is predicable. Varying
degrees of anxiety like behaviors and emotions are very common in gifted kids.
One way to check if your student might be in this list is to
think about how they are the few weeks before school starts. If they show any
of these same signs, then just rest assured that if they exhibit some
unexpected reactions over the next few weeks it’s just the same thing but in
Here are a few things you can do to help:
-Schedule play dates.
Going from seeing friends every day to not seeing them at all can create really
strong feelings of isolation.
Not only are they fun, but they allow social kids a chance to stay in touch
with people in a setting that is familiar.
-Set a schedule.
Routines are important. Summer shouldn’t mean that kids suddenly get to stay up
as late as they want and sleep all day. Consistent sleep and proper amounts of
sleep have serious impacts on a kid’s sense of well-being, emotional
resilience, and cognitive strength.
Just remind them that these types of changes in the year are normal. Listen to
their worries and ask questions about how you can help. What they are
feeling is very real. Give it space to be real, without empowering it or dismissing
available all summer for advice. Don’t let the end of the school year be a
limiter in your ability to reach out to me as a resource.
A tessellation of a flat surface is the tiling of a plane
using one or more geometric shapes, called tiles, with no overlaps and no gaps.
In mathematics, tessellations can be generalized to higher dimensions and a
variety of geometries.
We used graph paper and markers in an effort to produce a few versions of our own. The pre-determined guides of the graph paper make for great tessellation outlines.
Here we have some abstracted hedgehogs.
Here we have some simple three square designs.
This piano-esque tessellation pattern utilized both wide and narrow sizes to create a repeating pattern.
This pattern is based on t shaped objects.
This one is based on penguins.
In doing this activity, we had a chance to pair up with the 1st and 2nd grade students from Mrs. Maitlen's math group.
Check out a few of our activities.
Working with the younger students is a great way for us to solidify our knowledge.
Hana Suleiman wrote a great piece about students teaching students for CSU.
"Students teaching students also helps maintain a high level of interest so that students stay engaged. Furthermore, students improve socially. Students build their confidence and improve their self image not only from learning from their peers, but also from teaching others. It provides a school atmosphere that is positive and compassionate. In light of recent events involving bullying and peer pressure, the “students teaching students” model encourages cooperation and understanding. Students will learn to help each other and lift each other up, rather than putting students down in order to compensate for their insecurities. Students will become empowered by teaching and learning from each other. They will not only reap the academic benefits, but they will also reap social and emotional benefits." (source)
“When one teaches, two learn.” ― Robert A. Heinlein