• Important Notes

    Important Dates:
    This list is for special classroom events only. See the HARRINGTON WEBSITE for school-wide events.

    Wednesday, June 15th: End of Year Share  8:30-9:30am
                            Please join us for an hour of Kindergarten memories, poems and songs!

    The Elementary Report Card conveys information about students' progress at school in two important areas: Pro Social Skills and Academic Performance. In January Kindergarten students are marked ONLY on their Pro Social Skills. In June Kindergartners are marked on both Pro Social and Academic areas.
    Pro Social Skills: This area reports on students' development in two ways:
    • Personal Development/Classroom and Community Skills
    • Approaches to Learning
    The Personal Development/Classroom and Community Skills section reports on such skills as a student's ability to regulate behavior, work and play without disrupting others and follow classroom routines.
    The Approaches to Learning section reports on such skills as persevering in challenging situations, engaging actively in learning and taking learning risks.
    Even though we do not mark the Academic Performance area of the report card in Kindergarten we are closely monitoring students' progress. Based on our Kindergarten Standards we have clear expectations of what students need to master by the end of the year. Throughout the year we track students' learning and adjust our teaching to help children succeed. Should I have any concerns about your child's progress I will certainly communicate that to you.
                                               Thank you!!

    Are we born "smart"? Ms. Lipinski, our Math Specialist passed along an interesting article on how parents and teachers can shape their children's mathematical futures. What is shared in the article, Twelve Steps to Increase Your Child's Math Achievement and Make Math Fun by Jo Boaler of Stanford University, applies to all kinds of learning and I wanted to share some highlights that resonated with me.
    "Never praise children by telling them they are 'smart'": It's tempting when children have figured something out to praise them as being smart. They glow with pride but later when they fail at figuring out a problem, as we all do, they tell themselves the opposite message, "I guess I'm not so smart after all." Instead, praise their specific accomplishment and their effort. e.g. "Wow, you worked so hard and figured out which LEGO pieces you needed to make that plane."
    "Encourage children to work on problems that are challenging for them so that they can make mistakes.": It's important for children to believe that taking learning risks and making mistakes is what causes a brain to grow. Sometimes children think that a way to show how competent they are is to say something is really easy. But if all tasks children take on are easy there is no chance for a brain to stretch and learn something new. Of course we don't want to present challenges far beyond children's reach that cause them to be frequently despondent. But it's OK, actually great, for children to struggle productively.
    Working Hard vs. Being Smart; Carol Dwerk, a psychologist at Stanford University and a leading researcher in the field of motivation conducted a study in which participants were given math problems and solved them correctly. After solving the problems "Half of the participants were praised for being 'smart' and half for 'working hard'. When offered the choice of a follow up problem that was easy or hard, 90% of the participants praised for being smart chose the easy problem, whereas most of those who were praised for working hard chose the harder problem."
    Sleep ... We all know how important sleep is; we are reminded of it every time we don't get a full night's rest and need to function well the next day! The same is true for our children and what's special for children is that "60% of a child's growth hormone is secreted during sleep". So if children aren't getting enough sleep it can actually interfere with their ability to grow!
    When children have not had enough sleep they can have a hard time paying attention to tasks at school. They can appear "hyperactive" or "misbehave" when they are really just tired.
    Some parents note that their children appear full of energy at bedtime and conclude that they don't need to go to sleep. Most of the time, however, children are tired at bedtime but are acting energetic from being overtired or overstimulated. The key is allowing children plenty of time to gradually calm themselves after dinner with bathtime, stories and soothing music so when bedtime rolls around children are ready to let go and fall asleep.
    More food for thought...
    Quiet Time: We have a quiet time in the afternoon 3-4 afternoons a week. Each child has a personal rest mat. Children are welcome to bring in a blanket, pillow or stuffed animal if they wish.

    Our Specialists' Schedule:
    Tuesday: Music with Ms. Carpenter
    Wednesday: Art with Ms. Wehmeyer
    Thursday: Music with Ms. Carpenter
                           Physical Education (PE) with Ms. Murphy Please have your child wear sneakers!
    Friday: PE with Ms. Murphy-sneakers again!
                     Library with Ms. Kopinski-Please help your child put his/her library book
                                                      into backpack to return to school.