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Monday, February 27, 2017

Independence ~ Revisited

One of the things that will help your child most at school is a growing sense of independence. Being able to do things on their own gives children confidence to try other new things and to take risks. This is a good thing in many areas. If a child will take a risk, they will be more willing to try to figure out an unknown word or to try solve a more complicated math problem. They become what we call self-extenders which means that they begin to learn on their own and this makes them feel great. You can help your child with this by asking them to do things that they are capable of doing on their own. I know that it can take way more time and patience on your part (believe me, I know) but it really does pay off in the long run.  So ask your child to do those little things that they are capable of doing on their own.

Some suggestions might be:
  • learn to write their full name - first, middle and last names
  • learn their address
  • learn a parent's phone number
  • tie their own shoes
  • zip their coat
  • turn their coat right-side out
  • put on their own band-aids
  • make their own sandwich or bowl of cerealsort laundry

These little things will help them become more independent and feel more confident and this will carry over to their academic growth as well.

At school, Ms. Meghan and I try very hard not to do anything for a child that he or she can do on their own. We also ask them to find a friend who can help them because seeing another child do a task independently inspires the child to try it for themselves.

Examples of this at school include:
  • classroom jobs
  • asking students who ask us to tie their shoes to find a friend who can do it for them
  • having them clean out their desks once a week
  • teaching them how to fill water bottles (yes, there are specific steps to teach to make them successful with this)
  • allowing them to have say in how things are organized in our room
  • giving them choices
  • asking them to work out problems with their friends while we are nearby but not interfering
  • asking them to write us a note to remind us of something
  • asking them to try something on their own first before asking for help (spelling a word, reading a word, solving a math problem)  
Calvin, Kalyn and Nikelle devised a system to organize the 94 books we had checked out from the public library.

Max and Michael wrote down information that they would need to have a play date.
Connor invented a new station and created the tag for it.
Michael practices filling up his own water bottle before Morning Meeting starts.
In addition to being inspired by Ms. Meghan to carry a writer's notebook, some kids have been inspired by the second graders to gather data to use to create a bar graph. West is collecting bedtimes of crew members and Lis is collecting the number of teeth crew members have lost.

Important Dates
3/20 - 4/3 Spring Break

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