Calendars & Newsletter

February 2020

Being respectful is more than just using good manners—it means treating people the way you want to be treated. Keep these ideas in mind to help your whole family focus on respect.
Use peaceful tones: It’s a fact that shouting often leads to more shouting. Ask your child to speak in a normal tone to show respect for the person he’s talking to—and for everyone around him. If he starts yelling, speak to him in a whisper. He’ll likely lower his voice to match your volume. Or if he shouts from another room, wait until he comes to you so he learns that you don’t respond to yelling.
Avoid making assumptions: Your youngster can respect others’ feelings by giving them the benefit of the doubt. For example, encourage him to rephrase an accusation like “Who took my water bottle?” Instead, he could ask, “Has anyone seen my water bottle?” That’s more respectful because it won’t make anyone feel accused or defensive.
Accept different opinions: With your child, role-play ways to respect opinions that are different from his own. He might start a sentence with “That’s one way to look at it, but I think …” or “A lot of people would agree with you. In my opinion ...” If a conversation is get-ting heated, he could simply say, “Let’s agree to disagree and talk about something else.”

Developing strong study skills now will help your youngster throughout elementary school and the rest of her school career. Suggest that she add these tools to her studying tool kit.
• Color: Let your child use highlighters to color-code her notes for easy reference. Perhaps she’ll highlight dates in yellow, people’s names in pink, and vocabulary terms in blue.
• Recordings: Encourage your youngster to record herself asking questions about the material. She can hit “play” to hear the questions and “pause” to give each answer.
• Sticky notes: Your child could write a one-sentence summary of each text-book section on a sticky note, then use the notes to bookmark the section.

MEASURE UP: Who can make the longest “inchworm”? Your child will practice measuring with this game. Take turns rolling a die. Using a ruler, mea-sure a “worm” out of clay to match the number rolled (roll a 2, make a worm 2 inches long). Add to the worm on every turn. The player with the longest worm after five rolls wins.
MAKE TIME FOR FAMILY MEALS: Research shows that family meals can improve your youngster’s well-being and help him do better in school. Look over your schedules each Sun-day to find times when everyone can eat together. If one parent is working late on Wednesday and can’t make dinner, for instance, plan to meet for a nice breakfast instead.

Asthma is a leading cause of school absences. If your child has asthma (or another chronic medical condition), talk to her doctor and the school nurse about ways to ensure good attendance—and good health. Examples might include avoiding triggers like dust and mold and taking medication as directed.

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” — E.E. Cummings

How many letters are in the alphabet?
A: Eleven (t-h-e a-l-p-h-a-b-e-t).

Give your child real-world reasons to use math — she’ll see connections between what she’s learning in school and what she enjoys in everyday life.
Do a craft: Maybe your youngster would enjoy knitting or making friendship bracelets. In each case, she’ll count and work with patterns. Or she could explore shapes and symmetry with tissue-paper mosaics or origami. Let her tell you about the math in her project. Examples: “The pattern for this hat is knit 2, purl 2, knit 2, purl 2.” “My mosaic has hexagons, right triangles, and trapezoids.”
Plan an outing: Whether you’re running errands or going to the zoo, your child can use math to plan your schedule. Say you have three hours for a zoo trip. Your youngster wants to see the parrots, and her brother wants to visit the meerkats. Ask her to calculate how long it will take to drive to and from the zoo, then figure out how ling you can spend at each exhibit. Remind her to allow time for walking from one area to the next.

PARENT TO PARENT: Good classroom behavior
Yesterday I received an email from my son Simon’s teacher saying she had to move his seat because he talks too much in class. I replied to ask whether there should be a consequence at home, too.

Mrs. Roberts said she emailed me because she wanted Simon to know that she and I work together to help him succeed. She wasn’t asking me to punish him, but she suggested that I might speak to him.

Simon complained that his friends start the conversations. I pointed out that he didn’t have to respond, and I asked him what he could do next time. He said he will keep his eyes on the teacher or his work and talk to his friends at recess.

I’m glad his teacher told me what was happening. Now she and I will stay in touch to help Simon behave better in the future.

A vivid vocabulary
“Draw a magenta bird with a plethora of polka dots and a quirky tail playing a harmonica.” Would your youngster know what to draw if you gave him those instructions? Try this fun art project to help him learn new words.
1. Together, flip through a book or magazine and pick out words that you each think look interesting.
2. Write the words on separate slips of paper, and mix up the slips in a bowl.
3. Take turns pulling three words from the bowl and using them to describe something for the other person to draw. Note: Check a dictionary if you don’t know what a word means.
4. Let your child describe his finished picture to you — he’ll practice using the new words.

Q&A: Your Child’s IEP review
Q: I have a meeting next month to review my daughter’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP). Any tips on how to get ready for it?

Answer: The first step is knowing what’s in your child’s IEP. Ask for a copy if you don’t have one. There’s a lot of information there, so before the meeting, try to read over her accommodations (tools and strategies to help her). Jot down questions about anything you don’t understand, and ask for explanations during the meeting.

Also, write down what you want to tell the IEP team about your daughter. Perhaps she struggles with certain subjects at homework time or sometimes has meltdowns.

Finally, plan to take notes during the meeting. That way, you can refer back what you wrote and follow up with your child’s teachers.

To provide busy parents with practical ideas that promote school success, parent involvement, and more effective parenting.
Resources for Educators, a division of CCH Incorporated
128 N. Royal Avenue • Front Royal, VA 22630
800-394-5052 •
ISSN 1540-5621

1. Write a goal for this month in your journal; write a plan to accomplish the goal.
2. Groundhog Day! Make a prediction with your family and friends? Will the groundhog see its shadow?
3. Jill and Sam ate 12 pieces of chocolate. Jill ate twice as much as Sam. How many pieces did Jill eat?
4. Visit the library today and borrow some books to read during the week.
5. Read or retell a favorite story with a parent.
6. What number is in the hundreds place in 1723?
7. Listen to an audio book. Try downloading one from the internet.
8. Read and follow a recipe; you could try sugar cookies. Try cutting them into heart shapes.
9. How many inches are in 3 yards?
10. Pretend you are a teacher in a class; read a story to your class.
11. Which sum is correct? 700 + 81 + 2 = 738, 837, or 783.
12. Unplugged Wednesday! Turn off all electronics for the night and read.
13. Make some Valentine’s Day cards for family and friends.
14. Happy Valentine’s Day!
15. Visit the library to return your books from last week, and borrow some new ones to read over February Vacation.
16. If the time is 5:30 now, what will be the time 20 minutes later?
17. Presidents’ Day! Celebrate Presidents’ Day by reading So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George.
18. Gather a handful of coins; list all the names of the Presidents found on each coin.
19. Read one of the books that you borrowed from the library.
20. Write the number 65 in word form.
21. Friday Fun Night! Play a word game like Hangman or Scrabble with a friend or family.
22. Think of all the things you’d like to do today. Make a list and crow them off as you do them.
23. Help your Mom and Dad do the laundry. Sort the clothes by size and color.
24. Find the difference between 225 and 138.
25. How many smaller words can you make from the word “February?”
26. Get cozy and read for 20 minutes today.
27. Make cards with spelling words or other interesting words; play a game of concentration with them.
28. Sara read 3 books. Mary read 8 books. How many books were read in all?
29. Evaluate the goal you made at the beginning of February; write down your accomplishments in your journal.
1. Happy New Year 2020! Create your own journal for 2020. Use paper and pens, and make a cover for the journal.
2. Make a list in your journal of some things you did during your Winter Break. Which one was your favorite?
3. What is the fraction?A shape showing the fraction three-sixth
4. How many words can you think of that rhyme with “new” and “year”? Make a list for each word.
5. What number is 6 more that 19?
6. Visit the library today and borrow some books to read during the week.
7. Read for 20 minutes and draw a picture about what you read.
8. You bought a cupcake for $1.25. You gave the cashier $2.00. How much change will you get back?
9. Read the book "Snowman at Play," by Caralyn Buehner and make a snowman of your own.
10. Listen to your child read and ask him/her about the story.
11. Help prepare dinner and count how many ingredients that you are using.
12. Make a list of ten words and search for them in the newspaper.
13. Write a schedule for your day using clock times.
14. Write a poem about the winter, using these words: cold, snow, hat, mittens, icy, and hot cocoa.
15. How many words can you make with the letter “J”, as in January. Look around the room.
16. Complete the sequence: 47, 50, 53, __, __.
17. Have your child tell you a story about the family pet or another animal.
18. Time Out! Take some time away from the TV and video games to read or play a board game with friends or family.
19. Ask ten people what their favorite day of the week is. Make a tally chart of the results. What’s the most popular day?
20. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Read "Martin’s Big Words", by Doreen Rapport.
21. At bedtime, have your child tell you a story about everything that happened during the day.
22. Divide to get the quotient. 96 ÷ 12 =____ .
23. Read about your favorite sports team. Tell someone an interesting fact that you read.
24. Visit the library, and choose a nonfiction book in a subject that interests your child. Read the book together.
25. How many faces does a cube have?   A cube with three faces visible
26. Cut out a picture from the newspaper. Mount it on paper and then write a paragraph describing it.
27. Write the operation symbol that will make the sentence true. 72 ___35 = 37.
28. Shared Reading. Parent reads a page, child reads a page. Talk about your favorite part of the story.
29. What time is it? A clock showing ten minutes past ten
30. Guess My Word. Take turns describing a mystery word. Give clues like: it, rhymes with, it’s the opposite of.
31. Make a list of all the books you read this month. Write a paragraph about your favorite book.

January 2020

Goal setting: A recipe for success
Reaching a goal involves more than just hoping and dreaming. Here’s how your child can practice setting, tracking, and achieving goals—skills that will serve her well now and in the future.
Be specific: What would your youngster like to accomplish? Maybe she wants to earn higher grades or become a better gymnast. Suggest that she narrow down the goal so it’s more targeted. Her goal might be “I will turn in all of my assignments on time” or “I will move up one level in gymnastics this year.”
Map it out: Breaking a goal into small steps makes it feel more manageable. Your child could draw a winding road on paper, add lines to divide it into segments, and write a step in each one. Examples: “Put my planner in my backpack when school ends” or “Do my beam routine five times in a row with-out falling off.” She can color each step as she completes it.
Check in: Support your child in sticking to her plan. Say she falls behind on a long-term project. Together, look at her planner and find slots of time where she can catch up. Or if she has to miss gymnastics class one day, offer ways to practice at home like using a strip of duct tape as a balance beam.

Short Notes
Snow day plan: Make sure you have a plan in place for weather-related school closings and delays. You might ask a coworker to swap shifts or see if you could telework when school is canceled. If you can’t get home in time for an early closing, find a relative or neighbor to pick up your child from school or meet him at the bus stop.
What’s that sound? Play this game to sharpen your youngster’s listening skills. Have her close her eyes while you make a noise. Can she identify the jingle of the dog’s leash or the “pop” of the toaster? Trade roles and let her create a sound for you to figure out.
Support for grandfamilies: If you’re raising a grandchild, ask the school counselor about “grandfamily” support groups. You’ll meet other grandparents to swap advice and dis-cuss the joys and challenges of parenting the second time around. Some may even offer grandparent-grandchild activities where your youngster can meet other kids with families like his.

WORTH QUOTING: “If you see a friend without a smile, give him one of yours.” - Proverb

JUST FOR FUN: Q: Why do you do homework with a pencil? A: Because a pencil can’t do homework all by itself.

Parent Helpers
School volunteer opportunities come in all shapes and sizes to fit anyone’s schedule. Consider these ways you might help your youngster’s school.
Contribute supplies: Offer to save recyclables to use in the classroom. Ask the teacher what he needs—perhaps plastic bottle caps for math games or baby- food jars for snow globes. Note: If you have clothes your child has outgrown, find out whether the school nurse could use them.
Share a talent: See if you can help with an after-school or evening activity. Love music? Maybe you could tune students’ instruments before a concert. If you’re a runner, you might help coach a running club. Or if you enjoy arts and crafts, volunteer to make scenery or sew costumes for a play.

Screen-free play
Studies show that kids who spend less time in front of screens tend to be healthier and earn higher test scores. Encourage your youngster to enjoy “unplugged” play with these ideas.
Nature time: Electronics don’t grow on trees, so going outside to play is one of the easiest ways to avoid screen time. You and your child can bundle up and go for a walk or throw a football around. You’ll both enjoy being outdoors and spending special time together.
A screen-free corner: Create a spot for your youngster to store his favorite non-electronic items like jigsaw puzzles, board games, and play dough. He could put them on shelves or in bins and hang up a sign that says “Screen-free zone.” He’ll have an inviting place to exercise his brain without technology.

Write Organized Reports
This three-step strategy will set your youngster up to write a clear, well-organized report
1. Choose your topi: Say your child is supposed to write about an animal. The process will be more fun if she picks an animal she finds interesting—and her enthusiasm is likely to come through in her writing.
2. Brainstorm questions:  What does your youngster want to know about her topic? If she chose penguins, she might decide to research what they eat or how many eggs they lay at a time. She could write each question on a separate index card.
3. Collect facts: Your child can read about penguins in library books and online. As she researches, she should fill each card with facts. She might write information about a penguin’s diet on one card and offspring on another. Tip: She can use each card to write one paragraph in her report.

Q AND A Keep an eye out for bullying

Q: My son has been coming home from school with bruises. He keeps saying he fell at recess, but I worry he’s being bullied. What should I do? Answer: Start by talking to his teacher. Tell her what you’ve noticed and ask if she’s aware of any recess accidents. If she isn’t, let her know you’re concerned about bullying, and ask her to keep an eye out. Then, ask your son if he has ever felt unsafe in school or if he has seen anyone being hurt or being teased repeatedly. Also, explain that he should always get adult help right away if anyone is hurting him or someone else. After all, bullying isn’t a problem he’s expected to handle alone, and it can get worse if adults don’t step in. Once you get the ball rolling, he might open up. If he admits to being bullied, meet with the teacher to make a plan for putting an end to it. And if he doesn’t, the teacher will be aware of the situation and can alert you if she observes bullying.

A Dancing Snake
Air currents make a paper “snake” wiggle and dance with this simple science experiment. 
Materials: crayons, paper plate, scissors, yarn, lamp
Have your youngster use a crayon to draw a spiral on the paper plate. She can decorate the snake with patterns, then cut it out. Poke a small hole in the snake’s head, and tie on a piece of yarn. Turn on the lamp, and let your child hold her snake by the yard at least one foot above (not touching) the warm lightbulb. Her snake will dance and spin. What’s going on? As warm air created by the lamp rises, cooler motion creates air currents that move the snake around.

To provide busy parents with practical ideas that promote school success, parent involvement, and more effective parenting.
Resources for Educators, a division of CCH Incorporated
128 N. Royal Avenue • Front Royal, VA 22630
800-394-5052 •
ISSN 1540-5621