Friday, December 20, 2013

Goats, Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Rabbits, Sheep and Honeybees Oh My!!

We raised over $700 this year to donate to the Heifer International project! Thanks to our GENEROUS students, parents, and staff we will be able to buy a variety of animals to donate to families in need. We are so grateful for all of you, and thankful that we work in such a wonderful school that cares about others who are not as fortunate. Have a great winter break, happy holidays, and see you all in January!

Jillian and Linda

December Peace Heroes

December Peace Heroes get their medals
Kate F.

Ailaini C.
Caleb M.
Maya K.
Sarah Frances J.

Astrid G.
Zara H.
Graham G.
Olivia S.
Alexis D.
Josephine K.

Ava Z.
Rohan M.
Michael C.
Jack C.
Leah P.
Rollin A. 
Alexis B.
Talia Z.
Charlie M.
Margot R.
Nicholas D.
Izara S.
Noah G.
Cody H. 
Teun vB.
MacKenzie G.

Esther N.
Elena H.
Jesse K.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

We're Buying A Goat!!!

In Peace Class we’ve been reading stories and watching videos about Beatrice’s Goat, the inspiring story of a girl in Uganda whose life is changed by a goat.  The goat came from the Heifer Project, an international organization that aims to help people lift themselves out of poverty by giving them livestock. 
The children are very moved by the story of a group of elementary school students just like them who, through the Heifer Project, gave Beatrice the chance to get an education and lift her family out of poverty.  We decided that if we all pitched in just a little we could give the gift of a life-changing goat to another needy family. 
We’ve been discussing ways they can earn one dollar to donate to the Peace Program’s Heifer Project, so we can also buy one or more goats for children like Beatrice. If you would like to contribute, please help your child earn a dollar at home and send it to school by December 20th. 
Thank you!!!!
Linda Ryden & Jillian Diesner
“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” Helen Keller

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November Peace Hero Celebration

On Monday we celebrated our students who received Peace Hero nominations throughout the month. These are students who were caught being especially kind, helpful, and/or  peaceful in some way. Usually classroom teachers are the ones who nominate students to receive the award, but anyone can nominate anyone else in the building, and lately we've had a few students nominate other students for peaceful actions they've noticed. This is a wonderful way to encourage mindfulness among the students, as they become more aware of not only their own, but others' actions as well. This month's Peace Heroes are:

Erin Rosebar 2K
Wyatt Corn 1B
Natalie Gordon 2N
Brandon Gore 4CD
Dylan Kennedy Red base
Sarah Bocian 1H
Charlie Madland 1H
Jack Reeves 1H
Brandon Catherine 1P
Harper Orange base
Lillie Orange Base
Eden Diamond 1H
Elena Le 1H
Owen McManus 1B
Harrison Ertz 2K
Eian Katz 4CD
Madeline Nusbaum 1B
Noah Person 1H

Congratulations to these students, and happy Thanksgiving to all!


Friday, November 8, 2013

The 1-5 Scale for Managing Strong Feelings

This is a concept we've been working on in Peace Classes recently, adapted from the book When My Worries Get Too Big by Kari Dunn Buron. We talk about how our feelings can be described using the 1-5 scale. Each student names something that makes them feel like a 1, and also a time they felt like a 5. We practice strategies for bringing our strong, intense "Level 5" feelings down to a more manageable number like 1 or 2. These strategies include:

  • Calm breathing ("flowers and candles")
  • Counting to ten
  •  Squeezing our hands together
  • Closing our eyes and rubbing our legs in a calming way
  • Thinking about our happy thoughts
  • Talking to an adult
  • Telling someone how we are feeling
  • Writing or drawing 
  • Taking a nap or break from the activity 
  • Going to a safe place like the Oasis to calm down    
I hope these strategies may help the kids in the classroom, on the playground, and at even at home when they are having a strong feeling. You can help by reminding them about the 1-5 scale, using the numbers to help your child talk about how intense their feeling is, and by reminding them of some strategies that could help them come back down to a one. 

Peace Assemblies

Today we held three Peace Assemblies for the different grade levels. At the assemblies we talked about the Pathways to Peace concepts we've been learning, such as being mindful of how we treat others and managing strong feelings. We played a game, "What Would A Peace Hero Do?" where the kids answered questions to various real-life problems we've encountered here at school. We finished the assemblies by singing "With My Own Two Hands, " accompanied by Ms. Ryden, Ms. Betz, and other 5th grade students on the guitar. It was awesome, and we thank all the kids for participating and for helping to make Lafayette the best, most peaceful school it can be! We'd love to have more parents attend our school assemblies, so will be sure to get the word out for our next big event!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Peace Program News & Updates

Halloween Candy Drive

Our third annual Lafayette Halloween Candy Drive is off to a great start!  We already have a mountain of candy after only one day.  Thanks so much to all of the generous families who shared their extra candy.  We will be delivering the candy to the Bethesda Cares shelter.  People who come to the shelter for meals will be so thrilled to get a special treat.  A piece of candy may not seem like much to many of us but to people who are in crisis a sweet treat is a big deal.  Last year we were able to collect so much candy it lasted the whole year at the shelter.  They are anxiously awaiting the new shipment.  Thanks so much to the Lafayette family for making this happen every year!

Mindfulness visit

As you may have heard Lafayette's Teaching Peace program was in the news again recently.  This time our Mindfulness program was featured in the Washington Post.  As a result of that article we were visited by a representative of an organization working to bring mindfulness programs into public schools.  After sitting in on one of our Peace classes he asked me to model our method to other area schools.  Jillian and I teach mindfulness in all of our Peace classes and now some of the classroom teachers have even gotten on board and are practicing mindful breathing with their classes for a few minutes every day.  There is so much research showing the powerful benefits of mindfulness, especially for children whose brains are still developing.  We are hoping to give our students the skills they need to lead happy, healthy and peaceful lives.

Peace assembly

Next Friday November 8th we will be holding an assembly to celebrate our peaceful school.  We are asking all of the children to wear something representing peace - a t-shirt with a peace sign, peace accessories, anything that represents peace.  We will sing a song together, do some mindful breathing in a big group, play a game called "What Would a Peace Hero Do?" and do a big group activity.  There will be three assemblies: 4th and 5th at 1:30pm; 2nd and 3rd at 2pm; and PK, K and 1 will be at 2:30pm.  We would love for parents to join us!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Thoughts and Feelings

These are just two of the fun concepts we've been learning about in Peace Classes for the lower grades these past few weeks! We have continued practicing our mindful breathing at the start of each class, this time using the idea of a thought bubble to help us focus our minds on listening to the bell and our breathing. Each child drew his or her own "Happy Thoughts" in a thought bubble, and I encouraged the kids to try focusing on those thoughts the next time they are feeling sad or angry. This week we also watched a video starring Elmo using deep belly breathing to get his "mad monster" out and feel like himself again. The kids practiced breathing along with Elmo to help ourselves feel calm. We also learned many of the names we have for different feelings, and how being able to name our feelings can actually help us feel better! This is not just touchy-feely stuff, there are research studies that have supported the idea that when we can name our strong emotion, it no longer has the same power over us. So parents, encourage your kids to tell you how they're feeling, use the deep breathing when needed, and to try focusing their thoughts on happy things. Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Lafayette's Mindfulness Program in the news

Valerie Strauss devoted her blog last week to mindfulness in schools.  You may have heard that Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda is about to launch a school-wide mindfulness program.  In an article in the Post about the Whitman program they mentioned that Whitman is the first school in the region to have such a program.  But they didn't know about Lafayette!  We wrote to the paper and right away Valerie Strauss blogged about the Whitman program and then highlighted our program.  She even quotes from our own website!  Mindfulness training is really taking off all over the country and Lafayette is on the cutting edge.  Read all about it here:

If you have any questions about our school-wide mindfulness program feel free to contact Linda Ryden ( or Jillian Diesner (


Linda Ryden
Teaching Peace
Lafayette Elementary School

Friday, September 13, 2013

Peace Classes, Peace Club, and Recess Peace Team

This week we continued our Peace Classes, and each student at Lafayette now has been assigned a kindness pal. Their kindness pal is someone we randomly assigned, and during Peace class the pals sat together, got to know one another better, and thought about ways they can show kindness to each other during the week. Each teacher has a list of the class kindness pals, so if your child doesn't remember who it is you can always ask the teacher. Encourage your child to remember to do something kind for their pal next week. It can be an act as simple as pushing in a chair for someone, or as involved as making them cookies (which someone actually did this week!) These pals will change monthly for PK, K, and 1st grades and weekly for 2nd through 5th grades.

During recess, we have Peace Club on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Kids have to get a pass from their teacher and then can head down to the LAP room (across from the gym) for the entire 12-1 block of time. We eat lunch together and then play games, build, draw, bead, or do a variety of other cooperative activities. It's a great way to get to know kids in a smaller, more controlled environment than the noisy chaos of the playground. And speaking of the playground, this week we also started our Recess Peace Team activities on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On these (really hot) days we held relay races on the field, and any kid who wanted to join in was able to do so. I walked around the field gathering kids who didn't seem to be playing with anyone, and even if they didn't want to race they came along for our cheering section. During each of the three 20-minute recess periods we had at least 25 kids racing and cheering, which was wonderful to witness. Between Peace Club and Recess Peace Team, we are able to provide alternative recess activities to over 250 kids each week! If your child is having any difficulties navigating recess, please encourage him or her to join in these activities; there's always room for a few more. Have a great weekend!
Magna-tiles at Peace Club

Monday, September 9, 2013

Two Exciting Events

Last week we hosted three "new student lunch bunches" for all our new friends at Lafayette (grades 1-5). Taking the time to sit down and get to know our new students is always a fun activity, and this group was no exception. We have approximately 40 new students this year, from as close as Oyster-Adams elementary school here in DC and as far away as Singapore. We hope that they each feel welcomed and happy to be at  Lafayette. Parents of Lafayette old-timers, please remind your children to reach out to these new students in any way they can, and reach out to their parents, too. New parents, please feel free to contact us if your child is having any trouble acclimating to his/her new school; we are here to help!

The second exciting event will get started this week. Our "Recess Peace Team" (RPT for short) will soon kick off with structured activities on the field and blacktop for students in grades 1-3. We will be training a selected group of 5th grade students, who will then be on the playgrounds on Tuesdays and Thursdays to provide games and activities for kids who want to join in. Our goals for RPT are to teach leadership skills to older kids, help include younger kids into recess activities who may otherwise not have anyone to play with, and to minimize conflicts that often arise on the playground during free play. If you have any feedback on this program as it develops, feel free to share it!


Friday, August 30, 2013

Pathways to Peace at Lafayette 2013-2014

We have been hard at work this summer getting ready for a new and exciting year at Lafayette. As you know, we have had the Peace Education program for the upper grade students in years past. This year, however, we will be expanding that program to all grade levels (including Pre-K!) Of course, some age-level differences will exist, but we are very excited to have this program be school-wide. We are using a variety of resources, including Linda Ryden's own Peace Education curriculum, the MindUP curriculum, The Incredible, Flexible You curriculum, and other activities we've designed ourselves. We have combined the major tenets of these resources into one comprehensive school-guidance program, which we are calling Pathways to Peace. For more information, including a short video on mindfulness education,click on the link that will take you to the presentation we gave to all staff during our professional development week. Please let us know if you have any questions, and we look forward to a great year as we dive into this together!

-Jillian, Rashida, and Linda

A Summer of Sibling Rivalry

Hello and welcome back to another great year at Lafayette! I hope you all had a wonderful summer and enjoyed having more time with your kids. As for me, I spent a good part of the vacation dealing with the dreaded sibling rivalry, which has not appeared in our house before. My two boys are spread out in age, 7 and 2, and I thought by doing that I had avoided having major problems between them as they grow up. Boy was I wrong! This summer, the two year old was finally able to assert himself, grab toys, shout "it's mine!" and just generally be an adorable/terrible two-year-old. My 7-year old could not handle it, and a lot of screaming/yelling/fighting and general chaos ensued. Thus I spent the summer refereeing between the two. I had to actually dust off my counselor's hat and develop behavior plans for them both, complete with positive and negative reinforcers as well as punishments. Yes, it was that bad. I'm happy to say that things got a lot better after that, but there were only about three weeks left to the summer by that point. Suffice it to say, I am THRILLED to be back at work this fall! I'm sure many other parents have dealt with sibling rivalry in your house, and would love to hear strategies that worked for you. Please feel free to either comment on this blog or email me at

Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer Happiness

Well, the year is almost over and summer is upon us! For most kids (and teachers), this is a time of extreme happiness and excitement. We get to spend lots of time doing all those things we daydreamed about during the long, sometimes dreary, days of school. Swimming at the community pool, visiting grandparents, beach vacations, lazy days reading books, sports and fun summer camps. For some, though, the change in routine can cause extra stress and uncertainty. For parents who still have to work this can certainly feel stressful, and for kids who feel best with lots of routine and structure in place it can also cause stress.

For our family, I make out a "daily summer schedule" that we try to follow each weekday. It includes an outside activity (chosen from a list we've already agreed upon: museums, libraries, pool, etc.), an academic activity (writing or math because that's what my son needs to work on), some quiet time in the afternoon (no screens allowed!) and ends with work on our "special project." Last year the special project was putting a vegetable garden in our backyard, something the whole family agreed we wanted to have and we were all willing to work on bit by bit. Since we spent most of the summer cleaning out an area of the yard and building a frame for it, by the time the plants went in it was already late in the summer and the garden didn't yield much. But this year our hard work will pay off and our nice garden area is already starting to bloom with pumpkin vines and little yellow flowers that will become cherry tomatoes (the kids chose these seeds, not me.) I've got lots of ideas for our "special project" for this summer, including writing and illustrating an adventure book, but will let the kids choose something that feels meaningful to them. I'm hoping this teaches the value of hard work and putting effort into something that may not necessarily give immediate gratification. Having this routine in place helped keep us all a little more sane and happy, and days when we couldn't follow the schedule due to doctor's appointments or other events we were all a little "off." I'm hoping to implement the same type of routine this summer, but know it will change a bit because the boys are each a year older and will have different interests.

I plan to update this blog from time to time over the summer, not because anyone reads it, but just to help keep myself in some sort of routine and connected to work. I'll also be reading all the great curriculum materials I bought for the fall and trying to map out how I will teach peace, kindness, and mindfulness to 4 year olds :-) Here's a link to one blog I also follow, Raising Happiness, that is full of great ideas, articles, and resources for creating and sustaining child and family happiness. However you spend the summer with your families, I wish you a wonderful time filled with lots of joy and happiness!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Teaching Peace Program Overview

To view a great presentation of Linda's program and get a good idea of what happens during Peace Classes here at Lafayette each day, click on this link (Prezi format).

Friday, May 10, 2013

2013 Pennies for Patients Exciting News!

We just found out some very exciting news: Lafayette Elementary School was the TOP fundraising school this year in all of D.C. Public Schools! Our final total was over $7,000, which was more than double our original goal. We will get a special plaque recognizing our status, and Nurse Cockrell and I were also chosen as the "2013 Distinguished Coordinators for DC" based on our rookie status (neither of us have ever done this fundraiser before) and the amount raised. One classroom was chosen by LLS to attend a Nationals Baseball game on June 22, and that class is Mrs. Harn's 2nd grade students (also our 3rd place winners overall for the school). All of our students and parents can also attend this game at a reduced price by using this link. We want to give a big thanks to YOU parents for supporting this fundraiser and helping us achieve these goals. We couldn't have done it without your support (and of course, your pennies!)

Social Thinking--What is it?

Thanks to the generosity of our HSA's professional development fund for teachers, I just got back from attending a great two-day conference in Baltimore. The topic was on Social Thinking, which is a phrase coined by author, activist, and SLP Michelle Garcia Winner. Social thinking is about much more than basic social skills, which are mostly language based, as in: "I say hi, you say hi back" and getting students to have a conversation of at least three exchanges. Social thinking includes teaching kids how our brains work, what thoughts are, and how our thoughts and the thoughts of others are influenced by our behaviors. It's a much more in-depth and holistic way of approaching social learning, and one I've been dabbling in for the past two years with students here at Lafayette. At this conference given by Michelle, I learned about a new social thinking curriculum for younger kids ages 4-7 called "The Incredible Flexible You." This is a basic way of teaching ALL kids about social skills such as identifying thoughts and feelings, figuring out what to do in a group, using your eyes to make smart guesses about others, keeping your body and brain in the group (what we would call "self-control") and using your whole body to listen. While I've incorporated parts of these concepts into character ed classes this year and last, I am really excited to be able to teach them in a more formal way in the upcoming school year. Other plans for next year include the "Teaching Peace" curriculum that Linda Ryden is currently using with 2-5th grades, and which I'll write more about later. Please feel free to contact me for more information about Social Thinking, plans for next year, or anything else you have on your mind! Happy Friday; it's nice to be back in the building.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DC CAS Testing

Hello Parents! This week is DC CAS Testing for grades 2-5 at Lafayette. The week started with a testing assembly on Monday, followed by the first day of testing on Tuesday, April 23rd. Testing will continue throughout the next few days, ending this week for 2nd and 3rd graders and next week for 4th and 5th graders. During the opening assembly, students were reminded to not stress about the tests and simply do their best! Each child was given a card with the following tips:

1. Do your best, but DON'T STRESS
2. Relax your body: Take 3 belly breaths, close your eyes and focus on breaths 
3.  Positive self-talk: “I can do this!” or “It’s ok if I don’t know every answer” 
4. Imagination: Imagine that the test is over and you are in a relaxed, calm place

If your child is experiencing test anxiety, please reference our previous Parent Pick-Up Group topic Test Anxiety and School Worries about helping your child deal with these issues.

Have any thoughts, ideas, or questions about how to reduce stress and anxiety and help your child succeed with testing? Please feel free to share them in our comments section!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Organization Strategies for Your Child

Parent Pick-Up Group Topic: 4/18/13

The topic for this group was organization strategies for your child, including strategies for children with ADHD. We included information from a presentation given by the Special Education department entitled "Taking the 'Dis' Out of Disorganized." Below you will find an outline of the information including a variety of organizational strategies that you could implement with your child:

Learning Styles: 
  • Information enters the brain through sight, hearing, and touch. 
  • Your learning style is the one you rely on most. Ex. Visual learners learn by sight, auditory learners learn by hearing, and tactile or kinesthetic learners learn by touch
  • Visual Learners:
    • Prefer to see information such as pictures, cartoons, demonstrations
    • Picture words and concepts they hear as images
    • Can be easily distracted in class without visual aids
    • Overwhelmed by intense visuals
    • Benefit from charts, maps, notes, and flash cards
  • Auditory Learners:
    • Prefer to hear information spoken
    • Can absorb a lecture with little effort
    • May not need careful notes to learn
    • May avoid eye contact in order to concentrate
    • May read aloud to themselves
    • Like background music when they study 
  • Kinesthetic Learners:
    • Benefit from direct experiences
    • Prefer to participate in activities and performing skills such as writing
    • Prefer touch for taking in information
    • Can write out important facts to remember them 
    • Create study sheets connected to vivid examples
    • Role playing can also be an effective strategy
Executive Functioning:
  • "Conductor" of cognitive processes involved in learning
  • Set of processes having to do with managing one's self in order to achieve a goal
  • Neurologically based skills involving mental control and self-regulation
  • Executive Skills:
    • Sustained Attention- ability to maintain attention despite boredom, distractability, or fatigue
    • Task Initiation- ability to begin projects without procrastination
    • Planning/Prioritization- ability to create a road map to reach a goal or complete a task, making decisions about what is important to focus on
    • Organization- ability to create and maintain systems to keep track of information and materials
    • Time Management- capacity to determine how much time one has, allocate it, and stay within time limits
    • Flexibility- ability to revise plans in the face of obstacles, setbacks, new information, or mistakes
    • Goal-directed Persistence- capacity to have a goal, follow through, and not be distracted
    • Metacognition- ability to stand back and take a birds's eye view of oneself in a situation, observe how you perform, and self monitor and evaluate
  • Executive tasks at the elementary level:
    • Completing chores including daily responsibilities and tasks (ex. brushing teeth, making bed, feeding pets) 
    • Using a system to organize school work (ex. planner, notebook)
    • Following complex school schedule
    • Planning time (ex. school activities, homework, family responsibilities)
    • Inhibiting rule breaking in absence of visible authority
  • To teach executive skills:
    • Directly address skills
    • Consider child's level of development
    • Make changes in environment, task, or interaction with your child
    • Modify tasks to match your child's capacity 
    • Use incentives to support instruction
      • Praise, rewards
    • Provide just enough support for the child to be successful
    • Keep support and supervision until child has mastered the task
    • Fade support, supervision, and incentives gradually

An organized student needs: STRUCTURE, ROUTINE, PREDICTABILITY 

  • Planner
    • Check nightly if needed
    • Color code for homework and tests/quizzes
    • Include a list of materials needed each night
    • Record phone numbers of two classmates
  • Monthly Calendars
    • Use for long term projects, essays, research papers, speeches
    • Separate task into parts
    • Complete process 2-3 days before due date
    • Check with teacher as each section is completed
  • Homework Priority List
    • List all homework as follows:
      • #1- Longest, most difficult assignment due tomorrow
      • #2- List in decreasing order according to difficulty, length, aversion
      • End of list- work on long term assignments per schedule
    • Help your child learn to estimate time needed for a given assignment
      • Discuss and decide on amount of time for each assignment
      • Set timer as student begins
      • Upon completion, note actual time needed
      • No racing allowed
      • Important to keep record of study times for tests and corresponding grades
  • Homework Schedule
    • Post near working space or on refrigerator
    • Consider attention span
    • Build in breaks (10 minutes or less)
    • Extraneous technology OUT
    • Plan ahead for days with extracurricular activities, etc. 
    • Consider time of desired activity after homework is completed (reward, motivator)
    • More efficient use of school time = less homework!
    • Always prepare backpack, lunchbox, clothing, etc. at night
  • Binders
    • Depending on the class-
      • pencil case
      • one large or two smaller 3 ring
      • double sided pocket divider for each subject
      • regular dividers per class need 
        • ex. English- notes, grammar, lit, writing, vocabulary, homework, tests
    • During school day, put homework and papers in front pocket of each subject
    • Every night before homework, empty pocket and organize each section
    • Place completed homework into appropriate pocket
    • Use back pocket for ongoing work, study materials, etc. 
  • Studying: Reading a Textbook Chapter
    • BEFORE reading the chapter-
      • Read the introduction
      • Read the chapter summary at the end
      • Highlight all titles, subtitles, and headings
    • BEFORE reading each section-
      • Write each vocab word on an index card
      • Prepare all section questions by turning each into a statement, leave room for answer
    • As you read each section-
      • Define each vocab word in your own words
      • Complete all section questions by filling in answers
      • Highlight vocabulary and definitions and other important information 
    • After finishing- 
      • Test yourself with review questions at the end of the chapter
      • Use the cards, review questions, and highlighted information to study for the test as well as class notes, review materials, etc. 
      • Short, frequent study sessions over several days are more effective than one long session the night before the test! 
    • After the test-
      • Make corrections
      • Analyze mistakes (ex. kind of questions missed, information missed)
      • Check if there was enough study time beforehand
      • Make study guides out of tests with highlighter
Additional Advice:
  • In addition to homework priority list, keep another post-it next to work space:
    • List any extraneous thoughts that interrupt focus (ex. need to wash gym clothes, need to bring $5 for the party, etc.) and keep working
    • Allow student to "empty his or her mind" of random thoughts that interrupt work flow
  • Review that day's notes nightly
  • Highlight after, not while reading
  • Cramming intensifies test anxiety! 
Final Thoughts:
  • Talk about learning styles with your child
  • Engage in discussion about executive skills and strengths and weaknesses
  • Work on strategies as early as possible
  • Use small steps. reinforce efforts, gradually fade coaching
  • Point them toward resources
  • When challenges occur, offer understanding and help them get back on track
  • Encourage effort, praise success, and let them know you love them
  • Talk to school personnel if:
    • You think your child needs additional support at school
    • You think there might be learning or attention problems requiring more specific intervention
Presentation adapted from: Julie Landis, Ph.D. and Karen Buchine, M.A., Teaching and Learning Center of Texas 

Thanks for reading! If you have any reactions, thoughts, or suggestions, please feel free to voice them in our comments section. 

Character Word for April: Courage


Facing your fears, and 
having the strength to do what is right

COURAGE is our character word for the month of April! Several students have already been caught in the Character Spotlight for acting courageous. One student showed tremendous courage by stopping bullying behavior!

In the Character Education lessons this month, Ms. Diesner and intern Ms. Moore have been talking to Pre-K through 1st grade classes about showing courage. We read the book, "There's a Big, Beautiful World Out There" by Nancy Carlson which talks about common fears that many kids have and emphasizes facing fears and discovering all of the wonderful things in the world. During our discussions, students have shared some of their fears, and talked about times that they acted courageously and overcame them. Our younger students were asked to draw a picture of a time that they showed courage and create a courage badge and had the opportunity to share these pictures with their classmates. 

Encourage your child to continue to face his or her fears and show courage both in and out of school. He or she could be caught in the Character Spotlight!