Friday, November 21, 2014

Building an "Attitude of Gratitude" in our Children

Our Peace Classes in Pre-K, Kindergarten, and First Grade this week have been focused on the words gratitude, feeling grateful and being thankful. While many children know what it means to be thankful, less have been familiar with the word grateful. Even less have recognized the word gratitude. At this age, it's a perfect time to have this important vocabulary lesson. But moving beyond vocabulary, we've read stories and had discussions around these words and how to live them. The kids have made gratitude leaf garlands (kindergarten), thankful picture frames (pre-k), and written in their Peace Journals about feeling grateful (first grade). In each class we have talked about how these feelings are so important to have each day. We've talked a bit about another gr- word that we DON'T want to be: greedy. 

As we prepare for Thanksgiving, this holiday is a good reminder for us of all we have to be thankful for. As parents, we can help our children in this regard by having regular discussions of all that we are thankful for. Do you regularly model an attitude of gratitude for your little ones? Do your children write thank-you notes to others? Do your kids understand that other children, even in this very same city, do not live the lives we do? The more we can remind our children of their good fortune, show them examples of helping others less fortunate, and talk about our gratitude, the more they will develop their own attitudes of gratitude and the less greedy they will become.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your families!

Monday, November 10, 2014

National School Psychology Awareness Week: November 10-14, 2014

National School Psychology Awareness Week: November 10-14, 2014

Helping Staff and Families Support Students to Thrive in School and Beyond

As parents and educators, we share the goal to help our children thrive in school, at home, and in life. This includes ensuring their safety and well-being, helping them build positive relationships, providing opportunities to gain new knowledge and skills, and encouraging them to take on challenges and persevere when things get tough. Working together, we can promote their competence, achievement, and resiliency. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Peace Club is more popular than ever!

If you have a child in second grade or up you may have heard them talk about Peace Club.  Peace Club is different from the weekly Peace Classes that all of the kids at Lafayette take.  Peace Club is a special alternative lunch and recess program for 2nd - 5th graders.  It is a mixed-age group of anywhere from 20-50 kids that has become popular with kids who sometimes struggle with social skills, with kids who love to do arts and crafts, with kids who love to play with legos and magna-tiles and kids who like to be in a smaller environment with a higher teacher-child ratio.  Peace Club is led by Peace Teacher Linda Ryden, and the school counselors Jillian Diesner and Rashida Mosby.

Everyone who comes to Peace Club makes a promise to treat everyone else with kindness and respect,  to make sure that conflicts are worked out peacefully, and that everyone is included.  Some older children are asked to be Peace Club helpers.  If you were to drop by Peace Club you would probably be surprised by how noisy it is.  It is not "peaceful" on the surface.  But there is so much going on there that is contributing to making Lafayette a more peaceful place.  The children eat lunch together getting to know children in other grades and classes.  After lunch they have lots of options designed to encourage cooperation and social interactions.  Some children choose to make the wonderful peace posters that line the halls at Lafayette.  Many children choose to join together to make fantastic structures.  Some children play board games or guessing games or Twister. Peace Club is a welcoming community-within-a-community at Lafayette.

Check out this slideshow for a glimpse of the fun that is Peace Club!