Thursday, January 21, 2016

Technology - Google Apps

A few years ago, Richmond moved from relying heavily on traditional email and desktop applications from Microsoft to Google Apps. Google Apps includes email, documents, spreadsheets, calendars and more that are all provided by Google. 

One of the main reasons we made the switch was that it provides a better way of collaborating with others. Students can work together on an assignment at any time using a variety of internet connected devices and can see the changes that are being made as they are happening. 

Google Apps has worked great in our classrooms and it can work for you at home too. If you have a Gmail account, you have access to Google Apps. If you don't have a Gmail address, you can sign up for free at gmail.com.  Here are just a few ideas of ways that you could use Google Apps at home with your families:

Gmail - Keep in touch with email that is hosted by Google and accessible from a large number of connected devices. 

  Google Calendar - Create events in this online calendar and share them with family      members. Put anything from sporting events to music lessons on a shared calendar so everyone in your family knows what's going on. 

Google Drive - Create documents, spreadsheets and slideshows to share with the family. Create a shared document or spreadsheet to keep track of things like homework and chores.


There are so many other uses for Google Apps in your home that you can explore and the best part is that it's completely free! 

   

Math - Family Math Problems

How many squares can you count?



Recommended app: Bedtime Math (iPhone/iPad or Android). 

Literacy - Reading Success At Home

The literacy committee hopes to provide ideas for families to continue building a reader's success at home. Please read through the attached poster which includes a variety of options and tips for keeping readers engaged outside of the classroom. Have fun and happy reading!




RtI - Sleep in Children and Adolescents

"Sleep is the power source that keeps your mind alert and calm. Every night and at every nap, sleep recharges the brain's battery. Sleeping well increases brainpower just as weight lifting builds stronger muscles, because sleeping well increases your attention span and allows you to be physically relaxed and mentally alert at the same time. Then you are at your personal best."  - Marc Weissbluth, MD

According to WebMD, healthy sleep includes: a healthy amount of sleep, uninterrupted sleep, the proper number of age-appropriate naps, and a good sleep schedule. Getting enough sleep allows children to have the optimal amount of alertness to function in their daily lives. They are able to learn and engage both mentally and socially with their environment the best when they are well-rested. The following are sleep tips and guidelines to ensure that your child gets the appropriate amount of sleep.

Preschoolers (Ages 3- 5 years)
Preschoolers need approximately 11 - 13 hours of sleep according to the National Sleep Foundations. At this age, children might not need a daily nap, though continue to benefit from quiet time in the afternoon. Quiet time can last about 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on the child and consists of time alone (no parents or electronics) where the child is engaged in an activity that is not too stimulating. Example activities that parents can provide children during quiet time include books, puzzles, music, coloring books, and legos. Providing quiet time to young children helps with their mood and sleep.

Sleep tips:
  • Create a consistent sleep schedule
  • Provide your child at least a 30 minute warning before their bedtime routine starts
  • Create a quiet time for the child if they are no longer napping
  • Ensure a relaxing bedtime routine that ends in the child’s bedroom
  • Sleep in the same room each night without a TV inside of it

School-Age (Ages 6 - 13 years)
School-age children need approximately 9 - 11 hours of sleep according to the National Sleep Foundation. At this age, children begin to engage in activities that can disrupt sleep schedules. For example, children begin to have an increase in homework, after school activities, use media and gaming platforms on smartphones and computers, watch TV, and consume caffeine.

It is common to see sleep problems and disorders at this age. Poor sleep can lead to problems with attention and learning, mood swings, and an increase in irritability.

Sleep tips:
  • Teach children about healthy sleep habits
  • Continue to keep a consistent sleep schedule and routine
  • Provide your child at least a 30 minute warning before their bedtime routine starts
  • Leave enough technology-free time before bed (about an hour)
  • Create a good sleep environment - dark, quiet, and cool
  • Keep TV, computers, and other electronics out of the bedroom
  • Avoid consuming caffeinated drinks

Teenagers (Ages 13 - 18 years)
Teenagers need about 9 hours of sleep. Similar to school-age children, teenages often do not get the recommended hours of sleep because of after-school activities, social activities, media and video game consumption, and homework. To make matters worse, teenager bodies want to stay up later and wake up later, making it difficult for them to fall asleep at a reasonable time.

An hour less of sleep per night can add up quickly resulting in sleep deprivation.  Sleep deprivation can result in the same problems as they do in school-age children including: problems with attention, memory, and learning, mood swings, and delayed response time.

Sleep tips:
  • Teach children about healthy sleep habits
  • Continue to keep a consistent sleep schedule and routine
  • Provide your child at least a 30 minute warning before their bedtime routine starts
  • Leave enough technology-free time before bed (about an hour)
  • Create a good sleep environment - dark, quiet, and cool
  • Keep TV, computers, and other electronics out of the bedroom
  • Avoid consuming caffeinated drinks


Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/children/features/good-sound-sleep-for-children

PBIS - Own Your Actions

Our school theme 2nd quarter was "Own Your Actions."  Here are some tips and quotes to help foster accepting responsibility for one's actions: 

Moving From Excuses to Responsibility

1. Respond Calmly - creating an environment where mistakes are okay is healthy and will promote honesty.

2. Encourage Personal Responsibility - teach the difference between an explanation, which accepts responsibility and an excuse, which tends to blame. 

3. Teach Problem Solving Skills - help reflect on the various choices that one has in the moment.

4. Emphasize Learning from Mistakes - acknowledge honesty, connect their errors to different outcomes so they learn from this experience. 

5. Model - give examples of how you have learned from your mistakes and share the difficulties and benefits of accepting responsibility for your own actions. 

6. Apologizehttp://squareheadteachers.com/2013/07/29/3-steps-to-apologize-free-poster/. Please insert 3steps to an apology free poster/ picture from this website at the end.