Vol. 22 May 10, 2016

Keep Trying!

Theme: Keep Trying!

Book: Toy Boat

By: Loren Long and Randall de Sève

In class this week we will talk the concept of trying. Specifically trying after failure.

In our Book of the Week, A little boy has a toy boat that he made out of a can, a cork, a yellow pencil, and some white cloth. The boy and his boat are inseparable . . . until the day the wind pushes the boat out into the wide lake, and the little boat must face fierce waves, a grumpy ferry, a sassy schooner, and a growling speed boat if he is to find his way home.

Social learning is often advanced by a child's willingness to continue trying to master a skill after failure. This is an important skill to practice. Failure is a part of life. The ability to continue working on a skill after failure is key in all areas of speech, language and academic learning. It's also important to have a plan for failure.

By providing a routine for what to do if you are unsuccessful, failure becomes a tool for learning instead of something scary or sad.

In small group, we will be exploring thoughts and feelings related to failure and perseverance. We will explain that failure is how your brain learns new skills. Every unsuccessful attempt is providing your brain with new knowledge! One of the best ways to learn is to fail and try again!


Objects/Things, place, activities: Play, work, make, build, read

Social: Proud, Think, Feel, Happy, Scared, Mad, Brave, Trust, Safe and Sad

Actions: think, look, listen, try, learn, do, keep, feel, walk, trust

Attributes: calm, different, sad, mad, okay, scared, brave, safe

Song: Keep on Trying

Small Group: The children will learn about thoughts and feelings related to failure and perseverance.

Early Birds at Home

At Home Activity: Keep Trying

At home, it is important to remind your child of the times when s/he has continued to try even when it was difficult in the beginning. Try to use recent examples if possible. Remember small achievements are just as important as large ones!

When your child is trying new things, it's also helpful to remain very neutral about the outcome. The import act is the act of trying after failure not initial success.

You will again want to avoid associating a positive outcome with success and instead emphasize trying after failure. In the real world, sometimes we try new things and the outcome is neutral or even negative. This is especially important in teaching the social aspects of playing games with friends and team sports.

The goal for this week's home practice is to celebrate continued effort after failure. If your child happens to be watching the end of a basketball, baseball game, etc., point out the winner and the loser. Make a point to say "It's okay, they can try again. The team learned a lot!"

It's especially great if you can demonstrate failing or losing while maintaining a positive attitude about your attempt and remaining neutral about your negative outcome.

Activity 1: Remember a time when you where brave...

Instructions: Use the thought bubble handout the previous newsletter. Have your child help draw a picture of you or you can draw a picture of yourself (or use a photo) and place it under the thought bubble. Then fill the bubble with pictures or drawings of people trying and failing or messing up and trying again (i.e. play catch, read a new book, play a new game). Draw another thought bubble and fill it with how you will feel after you continue to try the activity.

Activity 2: Feelings book about failing

Begin by stapling four pieces of paper together on the left side, into book form. At the top of each paper, write a feeling word.

For this feelings book you'll want to include all the emotions associated with failure and perseverance. Don't be afraid to include frustrated, mad, sad, etc. We feel these emotions when we fail. Don't forget to include the positive emotions as well (proud, happy, safe, brave, confident, excited etc).

Either draw a picture or take a photo of your child making that facial expression. Together, talk about times the child has felt and experienced that emotion. Draw a picture, use photos from magazines, or personal photos of these times and add them to the page. Try to make up a story about the pictures you find. It's especially great if the story involves the person in the picture trying and failing. If you can draw that person trying again that's especially great!

As your child begins to learn and identify more emotions, add pages to increase the child’s emotional vocabulary. Examples may include:

  • Proud
  • Comfortable
  • Jealous
  • Disappointed
  • Uncomfortable
  • Tense
  • Frustrated
  • Curious
  • Surprised
  • Excited
  • Confused
  • Grumpy
  • Worried
  • Calm
  • Silly

Early Bird Illness Policy

If you fear your child may be coming down with something, has a fever or virus, or has had a fever or virus within the past 24 hours, please keep him/her home. When the kids are not 100% well, they have difficulty learning and benefit less from being at school. Also, keeping them home helps prevent epidemics! If you know your child will be absent, please call or text 214-864-3013. Thank you for your cooperation!!!!