Deer Hill School Health Newsletter

November 2021

Happy Thanksgiving Deer Hill Families!

These first 3 months of school have been wonderful, exciting, and productive! I am thoroughly enjoying the new location of my Health classroom in the 3rd grade hallway. Third graders are full of energy, curiosity, creativity, and enthusiasm to learn new things. It has been a joy to see them in action in the hallway and getting to know them in my classroom. I am truly grateful for this very uplifting experience. Welcome, 3rd grade!

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Wellness Wheel and the 5 Kinds of Health

I began this year with the foundational lesson, The Wellness Wheel and the 5 Kinds of Health: Physical, Intellectual, Mental/Emotional, Spiritual, and Social. Our different kinds of health can affect each other and our overall wellness. The student dictionary of, defines wellness as "the state of being in good health, especially as an actively sought goal." Looking at our Wellness Wheel, becoming aware our different kinds of health affect each other and our overall wellness, helps us to see where we can make improvements. Students were encouraged to look at all areas of their health and create new goals in areas they would like to improve upon.

Grade 3 was introduced to this concept this year. They completed a worksheet learning the 5 kinds of health and created new goals in two to four areas of health. Grades 4 and 5 reviewed the Wellness Wheel and created a poster, making new goals in four of the five areas of health. Grades 3 and 4 watched the video, What are the 5 Ways to Wellbeing? Grade 5 watched the BrainPOP video Setting Goals. All the dimensions of health are interconnected and important to a well-rounded and balanced lifestyle. I refer to the Wellness Wheel and the 5 Kinds of Health in our lessons throughout the year.

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MyPlate and Nutrition

Our next lesson was on MyPlate and the 5 Food Groups. We learned using the MyPlate method, helps us make good decisions about what to eat. Grade 3 watched the video MyPlate for Kids and completed a poster, creating a balanced meal using the MyPlate method. Grades 4 and 5 watched the BrainPOP video on Nutrition and completed a graphic organizer, listing which kinds of nutrients we get from each of the 5 food groups. I taught grades 4 and 5 we should “eat the rainbow”, choosing a variety of foods and colors, ensuring we get the many nutrients our bodies need to grow and stay healthy. I emphasized half our plate should be fruits and vegetables and the importance these foods have in possibly preventing certain types of cancer and heart disease. I taught students about vitamins and minerals with a special emphasis on children getting adequate amounts of calcium to build strong bones while they are growing.

Red Ribbon Campaign

Red Ribbon inspires children and teenagers to be happy, to be brave, and to live a drug-free life. Red Ribbon Week takes place each year, October 23 through the 31st.

Grades 3 and 4 learned about the brain and the definition of drug-a chemical that changes the body and the brain. We had a discussion about 2 drugs, nicotine, and caffeine. Students began to learn how these drugs change the body and the brain. We learned the 3 main parts of the brain-the cerebrum, the cerebellum, and the brain stem. We learned about the 4 lobes of the cerebrum (Frontal, Parietal, Temporal, and Occipital), the main function of each lobe, and the function of the cerebellum and the brain stem. We watched the book read aloud, Your Fantastic Elastic Brain by JoAnn Deak.

Grade 5 watched a short video on the history of Red Ribbon Week. They also watched 2 testimonial “Natural High” videos from world famous athletes. These athletes spoke about their childhoods, their dreams, and how they did not see the value of getting involved in drugs. They spoke about setting-goals, surrounding themselves with positive people, and not using drugs to mask or numb emotions.

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Extra Health Lessons

During teachers' Common Planning Time, students have a chance to spend extra time with their specialist teachers. This year I teach extra classes to grades 4 and 5. The extra lessons I will teach grade 4 are lessons on teeth, emotional health, and Mystery Science. The extra lessons I will teach grade 5 are on teeth, digestion, a lesson on nutrition labels, and they will watch a video on Puberty sometime in May 2022.

Community Members Visit Grade 5

As part of my Student Learning Goal, grade 5 students will have the opportunity to meet and engage with community members who will speak on topics of health and wellness. The speakers will visit grade 5 following their lessons on Nutrition, Tobacco Prevention, Alcohol Prevention, and Communication Skills.

Next Lessons

The next lessons we will be working on are Self-Esteem and Decision-Making. The concepts for these lessons come from the book Life Skills Training: Promoting Health and Personal Development by Gilbert Botvin.

Wishing you all the best,

Patricia A. Hamlin

Elementary Health Teacher

Cohasset Public Schools