April 2020 Newsletter
Alfred Vail Home and School Connection
- We will continue our Virtual Learning after Spring Break through April 30, until further notice.
Upcoming Spirit Days:
- Every Friday is Wear your Red Spirit Wear Day!
- April 22 - Earth Day. Do something kind for the Earth. (Water a plant, take a walk,ride a bike, pick up trash with a grownup, etc.)
- April 29 - Write a letter of thanks and appreciation to the frontline workers at Morristown Memorial Hospital.
Virtual Education Information
Mental Health Moments by MindBeat
Mental Health Moment: Nature Walk
submitted by Sarah Moodie, ESS Program Coordinator
This is great for younger children but is also quite relaxing for all ages... objectives can be adjusted depending on age/developmental level and setting.
Go on a nature walk! Spend 15 minutes exploring your yard or the area right outside your home. See if you can find/notice the following:
- Three things that are living
- Five round objects
- Two different types of insects
- A rock with a smooth texture
- Three things that start with the letter B
- Something that is your favorite color
- A solid and a liquid
- Three different types of birds
- A squirrel or a chipmunk
- Something man-made
- Something that makes a “crunchy” sound
- Something with a smell you enjoy
- Something with a smell you do not enjoy
Mental Health Moment: Family Photo Fun
submitted by Edward Watson, ESS Program Coordinator
This activity not only gets us moving, but also helps with grounding through sensory experiences.
A fun family activity can be to dig out those old photo albums. Spend some time together talking about the memories each picture brings up. Organize the photos, or even create digital photo slide shows set to your favorite music. This activity can become a family movie night, starring your very own family members! Make some snacks, snuggle up on the couch, and enjoy.
Mental Health Moment: Square Breathing
submitted by Diane Dioguardi, ESS Program Coordinator
Breathing is not only the foundation to all Mindfulness work; it is also an easily accessible coping skill that individuals of all ages and abilities can take with them wherever they go. Square breathing is a type of breathwork that can shift your energy, connect you more deeply with your body, calm your nervous system, and decrease stress in your body. It is also referred to as box breathing, 4×4 breathing, and 4-part breath.
How to do square breathing
- Begin by slowly exhaling all your air out.
- Then, gently inhale through your nose to a slow count of 4.
- Hold at the top of the breath for a count of 4.
- Then gently exhale through your mouth for a count of 4.
- At the bottom of the breath, pause and hold for the count of 4.
For an even more advanced version, try setting an intention or image. You might want to set an intention or invite a neutral or positive image to focus on during your breathing practice. If the image of a square works for you, you can imagine your breath and the pauses/holds in between the breath moving around the image of the square.
Virtual Learning Highlights!
Keep up the excellent work!
Spring Break Resources
Spring Break 2020
List of Available Resources
Goal: Share resources to complement our instructional programs.
English Language Arts:
National Emergency Library- A collection of books that supports emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation while universities and schools are closed.
Unite for Literacy -Free resource with digital access to picture books written in English and Spanish perfect for young readers. You can also choose narration in over 40 languages!
Story Online -An award-winning literacy website featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books.
Teachers | Books | Readers -Read alouds and more on this blog site created by thirty-one educators.
Spanish Stories -Familiar stories translated into Spanish with audio and video options.
Read, Wonder, & Learn! -An amazing compilation of read alouds and resources on Kate Messner's blog.
Operation Storytime -More read alouds by authors, illustrators, educators, and celebrities.
Sports Illustrated Kids -If you have student athletes at home, they may enjoy the articles featuring favorite sports and athletes (great for kids ages eight+).
Find a quiet, comfortable place inside or outside. Read a book with your child then talk about the connections you make to your lives.
Questions to Consider: What do I think about this book? Do I like it? Why or why not? How does this relate to my life? What about this book is confusing or not clear? What did I learn? Would I read another book by this author? Would I read another book like this again? What is next on my list to read?
Author and illustrator, Jarrett Lerner, is creating content daily with these downloadable writing and drawing activities that are sure to engage kids with opportunities for creative thinking. I'd love to see what your kids come up with!
Many authors, illustrators, and artists have come together to create content on this YouTube channel.
Keep a journal. Write about your thoughts, reflections, feelings, or adventures. You may write about the past, present, or future. Where have you been? Where are you now? Where do you want to go next?
Maintain lists. To Do List. To See List. To Read List. To Watch List. Goals to Meet List. Dreams to Live List.
Ted Talks by brilliant teens and kids.
Virtual tours of museums around the world.
Stream encores of past performances from the Met
Wonderopolis -What do you wonder about? What do you want to know more about? Explore this site to think about, learn, and share all those wonderings.
Imagineering in a Box -Disney has partnered with Khan Academy to bring kids into a world of dreaming, designing, building, and creating.
Pixar in a Box -In another Disney-sponsored collaboration between Pixar and Khan Academy, your kids can see how math, science, computer science, and humanities come together in popular animated films.
High School Resources
NY Times Mentor Texts- Demystifying the writing process via examples students can learn from and emulate.
MIT Mysterious Book Exchange- The MIT Book Exchange, led by an MIT graduate student, aims to strengthen community relationships and foster a love of reading.
5 High Schoolers and Their College Application Essays About Work, Money and Social Class- Each year, the NYT asks students to send in college application essays that have something to do with money. Nearly 300 responded this year. Here are five that stood out from 2018.
Retrieval Practice: Here's a roundup of the best resources for students about studying and learning: Books, blogs, videos, and more.
Code.org - Check out the grade level activities and use your critical thinking/math skills in a new way.
Reflex math practice!
Einstein Riddle - Very Advanced thinking puzzle
Try these easier puzzles to warm-up!
Ed-Ted - Math in Real Life Series - Watch, think, enjoy!
https://www.youtube.com/user/Vihart - Explore this youtube channel from an inquisitive student exploring math in the real world (then go find some math in the real-world yourself)!
1. Egg Hunt – Fill plastic eggs with math problems and spread them throughout the house or the yard. Your child can hunt for the eggs and must solve the problem inside each egg in order to keep them!
2. Jelly Bean Graphing – Jellybeans are a popular spring break treat. Have your child sort and graph the different colors in a bag of jellybeans. Then, ask your child questions about his/her completed graph.
3. Coloring Eggs – While your family is coloring eggs, work to color only a fraction of each egg a chosen color. (example – Can you make 1/3 of the egg blue? Can you color ½ of this egg red?) After you are done coloring, write math problems to represent the eggs you have dyed. (example – 4 blue eggs + 8 red eggs = 12 eggs; 3 colored eggs + 5 plain eggs = 8 eggs)
4. Hiking – While hiking/walking, look for shapes or patterns. Math is everywhere!
5. Flashcard Toss – Spread flashcards out in the yard. Have your children race to collect the cards and answer the problems!
6. Board/Card Games – Games are a great way to reinforce math skills. Take some time out to play Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly, Yahtzee, or other board games that your family enjoys!
7. Spring Treats – Have your child read a recipe and help them measure out the ingredients. Have a picnic and enjoy your creation outside!
Virtual Field Trips
San Diego Zoo – The https://kids.sandiegozoo.org/animal-cams-videos
Yellowstone National Park Virtual Field Trip - https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/photosmultimedia/virtualtours.htm
Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cams - https://www.youvisit.com/tour/clint.cornfield/116368
Panda Cam at Atlanta Zoo - https://zooatlanta.org/panda-cam/
Houston Zoo - https://www.facebook.com/houstonzoo/
Boston Children’s Museum - https://www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org/museum-virtual-tour