In the Nest

from Mme Dale, School Counselor

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Fifth Graders Are Heading to Middle School

It is so exciting to go on to middle school! We are all awaiting more information from Roosevelt about the transition. I hope 5th graders will be very excited, and not so anxious about the transition.

A very big change in middle school is that students go to a new classroom almost every class period and don't leave anything behind them in the previous class. You want to have most of what you need in your well organized binder, and stop by your locker between classes. I am guessing you are going to love having a locker, it's fun and handy.

School lockers have a combination lock on them and now is a great time to learn to open combination locks, so when you get your locker, it will be easy to get open even if you are in a hurry. Ask your parents if there is a combo padlock in the house you can practice with. They all open the same way, the only difference is each one has its own combo, or three numbers.

When you are given your locker, you will be given the combination. It will be something like:

12-5-30, or perhaps 14-10-26. The important thing to remember is they all open like this:

  • turn the dial clockwise, (to the right,) till you land on the first number and stop
  • turn the dial back the other way counterclockwise, (to the left,) and pass the second number and don't stop till you land on it again
  • turn the dial clockwise again, (to the right,) till you land on the third number and stop
  • now you should be able to move the lever and the lock will open.

It often takes a little practice. So try it at home where you can concentrate on the steps and get used to the right, left, right. Once you are in your classes at Roosevelt, they will give you time to practice and there will be plenty of people around to help you if you need help.

Hey Kids

Need something to do? Let's have some fun. Here are some things to try:

1) Make Some Maple Granola

preheat the oven to 300 degrees

mix together-

3 cups oats

1 cup dried unsweetened coconut chips

1 cup almonds or pecans (quartered)

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1 tsp salt

3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup olive or walnut oil

(after cooking add 1/2 cup dried cherries or other dried fruit)

place on cookie sheet

cook for almost 40 minutes, and every ten minutes stir on the cookie sheet so it cooks evenly.

2) Make a Time Capsule

- Gather things that are tokens of this time. They are little things that represent this time when you are staying home. You may want to add a note. Put them together in a container like a small sturdy box, or in a plastic bottle with a large lid that lets you put things in it. Then hide the time capsule away somewhere, or even bury it, so it will not be found for many long years. When you or someone else finds it in 10, or 20, or 30 years they will get a picture of what you are going through now.

3) Give a pedicure

-How nice to soak your feet and then give yourself a pedicure. Or, you could give a pedicure or a manicure to another family member. Pampering yourself is a wonderful thing to do.

4) Rock that Look, Have a Fashion Show

-Any great fashion show has a designer and a model, (that's you,) getting those looks down the runway. You have some clothes you may never have thought of combining before. Could you even include borrowed clothes of another family member? With permission and some scissors, you may be able to rework those shorts or tee shirt for another look entirely.

5) Monopoly

- With your family, play this game which might take several sessions to go from start to finish....

6) Knit, Crochet or Make Pompoms

-Many of us at school have started a finger crochet, or woven a belt. With yarn and a crochet hook or knitting needles you can make a scarf, hat or just about anything. Look up "how to knit" on You Tube and you will find so many great videos to get you started. To make pompoms, you just need yarn, a little cardboard and some scissors. Make a little card board wheel and wrap the yarn, using one or more colors. It's fun!

Kids Outside

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Enjoying the Fresh Air

If there is a chance to go outside, do it! Getting outside is fun and good for you.

Once out there, how can we have some fun? Some ideas:

1)Take a Botanical Tour

-What are five interesting plants in your yard or nearby area? What are they called? What can you use them for?

2) Make Bubbles

-Nothing is so pleasing as jumping around in the yard making big bubbles, little bubbles, rainbow bubbles. You don't need much- mostly dish soap.

3) Birds' Nests

-In the spring the birds are making nests. What do they use? Grass, twigs, lichen and bits of yarn. They also use dog and cat fur. If you leave something out hanging in a tree near where a bird is nesting, it might just disappear into the bird house....

4) Plant Some Seeds or Seedlings

-Do you have a garden or room for some plants? A few seeds or starts will grow into some vegetables or flowers for you. In spring you can plant lots of things including radishes, beans, onions, tomatoes, squash, and sunflowers. Ooh la la!

5) Fairy Garden

-Where are the fairies living these days? How about out in your yard? If you make a nice place for them, they will come.

For Kids and Parents

Looking for some nice stories to read together? In these lovely recordings the books are being read aloud.

– Books About Feelings:

– Books About Kindness:

Here are a few hands on ideas:

1) Draw Mandalas

-Help your child center themselves on a quiet activity that is offline. Would they like to draw mandalas? You can find mandala templates to color in many places including: Mandala Coloring Book for Kids, but you can also start in the middle of a blank page and do this lovely centering work creating a mandala, moving from the center on out.

2) Do some Origami

- Kids love to do this absorbing paper folding. You can buy packs of origami paper and books with instructions. Stiff wrapping paper also works and, of course, there is a lot of how to online. This is addictive. Start with the easy ones.

3) Make a Soothing Drawing

- Do a drawing that uses only soothing colors. Ask your child if they can describe what soothing is like during this exercise.

4) Describe Those Feelings

- Ask your child how they have been feeling and let them answer with a drawing that describes their feelings. Working with colored pencils, large pens, or paints will all have very different results.

5) Make a Stuffed Animal

-What could be more comforting than bringing your own stuffed animal into the world? A cardboard template might help create an outline to cut out. Sew or glue on facial and other features. Gotta have a name.

6) Draw a Portrait

- Artists who live with someone have a captive audience now. Draw yourself and each other. A child might like to put a twist on this, drawing themselves as a warrior, or a favorite animal.

4j Wrap Around Team Assistance


The district has put together a team which is pooling resources for families who have taken a financial hit due to the pandemic. You can access these social services with offerings like food and housing help, EWEB bill credits, pandemic insurance assistance, etc by letting one of us know you could use some resources. Let a teacher, Mme Courtney or myself know confidentially and we will be happy to connect you to these services.

Take care, Laura Dale