Week of 3/13/23 at Richland Elementary School
There is so much to see in this week's newsletter! Don't miss highlights from World Maths Day when students competed online with other students from around the world. A Richland student was in the top 3 performers in the country!
It's Neurodiversity Week. Check out the many tips and resources Mrs. Overmier includes while spreading awareness that we have unique brains, resulting in our different strengths, abilities, and needs.
Our Student Lighthouse Team met with teachers last week to brainstorm leadership activities. Stay tuned for more on an event this spring. Mark your calendar for a district-wide elementary orchestra concert this Thursday night. We love to see our student leaders shine!
Lots more highlights and upcoming events in this week's newsletter.
Have a wonderful week!
WORLD MATHS DAY!
World Maths Day is all about fun, fast and inclusive mathematics, with Live Mathletics challenges being the highlight of the event. Students compete against peers from across the globe in 20 one-minute challenges. For every correct answer they achieve, they’re awarded one point which goes towards their total World Maths Day score.
CONGRATULATIONS RICHLAND MATHLETES!
Fourth graders played different levels of math games against other people in the world! They had 60 seconds to complete as many problems as they could to complete one game, but they had to be careful because if they answered 3 questions incorrectly, they were kicked out of the game. The students were able to check their ranking based on their scores.
Fifth graders had a great time on World Maths Day! Not only were they engaged in the math competition, but it was also a unique experience for them to play against students around the world. The students really enjoyed determining which countries they were playing against, by searching the various flags (which we had projected on the whiteboard). They were excited to see their school and individual rank, both in the United States and the world! It was a fun and engaging way for the students to apply their knowledge of computation facts!
Congratulations to Richland's own Jailan Meer who ranked third in the country and 94th in the world!
SPEECH & LANGUAGE THERAPY UPDATE FROM MRS. OVERMIER
NEURODIVERSITY WEEK 3/13-3/19
Neurodiversity is the concept that all of us have unique brains, resulting in our different strengths, abilities, and needs. Neurodiversity is also an umbrella term used to describe people with different diagnoses such as Dyslexia, Apraxia, Dyscalculia, Autism, ADHD, OCD, and many others. Celebrating neurodiversity at school and at home can look like embracing strengths and supporting students’ needs without trying to make students look or act “normal”.
In honor of Neurodiversity Celebration Week, I wanted to share some tips on supporting and including neurodiverse children in your life.
Avoid asking them to “sit still” - All people do things to keep their bodies regulated. Some people tap their fingers on their desk, bounce their leg up and down in their seat, or fidget with a pen in their hands. People with more sensory needs might flap their arms, spin in circles, or rock back and forth. This is their way of keeping their bodies regulated. When we ask them to sit still, it actually makes focusing and learning more difficult.
Respect communication differences - Neurodiverse students might communicate differently than what you’re used to. Some rely on combinations of gestures, speech, written communication, and communication devices. Some tend to use more direct communication which might be perceived as rude. Some might repeat phrases they’ve learned from movies and some might be difficult to understand. Avoid using nonliteral language like sarcasm or idioms. Give the child time to respond. If you don’t understand what they’re trying to tell you, try to dig deeper. All kids are looking for connection!
Engage with their special interests - “Special interest” is a term used to describe the intense focus that neurodiverse people can have for different hobbies and topics. Some common special interests are: trains, cars, electronics, sports, animals, and many more. These differ from a typical hobby because it can seem very difficult for students with special interests to talk about or pay attention to anything but that one thing. Incorporate their special interests when you’re talking with them or spending time with them. You’ll probably learn something new!
Slow down and reduce outside stressors - All kids benefit from clear expectations. New experiences can be overwhelming for all children but this is especially true for neurodivergent students and it can be difficult for them to express their discomfort. Try to pay attention to any signs that the child is uncomfortable and walk them through what to expect especially in new places. For example, health care professionals should talk directly to the child and walk them through any procedures or tests that they’re performing instead of rushing through the visit or talking to parents as if the child isn’t in the room. All children deserve respect and dignity.
Talk about it - Most importantly, have conversations with your kids about neurodiversity. It’s important for kids to know that people who act, play, or learn differently are not less than, just different! All brains are different and that’s a great thing. Encourage your children to include others in the classroom and the community. They’ll make new friends who are funny, kind, and bright.
I’ll leave you with a few quotes from my elementary and high school students. I’ve also added a few resources below if you’d like to learn more about neurodiversity.
“My brain doesn’t always know what to do next. I need a little help to get started.”
“I don’t like when teachers make me look them in the eye. Eye contact is hard for me. I’m still listening though.”
“My friends know I don’t like loud noises so we eat lunch together in a quieter space. I appreciate that they do things to make me feel comfortable.”
Check out how to play at https://www.24game.com/
STUDENT LIGHTHOUSE TEAM MET WITH TEACHERS TO BRAINSTORM LEADERSHIP ACTIVITIES!
DISCOVERY KITCHEN FROM CHEF KEVIN
ELEMENTARY ORCHESTRA CONCERT THURSDAY @ STRAYER @ 6:30
SECOND GRADE CONCERT @ RES @ 6:30 ON 3/23
REPORT CARDS SENT HOME VIA SCHOOL MESSENGER EMAIL ON FRIDAY
THIS WEEK'S DAILY QUESTIONS
Below are this week's questions. We'd love you to participate!
MONDAY: How do you show others that you’re listening?
TUESDAY: When have you recently judged someone?
WEDNESDAY: How do you work with people who frustrate you?
THURSDAY: Would you rather do school work by yourself or with a group?
FRIDAY: What is a recent problem you’ve solved with others?
CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO WITH PICTURES FROM PAST COLOR RUNS AND REGISTER TODAY!
ART CLASS UPDATE
FROM MS. BOTY
Ms. Boty's art classes are getting ready to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring!
Kindergarteners are focusing on observing the beauty in nature through multi-media sunflowers inspired by artist Vincent Van Gogh, as well as The Eclipse, by Alma Thomas!
First and third graders are diving into a printmaking unit, exploring texture, pattern, and alternate art making practices. First graders investigated Karen Lederer, a practicing artist from Brooklyn, New York, while third grade is learning more about Andy Warhol and his Pop Art fame.
Second grade is finishing up their dynamic Keith Haring drawings focused on the idea of movement.
Fourth grade is taking a virtual trip to the Lehigh Valley zoo website to explore the animals living there and choose their own to research deeper. With these chosen animals, fourth graders are creating a sculpture version of their animal! They are on the first step of the sculpture process of creating an armature as their base layer, soon to be followed by plaster wrapping!
Last, but definitely not least, fifth graders are finishing up the last of their Tic-Tac-Toe clay creations and will be beginning a new exploration in the upcoming week!
FROM MRS. ROBISION
SAVE THE DATES FOR PSSA TESTING IN GRADES 3-5
4/24-4/26 English Language Arts (ELA)
5/3-5/4 Science (Grade 4 only)