This Week at Brookside...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Encourage Your Child’s Creativity to Flourish!

Creativity has been called a key 21st century skill. That means it—along with skills like communication and critical thinking—will help students navigate the increasingly collaborative and information-rich world that awaits them once they leave school. The arts have been shown to boost students’ academic performance, perseverance, self-confidence, and more. Here are strategies for supporting your child’s creativity.

Take stock of your toys. Flashy electronic toys are fun, but they don’t off er children opportunities for open-ended, imaginative play. Make sure to have basic art supplies—paper, crayons, glue, clay—at home, along with toys like building blocks, puzzles, or costumes for dress-up.

Cut the screen time. Set limits on TV and iPad time. Try designating a certain time during the week when your entire family will put down cell phones and work on a creative project.

Embrace mistakes. Children who are afraid of failure are less likely to think creatively. Teach your child that mistakes are opportunities for growth. Ask, “What could you do differently next time?” Be patient with your child—and model patience as he or she learns new skills or tries a new project.

Encourage curiosity. Don’t squelch kids’ natural curiosity by being frustrated when your child asks lots of questions. Embrace it! Ask, “What if” questions, and encourage your child to use his or her imagination.

Offer constructive praise... Too much praise can make a child “hooked” on success. Instead of offering general praise (“You’re so smart!”), off er specific feedback that praises your child’s effort or the process he or she used (“You found a great way to paint that scene,” or “I can tell you’ve been practicing.”) Offer non-verbal praise (a hug or a thumbs-up), or implicit encouragement by displaying your child’s work on the refrigerator.

…but step back sometimes. If a child feels constantly watched, he or she may be less likely to try new ideas. Give your child space to play on his or her own. Wait until your child is finished drawing to ask what he or she has made.

Look for community resources. Check your local library, museum, or community center for art classes or workshops to try new creative skills. Keep an eye out for poster or story contests offered by community organizations, too. Or, try teaming up with a neighbor or friend to host an art playdate. Some projects can be time-consuming or expensive, but working together with other families can help ease the burden.

Reports to Parents taken from

Morning Activity for PARCC

Mr. Pfeifer and Mrs. Kazmir will be opening up the gym, for the grade level testing that week, before school, as an Open Gym from 8:15 a.m. - 8:40 a.m. This is a great way for the kids to get that boost of energy with some oxygen to the brains before getting in to the testing.

Grade 3 will be from Monday, May 2 - Thursday, May 5. Grades 4 & 5 will be from Monday, May 9 - Thursday, May 12.

Please also make sure that your child does the following each morning:

  1. Drink a glass of water before school.
  2. Eat a hearty meal for breakfast.


This year, Mr. Pfeifer has brought the Summer Olympics to Brookside Elementary School for Field Day! Scheduled for Friday, June 3, 2016 (rain date: Friday, June 10), Field Day will be an excellent day for students K through 5 to participate in various team events.

This SPECTACULAR EVENT is a great way to wind down the school year, volunteer your time, and enjoy the outdoors with our amazing community for a day!!

We are calling on ALL and as MANY volunteers as possible! There are so many fun ways in which you can help….from assisting Mr. Pfeifer with individual events that run from morning to afternoon, to setting up/cutting up fruit, manning the fruit and water stations, sign making and the neat team/clean-up crew!!! This is a great chance for you to support our school and to have a fun-filled day with your child, as well as all the other children at Brookside Elementary School.

Please register HERE:

ART Show Thank You!

Brookside School Art Teacher Mrs. Cullinane, would like to thank the Brookside Community for the great turn out at the Art Show during the Spring Open House. Another thank you for those who supported the art fundraiser by purchasing the Artome frames...stay tuned to see what goodies we can get!

For their help during the event, Mrs. Cullinane would also like to thank Mrs. Fodor, Miss Yoo, Mr. Pfeifer, Mrs. Peterson, and Mr. Conroy

Health Office - Mrs. Bolton

Dear Prospective Second & Fifth Grade Parent/Guardian:

The New Jersey Department of Education, School Health Services Guidelines requires that all district boards of education must notify parents/guardians of the importance of obtaining physical examinations during the student’s childhood.

Westwood Board of Education has adopted the policy of requesting these physicals be completed during grades two, five, eight and ten. This physical examination must state what, if any, modifications are required for full participation in the school program.

The medical examination shall be conducted at the medical home of the student and a full report must be sent to the school. A medical home is defined by N.J.A.C. 6A: 16-2.2 as “a health care provider and that provider’s practice site is chosen by the student’s parent or guardian for the provision of health care”.

A Health History, Immunizations Update, and Physical Examination form is available on the district website: > Brookside Elementary School > Health Office > Health Office Forms > History & Physical Form (Grades PreK-5). Please return the physician’s medical report as soon as it is completed or by January 2, 2017. Thank you for your attention to this important detail.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Health Office at (201) 664-9000 extension 2.


Mary Ellen U. Bolton, MA, RN, NJ-CSN, CPM

Brookside PTO

To help everyone have a better awareness of our PTO and what they are up to, please make sure to visit their webpage!

FYI Dates...

4/30: Spring Clean Up Day!

5/2 - 5/5: Grade 3 PARCC

5/2 - 5/6: Teacher Appreciation Week

5/9 - 5/12: Grades 4 & 5 PARCC

5/9 - 5/13: Theater Week

5/14: Brookside Bash

5/19: PTO Meeting