Region In Review

May 22, 2020

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This issue of the Region in Review is dedicated to all of the hard-working, energetic, and inspiring Grade 5 students across Region 12. We are looking forward to having you join us at Shepaug to continue your exciting academic career. Hats off to you!

Inspire, Innovate, Create!

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Remote learning has opened up new ways for fifth graders to create art. With no two artists having the same tools and materials available at home, this moment in time has been an opportunity for students to seek out alternative ways to make art.

Utilizing materials not typically associated with art, like toys, food, nature, and sports equipment, our students have cleverly discovered new and interesting approaches to their work while using on-hand art supplies and available technology tools.

Friday's weekly art assignments provide student choice in resources, how-to videos, and other links to reference information for inspiration. The creativity from our fifth grade students prevails despite the challenges!
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Get Your Body Movin'

Physical Education may look slightly different in this distance learning scenario, but it is more important than ever. Getting outside, being active, finding opportunities to be away from the screen and dedicating time to play are important for every student’s development.

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Each and every week, students participate in a new Physical Education lesson. Our Physical Education classes are focused primarily on having fun and engaging in exercise. During distance learning, Physical Education equipment is adapted to include items commonly found in most homes such as socks, plates, tape, coins, cards, etc. Students have taken part in warm-up activities, strength/flexibility challenges, ‘minute to win it’ challenges, juggling, scavenger hunts, and sport skill development activities.

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On Tuesdays, our fifth-grade classes have their Physical Education lesson. Mr. Morgan chats with the class in their morning Zoom meeting and begins with team spirit by saying “hey team” followed by “hey coach”. He then explains the week's goals and answers questions. This heightens student motivation and encourages active participation. Check out some of of our fifth graders in action!

Staying Connected

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Connecting with students virtually has become the new norm during distance learning. Teachers have found innovative ways to help their students stay emotionally connected by promoting ways to keep students focused and motivated during these challenging circumstances.

Morning Meetings are a great way for fifth graders to develop positive relationships with one another. During the meetings, they share events in their lives, journal entries, poems, and projects. They also participate in engaging activities such as scavenger hunts, Kahoot games, and Pictionary.

Live sessions with fifth graders in both whole and small groups, help the staff bring real classroom experiences into a distance learning platform. Regular check-ins and student conferences help grow math, reading, and writing skills. Accessing advanced technology tools like Flipgrid promotes interactive learning as well as the exchange of responses between classmates and teachers.

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Integrating an element of fun helps the students stay positive and optimistic. Virtual field trips with discipline connections excite the students and support the acquisition of skills and knowledge. Despite the restrictions of distance learning, visiting virtual aquariums, museums, and hosting guest speakers enriches the learning.

Fifth graders have grown in independence and have shown amazing commitment and efforts. We know they will continue to stay strong through to the end of the year.

Maintaining Health & Staying Engaged During Difficult Times

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The emergence of COVID-19 has disrupted everyone's way of life worldwide. A health concern during this time is living a sedentary lifestyle due to social distancing and changes in our daily activities. It is important to remain active on a daily basis and to move about and remain active throughout the day.

An exercise such as walking, breathing deeply (inhaling and exhaling), and stretching when waking up in the morning and before going to bed, along with not sitting for long periods of time, are all beneficial for maintaining our health. Increased online learning/live streaming, including religious broadcasts, virtual art museum tours and online musical performances may help to decrease the feeling of isolation. It is also beneficial to add some form of physical activity during our time on the computer, rather than just sitting to learn. Comfortable clothing can also add to a feeling of calm and relaxation.

It is also important to relax the mind, as stress can cause other health risks. Some examples are: reading, listening to soothing music and talking to our loved ones in order to keep communication channels open. Other preferred activities may include meditation, yoga, games, and puzzles. Spending time with pets can be comforting. Also, interacting with friends and family via phone or talking virtually in a group feel good, extend kindness and bring us together. When outdoors, focus on the beauty of nature, especially during this time of year. For example, robins are very busy getting ready for new birth and making their nests. Keep your expectations positive but not overwhelming.

Another important factor is to create a healthy eating plan to build up the body’s immunity to fight off this virus. Restaurants are available for take-out, but not all menu choices are healthy. When ordering food, substitute fries for a salad with vinaigrette dressing on the side, or a vegetable or fruit, choose a whole grain wrap instead of bread, avoid deep fried/battered foods, as well as high fat toppings such as mayonnaise, and butter.

Colorful fruits are in season now and are not only pleasant to the eye but also satisfying to taste. A handful of grapes, an orange, apple or banana not only contain fiber, but also vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a healthy body. In addition, whole foods instead of processed foods should be in our daily diet. Convenient processed foods such as chips, candy, soda, and cold cuts contain sugar and additives that can cause inflammation in the body along with weight gain. Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish, poultry, nuts and seeds contain many nutrients and are more satiating to the body than processed foods.

Finally, an important factor to keep in mind, is hydrating the body. The human body is made up of 50-75% water. Drinking water is essential as the body cannot store water. Therefore, 70% of the water required for our body to function is dependent on drinking fluids frequently. The daily intake of water for a child is 6-8 cups, and 8-10 cups for an adult.

In conclusion, being proactive and doing our best to stay healthy may act as our own personal shield against illnesses and other medical conditions. It is important to reaffirm your commitment to a healthier lifestyle.


Edith M. Poidomani, RN

Shepaug School

Fliers & Upcoming Events

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Region 12 Calendar

May 25 - Memorial Day - No School

May 26 - Building Committee E-Meeting at 10a

June 8 - Building Committee E-Meeting at 10a

June 15 - Curriculum & Educational Program Committee E-Mtg at 6p

June 15 - Board of Education E-Meeting at 7p

June 25 - Virtual Halos Evening at 7p

Follow Region 12 on our social media channels for updates and information!

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The Region 12 community educates, challenges, and inspires all learners to become compassionate, creative, and courageous individuals who are empowered by the knowledge, character, and perseverance to achieve their greatest potential within the global society.

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