Dear Falcon Families,
This month, students will continue to learn about leadership in how they can Put First Things First, Covey’s Habit #3 of Highly Effective People. You may have heard the analogy of time as putting rocks in a jar. If you try to fill a jar with big rocks, gravel, and sand, the only way to make it all fit is by putting the big rocks in the jar first, then the gravel, then the sand. Habit #3 is all about identifying Your big rocks (priorities), and scheduling/filling your time with what matters most. After your Big Rocks are scheduled, you then have more space in the jar for the smaller rocks. After you prioritize and make time for your Big Rocks, it's easier to fit the little things into your day and life.
Sometimes putting first things first is operational and literally all about time management. For example, during my children’s weekday morning routine, Habit 3 can refer to: eating breakfast, brushing teeth, getting dressed, and packing up backpacks before playtime. “Work first, then play” is a saying that you may also have in your household! This is definitely putting first things first in the name of efficiency, and it may motivate your child to get chores done to leave more time for relaxation or preferred activities. Any Wildly Important Goal you set for yourself is also a Big Rock that deserves time and attention!
But Big Rocks aren't always operational with a To-Do list; they can often be strengthening relationships, or physical/mental health priorities. During the month of November, Putting First Things First can refer to your Big Rocks of Family, Friends, and Community. November officially kicks off the holiday seasons which can be joyful and exciting…but also overwhelming with long lists of To-Do’s and activities, letting the 'little rocks' take over the jar. According to the Harvard Health Publishing, spending time Giving Thanks can be a Big Rock that actually makes you happier, and should not be overlooked as a vital component of mental health that is just as important as that Things To Do list:
“In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude). Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone's gratitude, it's a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further.”…
Ways to cultivate gratitude
Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier, or thinking they can't feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met. Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice. Here are some ways to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis.
Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person's impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter/text/email per month. Once in a while, write one to yourself.
Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.
Keep a gratitude journal. Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thoughts about the gifts you've received each day.
Count your lucky stars. Pick a time every week to sit down and write about the good in your life— reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. Sometimes it helps to pick a number — such as three to five things — that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you….
Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as "peace"), it is also possible to focus on what you're grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.).”
Start a New Family Tradition. At the start of each family meal, ask each family member share what the best part of their day was (including adults to share out!). This keeps the conversation positive, gets all involved, and you may learn about your child's celebrations, friends, and values based on what is shared. You can reflect back "Wow, it sounds like you are thankful that..." to tie it into Gratitude.
I hope you find ways to focus on your Big Rocks to Put First Things First. Prioritize your time, talents, and thoughts as you cultivate gratitude. I am grateful for our amazingly supportive Falcon Family Community, dedicated staff, delightful students, and I want to practice gratitude by expressing my appreciation for our home-school partnership which allows our school to flourish!
Veteran's Day Assembly-Monday November 11th at 9:15 am
To honor those who have served/are serving in the armed forces, our school is busily planning the annual assembly for veterans. Our Veteran’s Day Assembly will recognize our vets on Monday, November 11th at 9:15 am.
If you are planning on bringing a vet, please send an email RSVP to Mrs. O’Donnell at LODonnell@usd232.org
USD 232 is looking for School Nurse Subs
Part-time Positions available throughout the school district to sub on an as needed basis.
Must have a current Kansas RN license.
Hourly rate: $20.00/hour
Please apply online
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Here you will find some activities right here at Riverview as well as throughout the district. For example, the 2nd fall session of Lego Club registration is active for K-2!
The Arrival & Dismissal school map outlines the procedures for all students K-5 with visuals.
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