Comet Chronicle, Jr.

January 29, 2021

Five Tips to Help Kids Enjoy Reading

1. Cultivate a strong reading habit yourself

There is no better way to convince a child to love reading than if you love reading yourself. So help yourself fall in love with reading again: nonfiction, poetry, on the bus, before bed—and remind yourself why this is such a worthwhile habit to invest in.


2. Speak with joy

Kids can sense when we’re faking it. The shot at the doctor will hurt; the carrots are not going to turn you orange. Building off the joy you have for reading, children will sense a genuine appreciation for books pouring out of you. And—as the student’s “teacher”—it is our job to model this joy, to make the joy so magnetic that the student wants a piece of the action, too. Some phrases to help you exude this include:

  • One thing I love about reading is…
  • I love stories like this, because they help us understand why…
  • This one time, I was reading and I discovered…
  • That’s why I like books, because they help me to…
  • I love how I can learn about so much through books…


3. Don’t force it

Notice how a lot of the “speak with joy” phrases point back to the “I”? It is an invitation for the student to come into your world of loving reading. There is no way to “force” a child into book appreciation. However, when we model the joy of what books can do in our own lives, it opens up a world of wonder where the student can see him or herself as a strong reader, too.


4. Tie it to their interests and goals

Similar to adults, oftentimes children will not root into an idea without an answer to the long-term question, “Why?” Seeing the bigger purpose helps a learner understand why little lessons matter in the moment. If a student loves “being a veterinarian,” ask him why he thinks reading is important to this dream (going to school, reading doctor’s manuals, learning about different kinds of puppies…) and let the child see you are on his side. When kids understand that we are their advocates, learning changes. Any way you can, make them see that you are helping them read because you want them to be able to pursue their own individual goals and interests.


5. Make a habit of reading

The best kind of learning is the kind that seeps itself into our bones. If every time my mom pulls out onions and says, “Mmmm!” holding up the sauté spoon like a golden scepter, I am going to become curious. Children thrive off of routine, and it sets them up for optimal success. When children know that reading is promoted by adults as not just a one-time event, but a habit—they will start to see the value that is placed upon it in your eyes. Over time, they will look forward to it as a stable comfort, no matter how unpredictable the rest of their world is. By establishing bedtime or just-after-school-time as “the” reading time, the grown-up in the child’s life creates the expectation that says to the student: this matters. Reading is here to stay.


Edited from: https://readingpartners.org/blog/the-power-of-joy-for-early-readers/


-Mrs. Wheeler, Literacy Specialist & Mrs. Vanderboegh, Title I Teacher

School Social Work Scene

We are currently working through Unit 3: Emotion Management of our Social Emotional Learning curriculum, Second Step. Our students are learning about how to recognize and calm down strong feelings. Losing control of our emotions is something that happens to everyone. Children and adults alike can “flip their lid”. Why does this even happen? It has to do with how our amazing brains work. Let’s take a closer look at the parts of the brain and how they can work together to help us keep a lid on things.


Imagine that our brain has an upstairs and a downstairs. The upstairs brain is our thinking brain. It helps us think logically, act with kindness, and think about how others might be feeling. It’s also the problem-solving part of our brain. It helps us think of possible solutions to a problem and decide which one is best. The downstairs brain is our feeling brain. This is where our emotions and memories are created and stored. It also controls the things in our bodies that we don’t have to think about like breathing, as well as our automatic reactions to certain situations like pulling our hand away from something hot to avoid being burned.


Our upstairs thinking brain and downstairs feeling brain are in constant communication. Our brain sends messages from section to section all the time about what our bodies feel and need. If our emotions get too overwhelming and our downstairs feeling brain decides that the situation might be dangerous (even if it isn’t), it triggers our fight, flight, or freeze reflex. Our emotions start to bubble up and then suddenly everything boils over. We flip our lids. This can look very different, like a scary angry reaction, crying, shutting down, or running away from the problem.


When our lids are flipped, our thinking brain and feeling brain can’t talk to each other. Our emotions have become too strong and we can’t think clearly and can’t solve the problem in a calm and rational way.


So what can we do to stop us from flipping our lid? It all starts with realizing we’re about to flip our lid, and then calming down so it doesn’t happen. Maybe you felt your stomach rumble or you felt your face getting hot. Did your heart start to pound or your hands start to clench? Were you frustrated? Disappointed? Angry? These types of strong feelings are all indicators that you might be close to flipping your lid. If you feel this start to happen it’s a good idea to walk away or take some deep breaths before you flip your lid.


Learning more about the brain and how it works can really help us to understand our emotions and to be calm and respectful problem solvers. When we listen to our bodies and our brains we can turn the challenges of being a kid (or an adult) into opportunities to learn and grow.


You can access more information about our Second Step program and Social Emotional Learning (as well as other great resources) on our School Social Work Central page on our website!


❤ ~Mrs. DeMercado, School Social Worker

Tubing at Five Pines

We have buy one-get one passes for tubing at Five Pines available in the office. Stop by to pick one up for some great family time!

Face Masks

Parents, please make sure your student comes to school wearing a face mask. Our supply of backup masks is limited. Thank you!

Yearbooks

This year, due to COVID and the restrictions in place, you will be able to order a CES yearbook online at: www.geskusphoto.com/?YB=4042. Ordering online will help to keep down the exchange of paper and money between GPI, the students and the school. The cost of each yearbook is $10.00. Online ordering will be available up until the yearbook goes to print (we will let you know when that happens). After the yearbook is printed you will still be able to order a yearbook, but there will be a shipping fee and it will be mailed directly to the address you provide when ordering. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us.

Outdoor Recess

We will be outside for recess everyday as long as the temperature is above 10 degrees (including wind chill). Please be sure that your students is dressed for colder temperatures.


If there are snow gear that your student needs, please reach out to your child's teacher and we will do all that we can to support!

Dropping Off and Picking Up Reminder

When dropping off or picking up your student in the car rider lane, we ask that you:
  • Pull all the way forward so that we can unload/load as many students as possible. This will make the process more smooth and efficient.
  • Do not attempt to make a left turn into the car rider lane. Traffic is often backed up down S. West St. for drivers making a righthand turn into the lane. Instead, join the back of the line and make the righthand turn.


A safe and smooth process is our priority. Thank you for your support!

Late Start Wednesday

Don't forget that we have a late start on Wednesday, February 10th!
Big picture

24 Hour Rule

When it comes to responding to calls, emails, or messages Coloma Elementary staff follows the "24 hour rule." In other words, we will make every effort to respond within 24 hours. We often do so before that, but sometimes our schedules can get busy. We appreciate your understanding.

Mask Care

Students have been given two face masks from their teacher. Per our Safe Return to School Plan reusable face masks must be washed daily. Please help us in our efforts to keep our students and staff healthy and safe!

School Messenger

Communication is a priority for all Coloma staff. We use SchoolMessenger to share information electronically with our families. Over the last few months we have received feedback from parents that they are not receiving emails with important messages, reminders, and newsletters. If you find yourself in that group, please reach out to our office staff to make sure we have a current email address in PowerSchool. If we have the correct email address, then the situation is that the parent may have changed their settings to have our emails blocked. If you would like to fix that, our office staff can help you with that too.

CARE Expectations

Coloma Elementary's schoolwide expectations for student behavior follow the acronym CARE. It stands for:
  • Come ready to learn
  • Always respectful
  • Responsible
  • Exceptionally safe


Expectations for the hallway, bathrooms, cafeteria, playground, arrival, and dismissal are posted throughout the school. We teach the expectations and review them throughout the school year. Students also earn CARE tickets when they follow the expectations. The office does a ticket drawing where students pick a prize from the CARE Box.

Stay Connected!

How can you stay connected to what's happening at Coloma Elementary?
  • Follow us on Facebook.
  • Make sure the office has your email address on file so we can communicate via SchoolMessenger.
  • Read the Comet Chronicle, Jr. (twice a month).
  • Read your classroom newsletter.

Box Tops

Check out how you can support our school through Box Tops for Education!

A Common Question

One of the most commonly asked questions is: “How long will someone have to quarantine if there’s a case of COVID-19?" Our response is:


“The health and safety of our students, families, and staff is and will always be our primary concern. We have been working diligently over the past several months to prepare for the safe return to school for our students and staff—implementing sanitization and social distancing protocols across the district. In the event of a COVID-19 situation in one of our buildings or classrooms, we will work with the Berrien County Health Department to assist in contact tracing to determine who needs to quarantine and for how long as every COVID exposure is unique. Ultimately, the BCHD will provide specific guidance related to quarantining and isolation.”