News from the Office
We plan to return to full in-person instruction for our Pre-K - 5th Grade students on January 4th. Students should use time over the next two weeks to get caught up on any assignments from our virtual learning days that they have not yet completed. As a reminder, attendance on our virtual learning days is recorded based upon assignment completion. When students return, they should bring back any assignments that they have not yet submitted to their teachers.
We want to wish all of our students and their families a safe and happy holiday!
Mrs. O'Toole's Reading Corner
Winter Fun: What fun we just had with our first snowstorm of the season! While it’s no surprise that, as a reading specialist, I would recommend spending some time during a snowstorm cuddled under a warm blanket reading a good book, it may surprise you what other fun things I would suggest for winter fun! Reading doesn’t always have to be done via a book. Why not surprise your children by giving them a scavenger hunt to complete. It will not only force them to read, but also get them up and moving! You can always locate scavenger hunts on Pinterest, or just create your own on a sheet of paper. Here’s one to get your started.
December Reading Challenge: Click here for a fun winter scavenger hunt, entitled “My Snowy Outdoor Hunt.” This scavenger hunt includes two parts: Things to Do and Things to See on a Snowy Day. You can either print the scavenger hunt or just read it from your phone. So….let’s all get up and spend some time outdoors during Christmas break. I would love to see pictures of your family participating in this challenge. You can send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look Who Was Caught Reading in December: Congratulations to Xavier Burke, Lyvia Deiter, Jaxen Boyer, Caroline Lightner, Camden Burke, Alfonso Mazzotta, and Anna Lightner! Thanks for joining in on the fun and sending me a picture of you reading at home! I hope everyone enjoyed their free book. When you catch your child reading at home, snap a picture and send it to me at email@example.com. I will hang your child’s picture on my reading wall and then let him/her choose a free book from my stash! Let’s see how creative we can over Christmas break! Look for a unique spot to read and send me your picture!
A Note from Our Nurse
Sleep is essential for a healthy immune system (We can all use a little help staying healthy right now!). Children ages 6 to 13 need anywhere from 9 to 11 hours of quality sleep nightly to stay healthy.
Follow these tips to help your child adopt good sleep hygiene:
1. Keep consistent bedtimes and wake times every day of the week.
2. Avoid spending lots of non-sleep time in bed – spending hours lying on a bed doing other activities before bedtime keeps our brains from associating the bed with sleep time.
3. Your child’s bedroom should be cool, quiet and comfortable.
4. Bedtime should follow a predictable sequence of events, such as brushing teeth and reading a story.
5. Avoid high stimulation activities just before bed, such as watching television, playing video games or exercise.
6. Having physical exercise as part of the day often helps with sleep time many hours later.
7. Avoid caffeine (sodas, chocolate, tea, coffee) in the afternoons/evenings. Even if caffeine doesn’t prevent falling asleep it can still lead to shallow sleep or frequent awakenings.
8. Worry time should not be at bedtime. Children with this problem can try having a “worry time” scheduled earlier when they are encouraged to think about and discuss their worries with a parent.
9. Children should be put to bed drowsy, but still awake. Letting them fall asleep in other places forms habits that are difficult to break.
Miss Roth's Counseling Connection
Avoiding the Holidaze: Coping with Seasonal Stress
As we move towards the holidays, students, staff, and families are preparing for break. For most, holidays are full of joy, excitement, and fun. Amidst the excitement, however, we often experience the stress of the season as well, otherwise known as the holidaze. As we run around doing our shopping, trying to attend holiday parties and gatherings, and other seasonal activities, we sometimes forget to take a step back to enjoy the season.
When stress is not handled appropriately, it can lead to decreased sleep, changes in mood, and other behavior changes. One healthy way to deal with stress is by using coping skills. Coping skills are tools that are used to help calm us when we experience stress, worry, or other big emotions. Everyone uses different coping skills, so you may need to try a few to find out what works best for you. Think of some things that help you or your child(ren) calm down in stressful situations…these are your coping skills! Things like listening to music, playing with pets, reading a book, or squeezing a stress ball are all examples of coping skills. Check out the tutorial below for one way to make a coping tool to help deal with stress during the holidays and beyond!
Homemade Stress Relief Ball
-Flour, dried beans, or rice
1. Take your funnel and insert it into the balloon. Use red or green for some extra holiday cheer! If you don’t have a funnel, a rolled up piece of paper is a great alternative!
2. Add rice, dried beans, and/or flour, depending on the texture or feeling you prefer.
3. After the balloon is filled, tie the balloon. Tada! Your stress ball is complete!
Stress relief balls are a great coping tool for both kids and adults! Send a picture of your student(s) and/or family with their new homemade stress ball to firstname.lastname@example.org and the student(s) will win a prize from my prize box!
Miss Courtney Roth, M.Ed.
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Blain Elementary School
132 Blain Road
Blain, PA 17006
"Alone we are strong ... Together we are stronger."