Mistral Essentials - April 1, 2020

A note from the Principal

Dear Families,

Although I wish current circumstances were different, I have enjoyed seeing the learning that is occurring during this time. I know that it must be challenging for so many families: some are still working (thank you for keeping our community’s needs met!), others are becoming teachers for the first time, and others are balancing work and parenting duties at home.

A colleague’s newsletter contained some helpful hints that I’d like to share with you surrounding positive reinforcement. While our teachers practice this daily, it may be less intuitive from the parents’ perspective. With all of these, try to add an impact statement, which tells the child clearly how a positive choice or behavior can lead to an outcome that might also affect others in a positive way. Adding a question to further the conversation is also a great idea!

1. Reinforce with positive language -- tell your child what s/he is doing well. Celebrate successes to encourage repetition of desired behaviors.

  • Great job putting the dishes away without being asked! Now we will have time to go for a walk outside together.
  • Thank you for working quietly on your assignment while I was on a conference call. It really helped me concentrate on what I was doing and now I can read with you!
  • Wow! I really liked it when you were sharing ideas with your teacher via Zoom. You must have read the story very carefully to make such great inferences! What helped you concentrate on your assignment?

2. Remind (repeat, reiterate) with kindness and patience -- while we hope that kids are internalizing good habits, we also know that executive functioning skills (decision-making, self-regulation, self-monitoring, etc.) are not fully developed until our mid-20s! This means that our young ones will need us to be patient with them as we remind them (sometimes constantly).

  • What is our rule about using the iPad? Didn’t we say that we would only use it for 15 minutes? How can we benefit if you follow this rule?
  • Can you remember what Dad said about cleaning up after dinner? If we work together, it takes us less time and our house is clean! Can I count on you for help?
  • Remind me what your teacher asked you to do each night for homework. Do you think you have been consistent? Is there a story you’d rather read with me?

3. Redirect to the desired behavior.

  • Your sister is upset. Let’s hear her side of the story.
  • How can you make it better?
  • What are some ways you can make your opinion known next time?
  • Right now, you should be working on one of your optional assignments. Can you show me responsibility by starting that right now?

This Responsive Classroom article has some terrific examples! Remember that tone and body language can influence the outcome of an interaction! I practice this every day and it truly does take a lot of work to initiate conversations and respond effectively.

Don’t forget to live-stream or virtually attend the Board meeting tomorrow evening:

Dial in Phone Number: (415) 762-9988

Meeting ID 602-006-888

There is no participant ID


Principal Miller

District News

Make sure you’re counted! The U.S. Census is coming up

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