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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Reflection: Young Minds Have No Limits

Children never fail to amaze me. Their innate sense of creativity and problem-solving is incredibly powerful and humbling. We need to make sure we provide a great support system for them with lots of learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom along the way.

But what makes a truly educational support system for a child? Yes, they need positive reinforcement, encouragement, and plenty of praise. But they also need a safe place to fail, accept disappointments and persevere through setbacks. Doing so will not only honor and value their ideas (both successful and unsuccessful) but will encourage critical, creative and reflective thinking.

Below are just a few examples of remarkable achievements by children. Although you may feel as though some of these are extreme cases--I can hear the communal sigh from here: " kid builds mashed potato mountains with her peas and sings into a Magic marker. I don't see a CEO there." To which I say, how do you know? Resist the temptation to build a glass ceiling over that mountain (or Magic marker). Perhaps you're raising a budding cartographer or an audio engineer....

And then...

 Three years later: Thomas is 15 years old in this interview.

Feeling the fear and doing it anyway...

Ok. This next one was from a long time ago. But it just illustrates my point. Kids are ALWAYS great thinkers. When they lived makes no difference.

Composed by Amadeus Mozart at age 5.

And lastly...although the video below is a commercial for GE, I felt that its message was the perfect ending to this post. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Looking for Summer Stay-cations for Animals!

From Ms. Pavlicek...

The Burlington Science Center still has a few animals left that need homes for the summer. See below:

--African Clawed Frog (like having fish-eats hand fed worms)
--Painted Turtle (eats live insects-water change-medium care)
--Cockatiels (needs to be a Teflon/non-stick cookware free or aware home, scented candles/plug-in free, aerosol sensitive)
--Special Need Gerbils (easy-low care)-has leg growth/tumor

  • The Science Center will provide cage, STARTER food, shavings, & care sheet for the animal;
  • Call Ms. Pavlicek (781)-270-2928 or e-mail ASAP if interested.  
  • Animals are distributed on a first come, first served basis.  

All animals must be picked up by June 14th after making an appointment with Ms. Pavlicek.

Thank you!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Improving Comprehension Skills: The Read Aloud

Reading aloud is one of the most precious gifts anyone can give to a child. Although we traditionally associate it with 'snuggle time' for the very young (e.g. Dr. Seuss, Nursery Rhymes, Pat the Bunny, etc.), it can also be a tremendous source of critical thinking and high-level comprehension as well. Just because your child has started school (or has been in school for several years) doesn't mean that reading aloud to your child now is any less important than it was at two or three years old. :)

Recently, this TedTalk by Rebecca Bellingham, caught my attention. It is a short and sweet explanation of how reading aloud to children can significantly enhance their understanding beyond the walls of the classroom. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Burlington Science Center Needs Newspapers!

If you have any old newspapers that you are planning to recycle this week, please consider donating them instead to the Burlington Science Center at the High School. Many of the animals that are used for science programs and learning experiences are housed at the high school all year long and some require newspaper for their homes. They will gladly take them if you are willing to drop them off! One caveat: no circulars or color inserts, please. Thank you!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Mill Pond Reservoir Trip

We recently went on a field trip to the Mill Pond Reservoir to observe and experience three different habitats of our local area.  Different classrooms attended the field trip at different times so this video highlights Miss Varrell's group with some children from Mrs. Beaulieu's class. Here's a slideshow of our experience. Thank you to our two chaperones, Mrs. Wisniewski and Ms. Romero, for helping us on our trip (unfortunately they didn't make it into the video)! Enjoy the show!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Every Day Math With Jiji and Friends

Today we collected photographs and illustrations of everyday math from our homes and school. We made connections to math as we observed the world around us and made sure that Jiji* was in the photo too! Thank you to our fabulous parents who helped us with our unique homework assignment last night.

*Jiji is a trademarked character from the STMath visual math supplemental program that allows children to practice their problem-solving and math fact skills online.  #STMath @JiJiMath

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Author Talks! Julia Cook Comes to Pine Glen

Please join us for a Literacy Night with author
Julia Cook!
“As educators and parents, our ultimate goal is to make a positive difference to children and help them reach their highest potential and become the best that they can be in all they do. This goal is getting harder and harder to reach.”
This is a hands-on hour of laughs and parenting tricks of the trade. 
Topics addressed include:
Video game/ screen time addiction
Balancing the parenting act
Personal safety of kids
Teaching kids social skills through books

“This parenting talk takes a look at the things that world class parents and educators are doing
to accomplish the "ultimate goal."  By creating a craving for knowledge, setting boundaries, teaching GRIT, encouraging patience, and developing E.Q., our children can be their ultimate best and become prepared for their paths that lie ahead!”

*This is an adults only event
When: Thursday April 26th, 2018
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Where: Memorial Elementary School
125 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
***Please email to RSVP by 4/22/18***

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Spa Day for Speckle and Freckle?

Mikey enjoys some special time with Speckle! Photo courtesy of Mrs. Bannister!

Hello Room 211 Families!

If you are interested in hosting Speckle and Freckle for the April vacation week, please drop me a note/email to let me know by Friday morning. I will randomly select a name after our field trip. You will receive a confirmation email by Friday afternoon if your name was selected. Here are some of the responsibilities of having the gerbils over the vacation week:
  • keeping them in a safe place away from other pets or prying fingers/curious hands;
  • changing the water daily and providing cardboard;
  • checking to be sure the lid is securely fastened after removing it for petting and/or changing water, etc.;
  • giving them fresh food on Wednesday (half a bowl);
  • observing them daily to be sure they are healthy and showing normal gerbil behavior (chewing, scurrying, digging, sleeping, eating, drinking, etc.);
  • optional: provide occasional very small amounts of gerbil-approved fruits and/or vegetables (see care sheet)