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K-5 Stanton Time!
K-5 Stanton Time!
Rachel Stanton
Monday, March 02, 2020

Greetings families!

Stanton Time has been rocking and rolling - starting off with some great conversations and learning about tattling vs. reporting/telling in Kindergarten. Kindergartners are learning the difference between telling an adult because someone is in danger/hurt or something destructive has been happening that might be hurting our community, school, or property. We compared this to telling simply to get someone IN trouble. This gives people red thoughts and makes it hard to be a good friend. We went through some scenarios and asked ourselves, “If I told an adult, would that be getting someone IN trouble or OUT of trouble?” Surely our K-friends will continue to practice this and we talked about how it is OK if we are not sure if it is tattling or telling and we can ask an adult for help or clarification. This can be really tricky! We are now talking about “Size of the Problem”. We compared problems to weather/rain - how problems come in all shapes and sizes - some are small “kid-sized problems” that we can solve on our own (pencil tip breaks, someone borrowed our crayon, sock is inside out, etc.). We call these “sprinkle problems”, like a light sprinkle of rain that doesn’t ruin our outside fun or activity - it isn’t a big deal and we can quickly solve it and move on. Another type of problem would be a “Thunderstorm Problem”. This might be bigger than we can handle or solve on our own and it would be a time when we would want to get adult help (left our lunch at home, got a really bad scrape that is bleeding, someone is being teased at recess everyday, etc.). Students were really awesome at being able to identify kid-sized (sprinkle) vs. adult-sized (thunderstorm) problems. We will keep working on this concept the next couple of weeks and start to talk about how it’s expected that the size of our reaction matches the size of our problem. Continually proud of and impressed with these deep thinkers!

1st Graders “read” a really special book called, “I Walk with Vanessa” - I say “read” because this book has NO WORDS!!?? Wacky...instead of reading text, we passed the book around so each  student could explain what they thought was going on during the story. “I Walk with Vanessa” is a story about a new student, Vanessa, who is targeted by a mean kid and how a simple act of one of her classmates who sees this injustice resonates with the entire school. Students really enjoyed this book and talking about what was going on in the story, how people were probably feeling, and what they would do in the situation. Such a great opportunity to talk about empathy and kindness. We were able to incorporate the learning from our Zones of Regulation unit to identify what zone the characters might have been in and what they might have needed to get back to the green zone.

2nd Graders are wrapping up their Self-Control Unit and will be participating in the MARSHMALLOW CHALLENGE at the end of the week...ask them how it went! Keep an eye out for their self-control kites (self-identifying how they demonstrate self-control) that will be outside their classrooms next week upon completion!

Lyme 3rd graders really impressed me with their engagement during our Mindfulness Centers. Mr. Dayno’s daily ritual of Tai Chi surely primed these folks for our time together practicing our mindful states. We spent the last two class periods in the library commons. Students rotated to four different centers: Yoga (students “stretched” themselves with some progressive muscle relaxation and guided chair yoga), Sensory Exploration (students activated their sense of smell, touch, and sight and wrote about which experiences were stimulating/pleasant to their senses), Mandala Coloring, (taking time to carefully and with no judgement color their preferred pattern - lots of students took extra coloring sheets home!), and an Individual Guided Meditation (students relaxed in my comfy office with an Ipad and headphones and listened to a guided meditation - I have never seen them so at peace, some students even chose to close their eyes!) Walking around to different centers and seeing students engaged in the activities reminded me that young people are absolutely capable of practicing mindfulness and in lots of cases during their crazy days, they CRAVE it. We will be trying to incorporate more mindfulness moments during our future Stanton Times. NAMASTE.

Fourth Graders have been chugging right along with Go Strengths! curriculum. We’ve been most recently talking about the ETR model - how Events lead to Thoughts which lead to Reactions (feelings/behavior) - how events don’t cause us to have reactions but what we are thinking tends to cause our reaction - our feelings about it or our behavior in response to the thoughts. That is why two people who might experience the same event, have two totally different reactions. This program is based on the cognitive behavioral theory, (CBT) the idea that how we think (cognition), how we feel (emotion) and how we act (behavior) all interact together. Specifically, our thoughts determine our feelings and our behavior. This week, we started to explore “ThoughtHoles”  or cognitive distortions. These are skewed perceptions of reality - negative interpretations of a situation based on poor assumptions and limited information. It can be really helpful to notice when a ThoughtHole is getting in the way of reality, making it hard to see the truth in a situation because our thoughts may simply not be accurate. 

Fifth graders are continuing to explore group problem solving through team building initiatives. We are starting our unit on “Leadership” this next week where students will be investigating the idea of “leadership”, what it is and what it isn’t, their personal style of leadership, and ways they hope to grow as a leader. Really looking forward to our conversations! #LYMESCHOOLROCKS

Hope you all have a wonderful week!