Hello families! Hope you are enjoying some nicer weather as we roll into the later spring and early summer months! I know that vitamin d sure helps me out :-) Here's what's been going on during Stanton Time...

Kindergartners are continuing to explore thoughts and feelings with our Emotional ABCs program. We first explored people’s body language and faces and made smart guesses as to what each person might be feeling. We are doing some group games and activities to help us notice our own emotions and how we might be feeling in our mind and body. This is the first step to talking about them and getting or doing what we need to do so our feelings don’t get too big and out of control. It has been so fun and interesting to hear them discuss and embrace feelings. We’ll continue to learn about ways to help notice and manage those feelings so we can make the best choices for ourselves. We will explore “I-Feel and I-Need statements” to help classmates understand what everyone might need in order to feel better. 

1st graders have been exploring one of the Lyme School Values - FAIRNESS. Dr. Stanton was back for her 45 minutes of providing "clinically fair treatments". We also first came up with a student-generated definition of FAIRNESS - the majority of suggestions included the sentiment that “everyone gets the same thing”. So we used that as our working definition of FAIRNESS for the following activity: Each student got a card with an injury or an illness - these ranged from “stubbed toe, sore throat, bee sting, headache, etc. and the least fortunate, bandaid allergy…)”. As yet again being a credentialed and practicing physician for that 45-minutes, I went around to each student, and regardless of the injury, gave everyone the same treatment - A BAND-AID (bummer for the kid with the band-aid allergy…). Some students were relieved by this treatment, some argued that the treatment was not effective. The students were outraged! “Why are you giving everyone a band-aid?! That isn’t going to help them! That isn’t what they need!” I told students that I was a fair physician and we agreed initially that fairness was when “everyone gets the same thing”. We started to think more critically about this definition of fairness. Eventually, students revised their definition: Fairness is when everyone gets what they NEED. We agreed that this definition was more suitable. It was a very fun class and students provided some great examples of when students might not be getting the SAME things, but when they might be getting what they need, and that is ok! 

Next class we talked about different ways people get what they need - maybe someone gets a little extra help with their math or reading, or maybe they get to take a break when their body needs it, or maybe the way their brain and body work, they need a special chair to help them stay focused and in the green zone. All those things might be or look different for classmates, but at the end of the day, we’re all getting and doing what we need to be the best students we can be! They wrapped up with drawings of picture of what “Fairness” looks like at the Lyme School - students drew images of people playing by the rules, taking turns, sharing (sharing Ms. Connie!), people getting extra help or extra snack if they need it, people being kind and flexible when others need something more or different. What a thoughtful and compassionate group! (But we already knew this…).

In second grade, we are learning about the “7 Habits of Happy Kids” - brought to us by author Sean Covey. We will be reading stories and participating in activities that introduce, discuss, and practice habits that will support them along their academic and personal journeys. We have explored two habits so far from stories about different furry woodland characters in “Seven Oaks” - Habit One: Be Proactive - “I’m in charge of me”, Habit Two: Begin with the End in Mind “Have a Plan”. Students had some great examples of how they are proactive at school and at home and that they can build up these GOOD habits to make life easier and more enjoyable. Many of them talked about how they save money they earn or receive to spend on things that are important to them - much luck and self-control to these thrifty investors!

In Third grade, we did a part 2 of the Fairness unit they explored in 1st grade - they remembered that it’s not about everyone getting the same thing - it’s about everyone getting what they need - yay! After a refresher on fairness, we took a trip outside to complete a Stanton Time team challenge that the group ROCKED especially when it came to fairness, compassion and equity! Ask them about it, especially when Mr. Damren had to transform into a 3rd grader and join them in the challenge. We will be talking about another Lyme School value next week - INTEGRITY!

April is STRESS AWARENESS MONTH! Fourth graders are learning about the brain and our amazing Fight, Flight, and Freeze response to perceived threats and stressors. We learned about the Amygdala and the FFF using the hand model of the brain, check it out! Students learned about “flipping your lid” when we experience an “amygdala hijacking” where our feelings become really big and out of control and our “upstairs” and “downstairs” brain can’t communicate effectively.. We all recognized that this happens in everyone, little tiny toddlers (true story...) to our parents and other adults. AND, we can notice what might be going on in our brains and bodies to keep ourselves from having big upset reactions and flipping our lids. A lot of the time during Stanton Time Team Challenges - students get frustrated, don’t agree with the plan, or don’t feel heard. We can use the skills and strategies we learn and talk about to help keep us from flipping our lid, calming down, and communicating to others what we need. It is a lifelong process we’re all still working on, but we can totally start today!

Fifth graders are moving right along in their Digital Citizenship Unit and are playing some games and activities through Common Sense Digital Passport. This has been a great way to explore ways they can be an upstander online, protect their privacy online, use smart searching terms, create safe and secure passwords, understand how multitasking and focus are impacted by our devices, and can give creative credit to others’ work found online. They are really enjoying this unit, especially amazed by data that reports how many kids their age have smart phones and  how long kids their age are on devices outside of school hours…over four hours! They could not believe it…

Lyme Kids ROCK.

With Gusto,

Mrs. Stanton