It's hard to believe we are in the final weeks of school. Time flies quickly when we're having fun learning at The Mill!
In April, Mrs. Richardson and I were busy preparing for, monitoring and administering CRCT make-ups. Our students began with the end in mind as they made a point to get to school on time and focus on the test each day. My May lessons are geared toward helping our 5th graders transition to middle school as well as emphasizing summer safety for 3rd grade and internet safety for 4th grade.
We're beginning our 5th grade lesson by sharing ideas about the coming changes that are exciting and a little bit scary for our students as they head to 6th grade. Many are excited about meeting new friends, changing classes and teachers, and having the opportunity to become involved in music programs or intramural sports. Others are a little wary of lockers and the amount of homework they may have.
After reviewing the importance of using their agendas, communicating with parents and teachers about academic or friend concerns, and always completing assignments, the students are practicing opening a lock. Many are surpised that they could open it the first time while others took several tries to get the lock open.
As an extension of this lesson, the students will create a "treasure map to success" in middle school. Creating this map will help our students begin with the end in mind and allow them to put first things first so they can continue to be successful.
In 4th grade, we are learning about internet safety. In our ever increasing technological world, many elementary age children have access to the internet through email, Facebook, Xbox or Play Station games. Additionally, many have cell phones with internet or texting capability. As I took data at the beginning of the lesson, I learned that in most classes, 90-100% of the students have access to the internet but less than 50% report that their computer is in a common area. It is vitally important that parents supervise their children's access to the internet and establish rules for using social networking and game sites.
Using 3 segments from Brain Pop, our internet safety lesson includes a discussion on "netiquette", the importance of keeping your private information safe, cyberbullying, and the danger of opening attachments. Please check out Netsmartz to help your child stay safe on the internet and make it a point to educate yourself about the ever changing dangers that internet access can often present to children.
In 3rd grade, our students are viewing safety videos on stranger danger and bicycle safety. The first video depicts some common child lures, emphasizes the importance of having a buddy when playing in various area, and shows how to get help if a stranger tries to lure them somewhere. Parents can help guard children against stranger danger by role playing various scenario. You may have seen the recent NBC show by Natalie Morales, "My Kid Would Never do That - Stranger Danger". In scene after scene, many children fell for the stranger's lure despite the fact that parents had discussed these situations time and time again.
We are also discussing safety in various places and situations that are common to having summer fun. The children are coming up with several rules that would help them be safe on the computer, in the home or neighborhood, and in the park, pool or at the beach. The discussion also includes car and bicycle safety, skateboarding and playing outdoor sports in the heat.
The students are able to connect the habits "be proactive" and "begin with the end in mind" to summer safety. By taking responsibility to obey their parents' safety rules and asking themselves how to be safe before starting an activity, children can learn to anticipate what could happen if they don't put safety first.
In addition to classroom guidance lessons, our students will participate in Career Day on May 14th and will learn about many exciting careers. Our speakers will share knowledge about what their careers entail, the education required for their careers, and what led them to their career choice.
I hope our Pickett's Mill families have a wonderful summer filled with adventures and happy times. Stay safe!
The following ASCA standards were covered in these lessons:
GC:AD-B2.1 Establish challenging academic goals in elementary, middle/junior high and high school
GC:AD-C1.6 Understand how school success and academic achievement enhance future career and vocational opportunities
Career Day: (3rd -5th)
- GC:CD-C1.1 Understand the relationship between educational achievement and career success
GC:CD-B1.8 Understand how changing economic and societal needs influence employment trends and future training
3rd and 4th grades:
GC:PS-C1.2 Learn about the relationship between rules, laws, safety and the protection of rights of the individual
GC:PS-C1.7 Apply effective problem-solving and decision-making skills to make safe and healthy choices