All posts by rlambeth

Learning Styles

We look forward to welcoming the children back to school this Wednesday, 24th February.  Tonnes of excitement was experienced at school, prior to the break, with Celebrating Language Diversity Week and the EPN’s Friendship Duka.  Hopefully, the short break incorporated a play-date, or two, as well as precious time spent with family.

Staff at both campuses are undergoing Professional Development before the students’ return to school.  Teachers, like students, are continually learning and, also like students, have different learning needs and preferences.  As well as providing an opportunity to collaborate, exchange ideas, expand our skill-set and increase our knowledge, days like these often remind us what it feels like to be on the receiving end of instruction, participating in learning environments that may, or may not, play to our strengths.  Do we thrive in group situations, or do we find ourselves feeling a little self-conscious and outside of our comfort zone?  Would we rather be provided with new information that we can visualise, or would we prefer to listen to an explanation, or perhaps have a direct hands-on approach, physically experiencing something new for ourselves?  Professional Development sessions, like classrooms, need to appeal to a wide range of individual personalities and learning preferences, incorporating a variety of activities, as well as providing moments for reflection, in order to engage and motivate learners.

At the start of the academic year, the majority of classrooms would have carried out activities with students, to help determine their preferred learning styles and, thereby, help guide our teaching.  The website scholastic.com recommends re-checking a child’s learning profile “periodically [as] exposure to different experiences as well as development itself can influence your child’s learning profile over time.”

If you are not already sure of your child’s preferred learning style, or you are slightly curious about your own, there are numerous informal questionnaires to be found on the Internet, which could provide a little insight.

The two websites that have been selected below are user friendly and free.

www.educationplanner.org – Learning Styles Quiz

www.scholastic.com – Learning Personality Quiz

Learning Personality

Friendships

Thfriendship-clipart-9iRR8yyXTe Friendship Duka is an annual event organised by the Elementary Parent Network, (EPN).  Next Friday, 12th February, the event will be held during first and second break.  First, at 9.20am – 9.40am, in the three Quads, (EC/KG, Grade 1-2-3 and Grade 4-5), then continuing during the lunchtime break in the Grade 1-2-3 Quad only.

This day is an opportunity for students to acknowledge and celebrate friendship, before embarking on their half-term break.

The EPN would like to encourage every child to buy a gift, (ranging from TSh 500 to TSh 5,000), for a friend in their class.  Teachers will kindly help facilitate this, so that the friendship qualities found in each and every child can be appreciated.  Last year, a special thank you was given to the Lower Elementary teachers for assisting the children and making sure that all were included in the acts of giving and receiving.

Proceeds from the Friendship Duka go towards funding various EPN events throughout the academic year.  More than just a fundraising event, though, as parents and teachers we should keep to the fore that friendships are precious and vital across all ages.  As well as providing comfort, companionship and excitement, friendships enable a child to develop a multitude of skills needed throughout life:

  • Accepting others
  • Apologising to others
  • Asking for what one wants/needs
  • Asking questions
  • Complimenting others
  • Co-operating
  • Expressing feelings
  • Following rules of play; being a good sport, playing fairly, winning/losing gracefully
  • Helping others
  • Listening to others
  • Refusing to join others’ negative behaviours
  • SharingPooh-quote
  • Starting conversations
  • Taking turns

Parents and teachers play an important role in helping children develop friendships.  Through modelling, we set examples for children to follow through ways they manage relationships.  We are also there to act as coaches for children, teaching helpful social skills and talking through friendship issues to help with solving problems.   As children learn how to manage social situations, having opportunities to talk about friendships with parents and school staff helps children feel supported and develops their communication skills.  (Adapted from kidsmatter.edu.au)

Wishing everyone a terrific Friendship Duka experience and hoping to hear tales of a play-date, or two, taking place over the February break!


https://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/families/about-friendship/making-friends/helping-children-learning-positive-friendship-skills

For Optimal Development and Alertness – Sleep

Karibuni!  Welcome back to a new term and to a new calendar year!  It has been lovely to see so many returning faces and to hear the excitement in the children’s voices, as they recount tales of their school holiday to their friends and teachers.

Back to school means re-establishing the all too familiar routines.  Sleep, being one of them.

As adults we can fully appreciate that a good day starts with a good night’s sleep.  Quite how much sleep each individual requires is not set in stone; however, an article on the UK National Health Service (NHS) website shares the Millpond Children’s Sleep Clinic’s recommended number of hours sleep based on age.  (The Millpond Children’s Sleep Clinic comprises qualified health professionals, skilled in nursing, midwifery and health visiting.  Their team of sleep consultants and experts have all spent decades working in the NHS, supporting parents with their children’s sleep, health and behavioural problems.  Since becoming an established clinic, the Millpond Children’s Sleep Clinic has been delivering sleep training to NHS staff since 2007.)

Elementary School Children, depending on age, require between 9 hours 30 minutes to 11 hours 30 minutes of sleep each night.  The article provides information on how lack of sleep can affect children, stating that, “Younger children who are persistently sleep-deprived seem irritable and overactive, seek constant stimulation and don’t concentrate well.”

As we launch ourselves into this new term, which is bound to be one filled with excitement, new challenges and enriching experiences, it seems an apt time to gently remind us all that, “night time sleep is just as important as healthy eating and exercise for children to develop.

Wishing each and every one of you a happy, healthy and prosperous year ahead.


Wake Up Time for School girl waking up and stretching in the morning

 

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