Academic Support

November, 2018

Reading News from Ms. Sullivan

Reading News from Ms. Sullivan

In this day and age, it is no surprise that children love technology! With winter fast approaching, more time is spent inside and perhaps on a computer or iPad. There are many fun and interactive literacy websites and apps that can be used to make your child’s time with technology not only fun, but educational! Below is a list of some websites and iPad apps that I recommend using with your child to help develop their early reading skills.

Websites:

www.starfall.com

www.abcya.com

 

Apps:

Letter School

Endless Alphabet

Alphabetics

ABC Pocket Phonics 

Bob Books Reading Magic

Reading Eggs

Starfall Learn to Read

Homer

 Kirstin Sullivan, Reading Specialist, kirstin.sullivan@braintreeschools.org

 

Ms. Sherbakov’s EL Report

Ms. Sherbakov’s EL Report  

The changes brought by autumn have provided the perfect opportunity for Ms. Sherbakov’s students to talk about nature. We have enjoyed reviewing our color vocabulary and practicing our comparing/contrasting skills while talking about the colorful leaves, and this past month, we went outside and explored our outdoor territory. The children loved being nature spies! We spotted all kinds of exciting things in and around our play yard, including flowers, birds, squirrels, nests, and many different kinds of leaves. We have also been working hard on building our vocabulary for naming and describing animals. We know which animals can hop, swim, run, crawl, and slither, and we’ve practiced making some of these movements ourselves. As always, we continue to work on letter recognition and mastering the sounds of English, as well as practicing our numbers and building the vocabulary we need to talk about them.

 Andrea Sherbakov, EL Teacher, andrea.sherbakov@braintreeschools.org

Occupational Therapy News from Ms. Sherwin

Occupational Therapy News from Ms. Sherwin

Happy Holidays to all!  I can hardly believe the season is upon us already!  For this month, I would like to suggest some toys for holiday shopping that support fine motor skill development.  Please remember to check for recommended ages of the toys and to consider the developmental stage of your child.  Not every child develops at the same rate, and many toys can be adapted for various uses and be appropriate for various ages. 

Construction toys:  Lincoln Logs, K’nex, Legos, Erector Sets

Fine motor games:  Barnyard Bingo, Spirograph, Play-Dough, Kerplunk, Ants in the Pants, Don’t Break the Ice, Connect Four (also comes in travel size), Operation, Perfection, Magna Doodle, Jenga, and mazes/dot-to-dot workbooks                                                                                                                           

These are just suggestions and don’t feel that you have to go out and buy these toys at all.

Amy Sherwin C.O.T.A/L, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, amy.sherwin@braintreeschools.org

Ms. Harmon's Speech and Language Update

Ms. Harmon’s Speech and Language Update 

Hello MSKC families!  First off, I’d like to thank those that came to meet with me during conference week.  It was a pleasure to speak with you, and I was proud to hear of all the home practice occurring!  If you did not have a conference and would like to meet, please contact me at ashley.casucci@braintreeschools.org.

This December, we will shift from a fall theme to a winter theme.  Pragmatic language concepts will include expected and unexpected behavior, and following the group plan.  We will also focus on appropriately playing games and interacting with peers.

Book of the month: There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow, by Lucille Colandro.

Sample targeted vocabulary will include: snow, snowman, shovel, hot chocolate, gloves/mittens, coat, hat, scarf, and sled.

Home activity: Build a snowman with your child!  Have your child locate all the items needed (hat, scarf, mittens, a stick, a carrot for a nose; you might consider hiding these items around your home and giving them a clue to find each item), and then have your child direct you on how to build the snowman or build the snowman together.  When you are finished, make a story about your snowman.  What does your snowman like to do in the winter? What is its name? Where does it live? Does it have a snow family or attend snow school? See how creative a story you can make by working together.

Email me anytime ashley.casucci@braintreeschools.org with any questions or concerns! 

Ashley Harmon, MS CCC-SLP

Physical Therapy News from Ms. Dillon

Physical Therapy News from Ms. Dillon

Children should be physically activity at least 1 hour per day.

 

Aerobic activity should make up most of the 1 hour you spend on physical activity each day.

 

Examples include:

·        Riding a tricycle, big wheel, bicycle, scooter board, skateboard or roller blading

·        Fast walking, hiking, jogging, or running

·        House cleaning (vacuuming, sweeping) or yard work (raking leaves, pulling weeds)

·        Dancing, swimming, jumping rope

·        Playing soccer, basketball, or volleyball

·        Animal walks- crab walking, seal walking, galloping, bear walking, etc.

 

Muscle and Bone Strengthening activities should be done at least 3 days/week.

Examples include:

·        Climbing on playground structures at the playground/on a swing set

·        Playing tug of war

·        Rowing in a canoe, kayak, or row boat

·        Doing push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, yoga poses

·        Digging in sand at the beach/playground, building sand castles

·        House work- sweeping, vacuuming, taking out the trash, helping carry in groceries

·        Yard work- raking, gardening, pulling weeds (watch out for poison ivy, check for ticks!)

 

Be sure to make physical activity fun, not work!  Find the activities your child enjoys!

·        It can be a structured, formal program, such as taking swimming lessons, gymnastics classes, or martial arts classes, playing a team sport, or participating in track club

·        It can be non-structured such as going to the playground, dancing in your kitchen, playing in the pool/at the beach, playing in the back yard, playing in the snow

·        Provide easy access to equipment such as tricycles/bicycles, jump ropes, hula hoops, scooter boards, balls, chalk, bubbles, etc.

·        Balance activities- standing on one foot, walking on a line, walking on a board or balance beam

·        Targeting activities- hitting a pitched ball or ball off a tee with a bat, volleying a balloon, bowling, hitting a ball/birdie with a racket, catching bubbles

·        Kicking skills- practice kicking, trapping, passing and dribble a ball with feet

·        Throwing and catching- use a football, playground ball, tennis ball, frisbee, and play a game of catch

 

Always, be safe. 

·        Always provide protective equipment such as helmets, wrist pads, or knee pads when using bicycles, scooters, skateboards, and rollerblades

·        Always provide adult supervision for children in and around water

·        Dress children appropriately for the weather

·        Keep skin protected with sunscreen

·        Keep children hydrated!

·        During warmer months, don’t forget to protect children from bugs/mosquitos and check for ticks!

 

Elisa Dillon, Physical Therapist, elisa.dillon@braintreeschools.org

From Our School Psychologist - Ms. Kidd's Corner

From Our School Psychologist - Ms. Kidd's Corner

November has been a busy month for our kindergarten friends! We are enjoying our time together in lunch bunch, and have settled nicely into our routines. Thank you for your support, and for sending your children in with peanut free lunches for lunch bunch.

During the month of November, we have been working on identifying different feelings, how some feelings are comfortable and some feelings are uncomfortable, as well as managing strong feelings. We have enjoyed songs and games together talking about our feelings, as well as some fun shared activities on managing our strong feelings. You may hear your kindergartener talking about being “stiff as a pencil”, and relaxing to a “loose yarn”, as we practiced being the boss of our muscles and relaxing them.

As our kindergarteners work on developing self-awareness of their feelings and managing those feelings, it can be overwhelming. You may see an increase in this during the holidays. There is so much fun and excitement, which is wonderful, but this can sometimes lead to big feelings. Finding a quiet moment to talk about what special family holiday events you will be participating in, and what to expect during those times, can help your child to enjoy these events even more. These quiet moments are also ideal for practicing managing feelings as well. Modeling deep breathing, relaxing our muscles, and other strategies such as counting or positive self-talk, can make it much easier for your child to engage these strategies when having a big feeling.

In January, we will be working on handling accidents, and demonstrating empathy through compassion.  It is such a pleasure working with your children! Please feel free to reach out at any time. Thank you for your collaboration in your child’s educational experience.

Emily Kidd, School Psychologist, emily.kidd@braintreeschools.org