Dear Parents of Third Graders,
We at Milne Grove are happy to welcome students back to the building beginning Monday, January 11. Our SEL class times will remain on Wednesdays with remote learning. In order to allow for better dialogue regarding social emotional topics, we are going to try something different. You are familiar with Mrs. Georgopulos and Mrs. Steed posting a video for students to watch independently. Then the students complete the corresponding assignment in spelling or handwriting. SEL will be similar.
I will post a video in our google classroom that students are expected to watch prior to their SEL Live class time. Then students may choose to join the live class to further discuss the topic. Mrs. Koziol referred to this as an optional conversation lab. Doesn’t that sound fun? More students talking and less of Mrs. Reynolds talking! I hope your student joins the live session and shares his/her thoughts. Their ideas and insights are amazing!
This week, your child’s third grade teacher will remind the students to watch the video at an independent work time or a time directed by their teacher.
Please send me any questions you have about this new way for your child to interact during SEL class.
It was wonderful to talk to many of you during Parent-Teacher conferences. The current situation with Covid 19 is causing so many changes. Our kids are frequently having difficulties because of the changes and because of the uncertainties. Nearly everyone has fear of the unknown!
I encourage you to have your child log into the computer 10 minutes before his/her first class and open up the Mindfulness page of this website. There is an activity for each day of the week and even some extra activities. Click on the day of the week and a website will open. There are videos and other activities linked to the images in the virtual “Mindfulness Room.” So explore it by clicking on different items. If you find an activity that you especially like, feel free to keep coming back to that one!
You can bookmark the Mindfulness page to make it easy to find each morning. I hope starting your day with some mindfulness will help your days go smoothly!
Please take a look around this website for Thanksgiving activities and a page with activities to calm us when we need it.
Enjoy the time away from work and be sure to tell the people in your life that you are thankful for them!
Dear Students and Families,
We only have 2 SEL Live classes this month! Tomorrow, November 4th, and November 18th. I know, I know, it’s disappointing!
Ha ha! While I love seeing you on Wednesdays, I actually think you enjoy days off of school.
Here are the notes about our school calendar this month: No School for students on Wednesday, November 11. Please watch for a post about Veteran’s Day with links for activities to do on this day off!
No School November 23 and 24 while parents and teachers have conferences. Parents who want to conference with me are encouraged to send me an email!
The rest of that week (Nov 25, 26, 27) we do not have school in order to celebrate Thanksgiving. Did you know that gratitude is an emotion? Spend some time practicing gratitude, especially if this holiday is different for your family this year. We can’t control everything, but we can control our focus on the positive things around us. I know that I am thankful for you!
Happy Thanksgiving! Be grateful!
Erin’s Law is a law requiring all public schools to provide “age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention education in grades pre-kindergarten through 12.” Statistics show that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18, which is why it is so important to talk to students about it.
On Wednesday, October 21st, your child will hear a presentation on Body Safety by Rebecca Taylor from Guardian Angel Community Services. Ms. Taylor is a Prevention Educator and is skilled at handling this sensitive subject matter in an age appropriate way. This presentation contains information aimed at helping to protect children from child sexual abuse.
All presentations will take place on live Google Meet sessions with the school social worker present. The schedule and the links to the special class sessions will be sent out the night before via Parent Square and will also be in the SEL with Mrs. Reynolds Google Classrooms.
The goals of this presentation are:
First, it is best for children to be knowledgeable about and use the proper names for all of their body parts, to help ensure that the child is not misunderstood. If you do choose not to teach your child the proper names for their body parts, Guardian Angel Community Services recommends that you, your child, and the other significant people in your child’s life are using the same language.
Secondly, many children are taught “Stranger Danger,” and while this is important, it is not enough. Fewer than 10-20% of child sexual abuse cases are perpetrated by strangers. Many children are confused, frightened, and unsure of what to do when they find themselves in uncomfortable situations with people that they know, and usually even trust. For this reason, while we do touch on “stranger danger,” we also talk with children about what to do if someone they know makes them feel unsafe. We encourage you to do the same.
If you have questions or concerns about these presentations, please contact Mrs. Koziol at extension 2104 or Mrs. Reynolds at extension 2103.
Jaime Koziol, Principal and Melisse Reynolds, Social Worker
Rebecca Taylor’s contact information:
Prevention Educator, Sexual Assault Service Center
Guardian Angel Community Services
Rtaylor@gacsprograms.org 815-729-0930 X 1536
Yesterday’s SEL Live with Mrs. Reynolds classes were all about helping your children with focus and attention. This is such an important skill! If we are not focusing on our family members and friends when they talk to us, they think we are not interested in what they say. At school, having the ability to focus is very important for learning. Luckily there are a lot of fun ways to practice focusing and paying attention.
Anytime you need something to do, waiting at the dentist’s office, in line at the grocery store, or at home, play games that build those focusing muscles! Play Simon Says, I Spy, 20 questions, or even your own version of Jimmy Fallon’s Truth or Lie with what’s in the box (or bag).
Have fun with your kids, give them your undivided attention and help them build skills for success in relationships and in school.
Our first day with students in person is underway! Teachers are well prepared and excited to see your children. The children are doing an amazing job handling the changes so far. It’s a great start! Thank you for all of your hard work to prepare your children for the new ways that school would look this year. We know that keeping a distance from our friends and wearing masks is very new. You have done a wonderful job teaching your children what to expect.
Speaking of expectations, earlier this school year, in the expectation night video, I explained that I would be posting a ‘virtual calming space’ on my website. It is finally available. Please take a look and find some of the videos your children have seen during SEL Live!, such as the puffer fish who guides us in deep breathing. Click “more” on the menu across the top of the page and you’ll find the virtual calming space. It is a representation of my room at Milne Grove, although I don’t have a fish tank. :0) Click on an item and it will take you to a website for music, a story, coloring pages, a game, and more. Each item takes you to a different website. Only a few items don’t lead anywhere right now. Bookmark it for a time when your child needs a calming break!
Every Wednesday your kindergarten through third grade child will use the Google Meet link in our SEL with Mrs. Reynolds google classroom to join the class.
After class (most likely on Thursdays) I will post a link to a recording for anyone who was absent to watch. The link will only work for D91 accounts.
I shorten most of the classes to remove the time when we are waiting for everyone to join and possibly time spent troubleshooting technical difficulties.
See you in class on Wednesdays!
Wow! We had our first day of SEL Live!
It was great to see your child’s face again!
All of us have a lot of feelings about the current public health situation. As adults we can help our children with some emotional preparation. This means helping our kids get ready for the feelings and attitudes they might have about the future. I’m not focusing on a far away future, but the near future of school on the computer and hopefully school in the building two days a week.
So today in SEL Live we talked about giving a name to our feelings. I encourage you to support your children in feeling all of the emotions that they experience. Children whose parents support those changing feelings understand that 1) emotions pass, 2) emotions are not scary, and 3) emotions are teachers.
We also briefly talked about what we can do with those feelings. Today we used a video of a puffer fish to help us breathe deeply.
~ Mrs. Reynolds
On Wednesday~, when the sky is blue,
and I have nothing else to do,
I sometimes wonder if it’s true
That who is what and what is who. – Winnie the Pooh
Even though Wednesday is in the middle of the week, there is no reason why we shouldn’t enjoy it to a maximum. Simple things such as a clear, blue sky, a few minutes of peace and calm, and an accomplished task can brighten our mood.
Dear Students and Parents,
All of the Milne Grove community is excited to get back together! While we will be getting together through video calls, we will get to see each other's faces after a summer away. It's going to be great!
This year I am teaching social emotional learning (SEL) on Wednesdays. I will meet with each homeroom class live. Please join the Google Classroom for SEL with Mrs. Reynolds.
For students, SEL is the same class as "Morning Mindfulness" or "Second Step." For parents, SEL learning standards are established by the Illinois State Board of Education. If you want to know a little bit more about SEL, here is a 3 minute video. safeYouTube.net/w/ZEUV
Please contact me with any questions about the SEL classes or concerns you have about your child's social and emotional health. I am here to support you!