Open Enrollment – January 28 – February 22nd, 2019

Reduce TV/Screen Time with this Tip

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Is your child spending countless hours in front of a TV or tablet? Do you wish that your child would spend their time doing other things such as playing outside, reading or doing homework and chores?

Have them “buy” their screen time instead. For every one minute they would like to spend in front of the TV or tablet, they must spend one minute doing an activity of your choice such as homework, playing outside, chores or reading. They will need to purchase their time with these minutes. Time doing these things at school does not count and banking time from a previous day does not work either. Time must be used on the day it’s earned.

Give it a try! You may be pleasantly surprised with the results!

A Growth Mindset

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Some children are born with an inner drive to keep trying over and over when they fail. Most children aren’t, though, and it is up to us to help them see that failing is actually the key to succeeding. Teaching our children the word YET is key. They may come to you and say, “I don’t know how to read” or “I can’t ride a 2 wheeler” or “I can’t get good grades.” We need to teach them to add the word “yet” to the end of those sentences so they start to realize that these things take time and with the right mindset, they will happen!

Sit down with your child and list out things that they now do, that at one time they thought were hard. Have them tell you that with practice they learned to do hard things. They are able to do hard things! Using this type of thinking and dialogue around our children will teach them that by trying, failing and learning from their mistakes, they will succeed at doing hard things.

The Benefits of Reading Books

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It is our goal that every student develops a passion for reading. We provide many opportunities on a daily basis for students to be exposed to a variety of texts. Every once and awhile, we are faced with the question, “Why do we have to read?”  Here are a variety of ways to answer this question.

  1.      Reading exercises your brain.
  2.      Reading increases your ability to empathize with others.
  3.      Reading improves concentration and focus.
  4.      Reading helps develop creativity.
  5.      Reading is entertaining.
  6.      Reading provides knowledge and information.
  7.      Reading enriches language and vocabulary.
  8.      Reading reduces stress and puts you in a better mood.

March is Reading Month

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Reading is celebrated across the nation during the month of March. Rock Creek has many activities planned in our buildings, but you can also celebrate at home with your student. Here are some great ways to incorporate reading into the month of March, and beyond.

  1.      Go Book Shopping. This can be done anywhere from Barnes & Noble, Amazon or the library. Ask friends, librarians and teachers for some great book recommendations.
  2.      Get Comfortable. Designate a special spot in your house for reading. Fill it with pillows, blankets and books. It doesn’t have to be big.
  3.      Set Aside Family Reading Time. It is a lot easier to get everyone reading if everyone is doing it together. Set aside a designated amount of time each night. This may include reading a book as a family or everyone reading on their own.

4.      Celebrate With a Movie. As a family you can choose a book that also has a movie. After you read the book together, you can all settle in and watch the movie together. You can even have a discussion about which one you thought was better and why.

Technology in Classrooms has Many Benefits

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Classrooms look very different today than they did 20 years ago. When you walk into a classroom today you would notice students using technology. Some may be on their smartphones, laptops or tablets. You will notice that students are engaged and having fun.

There are many benefits to using technology in the classroom. The first benefit is an increase in student motivation. Today’s generation is excited about using technology and catch on very quickly. Another benefit is that students are able to take a more active role in their education. Very rarely do students just sit in their chair and listen to a teacher lecture. Technology gives teachers the ability to draw students in and involve them in learning. Technology allows students to collaborate with peers as they work on many technology-based projects.

Rock Creek is taking advantage of this great tool by exposing students in grades K-12 to a variety of technology-based experiences. With technology in the classroom, the possibilities are endless.

Students will Take Assessments

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This month, students will be taking the ILEARN assessment. While teachers have been dedicated to preparing students academically for this test, parents have a role in the test taking process as well. Please make sure your child receives the following on test days:

        *Make sure your child gets enough sleep on the night before the test

        *Make sure your child eats a healthy breakfast

        *Keep a positive attitude about assessments

        *Talk about the assessment with your child, as this can reduce stress

        *Encourage your child to do their best

        We wish the best of luck to all students taking the ISTEP in the coming months.

 

Tips for Making Praise Matter

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Praising children is very important whether you are a teacher or a parent. Here are some tips that will help make praise mean more to the child.

    1. Be Specific– “Good job, Johnny” is not specific and can be said to anyone for any reason. “Johnny, I noticed that reading that paragraph was tough, but you took your time and tried your best, nice job.” This is specific enough so that Johnny knows that you mean it and it is real.
    2. Give praise when you really mean it.  This teaches children that you recognize when a task was tough for them. It also helps them value the praise that you give.
    3. Quality over quantity- Praising too much can cause a child to feel belittled and actually achieve lower. Give specific praise when praise is due instead of meaningless praise often.

Cold and Flu Season

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Cold/Flu Season is here – To ensure a healthy learning environment for your student and their teacher this season, here are a few guidelines that should be followed:

Fever of 100 or greater – student should stay home and be fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication before returning to school.

Vomiting – student should stay home and be vomit free, without medication, for 24 hours before returning to school.

Diarrhea – if a student has 3 or more loose stools they should stay home and be symptom free, without medication, for 24 hours before returning to school.

Sore Throat/Cough/Running Nose – if a student has excessive coughing and discharge they should stay home until symptoms lessen. If any of these are accompanied with a fever, student should stay home until fever free for 24 hours.

How to Beat the Winter Blues

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Winter can be a tough time to keep your spirits up. Here are some tips that can help.

  1. Declutter: Get rid of unnecessary items. Decluttering is a practical way to get organized while clearing your mind.
  2. Eat Right: Eating right can help your mood, energy level and can help you feel great. Eat more whole grains, veggies and meats. Limit sugars, fast food and processed food.
  3. Sleep: Everyone needs a break. Turn off phones, games, social media and Netflix and get some rest. School age children require 9-11 hours each night. Teenagers require 8-10 hours of sleep a night and adults need 7-9 hours a night.
  4. Exercise: Moving your body improves blood flow & oxygen to the brain while releasing endorphins into the body which is a natural “feel good” chemical.
  5. Find a Hobby: Discover new interests that you can enjoy. Photography, scrapbooking, chess, bowling, baking, volunteering, yoga, knitting, painting, sewing, reading…etc.

Winter Can Affect How We Feel

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Indiana winters can cause you to feel down and sleep more than usual. Don’t be too quick to accept this as a normal part of life. You may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder. At school, we also see this in some of our students.

Not everyone is suffering from SAD, some are suffering from a less-severe form of mood changes called the “winter blues.” If you think you (or your child) may be experiencing SAD or winter blues, you may try the following things:

        *Expose yourself to sunlight whenever possible.

        *Incorporate more physical activity each day.

        *Socialize with friends, family and colleagues often.

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