Saturday, July 30, 2016

Teaching Tolerance During this Election Season

I don’t know about you, but this was the first political convention I’ve followed with interest and a great degree of concern.  We need to embrace our diversity, to look for the good in each other, and notice the positive things we see happening every day.  I was appalled by what I saw occur during the Republican convention. It was shocking to witness such divisiveness, hate, pessimism and fear mongering. Everything was dark and ominous.  Our country wasn’t built on that. It was built on faith, optimism, a genuine caring for each other and working together for the greater good. That is the American way!  We teach our children to be compassionate, to respect each other no matter their race, or religion, and to find something positive in everything and everyone. How can we expect them to believe us when they see a bully running for president, an individual who has no respect for women, disabled people, minority groups, immigrants, even experienced judges, let alone heroic veterans and those in the military who have dedicated their lives to serving our country and protecting our freedom.

What if this irresponsible, inexperienced, bigoted person, whose only accomplishment is enriching himself while cheating and taking advantage of others less powerful, were to become leader of the free world? Will he stop and erode all the hard fought progress made by honest, hard working champions for our way of life?

So how do you respond when a young person asks, “Why is this bully running for president, I’m afraid of him,” or “Why doesn’t he like Mexicans, is he going to send us back to Mexico? We have to let our kids know that just because he has succeeded at something, doesn’t mean he’s someone to follow or vote for.  That freedom of speech is part of our constitution and the law of the land allowing anyone to exercise it freely. Sadly, has taken advantage of this.

Let your kids know that anger is a normal emotion, sometimes we all feel this way. The main goal is to allow one  to express his/her feelings and not to keep them bottled up inside.  We need to let them know that sometimes people say hurtful things when they are frightened, unhappy, immature, and jealous of those who have been successful in their lives. Bullies often feel threatened by the accomplishments of others so they lash out.

1. Parents and/or teachers should ask questions and listen to what the kids have to say.
  Here are some tips.
· Ask what they think about the presidential nominees
· Who are the candidates?
· What kind of people are the candidates?
· What are some of the things they’ve been talking about?
· Who would you vote for and why?

2. Express how you feel and give clear reasons why. This will help children learn coping skills when they feel unhappy, angry and fearful. These actions will aid them in understanding that they have choices, are connected and empowered.
· This is an opportunity to hold a discussion about differences of opinion, how to debate respectfully, and how to fight for a cause. Create various scenarios that they can role play.
· Use historical events to help make sense out of what is happening today. Spend classroom time talking about current events on a daily basis. Do not try to sway their opinion with your own.
· Parents should also join in with a statement of how they feel about the election.
· They could do the following with their children, view anti-racial speeches. attend a rally, write a letter to the candidate, take their child to vote with them.
3.  Last, but not least, allow the children to speak freely about anything that is 
    on their mind. Be honest and sincere when answering their questions.

The way influential adults act and talk about women, immigrants and each other is important. It is the basis for how our kids view the government, society and relationships.  If this negativity continues, it will change our world for the worse and we don’t want to go to a place that we will never be able to return from. As adults, it is our responsibility to say what is on our mind, to let our voices be heard by voting, and to be role models for our charges.

I have strong feelings this election season, and I hope that I haven't offended anyone with this post.  Thanks for reading....

Back to School Activities

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This is part of our August Teacher Talk, so head on over to the other posts to see the tips/ideas from all of our educators.

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Summer Writing Ideas for Your Children

Calling all parents, summer is the time for fun and relaxation for everyone, esp the kids. However, you don’t want them to lose some of the writing skills that they learned during the school year. Here are some fun things to do to keep their creative juices. flowing.

When I was a kid I remember having a pen pal in France that I kept in contact 
with for many years, I so enjoyed getting her letters, she understood English. Little did
I know that communicating to her in this manner would help to improve my writing skills. 
One year my students had pen pals from all over the world and they loved
hearing from them. They told me that they kept in contact with them throughout 
the summer. 

 Here are some penpal links:
In this age of technology, your children are probably on the computer or their tablet
all thtime. If this is the case, you can encourage them to write a summer blog
about anything that they are interested in. You can help by giving them ideas 
and proofreading with them. 

There are many free blog sites that you can use.

Looking for some interesting topics, here are a few:
Going to camp.
A family camping trip.
How to do something
The family pet
How to play computer games.
How to make a video game/Discuss your favorite game/Explain how to play.
Have the kids get together with friends or siblings to write a play about anything that interests them. After the play is written, they will need to spend some time rehearsing  and learning their lines, as well as making costumes, props and scenery.  When they’re ready, they can present the play to the family.  You can even turn this into a neighborhood event by making signs, posting them, and sending out invitations.

Great playwriting link for all ages.
  We all love a good laugh. How about having your children write jokes and make their
  own joke book.  They will need to decide what type of jokes to write. It could be 
  about current events, games, your pet, themselves.  Then you can have comedy night
  with family and or friends.

   Here is more information about joke writing.
 For those kids who are interested in journalism, a summer newspaper about things
 happening in the neighborhood would be a great activity. If there are a few children
 who would like to do this it would work very well.  You might have reporters 
 asking questions of neighbors you can trust. Decide what types of articles you’d 
 like, they could be about sports, a trip, a movie or tv show, crafts, comics, pets, etc.

 Check out these links about newspaper writing:

That’s it for now. These should be enough ideas to get you started. Have a great summer.



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This is part of our July Teacher Talk, so had on over to the other posts to see the tips/ideas from all of our educators.

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