Talking with Kids About Race and Racism

Considering recent events, I want to share some resources that could be helpful in talking with your kids about race and racism. Start off by informing yourself; check out Antiracist Reading Recs from Loyalty Bookstores. Loyalty is an independent bookstore committed to providing diverse reads for all ages. Other resources to explore: Your Kids Aren't Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup: A comprehensive list from Pretty Good Design, including podcasts, articles and books for children and adults. Also check out the infographic on their home page. Books to Help Kids Talk About Racism: A good list of picture books, primarily discussing race from a historical context. Use these titles as a starting point, making connections with the text and present day events.Here's How to Raise Race-Conscious Children: From Buzzfeed, they talk about the importance of talking about race versus staying silent. "When we fail to talk openly with our children about racial inequality in …

Hiking With Kids

The past two years I have offered a hiking club for Fayston and Moretown students. At Fayston, we had a guest join us from the Green Mountain Club (GMC). Lorne Currier, GMC Volunteer & Education Coordinator, taught us how to prepare for a hike, trail etiquette, and about the history of the GMC. He also helped us with our nature trail, making improvements and relocating a section of the trail. 
Today (5/27) at 4 PM the GMC is offering a workshop for families, Hiking With Children. The instructors are the parents of young children and have led a variety of outdoor education and hiking programs for all ages. They will guide you through planning a hike that will work for you and your kids, talk about what you should wear, and what you should pack for a day of fun and adventure. The event is free or by donation. 
Recordings of previous GMC workshops can be found here: Virtual Workshops & Event Recordings. For example, check out the workshop on outdoor adventures with babies, toddlers…

International Museum Day (May 18)

Hello! I hope you had a great weekend! I will say mine was quite productive, completing several outdoor projects on my to-do list. If you did not know it already, today is International Museum Day! To celebrate, I thought I would share what museums have online, virtual tours. Here are a few of my favorites: Louvre - Paris, FranceMuseum of Natural History - Washington, DCThe Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, NYNASA Research Center - Langley, VAThe Solomon R Guggenheim Museum - New York, NYNational Women's History Museum - Alexandria, VAGoogle Arts & Culture has compiled a comprehensive list, which includes The J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, CA), the Galleria d'Arte Moderna (Rome, Italy), the Royal College of Music (London, United Kingdom) and many others. You can check it out here - International Museum Day 2020
This is just a sample of all of the museums offering virtual tours throughout the world. 
Safe (virtual) travels!

Boy Builds Huge Lego Titanic

As you know, I am a Lego fan and frequently use them with working with students, individually, in small groups and in the classroom. I have been meaning to share this video with some students for awhile and opted to post it to my blog (click image above to view). In this stop-motion video, a boy uses Lego bricks to build a model of the Titanic. Pretty cool, right!?! 
Inspired, I did a bit of googling and was able to learn a little about this builder and his work. Fifteen-year-old Icelandic Karl Brynjar is on the autism spectrum and developed a passion for learning about the Titanic at a young age. When he turned 10, he decided to combined his passion for the Titanic with his other love: Lego. Karl worked on the model over an 11-month span, with 700 hours of build time and using 56,000 Lego bricks.
Karl's accomplishment has gone viral online. He hosted a Ted Talk to explain how a boy with autism overcame obstacles to complete his dream project and he is writing a book, My Autistic X …

Teaching Kids How to Control Their Anger

I came across this article, How Inuit Parents Teach Kids to Control Their Anger, from KQED awhile ago, saved it to my list of parenting resources, and I am just now getting around to reading it. I was impressed by Inuit families' approach to teaching anger management. Here are my takeaways: Teaching children how to control their anger begins with parents learning and practicing these skills. Parents serve as models; kids learn emotion regulation from us. "When we yell at a child - or even threaten with something like 'I'am starting to get angry,' we're training the child to yell. We're training them to yell when they get upset and that yelling solves problems."Use storytelling to teach discipline. We learn best through things that are interesting to us. And stories, by their nature, can have lots of things in them that are much more interesting in a way that bare statements don't. I frequently use picture books to teach important social skills, suc…

Weekly Check Ins

I have been working with teachers to develop regular check ins with students. As you can imagine, doing this from a far has been challenging. One idea is a check-in Google Form (see below). Starting today and continuing each week, the form will be posted on each classroom's Seesaw page. We are asking that families support children in answering the eight, mostly multiple-choice questions. After, we will reach out to families, if warranted.

At this point we are limiting the roll out to specific classrooms with the hope of utilizing it further at a later date.

Parent Support Group

We are continually exploring ways to support families from afar during these challenging times. One idea we have is to develop a way for parents to come together, talk about your experiences with distance learning and parenting and brainstorm possible solutions. At this point we are considering two options, either a weekly Google Meet or Zoom and/or an always-open discussion board. Please take a moment to complete the Parent Support Form. This will help us access interest and decide what whether to pursue the Meet, discussion board or both.