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BISD News
Cubs Corner




Avoid the Summer Slump


It's summertime and kids are excited about sleeping late, working at summer jobs, visiting relatives or just having extra time to play. As much as we welcome the start of summer, as parents we must not forget the importance of avoiding the summer slump! How can we keep our kids engaged without them spending all day in front of a TV? Listed below are some ways to keep them engaged without breaking the bank. Of course, being an educator I'm going to list all the wonderful reading opportunities first, but keep reading because there are many other activities that your family can enjoy!

Our local library in Brownfield, Kendrick Memorial Library, is offering a reading contest, Read Across Texas, that offers prizes for simply reading! Students can obtain a reading log at the library and track their progress.

Barnes & Noble has a reading program called Imagination's Destination! Read at least 8 books and fill out a reading log. Return it to any B&N store and your child will get to choose a free book from the Imagination's Destination selection. The summer reading guide provides tips for choosing great books as well as reading with your kids and talking with them about what they have read.

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge is set to take reading to a new world record and you can be a part! Join the challenge by signing up for Reading Under the Stars. Keep track of minutes read and also earn prizes. A list of books and tips to encourage your child are included. Many of the books available are ebooks and interactive.

Chuck E. Cheese is offering a reading log so your child can keep track of the minutes he/she reads. Read for fifteen minutes every day for two weeks and redeem the reading log for 10 free tokens.

Take a walk with your children. This is a great way to get fit as well as engage them in conversation. For a twist, take a camera and make it a photo walk. Compare pictures and talk about your photos.

Have a family game night! Pull out your favorite games and share with your children. This will make great memories as well as encourage fun and laughter. Some favorites for younger children include Twister, Candy Land, Hi Ho Cherry-O, The LadyBug Game, Bug Trails, and Chutes and Ladders. For the older kids try Scrabble, Clue, Sorry, Chinese Checkers, Life, Monopoly, Chess and Yatzee. There are many great games out there and these are just some suggestions. Personally, my family has always enjoyed a good card game of Spades.

Be an Entrepreneur! Allow your child to earn money and learn financial sense. Plan a sale such as a lemonade, flowers or refreshments. Have your child make signs advertising the sale and help them set up shop on the sidewalk. This is a great way for your child to learn about marketing as well as supply and demand.

Go to the park. Enjoy the beauty of nature and enjoy some fun with your child. Be in the moment- swing, climb, explore, and take pleasure in being with your child. Plant some flowers or vegetables. This is a great way for your child to learn about how plants grow and see the results of their labor. Three plants that are great for young children because of the fast rate in which they grow are radishes, tall sunflowers, and pumpkins.

Do a kind deed for someone. Encourage your child to write a note, draw a picture or pick some flowers to deliver to a friend or someone who may need some encouraging. This will not only make someone else's day, but teach your child the importance of kindness toward others.

Have a treasure hunt. Your treasure can be something small such as stickers, candy or even a picture of a treasure box full of jewels. Let the kids take turns hiding the treasure and drawing a map. This is also a great way to surprise your child with a small gift that they have to "work" for by following a map and directions.

Put on a family play or dance. Let your children write the script for the play or choreograph the dance, design costumes and keep it simple. When your production is ready, invite grandparents or willing neighbors. Make the event even more elaborate by passing out tickets and assign someone to be the ticket taker.

Play tic-tac-toe or hopscotch using sidewalk chalk. Kids love to draw and use chalk and this is a great way to teach them some "classic" sidewalk games that they can play with other friends. Afterwards, they can clean their creations with the water hose.

Make homemade ice cream or popsicles. There are many ice cream recipes available online and popsicles can be made by pouring Kool-aid into ice trays. For a different twist, freeze pickle juice for a pickle popsicle. Not only will they enjoy creating the products, they will enjoy eating them too.

Build a model house. Use toothpicks and gum drops or pretzels and peanut butter. See what ideas your child can come up with to create a fun, edible house.

Fly a kite. Either purchase a kite or create a small one. There are several ideas available online. Fly your kite at a park or school field.

Hold a cooking class. Teach your child how to follow a recipe and cook a dish or an entire meal. Have your child create their own dessert and have a contest to see whose dessert is the most delicious!

Learn something new together! Try learning something new with your child that you've never tried before- a foreign language, karate, square dancing, knitting, playing an instrument, a new game, etc. Not only will you be modeling that it is never too late to learn something new, but encouraging the importance of life-long learning.

I hope you and your family will try some of these activities! Making fun family memories is important for your child and being self-entertaining is a habit that strengthens through practice. Hopefully, these suggestions will serve as exercise equipment for the imagination and help avoid the summer slump. Enjoy a safe and happy summer!



By Dana Ketchersid
Colonial Heights Principal




Time to Play

“School’s Out for Summer!” . . . . the summer anthem that brings back many favorable memories for adults and sparks the beginning of playtime FUN for children of all ages can be heard resonating from voices across the country this time of year. Although we continue with summer school and academic acceleration, everyone can appreciate the need for a much needed time to rest, relax, rejuvenate, and PLAY.

As we mature into adulthood, we often forget that PLAY is important and necessary for a child’s development. Through PLAY children learn to use the tools at their disposal – their bodies, their surroundings, and their relationships with both family and friends. PLAY is the primary way in which young children learn.

As parents, we can watch our children at play and wonder “how does this help”? PLAY itself can take on many forms and the type of play will shift with age and maturity. Children start out with solitary play where they follow their own interests and curiosity. Soon they will become onlookers and ask questions of others playing around them, but not engaging in the activity itself. Later they will begin to play in a “parallel” – doing the same activity side-by-side, but not interacting with one another directly. Finally, children will move toward associative and cooperative play where they interact with other children or students in an unorganized fashion then eventually in an organized, meaningful way. PLAY helps children grow by:
• Enhancing cognitive skills and problem solving – through trial and error, classifying objects, planning, etc. thinking is developed
• Developing motor skills – muscle coordination, fine-motor skills such as picking up small objects, hand-eye coordination, and flexibility are all gained through active play
• Building language skills – singing, talking, rhyming, and listening all help master the “rules” of language . . . an important stepping stone for later learning
• Constructing social and emotional skills – through creative and imaginative play, children learn to wait, take turns, negotiate, compromise, share and express emotions.
• Allowing students to acquire self-confidence, self-reliance, and self-expression which are all important skills as they enter school-age
So as parents, educators, grandparents, care-givers, and community members how can we encourage healthy play among our children? Here are some tips to help encourage play:
• Allow time and opportunity for both “free” and “direct” play – set up play dates or allow for “unscheduled” time during the day for children to make choices about their use of time or activity
• Arrange for plenty of room for safe exploration and limited restrictions – children need designated areas within the home and outside in which to explore
• Provide a variety of interesting, safe, and age appropriate materials – “toys” do not need to be expensive (I remember playing with a cardboard box!)
• Set aside a space for quiet, private play such as a rug or pallet with pillow – children need “quiet time” to process as well as escape from over stimulation.
• Activities/materials should range from simple to complex – puzzles, books, dress-up clothes, games, musical instruments, art supplies, writing materials
• Encourage children to talk about what they are doing and how they feel during play. Introduce new words to their vocabulary.
• Get down on their level – join in their play, encourage their play as a way to motivate them and build confidence. Children play because it is FUN! There are many resources here in our community which promote PLAY:
• Coleman Park – Disc Golf, baseball fields, playground equipment, skate park
• Kiddy Park – picnic areas and play equipment for younger children
• Brownfield Family Aquatic Center – swimming fun for children and adults
• Boys and Girls Club – at the Alamo
• 4-H and Texas Agri-Life – offers summer classes for children and adults, “Thrive and Survive”
• Brownfield Recreation Department – summer sports leagues and programs
• Brownfield ISD Athletic Department – summer sports camps for volleyball, basketball, football, track, tennis
• Kendrick Memorial Library – Summer Read Across Texas Summer Reading Program
• Vacation Bible School – many churches offering, see the Brownfield News for more info


As adults, take time to PLAY . . . remember the heart of PLAY is pleasure. Find time for yourself to relax, have FUN, and enjoy the things that make you laugh! PLAY is good! Take advantage of summertime to explore our community resources and PLAY!


Happy Summer . . .
Michelle H. Cooper, Principal
Oak Grove Elementary




Keep Learning Over the Summer

Summer, 2014 is here, and it allows everyone time to relax and unwind from a busy school year. The summer break can also be a learning paradise, a time to stretch the mind, explore new hobbies, learn about responsibility, and build on skills learned during the school year. Summer is the perfect time for students to discover that learning is fun and can happen anywhere! KEEP THE LEARNING GOING

Teachers spend the first weeks every fall reviewing and reteaching material that students may have forgotten during the summer break. Many students may lose an equivalent of two to three months of reading and math skills during the summer and do not score as well on standardized tests as students who continue to learn during the summer.

Here are some activities to get your student started on a summer of learning fun:

• Grow a garden. You can start with seeds or small plants. Talk about what plants need to grow: air, water, sunlight, and nutrients. Vegetables are especially fun and educational to plant because your student will learn where food comes from and also get to eat the product.
• Clip, paste, and write about your family adventures. A family vacation is the perfect opportunity to create a scrapbook of the family adventure. Students can write descriptions of the places you visited and tell stories about the family’s adventures. Many photo-sharing web sites, such as Shutterfly or Kodak Gallery can help create professional photo books where you can arrange photos and write captions.
• Build a bird feeder. Toy stores and craft shops are full of kits for making things from bird feeders to model airplanes These projects teach students how to follow directions, and offer the added benefit of creating a finished product.
• Make a chocolate mousse. What student wouldn’t be inspired to bake cookies or make chocolate mousse? Cookbooks are excellent ways to explore the food of other cultures, and open up conversations about how people do things differently in other parts of the world.
• Paint the picket fence. Even young children can learn to be responsible by helping set the table, take care of a pet, clean out a closet, wash the car, or paint the picket fence. Ask your student to become your household energy consultant and help find ways to conserve energy in your house. Outside summer jobs and community service help students learn to be punctual, follow directions, and serve others.
KEEP READING

Teachers across all grade levels encourage students to read during the summer vacation. It is especially important for beginning readers to practice and develop their newly acquired skills on a consistent basis. Motivation is the key ingredient when encouraging students to continue independent reading. There is a great resource entitled Reading Rockets that provides a treasure trove of themed children’s books, parent-child activities, and other great resources for summer learning. wwwreadingrockets.org. Students can blog, keep journals of the shared writings, and make cool things.

Teachers often provide summer reading lists and encourage students to visit the Kendrick Memorial Library. By students continuing to read during the summer, this will assist with their fluency and comprehension skills.

USE EVERYDAY LIFE FOR MATH SKILLS

Families can provide crucial assistance by demonstrating mathematics in the normal course of life. Students can make gains in number sense by rolling dice, counting, and adding. Students planning a birthday party can practice division concepts by arranging guests into groups of four, or by figuring out how many cookies will go around. Students can learn budget concepts by creating their own allowance budget by using addition and subtraction. Students can learn market prices by assisting with the grocery shopping and making estimations in pricing of items, students can estimate the time it will take to drive to the store, complete the shopping, and return home with the purchased goods. Even the simple skip counting while jump roping will help students master his or her multiplication facts. Two excellent resources for math may be located at www.education.com/activity/math or www.nctm.org both websites offer free online math materials.

Here is to a great summer full of fun and lots of learning!

Kathleen Crooks, Principal
Bright Beginnings Academic Center




Reflection on the Year and a Look to the Future

As the summer is coming to an end and we start preparing for the new school year; here at BEC is also a time to reflect on this past year. We are excited that we graduated 21 students this year and several of our graduates will be attending either a college or vocational schools in the upcoming school year. As we look at the past year there is no way that we could have had this kind of success without the help of the parents and guardians of each of our students. Parent involvement was the reason we had such success and research show that parent involvement is one of the most important aspects of the school community. Behind every student in BISD there is an adult pushing our students to the limits. Parent involvement does not mean that you have to be at the school building every day. It can take on many personas such as getting your student to school every day, making sure that any homework gets done, or just talking with your student about the day using academic vocabulary and talking about the future to set goals. It is a tough battle, but a battle worth all the effort when that student reaches their educational goals on their graduation night. A new year will soon be beginning in the district. With that start will come excitement of the new grade level, new teachers, new activities, or just the start of school. So it is important that you, the parent, get involved while the excitement is there and stay involved helping your student to reach their goals. Research shows that parent involvement is one of the most important parts of the student success in school. It also helps the school community, due to the fact that all stakeholders are involved in the education process. BEC like the whole district sill strive for 100% parent involvement in the upcoming year, which includes all activities at school and at home. All of this is easy to accomplish in the beginning, but as the year progresses is when the involvement decreases. That is when the school and the parent have to work together to keep the momentum going all year to make sure all stakeholders are successful at the end of the year. We must maintain enthusiasm all year on all aspects of the student’s education. As Ralph Waldo Emerson stated “nothing great can be achieved without enthusiasm”. Every day we as educators, parent and friends must keep the enthusiasm going all year, so we all can take the next school year to the next level.

Chris Edwards, BEC Principal



No excuses.
<bwe’ve />We will support, care, encourage and love our students – No Excuses.
And our students will meet their goals as they reach for the stars – No Excuses.

By Susan Brisendine
Oak Grove Elementary Assistant Principal






















Great Things Happening at BISD!













































 


Meet the Teacher Night

Thursday, August 21st

Bright Beginnings Academic Center                           4:30pm-6:00pm

Colonial Heights                                                             5:00pm-6:30pm

Oak Grove                                                                         5:30pm-7:00pm

 


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