In this newsletter edition, we want to send a special message to our Celtic community wishing them health and family union. We know that this year has been different in many ways, but it has certainly given us the opportunity to value what we have and especially those with whom we share it. To appreciate those things that life shows us every day and that we had stopped admiring.
We sincerely hope that today and always your hearts are filled with happiness, peace and that health and harmony are present at all times in your homes.
Happy New Year 2021!
With love, Elementary staff and teachers!
Have you ever asked yourself how to help your kids learn a language?
As parents, we constantly ask ourselves how we can help our kids to learn a language. We can listen to or find many answers, but what is the one that goes best with our kids?
What we have to know first is that supporting our children goes beyond practicing verbs’ endings.
Here are some tips that I hope you find useful when learning a language:
- Do not discourage them from learning other languages. Remember that all languages will always bring culture and knowledge to your kids. The more they learn, the more they will have to share.
- Do not worry too much about their mistakes. At this point, mistakes are not important; they will have time to correct them. They need to feel confident and in a safe environment to freely talk and write.
- Focus on vocabulary, not grammar. The more vocabulary they have, the bigger the chances they will have to express their ideas. That’s why it is very important to read and listen to the language you are learning because you will get lots of vocabulary.
- Use the language with them. If possible, speak the language with them. Give simple, easy instructions and start short conversations, it does not matter if you mix both languages.
- Watch TV and films in the language you are learning. It doesn’t matter if they don’t understand everything. The most important thing about listening and watching is that your ear is being trained and that is going to help when listening to conversations that are more complex.
Having good spelling is the product of hard work in various aspects of language. It’s a combination of reading, written expression, oral expression, and oral comprehension, let’s say 25% every aspect. It is a process that never ends.
With the constant work of this combo, students acquire the communication skills that they need, incorporate new words that arise throughout schooling and life itself, develop essentially visual memory, spelling awareness, and self-demand when writing and consequently our students get to write correctly all the words they use and develop the necessary skills to incorporate the new words that they acquire in this process.
We must not forget that human beings naturally go through these phases:
Until the age of 8, the student has as a guide the phonemic awareness words called natural spelling.
From 8 to 12, the student is at a stage of critical thinking that results in the acquisition of new vocabulary, incorporation of that vocabulary, and awareness of some spelling standards.
To improve the spelling, we must work on all four aspects together to complete 100% and make the purpose of the language fulfilled, that is, communicative and functional.
Applying the PYP in the classroom
Our first graders learned different aspects of culture. On Thanksgiving, they first watched a video about the history of this celebration, then a song, and wrote their thank-you note, and made a turkey. To connect this activity with the academic content, the next day, the listening exam was from the song they heard.
On Playdates, teachers plan activities to take the kids out of the routine, is a moment of sharing, getting together, and continue learning.
The first graders had fun making a puppet during the playdate and then integrated it at different times in the class. The important thing was that they saw that they were the ones that give the puppet a voice to express ideas.
Positive thinking for emotional well-being
Attitude is the brush with which the mind colors our lives, and we choose colors. -Adam Jackson-
Psychopedagogy classes continue to encourage positive thinking through strategies that enable students to understand the importance of taking assertive decisions based on their feelings and thus promote the achievement of their goals according to their needs.
They also believe that being more aware of their positive thoughts will promote assertive communication – the ability to develop the set of thoughts, feelings, and actions that help them achieve their goals or ask for help in times of need – (Mantilla, 2002; WHO, 1999). Allowing your thoughts and feelings to be expressed and heard by others, enable students to show empathy for others, respect for different points of view, act firmly and securely in adversity, or an uncomfortable situation.
During High Elementary classes, interesting reflections have been generated that continue to reflect the strengthening of students’ positive thinking, also through appreciation. Referencing the above, I share that with the dynamics of confrontation: Imagine that Coronavirus is ahead of you, what would you say to it? Students express the following:
‘Thank you because we are at home, the planet has no longer suffered so much pollution’, ‘I thank you. After all, you have allowed me to be at home with my family’, ‘You have taught me that we can’, ‘I have had time to share with my friends in different ways’, ‘You have allowed me to learn different activities’, ‘I have learned to value what I have and to enjoy the little moments’, ‘Thank you because I’ve taken time to sleep more’, ‘I know you’re not that bad because not all deaths are your fault’, ‘I love you because I’ve known my family better because of you’.
Their phrases allow us to realize that our children are gradually turning positive thinking into a lifestyle, intending to appreciate from what they have, also valuing individual moments or with friends or family, to continue seeking happiness despite of the circumstances or simply realizing that they are finding their emotional well-being from their thoughts.
Also, at Low Elementary, students recognize the importance of promoting positive thinking, a clear example was made in 3o B with Melisa Mendes Marques, expressing through the phrase ‘life is precious, even if some things are difficult’.
Definitely at Elementary, our students continue to look for alternatives that allow them to value, appreciate and want what they have, they try to keep their positive thinking as an example to freely seek their happiness, from what they have to do for and for them or in the company of their family to achieve it.
Before saying goodbye I invite you to reflect:
Only you can make the change, keep looking for a balance between your thoughts, feelings and actions to find your well-being!
• Merino, M.I. (2010). Habilidades sociales. En Manual para formadores de voluntariado (pp.68 – 79). Castilla – La Mancha, España: Consejería de Salud y Bienestar Social Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha
• Corrales, A.; Quijano, N. K. y Góngora, E. A. (2017). Empatía, comunicación asertiva y seguimiento de normas. Un programa para desarrollar habilidades para la vida. Enseñanza e Investigación en Psicología, 22(1), 58-65.