You are on page 1of 5

Cooke Center Grammar School Newsletter

Francis Tabone, Head of School Cindy Surdi, Assistant Head of School

The Comic Styling of Marat and his helper. Marat brought down the house, did you see it? Last weeks newsletter shows you how.


This week we hear from the counseling staff in regards to Social Emotional Development. Please read the helpful tips and feel free to contact any of our counseling staff for more information. What is Social-Emotional Development? Social and Emotional Development refers to a child's ability to: Experience and express a variety of emotional states Regulate emotional arousal Establish secure and positive relationships Develop a sense of self as distinct from others Social Skills emerge over time and at varying degrees. Social and Emotional development is intertwined with cognitive, communication and physical development. How to support the Social-Emotional Development of Children Allow for imagination and creativity Encourage role playing and pretend play Interact with your children and serve as an appropriate model Talk about feelings to help develop an emotional vocabulary Answer questions Give children the opportunity to observe and interact with peers Types of play and how to support Parallel Play You can promote play in this stage by encouraging your child to play at an activity, such as trains, on his own but alongside other children. You can encourage your child to imitate the other childrens play while hes playing on his own. Point out what other children are doing. Try to have them make connections with one another. Often, they have yet to figure out that other people have feelings. When antisocial behavior kicks in, try to reframe events in a positive light. If Erin grabs Laura's doll, it's much better to say, Erin, I see you want to play with that than Don't grab. Be nice. Always focus on saying things in a positive manner. Model the positive way of asking for the doll.

Dates to Remember:
March 7th No school for Students

March 21stSummer School Applications Due! Dont Delay!

Look for the Bear Necessities, a duet from Mr. B and Sam.

In this issue: Social/Emotional S/E continued 100 Days 1 2 3

Teach empathy. After the grabbing occurs, you might say something like Erin, doesn't Laura look sad? Maybe she'd like to play with the doll too. Helping them to identify and label feelings will provide a strong foundation for compassion later on. This is an important stage since it teaches kids how to cooperate and possibly start making real friends. Solving conflicts Sometimes, social rules in this stage of play can be difficult for children to understand or cope with. It can help to explain the rules using pictures or stories. Have a system of solving problems and stick with it is very beneficial.

Page 2

Developing Social Skills Through Play (Continued)

Associative Play Exchange game: Give the child two similar toys, then ask her to give one to another child. Encourage children to ask each other a question or comment on one anothers play. Play games that encourage simple turn -taking and interactions. Learning to play cooperatively is an important life skill. Sharing with friends, working with classmates on school projects, and being part of a team are often asked of our children. Cooperative Play Encourage children to work together to achieve a goal (working together in picking up a handful of chips you spill on the table), Team games (scavenger hunts)

How Play Impacts Social-Emotional Development

How does play impact a child? Self esteem Cognition Creativity Socialization Communication

Solving Conflicts With Play

Define the problem. Help children learn negotiation skills. Encourage them to think about alternatives. Reflect the emotions children express in their play and actions. This labels and validates childrens feelings.

Top 10 Things to Promote Healthy Child Development

1. Engage your child (read, discuss daily events). 2. Use developmentally appropriate language (clear, concise, precise). 3. Designate time for providing undivided attention to your child. 4. Model behaviors that you want your child to demonstrate. 5. Be consistent with behavioral expectations and reinforcements. 6. Be plugged into your childs interests. 7. Be aware of your childs emotions and validate their feelings. 8. Promote resiliency by setting realistic expectations. 9. Engage your child in developmentally appropriate play. 10. Be collaborative with your childs school.

Promoting Emotional Self-Regulation and Resiliency in School Age Children

Emotional resilience or emotional regulation in children has been defined as childrens developing capacities to use coping strategies (e.g., distraction, changing thinking, exercise, seeking support, etc.) that help them regulate the intensity of negative emotions they experience in the presence of adverse events. Bernard (2004) For example, not getting too down, or frustrated, upset, worried, or worked up when events do not meet your expectations. Through the first five years of life children go through a transition from their primary caregiver or external support of their emotions, to having to manage their emotions internally with coping skills. Teaching Resiliency Skills Discuss and demonstrate what it feels and looks like to be tense, or calm. Teach and practice calming skills such as taking deep breaths with long exhales, talking to someone, or taking a break. Model emotional resiliency to children, because they will ultimately learn from what they see, so our own emotional regulation is an important teaching tool. Tip: The time to talk to children about these topics is when they are in a calm and relaxed state; they will be more receptive to listening to what you have to say.

Page 3

Teaching Emotional Vocabulary:

Teach children the words to describe what they feel. Help children to recognize their feelings in the moment, when they are feeling them. Practice stating what those emotions are for example: Anger, Worry, Sadness, Happiness or Confusion. Use an emotional thermometer or a 1-10 scale to show varying degrees of emotions. Put emotions in perspective to events. In simple terms, match reactions to events and consequences (how bad is it, a little, medium, really bad. It could be a lot worse). Normalize the idea of things happening that we do not like.

Make a Big List of Feelings Grab a really big piece of paper and a marker and sit down with your child to brainstorm all the feelings you can think of. Your list may include emotions your child doesnt recognize, but thats okay. Make the face that goes with the feeling and explain a situation in which that feeling may come up.

Add feeling noises to your Big List of Feelings. Children dont always know how to identify an emotion by word, but they may know the sounds that accompany them. For example, your child may not know the word "worried," but she may know that "uh oh" or the sound of air sucked in through your teeth goes with that same feeling. Try to stump your child by providing a sound that can be paired with a number of emotions, like a sigh that is associated with fatigued, sad, frustrated and irritated. Read books. Literacy and emotional literacy dont have to be taught separately. There are many great books that specifically explore emotions (see bibliography below), but you can find feelings in any story you read. When youre reading to your child, ask her to help you figure out what the main character is feeling in certain situations. Use the pictures and the plot as clues to help. Play Emotional Charades. This is a really fun game to play with your child. One of you picks an emotion to convey to the other, using either your whole body or just your face. If your child is having trouble making sense of the faces, give her a mirror, ask her to make the same face as you and look in the mirror. She may be able to see the feeling on her own face better than on yours.

Ask the Snowman

Even with all the Snow Days, CCGS celebrated its 100th day of school. Students and staff made a party out of it by celebrating groups of 100. A favorite of all is stringing 100 Froot Loops in a necklace, making hats, and projects with 100 items. Here we see Courtneys snowman made from 100 marshmallows. Counting and grouping of 10s is a daily occurrence in most classes. So when we reach the 100th day, it is certainly something to celebrate. Stay tuned for the 200th day of school sometime this summer. Thanks to all who participated!


MARCH 2014 Volume 1, Issue 3
February break made the month go by very fast and now we enter the month of Spring, bringing new and challenging directives and materials. Experimentation with new media has encouraged abstract and imaginary thinking enabling increased expression! Students have also started request and develop group projects to engage in with their peers. Speaking of new and fresh ideas, make sure to check out Cooke Center Grammar Schools new Art Therapy blog! www.arttherapyccgs.weebly.come password: arttherapy

In art therapy, the intensive mask-making process, in its entirety, is used to facilitate the students in their exploration of identity, which may include: identifying, integrating or disowning aspects of the self. Masks can be a non- threatening way to disclose vulnerability or try on a new face, increase self-confidence and create a sense of success and accomplishment. When painting the outside of the masks, students were asked, How do you feel others see you? For the inside, they were asked to paint, How you feel inside.


April is another example of a CCGS artist who has grown tremendously within the last two years. Her color spectrum has evolved and matured, her shapes and lines have formed into images and she has gained a sense of mastery and control over the materials she like to uses. April is always very confident in her pieces and loves for others to experience her work

What better way to celebrate the Spring changes in the earth than to play with it! We have been exploring with clay, which facilities expression of emotions, catharsis, verbal communication, and concretization and symbolization. Stay tuned for our clay projects!


So many creative things happen in the art studio. We have quite the collection! Although much of it is taken home or hung around the school, it starts to build up. That is why, as we returned from our break, we did a little pre-spring cleaning! But that did not just include sorting and filing artwork. We took care of our materials; testing markers, sharpening pencils, sorting name it. To care for and protect the space and materials helped remind students' of their part and responsibility as

MONDAY, MARCH 17 - FRIDAY, MARCH 21 A week of school spirit activities!

MONDAY 3/17 PAJAMA DAY Wear your pajamas to school!



Dress in your fitness clothes

WEDNESDAY 3/19 MISMATCH DAY Come to school in all mismatched clothes!

THURSDAY 3/20 COLOR DAY Dress head to toe in your favorite color!



Wear your house colors to school and be ready to play games!