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Thousands of years ago, humans started out as hunters and gatherers, often moving up to 14 miles per day. The relationship between food, physical activity and learning has always been hardwired into our brains. Over the course of time, the parts of our brain have changed and developed differently to accommodate our lifestyles. One thing that has diminished over time is the amount of physical activity we get. The “screen” era has really taken its toll on exercise.

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What is fluency?

Reading fluency is the ability to read a text at a steady rate, with expression and accuracy. Fluency has a direct correlation to reading comprehension, and can often be an indicator of your child’s understanding of a text. A common misconception associated with the term “fluency” is that a fluent reader is a quick reader. Children who read too quickly often insert or omit keywords, are unable to recall important details and read through punctuation.

Is your child ready to work on fluency?  

Students who are still...Read more

blog_wonder-1.jpg“Watch children play in natural environments and you’ll see spontaneous expressions of joy and excitement. Observe children running through a pile of leaves with total abandon, dancing and spinning when they feel the wind blowing through their hair and laughing out loud when they see a toad hopping from place to place. You’ll see unbounded exuberance...Read more

Not all kids are voracious readers, but those who aren't can be convinced it is a worthwhile experience. You may have two or more children in the same family with different attitudes toward reading. I did! One read in the bathtub, at recess and walking the dog (all bad ideas). Every spare minute of her day was filled with reading. My other child was more hands-on with learning and worked well on projects and building. Very different! Parents often have to adjust and adapt and make reading fun!

In her article...Read more

While recently conversing with a third grade child at lunch, he shared with me his excitement about the “numerous” houses he would visit on Halloween. I was struck immediately with his ease of using the word “numerous.” Clearly, he had a firm understanding of the word, which he spoke so fluently! It was obvious to me that he is well on his way to developing a strong vocabulary.

Rossman teachers explicitly weave vocabulary into their daily instruction, creating a seamless transition from learning words orally at a young age to acquiring the tools to learn from the written text. While...Read more

“Thank you.” These magic words, said frequently, are so simple yet so powerful. They can make a world of difference and go a long way in everyday life. Kids utter these words after they are given a cookie, a cup of juice, a toy or help up from a fall. Teaching our children to be thankful and show gratitude for both big and small gestures is imperative to raising a whole, well-rounded individual.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” These wise words by Oprah Winfrey underscore the...Read more

“It’s time for bed!”

How many times have you had to utter those words? Parents know the importance of sleep in the development and growth of a child. Sleep-deprived children have more trouble paying attention, more behavioral issues, and are more likely to be overweight (1). 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, kids between the ages of 6 and 13 need 9-11 hours of sleep every night. So, in the age of competitive sports, smart phones, YouTube, video games and homework, how can we ensure that our kids are getting the recommended amount of daily sleep? Kenneth Schuster, a...Read more

For parents with kids in the Upper School, this is a message about homework to get you through the rest of the year. For parents with kids in the Lower School, here are some ways to conceptualize homework time with your family in the future to start good habits early.

The first approach to conducting homework time is to make homework time a part of your evening routine, which is how Dr. Peg Dawson recommends you approach it. Dr. Dawson is one of the co-authors of Smart but Scattered, which is a book I often recommend to parents of children struggling with Attention-Deficit/...Read more

While visiting the Junior Kindergarten classroom last week, I observed the children making decisions about what to play with at their tables. Each child was engaged, working independently, side by side. I focused on one child who did not have enough magnetic shapes to complete his structure. I watched as he glanced at his neighbor’s magnetic pieces. I could tell he was pondering … Should I or shouldn’t I? But, I need those pieces. His hand slowly reached over to the other child’s shapes as he looked at her for a possible reaction, and then he quickly grabbed the pieces.

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Young children, like adults, can feel stressed. Can you recognize when your child is stressed? A consumer survey by WebMD showed that children often show stress by displaying negative behaviors. Increased arguing, whining, aggression or worry are just a few examples. Sometimes the stress is manifested by physical symptoms such as stomach pain, headaches, decreased concentration or difficulty sleeping. So, what can we, as parents, do to help our children with stress?

There are a few ways that parents can help reduce the stress in our children’s lives:

  1. Be a role model by
  2. ...Read more

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