Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Getting back into routines

 As we begin the school year I thought it might be helpful to talk about sleep and how important it is for our young learners.

Parents often wonder what they can do at home to help students be successful in school.  One of the obvious things that often gets overlooked is making sure their child gets enough rest.  Below is an article addressing the importance of sleep and how much children need.  As the holidays approach don't forget about making sure your children are getting the appropriate amount of sleep each night.  It may also be helpful to try to maintain some kind of sleep schedule even through the winter break so the transition back to school in January will be smooth.  Enjoy the holidays and sleep well!

Sleep is crucial to a student’s learning and understanding. Even minimal sleep loss can take a toll on children and teen’s mood, energy, effectiveness, and ability to handle stress. If they want to feel their best, stay healthy, and perform up to their potential, sleep is a necessity, not a luxury.

Kids ages 5 to 12 need 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night.
When you get enough sleep you can:
  • Pay attention better in school
  • Be creative and think of new ideas
  • Fight sickness so you stay healthy
  • Be in a good mood
  • Get along with friends and family
  • Solve problems better
Without enough sleep you can:
  • Forget what you learned
  • Have trouble making good choices
  • Be grumpy and in a bad mood
  • Have trouble playing games and sports
  • Be less patient with brothers, sisters, and friends
  • Feel hyperactive and have a hard time concentrating

Tips to encourage health sleep in children:
  • Teach school-aged children about healthy sleep habits.
  • Continue to emphasize need for regular and consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine.
  • Make child's bedroom conducive to sleep – dark, cool and quiet. Keep TV and computers out of the bedroom.
  • Avoid caffeine.

National Sleep Foundation (

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Doing our Best Together

Have any of you seen this quote floating around on social media?

We don't know what September will hold for us but when we meet again all the teachers at Mitchell will be ready to support your child right where they are.  Mitchell teachers are super heroes and together we will work to get your child back on track.  In the meantime we have been fortunate to have educational platforms like Seesaw to continue our learning.  We are teachers, we know the value of education but if you talk to most teachers, this is not the thing that keeps us up at night.  We worry if our students and families are feeling emotionally supported.  We worry about how they are dealing with isolation, we worry about the health of our students, and we worry if they are having to deal with illness or possible loss of loved ones.  So share your calm with your children, enjoy their laughter.

I've learned that as my anxiety grows I can quiet it by thinking of the things that bring me joy.  Things like laughing children, birds singing, and the sun rising.  This time apart has been stressful but you are doing a great job.  Keep up the good work and remember to forgive yourselves, we are all learning together.  

Monday, May 4, 2020

Non-Screen Activities

Today like never before, we are plugged into technology.  Many are working from home, children are learning virtually, and many of us are trying to stay informed and that involves watching the news, sometimes many times a day.  However, when you make time for activities that don't involve tech, it can be very beneficial for your health and happiness.  It may feel strange turning off your screens and instead read a book, play a board game, or take a walk, but these activities can actually make you feel more content and happy.  

There are many benefits to participating in non-tech activities.  First, simply turning off your devices can lower your stress level.  And right now everyone's stress level is high.  Turning off technology can also help you bond with your family.  I know, how much more bonding can we do?  But are we always tuned in and listening when watching TV or taking calls?  You might consider writing in non-screen time into your daily schedule just to remind yourself to do it.  Below are some non-screen activities you might want to try.  Even if you have already completed an activity, if it was fun for your family, please enjoy the activity again.  

As always, if you ever have any questions or anything I might be able to help with, I am available at

Monday, April 27, 2020

Week of April 27th 2020

I hope you have been able to set up good learning spaces, do your self-checks, and set up a schedule that is useful for your family.  Today I am going to discuss accommodations.  Your child's teacher does a great job of providing accommodations for all students when teaching at school.  In school the teacher can notice when children need directions repeated, if they need to move or stand as they complete their work, or even if they need help recording their answers with a partner or an adult.  As your child works from home there are accommodations you can provide to be sure they are able to do their best work.

First it is important to know what an accommodation is.  Accommodations are changes that remove barriers to learning.  Accommodations change how kids learn, not what they learn.  In the short video clip below I am going to talk about different accommodations that may be helpful at home.  I hope this information will be useful as we have another great week of learning.

Schools of Choice Window – Opens April 28, 2020 
Families who are looking for an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme schooling experience at Mitchell should apply through the schools of choice window. The window will remain open from April 28 through May 27, 2020. You can find more information at THIS LINK

Monday, April 20, 2020

Week of April 20th 2020

Hello Friends and Families!  I hope you are well and have established a routine for this new learning we are all involved in.  I wanted to discuss schedules with you today.  Teachers have schedules that they follow daily.  It may be a useful tool in your home also.  Kids do better when they know what to expect.  There is a sense of accomplishment when you look at a list of activities that you have completed.  Below I have a short video and some examples of visual schedules that you might use at home.  Home is different than school so including getting dressed, brushing teeth, and a dance party might be important parts of your day at home.  Schedules can just be for part of the day, for example, if morning time is a more structured time of day you can just make a morning schedule or if the afternoon is more structured you may want to start with just an afternoon schedule.  Ask your child about the schedule at school and get their input on making a schedule at home.  Most importantly do what makes sense for your family.


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Monday, April 13, 2020

Week of April 13th 2020

Hello Friends! As we continue to learn virtually and learn new content I want to share some resources that may be helpful.  While we are excited about this new learning we need to remember that learning can get frustrating or hard and it could be especially hard at home because it is different.  Remember we always need to be ready for learning and doing a self check is helpful.  Are you in the green zone and ready to learn?  What do you do when you are in the yellow zone or red zone?  Remember taking a breath can help when you are in the yellow zone.  Taking a break when you are in the red zone and getting an adult to help is also helpful.  Try to use the same strategies you use at school at home.

Also doing Lexia is an important part of our learning.  But again we need to make the most of this time and make our time on Lexia productive.  A video is below reminding you about how to use Lexia and establishing a good learning routine for using Lexia at home.  I hope the videos are helpful and you have a great week of learning.

As always I am available to answer questions or help where your family may need it.  Please contact me at

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Using cards to play math games is a great way to improve math skills.  A simple deck of cards can yield countless math games for kids at varying levels.  Card games offer the flexibility to make the play easier, harder, or more complex – you get to decide.  A deck of cards can bring math learning into your home, enjoy a card game today with your family.  Below is a video with variations of the game War.  There are also links to other math card games that your family may enjoy.

Math Card Games

More Math Card Games