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Woodcrest Chronicles

Our administrators and teachers are busy writing articles that will interest you. Be sure to check out the latest post, and check back frequently for new articles.


When your child is about to graduate from fifth grade to middle school, you may wonder, where did the time go? Wasn’t it yesterday when my little one went off to preschool? Now it’s time for middle school, how did that happen?


Some of the best advice I received from a friend, when my daughter was starting kindergarten, was to get involved with her school. Studies show that when families are involved with their child’s education it has a positive impact on their development. Being an active parent in your child’s school life will encourage them to succeed, regardless of a family’s financial status or academic achievements. 


Children are naturally curious, they always have an abundance of questions for both parents and teachers; "Why does the sun shine?" "What makes cars move?" "Who made the ocean?" "Where do birds sleep?" Questions such as these are opportunities to teach science to your child. Children who are exposed to science at a young age will be more inclined to be interested in science as teens and young adults.


There is no correct time to teach children to be charitable. In fact, humans are born with an   innate sense of empathy and generosity towards others. When a toddler sees a baby   crying, they will instinctively try to cheer up the baby. A five year old will comfort a friend when they are sad. Encouraging children to care for others by giving or volunteering can be taught at an early age.


In current times, certain rules of etiquette are still valid and unless children learn these behaviors, they will appear to be ill mannered and rude. Good manners are simple actions that help both children and adults to strengthen and build relationships.


Almost every family at some time or other is faced with the problem of “homework.” Even the sweetest child may be resistant. Many children have a difficult time feeling motivated to complete their work when they get home, at the end of the day. They feel that school work should be done at school and home is a place to do fun things with the family as well as eat.


Now that the new school year has begun, children and parents will soon be immersed in the daily routine of school life. How can you tell that your child is on “overload?”


As the lazy days of summer are quickly passing, it’s now time to change gears and get your family into “school mode.” Discuss with your children a plan that will prepare them to get back to the routine of daily school life.


Now that children are on their summer vacation from school, the question that concerns many parents is what to do to keep them entertained? Of course, it’s important for children to continue their studies, so that they are ready to start the new school year. However, what do you do with their down time?
 


The summer is finally here and excited children are skipping and dancing in the school playgrounds, as they count down the days until they begin their summer vacation.  Parents can finally relax with no worries about crazy mornings, making lunches, and seeing that the homework is handed in on time. Everyone is happy. This academic break is great for a while but the majority of children do forget their lessons over the summer. In fact, studies tell us that when children return to school for the new school year, they will spend the first 2 months on reviewing their work from the previous year.


Spring is a wonderful time in Los Angeles. Everyone wants to be outside enjoying our perfect weather before it gets too hot. It’s also a great time to share outside activities with your children. Teaching children how to grow a garden is a productive way to spend quality time and provides them with a lifelong appreciation for nature.


With so much media attention given to athletes today, the public sees a lot of unacceptable behavior and bad sportsmanship in professional sports. When children observe such behavior from their heroes, they are inclined to imitate them. It’s important that parents and coaches change this negative trend. Children learn good sportsmanship from the adults in their lives, especially their parents. When parents, coaches, and sports officials treat each other with respect, children begin to understand that you don’t have to win a game to be a winner. A real winner learns to persevere and behave with dignity, win or lose.


We are all aware that California is not on solid ground. There are many faults stretching from Washington state to Mexico and beyond. It is important for families to be prepared in the event of an earthquake occurring. Talk to your children about this possibility, but keep it to a minimum; there is no need to cause alarm. Create a plan with your children. If they are involved with the details of what is needed and learn a safety drill, it will diminish some of the anxiety for both children and adults. Make a game out of the discussion. What you would do if an earthquake happened at your home?


It is so important in our busy lives to eat healthy, nutritious meals. This is especially important for our children. Healthy foods help stabilize children’s energy, balance their temperament, and keep their minds alert. Parents should be role models for their children and set positive examples. It’s not fair to eat potato chips, cookies, or sodas and expect a child to eat broccoli instead of french fries or an apple instead of ice cream.


The moment babies learn to crawl, they are on the move. Soon they are walking. As every parent knows, that is just the beginning. In this day of technology, rather than play outside, more and more children would prefer to play with an App on their phone or tablet or with the many other wonderful technical toys that are on the market. Children are becoming sedentary at an early age. Many school districts, due to lack of funds, have cut or limited physical education in their curriculum. Combine this with the popularity of video games, and pediatricians are concerned with the growth of childhood obesity in the United States. Fortunately, we can reverse the problem of childhood obesity by involving our children in some form of daily exercise.


Kindergarten is an exciting and important time in your child’s development and growth. You can play an important role in this wonderful journey.


Science and technology shape our future in ways we cannot imagine. As educators, we have a responsibility to prepare our students for what may come. In fact, if we do our job well, these students will become the agents of change and progress. They will be the architects of our future, and they will amaze us in ways we cannot imagine.


The Jewish community in the United States, Israel, and throughout the world come together to celebrate the holiday of Passover. At Woodcrest School when we announced that the theme of our school this year was to be Community, one of the teachers chose to focus her students on the global community. She taught them that our first responsibility as a member of the global community is to understand other cultures, other peoples, and other faiths.


The jump from Preschool to Kindergarten is a beautiful milestone in the life of a child and her parents. Don't let your questions of your child's readiness for Kindergarten get in the way of this exciting time in your child's life. Principal Luanne Paglione helps put your doubts to rest early in the process by personally assessing every incoming Kindergartner to determine readiness. We focus on the individual student at Woodcrest. We know students learn in different way and at different speeds.


Technology is here, and it is here to stay! It touches almost every part of our lives, our communities, our schools, and our homes. But what does it really mean to incorporate technology in the classroom? Our teachers are finding new uses for technology and the Internet that engages his/her student in the learning process.


Reading is fundamental and exercise for the brain. Asking the right questions and receiving the right answers about reading curriculum is essential to your children's academic success. Be sure to do your research and find out exactly how your child's school will prepare him or her for success in kindergarten and beyond!


As everyone knows, there is a budget crisis in California that is rocking the foundation of public schools throughout the state. Which means, other schools that already receive very little to begin with could see their allocation stripped away. These otherwise decent public schools are in jeopardy of becoming stripped-down versions of themselves, to the detriment of our children.


Many elementary schools offer "gifted" programs, but what does it mean to be "gifted" at that age?


Ask any adult whether he or she ever participated in a spelling bee as a child, and you usually get a smile followed by "the word.” "The word" is the one that tripped you up as a spelling bee contestant and brought about your swift elimination.


Luanne Paglione, principal and social studies teacher in the Gifted Program at Woodcrest School in Tarzana, says that character education "must be part of any early education system and must include character examination."


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