November is a great time of year to talk about and teach gratitude. Thanksgiving = giving thanks. Here are a few simple ways to help instill thankfulness in young children:
Ask your children about the highs and lows of their school day. What went well? What went right? What was tricky? Who helped you during the low time or how can you ask for help next time? Focus on appreciating the positive.
Thank your children often, even if they’re doing required chores or activities you requested of them. Let them know you notice and appreciate their effort!
Encourage your children to write or draw thank you notes or pictures to friends, family, teachers, etc.
Point out how others have helped your children – someone holding the door open, a friend helping your child tie his/her shoe, a teacher giving extra time to make sure your child understood the lesson, etc.
Volunteer with your child--help out at a local non-profit agency.
Look for awe-inspiring moments in your day! Point out the things around you that are positive (sunny, warm weather; fall leaves, nature)
Why is teaching and modeling gratitude so important?
Being able to recognize and appreciate the good things in your life can lead to increased happiness and life satisfaction. For children especially, learning how to be thankful can help in the development of interpersonal skills, including the ‘big’ one – empathy. Gratitude lends itself to expanding our worldview. When we’re thankful for even the small things, we’re thinking of more than just ourselves; we’re thinking about how all of us have the ability to positively impact someone else’s life. Gratitude is powerful! (Watson, Rita; 2013: Psychology Today)
Thankful Song (Thanks for sharing Ms. Greenberg!)
Kid President's 25 Reasons to be Thankful
Check out these books about giving thanks!
Thanks a Million by Nikki Grimes
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message by Jake Swamp
Gratitude Soup by Olivia Rosewood
The Secret of Saying Thanks by Douglas Wood
Just So Thankful by Mercer Mayer
Good People Everywhere by Lynea Gillen
The Thankful Book by Todd Parr
Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson
A Little Thankful Spot by Diane Alber read aloud
In addition to talking about gratitude it is important to honor the history of Thanksgiving and the impact on indigenous communities. Here are a couple of resources to share more about Native American Heritage Month.
We also know the holiday season can be hard and stress inducing for kids and parents. This article has some tips about supporting our kiddos and taking care of ourselves from the APA.
We are so grateful to be part of this kind and supportive community. We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving break and appreciate your support of your child(ren)'s education. We hope everyone has a rejuvenating break. We'll see you back at school on Monday, 11/28!
Sarah, Chris and Ms. M
From Mrs. Baitz:
After Thanksgiving we will be starting a gymnastics unit in PE. The unit will include stunts, tumbling and some apparatus.
Girls on the Run Coach Recruitment
Volunteer to be a Girls on the Run coach for Brookside Primary School this spring! The impact of a Girls on the Run volunteer coach is as boundless as it is beautiful. The Girls on the Run program is an after school program that uses a research based curriculum to empower, increase self-worth and spark joy in its participants. Our 10-week season begins the week of March 27. Our team will meet twice weekly for 90 minutes each session to connect, move, learn and have FUN! Not a runner? Haven’t coached before? No problem! Girls on the Run VT (GOTRVT) provides training, easy to follow lesson plans, supplies and support from GOTRVT for a transformational season. Visit gotrvt.org/coach to learn more or sign up to volunteer. Questions? Contact GOTRVT at Info@girlsontherunvermont.org or 802-871-5664.