news and events
January classroom lessons focused on the brain chemistry of kindness, exploring how using kind words, doing nice things, and including others really does start a chain reaction that can reach all the way around the world! This year Bedwell is taking part in the Great Kindness Challenge to see just how many acts of kindness we can perform in one week.
November & December Classroom Lessons
Classroom lessons in November and December centered on developing an “attitude of gratitude” by recognizing and appreciating what one has rather than focusing on what one wants. Research shows that gratitude can be cultivated and can increase a person’s feeling of optimism, well-being and happiness. Bedwell students created a "gratitude quilt" illustrating all we have to be thankful for! To learn more about how to foster gratitude in children click here.
October Classroom Lessons
Red Ribbon Week inspired classroom lessons that focused on making positive choices to increase self-awareness, self-regulation, and social awareness. Social-emotional learning, the process by which individuals understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions, has far reaching effects that are vital for school, work & life success. Students learned that in every situation they ALWAYS have a choice!
Now in its seventh year, our Rachel's Challenge anti-bullying initiative got off to a great start on September 16th when all Bedwell students were reminded of the importance of "using kind words, doing nice things, including others, and starting your own chain reaction" at our Character Education kick-off assembly. The Rachel's Challenge program provides a sustainable, evidence-based framework for creating a positive climate and culture in schools. We believe that for the past four years, Rachel's Challenge has resulted in a safer, more emotionally connected atmosphere at Bedwell, where kindness and respect prevail.
Rachel’s Challenge encourages students to start a chain reaction of compassion by acting with kindness, choosing positive influences, and looking for the best in others. Students who are caught in the act of demonstrating positive behavior receive a paper chain link describing their act. Their link gets deposited into a grade-level jar in the Bedwell lobby. Each Friday, one link (two on Spirit Days!) is drawn from each grade-level jar during the morning announcements. Those students receive a "Caught in the Act" bracelet, have their picture displayed on the front lobby bulletin board, and help with the morning announcements the following week.
Each month we recognize a “Chain Reaction Superhero”! The student caught in the act that most epitomizes the characteristics of “chain reaction behavior” will have her or his picture displayed on a dedicated bulletin board, will deliver a special inspirational message during the morning announcements, and will be invited to an end of year ice cream party!
Our Week of Respect activities included the creation of a bulletin board featuring every Bedwell student's self portrait! In addition, students received daily challenges encouraging them to get "caught in the act" of using kind words, doing nice things, and including others. All students were invited to create a Rachel's Challenge poster for our annual Week of Respect poster contest.
Sssh...don't tell the kids, but summer break is almost over! Whether your child is a returning Bedwell student or is coming to our school for the first time, starting the school year can be an enormous source of stress-for the whole family! Fortunately, most back-to-school butterflies can be eased by planning ahead and getting back into a school-night routine a few weeks before school begins. Here are a few tips to make the summer to school transition and the whole year run smoother.
1. Get the whole family back on an early-to-bed schedule before school starts. Elementary school age kids do best with 9 1/2-11 hours of sleep a night. By keeping an eye on the calendar and moving bedtime a bit earlier every night, kids should be back on their school year sleeping schedule by the start of school. Getting enough sleep will make morning routines much easier!
2. Practice saying goodbye. For many kids, the biggest challenge about starting school will be saying goodbye to you. By developing a parting routine, such as a hug and a promise to see them soon, kids will feel reassured that starting school is just another temporary separation. Many kids feel comforted by having a family picture in their backpack or a special note in their lunchbox.
3. Have a few play dates with new classmates. Once class lists have been sent home, it can be helpful to arrange play dates with kids who will be in your son's or daughter's class. The first day will go much smoother if your child already has already made some connections.
4. Start the day right. Many kids don't feel like eating much on the first day of school; however, your daughter or son will face the day better prepared if she or he has had a good breakfast. Ask them ahead of time what they'd like for breakfast on the first day, and be sure you have some of those favorite breakfast foods on hand.
5. Do your child (and yourself!) a favor by finding out what supplies will be needed on the first day, then making sure they're purchased and packed up the night before. While you're at it, have your child choose and lay out the clothes he or she will be wearing on the first day!
6. Help your child choose and equip a quiet study zone where homework will be done. Include your child in a discussion about when the best time to do homework might be and what the atmosphere should be like (most kids know that distractions such as electronics, siblings, etc., are not conducive to doing their best), and then help her or him establish and stick to a good routine.
7. You may be just as anxious as your child when it comes to the first day of school but try to conceal your worries. Emphasize the positive things about going back to school, such as hanging out with old friends, meeting new classmates, and getting involved in sports and other activities. Allow kids time to adjust. Remind them that everyone feels a little nervous about the first day of school and that it will all become an everyday routine in no time.
8. If your child gets teary when you say goodbye, reassure her or him that everything will be fine and that you can’t wait to be together again at the end of the day. Use the goodbye routine you’ve practiced, and then hand her or him off to her teacher and leave. Don't worry! Experienced teachers know about first day jitters and are used to helping kids overcome them. If your child continues to have a hard time separating, be sure to speak with the teacher.
Although it's normal to be anxious in any new situation, a few kids develop real physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomachaches, associated with the start of school. If you're concerned that your child's worries go beyond the normal back-to-school variety, speak with your child's doctor, teacher, or school counselor.
Bedwell Spirit Days
Wear Red & White
Crazy Hair Day
Team Jersey Day
Crazy Socks Day
Animal Print Day
Red, White, and Blue Day
Hawaiian Shirt Day