news and events
February Classroom Lessons
Bedwell understands the importance of being kind! Bedwell students have been practicing daily Random Acts of Kindness (or RAKs). Each day a RAK challenge is issued during the morning announcements. Besides feeling great to give and get, RAKs have roots firmly grounded in social and emotional learning (SEL), the process through which students learn to recognize and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, care about others, make good decisions, behave ethically and responsibly, develop positive relationships, and avoid negative behaviors. Although it has long been recognized that SEL programs lead to positive improvements in students’ behavior, recent findings show that SEL also improves their academic achievement.
January classroom lessons focused on disability awareness and inclusion. The third graders lessons will be enhanced by a visit from Melinda Jennis of Pathways for Exceptional Children (https://pathwayskids.org/). She is returning for the fifth year in a row to deliver sensitivity training to all third grade students. Her message, that it is essential for students of all abilities to develop a sense of belonging and a strong foundation of value and self worth, is delivered through a “children-teaching-children” mentoring model. When kids teach and mentor other children, the value given to both is priceless.
December Classroom Lessons
Classroom lessons in 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. To learn more about how to foster gratitude in children click here.
November Classroom Lessons
November classroom lessons focused on helping students resolve conflicts using “I" Messages. It’s not always easy to express your feelings, especially when you are upset, though the sooner a child learns how to confront an issue and express his or her feelings the easier social communication will become.
Kids typically let one another know they’re upset by using a you-statement. You-statements may include phrases such as “You always get to_______” or “You never let me ________” (fill in the blanks). Kids who have big emotions often use these types of phrases.
Before kids learns to use I-statements they must be able to accurately identify how they are feeling. With an “I” Message the speaker identifies his feelings about a problem instead of attacking the other person, explains why he or she is feeling this way, and then states what is necessary to rectify the situation. This makes the listener feel more willing to try to solve the problem. “I” Messages usually have the following format:
October Classroom Lessons
During the Week of Respect, all Bedwell students had the opportunity to engage in a dialogue about rights and expectations, and how those concepts translate into behavior. We know that students are more likely to learn and succeed in safe, supportive environments. At Bedwell, all students have the right to come to school ready to do their best. That means they feel safe, valued, and included; rights which nobody can take away from them. Students also discussed their role in ensuring that everybody's rights are protected, by simply remembering to use kind words, do nice things, and include others.
New Jersey has designated the first week of October as a “Week of Respect”. During this week at Bedwell, all students received age-appropriate instruction focusing on the prevention of harassment, intimidation, and bullying. In addition, students were invited to create a "Rachel's Challenge" poster, showing how we create a chain of good deeds at Bedwell.
Now in its sixth year, our Rachel's Challenge anti-bullying initiative got off to a great start on September 19th 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 announce-ments. 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.
This year we will begin recognizing a monthly “Chain Reaction Superhero”! Each month, 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 have lunch along with several friends in the
Switching from the laid-back fun in the sun of summer to rules, homework, and routines can be a big jump for parents and children alike, but with a little preparation and the right attitude it doesn’t have to be so hard. The transition can be made a lot easier by making a few simple preparations and easing into the routines that will allow your child to start the school year off on the right foot. The most important thing is to encourage a positive attitude about the new school year and routine, and start the first week off the way you want the year to continue.
Start Adjusting the Sleep Schedule
Many adults and children have different schedules during summer vacation than they do during the school year. Bedtimes and wakeup times creep later or simply become irregular. Two of the biggest keys to a student’s success, though, are getting enough sleep and sticking to a consistent routine, so now’s the time to ease into the new fall schedule. Slowly move bedtimes and wakeup times back to what they should be during the school year. You can do this gradually over one or two weeks. If meal times or other regular routines have changed over the summer vacation, reset those as well.
Get the School Supplies and Study Area in Order
Obtain the class supply list and take a special shopping trip with your child. Having the right tools will help her or him feel prepared. While keeping basic needs in mind, allow for a couple of splurges like a cool notebook or a favorite-colored pen. If you don’t have a homework area set up yet, or if it’s been overtaken with toys, now’s a good time to organize and personalize that area with your child. Hang a bulletin board up with the school calendar and room for other reminders, desk trays or folders for storing project work, and, of course, pencils and other writing tools.
Ease Back to School Jitters
If the first few days are a little rough, try not to over react. Young children in particular may experience separation anxiety or shyness initially but teachers are trained to help them adjust. If you drop them off, try not to linger. Reassure them that you love them, will think of them during the day, and will be back. Personal notes or a family photo in the lunch box or book bag can help a child who is worried about starting the year. Let your child know that it is natural to be a little nervous anytime you start something new but that your child will be just fine once he or she becomes familiar with classmates, the teacher, and school routine.
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