One of the things I like most about my job is watching our students at play. I always marvel at the fact that kids can make a game out of almost anything. Several of the games our kids play during lunch and recess are games they have actually made up themselves. It is wonderful to see their minds at work, coming up with games that are both inclusive of their friends yet also have rules and boundaries. As summer draws to an end, I want to highlight how important play is for our children. I see so many of our kids with such busy schedules. While it is important for our students to stay active and structured, it is also important for us to remember to find time for play.
Even in adolescence, our kids love to play. While they are changing so much, in so many ways, it is nice to know that some things stay the same. I always joke that some of our kids would play ball with a sandwich in their mouths if we let them. Middle school is such a wondrous time of life because we get to see kids this age act both like full fledged teenagers at one moment and children the next.
While we know that play is developmentally important for the growth of children, it is also essential for adolescence’s growth. Teenagers might not want to call it play, but it is still very important that they take the time to decompress. Because adolescent children must learn to gain independence, they will want to spend their free time with friends. This unstructured time with their friends is an extremely important time for teenagers to play. Yet there seems to be less and less time for this.
One more thing that seems to be getting in the way of play is the amount of time our students spend looking at a screen. For the record, I do not consider video games play. Technology can be good for decompression,however, it does not provide the kind of benefits as real play does. What bothers me is the fact that screen time eats up valuable time that could be used for play.
Having said that, play does not have to be physical activity. In fact, teenagers often mimic adult behavior as their form of play. One more reminder of how important it is to model good behavior for our kiddos.
So, why is play so very important? If you have the time, read some of the research out there as to what play does for us. I have linked some articles I have been reading lately that outline why we need to play.
- Play helps us develop social emotional cognitive growth. This article from NPR highlights how play relates to learning. Most importantly, how play is crucial for our social emotional learning. Scientists Say Child’s Play Helps Build a Better Brain.
- A great deal of attention has been given to how important our imagination is. Play is crucial in cultivating creativity and imagination. I like this article because it provides ways that adults can help older kids tap into their imaginations.
- This article is for us. Play Doesn’t End with Childhood: Why Adults Need Recess Too.
The one thing that all the research around play has in common is the need to let go of control to allow kids to experiment on their own - no coaches, teachers, parents necessary. Kids need time on their own just to play. This unstructured time is when the brain gets its creative juices going. Just like our kids inventing their own games, we can see their brains at work. And they do not need our help; they can do this all on their own.
A great way for the entire family to play all together is to join us for our Stampede and Soar. As a reminder, our Stampede & Soar Color Run is coming up Sunday, October 6th (9-11am). Be sure to SIGN UP TODAY to be guaranteed a custom 2019 Stampede & Soar t-shirt. Today is the deadline! Register for this festive, community event and fundraiser here:http://bit.ly/2TUj0Sb
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This Monday at lunch, students can participate in making yellow ribbons to wear throughout the month to show their support and raise awareness of this terrible disease.
ASB is hosting a number of upcoming Friday spirit days. Encourage your student to dress up and show their Mustang Pride!
- Friday, September 20th - Meme Day
- Friday, September 27th - Tropical Day
- Friday, October 4th - Pajama Day
6th grade ASB representative elections are happening this month. All interested students can pick up an election packet from Ms. Williams in room 204. All completed packets are due by this Friday, September 20th. Elections will be held on September 27th. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
8th Grade DC/NY Trip
8th graders have the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Washington DC and New York City this June. Come learn more at the info meeting this Wednesday, September 18th at 6:30pm in room 204. Be sure to RSVP athttps://rsvp.efexploreamerica.com/886CY7Y to let us know you're planning to attend. Are you already interested and ready to guarantee your child a spot? Sign up at www.efexploreamerica.com/2257458xu.
The DC/NY trip is not school sponsored or affiliated with the San Carlos School District, but led by an individual through EF Explore America. If you have any questions about this trip, please contact Jennifer Williams email@example.com.
Upcoming Author Event for 5-6th graders
Kelly Yang author of Front Desk
Thursday, September 26
Opportunity to Pre-Purchase Signed Copies
We have an exciting event coming up for our 5th and 6th grade students at Arroyo and Central Middle Schools. Kelly Yang, the author of Front Desk, is coming to speak with our 5th and 6th graders at an assembly on Thursday, September 26.
Front Desk tells the story of Mia Tang, a girl growing up in LA, who helps her immigrant parents manage a motel. Our author Kelly Yang, grew up in similar circumstances. She immigrated to America when she was 6 years old and grew up in Southern California, where she and her parents worked in three different motels. She eventually left the motels and went to college at the age of 13 and law school at the age of 17. After law school, she gave up law to pursue her passion of writing and teaching children writing. She is the founder of The Kelly Yang Project (kellyyang.edu.hk), a leading writing and debating program for kids in Asia.
Students can pre-purchase signed copies of Kelly's book ahead of our assembly. Purchase forms are available at our library and CMS and Arroyo offices. Signed copies will also be available at the upcoming Book Fair. Please email our librarian, Katie Hultgren with any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
For families with 8th grade daughters, shadow dates are open at Notre Dame High School in Belmont! 8th graders spend a day at Notre Dame, experiencing classes, lunch, and activities, and getting a taste of all that Notre Dame has to offer. Parents will learn about the admissions process, take a tour of the school, and have their questions answered by the Director of Admissions and the Head of School. Shadow dates run from September 24th - November 20th. Registration is also open for Open House on October 27th and Information Night on November 14th.
To register for a shadow visit or other event: https://ndhsb.schooladminonline.com/portal/new_inquiry
Learn more about Notre Dame at www.ndhsb.org
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