Tuesday, September 27, 2011

School Wellness Council Update

Yesterday, during the first School Wellness Council meeting of the year, one of our student representatives brought in this diagram to teach us about the effects of soda on the body.

Our student representatives on the Council did incredibly well sharing their thoughts in a room full of adults.  And, even better, it's great to see that our health and nutrition education works!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Warning: Do not eat the berries!

Later this year, Second and Third grade will be planting seeds in our classroom and in the school garden.  Kindergarteners will also be studying trees with Ms. Mark soon.

So, we've been inspecting our overgrown garden to determine how to get it ready for our Scientists.

We discovered a berry plant that had been growing in the garden. We found out that it's called a pokeweed plant and that it is highly toxic.  That means you can get very sick if you eat it. 

It looks like this:

Mr. Joe, our custodian, and I spent an hour in the garden yesterday getting rid of all the berries and the pokeweed plant to make it is safe for our students. 

Still, this brings up a valuable lesson: Do not eat the berries! 

If you ever encounter a berry plant in the wild, in a park, or even our school garden, you should never eat it.  Some berries are really good for you, like blueberries and raspberries.  But some, like the pokeweed berry you see in the picture above, can make you really sick.  Unless you're a berry expert it's really hard to tell which ones are good for you and which ones are not.  It's best to just not eat the berries.

If you have a craving for berries, ask your family to go to the supermarket and buy some delicious blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries.  They taste great and they're good for you!  But stay away from any berry that grows out in the wild.

Monday, September 12, 2011

SpongeBob SquarePants is BAD for kids' brains

This is really important for parents and kids. Researchers found that 4-year-olds who had just watched “SpongeBob SquarePants” did worse on tests of attention and problem-solving than young children who watched a slower-paced educational program or spent time drawing.

You can read the NY Times article here.

The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages television for children under 2, recommending other activities like reading, playing, singing and talking with a child, and it suggests limiting older children to no more than two hours of total entertainment media time, preferably of high-quality programming.

In other words, our students should be getting no more than two hours TOTAL of computer, TV, and video games a day!

Students, there are many things you can do at home instead of watching TV:

- read!
- dance
- exercise
- play in the park
- singing
- talking
- drawing

For ideas on what you can do when not watching TV, on the computer, or playing video games, ask your teacher!  We have lots of ideas for what you can do with free time at home.  Plus, you learn great examples during Recess, Language through Movement, Language through Music, Science, and Center Time in your classrooms. 

Now, get off the computer and go have fun brain-healthy fun!