Working on a project in the family workshop.
News & Updates
Webinar for Parents: Kids & Screentime During COVID-19
Monday, March 30, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
We are pleased to host Devorah Heitner PhD, author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World, for a special webinar, “How to Deal with ALL the Screens During COVID 2019 Family Time.”
Her talk will focus on the social-emotional components of screen time in balance with unplugged time during this unusual period in family life. There will be lots of time for Q and A and discussion.
All BDS parents are invited to join in. Use this Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/2037922871
In the webinar, Dr. Heitner will cover:
- Setting up routines and spaces at home for distance learning
- Establishing screen time rules for both recreation and learning
- How to help children deal with anxiety
- How to keep up with news without getting overwhelmed, and being cautious about what news children are consuming
- Modeling healthy habits and boundaries while working from home with our children around
- Using social media to help children keep in touch with friends
- Mentoring children on social media, texting, and gaming
Note: Devorah will join us in the fall to work with faculty and students.
Dr. Heitner’s book Screenwise is available at Belmont Books. If you would like to purchase the book, please consider ordering online from Belmont Books to help do our part to support local businesses during this difficult time.
PE Keeps Students Moving
Although we love exercising in the Barn, and using our fabulous array of physical education equipment, it turns out with a little creativity and a bit of hustle you can get an awesome workout at home. Our offsite PE curriculum challenged our students to build obstacle courses, complete exercise circuits, and get their heart rates up in small spaces. If the early returns are any indication, they’ve been super active and innovative, with zero lampshades or vases harmed in the process. Not that we’re at all surprised.
– Alex Tzelnic, physical education teacher
First Grade Starts Day With Morning Meeting
This week, first graders started connecting as a whole group through Zoom morning meetings. They are joyous and energetic! Throughout the week we have practiced doing many aspects of our regular morning meeting routine: a greeting, a share, a movement activity, and reading the morning message. We hope next week will also include weather observations and calendar reading. In math, students have been working on estimating measurement and practicing quick math facts. In writing, they have been creating small moment stories and journal entries. Wednesday was especially fun with a virtual choice time.
– Cicely Gibson and Beth Krebs, grade 1 teachers
Fourth Grade Projects Get Creative
In fourth grade students have been busy taking charge of their own learning. They are now comfortable using Google Classroom, email, and Google Meet to keep on top of assignments and to check in with teachers. Students are continuing their development as thoughtful, adaptive digital citizens and learners. Over this past week, they have also been learning about geometry, reading Andrew Clement’s book Frindle, and designing Greek temples, theaters, and athletic stadiums. To complete their various projects they are getting very creative, using found materials, pencil and paper, and even Minecraft.
– Lana Holman and Mary Norman, grade 4 teachers
Seventh Grade Scientists Research Climate Change
Seventh grade students in group 2 completed a project in which they chose a geographic region of personal interest, researched the effects of climate change in that region, and creatively presented their findings. Students learned about a range of topics, from the impact of wildfires in Australia, the global response to melting ice in Antarctica, to the impacts of climate change in the USA. They also chose a range of media to present their research: from innovative websites and artistic slideshows to informative newspaper articles. Use the links for a sampling of the students’ outstanding work.
– Leal Carter, grades 7 & 8 science teacher
COMMUNITY SERVICE NEWS
Middle School Students and Teacher Print Face Shields
Innovation teacher Kurt Robinson is putting the call out to any members of the community who may have a 3D printer at home. With the great need at hospitals for protective medical equipment, medical face shields can be 3D printed and donated locally. Mr. Robinson heard from seventh graders Noah Kokinos and Ben Rowe, who were in his 3D Printing class earlier this school year, that they are starting the effort at their homes. Downloadable plans for the shields are available here and more detailed instructions are available here. Contact Mr. Robinson if you’d like some help or if you have any questions.
HEALTH & WELLNESS NEWS
Yes, It’s Already Tick Season
We’re all striving to stay active these days, and for many that means getting outside in the yard and nearby open spaces. With all that awesome outdoor activity, we need to be extra vigilant about checking for ticks. Please help your child get into a routine of checking themselves for ticks EVERY DAY. Ticks especially like warm, moist places–between toes, under arms, behind knees, the groin, the scalp, and behind ears. The quicker a tick is found and removed, the less likely it is to cause illness. Please email me at [email protected] if you have any questions.
Wellness Craft Idea
Looking for a fun at-home craft? This one is great because once it is made, you can use it whenever you need to take a break! Here are six different ways to make a mindfulness jar, also known as a glitter jar or a calm-down jar. Give it a try!
– Liz LaRocque, school nurse
Check Your Junk Email Inboxes
With the significant volume of emails required at this time from administration and faculty to keep everyone informed, we highly recommend that all families check their junk email folders. We’ve heard that some emails have mistakenly been routed as junk. Please check those folders and designate any emails from BDS as “not junk” so that future emails will go to your main inbox. We wouldn’t want you to miss any news and information from the school!
Making Masks to Help Medical Staff
As many of you likely know, masks are critically needed right now to help in the fight to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The Boston Medical Center administration has issued a plea for help in our area and hospitals are looking for donations of home-made masks.
Can you help? We are asking our community to assist in making masks at home. To make the masks, you can use new cotton fabric/material you may have on hand or you can recycle clothing or dish towels. Elastic and pipe cleaners can be found on Amazon or at local sewing shops and if you live near or in Cambridge, Gather Here in Inman Square may be helpful.
Detailed mask-making instructions can be found online. And here is a very helpful YouTube video. When making a mask, please make sure to wash your material to ensure that it is preshrunk and clean.
Once you have completed masks for donation, we have three options for getting them to where they’re needed:
- Drop off at 22 Tremont St., Cambridge. This is the home of Elisabeth Schainker who is a doctor and a BDS parent. Leave masks on the front stoop and Elisabeth will bring them to Franciscan Children’s hospital where they do pulmonary care for babies.
- Drop off at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at 1 Deaconess in Boston. Please leave masks at reception in the Rosenberg Lobby between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- Email for pick-up to Judy Bright or Lauren Kiraly. They will arrange to pick them up from you and bring them to one of the above locations.
Thank you and stay safe and healthy!
You Showed Your BDS Spirit!
It was a blast to celebrate Spirit Day on Wednesday! Students and faculty wore their Blue and Gold and shared lots of photos. If you haven’t seen them already, be sure to check them out on Instagram and Facebook!
Let’s Wacky Wednesday
What’s next, you say? How about we celebrate Wacky Wednesday? Mark those calendars, for Wednesday, April 1 (Hmmm, coincidence? We think not!), set aside your best mismatched socks, and pick out a favorite shirt to wear backward. Be sure to snap a photo and send it to Jim Walker, associate director of communications and marketing, and we’ll share them for all to see on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
‘Elite Eight’ Compete for Title
Fun at Home
After School at Home
Our after school team has put together a website chock full of wonderful activities for students when school time has ended for the day. These activities continue our program’s mission of fun with the intention of enhancing skills, spurring creativity, and building community. Each week the team will update the site with new options. Click here to visit the site.
This Week: Be sure to enter the Fashion Show Challenge!
Higher Tech and Lower Tech
Looking for some fun projects for all ages? Check out Makerspaces.com. They offer ideas for small and safe electronic projects with items that you may have around your house. Even if you don’t have the right electronic supplies you can still make some of the cool models without them. And with the warmer weather and longer days on the way, check out this fun kite-building project offered by Instructables.com.
– Dolly Ryan, director of technology