As our 6th graders get ready to set sail for Plymouth, MA later this week, an energy has settled into the air that comes only with the giddiness of 37 students preparing for an overnight trip. It might be the prospect of spending the evenings at the hotel water park, or the opportunity to spend nearly 48 hours straight with their classmates, but I would like to think the opportunity to immerse themselves into history in a tangible way is what has them bubbling with excitement.
If you are a parent, chances are you’ve had a conversation with your child about what they’re doing on their phone, tablet, or computer. Maybe that conversation was about how much time they spend looking at a screen, or who they are talking to and about what. The universality of this conversation stresses the importance of how parents, schools, communities, and society at large approach raising the next generation of digital citizens.
For some students, the idea of going to a museum seems like an exercise in boredom. Even the word “museum” can conjure a number of descriptors for children such as stale, old, dusty, and irrelevant, especially in our fast paced world. Additionally, for many students, an art museum is a mystery. Why would you go somewhere just to look at a painting or a sculpture? Art classes can prepare students with the tools to interact with an artwork and its content, but oftentimes the power of the visit lies not just in understanding the work, but being in the physical presence of it.
As high school students begin to think about their post-secondary options, they often consider a slew of common factors. Do I want a big school or a small school? An urban, suburban or rural environment? A liberal arts college or a university? For Churchill students, they have another important element to consider: what type of support will I need to be successful in college?
More often than not, I am confronted with middle school students who lack confidence in drawing and are self-conscious of their abilities. Even students who clearly have a knack for drawing tend to be critical of themselves. Why is this? As elementary school children we have no inhibitions surrounding our drawings. Drawing is fun! There is no hand wringing to be had over a part of a drawing one just can’t get right. As students mature into middle school, what happens that causes them to lose this freedom, confidence, and clarity?
Service learning combines learning goals and community service in ways that enhance both student growth and the common good. It’s a form of education where learning occurs through a cycle of action and reflection as students seek to achieve real objectives for the community and deeper understanding and skills for themselves.
“Should Johnny or Suzie get a fidget? What kind?” Those are some of the most frequently asked questions we in the Occupational Therapy department at Churchill receive from teachers each school year. Although we may wish that we had the magical formula for determining if a student should get a fidget, our occupational therapy super powers are not that clairvoyant .
Writing draws on a wide range of skills and requires a high level of executive functioning. Each step in the traditional writing process is actually a combination of several smaller steps and various skills. We’ve embraced the EmPOWER writing strategy because the process breaks down each step and allows students to gain a greater understanding of the process. By breaking down the process, teachers can scaffold and release support as students become more and more independent.
Eye - hand coordination is defined as coordinated control of eye movement with hand movement and the processing of visual input to guide reaching and grasping along with the use of proprioception of the hands to guide the eyes.
Frequently seen in the classroom alongside teachers, we sometimes get asked the question, “What is your role and how does it differ from a teacher?” To some, we may look like any teacher or tutor when we work with students.
Executive function develops over time. For example, following multi-step directions or being able to calm yourself down when you are very frustrated may be too much for a child’s executive function system but not for an adult’s. The good news is that in addition to strengthening your own executive function skills, there are many strategies to promote the development of your child’s executive function.
We hoped we were past needing to have this conversation—but if you read a recent Huffington Post opinion piece about a “supposed dyslexic subgroup,” or saw any of the social media commentaries, you know that we still need to have difficult conversations about dyslexia. The meaning of the “D word” may be unclear to some, but not to us. We know what the word means and what dyslexia is.
As our social world expands to include digital communication, it is increasingly important to provide our students with the tools and understanding to demonstrate integrity, responsibility, respect and kindness when using the internet.
The Churchill School and Center, a K-12 coeducational college preparatory day school in New York City, is dedicated to working collaboratively with students, educators, and families to help children with language-based learning disabilities realize their full potential. Work Here