Friday, December 14, 2012

We're thinking of you this time of year,
Wishing you happiness, joy, and cheer.

May all your days be warm and bright,
And your nights enhanced by holiday light.

Enjoy your delectable holiday foods,
As parties and gifts create holiday moods.

Favorite people play a meaningful part,
While treasured rituals warm your heart.

You are special to us in many ways,
So we wish you Happy Holidays!

By Joanna Fuchs

Friday, December 7, 2012


The only real blind person at Christmas-time is he who has not Christmas in his heart. – Hellen Keller

It was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One! – Charles Dickens

May the lights of Hanukkah usher in a better world for all humankind.–Unknown

The seven principles of Kwanzaa -- unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith -- teach us that when we come together to strengthen our families and communities and honor the lesson of the past, we can face the future with joy and optimism. -President Bill Clinton

It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you... yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand. – Mother Theresa

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that? – Bob Hope 

Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most. - Ruth Carter Stapleton

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly. – Andy Rooney

Love the giver more than the gift. – Brigham Young

Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone. – Charles Schulz

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.-Hamilton Wright Mabie

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. -Calvin Coolidge

The time is always right to do what is right.-Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays! D.M. Dellinger

Friday, November 30, 2012

25 Manners Every Child Should Know By Age 9

No one is born with good manners. Manners are really practical applications that have to be taught (and yes, modeled) by the adults in a child’s life!

Sometimes children just don't realize it's impolite to interrupt, pick their nose, or loudly comment that the lady walking in front of them is overweight. If you reinforce the follwing 25 must-do manners, you'll raise a polite, kind, well-liked child.

How to use this list?- You may choose to read it and do a mental check on how many your child is doing well on, and which ones you should be focusing. You may want to read it together with your child, and discuss each one. Or you may even want to print it (totally or partially) and display it in your refrigerator or kitchen door as a reminder to your child (and your household) of what is expected at home. Remember, good manners that are seen at home transcend to other places, and it is NEVER TOO LATE TO START! 

1 . When asking for something, say "Please."

2. When receiving something, say "Thank you."

3. Do not interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency. They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking.
4. If you do need to get somebody's attention right away, the phrase "excuse me" is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation.
5. When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It can save you from many hours of grief later.
6. The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends, and out of earshot of adults.
7. Do not comment on other people's physical characteristics unless, of course, it's to compliment them, which is always welcome.
8. When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.
9. When you have spent time at your friend's house, remember to thank his or her parents for having you over and for the good time you had.
10. Knock on closed doors -- wait to see if there's a response -- before entering.
11. When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.
12. Be appreciative and say "thank you" for any gift you receive. In the age of e-mail, a handwritten thank-you note can have a powerful effect.
13. Never use foul language in front of adults. Grown-ups already know all those words, and they find them boring and unpleasant.
14. Don't call people mean names.
15. Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak, and ganging up on someone else is cruel.
16. Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested. The performers and presenters are doing their best.
17. If you bump into somebody, immediately say "Excuse me."
18. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don't pick your nose in public.
19. As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else.
20. If you come across a parent, a teacher, or a neighbor working on something, ask if you can help. If they say "yes," do so -- you may learn something new.
21. When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.
22. When someone helps you, say "thank you." That person will likely want to help you again. This is especially true with teachers!
23. Use eating utensils properly. If you are unsure how to do so, ask your parents to teach you or watch what adults do.
24. Keep a napkin on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary.
25. Don't reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to teach children about being thankful. Here are some ideas to teach your children how to appreciate the blessings in their lives and how to express it. Try these ideas and see if they work for you. You may be pleasantly surprised with the results!
Gratitude is one of the trickiest concepts to teach  -- but one of the most important. Although thankful children are more polite and pleasant to be around, there's more to it than that. By learning gratitude, children become sensitive to the feelings of others, develop empathy and other life skills along the way. Grateful children look outside their one-person universe and understand that their parents and other people do things for them -- prepare dinner, dole out hugs, teach, care for them, buy toys, ect. On the flip side, children who aren't taught to be grateful end up feeling entitled and perpetually disappointed.

Set the Example. Parents have to model the behavior they hope their children adopt as their own. A simple, sincere expression of gratitude when your child does something they were asked to do is always appropriate. Taking an extra moment to thank a sales clerk at the store or to tip your help at home when bringing something to you lets them know that gratitude is acceptable and encouraged. Children model their parents in every way, so make sure you use "please" and "thank you" when you talk to them. ("Thanks for that hug -- it made me feel great!"). 

Work gratitude into your daily conversation.  When you reinforce an idea frequently, it's more likely to stick. Two old-fashioned, true ideas: Make saying what good things happened today part of the dinnertime conversation, or make bedtime prayers part of your nightly routine if this is an important part of your personal belief.
Make a List. From time to time, take some time as a family to list the things you are grateful for. Children might say things like a favorite toy or food, but sometimes they will express thanks for a family where they feel safe or for a dad's income that let's them have a few luxuries.
Don't Demand Thanks.  Avoid demanding thanks from your children. They will internalize example much more than they will threats or humiliation. If you offer it sincerely to them, they will learn the skills of gratitude.
Teach Through Role Playing. If you notice a lack of the gratitude attitude, consider a little role playing. Have children act out a scenario where someone went out of their way for someone else, and have the receiver express gratitude. You might even consider a negative example and see how the giver feels when his or her giving is ignored.
Establish Family Traditions. Give a "speech" before every holiday dinner, talk about the blessings you have in your family (even if it's not Thanksgiving). By having family rituals that center on gratitude, children learn to express thanks.
Have kids help. It happens to everyone: You give your child a chore, but it's too agonizing watching him a) take forever to do it or b) make a huge mess. The temptation is always to step in and do it yourself. But the more you do for them, the less they appreciate your efforts. By participating in simple household chores like feeding the dog or stacking dirty dishes on the counter, kids realize that all these things take effort.
Find a goodwill project. That doesn't mean you need to drag your toddler off to a soup kitchen or shelter every week. Instead, figure out some way he/she can actively participate in helping someone else, even if it's as simple as making cupcakes for a sick neighbor. As you're stirring the batter or adding sprinkles, talk about how you're making them for a special person, and how happy the recipient will be.

Encourage generosity. Donate toys and clothes to less fortunate kids! Giving to others inspires children to go through their own closets and give something special to those in need, as well.

Insist on thank-you notes. Parents sometimes make their children write thank-yous or make phone calls to thank for gifts or kind gestures. This teaches children not to take things for granted.  .

Practice saying no. Of course kids ask for toys, video games, and candy -- sometimes on an hourly basis. It's difficult, if not impossible, to feel grateful when your every whim is granted. Saying “no” sometimes makes hearing “yes”  much sweeter.

Be patient. You can't expect gratitude to develop overnight -- it requires weeks, months, even years of reinforcement. But in time, you will be rewarded.


Friday, November 9, 2012


Midterm reports for the second quarter are just around the corner at Discovery School! We all want our children to experience success in school. Children in Elementary School may sometimes experience frustration (and sometimes even failure). It's not because they lack ability, but because they do not have adequate study skills. Good study habits are important for success in school now and especially in the future. Listed below are a few things parents need to consider in order to assist a child in developing the right study skills.

Ø      Be a good role model. If you sometimes bring work home with you or you're taking a course yourself, your child will learn your habits.
Ø      Help your child organize things. For example, the protractor and compass belong in the math binder, sheet music in the violin case.
Ø      Help him or her organize space. The kitchen table is for eating; your child's desk is for studying.
Ø      Help your child organize time. Establish a routine for completing schoolwork. It doesn't have to be the minute your child walks in the door; just agree on a set time and stick to it.
Ø      Minimize distractions. Learning and practicing skills are not better retained when learned concurrently with loud music, TV shows and a telephone receiver at one ear.
Ø      Check your child's work. Every night is unnecessary (unless there is a particular need for it), but check it often enough that he or she knows you might - and that you care.
Ø      Insist that sloppy or careless work be redone, but don't correct errors; teachers need to know what students don't know.
Ø      Give praise whenever possible and appropriate. A sincere expression of pride in your child's academic accomplishments can go a long way toward making studying a habit.

Tips & Warnings

·                 Don't wait until report card time or progress reports to address concerns about your child's study habits. If you believe he or she needs help, offer it now. Contact the teacher and discuss the possibilities.
·                 See what the school offers in the way of study skills training.
Offering our children opportunities for success will enable them to become happy and productive students!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


The elementary students will all be engaging in an Elementary Science Fair this school year. The big event will take place on February 27. However, the work has already begun! Students in the Upper Elementary (grades three through six) have received their Science Fair Booklet, and will meet their first deadline this Monday, November 5. They will be working at home, and submitting different documents to their homeroom teachers periodically. Students in the Lower Elementary will be working on a class project with their homeroom teachers.

What is the best way to help your child? When is help too little or too much?
That is a questions that all parents face, and that teachers need parents to understand. Here are some things to consider:

  • It is important for the students to do the project themselves. A parent should not try to manage it for them.
  • Students may need guidance and direction when it comes to setting time aside to work on the project, and to obtain the necessary material to do it.
  • A parent can contribute by reminding his or her child about deadlines that need to be met, and making sure the child does the work.
  • It is very easy to take control of a student’s project, especially if you think it should be done differently. This should not happen.
  • Remember that this project is a learning experience for your child, and he or she will not benefit from a project performed by you.
  • If your child is performing all the necessary tasks to an acceptable standard and is not requesting assistance, your job is to supervise. If your child asks for help, appears to be struggling, or is performing below acceptable standards or with disregard for safety measures, then you may wish to offer assistance

The booklet that was given out during Parent-Student-Teacher conferences is very user friendly. Talk to your child’s teacher if you have any questions. We all want to make this experience a successful and pleasant one for our students.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Parent Guide to MAP

Dear Families,

Now that student-led conferences are finished and you have your child’s MAP results, we would like to share some information and links with you in order for you  to support your child in his/her areas of need.
For more information about the overall Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) process:

The following NWEA Parent Toolkit was created as a resource and guide for parents. It includes Frequently Asked Questions, Tips for Parents, and a list of web sites for parents and kids:

We’d also like to provide you with 2 excellent resources for at-home practice. For each, you’ll need to look at your child’s Student Goal Setting Worksheet, which was shared with you at conferences.

For reading, look at your child’s RIT range by goal strand for Fall 2012. Use these numbers to select appropriate activities under each goal area. This website is aligned to Minnesota standards, so there are some discrepancies in the categorizing. Our suggestion for finding comprehension activities is to use the overall RIT score for reading.
            Website Wording                                                        MAP Wording
            Word Recognition, Analysis, and Vocabulary             Word Analysis and Vocabulary
Comprehension: Narrative                                          Literal, Interpretive, and Evaluative Comprehension
Comprehension: Informational                                   Literal, Interpretive, and Evaluative Comprehension
            Literature                                                                    Literature Response/Analysis
Here is the reading website:

For math, look at your child’s RIT range by goal strand for Fall 2012. Use these numbers to select appropriate activities under each goal area. For example, if your child’s RIT range for Geometry is 175-190, you would go to the click on the 171-180 and 181-190 links under Geometry and Measurement in order for find activities at your child’s level. Since Geometry and Measurement are grouped together, you would be looking for geometry skills, such as shapes.
            Website Wording                                            MAP Wording
            Number and Operation                                   Computation and Number Sense
            Geometry and Measurement                          Geometry and Measurement 
Data Analysis                                                  Statistics and Probability
            Algebra                                                            Algebraic Concepts
Here is the math website:

We know that parent support and at-home practice are essential for student success. We hope you find these resources useful. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

The Discovery Elementary Team

Friday, October 19, 2012


“...that it is necessary to assist children in developing the skills of reasoning, empathizing, valuing and the creative resolution of conflict; that it should encourage curiosity, open-mindedness, persistence, respect for the opinions of others and cooperation; that it should develop in children the ability to think abstractly, critically, and creatively;...” 

Quoted from an original document that was provided by the founders of Discovery School 1994

One of the most important traits of Discovery School it the international nature of its population. That is something we not only take pride of, but use as one of our most valuable teaching resources. Values such as tolerance, respect and acceptance are clear expectations that are taught and enforced in our school community. Thus, it is no wonder why the celebration of the anniversary of the United Nations is such an important date in our school calendar. 

When examining closely the aims of the United Nations we find among them that as an organization it seeks “to keep peace throughout the world” , and among its principles it encourages countries to “settle their differences by peaceful means”. In a microcosmos, teachers, parents and students at Discovery School are constantly striving to use effective means of conflict resolution to overcome problems and differences, all the while respecting other’s individual and cultural differences.

The Discovery School Community comes together to celebrate these differences, giving the opportunity to all our different cultural communities to showcase the richness of their traditions and ways of life in an event filled with enthusiasm, activities and delicious food for students, parents and teachers. Throughout this week, the children will be learning about the United Nations, and will be participating in activities that will lead to this wonderful event.

What do YOU know of the organization? This is an ideal time to sit with your child and talk about the United Nations, and learn more about this amazing organization. Take the time to discuss traits such as tolerance, respect, cooperation, and peace with your child(ren). Think about ways we can demonstrate these at school, at home, and with family and friends. Use the following links to refresh your knowledge! We hope to see you all at school this Thursday, October 26 for an amazing school celebration!
Just for adults

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Good values are one of the most important things you can teach your child. Your child won't learn good values in an hour, or in a classroom, but over the course of their childhood and throughout their lifetime. Here are some tips to help you teach your child good values.


v        Live a life that is worthy of emulation. Children learn by example; they learn what they live. Believe it or not, your child is watching you and how you react to life. Live in a way that portrays good values in order to teach them to your child.


v        Don't wait until high school. Children need to start learning good values when they are very small. This will carry them through their turbulent teen years.


v        If you believe what you profess to believe in, LIVE IT!. Teach your child the value of your beliefs. If you do not prescribe to any particular faith, take time to talk to your children about how living with good values makes the world better for everyone.


v        Pay attention to what your children are watching, reading, and looking at. Television, magazines and the Internet offer many examples of both good and poor values. Talk to your kids about what they see. If someone on TV is exemplifying poor values and reaping the repercussions of those values, point that out to your child.


v        Look for opportunities to teach good values to your children. Praise them for behaviors that show good values. When you and your child witness someone exemplifying good values, ask your child why they believe that person is acting in a good manner. No matter how small your child is, their insights may surprise, amaze, and please you!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Discovery School offers a unique oportunity for children to make friends from all over the world. This is an article worth reading by every parent who has a child in elementary school.

Nobody Likes Me: Helping Children Make Friends
By Lisa M. Cope

It’s a heartbreaker. Your child comes home from school one day and says he/she doesn’t have any friends and that nobody likes him/her - the dreaded words no parent wants to hear. You’ve been there; you know how cruel it can be on the playground and how quickly friendships seem to come and go throughout life. You want to wrap up your child and protect him/her from the world and most of all, you want to ensure that he/she has plenty of friends.
As much as you’d like to step in, you simply can’t make friends for him/her. You can, however, give him/her the tools he needs to be social and to be a good friend. Every child is born with an innate need to attach or be in a relationship, but how he/she goes about forming those relationships depends largely on his temperament. Children can start to develop real friendships around the age of four or five. When everything goes smoothly, it can be exhilarating and great. But when you see your child hitting some bumps in the road to having his/her own “B.F.F.,” you can help.
According to Denise Salin, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Parent Educator, you don’t want to push. “Some children, especially younger elementary school age ones, need help developing social skills such as empathy, problem-solving, negotiating, cooperation and communication skills” before they are comfortable making friends. “If an elementary aged child does not seem to want to make friends, it’s important to try and get an understanding of what may be going on.”
To support the development of friendships in your child’s life, try some of these techniques:
  • Offer a variety of opportunities for play and socializing. Host friends over for play dates or lunch. See if you can participate in a carpool and sign-up your child for group activities such as art, drama or dance. Exposing him/her to different areas of play will help him learn to socialize. “Giving children lots of unstructured time to play is important because they learn the social skills they need so they can keep playing and have fun,” says Salin. Additionally, you can include your child when talking to people out of his normal range of peers. Take him/her to visit a neighbor, or bring him/her along to the dry cleaner. The more he/she is exposed to interacting with all kinds of people, the more he/she will learn to do the same.
  • Provide support to your child. This may seem easy, but how often do you really listen to your child? Pick up on the social cues by listening to what he/she says happened on the playground. Support your child’s choice of friends and welcome them to your home. Try getting to know his/her friends and their parents.
  • Stay balanced when things are hard. Go ahead and empathize with your child’s pain, but keep it in perspective. Making friends is a lifelong process and will of course have its ups and downs. Pain, unfortunately, is a part of it. According to Salin, “all children will experience some form of ‘normal’ social pain in their friendships. We can support them by listening and acknowledging their feelings.” Talk about your concerns with other adults who can support you -- such as a coach, teacher, friend, or family member. You never want to share your anxiety with your child, so find someone who can help offer insight about your child or consult with professionals.
  • Perhaps most importantly, you need to show your child how to be a good friend and make friends. The best way is to model the behavior you would like to see. According to Boys Town Pediatrics, there are several ways you can accomplish this at home:
  1. Help your child realize his own strengths.
  2. Have a sense of humor about yourself and your shortcomings.
  3. Listen to your child without criticism.
  4. Be kind, give compliments, wave to a friend, open the door for someone.
  5. Be understanding of what others are going through by showing empathy.
  6. Don’t complain. Instead, teach your children to accept what can't be changed by working hard to change the things that can.
Learning to build friendships is one of the ways children develop into well-rounded, emotionally healthy human beings. “I’ve worked with many adults who have achieved tremendous success in terms of college, career, money, etc. and yet they are sad and empty because they have great difficulty in their relationships,” says Salin. By giving your child the skills he needs to be confident and compassionate, you increase the likelihood that friends will eagerly come into his life. And friends will give his life a richness and happiness he will always treasure.

Taken from

Saturday, September 29, 2012


“Discovery School is such a great school!”

“We made the right choice by sending our child(ren) here”

“Every one here is so welcoming and helpful.”

“Please let me know how as a parent I can help out in school”

These are some of the comments that we hear parents make to each other and to teachers, validating once again what a wonderful school Discovery School is! Cornerstone to our success is parental involvement. It makes our community richer. Depending on your time availability and resources, here are some ideas on how our parents can help and continue making this the great school it is. Come in and talk to your child(ren)’s teacher and see how you can get involved!

Come to school to assist.
1.     Share information with a student or class about a hobby, a career or a talent.
2.     Share information with students about a country you visited or lived in.
3.     Help coach an athletic team.
4.     Help plan a new playground for the school.
5.     Help plan a theme-based presentation for students.
6.     Help present a theme-based program for students.
7.     Demonstrate cooking from a particular country or culture to students.
8.     Share a particular expertise with faculty (such as use of computers, dealing with disruptive students).
9.     Help students plan and build an outdoor garden or other project to beautify the outside of the school.

Help arrange learning opportunities in the community.
10. Go on a local field trip with a teacher and a group of students.
11. Contact a particular local business or organization regarding possible cooperation.

Serve on an advisory or decision-making committee.
12. Serve on a school committee.
13. Serve as an officer or collaborator in the school's DPTO.

Share information or advocate for the school.
14.     Serve as a member of a 'telephone tree' to distribute information quickly.
15.     Help translate information from the school into a language other than English.
16.     Provide transportation to a parent-teacher conference for a parent who needs a ride.
17.     Write an article for publication in a magazine about the school's activities.

Increase financial resources available to the school.
18.     Help write a proposal that would bring new resources to the school.
19.     Donate materials to the school.
20.     Arrange for a business or other organization to donate materials to the school.
21.     Help with a fundraiser for the school.