What Stanfield is Reading and Watching: December 2015

Motivational Monday!

Learning is a valuable, life-long process, and not just something you do in school! Today, Chester shares this reminder to cherish what you learn throughout your life.

Be a student as long as you have something to learn - Motivational quote


14 Dogs Who are Really Trying Not to Peek at Their Presents

dogs trying not to peek at christmas presents

“The presents… They’re so close… yet so far!” Got any anxious kiddos this holiday season? Enjoy this silly article from Buzzfeed titled 14 Dogs Who Definitely Didn’t Peek At Their Presents. 


TED Talks to Watch With the Whole Family

Family hanging out at home during winter break watching TED Talks

Enjoying some family time on winter break? Here’s a great playlist of TED Talks to watch with the whole family! From inspiring and touchy to funny and silly, these videos are perfect for bringing family together to learn and wonder.

Source: TED


Motivational Monday

Even though it’s winter break, you may still need a little motivational boost this Monday! Today, Chester shares these wise words—there’s nothing like some hard work to fulfill your goals.


Just for Laughs!

How are you celebrating the holidays with your students? This clever math teacher inspired a little Christmas spirit with an equation!

Image source: Buzzfeed’s 27 Times Teachers Had Fun In Their Jobs

Merry Christmas Funny Teacher


Start Close In

Start Close in By David Whyte

The best way to begin something new is with small, focused steps. This wonderful poem from David Whyte explains that sometimes our fears and inhibitions are best overcome by finding your own voice and starting slowly.


Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way of starting
the conversation.

Start with your own
give up on other
people’s questions,
don’t let them
smother something

To find
another’s voice,
your own voice,
wait until
that voice
becomes a
private ear
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don’t follow
someone else’s
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don’t mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don’t take
the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

To read more from David White, click here.


Breaking: All Los Angeles Unified schools closed by ‘credible threat’ of violence

LAUSD closed due to credible threats of violence

The following article is a repost of the LA Times coverage of this event. To find out more, click here.

Officials closed all Los Angeles Unified School District campuses Tuesday morning after receiving a “credible threat” of violence involving backpacks and packages left at campuses.

Authorities said they plan a search operation of all of the LAUSD’s more than 900 schools. The nation’s second-largest school district has more than 700,000 students. 

“I think it’s important to take this precaution based on what has happened recently and what has happened in the past,” LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines said.

Officials said the threat came in electronic form and was made to numerous but unspecified campuses. As a result, they made the decision to close all campuses for the day.

The Los Angeles Police Department and FBI were assisting with the threat investigation, Los Angeles School Police Chief Steve Zipperman said.

“The threat is still being analyzed,” he said. “We have chosen to close our schools today until we can be sure our campuses are safe.”

Students who already arrived at school will be supervised until parents can pick them up, officials said.

“Parents/Guardians please bring proper ID when picking up your child at school. They will be required,” the LAUSD said in a statement.

Zayda Hernandez pulled up to Mayberry Elementary in Echo Park shortly after 7:30 a.m. with her 6-year-old son, Matthew Alvarez, bundled up in the back seat in a coat and SpongeBob stocking cap.

He hadn’t been feeling well, so she has been urging him to just make it through the last few days of school before winter break.

She pulled up to see paper signs with purple writing attached to the closed chain-link fence outside the school: “No school today.” “Hoy no hay escuela.”

“No school!” she said, rolling down her window, shaking her head.

She was driving from her home near Chinatown on Tuesday morning when she heard on Spanish radio 107.5 that schools would be closed. But it was so late and there was a private school she knew of that was open, so she wanted to check just to be sure.

“I pulled up and thought, ‘There’s no traffic so maybe it’s true.’ ”

She showed an alert she got on her smartphone at 7:22 a.m. from Mayberry administrators saying that at 7:10 a.m., the superintendent decided to close schools. “Do not send your child to school. Please watch the news for further updates,” it read.

Hernandez was not happy about the closure because she has to go to work. But her son, a kindergartener, grinned.

“I thought there was school today!” he said.

Cortines said a statement will be issued later Tuesday, providing an update on the investigation.

The “rare” threat message was made to students at many schools, he said.

“What we are doing today is no different than what we normally do, except that we are doing it in a mass way,” Cortines said.

LAPD Assistant Chief Jorge Villegas said police are taking the threat, like all threats, seriously.

“Nothing is [more] important to us than the safety of our kids, especially those that are coming to and from school that haven’t been notified yet,” he said.

LAUSD Board President Steve Zimmer urged families not to send their children to schools and employees to stay home.

“We are taking this action in an abundance of caution to make sure that every child in L.A. Unified School District and every employee is absolutely safe,” Villegas said

If students already were dropped off Tuesday morning at LAUSD campuses, parents must pick up their children at the schools’ reunion gates.

“I want to be very clear: We need cooperation of the whole of Los Angeles today,” Zimmer said, pleading for employers to show patience for parents looking to find care for their children.

Hope Street Friends, a private daycare and preschool in the Wells Fargo complex in downtown L.A. decided to follow LAUSD’s lead and close Tuesday.

As a result of the closures, Metro announced that students with a valid student ID can ride buses and trains for free until noon.

Times staff writer Harriet Ryan contributed to this report.

Image & article Source, Los Angeles Times


8:24 a.m.: This article was updated with comments from school and LAPD officials.

8:16 a.m.: This artciel was updated with comments from a parent.

This article was originally published at 7:38 a.m.


Motivational Monday

Overcoming a problem is all in how you look at it. Take this awesome quote to kick start your week—don’t look at a wrong answer as “failure.” Look at it as a stepping stone to the right answer.

Motivational Monday - Inspirational quotes to kick start your week



Just for Laughs!

Today we have a little math equation just for you, teachers and parents! I’m sure we all know that lull before winter break. Don’t worry, you got this!

Just for Laughs post


Teachers Threaten Strike in St. Paul Over School Violence

Teachers union threatens strike over school violence in St. Paul

The St. Paul, Minnesota teachers union is threatening to strike in the wake of a violent attack. Police say a science teacher was badly beaten by a 16-year-old student last Friday in an attempt to break up a fight in the school cafeteria.

“Tonight, our union has filed a petition for state mediation. This step is required by state law to trigger our teachers’ right to strike,” Denise Rodriguez, President of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers,  said in a written statement. “Teachers don’t want to walk away from their classrooms or their students but if our school climates are not safe and equitable environments for learning, that is a step our members may need to take. We can wait no longer.”

This story is developing, but you can learn more here on KARE 11.



The Science of Learning to Read when Child Has Dyslexia

The Science of Reading with Dyslexia

“Dyslexia is a different brain organization that needs different teaching methods. It is never the fault of the child, but rather the responsibility of us who teach to find methods that work for that child,” explains child development professor Maryanne Wolf. Wolf doesn’t want special education teachers to shy away from mentioning dyslexia to parents, and she encourages teachers to grasp a better understanding of the idea of “cerebrodiversity: the idea that our brains are not uniform and we each learn differently.”

Children pick up different concepts in a number of ways, and learning to read can pose even more complex variations. Both children and teachers will benefit from shifting the focus from “Oh, she’ll catch up…” to prompt a diagnosis and finding better ways to serve different learning needs.

Mindshift’s Holly Korbey details main points about the science of reading and dyslexia:

1. Phoneme awareness, or knowing the sounds that correspond with letters and words, is the No. 1 deficiency in the dyslexic brain.

2. Fluency, or getting the reading circuit to work together quickly, is the second-biggest issue.

3. Comprehension is the third but no less crucial issue to reading.

Read more in “Understanding Dyslexia and the Reading Brain in Kids” on KQED.



Motivational Monday

Today’s inspiration comes to you from Eleanor Roosevelt. Don’t doubt yourself. “Believe in the beauty of your dreams!”

Eleanor Roosevelt Quote: Motivational Monday



How to Talk to Your Students About Violence: Resources

How to talk to your students about tragedy - helping adolescents cope with grief

There is no right way to deal with tragedy. Words escape us when we hear news like what happened in San Bernardino on Wednesday. The following resources have been gathered from Edutopia to aid conversations with special education students about violence, the news, and tragedy.

How to Talk to Your Kids About School Violence (NBC)

NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman spoke with Brian Williams about talking with your children regarding violence in schools. A brief overview of tips accompanies the video.

When Tragedy and Adolescence Clash, Helping Grieving Teenagers Cope (New York Times)

A psychologist recounts her experiencing in helping teenagers who are facing grievous loss. Tragedy unfolds differently for adolescents.

View Violence Through Your Child’s Eyes (PBS Parents)

PBS Parents produced this package, which focuses on providing kids context for the news. Strategies for soothing and communicating with children following tragedies covered by the media are also included.

Explaining the News to Our Kids (Common Sense Media)

Tips, strategies, and impactful ways for parents to talk with their children about tragedies is covered in this article from Common Sense Media.

Here for Each Other: Helping Families After An Emergency — PDF (Sesame Workshop)

This Sesame Workshop resource for parents and caregivers provides an outline for responding to tragedy, including communication tips and strategies for support.

Resources: Talking and Teaching About the Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut (New York Times Learning Network)

A thorough list of links to New York Times content for teaching students about tragic events, as well as links to sources across the Web.


Image source: the New York Times

Categories: Conflict & Anger Management , Life Skills , Parenting