everywhere, Christmas tonight!
Christmas in lands of the fir-tree and pine,
Christmas in lands of the palm-tree and vine,
Christmas where snow peaks stand solemn and white,
Christmas where cornfields stand sunny and bright.
Christmas where children are hopeful and gay,
Christmas where old men are patient and gay,
Christmas where peace, like a dove in his flight,
Broods o'er brave men in the thick of the fight;
Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight!
the Christ-child who comes is the Master of all;
No palace too great, no cottage too small.
December 13, 1835; died January 23, 1893)
During this holiday season, as we exchange material gifts, there
are some gifts we cannot buy. There are many meaningful ways you can
help your family share learning experiences and show generosity of
spirit. Whether you
r family is blended or traditional, the holidays are a wonderful time
the joy of life
and the gifts of each other.
I encourage you to give your family the priceless gift of your time,
encouragement and beliefs.
Wishing you all
joys of the holiday season.
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of theYear - December
Christmas Around the World
The Festival of Lights
Christmas Around the World - France
Christmas Around the World - Italy
Christmas Around the World - United States
Christmas in England
Christmas Around the World - Germany
Christmas Around the World - Ireland
The Christmas Carol
A Child's Christmas in Wales
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on a Waffle
By Polly Horvath
Ages: 9 - 12
the small Canadian town of Coal Harbour, in a quaint restaurant
called The Girl on the Red Swing, everything comes on a
waffle--lasagna, fish, you name it. Even waffles!
Eleven-year-old Primrose Squarp loves this homey place,
especially its owner, Kate Bowzer, who takes her under her wing,
teaches her how to cook, and doesn't patronize or chastise her,
even when she puts her guinea pig too close to the oven and it
catches fire. Primrose can use a little extra attention. Her
parents were lost at sea, and everyone but her thinks they are
dead. Her Uncle Jack, who kindly takes her in, is perfectly
nice, but doesn't have much time on his hands. Miss Perfidy, her
paid babysitter-guardian, smells like mothballs and really
doesn't like children, and her school guidance counselor, Miss
Honeycut, an uppity British woman of the world, is too caught up
in her own long-winded stories to be any kind of confidante.
Nobody knows what exactly to think of young Primrose, and
Primrose doesn't quite know what to make of her small community,
2002 Newberry Honor
Attitude is contagious. Is yours worth catching?
Them to Say "No"
We raise our children to
respect adults and obey authority figures. But do we teach them
they have rights, too? One of
their rights is to say "no" to any adult who tries to get
them to do anything they think is wrong.
Assure your children that
it is not wrong to ignore an adult's request...even when that adult is
wearing a uniform or is known to them...if they feel the least bit
uncomfortable about that request.
Assure your children
further that there's nothing wrong with making a scene if an
uncomfortable situation is developing. Screaming for help is
often the best thing they can do because it will usually scare off a
And finally, assure your
children that you really want to hear about everything they do....that
you care about their worries and their fears...and that you are not
going to call them "silly."
The understanding of
parents is the ultimate security for children. if they don't
feel safe talking to you, you may never find out what is really
Adapted from Protecting
Your Child, National School Public Relations Association
Take the Hectic Out of the Holidays
The holidays can be the most joyous
time of the year, but they can also be the most stressful. Holidays
can also be a time of hectic shopping, financial concerns, family
conflicts and loneliness. We are so busy trying to take care of the
details of the festivities, we often forget to take care of ourselves.
Here are some suggestions to help you cope with holiday stress this
Try to plan ahead.
See if the stores you need to go to
are on another personís list-maybe you can divide the list and
split up to get the shopping done in less time and less trips.
If childcare is an
issue, see if you can rotate days with another parent. Maybe you can
take turns with babysitting.
While waiting in line at the store
with the kids, give them articles or ads from newspapers or
magazines (usually the stores carry copies of their own flyers).
With a pen, have them circle all the letters in their names within
the ads or play a word search game.
For the bad weather days when
everyone is stuck inside, have activities for the family to do. Try
having wintertime crafts like creating "snowman garland"
for the younger kids or having older children create
and decorate their own holiday cards.
To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act.
A Holiday of Reading
It's not unusual for
adults to stop reading to children once they are old enough to read
for themselves. However, even children in the intermediate
grades still like being read to now and then, says Texas instructional
specialist Sam Ayers. He suggests that parents continue reading
aloud to children on a consistent basis even as they get older and
that teachers and librarians can make age-appropriate recommendations
to parents who don't feel comfortable selecting books on their own.
Mr. Ayers has found older
children often enjoy reading to younger children. "Parents
should provide opportunities for children to read to each other,"
he says. "This provides them with oral reading practice and
may positively affect their self-esteem. it also provides the
listener with a positive role model."
Researchers at Clark
University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education suggest that
you do more than just read books to preschoolers. They suggest
that you discuss the books and vary the types of books as well.
The researchers recommend
asking "what" and "why" questions that encourage
the child to think about a character's behavior and motivation and
connect the events in the book with his or her own experience.
Ask the child to name colors and label objects. Also vary the
types of reading material. For example, one time you may want to
read a work of fiction. The next time, read a nursery rhyme or a
non-fiction informational book.
and the "Missing Parent"
can be difficult times for children when their parents are divorced or
separated. According to psychologists Evan Imber-Black and
Janine Roberts, "The child may be hurt or angry when
the parent does not contact him on a holiday. The parent who
lives with the child may then be left to deal with the emotional
reactions. The child may have fantasies that the holiday would
be much better with the missing parents. Or, he may blame the
parent he is with for the fact the other isn't there."
the emotional stress may be tempting....especially if you yourself are
still dealing with the stress and emotions of a divorce or separation.
But that only causes your child to feel worse, the authors say.
suggest: Sit down with the child and look at pictures of the
missing parent and talk about what it would be like to have contact
with him or her. Set aside your own anger and simply listen to
your child's feeling, say the authors. help make contact with
relatives of the missing parent if they want to see the child. If there is no chance of the child reconnecting with a missing parent
at holidays, have an honest discussion about the subject.
Change: Don't Cancel Holidays," Psychology Today
Lessons in Commercials
Our children are inundated with
commercials...online, television, movies. They become critical
thinkers when they analyze how advertising sends messages to its
audience. Have them ask the following questions as they analyze
commercial content, looking at overt manifest content as well as
subverted, latent messages.
What's being sold? Is
it a product, service or idea?
How long are the ads?
What is the impact of length on the audience?
What are the age, sex
and race of the characters?
What is the setting of
What is the target
audience for the ad? Is it male or female? Student or
adult? What kind of music is used in the ad?
What is the ad's
format? Common formats include song and dance, slice
-of-life, demonstrations and animation.
What is the
advertising appeal? The appeal can be rational,
negative-humorous, emotional or an appeal to fear, sex or
patriotism, for instance.
What are the values
portrayed or implied in the ad? What is the ad trying to
make students see as important? Being cool, sexy,
high-status and wise are possible values.
Framework for the Analysis of Commercials," Barbara Mueller and
Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.
Thinking Fountain: Learn
how to grow your own mold, find out why a spider is not an insect, and
make your own Shrinky Dinks from clear plastic cup lids! http://www.thinkingfountain.org/
Haring Kids: Making use of cutting-edge
animation plug-ins like shockwave and flash, this site creates a
colorful and compelling whirlwind of art, with beautiful images from
artist Keith Haring.
Hampsterscope and More: This beautiful
site, with illustrations by children's book artist Peggy Rathman,
offers step-by-step instructions to make a visual illusion called a
The Artist's Toolkit: A collaboration
between the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts and the Walker Art
Center, The Artistís Toolkit is a great introduction to basic
concepts in art for students and teachers alike. You can watch
animated demonstrations of visual elements and principles artists use
to create art, see examples of elements and principles in works of
art, and create your own composition online. Youíll need the free
Flash player. http://www.artsconnected.org/toolkit/index.html
What's That Stuff? What exactly is in
your toothpaste? What about that paper youíre writing on or the bug
spray you use in summer? This site puts science into everyday life,
with informative descriptions of the chemistry behind the products we
use on a regular basis.
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