Friday, December 23, 2016

Medfield Gets Into the Giving Spirit

by Russ Becker

The Holidays are easily a favorite time of year for many. Who wouldn’t love being surrounded by family, gifts and enough food to debilitate you straight through the New Year? But what if you took away those gifts, that food and even the home that we gather in to share this joy? This is a reality that thousands of families face each and every year as Boston’s homeless population has grown to over 17,000 individuals over the past couple of years. For these families, the holidays look and feel very different, but the entire 8th grade at Blake did what they could to share some of the joy and wonder that every child and family deserves. This past Friday a class field trip was held at Christmas in the City in downtown Boston so that our students could directly give back to this population in need. Christmas in the City is a non-profit organization whose goal is to provide a gift and a Christmas experience for every homeless family in Boston. Our students worked tirelessly setting up decorations, wrapping gifts and generally doing whatever was needed to make sure the following Sunday’s event was as festive as possible. With tired legs and “Jingle Bells” caught in the heads of our students for an eternity our students returned home having known that their efforts truly made a difference at a time of year where a little extra giving goes a long way.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Zones of Regulation at Memorial

by Kathleen Bockhorst

In November, I was excited to be able to meet with each Kindergarten and First Grade classroom, to teach a self-regulation lesson based on the “The Zones of Regulation” curriculum by Leah Kuypers. As part of the lesson, students learned to classify different feelings into one of four zones - Blue, Green, Yellow and Red. Feelings such Tired, Bored and Sad, are grouped in the Blue Zone because they are associated with a low energy level. Feelings such as Happy, Calm and Ready to Learn/Focused are grouped in the Green Zone, because they are associated with a Medium energy level. Likewise, feelings such as Frustrated, Silly and Worried are grouped in the Yellow Zone because they are associated with a high energy level and the feelings Out of Control, Very Mad and Panic are grouped in the Red Zone, due to their very high energy level.

The students were quick learners. They were given assorted feelings cards and were able to stand in the right place on a Twister mat to identify which Zone their feeling was in. The students were also able to practice utilizing self-regulation strategies to assist them with getting to/staying in the green zone! Ask your child to demonstrate a “Hand Push” or “Chair Push Up”. They can also tell you how Closing Eyes and Taking Deep Breaths can settle them down, while Drinking Cold Water or doing a Chair-Push-Up can raise their energy level. I am looking forward to returning to each classroom this winter, to focus in more depth on self-regulation strategies for moving from the Yellow Zone to the Green Zone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Admissions Results: Accepted, Deferred, Denied….Oh My!

By  Stephanie Worthley

By the middle of December 2016, 84% of the MHS senior class have submitted college applications. This is the time when  many of our students that have applied early have begun to hear admission decisions. As counselors, we know that while many of our students are celebrating, some may be upset or disappointed with the results. We are sensitive to the fact that some students want to talk about their admission decisions and some do not. This can often be a difficult time for our seniors, and we welcome students to come to guidance to talk about plans or next steps. Our door is always open.

On the Georgia Tech Admission Blog, Richard Clark posted "Denied or Deferred Admission? Perspective is a Precious Holiday Gift." From Mr. Clark’s blog post, he wrote….

If you remember nothing else, remember this: admission decisions are just that. They are limited. They are finite. They are not sweeping judgments of your value or character.  They don’t change who you were the moment before you received that letter or opened that portal, and more importantly they don’t dictate who you will be and can be in the future. You’re disappointed. You’re mad or frustrated or angry or sad. All of those feelings are understandable and legitimate.

Last December thousands (literally!) of students were denied and deferred from the nation’s elite schools. They felt the same way you do now. You probably know some of them and remember that time. And where are they now? They’re on some of those exact campuses after being deferred. Or they’re happy at another school after being denied.  As I said last year, “Go ahead and scream, cry, talk to your parents… beat your pillow, or cook something. Do whatever it takes for you to begin to move on and clear your head.” But don’t let these decisions ruin your holidays. Don’t let them disrupt precious time with family. Don’t let them keep you from some good naps or from getting out to the movies or hanging out with friends.

And most of all, don’t let them put any doubt whatsoever into your mind about your talents, your abilities, and your confidence.”

I couldn’t agree more.