Monday, May 16, 2016

Student Council End of the Year Field Trip and Celebration

It seems as though we were just inducting our Student Council members, and here we are already at the end, rewarding them for all the hard work they have done this year! On Friday of last week, we were able to do one more volunteer project for our community by visiting the Austin Diaper Bank and helping to package diapers for low-income families who cannot afford them for their babies. The kids were admittedly unsure of what it would be like when I mentioned we were going to a Diaper Bank; and I may have joked with them and said we would be changing babies diapers ;-)...BUT they LOVED it!!! They had so much fun getting to wrap the diapers up and some kids got to even take inventory while they were there. A few of our members decorated boxes that would be packaged and sent to organizations who help low-income families with painted hand prints and some worked on a "thank you" poster for a church that donated diapers to the Austin Diaper Bank. The majority of our members worked on the wrapping and counting of the diapers, which all of the kids said was a lot of fun! They were so quick, efficient, and really got into it, that we finished pretty quickly, so the coordinator had to find more for us to do! She was quite pleased with our group and was surprised at how quickly and well they worked. Here are some action shots from all our hard work!






After all their hard work at the Austin Diaper Bank, they were rewarded by going to Gatti Town to have a pizza celebration and play some arcade games! We also held our last Student Council meeting of the year with the Oak Hill Rotary Club while we were there and the Oak Hill Rotary Club provided them with certificates (for everyone) and plaques (for the officers)! We owe a big thank you to the Oak Hill Rotary Club, and specifically Tom Cripps, for all their help this year with our Student Council! They paid for our celebration at Gatti Town, helped us organize many of our events, helped pay a portion of our t-shirt costs, and have made donations to many of our service projects this year! I also want to give a big thank you to the parent volunteers who have helped this year! Our Vice President, Brini's, mom, Missy Bourque, has helped volunteer at every single one of our events in some capacity, even while having a full-time job, and because of this was named our Austin Partners in Education Volunteer of the Year. Also, accompanying us on this field trip was Lisa Moe and Marisa Fernandez, who we we were so thankful to have along to help us!! We have had many other parents involved throughout the year, and it is too hard to name you all, but know we appreciate you and everything you have done!! Here are some pictures from our celebration! 

Thanks to everyone who has supported Student Council and our service projects in any way, shape, or form!! We couldn't have had a successful year without the help and involvement of our whole school! :-) 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


The month of April flew by and I can't believe it's already May!! While it has been a busy time and the kids start getting a little more wound up, I have thoroughly enjoyed myself the last two weeks in all of the PK-5th grade classes! We have had a very fun lesson on self-control and I was able to put the kids to the test. In grades PK-2nd, I started out by giving every child one Smartie (not one roll, but just one single Smartie). I then gave them a very hard choice to make. I told them that they could either eat the Smartie now, or they could wait until the very end of the lesson and they would get something even better. They couldn't even suck on it, which many tried to do. No putting it in their mouth at all. Very hard and tempting for the little ones to do, so I was definitely entertained as I watched them with their Smarties! ;-)

While they held on to their Smarties, I showed the PK-2 grade students this video, "Benny and the Birthday Berries": 

After the video was finished, I checked in to see who still had their Smarties and told them to hold on to them a bit longer. We talked about self-control and what we have to control at school and home. We talked about what happened with Benny and the other characters in the songs; and what they had trouble controlling. Then we watched this video: 

After the video, we talked about why having self-control is good, etc. Then, I did a final check to see who still had their entire Smartie. Those who did received a whole roll of Smarties and those who didn't, did not receive one. If I could tell they had sucked on it and had a disintegrated Smartie, they didn't get a roll. 

If we had extra time, I then blew bubbles over all the kids, without giving them any directions other than not to hit each other and be careful with their hands. They of course all wanted to pop them and did. When they were done I asked what they all had the urge to do as soon as I started to blow them, and they answered "pop them." Then, I blew them a second time over the whole group, but this time told them to show me they had self-control and not to move or pop them. All but about one or two kids in each class was able to sit there and just let the bubbles fall. They got a good laugh out of letting the bubbles fall on their heads and not being able to touch them. 

For grades 3-5 we did the exact same thing with the Smarties, but watched these two video clips instead of the previous ones and discussed the videos and self-control. They were also able to give me many examples of things that they need to have self-control over. 

Practice teaching self-control with your kids at home early on to help them be able to do it on their own with much more ease when they are older! I know I struggle with just eating a few chips and before I know it, the whole bag is gone! ;-)

Just so you know how this experiment turned out, I would say that in the majority of the classes, the kids were able to practice self-control and not eat the Smartie. On average, only about 1-3 kids ate the Smartie in each class. :-)

Good luck to those students (and parents) who will be taking the STAAR test next week!! I made a quick reference to the test next week and needing to practice good self-control with that, too, in the 3rd-5th grade classes. I told them to take lots of deep breaths and just do their best!! Good luck everyone and see my previous blog with tips about test anxiety and how to help them prepare if you need some pointers! :-)