Thursday, February 9

SNACK TIME valentines treat

We love all the heart-shaped and sparkly sprinkles out there for Valentine's Day, and we love baking projects the kids can help out with--so we REALLY love this Family Kitchen recipe that combines the two. The dipped pretzels are easy to bring to school for class parties or have out on the counter for after-school snacks.

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels for Valentine’s Day Recipe
1 bag of pretzel rods
regular and white chocolate almond bark
Valentine’s Day themed sprinkle candies

1. Melt almond bark in microwave according to package directions. Dip pretzels in chocolate. We spooned the chocolate onto the pretzels to get the pretzels more covered in the chocolate.
2. Sprinkle with candy sprinkles right after dipping pretzels in chocolate. Lay on wax or parchment paper and let harden.

Try out the recipe this weekend and let us know what you think! 

Contributed by Alyssa, Fairmont Private Schools 

Wednesday, February 8

CHALK TALK what every parent should know (pt 2)

Last week, we began a three-part series of posts re-capping our Chalk Talk on the topic "What Every Parent Should Know Before Your Child Turns 18." Our first post covered the various modes of learning. This week we were fortunate to have one of our speakers, educational consultant Rajeshri Gandhi, guest blog for us on the topic of self-efficacy. Please enjoy her contribution below. 

The Little Engine that Could, a manifestation of self efficacy.
The popular children’s book, The Little Engine that Could, is a great example of the power of a strong sense of self efficacy.  Self efficacy, a central component to psychologist Albert Bandera’s social cognitive theory, can be described as one’s belief in him/herself to succeed in difficult situations.  Believing in one’s ability to succeed in the face of challenge makes it more likely that a person will actually attempt the future challenge and will be successful in that attempt. Developing a strong sense of self efficacy is instrumental to long term success and achieving potential.  People with a strong sense of self efficacy tend to seek out rather than avoid challenges, have stronger investment and engagement to the tasks at hand and demonstrate resilience in the face of setbacks.

In The Little Engine that Could, a small, inexperienced engine helps a broken down train full of toys, food and other goods.  This little engine is the fourth one that is asked to help and does so after three seemingly stronger, fitter engines have refused.  The main sources of power that this little engine draws upon is her own willingness to try/take a risk, the support of her peers (the toys and dolls that cheer her on,) and her own belief in herself (I think I can-I think I can.)  Each of these attributes articulates key components in developing self efficacy.

Children begin developing their sense of self efficacy early in life and parents can foster its strength with consistent and deliberate efforts.  In addition to continually giving positive verbal reinforcement, parents should seek out activities that their child can master so that they can know what success feels like.  It is equally important to provide children with increasing levels of challenge so that they feel as though they have earned/achieved success as they master more difficult tasks.  This confidence will help a child to regroup in the face of failure and try again. A parent’s own success can be inspiring to a child and parents can serve as great role models of success through their actions, their attitudes and how they deal with challenge.  If a parent shows confidence when tackling a difficult task and demonstrates resilience in the face of failure, the child will learn the same attitude.  

Teaching children how to face difficult tasks is another important step in building strong self efficacy.  Sometimes parents tend to have their children avoid situations that might be difficult.  While all of us have times in which our confidence is challenged or we would rather not do something out of fear or fear of failure, it is important that we not let that fear overtake our judgment.  It is important for parents to know their child’s limits, but use that knowledge to help them learn how to handle challenges and take risks.  Risk taking is an important learning experience to help children learn how to overcome obstacles and work towards success, knowing that they may not achieve it initially.  The engine in the story was moved by the need for the goods to reach the other side of the mountain and her sense of wanting to help allowed her to overcome her fear of not being successful.  She also felt very good about herself because she was successful at a task that other engines didn’t even attempt.

Be aware of what you say and how you say it.  Give your child verbal encouragement and always demonstrate your belief if his/her ability to succeed.  Emphasize preparation, confidence, attitude and other attributes that a child can control so that the child can use this positive reinforcement to power their actions and learn how to motivate and encourage him/herself.  If a child does not succeed, help him/her diagnose what to do differently the next time and encourage another attempt with the belief of success.  The engine in the story explained to the toys and goods that she was inexperienced and not sure of her strength, but the encouragement from those toys was enough to get her to try to succeed and in the process, she learned to be her own cheerleader.

Contributed by Rajeshri Gandhi, Educational Consultant 

Tuesday, February 7

ARTS & CRAFTS make your own valentine cards

Something about Valentine’s Day brings out the little girl in me!  I just love all the red and pink, the cute conversation hearts, and the delicate paper lace doilies.  How glorious it was to sit down at my family’s kitchen table, scissors and glue stick at the ready, for an afternoon of glittery abandon making Valentine's Day cards. Now, I’ve got two of my own little cherubs to share in the fun.  I hope these ideas inspire you to sit down with your kids for a Valentine's Day-inspired card crafting extravaganza.
Can I get a hand for this great idea?!  Have your child trace his/her own hand on construction paper, cut the hand shape out with kid-friendly scissors, and then add a personalized message.  This is one of many clever Valentine's Day card ideas from Martha Stewart Living.
For card-making fun without the fuss, try kits like this one from Paper Source.  With all the components to make 20 fun animal Valentines (5 of each 4 designs), this card kit lets your kids get creative making adorable ladybugs, kittens, puppies and bees. And moms won't have to worry about gathering up supplies in advance.

Shopping for card-making supplies can jump-start your creativity.  Restock your craft cabinet with goodies (like this vintage-inspired rubber stamp) from your local crafts store or check out the great stamps, punches, stickers and more at ekSuccess.

Photo at top from Microsoft Office photo gallery
Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, February 6

HOW TO make the most of open house

Open House season is here!  That means it's time for students and their teachers to "show off" everything that has been going on since school started in the fall.  No one loves Open House more than moms and dads who can't wait to be wowed by all of the incredible work on display. With that in mind, here are a few Dos and Don'ts to get the most out of your Open House experience.

DO let your child guide you around the classroom and campus to any special displays or presentations. Pay special attention as he or she shares personal work with you. This is a precious opportunity to say "great job" and to reinforce the life lesson that hard work pays off.

DON'T compare your child's work with that of his or her classmates. Every child is unique with his or her own strong suits.  I know it's tempting to wonder out loud why your child's handwriting isn't as neat as Susie's, but now is not the time. If something really concerns you, schedule a conference to talk it over with your child's teacher. 

DO make a point of praising your child's teacher.  Let him or her know how great the room looks and how impressed you are with all of the student work on display.  Open House is a big night for teachers, who, in my opinion, don't get enough kudos for all that they do.  Let your child's teacher know how much you appreciate his or her hard work in preparation of Open House and throughout the year.

DON'T pull your child's teacher aside for an impromptu conference.  You'll put the teacher in an awkward position and you won't get his or her undivided attention.  If something is on your mind, plan to discuss it at a more appropriate time.

DO visit other classrooms including the rooms of teachers in the next grade up from your child's current grade.  This is a wonderful time for you and your child to check out what it's like to "move-up" to the next grade.  You'll also have an opportunity to meet art, music, science lab and other specialty teachers and find out a little more about what goes on in these programs.

DON'T forget to bring your camera so you can post some awesome pictures on Facebook the day after the big night!

Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Friday, February 3

FRIDAY FOLDER february 3

Highlights From This Week
Math Matters at Mable 
On Saturday, January 28, Mable 4th and 5th graders traveled to Pacific Technology School in Costa Mesa to compete in the Math Matters competition. Mable campus sent 39 of the 150 total entrants. Mable won top honors at the competition,. with Kyle K. placing 1st and Jamie C. placing 2nd. For winning 1st place, Kyle received at tablet computer and Jamie won an IPOD Touch for placing 2nd. Overall, Mable held 8 of the top 15 spots.

Citron Gives Back 
The Citron FPA is proud to present our last community service event of this school year! We will be contributing to the Anaheim Police Department K-9 Foundation. 100% of the money raised will go directly towards taking care of special K-9 friends upon their retirement from the Anaheim police department, along with additional training classes the K-9's require throughout the semester. Learn more in the Citron newsletter.

Anaheim Hills "Lunch with Parents" 
Anaheim Hills parents and students were thrilled to have the opportunity to have lunch together. Nutrition Management Services hosted this very fun event to expose parents to the wide-variety of healthy food that they provide everyday to our students.Soup made from scratch, fresh cooked pasta, salads, and a wide selection of other items are always available. All of the items that would typically be fried are baked in the cafeteria. Our cafeteria works very diligently to offer healthy choices for all our students. Check out pictures from the lunch on Flickr.

Edgewood Boys Basketball Makes Playoffs 
The Fairmont Edgewood Junior High Boys Basketball Team is playing in the first round playoffs of the Tri-Way League on Monday, February 6th, at 3:00 pm, at Fairmont Prep in Anaheim. Come out and support our Eagles! Bring pom poms, make signs, and cheer our team on to Victory! The boys basketball team would love the support from the whole school. See you at the game!

Weekly E-Newsletters 

February Lunch Menus 

Contributed by Alyssa, Fairmont Private Schools 

Thursday, February 2

SHORT STORY groundhog's day

Fairmont Citron students learned about Groundhog's Day and made their own groundhogs! 
Did the groundhog see his shadow?? Yes! According to the Washington Post, "At 7:25 a.m. this morning, amidst mostly cloudy skies, and temperatures in the low 30s, Groundhog Phil saw his shadow in the little town of Punxsutawney, Pa. According to folklore, Phil’s sighting of his own shadow means there will be 6 more weeks of winter. Had Phil not seen his shadow, it would have meant 'there will be an early spring.'" 

Considering we've seen temperatures in the 70's and 80's this "winter" here in Orange County...our students aren't too concerned about those extra weeks. 

Contributed by Alyssa, Fairmont Private Schools 

Wednesday, February 1

BULLETIN BOARD be mine valentine

Happy February! We're sharing the LOVE this month with a few heartfelt crafts, treats & valentines...

1. Hearty Fruit Kabobs 2. Make & Take Letter Match Game 3. Valentine Pockets 4. Recycled Cereal Box Valentine Holder 5. Raspberry Hazelnut Linzer Hearts 6. Hogs & Kisses Classroom Valentines 

Contributed by Alyssa, Fairmont Private Schools