The Mountain Times

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News briefs from Killington Elementary School

6--KES-news ---ipad

iPads in the Classroom  
Killington Elementary School educators spent a day immersed in technology integration with a focus on the iPad at a recent teachers' inservice day. Presenter, Ed Bianchi, shared new apps for teachers to use with this device to differentiate instruction, personalize learning, and assist with implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The iPad is a versatile teaching tool that is being used to enhance and support learning opportunities throughout the curriculum.
 
Killington Safety Poster Contest Winners
Congratulations to all fourth graders for their recognition in the National Ski Area Association (NSAA) and Killington Resort and Pico Mountain's Safety Poster Contest 2013. The following students earned awards for their posters:

Wilbur Abrams III - Best Safety Message Winner
Peter Sell - Best Safety Message Runner-up 
Brinley Johnson - Most Creative Winner  
Joey Ranberg - Most Creative Runner-up

All four posters gain entry to NSAA's national level poster contest. Winners for this contest will be announced in April. All of our fourth graders' posters are on display near the National Safety Awareness tables at Pico and Ramshead lodges. KES extends one last thank you to fourth grade teacher, Maria Garland, for participating in this contest each year and entering creative, original safety posters!
 
Life Lessons in Snow Forts
Who would think that a snow fort would provide so many opportunities for life lessons? Listen to your children talk about their recess time building, living in, and demolishing snow forts and you will hear how they plan, problem solve, negotiate, and compromise. These snow forts provide some opportunities for children to develop the social and emotional skills they need throughout life.

The first step to building the snow fort often requires leadership and teamwork. Once the fort is constructed, students seem most interested in determining its use: house, igloo, cave, zoo, etc. Then the role-playing begins and decisions need to be made about jobs within the fort, much like decisions about who will cook dinner, earn pay, clean the house, and take care of Fido. Through this cooperative play, children learn to share responsibilities.

Like real life, snow fort-life usually presents some dilemma. Sometimes the dilemma may simply be that the children do not agree on who will be the dog and who will be the fort watchman. Other times it's a more serious matter. Some of our students recently shared that they were "fired" from one snow fort and had to seek out a different fort. Most of the time, our students work these problems out themselves on the playground, all a part of the game and a big part of the life lessons that occur naturally at recess as children interact with each other and learn from their imaginary play in the snow fort.
 
Ottauquechee Health Foundation Grant
Thanks to KES School Nurse, Jamie Sudol, KES recently received a $1,040 grant award to help students participate in the Trailblazer Program this school year. The grant was awarded to KES through the Ottaquechee Health Foundation.  
 
Health Insurance for All Children
Vermont has health insurance available for all children through the Dr. Dynasaur program; therefore, every child should have medical and dental insurance in this state. If your child does not have health insurance, please contact the Vermont Campaign for Health Care Security Education Fund at 1-866-482-4723. They will provide you with application forms and assist you with the process. They can also be contacted at www.catamounthealth.org.
No student has to go untreated for lack of insurance.
 
February is Discover Languages Month
Here are a few good reasons to learn a second (or third) language: Studies show that learning another language helps students strengthen their understanding of their native language by increasing their vocabulary, building an awareness of the structure of language, and improving reading skills. Learning another language has cognitive benefits, as well. Studies show that multilingual people have improved executive functions. Executive functions are an umbrella term for the cognitive processes that regulate, control, and manage other processes such as planning, working memory, attention, problem solving, verbal reasoning, inhibition, mental flexibility, and task switching.

Older bilingual people enjoy improved memory, and memory decline appears to occur later in life than it does with monolingual people. In addition, bilingual Alzheimer's patients showed initial symptoms of the disease an average of five years later than monolingual people, and symptoms are less severe.