City of Henderson 2011 Holiday Decorating Contest
Helping Children Expand Their Vocabulary
Teaching Your Child Self-Control
Excellence Award Presented to Liberty High Theater Teacher
Dogs Have Their Day at Strut Your Mutt
Four Ways To Build a Positive Relationship With Your Children
Building a Foundation for Positively Kids
Holiday Gift Guide
Vegas PBS Celebrates NATURE’s 30th Anniversary
Henderson Elementary School Celebrates Walk to School Day
Family Events Calendar
Nannies & Housekeepers awarded “Agency of the Year”
The Case Against Circumcision
City of Henderson 2011 Holiday Decorating Contest
Entries into the City of Henderson’s 2011 Holiday Decorating Contest will be accepted through Thursday, Nov. 17. The program is limited to the first 50 entries received. Entry forms are available online at cityofheneerson.com (type “decorate” in the search box) or by calling 267-4014. The annual program is sponsored by the Henderson Commemorative Beautification Commission (HCBC) and participation is free.
The outdoor contest is open to residential single family homes within Henderson city limits. There are several categories to choose from: entries with 500-1,000 lights; children’s theme; non-traditional displays; Griswald, which includes homes decorated in the over-the-top way reminiscent of the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation;” most innovative, which includes displays using new technologies, styles or methods that are original; and street/neighborhood, which is for a group of at least three neighboring homes.
Preliminary judging by members of the HCBC will be on Nov. 28 and Nov. 29, with final judging taking place on Monday, Dec. 5. Awards for the winners will be presented at the City’s annual Winterfest event on Friday, Dec. 9 at the Henderson Events Plaza, 200 Water St. After the competition has ended, the Parks and Recreation Department will post a map at cityofhenderson.com/parks depicting all entries so families can drive the route at their leisure and enjoy the displays.
For additional information, call 267-4014 or visit cityofhenderson.com/parks.
By Dr. Raymond J. Huntington
One of the essential components of strong reading ability is a good vocabulary. A student should grow his or her vocabulary over time, but doing so requires regular reading and frequent study of new words. Students with limited vocabularies will struggle as teachers increasingly expect more independent reading — and school reading becomes more difficult.
Here are a few ways parents can help their child improve his or her vocabulary:
Read, read, read.
The most obvious way parents can help their child expand his or her vocabulary is to read aloud together and encourage him or her to read independently. Ask your child’s teacher for book recommendations appropriate for your child’s reading level, but also let your child choose his or her own reading material. Fervent readers develop their vocabulary naturally, so if your child enjoys reading and does it regularly, he or she will learn new words.
Reintroduce words in multiple settings.
Your child’s vocabulary list for the week includes the word “trait”. After reading the definition and quizzing him or her on it several times, find ways to use the word in conversation throughout the week. Be sure your examples give sufficient context so that your child can decode the meaning if he or she doesn’t remember the definition. For example, “You have some interesting traits,” is not as good as, “You are very hard-working — it’s one of your best personality traits.”
Pre-teach words before reading a story.
If a book has a glossary of key words at the end, before reading to your child, read the glossary. Studies show that pre-teaching target words that appear within a text has a positive effect on a reader’s retention and vocabulary acquisition.
When reading together, have your child define words.
When your child encounters unfamiliar words, first have him or her try to infer the meaning based on how the word is used. When your child is actively engaged in vocabulary study, he or she is much more likely to remember definitions than if you read them to him or her. If your child cannot derive a word’s meaning from context, define it and provide an example of it in use. Then, ask your child to come up with a second example.
Point out words’ origins.
Your child will learn about roots, prefixes and suffixes in language class at school, but help reinforce those teachings by pointing them out as you come across them in books. “Preview”, for example, is made up of the root word, “view” and a prefix, “pre”, which means “before.” “Pollute” is a root word, but “pollution” has the suffix “ion” on the end, which turns the verb (pollute) into a noun (pollution). Understanding word structure and how prefixes and suffixes change root words’ meanings will help your child define many new words.
Make the dictionary your child’s new companion.
Teach your child to use a dictionary and keep one nearby when reading. As he or she reads, encourage your child to jot down unfamiliar words to look up later — or look them up immediately. Your child might also benefit from a combination dictionary/thesaurus, which includes synonym lists with dictionary entries to give students plenty of examples of words with the same meanings.
As your child adds to his or her vocabulary, so will he or she increase his or her reading speed and fluency. Continue to encourage your child to look up new words, use them in written and spoken context, and explore any budding interest in language. Doing so will help your child become a more eager and confident reader, and a happier, more successful student.
Dr. Raymond J. Huntington and Eileen Huntington are co-founders of Huntington Learning Center, which has been helping children succeed in school for more than 30 years. There are two centers in the Las Vegas Valley in Henderson and Summerlin.
by Kidz Matter
Self-control is an important skill for all children to learn, and like all life skills, self-control needs to be taught and practiced. Self-control refers to a child having power or control over his or her own actions. As all children are unique and special, their ability to control their emotions and behavior varies greatly. Self-control also means that a child knows right from wrong. Children who do not make choices about their own behavior, but instead rely on others to make choices for them, do not learn self-control. These children may follow others’ bad choices and not learn to take responsibility for the consequences of their behavior. If children learn self-control at an early age, then they will feel better about the choices that they do make.
Teaching your child self-control involves helping them to:
- Think before acting
- Control impulses
- Weigh consequences
- Make safe and acceptable choices
A couple common situations where children find it challenging to control their behavior:
Dealing with wanting something they can’t have – Often, young children are easily upset when their needs or wishes are not met immediately. Many times children do not know how to handle their frustration when told “no” or “later” by a caregiver. Teach them alternatives to getting upset such as;
- Ask again later
- Wait your turn
- Ask to borrow it
- Find something else to do
- Ask to do chores to earn money to buy one
Understanding different feelings or emotions (happy, sad, angry, scared) – In order for children to gain control of their behavior when they are experiencing strong feelings, they must know how to identify their feelings. Talk to your child about how they are feeling. Discuss the situation that just happened and help them learn to express themselves. Linking the situation, their feelings, and their actions together demonstrates how our feelings can affect the choices we make, and it can also improve children’s self-control.
A few tips to help you and your child take the first step in developing self-control:
Children learn by watching you. How do you behave with family, peers, and in public? Communicate and deal with them calmly, exhibiting your own self-control.
Establish a clear set of consequences for actions – for both good and poor behavior. Make any punishment for bad behavior known ahead of time, and be consistent with those guidelines.
Remember to set rewards or praise your child for good behavior, and always follow through.
Praise them for successfully dealing with a frustrating person or situation. Positive reinforcement is a critical step to establishing the behavior you want from your child.
Remember that learning self-control is a life-long process!
You can learn more about Kidz Matter at www.mykidzmatter.com
The Public Education Foundation and community leader Myra Greenspun recently honored Sharon Chadwick, Liberty High School theater teacher, by presenting her with the Myra Greenspun Teacher Excellence Award.
L to R: Curtis Jones, The Public Education Foundation, Sharon Chadwick, Dr. Jeff Geihs, Liberty High School principal.
The award recognizes an exemplary public school teacher who is successful in using innovative teaching strategies and raising student academic achievement. It is designed to honor great teachers, to stimulate the sharing of innovative ideas and programs among educators and to encourage schools to value their own great teachers.
Chadwick is a member of the Educational Theatre Association and is the Nevada Thespian Chapter director coordinating statewide theatre events for high school and middle school students. She was named the 2003 and 2011 Nevada Thespian Theatre Teacher of the Year. She and her students promote the arts in the community by presenting benefit performances, holding arts day camps and performances for middle and elementary schools and inviting elementary and middle school students to be in productions.
Chadwick consistently promotes inclusiveness in her theatre program using nontraditional casting and has incorporated the use of American Sign Language in several plays. She continually chooses plays that reach out to students. Liberty’s productions of “Bang, Bang You’re Dead” and “Sleepwalk” along with the 2011 performance of “Reviving Ophelia” in conjunction with Liberty’s counseling department were designed to help teens reflect on difficult topics like overeating, abuse, low self-esteem, teen suicide and violence. These performances are designed help students understand and cope with the many issues they face.
The Myra Greenspun Teacher Excellence Award was established in 2008 through the vision of community leader Myra Greenspun who wished to recognize those public school teachers in our community who transform learning and ensure their students excel. “We are very proud to acknowledge the work Sharon is doing at Liberty,” said Myra Greenspun. “It is my hope that this public acknowledgement of excellence in the classroom inspires more teachers to be innovative and creative with their students.” Chadwick receives $3,000 for her classroom, school or professional development. She also receives an honorarium of $1,000 and 500 points to The Public Education Foundation’s Teacher EXCHANGE™, a resource center for Clark County School District educators.
“By awarding Sharon this grant, we are able to express our sincere gratitude for everything she contributes to students,” said Judi Steele, president of The Public Education Foundation. “We believe in recognizing and supporting the great teachers among us. Congratulations to Sharon for all she has accomplished.” Teacher nominations may be submitted by fellow teachers, administrators or community partners. A teacher may not nominate himself/herself. The Public Education Foundation selects an impartial panel of judges to determine the recipient. Applications for next year will be available at www.thepef.org.