Hutchinson, Litchfield, Dassel-Cokato Farm to School program featured in AgWeek!
By Larissa Rohlik, Licensed School Counselor
Homework can be one of the hardest parts of the day! When supporting your child with their homework, there are things we can do to make it a smoother process before the backpack even gets opened. Here are some tips to make homework time a more enjoyable experience.
Setting the Stage:
- Set up a homework space that has everything your child needs and is free of distractions. One of the difficulties with homework is that children do not see their home as a place of work – it’s primarily a place of rest and relaxation. Having a place designated for homework and free of distractions such as having a spot that is not near a TV, can create a calm and productive environment.
- Work with your child to come up with a plan for when they will complete homework. For some kids, it’s best to begin homework as soon as they get home from school. Other kids might need a short break before they begin. Work with your child to determine what strategy will work best for them.
- Be sure that your child brings home their homework journal every night so they are aware of the homework that needs to be completed.
During Homework Time:
- Model a positive attitude towards homework. If you have work, or even reading that you can do, do it while your child is working on homework. This will show your child that learning is important for you too.
- Help your child practice coping skills to handle any frustrations that come up. If you notice your child is getting frustrated, practice coping skills such as deep breathing, getting a drink of water, counting to 10, talking it out, etc.
- Offer short breaks if necessary! Short breaks can be a great way to keep a child focused, and it’s important to be clear on exactly how long the break will be and what they can do during the break. Use a timer to track how long the break will be and have your child do things like stretch, listen to calming music, etc.
After your child is ﬁnished:
- A great motivator to ﬁnishing homework is allowing your child to do an activity they enjoy after they are done. This can include playing outside, watching a movie, playing a game, etc.
- Continue communicating with your child about what went well and what could be done to make the time better. Communication and collaboration are key.
Homework time doesn’t have to be a struggle. Use some of these tips stated above, build homework time into your schedule, and make sure to celebrate your child’s hard work throughout this school year!
What Parents Need to Know
about the World of Artificial Intelligence
By Jocelynn Buckentin, Technology Innovation Specialist
For many, the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) has played out on movie screens for decades, but this technology has recently become more prevalent in our daily lives. AI chatbots have taken center stage as ChatGPT and Snapchat’s My AI become popular. Chatbots work by using natural language processing to both understand and respond to human language. As this technology rapidly evolves, many people have mixed emotions about its potential impact on our society, particularly in the areas of education, health and safety, and the workforce.
In education, AI chatbots have the potential to complete everything from short answer questions to longer papers with the click of a button. However, educators are concerned about how this technology will affect important skills like critical thinking and creativity. Parents can help by asking students about how they use chatbots and reinforcing the creative process when completing schoolwork. This doesn’t necessarily mean avoiding AI completely. In fact, I encourage my own students to utilize chatbots to get feedback on their work prior to submitting it. AI chatbots can help to improve student writing and provide detailed and timely feedback, which can help to make our students better writers. Teachers continue to explore the potential pros and cons of AI use in education alongside their students.
In terms of health and safety, AI chatbots like Snapchat’s My AI can be customized with their own profile picture and brought into conversations and group chats, blurring the line between talking to a human vs. a computer. At Hutchinson High School, teachers have noticed students talking about chatting with “Al” or “My Al,” so we know the technology is here and currently in use. While the bot is designed to be harmless, parents need to be aware of their children’s use of this feature and have a discussion about expectations surrounding its use. It is especially important to emphasize the importance of keeping personal information out of AI-powered systems.
The advancement of AI technology may also lead to changes in the workforce, as jobs traditionally held by humans can now be completed by chatbots. However, new jobs will also be developed relating to this new technology, so it is vital to keep up with these changes in order to help guide students to future career paths that they may be interested in.
To prepare children for the world of AI, parents can start by discussing what AI is and is not, encouraging children to ask questions and share areas in their lives where chatbots are in use. By opening up a dialogue about AI, children will be more likely to approach parents with questions and concerns as the technology advances. It’s also important to discuss the pros and cons of AI usage and emphasize responsibility. Parents can teach children to be aware of the information they share online, as well as the potential good and bad of AI usage. Finally, parents can remind children of the importance of human connections and interpersonal relationships, as chatbots may be efficient and convenient, but nothing can replace meaningful relationships with others.
Get out, get active, and enjoy Hutchinson this summer!
By Lynn Neumann, Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Education
It’s no secret that children today spend more time inside than ever before. Between screen time and sedentary activities, it can be challenging to encourage children to get outside and be active. However, research has shown that spending time outside and being active has numerous benefits for children’s physical and mental health.
One of the primary benefits of being active outdoors is the positive impact it has on a child’s physical health. Regular physical activity can help to reduce the risk of childhood obesity, strengthen their bones and muscles, and improve their overall health and fitness levels. Outdoor activities can also enhance children’s motor skills, coordination, and balance, all of which are essential for healthy physical development.
Spending time in nature has also been shown to have significant mental health benefits for children. Being outdoors and surrounded by green spaces can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also improve their mood, boost their self-esteem, and increase their creativity and imagination. Encouraging kids to spend time outside and be active can also help to foster their social skills and build their confidence.
Encouraging children to spend time outside and be active doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. Simple activities like going for a bike ride, playing in the park, hiking, or even having a picnic in a park can be great ways to get children moving and enjoying the outdoors. Hutchinson has 41 city parks that offer a variety of amenities and a vast trails system for everyone to enjoy!
There are also plenty of organized outdoor activities, such as sports teams or outdoor camps, that can help kids build their confidence and social skills while being active. PRCE Summer activity registration is currently open. To register, visit us online at www.hutchinsonprce.com, call the PRCE office at 320-587-2975 or stop in at the Recreation Center office. Please note that PRCE did implement a new registration system. Participants may need to create a new login to register for programs and facilities. Our goal is for everyone to have a summer filled with fun and safe programs and activities!
By encouraging kids to spend time in nature and participate in outdoor recreational activities, we can help them to develop healthy habits, build their self-esteem and social skills, and enhance their overall well-being. Let’s prioritize our children’s physical and mental health by getting them outside, being active, and enjoying the beautiful world around us. Hutchinson PRCE is dedicated to ensuring that every child has an opportunity to experience outstanding recreational activities and programs that enhance our quality of life by helping us stay healthy and fit, build relationships with family and friends, and develop a sense of community pride.
Get out, get active, and enjoy Hutchinson this summer!
By Dan Olberg, Principal, Park Elementary
When I think back about my childhood, I often remember the time that I spent outside. Although my indoor options were not as numerous as today’s indoor options, I do have vivid memories of my time spent outdoors versus the time spent indoors. With cabin-fever at its peak, we need to encourage our children to be outside for their physical and mental health.
Many parents and caregivers may be inclined to keep their children indoors. However, it is important to remember the benefits of outdoor play, even in colder weather. Here are five reasons why playing outside during the winter months is beneficial for kids.
Firstly, outdoor play is essential for children’s physical health. While it may be tempting to stay inside and watch TV or play video games, children need to engage in physical activity to maintain good health. Playing outside in the winter can help children build endurance, develop strong muscles and bones, and improve coordination and balance.
Secondly, playing outside in the winter can help children build resilience. When children play outside in the cold, they learn to adapt to different weather conditions, which can help them develop resilience and coping skills. Being outside in nature also helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which can be beneficial for children’s mental health.
Thirdly, outdoor play can help children develop important social skills. When children play outside, they have the opportunity to interact with other children, develop friendships, and learn how to communicate and cooperate with others. These social skills are important for children’s emotional and mental development, and can help them succeed in school and later in life.
Fourthly, playing outside in the winter can also help children develop a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around them. Winter provides unique opportunities for children to explore and discover new things, such as the way snowflakes form, how animals adapt to the cold, and how ice forms on ponds and lakes.
Finally, outdoor play can be a great way for families to bond and spend quality time together. Going for a winter hike, building a snowman, or having a snowball fight can be fun activities that the whole family can enjoy together. These shared experiences can help strengthen family relationships and create lasting memories.
In conclusion, playing outside during the winter months can provide numerous benefits for children’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Parents and caregivers should encourage children to engage in outdoor play, even in colder weather, and provide warm clothing and appropriate gear to keep them safe and comfortable. By prioritizing outdoor play, we can help children develop important skills and habits that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Read the article to learn more about the new staff at Park Elementary.
Say cheese! Picture day is September 15th.
See the flyer for instructions on how to view your child’s picture and order prints.
Click here to view the 2022-23