Lower Lab Values Patience
Book of the Month for December 2017
The Classic Treasury of Aesop’s Fables
It is believed that the expression “patience is a virtue” began very far back to a poem written in the late 1300s. A virtue, quite similar to a value, is something good that creates more good. Being patient, or having the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed, angry or anxious, is definitely something we can value, something that is good. Patience has also been defined as the ability to continue doing something despite difficulties. This is not always easy for adults, and more often than not, it is not easy for children.
Our wonderful Lower Lab chess players are presently in Florida competing at the 2017 National Championships.
Let’s send out a giant good wish for their success!
Go Lower Lab!!!
Sandra G. Miller
Last night I was extremely honored to accept a Blackboard Award on behalf of our school. This is a wonderful acknowledgement of the hard work and productive collaboration that happens every day at Lower Lab. We are indeed an OUTSTANDING SCHOOL! Congratulations to the fantastic staff, dedicated parents and magnificent students of the Lower Lab School.
Extra thanks to our parents who arranged a delicious celebratory lunch for the staff today.
SHHHH! Don’t tell the children yet, but a little heads up for clothes for the assembly this Friday morning on tolerance – THINK PINK
A beneficiary of the Meals-on-Wheels program sent a beautiful thank-you note to me. She praised our “delightful group of children” who delivered her meal and lifted her spirits. To all those involved in this wonderful effort, my thanks goes to you as well.
Sandra G. Miller
The Lower Lab School, P.S. 77
1700 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10128
Book of the Month for November 2017
The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss
The Cambridge English dictionary defines Tolerance as the willingness to accept behavior and beliefs that are different from your own, even if you disagree with or disapprove of them. In the scheme of things and certainly for the world today, what could be more important than having the ability to “tolerate” that which one does not like? This is not always easy for adults, and more often than not, it is not easy for children.
So we are very fortunate that Dr. Seuss created “The Sneetches.” This book, which appears to be a typical, adorably illustrated, rhyming Dr. Seuss book, is one of the most recommended artifacts of children’s literature for the teaching of tolerance. It also provides access to this topic for even young students.
This book introduces its readers to a race of odd yellow birds who live on a beach. Some have stars on their bellies. They are the popular Sneetches, while those without stars on their bellies are deemed less fortunate, neglected and are treated poorly. The plain-bellied Sneetches then have opportunity to get stars on their bellies, but soon after, the star-bellied Sneetches have their stars removed. This goes back and forth for a bit until all of the Sneetches realize that they are equal, with none better than another, and the stars do not matter at all.
While the book experience feels familiar Seuss, it gives us the opportunity to discuss a serious topic in a safe way. It can address race, equity, diversity and discrimination, and it can also more simply address how one can act when they don’t like something about someone else, or just someone who is different.
Some good discussion may be yielded from the following:
- Were the Sneetches with stars better than the Sneetches without stars? What made the star-bellied sneetches think so? What made the plain-bellied sneetches think so?
- Have you ever felt like a star-bellied Sneetch? What made you feel that way?
- Have you ever felt like a plain-bellied Sneetch? What made you feel that way?
- What kinds of things make people feel different from one another?
- Is it better to be different or the same?
- What if everyone looked the same?
- What if everyone acted the same?
- Is it sometimes ok to pick or not pick someone based on certain characteristics? Why? Or why not?
Seuss intended the Sneetches” as a satire of discrimination between races and cultures, specifically inspired by his opposition to antisemitism.
Some very exciting news: Thanks to nominations from the school community (parents, students, faculty & staff, alums, etc)—Lower Lab School has been selected as a school of excellence to receive a 2017 Blackboard Award!
Your very proud Principal
Dear Lower Lab Families,
Just wanted to share a few highlights of my day, which included two wonderful publishing parties in the first grade classes, well attended by parents and even a few grandparents. The writing was amazing!
Early morning, made lovely by some third graders who could not wait to play music on their recorders.
Afterschool coding class with Mr. Goodman engaged a large group of our younger students.
It is with great pride and regret that I announce that Ms. Lindsey Kubera, our awesome Special Education Teacher is leaving Lower Lab. After eight years, at our school, she has accepted the position of Assistant Principal on the upper west side. Our students and the entire Lower Lab community have benefitted tremendously from her hard work, empathetic nature and excellent skills as an educator. I know she will be sorely missed as a colleague and a friend.
At this time, please join me in welcoming Ms. Hanna Richman to the special education position. Ms. Richman has been working at Lower Lab as a teacher assistant, demonstrating her abilities in the third grade last year and currently in the fifth grade. She is smart, thoughtful and extremely dedicated. Her exceptional organizational skills will also serve her well in her new position.
Hanna will be completing her Master’s Degree from Hunter College with dual certification in Childhood Education and Special Education this spring. She comes from a family of educators, one of her favorite places to visit is the Strand bookstore and she plans to train for a marathon in the near future.
I want to assure you that there will be a smooth transition as Lindsey will have opportunity to work with Hanna prior to her departure. Please join me in congratulating both Lindsey and Hanna in their new positions. Here’s to continued success for all!
letter from Ms. Miller 10:2:2017
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Last year, we launched Lower Lab Values with Respect, and we will launch this year’s Lower Lab Values with Respect – again! This is a value that we want to continue to keep at the forefront in our school community, and this year’s first Book of the Month, The Giving Tree, will remind every one of the importance of having respect for each other, for ourselves and for the world around us.
The Giving Tree, written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein, was first published over 50 years ago. It has been translated into many languages, and is considered a true classic. Readers of any age can discuss the simple sketches and simply written text that offer complex interpretations.
The Giving Tree tells the story of a boy who visits a tree, and the tree loves the boy. As the boy gets older, the relationship changes from one that is equally pleasing to both, to a relationship that benefits one at the expense of the other. The story speaks of friendship, relationships, love, happiness and generosity. It also shapes understanding of how respect is “a two-way street.”
Sharing The Giving Tree with children of all ages provides a wonderful opportunity to engage in thoughtful conversations. Some good discussion may be yielded from the following:
- Do you think the boy is selfish? Why or why not?
- Do you think the tree is happy? Why or why not?
- Can you think of a time when you gave something away when you really didn’t want to? Why did you do that?
- It is important to think about respect as it relates to friendships. In this story, was the friendship between the tree and the boy respectful? What makes a friendship respectful?
- Why did the author call his character “the boy,” even when he became a man?
- The tree could be a symbol for something bigger than just a tree. Something that must be respected. What could that be? What would the “boy” symbolize?
- Julius Irving, a famous basketball player, said, “I firmly believe that respect is a lot more important than popularity.” Is it better to be liked or respected?