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TVs off, brains on
For 12 years, Five Acre School has recognized its own version of “Turn off the TV Week” to encourage families to participate in alternative activities other than being “plugged in” to television, computers or other electronic devices. Last year, school officials realized that many of the Five Acre families either chose not to have a television in their home or already were aware of the issues of too much TV (movies, DVDs, screen time) for their children.
As a result, Five Acre School now celebrates “Turn on the Brain Week.” Students and teachers turn on their brains every day at Five Acre School, but during this past week, they emphasized challenging and enriching activities that help stimulate the brain even more.
Each classroom developed a schedule of events for the week that included days focused on themes that help nurture a healthy and productive brain. The week started with “Music and Rhythm is Life Day,” where one classroom performed music for another, and students in grades 3-6 enacted a Battle of the Bands, performed music and shared writings they had prepared about a favorite musician.
Tuesday was “You’ve Got to Move It, Move It” and “You Are What You Eat” day, when students could take part in Zumba and yoga and discuss the benefits of exercise and nutrition for the brain. Another day, “Naturalist Day,” students came dressed as their favorite naturalist while discussions included the benefits of nature and how it stimulates the brain.
An all-time favorite is “Storybook Character Day,” where students were able to choose their favorite storybook character, dress up as him or her and read a bit from their favorite novel, emphasizing the benefits of reading.
Students ended the week in their pajamas to mark the importance of good sleeping habits and its effects on their brains.
To close out the tradition for the week, Five Acre families, students and teachers celebrated at the All-School Sleepover on the school grounds.