Remote Learning

Dear Families,

At GSB, we are committed to educating the whole child: the intellectual, emotional, and social needs of every student. During remote learning, we recognize that our partnership with you as families is as important as ever, and we want to provide you with resources to address social emotional and mental health needs while we are physically apart.
Together, we created a newsletter with practical tips and strategies to address your family’s physical, mental, and emotional health from home. You’ll find videos, articles, exercises, recipes, and more, both from online sources, as well as from some of our teachers.
We hope this newsletter finds you in good health and leaves you in good spirits. As our photo collage says, “Whether at home or at school, we are united.” Thank you for helping us make remote learning a success for your children.

Warmly,
The Remote Learning Committee: Amelie, Erica, Florentine, Irish, Jane Marie, Kerstin, Lena, Melissa, Nora, Ourania, Sonja, Yne, and Yvonne

Table of Contents:

1. Doing Good Does You Good: Community Outreach Stories
2. How to Maintain Friendships during Social Distancing
3. How to Cope with Uncertainty
4. Fitness & Nutrition
5. Take a Break!
6. German Media Sources

To see the original newsletter with all the wonderful images please click here.

1. Doing Good Does You Good: Community Outreach Stories

Community Outreach Spotlight: Sarah Sesin

Sarah Sesin, our Grade 2 German teacher, has been busy at home not just with teaching during remote learning, but also with sewing masks for the community! Using whatever materials she had on hand – which happened to include a GSB tea towel! – Sarah began hand-sewing masks. What started as a project for friends turned into an outreach for her neighbors. “I started making masks only for friends, [but] when Governor Cuomo said everyone should wear them when going [outside] and to supermarkets, I hung up a sign in my building to make a couple of masks for my neighbors,” Sarah said.

After helping the neighbors in her apartment building, Sarah was inspired to extend her reach. She then began researching ways she could help through with her mask-sewing and discovered a group on Facebook called “Crown Heights Mutual Aid.” Now, Sarah makes as many masks as she can, and every Saturday, she leaves them in her apartment lobby for a volunteer from the aid group to come collect. She has now ordered more materials and plans to use a GSB sewing machine to continue her outreach.

Community Outreach Spotlight:Irish Yambao

For the past few weeks Irish has been volunteering with the Food Bank New York and handing out food to New Yorkers in need. She is encouraging all of us to spread some hope through writing letters.

For over 30 years, the Food Bank of NYC has been working tirelessly to end hunger throughout the city. During this time, the Food Bank is starting a “Dear New York” letter campaign and wants the community to join them. The letters and notes they receive will be included with the emergency food bags that are given out to all of those in need. Notes are hand-distributed to people who visit food pantries and soup kitchens throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, and Brooklyn. Children and teens of all ages are encouraged to participate!

You can send drawings (hearts, rainbows, sunshine, anything that makes you smile) and/or write a short letter with an uplifting message.
For more detailed information, visit the Dear New York Writing Letter Campaign Tool Kit.

We want to share your letters of hope to our GSB community so please take a picture of your note and send it to iyambao@germanschoolbrooklyn.org before mailing the letter to the address below.

Instructions for sending Letters of Hope:

1. Please mail completed notes to the following address:
2. Once you have mailed your note(s), Email volunteer@foodbanknyc.org with the following information:
number of notes sent
return address included on envelope
date of postmark.

FoodBank NYC Community Kitchen
ATTN: Charles Martinez
Dear New York Community Kitchen of West Harlem
252 W. 116th Street New York, NY 10026

Did you know…?

Did you know that 1 in 4 families in the United States could face hunger this year because of the coronavirus?
Why? Because millions of children have lost the healthy school meals they depend on. And just as the outbreak has closed schools, it has also closed many businesses, leaving millions of people out of work and struggling to afford food.

You can also Donate to the Food Bank of NYC here

$1 helps provide 5 meals

2. How to Maintain Friendships during Social Distancing

Maintaining friendships during this time can be hard. Here are some things you can do to feel connected with friends and family.

1. Write a letter! Getting a letter in the mail is even more exciting than getting an email or just hopping on the phone to talk. Kids can send pictures, craft projects, or other small tokens of friendship along with a note.

2. Have a virtual playdate. FaceTime/Zoom/Google Meet can be a great tool for kids to not just talk, but play! Kids can build with Legos, dress-up, or even play games through the internet. The video might be useful for kids who need some inspiration for their virtual playdates

3. Start an online book club. Knowing that others are reading the same thing can be a great motivator to dive into a book. Set up a regular time to get together and talk about what you read that week.

How to Write a Letter

Virtual Playdate

3. How to Cope with the Uncertainty of the Future

It’s important to give our children strategies to cope with the uncertainty of the future. Psychologists recommend a three-step approach to dealing with uncomfortable emotions:

1. EMBRACE
First, we must embrace our emotions by being honest about how we feel. You can help your child do this by asking them directly, “How are you feeling?” It’s also helpful for children to hear adults model, or show them, how to embrace their emotions. You might say, “Sometimes, I feel anxious and discouraged when I think about not knowing when social distancing will end.” Your child might also need help articulating their emotions. You might give them different feeling words – like sad, depressed, lonely, frustrated, etc. – if they are having trouble finding words to express themselves.

2. PROCESS
Validate your feelings by letting your children know it’s okay to feel these emotions. By acknowledging the emotions and talking about them, it prevents a build up of toxic emotions, that is, the build up of uncomfortable emotions that cause toxic stress to the body. Think about this build up of toxic emotions like filling a volcano with lava. Without dealing with these emotions – by talking, writing, or expressing the emotions physically – the volcano will eventually explode. Encourage your children, and model for them, how to get their emotions out. It might even be helpful to designate a space in your home for processing emotions. It can be like a calm down corner, or a safe space, filled with pillows, sand timers, stuffed animals, or other ways for children to safely and appropriately process and release their emotions.

3. RECONCEPTUALIZE
When we reconceptualize our emotions, we reimagine the things we can control. One helpful sentence to pose to your child is, “How can I make this better?” Help your child brainstorm a plan, focused on the things they CAN control. By identifying the problem, coming up with possible solutions, and then doing one of them, children can recognize ways they can have autonomy during a time where our sense of control might feel minimized and our feelings of helplessness might be heightened.

Watch the video here.

“UNPRECEDENTED”

A word we’ve heard over and over again as our daily life has changed due to the Coronavirus, social distancing, and the implementation of remote learning. During these challenging times, it can be particularly anxiety-inducing to consider the uncertainty of the future. Not knowing an “end date” to social distancing and remote learning can make us – and our students – feel a spectrum of emotions: anxiety, depression, and frustration, to name a few.

For more resources on dealing with the uncertainty of the future, check out this blog post and podcast by Dr. Caroline Leaf, a cognitive (mind) scientist.
Below are some helpful links for coping strategies

Feelings Charts

Coping Skills Bingo

Coping Skills

4. FITNESS & NUTRITION

Fitness = Fun!

Working out, staying fit and living healthy is essential for everyday – especially right now. Here are some training incentives with something fun for everyone: From Kids Yoga, Circuit Training to get the heart pumping to Work-Outs guided by professional athletes and teams.
Let’s go!

Amelie’s Shoulder and Arm Challenge

Cosmic Kids Yoga Channel

Alba Berlin
German professional basketball club that released a series of workouts in German for all age groups

Fit mit Felix
Ski-Star Felix Neureuther gets kids moving at home with simple and fun games (German)

Kids Circuit Work-Out

Nutritious Recipes

Our first wealth is health – and health requires healthy food. In case the snack attack gets you: here some easy peasy lemon squeezy snacking recipes. No stovetop, oven or long ingredients lists required. Just combine a few healthy and delicious ingredients and ENJOY!”

Nut Free Energy Bites
Healthy and Edible Cookie Dough
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Blueberry and Spinach Superfood Smoothie
Some of Frau Haußmann’s favorite healthy favorite snacks:

Ofen-Pommes, Gemüse-Chips & Hummus

ENJOY :)

TAKE A BREAK!

Sitting in front of the computer for many hours in a row? Feeling sluggish or frustrated? It’s time to take a break! Fitness and dance breaks are great options but sometimes doing something slow, quiet and creative is what both kids and adults need to re-focus and re-energize. Connecting with our breath can be one of the easiest and most important ways to regulate our nervous systems and deescalate stress. I’ve been doing Breath Breaks with the students in each Dance and Yoga class. Learn this quick breathing technique with me here or ask your child to teach it to you!

Wave Breath with Nora

Which Way is UP with Nora

Mindful Arts and Crafts:

We’re all in this Together
Gratitude A,B,C’s
Make your own stress ball
Make your own glitter jar

GERMAN MEDIA SOURCES

With remote learning requiring more screen time than many of us are used to, you might be limiting your kids’ TV time. But for the times you and your kids do need a TV break, we recommend watching some German programs so your children can practice their German while they relax! Here are some resources that make you feel less guilty about allowing your kids screen time and you might even want to join the fun.
We collected online resources for kids in German–TV shows that are fun and educational, audio books, and more.

Click here to access the list.