MY Name Is Special

Newborn Tips#1: Don't Hush-A-Bye-Baby
You don't have to be quiet while the baby is sleeping. The womb is loud, and newborns are used to the noise. When ours first came home, we watched television and I would vacuum, wash dishes and talk on the phone around her while she slept. She got used to sleeping with noise, and I could get stuff done. I am still able to vacuum in her room while she sleeps (she is 14 months), and she is peaceful and well rested when she wakes up.
Newborn Tips#2: Soothe Your Wailing Newborn
When my baby cries, I comfort her by patting her back in a heartbeat-like rhythm. That helps her burp more quickly, and it also helps her relax if she's crying from insecurity. If this doesn’t work, I also try one or all of Dr. Harvey Karp's five calming moves: swaddling, shushing, holding her on her side, swinging her or letting her suck. Sometimes it takes all six!

Additional Information:

Learning Objectives: The students will

1.Understand that individuals share similarities and differences.

2.Engage in a variety of oral language experiences.

3.Utilize their research skills by conducting interviews.

4.Enhance their critical thinking skills by analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information.

5.Express their ideas in oral, visual, and written forms.

TEKS: SS K.11, K.15A,B,D, K.16, 1.17A,B,D, 1.18, 2.17A,B,E, 2.18

LA K.1A-D, K.12B, 1.1A-D, 1.15B, 2.1A-D, 2.12D

Materials: Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes, copies of the Homework Interview Sheet attachment for each student, copies of the Portrait of Me attachment for each student, crayons

Vocabulary: begrudging, chrysanthemum, discontented, differences, dreadful, envious, indescribable, jaundiced, miserably, Parcheesi, scarcely, similarities, trifle, winsome, wilted

Teaching Strategy:

1.Introduce the lesson by asking students if they have ever had someone else tease them or make fun of them. Ask students to share how it made them feel. Tell them that you are gong to read a story about someone who was made fun of at school because of her name.

2.Read the story Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.

3.Discuss any or all of the following questions:

A.Why do you think Jo, Rita, and Victoria made fun of

Chrysanthemum and teased her?

Newborn Tips#3: Help Get Your Baby to Latch
If you are having latch-on issues while breastfeeding your baby, you can use breast shields to help the process. This was a wonderful tip that I learned from my lactation consultant. I had to use the shields for an entire month before my baby would latch onto my own nipple without them. Had it not been for the breast shields, I would not have been able to continue nursing my baby.
Newborn Tips#4: Get Prepped
At 3 weeks, babies’ days and nights become more predictable, and you can focus on yourself in addition to your newborn. One way to do that is by reducing your stress level - and having everything ready for your hungry baby and yourself is one way to do that. Start by prepping for the next feeding as soon as the previous one is over. For example, after an 11 p.m. feeding, get ready for the 2 a.m. one by prepping whatever you need for feeding and putting out fresh drinking water for yourself so you don’t have anything to think about in the middle of the night. During the day, take advantage of the baby’s naps to work out, shower or catch up on e-mail, or take a nap too.

B.Do you think they were being fair? Why or why not?

C.How did their remarks make Chrysanthemum feel?

D.If you had been one of Chrysanthemum's classmates, what might you have said to make Chrysanthemum feel better?

E.In what ways did Mrs. Twinkle help solve the problem?

F.What do you think is the main point the author was trying to make by writing this story?

G.How does it apply to your life?

4.Give each student a copy of the Homework Interview Sheet attachment. Instruct them to interview their parent(s)/guardian to find out who chose their name and why it was chosen. They should record their findings on the interview sheet and bring the sheet back to school with them the next day. (Students may also gather information concerning the meaning of their name, if desired.)

5.The following day have students share the information they collected concerning how they got their names. Explain that it doesn't matter whether their names many letters or fewer letters, or even if someone else in the class has the same first name that they have. Their names are special because they represent who they are.

6.Give each student a copy of the Portrait of Me attachment. Explain that they will be representing things about themselves on the frame. They should: write a word that describes them and their first names using words, represent their favorite sport, animal and food with pictures, and use their favorite color in the favorite color section of the frame. In addition, the students should draw a self-portrait inside the frame.

7.After portraits have been completed, have students compare and contrast their pictures noting ways that they are like other classmates and ways that they differ. Display portraits on the bulletin board.

Newborn Tips#5: Keeping Your Baby Awake During Feedings
When our baby was eating slowly and sleepily, my husband and I would massage her cheek to stimulate her to eat faster. A gentle stroke with a fingertip on her cheek was all it took, and on those long sleepless nights, this simple trick was a godsend! Our friends have found it works great with their infants too. When babies eat efficiently until they're full before going to sleep, they sleep for longer between feedings. And that means you’re both likely to be calmer!
Newborn Tips#6: Help Your Baby Bond with Dad
Make sure your baby has ample time alone with Daddy. His touch and voice are different than yours, and this will begin a bonding process and give you a break. Plus, it gets the baby used to being with someone other than you. The first few times can be hard. Make sure your baby is fed and well rested, as this will give you at least one or two hours before you're needed again. Then leave Dad and the baby alone. If you stay nearby, make sure the baby can’t see or hear you, and resist the urge to go into the room and "fix" things if she starts crying. Your baby cries with you and you experiment to find out what's wrong. Dads need time to do this too - in their own way. By allowing this time, your child will learn there is more than one way to receive comfort, which will help immensely when you leave your baby with a sitter or another family member for the first time. You could have your partner bathe her, put her to bed or just read or talk to her.
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