Mindfulness at Meadowbrook

The new school year has begun and with it comes a wonderful enhancement to our curriculum – Mindfulness.

Michael and Louise Okin apimg_0830proached Head of School, Michael Reardon in the spring.  Their son, Matthew ’92 had recently passed away and they wanted to be sure that he was remembered in a way that benefited the Meadowbrook School community. Louise, a clinical psychiatrist, had been studying mindfulness and had come across the organization Minding Your Mind.  After meeting with one of their speakers, Julie Coopersmith, the Okins became convinced that starting Matthew’s Mindful Moments at Meadowbrook was the perfect way to honor Matthew’s memory.

Mindfulness is the process of bringing one’s attention to the thoughts and experiences occurring in the present moment without judging them and in the name of self-empowerment and joy.  Research has shown that the practice is strongly correlated with health and well-being, as it helps to reduce rumination and worry which both can contribute to depression and anxiety. In addition mindfulness supports self-regulation and teaches skills for stress reduction to support attention and focus. It is, essentially, a skill that contributes to individual resilience: the overcoming of both small and large adversities which our kids face every day.
It was fortuitous that at the same time we were in discussions with the Okins about how to implement Matthew’s Mindful Moment at Meadowbrook that we were able to hire Diana Caramanico as a teaching assistant. While Diana is enhancing our language program and enriching our math program, her passion is mindfulness and positive psychology. In partnership with Julie Coopersmith of Minding Your Mind, Diana has already begun implementing, or “sprinkling”, as Diana calls it, Mindfulness among our students. We will have a Matthew’s Mindful Moment during assemblies and each teacher will be trained so that it can be implemented in every class.
Yesterday was the perfect day to bring Mindfulness to Meadowbrook. Julie visited with the students in grades 1 through 6 and introduced ways to be mindful. First and second graders learned to “take 5 for peace” and experienced taking deep breaths to the letters P-E-A-C-E. Third and fourth graders learned to visualize,  and fifth and sixth graders learned how to focus on the importance of breathing.
The Meadowbrook School is proud to be at the forefront of this educational movement by introducing Mindfulness to our young elementary aged students. With these enhancements to our existing curriculum, we are giving our students the tools they need to be able to overcome adversity and live out our mission; i.e. to be prepared and eager to take on challenges.

Genevieve’s Wrapping Paper Sale

 genevievesIt’s No Secret! It’s Coming!

We are excited about our upcoming Genevieve’s Fundraiser.
When you receive the brochure packet, please share it
with family, friends and co-workers.

Our sale starts October 12th   and ends October 26th

Out-of-town customers can support our school by ordering
directly online at:         www.genevieves.com

Use our Account Number is: 14359wrap


8 tips to an organized student

1. Prepare for the day ahead

Do as much as you can the night before in preparation for the next day. Lay out clothes, place backpacks and shoes at the door, and pack lunch bags.

2. Use checklists

Establish routines with the help of checklists. Create lists for homework, chores, nightly tasks, and more.

3. Organize notebooks

If your child responds to color cues, designate a specific colored notebook or folder for each subject. To ensure work is getting completed, designate a “to-do” folder and a “done” folder.

4. Organize papers at home

Create a filing system at home to collect homework, artwork, school, and sports information. Files can be purged at winter break and the end of the school year. Keep only what you treasure, and share some work with relatives. You can expect art pieces to deteriorate over time; therefore, you may want to consider preserving those treasures digitally rather than storing them physically.

5. Establish a study zone

Create a space with necessary supplies where homework will be completed. When choosing your location, consider keeping your child in sight in case he or she needs your assistance.

6. Use a timer

When it comes to homework, some kids are more productive working in 15 minute blocks of time and then taking a five minute rest. You can also use a timer to help kids get ready in the morning, clean up a room, or set boundaries on screen time.

7. Keep a Family Calendar

Use one calendar (paper or electronic) for the entire family’s activities. Keep a copy posted in a prominent place and encourage your kids to refer to it often. Fill the calendar with activities, games, school breaks, music lessons, etc. to help establish accountability skills.

8. Healthy Habits

Feed your child protein and cut down on sugar to provide the right fuel for him or her to work and be active. Getting a restful night of sleep is also important, so encourage night time habits that help your child wind down and prepare for sleep, such as disconnecting from all screens an hour before bedtime.

Pumpkin picking in our science garden


During our first week of school science class was spent in our science garden. Since many students planted pumpkin seeds in our raised beds last spring, we were lucky enough to have lots of munchkin pumpkins grow all summer long.  Our outdoor lessons started with the students learning the characteristics of a vine plant by closely examining our pumpkin vines. They also had a chance to view the flowers and their pollinators, and see the tendrils as the vines crawl along the back fence. Finally, some of the students in each class had a chance to pick a pumpkin.  Once inside, the lessons will continue as the younger scientists count and sort the pumpkins according to color and size,  and the older students will discuss and revise their predictions as they watch the green ones ripen and decide what color flesh is inside the white pumpkins.  Next week—peppers!!!

Summer Summary

A Fun & Busy Summer

Summer Writing Camp –summer writing camp18

The second grade classroom was turned into a camping adventure room this summer as Mrs. Kelly Mosteller hosted Writing Camp. Whether they were gathered around a camp fire or traipsing through the woods, our enthusiastic campers learned how to turn their creative ideas into stories and poetry!

The children learned Opinion Writing by crafting the answer to,  “What are the two most important things to bring with you on a camping trip?” They also learned how to record what they heard, felt, saw and smelled while on their nature walks. They turned those notes into a “Nature Journal” which was covered with a variety of natural materials collected on their hike.

One of the highlights for the children were Story Rocks. The campers painted rocks which magically turned into story rocks with pictures. They picked 4 or 5 of these rocks to start creating their fiction stories.

In addition, the children learned the use of transition words to write directions in a sequential order and may have enjoyed some S’mores as well!

Finally, the children experience poetry writing, fiction writing and narrative writing all under the tutelage of Mrs. Mosteller. The week culminated with the children creating their very own lightening jars.

Want to see more pictures? Click HERE.

Thanks to Kelly Mosteller for the fabulous writing camp. My son raved about it and felt so much more confident with his writing by the end of the week. He also enjoyed reconnecting with his Meadowbrook friends. Highly recommend this camp! – a Meadowbrook parent


Math Camp with Mrs. Linkmathcamp

It was a fun filled week during math camp with a different theme each day.   The campers planned  a summer party and totaled the cost with coupons. They held an Olympics day which included the kids participating in different Olympic activities and graphing their results. They had a baseball themed day when the students practiced how to budget at a baseball game, as well as basebmathcamp2all statistics. We also did plotting points on a coordinate plane to make summer pictures. We concluded with fraction activities with food such as pizza, M&Ms, and ice cream sundaes.


Math Camp was a great experience! Mrs. Link did a wonderful job with all the students and I hope she does it again next year. It was a great brain jolt at the end of the summer.

– a Meadowbrook Parent

Spanish Evening Class
Meadowbrook offered summer evening Spanish classes this year that took place on Wednesday evenings in July and August. Emma Stern, of the graduating class of 2014 came back and taught the classes with Profesora Cordon. Each week focused on a different fun summer theme such as Animals at the zoo, the beach, knights and princesses, shopping at the market place and we ended with una gran fiesta!  During each immersion style class, we played games, had cool summer treats, went on scavenger hunts and talked completely in español!  It was a blast!spanish