Empathy is the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions.

  • Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
  • Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes.
  • Empathy makes the world a better place.

Practice empathy by being observant of others, using active listening and donating a pair of new or gently used shoes for Soles to Souls.

Our book of the month is The Yellow Star by Carmen Deedy. After reading and listening to the Legend of King Christian X of Denmark, explain why the author titled the book The Yellow Star. What does the yellow star symbolize?

Feeling Someone Else’s Sorrow = Having Empathy!

When you put yourself in someone else’s shoes and imagine their sadness or pain, and feel it in your heart, you are displaying empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. In Tiger Rising, by Kate DiCamillo, we read about Sistine empathizing with the caged Tiger (which we come to understand represents feelings and thoughts that are caged up in our two protagonists). Rob shows empathy for Sistine when she is being pelted with fruit by a mob at school. Rob’s Dad displays empathy for his son by applying a medicinal balm to Rob’s itchy legs which bear his sorrow over losing his mother.

Empathy makes the world a better, safer place in which to grow! If you look closely, you may find examples of empathetic behaviors in your life. Can you think of a time when someone showed empathy for you during a hard time? Do you recall some way in which you exhibited empathy for someone when they were feeling low? How does that story go? Share it briefly here to inspire more empathy in our world.

If you Love Our Country, Thank a Veteran

Sunday, November 11th is Veterans Day. Our book of the month, America’s White Table. Listen to the significance of each item placed on the table and how Katie comes to understand and appreciate the depth of sacrifice that her uncle, members of the Armed Forces and their families have to make.

It is important Americans give thanks for their freedom. The perfect way to do this is by thanking our active troops, our veterans, our heroes. It is important to show gratitude toward those who serve. Consider writing a card to send to a veteran.

Additional Resources:

We are Grateful!

This month we celebrate Thanksgiving and Veterans Day. It is important to show gratitude for your own happiness, health, relationships and impact on the world.

Cottage Lane will be growing a gratitude tree. The gratitude tree will show everyone that we appreciate the small things in life, are grateful for everything we have, are mindful of the things that are going right in our lives and hold people in our lives close to our heart.

In your writer’s notebook, write gratitude responses daily.  Feel free to go above and beyond and say “thank you” to others, write them a letter, and share that letter with them.  After 7 days of gratitude responses, receive a leaf from your teacher, and add it to the CLE gratitude tree.  If you need writing prompts, try these:

  • It was a good moment today when _________________.
  • I’m glad I had the opportunity to _________________ this week.
  • Thinking about _______________ makes me feel good.
  • I like seeing _______________________ in nature.
  • I’m grateful I’ve accomplished ________________ in my life.
  • I learned _________________ from a challenge.
  • ______________ always makes me smile.
  • Additional gratitude writing prompts can be found here.


Happy October 12, 2018!

Please consider taking your child to the Lamont-Doherty Open House tomorrow, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It’s Fire Prevention Awareness month.  Ask your child about today’s visit by the brave volunteers of our towns’ Fire Department.  Be sure to discuss your evacuation plan, and check the batteries in your alert devices!  Also inquire about the recent visits by Ms. Ayn, our super teaching artist from Stage Left.  Today we learned the motto:

Acting informs writing.  And, writing informs acting.

The work the children are engaged in as young actors has sparked their desire to write realistic fiction scenes!  The work they are doing is in fact informing their writing!  You may wish to engage your student in a conversation about ensembles, pantomimes, gestures, projection, articulation, and blocking–a few of the new vocabulary terms they have recently acquired.

Kindly have your fourth grader work on Dreambox this weekend if he or she has not completed at least 60 minutes this week!  (Yes, I do check the site’s reports.)  Also, reading log responses are due next Tuesday.

Lastly, have you begun planning a Halloween costume with your child?  (Please remember that weapon facsimiles are not permitted in school.)

Thanks for supporting your child’s learning, and have a terrific weekend!

Acceptance ~ Embrace the differences!

This month we celebrate and practice ACCEPTANCE!

  • Acceptance is the willingness to embrace feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own.
  • Acceptance is the ability to experience or survive something unpleasant.
  • Acceptance is the willingness to tolerate a difficult or unpleasant situation.
  • We all have the human need and right to be accepted.

Here is a recording introducing and pronouncing Duncan Tonatiuh.

Sylvia Mendez (left), 73, talks to her sister Sandra Mendez Duran (right), 59, about Mendez v. Westminster, their family’s 1945 lawsuit that won Mexican-American children the right to attend white schools. Listen to them speak here, Story Corps – Mendez.

What surprised you about this story?

Start with Hello

This week at Cottage Lane we are participating in the “Start with Hello” campaign. We are encouraging every student to make a difference with their peers. Whether it is a simple hello or a conversation, we are trying to foster an inclusive community.

Having conversations can be awkward, but Kid President shows us how it’s done! He too is on a mission to meet lots of awesome kids! #YearoftheKid Sometimes meeting new people can be scary. What if they’re too different and we don’t get along? What if things get really, really awkward? Well, Kid President says, embrace the AWKWARD! Check out his video below.

Share a message of positivity by leaving a comment on this blog.