Newsletter - Developing Cooperation

Dear Families,

The old year has come and gone and the new year is beginning! Our Spring Semester has begun! Now that we are passed the holidays and are settling into a regular routine once again, I wanted to mention something that we often talk about with young children: cooperation. Why do some children seem willing to cooperate while other children do not? In fact, children LEARN to be cooperative and helpful. They do not become that way automatically. They gave to learn to work with others to accomplish a job and to help others by sharing materials and information. Children have to learn how to make someone else’s work or play easier. This learning takes place slowly, but the foundation can be laid early in life. Here are some examples of what we do here at Bell’s School and somethings that families can do that will set the state for the development of cooperation:

  • Be a model. This is one of the best ways to teach cooperation because children imitate the actions of people who are important to them. If young children see parents, teachers and other adults cooperating with others, they will be more willing to do the same. When a parent helps a neighbor or a teacher helps a friend, he or she is setting an example that is seen by children and recorded for future reference.

  • Provide other models of good behavior. Children are exposed to lots of models other than parents, including television, movies, books, toys, recordings and video games. When we make an effort to screen these media, we can choose those that show good friendships, unselfish giving, or acts of kindness, acceptance and forgiveness.

  • Give suggestions and reasons. One of the reasons adults sometimes fail to help is that we don’t know what to do or how to do it. Don’t expect a child to automatically know how to do anything without specific, concrete suggestions. For example, tell a five-year-old :Joan, push the door and hold it open for Mrs. Stanley. She is having trouble doing that and pulling the grocery cart too.” You are ,more likely to get help from a four-year-old if you say: “I want you to help me set the table for dinner because I have to finish the salad. Here are the plates, Put a napkin and a knife and fork next to each plate- like this.” Then follow up with a “Thanks for your help!” Giving reasons along with suggestions helps children understand why another person needs their help and encourages them to be more willing to cooperate.

  • Assign age-appropriate but real responsibilities. We usually get what we expect from children, and they need to know that we expect them to take an active part in the work of the family or the classroom. Parents and teachers can convey expectations of cooperation and helpfulness not by yelling or nagging but by giving children real chores to do.

Remembering to be constantly aware of our actions around children takes a lot of work. But when we can involve them in our daily routines, explain to them why we do the things we do and give them appropriate models for cooperation and kindness, we help children lay the foundation for cooperation, empathy, kindness and a sense of belonging in the classroom and family.

Attached to this newsletter you will find the calendar for the next 2 months. Couple of reminders for this month:

  1. We will be closed Monday, January 15th for a teacher workday.

  2. We are headed into winter! Please sign up for school closing alerts from WLOS News 13. If we are closed or will open on a delay, you can find that information on WLOS webpage or sign up for text alerts on your mobile phone.

  3. Friday, January 12th is PAJAMA DAY! Please send your child to school in their PJ’s. And don’t forget outside shoes and warm jackets because we will go outside in our PJ’s.

  4. Make sure you have the circus on your calendar! The Bell’s school Circus will take place on Friday, March 2nd at 10am!!!

Have a great week! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at or

Catherine Lieberman

“Miss Catherine”

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