Week of October 12, 2015

The Week Ahead:

FootballHappy Sunday!  We hope you all had a wonderful weekend, despite the rainy weather.  It was the perfect kind of weekend to curl up and read a good book!  Which I have been thinking a lot about lately, reading good books, in particular kids reading.  The Choice Literacy article below speaks to this topic as well.  Are we allowing our students to read what they are interested in reading?  If we do, as you can see from the outcome below, the benefits can be great!  If we are always assigning reading are we really allowing kids choice?  This seems to be easier to do when children are in younger grades because we are trying to get them excited about reading.  However, we often forget that when students get in upper grades they still like to have choice.  We as adults like to have choice.  I know I have a stack of books beside of my bed that I want to read.  One stack is professional reading and the other stack is piled high with books I want to read for pleasure.  I go back and forth between the stacks because I know I need to read the professional books to stay current on educational topics.  However, there are nights where my brain just needs a break and I grab a book that I like to read for pleasure and just escape for a little while.  There are other days where I don’t feel like reading a book and want to read something short, so I hop on Twitter and look for a great article or what is trending in education or the world.  My point in telling you this is that I think it is important that we think about what we assign students to read.  Yes, we absolutely need to expose and ask students to read certain novels or texts that they might not necessarily choose on their own.  However, I believe it is equally important to also allow students to sometimes choose what they would like to read.  As you can see from the article below, the lessons and goals we wish to achieve when we assign novels can also be reached when students are allowed to choose to read about what is most important to them.  Good food for thought as we move through the school year!  Have a wonderful week!

Leslie

Reading for Football

Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.

Bill Shankly
Last winter, when the Ohio State football team played against Oregon for the national championship, my husband and son were so locked into the whole experience, I think there were times that they forgot to eat and sleep.

Not me.

About the game itself, I was ambivalent at best; at worst, I was a bit irritated that an entire state seemed to have lost its collective mind over a football game.
But for my own personal purposes, I was perfectly fine with the obsession happening in my own house. Why? Because my son and his father were like little buzzy bees as they prepared for the big game. They were talking, listening, pondering, thinking, predicting, inferring, and reading. Hours and hours were spent reading blogs about the two teams; searching online for sports reporters who were weighing in on game predictions; and studying information about the players on each team.

My seven-year-old son is an emerging reader. Seeing him so fiercely absorbed in something and learning how to seek out information, read it closely, and respond to it with another person doing the same thing was thrilling to me. Were they studying a classic children’s novel? No. But the reading they were doing was good stuff. It was well written, thoughtful, and carefully presented. The writers they sought were knowledgeable about the game and thoughtful in their discussions about it. In the weeks leading up to the game, I saw my son’s confidence as a reader grow.

But their football obsession did more than contribute to my son’s reading progress. In essence, my husband was teaching my son about research. Finding good resources and reading through them to determine their effectiveness isn’t easy to do, especially for a seven-year-old. But I kept overhearing my husband teaching this very skill as they searched, searched, and searched some more for all the information they could find about the game. For example, when they discovered a particular piece of information and found it to be lacking in breadth or legitimacy, my husband explained why it wasn’t a good source and guided them somewhere else. “I don’t think this reporter knows very much about football. Let’s look for someone who has more expertise,” he would say. Or, “This guy is from another conference which means he is going to be biased against Ohio State. That’s why his opinion seems off to us.” From these conversations, I could hear my son learning about finding good resources when doing research, and how to consider how bias or perspective might alter the validity or applicability of a resource.

So while I have no real use for football in my life, beyond the fun of an occasional tailgate and seeing my son and his father bond over something they both love, I am thrilled that loving the sport leads to making my son a better reader and a strong researcher. For that, I’ll take a football game any day.

Jennifer Schwanke
Contributor, Choice Literacy

The Week at a Glance:
Monday, October 12th:

Tuesday, October 13th:
K-7 Lottery Open House 9:30a.m. and 7:00p.m.
Carr to Huntersville Oaks
Wednesday, October 14th:
Staff Mindfulness Training (Interest Meeting) 3:30 in MS Media Center
Teacher Appreciation Luncheon 11:00-1:00
Tiffany Saborido – Teacher Leader
Thursday, October 15th:
Pick up your Pink Piggie K7
Kindergarten Fairy Tale Play

Marianne is out.
Friday, October 16th:
CSD Homecoming!

Marianne is out.

Looking Ahead….
October 21-25 – Community HS Musical – Pippin
October 21 – 5th Grade Proof of Concept; K-7 Staff Meeting
October 22 – Kindergarten Pumpkin Carving 1:00p.m.
October 23 – Elementary Night at HS Football Game
October 23 – 4th Grade Stone Mountain Field Trip
October 26 – K-7 Report Cards Due
October 28 – K-5 Parade of Fiction
October 28 – Staff Mindfulness Training – Session 1 – Introduction 3:30
October 29 & 30 – Teacher Workdays – Optional Parent/Teacher Conferences
November 2 – Parent Advisory at HS at 7:30 – Cybersafety Guest Speaker
November 3 – K-7 Lottery Open House 9:30a.m.
November 4 – K-7 Staff Meeting; 5th Grade Barrier Island Performances
November 6 – 7th Grade Rube Goldberg Exhibition (MS Gym); 3rd Grade Bones Performance (MS Black Box)
November 10 – Staff Mindfulness Training – Session 2 – Mental Effectiveness – 3:30
November 11 – Veteran’s Day Holiday – NO SCHOOL
November 12-14 – Book Fair
November 13 – 6th Grade Greek Day
November 16 – Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
November 17 – Staff Mindfulness Training – Session 3 – Goals – 3:30
November 17 – MS and HS Band Concert at 7:30 in 8th Grade Theater Space
November 19 – 2nd Grade Performances
November 20 – Africa Day
November 25-29 – Thanksgiving Holidays – NO SCHOOL
December 1 – Staff Mindfulness Training – Session 4 – Priorities 3:30
December 2 – K-7 Staff Meeting
December 9 – Staff Mindfulness Training – Session 5 – Energy Management 3:30
December 15 – K7 Teacher Appreciation Breakfast
December 16 – 5th Grade Proof of Concept
December 16 – Staff Mindfulness Training – Session 6 – Work-Life Balance
December 17 – Kindergarten Gingerbread Houses
December 21 – January 3 – WINTER BREAK

Reminders:
Believe it or not, the first trimester is winding down! Make sure you are scheduling enough time for assessments so that report cards can be completed by October 26th for admin editing. Let us know if you need help!

Teaching Tips:

Preparing for Parent/Teacher Conferences

The very best parent teacher conferences are when a parent walks away feeling you truly care and know their child.  Here are some tips to help you prepare:

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/parent-teacher-conference-resources-matt-davis

http://www.nea.org/tools/tips/18858.htm

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