Week of November 30

Holiday-Bazaar-banner_ashx

Dear Staff,
We hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving break and that you took lots of time to feed your spirit with good food, time spent with loved ones, and lots of rest and relaxation. As the Holiday Season is now officially in fully swing, let’s be mindful of the stress that often accompanies the joys of this season. Schedules are packed and families are on the go. Routines are disrupted and sleeping is not always at a premium. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the season, we don’t want to lose sight of the importance of laughing with our students. When we find things to laugh about, particularly in times of stress, we are strengthening our bonds by connecting through humor. To be honest, we think this is one of the most important lessons we can give our students. So in the upcoming weeks, please make a conscious effort to enjoy your students (and families and colleagues). Laugh with others whenever possible. And in the midst of it all, let us strive to uphold ideals of the season – peace, love, joy, and hope – in all that we are and all that we do.
Love,
Marianne, Leslie, and Juli

The Week at a Glance:
Monday, November 30th:

Tuesday, December 1st:

3:30 Staff Mindfulness Training – Session 4 – Priorities

Coppola to the Laurels

Hosse to Huntersville Oaks

Wednesday, December 2nd: 
Tiffany Saborido Teacher Leader
3:30 – K-7 Staff Meeting: ASCD Feedback Presentation
Thursday, December 3rd: 
Christmas in Davidson
Friday, December 4th: 
Christmas in Davidson

Looking Ahead….
December 7 – NO PARENT ADVISORY IN DECEMBER
December 9 – Staff Mindfulness Training – Session 5 – Energy Management 3:30
December 10 – Holiday Staff Luncheon
December 11 – Red Cross Blood Drive
December 14 – School Wide Spelling Bee
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
January 4 – Parent Advisory 7:30 at HS
January 12 – K-7 Lottery Open House 9:30 and 7:00
January 13 – Mindfulness Training – Session 7 – Follow Up 3:30
January 14 – 3rd & MS Band Charlotte Symphony
January 15 – TEACHER WORKDAY – NO SCHOOL
January 18 – MLK Holiday – NO SCHOOL
January 20 – Teacher Appreciation Soup Luncheon
January 21 – Regional Spelling Bee 10:00-12:00 (Lincoln County)
January 21 – Day of Observations (for Fresh Take)
January 21 – Barbara Coloroso Talk 7:30 at HS
January 22 – FRESH TAKE – NO SCHOOL – TEACHER WORKDAY
January 26 – K-7 Lottery Open House 9:30
January 28 – 3rd Grade Children’s Theater Field Trip

Teaching Tips by Marianne:

This is a great article with practical ways to engage students!  We thought this would be helpful for this time of year.

http://www.edutopia.org/discussion/5-ways-engage-reluctant-students?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

Be sure to check out Joy’s latest post on the parent blog…
Reflections on Gratitude in the Midst of Fear
http://csdpowerofwe.org/2015/11/24/reflections-on-gratitude-in-the-midst-of-fear/

Week of November 23rd

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We want to offer a HUGE congratulations for a job well done to the teams who have had special events and performances in the last few weeks.  Each of these events have been very impressive, and it is clear that the students have walked away from these experiences having learned TONS!  We know these endeavors are huge undertakings for the teachers involved, but we also know that these are the experiences students will most likely never forget.  As we all know from the research on educational best practices, being immersed in a project and having an authentic audience with whom to share the final product is what makes for learning that sticks.  Thank you, teachers, for always going the extra mile to provide extraordinary learning opportunities for your students.  This type of experiential learning is paramount to the CSD mission and vision, and we want you to know how grateful we are for all of your hard work!  Your students are fortunate to have such dedicated, hardworking teachers!

The Week at a Glance:
Monday, November 23rd:
Christian to Pines
Garren to Huntersville Oaks
Grade Level Spelling Bee
Tuesday, November 24th:
2nd Grade Kabuto Field Trip
Hoover to Laurels
Holshouser to Huntersville Oaks
Wednesday, November 25th-Friday, November 27th
Thanksgiving HOLIDAY!

Looking Ahead….
December 1 – Staff Mindfulness Training – Session 4 – Priorities 3:30
December 2 – K-7 Staff Meeting
December 3-5 – Christmas in Davidson
December 7 – NO PARENT ADVISORY IN DECEMBER
December 9 – Staff Mindfulness Training – Session 5 – Energy Management 3:30
December 10 – Holiday Staff Luncheon
December 11 – Red Cross Blood Drive
December 14 – School Wide Spelling Bee
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
January 4 – Parent Advisory 7:30 at HS
January 12 – K-7 Lottery Open House 9:30 and 7:00
January 13 – Mindfulness Training – Session 7 – Follow Up 3:30
January 14 – 3rd & MS Band Charlotte Symphony
January 15 – TEACHER WORKDAY – NO SCHOOL
January 18 – MLK Holiday – NO SCHOOL
January 20 – Teacher Appreciation Soup Luncheon
January 21 – Regional Spelling Bee 10:00-12:00 (Lincoln County)
January 21 – Day of Observations (for Fresh Take)
January 21 – Barbara Coloroso Talk 7:30 at HS
January 22 – FRESH TAKE – NO SCHOOL – TEACHER WORKDAY
January 26 – K-7 Lottery Open House 9:30
January 28 – 3rd Grade Children’s Theater Field Trip

Teaching Tips by Marianne:

As we approach the holiday season I thought the 2 and 10 strategy would be a great reminder for all of  us.  Family schedules become a bit unpredictable and hectic which impacts students.

The 2×10 strategy: a miraculous solution for behavior issues?

In the eleven years that I’ve been writing on this site, I don’t think I’ve ever, ever used the term “miracle” in relation to behavior management. But lately I’ve been hearing a lot of teachers talk about a strategy that might be as close as it gets. If you have a student for whom no other solutions seem to work, read on.

The  2×10 strategy is simple: spend 2 minutes per day for 10 days in a row talking with an at-risk student about anything she or he wants to talk about. There’s no mystery to the reasoning here, of course–the strategy builds a rapport and relationship between teacher and student, and lets the child see that you genuinely care about him or her as a person.

The miracle is in how it turns that abstract, overwhelming, where-do-I-start concept of relationship building into something easily manageable with an immediate payoff for everyone involved.

And the miracle is in how well it seems to be working in real classrooms, at all grade levels, across the country.

I heard about this strategy through the Encouraging Teachers Facebook group. A member who wishes to remain anonymous shared this story:

One of my kindergarten girls has been pretty disruptive. During rest time today, I called her over to just talk and we spent more than the two minutes. I learned that her dad has been in jail lately. I learned she loves tarantulas and spiders. I learned she likes it when her mom lets her practice writing her name. Of course then I let her write her name using sticky notes and highlighters and she positively loved it. I learned she thinks her handwriting looks bad so I encouraged her that she will get better with practice. She wanted to know how to spell my name then said, “How do you spell ‘you are beautiful?’. I let her take the sticky notes with her name and put them in her backpack. She danced to her backpack and wanted to keep one of the notes stuck on her shirt. She came back over and said she wanted to stay and learn more. Silly girl, I am the one who was learning!

This experience touched my heart today. I am confident that this small investment of time and others in the future will yield major changes in this little girl’s classroom behavior. It is not easy to find the time. I had high priority things I could/should have been working on but I wouldn’t trade today’s experience for anything.

And update from the same teacher a few days later:

Her behavior was different–better–today! She had a gleam in her eyes. I am a believer now. The way I teach has changed forever.

Of course, other group members read this and wanted to try it out. Here’s another story:

I am not sure who posted the other day about 2×10, where you just chat with a student for 2 minutes for 10 days, but THANK YOU! I tried it yesterday and today with one of my first grade boys, who has already been written up twice for hitting since the beginning of the school year. For the rest of the day and today he was much for attentive in class. Today he chose to read right next to my table during read-to-self.

I also tried it today with a girl who is repeating first grade, is on meds for ADHD, and possibly will be diagnosed with ODD. Since the beginning of the year, she has needed constant reminders to stay on task. After the chat, she needed very few reminders to stay on task. Yes, I had assessing paperwork I could have been doing instead of talking, but I learned so much more from my 2 minute chat with my students. Thank you again, for reminding me what teaching is all about…making connections and building relationships.

This is as close as it gets to a miracle solution for students' behavior problems, it's completely free, and it only takes 2 minutes a day.

So where did this strategy originate? Some people say it’s just what good teachers do. But I did some digging around online and found an article from ASCD based on the research of Raymond Wlodkowski. He reported “an 85-percent improvement in that one student’s behavior. In addition, he found that the behavior of all the other students in the class improved.” I was especially impressed by this anecdote:

Martha Allen, an adjunct professor at Dominican University’s Teacher Credential Program in San Rafael, California, asked her student teachers to use the Two-by-Ten Strategy with their toughest student. The results? Almost everyone reported a marked improvement in the behavior and attitude of their one targeted student, and often of the whole class.Many teachers using the Two-by-Ten Strategy for the first time have had a similar corroborating experience: Their worst student became an ally in the class when they forged a strong personal connection with that student.

Pretty impressive, right? I absolutely LOVE the idea of the 2×10 strategy. Considering how much time many of us spend addressing classroom disruptions and disciplining students, a 2 minute a day investment seems like a no-brainer. Additionally, I love that this strategy helps teachers focus on the good in their most challenging students so we can avoid falling into the trap of viewing a disruptive kid as a problem instead of a person. It’s much easier to muster up the enthusiasm and patience you need for working with challenging kids if you have genuine empathy for them and get to spend time enjoying their company rather than always correcting them.

If you try this strategy out with one of your students, will you report back and let us know in the comment section how it went? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

How to make time for relationship building, establish a rapport with students who don't like you, and more

UPDATE OCTOBER 12th:  Thank you all for the tremendous response to this post. I’m happy to hear so many of you are already doing this, and I’ve written a follow-up post to address questions about the 2×10 strategy. I’ve shared advice on what to do if:

  • the student doesn’t want to talk to you
  • you don’t have time for individual conversations
  • you don’t know how to get the conversation started
  • you’re unsure of what to ask students
  • students give you one word answers

I’ve also specifically addressed middle and high school teachers.  I’m looking forward to continuing the conversations!

http://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/2014/10/the-2×10-strategy-a-miraculous-solution-for-behavior-issues.html

Week of November 16

What’s On Our Minds:

IMG_9851

In this season of gratitude and in light of the atrocities happening around the world, let us take time to stop and  give thanks for our many blessings.  Let us remember the enormous impact we have on those around us, for better or for worse, especially upon the lives of our students.  Let us lead by example and strive to be excellent role models for these children so that they might learn how to live a wholesome, fulfilling life not so much from what we say, but more so from what we do.  Let us embrace our fellow humanity in their time of need and spread joy and peace to all those we encounter.  And let us remember the powerful words of Haim Gonnott:

IMG_9852
In closing, we want to share a video Marianne found earlier in the week.  We hope it inspires you to think of those who have touched your life, and encourages you to remember how much influence you have on the lives of your students (whether you know it now or not).  Leslie, Marianne, and I see it everyday, so we offer a special word of thanks to you – the educators – the magic makers.    Your impact make a tremendous difference.

The Week at a Glance:
Monday, November 16th:
Belnap to the Pines
Carr to Huntersville Oaks
10:30 – 4th/5th attend Band Rehearsal
11:00-1:00 – Teacher Appreciation Lunch
12:40-2:15 – MS Band Rehearsal
Tuesday, November 17th:
2nd Grade Play Rehearsals
Teckenbrock to Huntersville Oaks
7:00 – Band Concert (8th Grade Theater Room)
3:30 – Staff Mindfulness Training
Wednesday, November 18th:
Sarah Keys – Teacher Leader
3:30 – K-7 Staff Meeting – ASCD Presentation on Current Events
Thursday, November 19th:
2nd Grade Performances
Friday, November 20th
7th Grade Africa Day

Looking Ahead….
November 23 – Grade Level Spelling Bee
November 24 – 2nd Grade Kabuto Field Trip
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

Teaching Tips by Marianne

Learning Buddies

Purposes

  • To promote verbal fluency
  • Cooperative learning
  • To build in movement
  • To have students process their learning
  • To engage students in their learning

I love the clock buddies strategy, but look at the many ways you can group students to work together!

IMG_2918 IMG_2919 (1) IMG_2920 (1)

Taken from Active Learning and Engagement Strategies by Paula Rutherford

Week of November 6

What’s On My Mind:

Happy Sunday!  We hope you all enjoyed a relaxing weekend.  If the weather will cooperate this week we will have a fire drill.  Fingers crossed for some sunshine this week!  Wednesday there is no school in honor of Veteran’s Day.  We hope that you all will spend some time this week reflecting and reminding students why we have this very important day off.  On Friday, November 13th, at 9:00 the Community Builders 8th grade practicum group will be hosting a Veterans Day ceremony on the front field.  Please make sure your class joins us out around the flag pole for this special ceremony as we honor our veterans.

Thank you all for the great discussions we had around the topic of homework last week.  We really appreciate everyone’s openness and reflection around this topic.  As a reminder please remember that we do not assign students homework over holiday breaks.  With the holidays fast approaching please make sure you take this into account as you are planning for the coming weeks.  We want to make sure that families have ample time to spend together as a family and not having to focus on school work.

Please take a moment to read this week’s Choice Literacy article below.  As teachers and parents we can often get so hung up on what “level” a student is reading at that we forget the purpose and intent of reading.  The ability to be able to lose oneself in a book and to be able to connect with the characters so that you can hear them speaking in your mind is pure joy!  We can accidentally squash this joy when we focus too much on the level of a book.  The message in the article below explains perfectly how we need to pay attention to our words and notice when a child is excited about a book no matter what the level.  It is great food for thought as we head into our week.

Daisy: A Cautionary Tale
Education has produced a vast population able to read, but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.

G. M. Trevelyan

Once upon a time, there was a third-grade girl, Daisy, who loved to read. She read all the time. While she liked to read about horses and outer space, she especially loved to read stories. She had read every single Magic Tree House, Junie B. Jones, and Amber Brown book ever written.  Recently, she had been into reading books about animals, and had devoured Shiloh and Charlotte’s Web.

One day, as she browsed through books at the school library, she found a book with a beautiful cover of a girl wearing glasses and holding a comic book. When she saw it, she thought, “That girl looks like me!” She ran her fingers over the letters scrawled grandly across the cover and read the title aloud: Flora and Ulysses. It was then that she noticed a small animal tucked up in the corner, which compelled her to read the back cover. As her eyes skimmed over the words describing a story about a squirrel who gets run over by a vacuum cleaner and strangely develops superpowers, she opened the book and began to read.

Before she knew it, the librarian was shouting a last call to check out books.  Daisy hurried to have her book scanned and joined the rest of the children lined up at the door to return to class. Ms. Wright, her teacher, walked up and down the line surveying the children’s choices. Every now and then she’d murmur things like, “Oh! Great author!” and “You’ll love this one.”  By the time Ms. Wright arrived at Daisy, she was nearly bursting with excitement.  Daisy couldn’t wait to tell her how she loved what she had read so far, and she longed to hear Ms. Wright say what a great choice she had made, choosing a book with a medal on the cover.

However, when Ms. Wright glanced at the book in Daisy’s hand, she looked between the book and Daisy and said, “Oh sweetheart, you’re going to need to return this book.”

Return this book?  Did she hear correctly? Confused, Daisy looked at her teacher who kneeled beside her, looked   her eyes, and said, “You’re a level R.  This book is much harder than that.  Run and put this back. You can choose something from the R bin when we get to the classroom.”

Crestfallen, Daisy handed the book back to the librarian. In her head, she kept hearing the echo of Flora’s voice speaking the same words she said when she witnessed Mrs. Tickham vacuum up the squirrel: Holy bagumba.

What was she going to read now?

Back in the classroom, Daisy dragged herself to the R bin and without even looking, grabbed the book that was on top.  She returned to her seat and muttered the title: Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets.Grudgingly, she began to read.

Moral of the story: Holy bagumba, don’t let reading levels flush away common sense.

Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris

Contributors, Choice Literacy

The Week at a Glance:
Monday, November 9th:
Juli at DPI meeting
Randolph – Huntersville Oaks
Tuesday, November 10th:
Elementary Day of the Dead Celebration – 10:00
Staff Mindfulness Training – Session 2 – Mental Effectiveness – 3:30
Wednesday, November 11th:
Veteran’s Day Holiday – NO SCHOOL
Thursday, November 12th:
Book Fair
Friday, November 13th
Book Fair
Elementary Veteran’s Day Program – 9:00 a.m. on Green
6th Grade Greek Day

Looking Ahead….
November 16 – Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
November 17 – Staff Mindfulness Training – Session 3 – Goals – 3:30
November 17 – MS and HS Band Concert at 7:00 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

Teaching Tips by Marianne:

One of my favorite reading strategies to engage learners was the use of anticipation guides.  The link below gives a clear explanation with great examples on how to implement this strategy.  It can be used at any grade level!

http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/anticipation_guide

Here are two examples taken from Active Learning and Engagement Strategies by Paula Rutherford.

IMG_2890 IMG_2891

Week of November 2

What’s on Our Minds:

MS folks, Winter sport tryouts begin this week. Be extra alert for good sportsmanship for those who make the team and keep an eye out for our disappointed kiddos. Remember that not making a school sport is a very big deal to most kiddos and we always want to be the school that is small enough to notice when a student needs extra encouragement and support.

If you had any parent/teacher conferences that felt “off” in any way, please give us a heads up.  We are always here to support you but it helps tremendously if we can avoid being caught off guard by an upset parent.

Don’t forget to complete your insurance open enrollment survey!

Please send condolences to our sweet Colleen Kopchick who experienced the sudden loss of her father last week.  Wrap her in CSD love and let her know the magic of your kind thoughts.

You should expect a November fire drill this week!

Did you see this email from Connie today?  Huge thanks to Connie, Joe, and our tech time as they work tirelessly to fix out ongoing tech challenges.  Remember to keep them informed as they work to solve the problems that are frustrating you….but we sure to appreciate your patience in the process!  Please take a peek. You’ll find this recap of the week in CSDTech each Sunday in your inbox.   May all your sign-ons be happy! https://slate.adobe.com/cp/7Kac2/

Professional Development Articles and Links: 

Later today or in the morning, you will see the CSD Admin Blog for the month of October.  I’d love for everyone to carefully read this blog for your professional development article this month.  This is an important read as it is the update that our parents are getting regarding our ongoing research and reflection regarding differentiated instruction for all of our students but particularly our most academically advanced.  As you know, we are spending this year reflecting and making changes to our programs in an effort to continuously improve for all of our students.  It is critical that our staff is current and up to date on research and activities thus far so that you are informed as parents come to you for answers.  As we revisit current research and trends, we are reminded that much is done right at CSD in regard to meeting our students’ individual needs but there is always room for improvement.  I really don’t think parents expect us to be perfect but I think they deeply appreciate our commitment to continuous improvement in addition to open minds and open  hearts.  We can always get better but we must always do that in the context of the mission and vision of CSD.  Enjoy and thanks for all you do to meet the many varied needs of our students!
The Week at a Glance:
Monday, November 2nd:
Renaud to Pines
Parent Advisory – Guest Speaker on Cyber Safety – 7:30 at HS
Tuesday, November 3rd:
Lottery Open House – 9:00-11:00
Walker to Huntersville Oaks
Wednesday, November 4th:
5th Grade Barrier Island Performances
K-7 Staff Meeting – Vertical Alignment Homework Discussion
Dorothy Pagan – Teacher Leader
Thursday, November 5th:
Friday, November 6th
3rd Grade Bones Performance
7th Grade Rube Goldberg Exhibit

Looking Ahead….

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 7:00 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

Teaching Tips by Marianne:

Some great reminders and discussion on homework:

http://www.lessonplanet.com/article/teacher-education/creative-homework-assignments-can-motivate-students

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept10/vol68/num01/Five-Hallmarks-of-Good-Homework.aspx

http://www.alfiekohn.org/homework-myth/