Week of January 25, 2016

Dear Staff,

Happy Sunday!  I hope you enjoyed a weekend filled with wintery weather!  I know my family had lots of fun playing in the snow.  I hope that you were able to enjoy some down time with your family and friends.  I think that is one of the best parts of a snow day.  It forces us to stop and just “be” for a day or two.  If you are like me that is a rare thing.  I know I am still trying to wrap my head around how it is almost February 1st!

Speaking of February, this means that Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it.  I have to tell you that our students writing their Valentine poems is one of my favorite traditions at CSD!  This year I get to help write two sets of Valentines.  I know that many people might complain about this. However, I have to tell you sitting down and working on these with my children is one of the best parts of my day.  In the same way a snow day forces us to stop and slow down, these Valentines have forced me to do the same thing.  Each day I am forced to put the laundry, dinner, emails, etc. aside and sit down one on one with each of my children and listen to them talk about their classmates and teachers.  I learn things about their friends that I may never take the time to know by helping them write their Valentines.  It is also interesting for me to see the friends they don’t know a lot about or have a hard time thinking of something to say.  This gives me the opportunity to have them go back the next day to try to get to know that child a little bit better.  The best part has been when I remind them to spend some extra time getting to know that person they come home with a wealth of knowledge from the day about that child.  It teaches them to stretch a little bit in their friendships.  This will be Ella’s first year to get CSD Valentine poems, and she couldn’t be more excited because she has watched her brother bring these home for two years now.  Ethan covets his Valentines and reads each one as if it is a special treasure.  He has kept everyone that he has received, and sometimes I will find him in his room looking through them.  I think he likes reading what his friends think about him and uses them as his own little “standing O” when he needs a pick  me up!  I thought that this was just something Ethan did, and then this happened….

The other day I walked into Target and find sweet Mary Thompson digging through the dollar section for Valentine pencils for her class.  She and I start talking about Valentines and she said, “You know, these Valentines are very special and important.”  I smiled and must have had a look of wonder on my face.   She continued to tell me that this past August when she was getting ready to take Tucker back to college at NC State she noticed that he had packed a small little canvas painted red with white letters that said NC State on it.  She said when she took a closer look it was the Valentine that Zoe had painted for him in Mr. Hoover’s class in third grade many years ago.  She said that Tucker had kept it, along with his other Valentines, and was taking it to college with him.  It is proudly displayed on a shelf in his dorm room.

That story literally gave me goose bumps!  To think that he kept this for so many years and took it to college with him reminded me of exactly how special and important these are.  I remember Zoe working on these, she wrote a poem and painted a tiny canvas for each of her classmates.  Each one had something special about them painted on it that reminded her of her friends.  Apparently she knew them well, at least Tucker anyway, because she hit the NC State nail on the head! 🙂 I share these stories with you because I know we have parents who complain about this, and I understand why these can be difficult to do. They take time, effort and energy, which is hard to come by, especially at the end of a long day.  However, my hope is that when parents look back on these moments they will remember them as time and conversations well spent with their child.  I hope they will understand that these aren’t just a store bought piece of paper that a child writes their name on and puts in the trash a week later.  They are beautifully written and creative masterpieces that may someday travel to college with them or serve as a pick me up when they are feeling blue.  They are special, important and one of many CSD traditions that make up our story.  Have a fantastic week!


The Week at a Glance

Monday, January 25th:

Tuesday, January 26th:
K-7 Lottery Open House 9:30
Hosse to Huntersville Oaks
Hoover to The Laurels
Wednesday, January 27th: 
Mindfulness Training – Session 7 – Follow Up 3:30
Annual Admin Planning Day (off campus)
Siadak – Teacher Leader
Thursday, January 28th: 

Friday, January 29th: 

Looking Ahead….
February 2-4 – Scholastic Book Fair at MS Media Center
February 4 – 3rd Charlotte Museum of History
February 5 – Report Cards due to Admin
February 5 – 4th Grade Play
February 9 – K7 Teacher Appreciation Cookie Cart!!!
February 10 – 1st Grade Performances
February 11-12 – TEACHER WORKDAYS & 6th Grade SLC’s
February 18 – Kindergarten Gallery Crawl
February 18-19 – MS (6/7/8) Dance Performances
February 22 – CSD Lottery at HS Black Box
March 2 – Butterfly Project – 6th Grade
March 3 – 2nd Grade Children’s Theater Field Trip
March 4 – 2nd Grade Art Gallery
March 4 – 7th Grade Field Trip to Bodyworks at Discovery Place
March 7 – 4th Grade to JA Biztown
March 7 – Parent Advisory – 7:30 at HS
March 9 – Proof of Concept – 5th Grade
March 10 & 11 – 3rd Grade Wax Museum
March 11 – 5th Grade Opera Load In
March 14-18 – 5th Grade Opera
March 17-19 – MS Musical – The Lion King
March 17 – 3rd Grade Walking Tour of Charlotte
March 18 – 7th Grade Asia Day
March 21-24 – 5th Grade Opera
March 25-April 3 – SPRING BREAK
April 4 – Classes resume

Important Reminders:

Report Cards are due to admin by Friday, February 5th for review.  Let us know if you have any questions or need any help.

VALENTINES:  Please check in with students individually to make sure they have a plan for completion as we know this can be stressful and overwhelming for some families. Let us know if you have any situations that require additional help.  Additionally, please gently encourage families to focus on the actual Valentine rather than the “presentation” or a “gift” that may come with it.  Thanks for all of your help!

Book Fair – Thank you to Kathy McCoy for relocating her SSR classes to the flex rooms so we can use the Media Center for the Book Fair during the week of February 2nd!  Please keep this in mind as you plan lessons for that week.

Teaching Tips by Marianne:

I have been using the words ” I noticed…” and have seen a difference!  See the below picture for more information.  Another great strategy from a recent Love and Logic® is the 10:1 strategy.  This says that for each negative interaction we have with a child we need to have 10 positives one to see a change!

Jen Stevens shared this article which will also be quite helpful:


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