Week of February 29, 2016

Dear Staff,

Happy Sunday!  Tomorrow is Leap Day and then we are headed into the madness of March!  I love the Choice Literacy article this week on just this topic!  As we head into test prep season don’t become jaded by what your kids can’t do.  Remember the one hundred and some odd days of all the wonderful things you have taught them and how far they  have come since they entered your classroom in August.  For some it may be that their gains are not academic but behavioral.  That in itself is a huge accomplishment!  It may be the child who knew none of his/her math facts in the beginning of the year and now he/she knows some or all of them.  Think of the child who wasn’t a reader when he entered your class and now you can’t tear him away from books.  Remember the child who wouldn’t put one word down on a page back in September?  Now think of the pages he/she produces.  These are the things that matter and are what we need to remember when we get swept away in the madness of March.  Hold on tight, because before you know it May will be here!  Have a wonderful week and don’t forget to soak in every moment of your students and all they have accomplished!

The Game of Life

If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you will never change the outcome.
Michael Jordan

We’re heading into March Madness, that nutty time when impossible dreams come true for some basketball players and their obsessive fans. My vote this winter for the most captivating basketball player (and fan!) goes to Aaron Miller. He is the boy in the photo who is meeting LeBron James – have you ever seen an expression of such pure joy and disbelief on anyone’s face?

I was skimming the newspaper a few months ago and was instantly drawn into Aaron’s story. Aaron is 16 years old. He had a stroke shortly after he was born, and doctors told his parents, “Aaron will never be able to walk or talk – he will always be severely disabled.” The parents refused to accept this prognosis. They moved near a world-class hospital in Boston to work with a different team of physicians. After many surgeries and treatments, Aaron began walking when he was almost five, and from then on he made rapid physical and cognitive progress. But even before he could walk, young Aaron loved to spend hours throwing baskets through a small hoop on the bureau near his bed.

In the moment captured on film, LeBron jogged over to hug Aaron and show him respect. Aaron had been recognized as an “Everyday Hero” at a Boston Celtics game during a break in the action. LeBron heard a bit of his story as he was in a huddle with teammates, and was inspired by Aaron’s perseverance. Now in high school, Aaron plays basketball and golf on teams for students with disabilities.

I can’t imagine the grit it takes to refuse to accept the prognosis of experts – it must look a lot like madness. But what if those doctors, instead of predicting a grim future for Aaron, had said, “Your son will grow up to be so remarkable that one day the greatest basketball player of his generation will honor him in front of thousands of fans?” Crazy, but that is exactly what happened. THAT is reality.

Aaron’s father was quoted in the Boston Globe when asked how his son felt about meeting LeBron. He said, “The whole thing has left Aaron just in awe, but he really appreciates it. He’s not a kid that likes the spotlight or anything. He’s just happy in his own quiet world, and this really kind of made him shine.”

March is the season of basketball madness, and it’s also a time of heavy testing in schools. I think one of the reasons teachers can get pretty defiant about tests is that they are by definition limiting – often only a few students can excel. Exams are used to sort, predict, and sometimes close out options very early in lives and careers. But in the quiet world of a classroom, anyone can shine daily, and anything is possible. Aaron Miller failed almost every physical and cognitive test given to him shortly after birth. It’s a good thing to remember when we begin to fixate too much on what the children in front of us can’t do . . . yet.

Brenda Power

Founder, Choice Literacy


The Week at a Glance

Monday, February 29th:
Garren to Huntersville Oaks
Tuesday, March 1st
Hurlbut to Huntersville Oaks
James to The Laurels
Wednesday, March 2nd: 
Juli at HS doing post-ob conferences and teacher observations
9:00 – Waitlist Open House and Tours
Staff Meeting:
K-3 – Math Instruction with Lucia
4-7 – Math Vertical Alignment
6-7 – Middle School Common Planning Time
6th Grade Butterfly Project Field Trip
5th Grade Children’s Theater Field Trip, Read Across America Day
Thursday, March 3rd: 
2nd Grade Children’s Theater Field Trip
Friday, March 4th: 
Hoover – Teacher Leader (Juli out)

Looking Ahead….
March 7 – 4th Grade to JA Biztown
March 7 – Parent Advisory: Future Athletics Facility Opportunity – 7:30 HS BB
March 7 – Parent Advisory – 7:30 at HS
March 9 – Proof of Concept – 5th Grade
March 9 – MS Info Session for Rising 6th Grade Parents 7:00 p.m. in MS Gym
March 10 – MS Info Session for Rising 6th Grade Parents 8:30 a.m. in MS Gym
March 10 & 11 – 3rd Grade Wax Museum
March 10 – 2nd Grade Art Gallery
March 11 – 5th Grade Opera Load In
March 11 – 3rd Grade Wax Museum
March 13 – Daylight Savings Time Begins
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; *EOG Test Prep Window Begins
April 5 – Parent Advisory 8:30 a.m. at HS
April 8 – 4th Grade to Children’s Theater
April 8 – MS Pep Rally at 1:30 in MS Gym & CSD SPIRIT DAY!
April 12 – 2nd Rescue Ranch Field Trip (2 classes)
April 14 – 3rd Grade Davidson Walking Tour
April 14 – Drama EOY at lower school K/1
April 15 – 8th Practicum Dance Party for K5
April 18-April 22 – Earth Days K-5
April 19 – 2nd Rescue Ranch Field Trip (2 classes)
April 20 – 6th/7th Dance Class Sharing
April 22 – 6th UNCC Botanical Gardens
April 22 – CSD Golf Tournament
April 25 – K7 Teacher Appreciation Cinco De Mayo Luncheon
April 29 – Teacher Workday
May 6 – 6th UNCC Botanical Gardens
May 7 – Spartan 5K & Half Marathon
May 10 – 1st Rainforest/Endangered Species Science Fair
May 12 – Kindergarten Oceans Play
May 13 – May 14 – CSD Staff Retreat
May 17 – 4th Stone Mountain
May 17 – 5th Grade Science EOG
May 18 – 3-8 Reading EOG
May 19 – 3-8 Math EOG
May 24 – 25 – 7th Grade Ropes Course
May 25 – 6th Holocaust Museum–Parents & Family
May 26 – 1st Hiddenite Mine Field Trip
May 26 – 4th Economic Fair
May 26 – 6th Holocaust Museum–Open to Public
May 27 – Kindergarten Screening
May 27 – Teacher Workday; Optional Parent Conferences
May 30 – Memorial Day HOLIDAY – No school
May 31 – 3rd Kool Kats Cafe
May 31 – 7th Change Project
May 31 – Kindergarten Water Day
May 31 – State of the School Address
June 1 – Last Day of School
June 2 – Graduation
June 2 & 3 – Teacher Workdays

NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey

The NC Teacher Working Conditions survey that is done in NC every two years will go out March 1.  Please make this a high priority for all lead teachers.  CSD always has 100% participation and this is an important part of the feedback we get as a school and as a state.  Be on the lookout for your survey codes! Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful feedback!

EOG Test Prep

Believe it or not, EOG Test Prep time will be here before you know it.  Please keep the following timeframe in mind as you prepare lessons in the weeks to come.
-Week of May 16th is 3-8 EOG Testing.
-Spring Break  is March 25-April 3; Classes resume April 4.  *The week of April 4th is the beginning of the 6 week test prep window.
-EOG pre-test/diagnostic testing should be done prior to Spring Break.  Admin will be sitting down with all teams to discuss results and formulate plans for differentiated instruction once pre-testing and data analysis are complete.  Please let us know if you need any assistance prior to that time.  We are always happy to help!

Teaching Tips with Marianne

This week during our Parenting with Love and Logic® sessions we discussed that we gain more control when we share control with our children.  We know as teachers when we give students choices we have far fewer power struggles.

Here is a resource you may find helpful:

Guidelines for Sharing Control Through Choices

Love and Logic Rules for Choices

  • Never give a choice on an issue that might cause a problem for you or for anyone else.
  • For each choice, give only two options, each of which will be OK with you.
  • If the child doesn’t decide in ten seconds, decide for him or her.
  • Only give choices that fit with your value system.Some Love and Logic Examples of Little Choices
    • Would you like to wear your coat or carry it?
    • Are you going to clean the garage or mow the lawn this week?
    • Will you have these chores done tomorrow? Or do you need an extra day to get them finished?
    • Are you having peas or carrots as your vegetable tonight?
    • Are you going to bed now? Or would you like to wait 15 minutes?
    • Can you stay with us and stop that, or do you need to leave for a while and come back when you are sweet?
    • Are you going to put your pajamas on first or brush your teeth first?
    • Will you be home at 10:00? Or do you need an extra half hour with your friends?
    • Are you guys going to stop bickering? Or would you rather pay me for having to hear it?The Love and Logic People2207 Jackson Street, Golden, CO 80401 1-800-338-4065 www.loveandlogic.com

©Jim Fay 1998 • Permission granted for photocopy reproduction. Please do not alter or modify contents. For more information, call The Love and Logic Institute, Inc. at (800) 338-4065.


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