Week of September 26, 2016

I was the shyest kid in the world.
My mother (who was not shy) used to say things like: “Run in there and ask so-and-so for such-and-such,” and I would sit and stare at her with my mouth hanging open.
She might as well have been asking me to flap my arms and fly to the moon.
It was impossible for me to look a stranger in the eye, and form a question.
If I had a dime for every time I heard “What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?” I would have a stack of dimes tall enough to reach the moon.
I’m still shy.
I’ve learned to pretend not to be shy.
But I’m still shy.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because of having just completed the big tour for Raymie Nightingale. If you had told me when I was a kid that I would be able to stand up in a roomful of strangers and talk, I would not have believed you.
But this is the thing: the room is not filled with strangers.
Not really.
The room is filled with readers, booklovers.
We are connecting through story; and happily, I’m not shy at all when it comes to books.

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-Kate DiCamillo

Dear Staff,

The above was written by author Kate DiCamillo.  If you do not know this author then you are missing out!  She writes books for children both young and old, and quite frankly if you enjoy them as  much as I do then you can add adults to that list as well! 🙂  She writes the Mercy Watson series for the younger students, she won two Newberry Honor medals for Because of Winn Dixie and the Tale of Despereaux, she won the Newberry for Flora and Ulysses and her most recent book is Raymie Nightingale.  Decamillo also serves as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.  Can you imagine the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and a world famous author being SHY???  Not me!  I would never have guessed this about her.  She was recently in Charlotte on her book tour for Ramie Nightingale, and I am very sad that I missed her because I already love her books, but to find out more about her as a person would have been a thrill.  I can connect to her shyness, as I too am an introvert.  One of my first vivid memories as a child was when I was about 3 or 4 years old and a  man at our church with a big, loud, booming voice offered me a sucker.  I really wanted the sucker, but I did not want to talk to him.  He was a very nice man and he often tried to engage in conversation with me and I would not talk to him.  I think he thought if he offered me a sucker maybe I would talk to him.  My mom, who was an extrovert and knew the man well, thought that I was being super rude and told me that if I did not talk to him and at least say thank you then I would need to give the sucker back.  I’m sure you can guess what I did!  Much to her mortification, I handed him the sucker back because I wasn’t about to say one word to this man.  It truly wasn’t because I was a rude child, it was because I vividly remember the feeling of being paralyzed and not being able to make the words come out of my mouth, so I just handed the sucker back.  I try to remember this feeling I experienced with my own children and when I work with students.  Just as Kate DiCamillo does, I too, have learned to “pretend” not to be shy as I have gotten older.  Sometimes it can be hard though, especially in a school world where I constantly have to be on with parents, teachers and students.  Also in this same school world where many of the people who surround me are extreme extroverts.  It can often be exhausting.  However, I am a connector, and once I connect with someone the shyness goes away and the relationship develops and I do believe that is why the school world is my happy place…surrounded by people and children I love and connect with and deeply respect and honor.  I encourage each of you to pull out the personality tests we did at the retreat last spring and remind yourself what you need to be a productive team member and then talk about these as a reminder at your next team meeting.  It is always a good idea to remind each other of what you need to be the best team member and person you can be so that you are always supporting and helping each other along the way.  Resetting team norms along the way is a good thing so that you don’t get into bad habits.  If you do this throughout the year I guarantee you will be saying, “Holy bugumba,”just as Flora and Ulysses do by the end of the year! 🙂  Have a wonderful week!

-Leslie

 

The Week At A Glance:

Monday, September 26th:
Belnap to the Pines
Walker to Huntersville Oaks
K7 Teacher Appreciation Lunch (grab & go)
Juli at Accreditation Workshop in Greensboro
Tuesday, September 27th:
Thompson to Huntersville Oaks
Wednesday, September 28th:
Sara Keys Teacher Leader
5th Grade to Barrier Island
Thursday, September 29th:
5th Grade at Barrier Island
Friday, September 30th:
5th Grade at Barrier Island
Chris Hoover Teacher Leader (Juli and Marianne at Barrier Island)
½ of 6th Grade to Ropes Course
Red Cross Blood Drive at Middle School 12:00p.m.-4:30p.m.
CSD Homecoming Kick Off Event – 5:00-9:00 at CSD HS Parking Lot

Upcoming Dates:
Oct 3rd – NO SCHOOL – Holiday
Oct 4th – Parent Advisory 9:00 a.m. at HS
Oct 4th – Bullying Book Study  7:00 p.m. at K-7 Media Center
Oct 5th – K-7 Staff Meeting
Oct 6th – Love and Logic Parent Workshop 7:30 at K-7
Oct 7th – Elementary Spirit Friday/Kindergarten Teddy Bear Parade
Oct 7th – CSD Homecoming
Oct 11th – CSD Kickball Tournament and Family Festival
Oct 12th – No School; Teacher Workday
Oct 13th i- Love and Logic Parent Workshop – 7:30 at K-7
Oct 14th – K-11 Tentative Picture Make-Up Day
Oct 18th – K-7 Lottery Open House 9:15 & 6:30
Oct 19th – K-7 Staff Meeting
Oct 20th – Love and Logic Parent Workshop – 7:30 at K-7
Oct 27th – Love and Logic Parent Workshop – 7:30 at K-7
Oct 28th – Parade of Fiction
Oct 31st – No School; Teacher Workday
Nov 1st – No School; Teacher Workday
Nov 2nd – K-7 Staff Meeting
Nov 3rd – Elementary Day of Dead Celebration (Spanish)
Nov 3rd – Love and Logic Parent Workshop – 7:30 at K-7
Nov 4th – Elementary Spirit Day
Nov 4th – 7th Grade Africa Day
Nov 8th – Love and Logic Parent Workshop – 8:45 in 6th Grade Art Room
Nov 13th – K-7 Lottery Open House 9:15 & 6:30
Nov 14h – 7th Grade Africa Day
Nov 11th – NO SCHOOL – Veteran’s Day Holiday
Nov 15th – Love and Logic Parent Workshop – 8:45 in 6th Grade Art Room
Nov 15th – K-8 Cyberbullying Parent Workshop – 7:00 in MS Black Box
Nov 16th – K-7 Staff Meeting
Nov 18th – 6th Grade Greek Day
Nov 21st – Davidson Walking Tour – ½ of 2nd Grade
Nov 22nd – Davidson Walking Tour – ½ of 2nd Grade
Nov 22nd – Love and Logic Parent Workshop – 8:45 in 6th Grade Art Room
Nov 23rd – Nov 25th – NO SCHOOL; Thanksgiving Holiday
Nov 29th – Love and Logic Parent Workshop – 8:45 in 6th Grade Art Room

Nov 30th – Band Concert – 7:00 pm at PLP’s new auditorium
Dec 1st -3rd – Christmas in Davidson
Dec 16th – 2nd Grade Art Gallery
Dec 16th – 3rd Grade Charlotte History Performance
Dec 19th – Jan 2nd – Winter Break
Jan 3rd – Classes Resume

Nuts/Bolts/Reminders:

From Sarah Hoff:  I have updated and published your class lists in Jupiter for the 2016-2017 school year. While grades are not due until October, I need you to go ahead and log in to verify that all information is correct. When you have a minute, please check to make sure that the students in Jupiter accurately reflect your class list. Please let me know if you need a student added or removed so that everything is ready to go when you begin to enter grades next month. Elementary teachers, please also check to make sure that parent email addresses are up to date for each student in your class. Otherwise parents will not receive access to report cards when they are emailed out. (When you log in, click the “setup” tab in the top right hand corner and choose “students.” Then click through each of your students and verify the parent email addresses.) Elementary teachers, you have the ability to change or add parent emails as you check each student’s information. You can make email address changes yourself and just let me know if you need students added or removed from your class. Middle school teachers, I have done this for you since not all advisors are on Jupiter to verify parent emails. Thank you for taking a few minutes to attend to this. Please send me a quick email to let me know when you have verified your class lists and parent email addresses (if applicable).

Teaching Tips with Marianne

Embracing Introversion: Ways to Stimulate Reserved Students in the Classroom

In April, Mark Phillips wrote this article for Edutopia that highlighted the importance of recognizing the introvert in your classroom. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, please do.

It’s okay, I’ll wait.

Phillips most poignant point was this:

I tend to shy away from books that focus on helping a child to “overcome” being an introvert. Although I think it’s important to help introverted children learn to effectively navigate our extrovert-dominated world, I don’t see introversion as a characteristic that needs to be “overcome,” and neither do psychologists.

As an introvert, I couldn’t agree with him more. I don’t see introversion as anything different than being left- or right-handed, boy or girl, naturally athletic or not. It’s a part of who we are, and just like those other qualities, introversion is not something to be “overcome.” In fact, I would argue that as educators it is our job to harness the sometimes hidden gems hiding within our introverted students. To do so, I would suggest we keep in mind the following:

Introversion and shyness are not the same

In her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain makes a clear distinction between introversion and shyness when she writes:

Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. Shyness is inherently painful; introversion is not.

The key is how your student re-energizes. If she does so by being with others, she’s an extrovert. If she does so by being alone, she’s introverted. It’s important to realize, however, that introverts are not always shy, and extroverts can be shy. Shy extroverts may appear to not be shy because they are often found with others, but they do so wary of the vulnerability that comes with being public.

Conversely, introverts are not necessarily shy. How often have you had that student who says little, but when she does, she is able to push the thinking of others? Or how about the student who offers a piece of writing that is so profound you wonder why he doesn’t share these thoughts more often in class?

As educators, we have to first determine if the student is shy or introverted. The difference is profound because you are either trying to minimize the pain of a shy student or respecting the process of an introvert — which leads to my second point.

Introverts Need Time

Recognizing that we already don’t have enough time to work with our students, introverts need time to process. In The Introvert Advantage How to Thrive in an Extroverted World, Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D., makes the case that the brain chemistry in introverts is markedly different than that of extroverts. In short, processing pathways in introverts are longer and more complex than the pathways found in extroverts, thus it takes them longer to process information, which causes a problem in our schools.

There isn’t a more time-depended institution than school. Forty-five minute classes. Six hour days. Forty-five day quarters. One hundred and eighty day school years.

In many ways, time is the currency of education. The more time one has, the more one can do and presumably the more one can learn. Of course, our time in school is fixed, so instead of adding time we tend to move through our curriculum faster. We tend to cover instead of discover. This can work for the extrovert feeding off the energy of the classroom but can wreak havoc on the introvert with the slower processing as described by Laney.

Introverts Need Space

Literally. Because introverts re-energize through solitude, it’s important to provide the space needed for them to be alone. While there is more information coming forward relative to classroom space and introverts, it doesn’t have to be too complex. Introvert friendly classrooms provide private spaces for those who need them. In an elementary classroom, it may be a tunnel or a “cave.” Older introverts may enjoy the peace and quiet found in a small couch or chair tucked into the corner of your classroom. It could be something as simple as not seating introverts in the middle of your classroom, but instead, providing a desk on the edge of the class instead. Further, you may be able to assign the introvert to the back row as the privacy may be just what is needed to allow for maximum learning.

But, there is another way we can provide space for our students. Headphones. Yes, why not allow students to listen to headphones that allow them to cancel out noise interruptions from the outside world? Kids do this all the time, and I learned this myself when attending ISTE11 in Philadelphia. After spending much of the day wearing my headphones as I walked around the enormous convention center, someone later told me, “I didn’t think you wanted to be bothered because you had your headphones on.” In other words, she was giving me space.

Asynchronous Learning Opportunities

In her book and this article in the New York Times, Susan Cain talks about the rise of “groupthink” despite the fact that “research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption.” This presents a real challenge to schools as cooperative learning and collaborative projects have become a staple of the American classroom.

This group work can be a challenge to the introvert as the time and space often needed for learning is not always consistent with groupthink. In fact, the introvert may be a pushed out as the extroverts of the group dominate the conversation even if their thinking is not on target.

But there is an exception. One space where groupthink has worked and it is one that schools have been slow to endorse: online communities. As Cain writes:

The one important exception to this dismal record is electronic brainstorming, where large groups outperform individuals; and the larger the group the better. The protection of the screen mitigates many problems of group work. This is why the Internet has yielded such wondrous collective creations. Marcel Proust called reading a “miracle of communication in the midst of solitude,” and that’s what the Internet is, too. It’s a place where we can be alone together — and this is precisely what gives it power.

The asynchronous environments found on the Internet can provide introverted students with the ideal space needed for them to learn. The freedom to explore their passions, the ability to connect with similar learners, and the time to participate at their personal pace and depth, all with the solitude needed by the introvert, can make these communities the ideal space for learning and creativity to blossom in the introvert.

I don’t mean to paint a picture of a student alone interacting with a screen, tucked away in the corner of your classroom, or cowering to the almighty extrovert in your classroom. In fact, introverts aren’t averse to being with people; it’s just that they need solitude to re-energize, engage in deep creative thinking, and process the mass sensory input that the extrovert thrives on. But, since we live in an extrovert-dominant world, we either forget to provide the environment needed for introverts to grow or we consider that environment to be peculiar. Instead we need to begin to create and embrace the environments needed for introverts to flourish. By providing space, time, asynchronous opportunities to learn and acknowledging that introversion is not something to be “overcome,” educators can help natural introverts shine in their classrooms.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/introverted-students-in-classroom-tony-baldasaro

Week of September 19

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I love hearing the I Am Creed by Mark Scharenbroich as I walk into a classroom.  Our students say it aloud with great energy and enthusiasm. Instead of using a long list of do’s or don’ts for classroom rules, we use the I Am Creed to help students feel important and worthy.  I love how in the kindergarten classrooms we take the time to teach it line by line so students truly understand the importance of these words.  We all need a reminder to start our day with feeling we are a one-of-kind human being and a celebration of life. By saying the creed every day we are reminding our students and our ourselves that we are important part of our community.

As Barbara Colorosso writes in her book, Just Because It’s not Wrong Doesn’t Make it Right: From Toddlers to Teens, Teaching Kids to Think and Act Ethically:

“Raising kids who can think and act ethically involves nurturing their innate need to act “beyond narrow self-interest”; to care deeply, share generously, and help willingly; to stand up for another child against an injustice.  At the same time, it involves creating peaceful and just homes, schools, and communities that will effectively support us in parenting our kids.  That means finding ways of being in the world that will reduce the harm we do to one another and our planet.” (pg. 232)

“Their learning must come from the inside out.  They need opportunities to care and to share and to help.  They need to be accountable for what they do or fail to do.  They also need opportunities to reflect on moral issues, work through ethical dilemmas, and determine for themselves what kind of people they would like to become.” (pg. 233)

Reminders:

Book Buddy List

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1J1THBPRajU_V-WmGIxyQOGhviY0dst9G7mk156kOEtA/edit?ts=57dc14dc

Staff Meeting

Bring your Love and Logic ®workbooks!  We will have our meeting in the MS Blackbox.

September 21 9 Essential Skills for the Love and Logic ClassroomⓇ

Delayed Consequences

Marianne

MS BB

 

The Week At A Glance:

Monday, September 19th:
9:30-10:15 – Volunteer Training for Parents
Tuesday, September 20th:
Juli at DPI meeting
Wednesday, September 21st:
Nancy Lauro – Teacher Leader
7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. K-7 Staff Flu Shots – Sign up below – http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0b4fa8a92ba7f85-csdelementarymidd
3:30 – K-7 Staff Meeting – Be sure to bring Love and Logic Workbooks!
Thursday, September 22nd:

Friday, September 23rd:
½ of 6th Grade to Ropes Course

Upcoming Dates:
Sept 28-30 – 5th Grade Barrier Island Ropes Course
Sept 30th – 6th Grade Ropes Course Field Trip (1/2 grade level)
Sept 30th – Red Cross Blood Drive at Middle School 12:00p.m.-4:30p.m.
Oct 3rd – NO SCHOOL – Holiday
Oct 4th – Parent Advisory 9:00 a.m. at HS
Oct 4th – Bullying Book Study  7:00 p.m. at K-7 Media Center
Oct 5th – K-7 Staff Meeting
Oct 6th – Love and Logic Parent Workshop 7:30 at K-7
Oct 7th – Elementary Spirit Friday/Kindergarten Teddy Bear Parade
Oct 7th – CSD Homecoming
Oct 11th – CSD Kickball Tournament and Family Festival
Oct 12th – No School; Teacher Workday
Oct 13th i- Love and Logic Parent Workshop – 7:30 at K-7
Oct 14th – K-11 Tentative Picture Make-Up Day
Oct 18th – K-7 Lottery Open House 9:15 & 6:30
Oct 19th – K-7 Staff Meeting
Oct 20th – Love and Logic Parent Workshop – 7:30 at K-7
Oct 27th – Love and Logic Parent Workshop – 7:30 at K-7
Oct 28th – Parade of Fiction
Oct 31st – No School; Teacher Workday
Nov 1st – No School; Teacher Workday
Nov 2nd – K-7 Staff Meeting
Nov 3rd – Elementary Day of Dead Celebration (Spanish)
Nov 3rd – Love and Logic Parent Workshop – 7:30 at K-7
Nov 4th – Elementary Spirit Day
Nov 4th – 7th Grade Africa Day
Nov 8th – Love and Logic Parent Workshop – 8:45 in 6th Grade Art Room
Nov 13th – K-7 Lottery Open House 9:15 & 6:30
Nov 14h – 7th Grade Africa Day
Nov 11th – NO SCHOOL – Veteran’s Day Holiday
Nov 15th – Love and Logic Parent Workshop – 8:45 in 6th Grade Art Room
Nov 15th – K-8 Cyberbullying Parent Workshop – 7:00 in MS Black Box
Nov 16th – K-7 Staff Meeting
Nov 17th – MS/HS Band Concert
Nov 18th – 6th Grade Greek Day
Nov 21st – Davidson Walking Tour – ½ of 2nd Grade
Nov 22nd – Davidson Walking Tour – ½ of 2nd Grade
Nov 22nd – Love and Logic Parent Workshop – 8:45 in 6th Grade Art Room
Nov 23rd – Nov 25th – NO SCHOOL; Thanksgiving Holiday
Nov 29th – Love and Logic Parent Workshop – 8:45 in 6th Grade Art Room
Dec 1st -3rd – Christmas in Davidson
Dec 16th – 2nd Grade Art Gallery
Dec 16th – 3rd Grade Charlotte History Performance
Dec 19th – Jan 2nd – Winter Break
Jan 3rd – Classes Resume

 

Teaching Tips with Marianne

I Am Creed by Mark Scharenbroich

I am a person who appreciates the difference in others.

Promoting Respect for Cultural Diversity in the Classroom

01/06/2012 10:43 am ET | Updated Mar 07, 2012

A primary goal of culturally responsive education is to help all students become respectful of the multitudes of cultures and people that they’ll interact with once they exit the educational setting. This can be a daunting task for the educator, given that the world at large is infinitely more complex and diverse than the microcosmic environment that the student inhabits. In typical educational and social settings there is a marked tendency for students to exhibit classic in-group/out-group behaviors.

 

In general, most students are comfortable interacting with people, behaviors, and ideas that they are familiar with but react with fear and apprehension when faced with the unfamiliar. Among its other goals, culturally responsive instruction aims to teach students that differences in viewpoint and culture are to be cherished and appreciated rather than judged and feared.

 

How might a culturally responsive educator push against human nature’s natural aversion to the unknown and help students become more respectful of cultures with different ideas? The best way to combat this tendency is to provide students with ample evidence that people that don’t look like them are, at the core, people just like them. Such a viewpoint can be taught by promoting a culture of learning from one another rather than a culture of passing judgment on differences in values and beliefs.

 

There are a wide range of classroom activities that can help students recognize the essential humanity and value of different types of people. For instance, providing students with an opportunity to share stories of their home life, such as family holiday practices, provides fellow students with a window into their peer’s cultural traditions.

 

Showing students everyday photographs of people of different ethnicities, shapes, sizes, and garb gives students the opportunity to see people that look very different from themselves and their family engaging in the same types of activities that they and their family participate in; this activity can help humanize types of people that a student has never had an opportunity to interact with personally. Welcoming guest speakers into the class that hail from differing backgrounds and have all made a positive contribution to important fields can also help dispel any preconceived notions that students might possess about the relative competence and value of people from different cultures.

 

Teaching students about multicultural role models also serves as an effective method for demonstrating that people of all genders, ethnicities, and appearances can have a positive influence on the world and deserve to be respected and emulated. It’s important to avoid teaching students about the same minority role models repeatedly; after all, if students never learn about prominent African American citizens other than Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X then it’s likely that some students will assume that few other African Americans have made substantial contributions to American culture and politics. If students are taught about the contributions that people of various ethnicities, genders, and creeds have made to a variety of different artistic, scientific, and political fields then they’re more likely to respect and value diverse cultural backgrounds as a whole.

In addition to tailoring classroom activities and lessons toward multicultural appreciation, it is critical that the educator provide students with a culturally responsive learning environment. Wall spaces can be used to display posters depicting cultural groups in a non-stereotypical fashion, students can mark the countries from which their ancestors immigrated from on a world map, and classroom signs can be hung in several languages. Such touches will help promote an environment in which students from diverse backgrounds feel more comfortable being themselves and will help insulate students from the cultural and ethnic stereotypes that pervade television and other mass media outlets.

Another important goal of culturally responsive education is to teach students to respect and appreciate their own culture and heritage. Minority students can sometimes feel pressured to dispose of their cultural norms, behaviors, and traditions in order to fit in with the prevalent social order. When this happens it can create a significant disconnect between the culture of the student’s school and community lives and can interfere with emotional growth and social development, frequently resulting in poor performance in social and academic domains. Providing opportunities for students to investigate unique facets of their community is one effective way to help students gain a greater appreciation for their own culture. Having students interview family members about cultural practices and traditions or write about important learning experiences that the student has experienced in his home community are just two of the many ways that students can explore their heritage.

 

Using a culturally-centered instructional approach can help facilitate cultural pride among diverse students. Given the current federal and state preoccupation with standardized testing in core subjects, it is particularly crucial that educators multiculturalize core curricula such as math, science, reading, and writing. Providing diverse students with examples of diverse contributors to these fields and using culture-specific subject matter when teaching core topics will help them perform better in these highly scrutinized and important domains. Placing ethnically diverse students in a situation that emphasizes the strong points of their culture’s preferred means of learning may help provide them with a greater sense of self-efficacy and achievement.

 

Consistent exposure to positive role models is another excellent way to emphasize respect and admiration for the diverse student’s own culture. All too often, students are exposed to ethnic stereotypes on television and in movies. Providing diverse students with role models who demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities and make social contributions in a non-stereotypical way helps students recognize the limitless ways in which they can have a positive impact on society.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-lynch-edd/promoting-respect-for-cul_b_1187683.html

 

Week of September 12

 

We all know words can hurt.  Unfortunately, we all can remember a time when someone called us a name or said something unkind.  What I do find scary at times is how my words can impact a child’s life.  There have been many times when my own children pointed out something I said to them, and it brought me to my knees. I cringed wanting to take it back.  We are all human and make mistakes, but we do have a responsibility to “think before we speak” to our students and children.   Early on Joy taught us, when speaking to a child for any type of misbehavior, imagine that the child’s parent is standing behind you.  Even if we need to be firm, would that parent still understand that you care about and love their child?  As a community we need to help one another when we hear someone who has lost patience.  I am so grateful for my team as they have helped me many times when they knew I was not at my best.

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 8.14.18 PM

A powerful video is highlighting the way kids’ interactions with adults may affect their education.

The Atlanta Speech School released “Every Opportunity,” a video that shows a day at school from the perspective of one young student. While he begins his day with enthusiasm, his interactions with educators and other adults leave him feeling discouraged.

According to a press release from the school, the video “demonstrates how small changes in adult behavior, both inside and outside of the classroom, can enhance a child’s approach and her ability to learn.”

It’s certainly food for thought.

Please click on the link below:

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/eye-opening-video-will-make-adults-reconsider-the-way-they-talk-to-children_us_57b36f62e4b0edfa80d9ddcc?
 

The Week At A Glance:

Monday, September 12th:
Mrs. Christian’s Class to The Pines
Tuesday, September 13th:
Ident a Kid
Barrier Island Parent Meetings 1:30 and 6:30 in MS Black Box
Wednesday, September 14th:
Kelly Sapp Teacher Leader
Handwriting Without Tears Parent Workshop – 9:30 and 7:00
Thursday, September 15th:
Discount Cards $ (or cards) due
Friday, September 16th:

Upcoming Dates:
Sept 21st – K-7 Flu Clinic
Sept 23rd – 6th Grade Ropes Course Field Trip (1/2 grade level)
Sept 28-30 – 5th Grade Barrier Island Ropes Course
Sept 30th – 6th Grade Ropes Course Field Trip (1/2 grade level)
Sept 30th – Red Cross Blood Drive at Middle School
Oct 3rd – NO SCHOOL – Holiday
Oct 4th – Parent Advisory 7:30 p.m. at HS
Oct 4th – Bullying Book Study
Oct 7th – Elementary Spirit Friday/Kindergarten Teddy Bear Parade
Oct 7th – HS Homecoming
Oct 11th – CSD Kickball Tournament and Family Festival
Oct 12th – No School; Teacher Workday
Oct 28th – Parade of Fiction
Oct 31st – No School; Teacher Workday
Nov 1st – No School; Teacher Workday
Nov 3rd – Elementary Day of Dead Celebration (Spanish)
Nov 4th – Elementary Spirit Day
Nov 8th – Parent Advisory 8:30 a.m. at HS
Nov 14h – 7th Grade Africa Day
Nov 11th – NO SCHOOL – Veteran’s Day Holiday

Nuts/Bolts/Reminders:

CSD 1st Annual Kickball Tournament and Family Festival – KICKBALL REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN… register on the festival website. There is a elem staff team, MS staff team, and HS staff team. It is going to be a wonderful evening of community and school spirit. Staff play free!

Please remember to complete your AdvancEd Staff Accreditation Survey.  Our expectation is 100% participation in this survey, as we highly value feedback from each and every one of you. The survey is anonymous and covers a wide range of questions relating to the AdvancEDStandards for Quality. Please take a moment to remind yourself of the standards prior to completing the survey.

Your online survey will be available until September 16th. In order to complete the survey, please click on this link
Please be assured that your responses to this survey will be anonymous and your honest opinions are appreciated. If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Erika Bowen at ebowen@csdspartans.org.

Teaching Tips with Marianne

The article below is a good reminder to “think before you speak.”  While some of this relates to parents I feel strongly we can all be reminded to watch our tone, never compare children, or accuse!
http://myfamilydigest.com/think-before-you-speak-20-ways-your-words-can-hurt-your-child/

Think Before You Speak: 20 Ways Your Words Can Hurt Your Child

words-hurt

No matter what anyone says, words do hurt. They may not break bones but the wrong words said in the wrong way can break a spirit. Words are how we communicate with others and they’re very important. Think before you speak to avoid hurting your child more than you may imagine.

1. Check Your Tone

Anything you say affects your child, and if you use a mean tone, or a hateful tone, they remember that tone more than what you said. It can be very hard but keeping your tone of voice level, loving, and parental is an important part of learning to parent well.

2. Avoid Comparing

You’ve probably thought it. “why can’t you be more like …..” or “Why do you have to be like ……” this is a very dangerous road to travel with your children and can be very painful for them to hear. They are themselves, and they aren’t anyone else. Treat them accordingly.

3. Don’t Accuse

Even if you know for a fact a child lied, yelling “You’re a liar” is not going to get the results you want. It’s best to use the facts you have, and set the consequences without yelling mean things that you can’t take back.

4. Don’t Say Things You Can’t Back up

“I’m going to send you to live in a foster family.” “I’m going to smack you into next week.” These are phrases that hopefully you have no intentions of doing and should not do, if you can’t do it, or won’t do it, or it’s wrong to do it, don’t say it.

5. Don’t Ask Rhetorical Questions

If you know the answer, or don’t want an answer, don’t ask. Asking a child a question and then telling them to shut up is a waste of time and will not solve any problems.

6. Don’t Be Demeaning

It can be very hurtful to call your child an “idiot”, “stupid” or to tell them that they can’t do anything right. Don’t do that to your child. It’s not true, but you can make it come true if you repeat it enough.

7. Don’t Disregard Feelings

Don’t ever tell your children that they’re feelings are ridiculous or silly. It can be tempting when dealing with teen drama, and boy friend or girlfriend drama. But all these emotions your child has are real. They feel real hurt, real love, and real disappointment from the people they call friends. Be there for them.

8. Don’t Give Up On Your Child

It’s normal to get tired of children who are expressing bad behavior, but don’t use phrases that suggest you’ve given up such as “I’m done” or “I’m through with you” or other things like that. This can be very hurtful. Cutting off a child from your affections can be very scary and cause wounds that may never heal.

9. Don’t Sink to Their Level

Never tell a child “I hate you too”, or “I wish I never had kids” or other hurtful phrases such as that. Even if a child yells that at you, just keep loving them and letting them know you love them. They’re children. You’re the adult.

10. Don’t Label Your Children

You’re lazy, you’re the pretty one, you’re the dumb one, you’re the smart one — good or bad, labels should not be placed on children. They add pressure that doesn’t need to be on the child, and the bad labels can prevent a child from being all they can be.

11. Don’t Exclude Your Children

When you are talking to another adult about your child, don’t act like they’re not in the room. Include your child in the discussion about him or have him go to another room where he can’t hear.

12. Don’t Use Absolutes

Saying things like “you never” or you “always” do something is dangerous because of course that’s not true. Try to use truthful statements when talking to kids.

13. Don’t Have too High of Expectations

Children are going to be children, they can’t do the same things adults can do. Telling a child to “do his best” might have bad connotations since a child has nothing to compare it to. Instead, tell them to have fun.

14. Avoid the “Do as I say, not as I do” Trap

There have never been 8 words more destructive. Children need more information to make informed choices when you are not around. Give them to them.

15. Don’t Yell or Scream

Yelling and screaming, no matter the words you’re saying will take a toll on your child. Plus, it demonstrates very poor self-control and the main thing you want to teach your child is self-control.

16. Avoid Negativity

You’re going to have to say no, nothing is wrong with no, but if everything that comes out of your mouth is negative, children will learn to switch off your voice.

17. Don’t Tease Children Too Much

“Can’t you take a joke” is a common thing you’ll hear some parents say to their children when they start crying when being teased. You have to remember that children do not have the same frame of reference as we do, so they cannot take a joke in the same way.

18. It’s OK to say “I’m sorry”

If you want your child to say “I’m sorry” then you need to say it too. Avoiding saying I’m sorry when you’ve messed up is a bad way to teach your child to care about other people. Adults make mistakes, teaching them that you’re infallible is a problem.

19. Listen Without Interruption

When you ask your child a question it’s imperative that you listen without interruption to what they have to say and validate their feelings. If you interrupt them and coldly require absolute submission you’re only creating a child with low self image, not a strong adult who can make good choices.

20. Give Good Reasons

Avoid the “Because I Said So” approach with children. It doesn’t work and causes resentments which can lead to behavior problems. Instead, respect your child enough to give them a reason and if there is ever a real serious reason to not give them a reason, they’ll actually take you more seriously.

Children who were physical abused by their parents often report that the physical wounds healed up. But, the emotional wounds still remain. Words are very powerful, use them wisely.

Please remember to practice your one liners!   (I know…..)

 

 

Week of September 5, 2016

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One of our School Improvement Plan (SIP) goals is to bring an understanding of perspectives and diversity to our community.  I loved this middle school activity where students were asked to write 6 word memoirs titled “Put Yourself In Their Shoes.”  Please stop by the 6th grade team’s bulletin board to read their responses.

As we all know, having friendships with people from diverse backgrounds can have social, emotional, and academic benefits for children.  A study was conducted and it found that “students who perceived their teachers as warm and respectful were more likely to maintain cross-race friendships instead of gravitating only towards students of their own race.” (Educational Leadership, September 2016, vl 74, 8)  We should feel proud that our school community has a staff that establishes supportive, trusting classroom climates that nurture meaningful friendships for all students no matter what the race, religion, etc.

If you would like to read the abstract about this research study titled, ” The Hidden Role of Teachers: Child and Classroom Predictors of Change in Interracial Relationships” please click on the link below:

http://jea.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/05/13/0272431616648454.abstract

The Week At A Glance:

Monday, September 5th:
No School!  Labor Day!
Tuesday, September 6th:
ASE Classes begin
Wednesday, September 7th:
Yearbook pics
Thursday, September 8th:
Yearbook pics (Grades 6/7 through PE class)
Friday, September 9th:
Yearbook pics

Upcoming Dates:
Sept 13th – Ident-A-Kid
Sept 15th – Discount Cards $ (or cards) due
Sept 21st – K-7 Flu Clinic
Sept 23rd – 6th Grade Ropes Course Field Trip (1/2 grade level)
Sept 28-30 – 5th Grade Barrier Island Ropes Course
Sept 30th – 6th Grade Ropes Course Field Trip (1/2 grade level)
Oct 3rd – NO SCHOOL – Holiday
Oct 4th – Parent Advisory 7:30 p.m. at HS
Oct 7th – Elementary Spirit Friday/Kindergarten Teddy Bear Parade
Oct 7th – HS Homecoming
Oct 11th – CSD Kickball Tournament and Family Festival
Oct 12th – No School; Teacher Workday
Oct 28th – Parade of Fiction
Oct 31st – No School; Teacher Workday
Nov 1st – No School; Teacher Workday
Nov 3rd – Elementary Day of Dead Celebration (Spanish)
Nov 4th – Elementary Spirit Day
Nov 8th – Parent Advisory 8:30 a.m. at HS
Nov 14h – 7th Grade Africa Day
Nov 11th – NO SCHOOL – Veteran’s Day Holiday

Nuts/Bolts/Reminders:

CSD 1st Annual Kickball Tournament and Family Festival – KICKBALL REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN… register on the festival website.  There is a elem staff team, MS staff team, and HS staff team.  It is going to be a wonderful evening of community and school spirit.  Scholarships are available for staff, please let Joyce know if you are interested in a scholarship.

Please note the dates for our Staff Meeting. We have specifically highlighted our Love and Logic ® sessions. We will be learning the 9 Essential Skills for the Love and Logic Classroom: Low Stress Strategies for Highly Successful Educators ®throughout this year.  Please make sure you bring something to take notes.  We will meet in the Elementary Gym.

Please pay special attention to our Mandatory EOG Training on May 10 not May 3.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BSB3Z61vpYXiHdxQpZbcIrcioH0yT_aQeveIDCuzyqs/edit

Teaching Tips with Marianne

Joy shared this article with us from the New York Times and I thought it was a good read in keeping with our talks about perspectives.  We did order copies of Kwame Alexander’s books and plan to do some book talks in your classrooms.

Kwame Alexander on Children’s Books and the Color of Characters

Author’s Note
By KWAME ALEXANDER

At a book signing for “Surf’s Up,” my newest picture book about two frogs searching for the perfect book, a librarian approached me. “I have African-American kids and white kids in my library,” she began, “and in order to know which group to read it to, I need to know what color are the frogs?” I had to laugh to keep from crying.

It was a question I was becoming accustomed to hearing. The first time I encountered it was a few months after my novel “The Crossover” was published. A very enthusiastic Texas teacher told me she was planning to read the book to her upper‑­elementary-school students. She praised its rhythm, rhyme and relationships and thanked me for writing a story that would engage her students, especially the boys. Then she asked me, “What color are the main characters, Josh and JB?” There was an awkward pause. She continued: “I need to know their race, because I know my students will ask.” I told her to email me after she finished reading the book to her class and, if indeed they were curious, I would answer her question. When she did contact me again, it was to say: “You were right; they didn’t ask.”

Without a doubt, the public- and private-school students in Dallas and Pasadena and Aurora, Ill., who read “The Crossover” know the race of the main characters — as do the students I’ve worked with in Singapore and Ghana. But it doesn’t matter to any of them. They all believe I am writing about them. Why is this so much harder for the grown-ups? Is race the only lens through which we can read the world?

When we segregate literature, we focus only on mirrors. Certainly, seeing yourself in books is necessary and crucial to the development of identity — my sisters and I proudly found ourselves between the pages of Nikki Giovanni’s “Spin a Soft Black Song” and Lucille Clifton’s “Everett Anderson” series — but not allowing those same books to serve as windows into the lives of others will most certainly limit imagination and possibility.

When Claudia Rankine writes, “Because white men can’t / police their imagination / black men are dying,” she is identifying a direct correlation between a young reader’s exposure to other communities and cultures and that same young reader’s ability, as an adult, to imagine a world outside of their vision — a world where black boys in hoodies are just boys in hoodies who breathe, talk, dance, eat, laugh, love and smile just like the rest of us. Is it a leap to wonder if a white police officer might think twice before pulling the trigger on an unarmed black man if his bedtime stories as a child included “Each Kindness,” by Jacqueline Woodson, or Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Come With Me”? Or any book by Ashley Bryan, Niki Daly, Eric Carle, Lesa Cline-­Ransome and all the other authors who honestly and beautifully reflect the kind of world we claim we want for our children?

The mind of an adult begins in the imagination of a child.

If we don’t give children books that are literary mirrors as well as windows to the whole world of possibility, if these books don’t give them the opportunity to see outside themselves, then how can we expect them to grow into adults who connect in meaningful ways to a global community, to people who might look or live differently than they. You cannot.

Am I saying that poetry and literature are the answer to Baton Rouge and Dallas and Orlando and Charleston? No. But their capacity to entertain, enlighten and empower — all at the same time — is an answer, and without them, we most certainly obstruct our children’s vision. And, as Christopher Myers wrote in these pages, we fail to provide a more expansive landscape upon which children can dream. You can’t know what you don’t know, my father always says.

To construct a truly American imagination, children’s book creators must accept the responsibility of planting seeds of diversity and equity. Of empathy and unity. Book publishers must provide the vast fields of hope for us to do our work. And librarians and teachers must continue to water them, nurture them, grow them.

There is a seismic shift of tolerance and understanding happening in our country in general, and in children’s literature in particular. Authors are calling on publishers to introduce more diverse books and writers into the marketplace, with themes and characters that truly reflect and represent the variegated world we live in.

We are at a crossroads, trying to figure out what’s next, and in order to get to the other side, we have to wade in the water. Perhaps, this is us reckoning with our muddy past, crossing over the River Jordan. Even some of the antiquated questions being asked, some of the objectionable books that are being published, might, oddly, be necessary blunders that bring us closer to becoming more human. Like our students.

I go to read “Surf’s Up” to my daughter’s second-grade class. After the presentation, I look out into the sea of brown and peach and tan and olive-faced students and, with the sternest conviction I can muster, ask, “So, students, what color are the frogs?” Their response is swift and loud, and a matter of fact: “GREEN, SILLY!”