Week of May 1, 2017

Dear Staff,

Happy Sunday!  We hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I have decided that one of the many reasons I became a teacher is because I love to learn new things.  One thing in particular that I love to learn is new words.  I am a lover of words, especially big, fancy ones. 🙂  To me, to hear a person with a big vocabulary makes them sound intelligent.  It also helps with reading comprehension as well.  Have you ever been reading a book and come across a word you don’t know, sometimes don’t even know how to pronounce?  Often as adults we can figure out the meaning by continuing to read on, but sometimes we really need to know what that word means to make sense of what we are reading.  This is very true for children as they begin to read harder text.  We have some really great readers at our school, but sometimes some of them read so well that they trick us into thinking they know more than they really do.  Because they read so fluently and for the most part get the gist of the story we assume that they know what all the words they have just read actually mean. We make assumptions that because we know what a word means when we read it that they will know the meaning as well.  This is one reason why reading aloud to children is so important, so that we stop when we come to these “big” words and check to see if they really do know what they mean and if not give an explanation.  However, reading aloud is not enough.  Children need direct explicit instruction on vocabulary.  Often times vocabulary instruction gets pushed to the side because we run out of time and feel like there are other more important things that we need to teach.  However, if we neglect teaching vocabulary the gap will only get wider between our proficient and struggling readers.  How do we make this happen?  I was reminded this week as I began reading a new book, From Pencils to Podcasts, some easy ways to teach vocabulary.  They are all methods I am sure you all have heard of, or maybe not.  Either way, it struck me as so important that I thought  I would share these with you.

If you know me, you know that technology is not my forte.  In fact, it can often drive me to the point of being so frustrated that I want to pull my hair out.  However, I am learning and getting better at it, but I still have a way to go.  In this book many of the examples the authors give are related to the use of technology.  Although, I believe that if you don’t have access or the resources  for all of this a good old fashioned pencil and piece of paper would work just fine! 🙂 One of the first examples the authors give is the use of an interactive word wall.  I can not stress the importance of teaching students how to use a word wall.  Too often they become another “decoration” in our class rather than a tool for learning.  Often times it can be hard to decide what words should go on a word wall.  For a class interactive word wall they recommend teaching Greek and Latin roots.  I know years ago this was our focus for word study beginning in 4th and 5th grade.  These particular authors recommend the use of digital word walls.  Students can find the words they are looking for digitally and save it on their own digital word wall.  I will list the sites they recommend below in case you want to give it a try.  In younger grades (or 4th and 5th if technology is a problem for you like me 🙂 ) then you can use personal word walls.  These are words walls that the students keep at their seats to refer to when they are writing or I would even say reading to add new words.  I would also add that they should have these out to do some vocabulary word work with and add them to their personal word walls as well.

The second idea the authors give for vocabulary instruction is one of my favorites.  It’s the Frayer model.  Students divide a piece of paper into four sections and in the center they put a circle.  The root you are studying is listed in the middle circle.  In the top left quadrant students write the meaning of the root.  In the top right box students provide an example of a word containing the root.  In the bottom right box students include a definition of the example.  Finally, in the bottom left box students illustrate and write a sentence containing the example of the word.  This books talks about doing this digitally, of course I more see myself having students do this in a vocabulary notebook of some sort.  Either way I believe that this is an important piece we need to be incorporating into students vocabulary instruction.  The Frayer model can also be used to teach concepts in specific content area as well.    If you are like me, you probably need a visual of this in action, so I have provided a link below.  Also, if you would like to borrow a copy of From Pencils to Podcasts we have several floating around the school.  I am in the middle of my copy and am happy to lend it out as soon as I am finished.  I would highly recommend it as a summer read! 🙂  It has really gotten my wheels turning about some exciting new ideas.  Enjoy your week!

Digital Tools for Vocabulary Study (taken from From Pencils to Podcasts)

Wikispaces – Wikispaces provides a collaborative, safe, free space for students and teachers to learn together.  This site allows teachers to see what their students are doing in real time.  Therefore, they are able to provide immediate feedback.  The teacher can assign projects to teams and can create templates to help students get started.

http://www.wikispaces.com/content/classroom

PBworks EDUHub – PBworks EDUHub provides teachers with free wikis.  Once the teacher has created the wiki, he or she can create student accounts without needing student email addresses.  Files are easily accessible by phone, tablet or computer.

http://www.pbworks.com/education

Word Central – Powered by Merriam-Webster, Word Central provides a student-friendly online dictionary, spaces for students to build their own dictionaries, and games to test vocabulary knowledge and build skills.  A special section for educators provides additional rescues for word study.

http://www.wordcentral.com

Merriam-Webster – Merriam-Webster gives users access to its online dictionary, thesaurus, Spanish dictionary, medical dictionary, and learner’s dictionary.  The site also helps students build vocabulary with its featured word of the day, games and videos.

http://www.merriam-webster.com

Wordsmyth – Wordsmyth contains three levels of dictionaries (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) as well as specialized an illustrated dictionaries geared toward school-age users.  A variety of search tools, games and instructional support resources make this site ver user-friendly for students and educators.

http://www.wordsmyth.net

Frayer Model

http://www.readingeducator.com/strategies/frayer.htm

Week-At-A-Glance

Monday, May 1
Admin in Interviews all day
Christian to the Pines
PikMyKid Parent Help Session (right after morning and afternoon carpool)
Tuesday, May 2
Webb to Huntersville Oaks
PikMyKid Parent Help Session (right after morning and afternoon carpool)
Wednesday, May 3
6th Drama – FAIRY TALE MASH UP
6th SHOWCHOIR EOY SHARING
Thursday, May 4
1st Grade Artist Play
Washam to Williams Place
Friday, May 5

3rd grade Charlotte Walking Tour

Upcoming Dates
May 6 – Spartan 5K and Half Marathon
May 10 – K-7 Mandatory Staff Meeting – EOG Training w/ Angela
May 12 – CSD Retreat; Teacher Workday
May 16th – Last Day of 6/7 Branch Electives
May 15th – Last Day of 6/7 Arts Electives
May 16 – 5th Grade Science EOG
May 18 – ELA EOG – Grades 3-7
May 19 – Math EOG – Grade 3-7
May 18-19 – 2nd Grade to Rescue Ranch
May 23 – 3rd Grade Poetry Slam
May 24-25 – 7th Grade Ropes Course
May 24-25 – Holocaust Museum
May 26th – Kindergarten Screening; Required Teacher Workday
May 29 – Memorial Day Holiday – NO SCHOOL
May 30 – State of the School
May 30 – 7th Grade Change Project
May 31 – Last Day of School (5th Grade Moving Up) (6/7 Dance)
June 1-2 – Teacher Workdays
June 1 – CSD Graduation at Belk Theater

Week of April 24th

Dear Staff,

I hope you all had a wonderful first week back after spring break.  It was a busy one for sure! 🙂 One of the many things that happened to me this week was that I got a lesson on the importance of relationships.  We had a parent who was upset about something, and on the outside this parent looked like a terror.  She was angry, frustrated and upon digging a little deeper I figured out the root of the problem…she was scared.  She was scared about how we view her as a parent, she was scared that her daughter might not want her as a parent because of the things she can and can not provide that other kids in her child’s classroom have, she was scared that her daughter is being influenced by a society and culture that she herself is afraid of.  This fear caused her mommy lion to come out in a major way.  However, after she calmed down and we took the time to talk with her and get to know her a little bit better her story started to come out.  Her story is deep and rich and she has had experiences in her life that I don’t pretend to understand.  Although she and I are very different and we parent differently I realized we have a lot in common.  We both love our children to the core of our souls and would move mountains to give them the best life possible.  Are she and I best friends now?  No, and I have a lot of work to do to get her to trust me and see that I am on her team.  This week was a start for that, and a big part of that is because I know her story a little bit better.  I guarantee there is a LOT more to her story, and I would love to know it because I believe that she is worth it and most importantly her daughter is worth it.  I am hopeful that she will learn from all of us as we partner together to help her daughter.  I am also hopeful that we will all learn from her.  I know she taught me a powerful lesson this week and I hope that I continue to learn from her because I believe even though she doesn’t realize it she has a lot to teach me.  Her story and her family’s story added great value to my life as an educator and a mommy this week.  I am hopeful that even when she and I are both at our worst I can be open enough to let her lessons come through.  Have a wonderful week!

 

Dog Days and Watermelon
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
  Albert Einstein

It was mid-July, and we were in the heat of summer. I was puttering in the kitchen while my kids ran roughshod—some neighborhood kids had wandered over, as they do in the summer, and suddenly there were bicycles, hula hoops, soccer balls, and various unidentifiable toys hurled about the driveway.  I heard distant whoops and shouts coming from the open windows. I reveled in the perfectness of the summer afternoon — the friendships my children were making, and the pure freedom of being a person of single-digit years in summertime.

That bubble was bound to burst.

My daughter, all of five years old, cheeks flushed and sweat dotting her hairline, whirled in the door with a slam.  “Mommy!  Can we have some watermelon?” The picture seemed complete. There was my lovely daughter, kindly bringing a summer treat to her thirsty, hot-with-summer friends. I sent her out with a platter of little chunks of watermelon.

But when I looked out the window, I was startled. The watermelon had been placed prominently on the patio table, and my daughter was standing guard—arms crossed, expression sour and haughty. The other kids surrounded her, looking wistfully at the watermelon as if it were a long, cold drink of water they couldn’t access.  “You can’t have any,” I heard her hiss.  “It’s all for me.”

A quick investigation confirmed my suspicion:  my daughter had not wanted to treat her friends as I’d assumed. On the contrary, some ridiculous slight had occurred—I think they’d left her out of a part of the game—and she’d known just how to get her revenge. I intervened, which led to a handful of children eating watermelon and one screaming, sobbing, angry little girl taking some time out in her room.

I told the story to some colleagues the next morning. We were gathered around a large round table, waiting for a day of professional development to begin. Scattered about were pads of sticky notes, pens, and highlights, as well as the obligatory bowl of mini-chocolates and hard candy. “I know this is all typical with kids learning to navigate the world, how to stick up for themselves, how to be an alpha dog when needed,” I said. “What bothers me is how she didn’t care at all how hungry or thirsty her friends were feeling. She chose to get back at them with the very thing that would bother them the most.”  I paused. “I sure don’t want to raise a kid who doesn’t care about others,” I said. “How in the world can I teach kindness and empathy?”
My colleagues looked at me as if I’d forgotten my own name.  “With books,” someone said slowly.

Of course.  With books.

Later that day, my friend Franki Sibberson, who’d been part of our conversation, sent me the link to her blog where she often highlights books that are useful teaching tools.  The link included a whole list of titles I could use to teach about kindness and sharing.

After reading the blog, I took a quick trip to the library, where I gathered a nice stack of books to read with my daughter. All of them related to understanding the feelings of others.  She especially enjoyed Marla Frazee’s The Farmer and the Clown, Loren Long’s Otis and the Scarecrow, and Bob Graham’s How to Heal a Broken Wing. While we read through them, we didn’t talk explicitly about empathy—we just read and talked. I let the conversation drift naturally.  Over the next few days, the books gave us the avenue to discuss how it feels when we are left out, why revenge isn’t an appropriate response and how sometimes it’s best to just let things go.

Books can be our best teachers. Not only about empathy, but also concern, compassion, celebration, anger, frustration, joy, and companionship. Relationships and feelings are complicated and can bring confusion to young learners.  With the right combination of books, we can launch conversations to help guide them through—and make better choices along the way.
Jennifer Schwanke

Contributor, Choice Literacy

Jennifer Schwanke taught middle school language arts for six years before moving into administration at both the middle school and elementary level. She enjoys thinking of more effective ways to present literacy to students at these vulnerable ages. You can follow her latest thinking on literacy and leadership on her blog.

Week-At-A-Glance

Monday, April 24th
6th/7th Dance Dress Rehearsals
Renaud to The Pines
Tuesday, April 25th
Kids Are Worth It Parent Book Talk – 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. in Media Center
Robinson to Huntersville Oaks
Wednesday, April 26th 
K7 Teacher Appreciation Grab and Go Luncheon
6/7 Dance Sharings
RHSE 5th grade parent meeting – 9:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Baby Shower Kristin Jones – 3:00 in Mary Coppola’s Room
6/7 “May” Meeting – 3:30 in Beth Knight’s Room
MS/HS Band Concert – 7:00 at Pine Lake Prep
Thursday, April 27th
Earth Day – Kindergarten
Walker to Huntersville Oaks
Godwin to William’s Place
Friday, April 28th
3rd Charlotte Walking Tour (Sharp/Godwin)

Upcoming Dates
May 6 – Spartan 5K and Half Marathon
May 10 – K-7 Mandatory Staff Meeting – EOG Training w/ Angela
May 12 – CSD Retreat; Teacher Workday
May 16th – Last Day of 6/7 Branch Electives
May 15th – Last Day of 6/7 Arts Electives
May 16 – 5th Grade Science EOG
May 18 – ELA EOG – Grades 3-7
May 19 – Math EOG – Grade 3-7
May 18-19 – 2nd Grade to Rescue Ranch
May 23 – 3rd Grade Poetry Slam
May 24-25 – 7th Grade Ropes Course
May 24-25 – Holocaust Museum
May 26th – Kindergarten Screening; Required Teacher Workday
May 29 – Memorial Day Holiday – NO SCHOOL
May 30 – State of the School
May 30 – 7th Grade Change Project
May 31 – Last Day of School (5th Grade Moving Up) (6/7 Dance)
June 1-2 – Teacher Workdays
June 1 – CSD Graduation at Belk Theater

Gaga Pit

We are very excited about our new outdoor feature. A huge thanks to Jim Dumser and our HS students who made this for us during HS Intersession. We have loved watching the students out there! The rules for how to play our posted and here is a picture.

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 7.56.03 AM.png

Just a few things:
We want to remind our students that we encourage healthy competition but need to be careful of bullying mentality.

Please have conversations with your students on the difference between cheering and chanting for classmates/classes. We would not want anyone to feel left out if one students name is being chanted over another or encourage competition among classes.

In addition, we were aware the Gaga pit was going to get muddy at times. Please be mindful of this on rainy days.

Teaching Tip:

I found this interesting from Robyn Jackson on the difference between motivation versus discipline problems.  Click on the link below:

https://mindstepsinc.com/2017/04/difference-motivation-problem-discipline-problem/

Week of April 17, 2017

Dear Staff,

We hope you all enjoyed a restful and relaxing spring break!  I know it is always fun to unplug and spend precious time with family and friends.  We hope you all were able to do something to recharge and fill your buckets.  The next few weeks will be the sprint to the end.  It’s hard to believe that the end of the school year is upon us.  April is considered to be National Poetry Month, so don’t forget to read lots of poetry with your students!  April 27th is Poem In Your Pocket Day.  Don’t forget to have your students write or bring in some of their favorite poems to share.  This is always such a fun day to celebrate poetry!  If you are on twitter the hashtag to use for this special day is #pocketpoem.  You can follow along and see how other educators are celebrating the art of poetry.  There are several websites and ideas that you can use to help you plan your celebration.  Below is a link to a website I found with a few good ideas.  Don’t forget that you writing poems along with your students is an excellent way to model for them, as well as show them how you experience the struggle and celebration of writing.  The article below from Choice Literacy beautifully illustrates this point!  I hope you enjoy it, and  Happy Poetry Month! 🙂

http://www.poetry4kids.com/news/ten-ways-to-celebrate-poem-in-your-pocket-day/

Also, don’t forget we will have lots of visitors in the building this week as we jump right in to the interview process.  Please remember that it is very important and helpful to have your feedback as we make hiring decisions over the next few weeks.  Please make sure you fill out the feedback sheet and return it to us if you have information you would like to share about a candidates interactions in your classroom. Thank you in advance for your help with this process.  Have a wonderful week!

Teachers Writing
The desire to write grows with writing.

Desiderius Eramus
Last year during the last week of school, I met with a group of fourth graders, and we talked about why they felt like writers in their classrooms. My question to them was simple, and I put it on a piece of paper in front of them: “What makes you feel like writers in this classroom?”

Because my job spans grades, I’ve known many of these students for several years, so I have watched them grow, evolve, and develop as writers. Trust me when I say that some of them would never have said they were writers until this year. Some of them didn’t like writing until this year. Some of them did what they could to avoid writing until this year. Therefore, I really wanted to know what made the difference in their classroom.

For a little while, they scratched their heads, trying to figure out answers to my question. And then one student said, “It’s because Ms. C. writes with us.” The floodgates opened, and I couldn’t document their responses fast enough. They kept saying why her writing mattered, and I kept scrawling on my piece of paper. My original notes were an assortment of different ideas, but later as I read their comments, I could organize them into categories of related concepts.

Some of the statements had to do with the sense of validation they felt:

It shows you’re not giving an assignment for the sake of giving an assignment.

It proves the fact that we’re all students and all teachers.

Other statements had more to do with the inspiration she provided–the bar she set for them:

I want to do it as well as she does.

It makes me want to do it better.

Seeing her think, seeing that she cares about her work, helps me think in my own writing.

She shows us the fun of writing.

And another set of statements reflected the sense of community they felt as a result of sharing their writing lives:

Her writing shares stuff about her we wouldn’t know otherwise.

We teach each other how to learn and be good friends.

I put Ms. C. herself on the spot and asked her why her writing life mattered to her as a teacher. Some of her reflections made right in that moment are so important:

I appreciate the struggle of time. When I draft and I can’t get the word, I realize how much I want that word, and I develop and then teach different strategies to learners.

It makes me mindful of what learners need to write.

I can be more supportive because I know what it’s like to have a defined writing block.

Whenever I have a chance in my coaching work, I weave in the importance of our own writing. Yet I have never had such a conversation with children about how much their teacher’s writing mattered to them. Straight from the mouths of students — our writing models, motivates, and inspires.

Melanie Meehan

Contributor, Choice Literacy
Melanie Meehan is the Elementary Writing and Social Studies Coordinator in Simsbury, Connecticut. She has many fictional works in progress and blogs with Melanie Swider at Two Reflective Teachers and is a contributor to Two Writing Teachers.

Nuts/Bolts/Reminders:

Staff Retreat Survey – Please make sure you complete it by clicking here!  Remember that room and board are covered but we do ask that you come if you sign up so that we don’t waste funds on spots not taken! All full and part time staff members are invited and we do hope you will be able to attend this important annual event in the life of our school community.  This year we have invited a guest speaker team who will help us explore the notion of Broadening our Perspectives and we anticipate that it’s going to be an amazing weekend that will lead to better things at CSD.

Announcement:  We are VERY excited to announce that after a year of research conducted by parents and staff members, we have decided to take our carpool dismissal to the next level.  We will spend the next week finalizing things on the back end before actually starting to pilot the program (in tandem with our current walkie system) on Monday, April 24th.  In the meantime, all staff members need to know how to log in to the program.  Below are step-by-step instructions.  Please take a few moments over the course of the next week to login with your team and to view the Vimeo tutorials (links below).

Scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen.
In the bottom lefthand corner, click on school login.
Enter your school email – Ex:  jgardner@csdspartans.org
For now, your password is 123456
On the righthand side of the screen, click on “Training Videos.”  Notice they are password protected (password given on the screen).
OR…. you can view the training video by clicking here:
Staff Training:   https://vimeo.com/206536492        password:new2017
We thank you, in advance, for your patience as we transition to this new program.  We are confident that we will ALL love this new program once it is up and running, but as with any type of change, we will all be on a learning curve for a few weeks.  Thank you for trusting us and for knowing we are constantly looking for new and better ways of serving our children.  We look forward to the next steps in this process!  Stay tuned…

Week-At-A-Glance

Monday, April 17th
Admin conducting interviews all day
Sapp to the Pines
Hosse to Huntersville Oaks
Earth Day – 4th Grade
Tuesday, April 18th
Admin conducting interviews all day
Earth Day – 3rd Grade
James to Laurels
Davidson Library Visit
Juli out
Wednesday, April 19th 
4th Grade on Old Salem Field Trip
Special Olympics
Earth Day – 1st Grade
Holshouser to Huntersville Oaks
3rd Grade EOG Parent Meeting – 6:30 in Mrs. Washam’s Classroom
Juli out
Thursday, April 20th
K Field Trip to Children’s Theater
Earth Day – 2nd Grade
Fisher to William’s Place
Nature Matters Film Showing – 7:00 in HS Black Box
Juli out
Friday, April 21st
Earth Day – 6th/7th Grades
Juli out
(HS Prom)

Upcoming Dates
April 24 – 6/7 Dance Dress Rehearsals
April 25 – Kids Are Worth It Book Talk for Parents – 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. MS Black Box
April 26 – 6/7 Dance Sharings
April 26 – Teacher Appreciation Grab and Go Lunch
April 26 – MS/HS Band Performance – 7:00 p.m. at Pine Lake Auditorium
April 27 – Earth Day – Kindergarten
April 28 – 3rd Grade Walking Tour
May 6 – Spartan 5K and Half Marathon
May 10 – K-7 Mandatory Staff Meeting – EOG Training w/ Angela
May 12 – CSD Retreat; Teacher Workday
May 16th – Last Day of 6/7 Branch Electives
May 15th – Last Day of 6/7 Arts Electives
May 16 – 5th Grade Science EOG
May 18 – ELA EOG – Grades 3-7
May 19 – Math EOG – Grade 3-7
May 18-19 – 2nd Grade to Rescue Ranch
May 23 – 3rd Grade Poetry Slam
May 24-25 – 7th Grade Ropes Course
May 24-25 – Holocaust Museum
May 26th – Kindergarten Screening; Required Teacher Workday
May 29 – Memorial Day Holiday – NO SCHOOL
May 30 – State of the School
May 30 – 7th Grade Change Project
May 31 – Last Day of School (5th Grade Moving Up) (6/7 Dance)
June 1-2 – Teacher Workdays
June 1 – CSD Graduation at Belk Theater

Week of April 3, 2017

Dear Staff,

This week the admin team gathered together on Wednesday to work on some long-term planning and big-picture thinking.  I find this kind of work to be stimulating, invigorating, and also somewhat overwhelming at times.  I always leave these sessions with a renewed sense of purpose and direction, but then I find myself giving my entire life a complete overhaul and do-over in my mind.  It’s kind of like my inner Joanna and Chip take over by keeping the overall structure of my essence intact while making some awesome changes to the smaller units of my being.  (If that makes any sense)  My point is…while these types of reflecting/brainstorming sessions can be wonderfully productive, they can also leave us in a place of not knowing where to begin.  That’s pretty much where my head was on Wednesday.  So in typical Juli fashion, I threw on my shoes, grabbed my phone and my buds, and hit the road to declutter the mess in my mind.  As luck would have it (and just for the record, I don’t really believe in luck – I’m much more of a “blessing” or “sign” kind of girl), I stumbled across a really cool podcast that was entitled “Be 1% Better.”  The more research I’ve done on this, the more I realize this is not a new concept, but for some reason it resonated deeply with me in that moment.  The basic idea is that all we achieve or become is the result of little changes repeated over time.  Too often, we think about life in terms of “big moments” or events – losing 50 pounds, running a marathon, writing a book, etc…  But it’s really not about the moment the event comes to fruition.  It’s about the many little steps or decisions along that way that bring us to that place.  And just for the record, this works in reverse, too.  You don’t lose 50 pounds overnight just like you don’t wake up 50 pounds heavier.  These changes are the result of lots of little choices and decisions compounded over time.  So I ask you this – What would happen in your life if you made a commitment to be 1% better every day?  Think about it and do the math (and for the record, I found this math on the Internet, so if it is not accurate, I hold the Internet responsible!!! Hahaha).  1% better everyday, when compounded, would result to becoming 3,800% better each year.  Conversely, 1% worse each day, compounded, would mean losing 97% of your value each year.  So I urge you to take your “whole” self into account and consider the following:

Physically – What can I do to be 1% better each day?  Park further from the school to acquire more steps in any given day?  Get 30 more minutes of sleep each night?  Eat another serving of leafy green vegetables each day?

Emotionally – What can I do to be 1% better each day?  Love a little more?  Forgive a little more quickly?  Complain a little less?  Be gentler with myself? 

Mentally – What can I do to be 1% better each day?  Read for 10 more minutes?  Work on a sudoko or crossword?  Begin to learn a new language or acquire a new hobby or skill?

Spiritually – What can I do to be 1% better each day?  (And by “spiritual” I’m not necessarily talking about anything associated with religious practice.  It can be, but doesn’t have to be.  We all have a spirit inside of us that needs to be nourished.  To me, it can be as simple as focusing on the interconnected nature of our universe).  Where can I be more grateful?  Where can I do a better job of expressing my gratitude?  How could I spend 10 more minutes doing something that feeds my soul? – Dancing, singing, painting… Could I add 5 minutes of journaling or meditation into my daily routine?

In closing, as we enter this season of review, refection, and goal setting with our students, I encourage you to think in terms of 1%’s.  It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by big tasks, big steps, and big expectations, so it’s our job as the adults in their lives to help our students simplify.  Think small; accomplish BIG.  It is my hope that this 1% mindset will help all of us remember the powerful impact of incremental steps over time, because in the end, it’s not so much about the final outcome as it is about mastering our habits along the way.  And when we focus on the little things we do each day, we have a far better chance of ending up where we want to be.

Four more days until Spring Break… You can do it!  Just take it one day at a time, and remember to ask yourself – What can I do to be 1% better everyday?  And enjoy your Spring Break whatever you do!  May each day be longer than the last, sweeter than the previous, and filled with a constant stream of love, laughter, rest, and relaxation.

Love,

Juli

teachers leaving for spring break

Reminders:

Staff Retreat Survey – Please make sure you complete it by clicking here!  Remember that room and board are covered but we do ask that you come if you sign up so that we don’t waste funds on spots not taken! All full and part time staff members are invited and we do hope you will be able to attend this important annual event in the life of our school community.  This year we have invited a guest speaker team who will help us explore the notion of Broadening our Perspectives and we anticipate that it’s going to be an amazing weekend that will lead to better things at CSD.

Announcement:  We are VERY excited to announce that after a year of research conducted by parents and staff members, we have decided to take our carpool dismissal to the next level.  Be on the lookout for more information to come very soon….but just to pique your interest, feel free to take a sneak peak …. http://www.pikmykid.com/   More to come soon!  Stay tuned!

Week-At-A-Glance

Monday, April 3rd
Admin in Screening Interviews all day
Holshouser Opera Dress Rehearsal
Tuesday, April 4th
Holshouser Opera
Wednesday, April 5th 
Teckenbrock Opera Dress Rehearsal
K-7 Staff Meeting – Final Love and Logic Session
Thursday, April 6th
Teckenbrock Opera
Friday, April 7th
SPRING BREAK BEGINS!!!!

Upcoming Dates
April 7 – 16 – Spring Break
April 17 – Classes Resume
April 17 – Earth Day – 4th Grade
April 18 – Earth Day – 3rd Grade
April 19 – Earth Day – 1st Grade
April 19 – 4th Grade to Old Salem
April 19 – Special Olympics
April 20 – Earth Day – 2nd Grade
April 20 – K to Children’s Theater
April 21 – Earth Day – 6th and 7th Grades
April 24 – 6/7 Dance Dress Rehearsals
April 25 – Kids Are Worth It Book Talk for Parents – 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. MS Black Box
April 26 – 6/7 Dance Sharings
April 26 – Teacher Appreciation Grab and Go Lunch
April 26 – MS/HS Band Performance – 7:00 p.m. at Pine Lake Auditorium
April 27 – Earth Day – Kindergarten
April 28 – 3rd Grade Walking Tour
May 6 – Spartan 5K and Half Marathon
May 10 – K-7 Mandatory Staff Meeting – EOG Training w/ Angela
May 12 – CSD Retreat; Teacher Workday
May 16th – Last Day of 6/7 Branch Electives
May 15th – Last Day of 6/7 Arts Electives
May 16 – 5th Grade Science EOG
May 18 – ELA EOG – Grades 3-7
May 19 – Math EOG – Grade 3-7
May 18-19 – 2nd Grade to Rescue Ranch
May 23 – 3rd Grade Poetry Slam
May 24-25 – 7th Grade Ropes Course
May 24-25 – Holocaust Museum
May 26th – Kindergarten Screening; Required Teacher Workday
May 29 – Memorial Day Holiday – NO SCHOOL
May 30 – State of the School
May 30 – 7th Grade Change Project
May 31 – Last Day of School (5th Grade Moving Up) (6/7 Dance)
June 1-2 – Teacher Workdays
June 1 – CSD Graduation at Belk Theater