Week of March 13, 2017

come into our lives for a reason

Dear Staff,
These are lyrics from one of my most favorite songs of all time – For Good from Wicked.  As I watched Paw Paw enter a room full of elementary aged children singing Happy Birthday to him this week, I was reminded of how much that dear man has taught me.  This week, I wanted to take a few minutes to honor our beloved Paw Paw in hopes that ALL of us will be inspired to achieve such greatness in our own lifetimes.

Love,
Juli

What Paw Paw Has Taught Me (Without Him Even Knowing It)…

Positivity

We’ve all had the same conversation with Paw Paw a million times, and it goes something like this…

“Paw Paw, how are you doing today?” 

“I don’t know.  Maw Maw hasn’t told me yet.”

Followed by…

“I’m great!  Why can’t we work seven days a week?  Every day just gets better and better.”

Now, we all know that Paw Paw is an 85 year old man, and I don’t believe for one second that everyday is “great.”  You can’t live that long and not have aches and pains (in your body and/or your heart).  The difference is – Paw Paw chooses his outlook.  Rather than letting his condition of wellbeing define him, he defines his own condition of well being.  Paw Paw has taught me that our outlook is a choice.  You can succumb to the aches and pains of your body and mind and let it bring you down, or you can rise above and change your mind about how you feel.  Then even better, you can spread your optimistic outlook on to others, which is exactly what he does each and every day as he moseys up and down our halls.  How different would our world be if we all had a “Paw Paw outlook?”

Slow Down

Speaking of moseying… Paw Paw has taught me how to slow down.  I go way too fast in life, and as a result, I miss a lot.  When I get behind Paw Paw in the halls, I’m forced to slow down and notice so much more.  I see the intricate details in a child’s artwork.  I actually take the time to read the words they’ve written.  I see a beautiful interaction between a child and their parent or another trusted adult in our school.  These are the things that matter, and if you’re going too fast, you might miss them.  And just for the record….Dan and I live just a couple of streets over from Maw Maw and Paw Paw, and Dan has often joked that whatever speed Paw Paw lacks on his feet, he makes up for when he gets behind the wheel.  So watch out!  🙂

Do Small Things with Great Love

To many, Paw Paw would not seem to be this big, important person in the world.  He is not known for finding the cure for cancer, for running a Fortune 500 company, or for winning a Nobel Peace Prize.  However, his influence extends far and wide.  I am pretty certain there wasn’t a dry eye in the house on Friday when the kids welcomed him into the building for his surprise birthday party.  Paw Paw has no biological children of his own, but he has made a lifetime of loving all kids (and people) with his whole heart.  Every trash can he empties, he empties with love.  Every toilet he has scrubbed, he has scrubbed with love.  Every rug he has vacuumed, he has vacuumed with love.  You see, for Paw Paw, I don’t believe it’s about what he’s doing – it’s about the why (which totally impacts the how).  He does those things with great love because he cares deeply about our school and the people in it.  He takes a genuine, sincere interest in the human beings he encounters, and then spreads his love like sunshine.  If you’re lucky, you know what it’s like to be engulfed in one of those indescribable, melt-your-heart Paw Paw hugs.  With his quick wit and his undeniable charm, Paw Paw steals the heart of all those he encounters – not the least of which is our very own sweet, little Ella Cobb.  The connection between the two of them is pure magic, and if we could bottle up that energy and sell it to the world, we would never have to fundraise at CSD again.  But we can’t…so we have to focus on what we can do.  And Paw Paw has reminded me that while I can’t be everyone’s hero and I can’t solve all the problems of the world, I can do small things with great love.

There are many, many other things that we could all add to the Paw Paw list, but I’m sure you agree that the best thing we can do is to find that “Paw Paw” inside of each of us and continue to pass it along to those we encounter, especially our students.  Thank you, Paw Paw, for showing us the way and for leaving each of us better than you found us.  You’ll never know the full extent of our love for you, but we will certainly try to show you each and every day.  Happy Birthday, young man!  We hope Maw Maw spoils you rotten and lets you eat whatever you want! 🙂

Week-At-A-Glance

Monday, March 6th
Teckenbrock to Huntersville Oaks
Tuesday, March 7th
6th Grade Butterfly Project
Hoover to the Laurels
Love and Logic Parent Session w/ Marianne – 8:30 a.m. in MS
K-7 Open House for Waitlist and New Admits 9:00-11:00
Wednesday, March 8th
Posey to Huntersville Oaks
NO STAFF MEETING THIS WEEK
Thursday, March 9th
Love and Logic Parent Session w/ Marianne – 7:00 p.m. in MS
Friday, March 10th
3rd Grade to Charlotte Symphony
7th Grade Asia Day
ASE Session 3 Ends

Upcoming Dates
March 25 – CSD Auction
Week of March 20th – EOG Pre-testing and Data Analysis to be completed by 3/27/16
Week of Mar 27 – 5th Grade Operas
Week of March 27 – EOG Review and Prep Begins
Mar 29 – Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Week of April 3 – 5th Grade Operas
April 7 – 16 – Spring Break
April 17 – Classes Resume
May 16th – Last Day of 6/7 Branch Electives
May 15th – Last Day of 6/7 Arts Electives

Upcoming “BIG” Dates:
May 12-13 – Staff Retreat
Week of May 15 – EOG’s
May 30 – State of the School Address
May 31 – Last Day of School
June 1-2 – Teacher Workdays

Teaching Tips

As we head into our final training session for 9 Essentials Skills for the Love and Logic Classroom®  I wanted to remind us on all we learned throughout the year:

  • Neutralize arguing, begging and backtalk by using a one liner.
  • Delay the Consequence.
  • Provide a healthy dose of empathy before providing the consequence. Use your empathetic statement.
  • Use the Recovery Process when your classroom learning environment is being disrupted.  Do not stop teaching!
  • Develop positive teacher/student relationships by using ” I’ve noticed that ______. I noticed that.”
  • Set Limits using Enforceable Statements such as I allow students to remain with the group when they aren’t causing a problem.
  • Use Choices to Prevent Power Struggles.
  • Use quick and easy preventive interventions.

Our last session will focus on guiding our students to own and solve their problems!

 

 

Week of March 6, 2017

Dear Staff,

Happy Sunday!  It’s a short week this week, so I hope that you all will be able to use this time to get caught up, reflect and think about the next 53 days (according to my son 🙂 that are left in this school year.  It’s kind of hard to believe that we will only have our students with us for 53 more days, doesn’t seem like a lot to me, and they will go by in the blink of an eye.  When those 53 days are up what will your students walk out of your classroom and remember?  I know as I helped out at the middle school dance production last week the thought crossed my mind that these middle school students will walk out of their dance class and remember this experience always.  I shared with Sara that when I was in middle school I learned how to tinkle (like the Pick Up Stick dance in her show).  It was on a much smaller scale and in PE class that we learned how to do this, but it is something I remember having so much fun doing and still remember all these years later.  Last Wednesday, in staff meeting, one of the reflection questions in the Love and Logic session was who were your favorite teachers and why?  The teachers that came to my mind were the ones who let us do things that were outside the box, were kind and caring, yet had a strong command of the classroom.  My 7th grade science teacher, Mrs. Johnson, came to mind.  I remember she always let us do the most amazing hands-on science labs.  We all looked forward to her labs.  She truly let us investigate and experiment for ourselves without telling us what the outcome would be.  One particular experiment comes to mind when my partner and I somehow created a concoction in a beaker with a lid on it.  Whatever we created had some sort of chemical reaction and the lid blew completely off of the beaker and the concoction landed on the ceiling.  I don’t remember that particular lesson, I don’t even remember what we combined to make it happen.  What I do remember is how Mrs. Johnson handled the explosion.  She herself did not explode.  She turned it into a teachable moment and we as a class discussed why this happened and the science behind it.  What could have been turned into a very embarrassing situation for two middle school students was handled in a way where the class learned from us (what not to do! ) and our dignity remained in tact.  She helped us save face in front of our peers, which is huge in middle school.  We walked out of her classroom feeling like scientist, not two students who messed up and were in trouble.  I will never forget her for that!  The Choice Literacy article below tells a similar story of creating classroom rituals.  I hope you will use these next 53 days helping students make memories that they will carry with them forever.  Have a fantastic week!

 

Secret Handshake

You have to trust someone before you can have rituals with them.
Rachel Klein

I am observing in Gigi McAllister’s fourth-grade classroom early in the year. Hannah and Cara are special guests for morning meeting – girls from a fifth-grade class who have come to teach Gigi’s students the secret handshake.

Gigi describes how a few students in last year’s class developed the handshake on their own and taught it to everyone in the class. The handshake was something kids did daily at random times. It is a quick but elaborate mix of fist bumps, high-fives, low-fives, and jellyfishes.

Gigi explains,“This handshake is only for students who have been in this class. Just think – someday when you are in sixth grade and you meet up with one of my students, you can share the handshake. Heck, in 40 years you might run into someone in Walmart who was my student too, and you can know for sure when you do the handshake.”

There is much laughter and concentration as students move through the meeting area, testing and perfecting the handshake among themselves. The energy and sense of fun is potent. The scene makes me think of what rituals any classroom has, and how few might be unique to that classroom. Yet those are what you’ll remember in 40 years when you are in the local grocery store reminiscing about a favorite teacher or class.

Teachers are famous for borrowing freely (and sharing generously) their best new ideas. Every class includes so many routines learned from others. There is not much that is uniquely ours. Yet those quirky rituals are what are remembered most fondly, not the routines students experience year after year. What’s the “secret handshake” in your room? What will students be carrying away that they remember as uniquely yours 40 years from now?
Brenda Power
Founder, Choice Literacy

Week-At-A-Glance

Monday, March 6th
Walker to Huntersville Oaks
Tuesday, March 7th
AdvancEd Accreditation QAR Visit
Love and Logic Parent Session w/ Marianne – 8:30 a.m. in MS
Parent Advisory 7:30 p.m. at HS
Wednesday, March 8th
AdvancEd Accreditation QAR Visit
4th Grade to JA Biztown
K-12 Staff Meeting  at HS after school (Accreditation Results)
Girl Rising Documentary Showing – MS Gym – 6:00p.m.
Thursday, March 9th
7th Grade SLC’s
Teacher Workday – No School for Students
Friday, March 10th
Teacher Workday – No School for Students

Upcoming Dates
Mar 14 – 6th Grade Butterfly Project
Mar 15 – K-7 Staff Meeting MS Black Box
Mar 17 – 3rd Grade Charlotte Symphony
Mar 17 – 7th Grade Asia Day
March 25 – CSD Auction
Week of March 20th – EOG Pre-testing and Data Analysis to be completed by 3/27/16
Week of Mar 27 – 5th Grade Operas
Week of March 27 – EOG Review and Prep Begins
Mar 29 – Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Week of April 3 – 5th Grade Operas
April 7 – 16 – Spring Break
April 17 – Classes Resume
May 11th – Last Day of 6/7 Branch Electives
May 15th – Last Day of 6/7 Arts Electives

Upcoming “BIG” Dates:
May 12-13 – Staff Retreat
Week of May 15 – EOG’s
May 30 – State of the School Address
May 31 – Last Day of School
June 1-2 – Teacher Workdays

Week of February 27, 2017

Image result for read across america logo

Dear Staff,

Happy Sunday!  I hope you all have been able to soak up some of this fabulous February sunshine!  Almost eighty degrees in February and I have to believe that the groundhog got it wrong this year….I’ve got spring fever for sure! 🙂  As we begin the month of March madness this week I am excited to celebrate one of my favorite days in school, Read Across America Day!  This Thursday, March 2, I hope that you will “grab your hat and read with the cat” in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday.  Whether you are six, sixteen, or sixty six you are never too old to celebrate the gift of reading!  I hope that you will grab a book, and read to and with a child.  I know I plan to visit lots of classrooms to read.  It’s always fun to see not only the kindergarten students celebrate Dr. Seuss, but students of all ages.

This week’s Choice Literacy article just happens to be on the topic of celebrating reading.  I hope you will take a few minutes to read the article below about how one fifth grade teacher got her students so engaged in a book that it turned into something bigger to celebrate than she could have imagined!  Enjoy your week, and happy reading!

Celebrating Read-Alouds

The fire of literacy is created by the sparks between a child, a book, and the person reading.

Mem Fox
One day before winter break, my classroom was filled with blue food. We had blue punch, blue Jell-O, blue tortilla chips, and blue chocolate chip cookies. Why the color-themed food? We were celebrating the end of a class read-aloud, Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief.

Typically I avoid any rewards tied to reading. I believe reading needs to be its own reward. When it is tied to external motivation, the desire to read typically disappears when the rewards are removed. So why on earth would I have a “blue-food party” in my classroom?

I think reading rewards and celebrating books are two very different things. We had been “celebrating” The Lightning Thief during the weeks it took to read this book aloud. The bulletin board on the back wall had become Camp Half-Blood, with a map of the buildings and areas created by students in the class. A small tree in the classroom had been named Thalia and she guarded the borders of our classroom, just as she did in the book. It wasn’t unusual to see orange shirts on my students during those weeks we read the book, to represent the Camp Half-Blood T-shirts. A few students began to make necklaces for the others with beads on leather lanyards like the kids at camp received. When fan fiction with the characters from the book began to pop up in writing workshop, I knew the class was fully immersed in the world Riordan had created.

As a reader, I get this passion for a story. I’ve read a book and fallen so deeply into that world that the real world I inhabit begins to look dull in comparison. I’ve driven down the road and thought that a character would like something I’ve seen, only to remember they are fictional. Some of my fifth graders have experienced this already, but many have not. Our read-alouds are the vehicles in to this world of loving books.

So when my students and I gathered together on a cold winter day in Illinois and I turned the last pages of Percy’s story, they munched on blue food all around them. One boy commented that Percy was right — blue homemade chocolate chip cookies really were the best. Another said she wished that we could have blue Coca-Cola like Percy did at camp. And they all let out groans when I said, “the end” and closed the book.

Reading aloud to our students provides the opportunity to celebrate reading for the sake of reading. We get to bond over a story without concerns about reading levels or ability. For that month in winter we lived and breathed the story of a demigod on his quest to save the world. By the end, we had celebrated our community and grown a little bit closer, thanks to the worlds that we inhabited – both in the classroom and in our heads. That’s something to celebrate.

Katherine Sokolowski
Contributor, Choice Literacy

 

We are begging you to PLEASE read and be familiar with our Accreditation document (see link below). As you look at your lessons for the Tuesday/Wednesday external visit days, please expect visitors and conversations.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7OJwJY6ufldS04xVmJvdTRvM0JMOW9PNXZib0ZROWN3RG9z

Week-At-A-Glance

Monday, February 28
Renaud to Pines
Whitley to Huntersville Oaks
CSD Lottery, 4:00, HS Black Box

Tuesday, February 29
4th Grade Mountain Unit Sharing
Love and Logic Parent Workshop, 8:30
Sharp/Westbrook to Williams Place

Wednesday, March 1
4th grade to Children’s Theater
Hosse to Huntersville Oaks
K-7 Staff Meeting, 3:30

Thursday, March 2
Read Across America Day
Love and Logic Parent workshop, 7:30

Friday, March 3
Elementary Spirit Friday

Upcoming Dates
Feb 27 – CSD Lottery 4:00 – HS Black Box
Feb 28 – 4th Grade Mountain Unit Sharing
Mar 1 – K-7 Staff Meeting in Black Box
Mar 7-8 – AdvancEd Accreditation Visit
Mar 7 – Parent Advisory 7:30 at HS
Mar 8 – K-12 Staff Meeting after school (Accreditation Results)
Mar 9-10 – Teacher Workdays – NO SCHOOL
Mar 9 – 7th Grade SLC’s
Mar 14 – 6th Grade Butterfly Project
Mar 15 – K-7 Staff Meeting MS Black Box
Mar 17 – 3rd Grade Charlotte Symphony
Mar 17 – 7th Grade Asia Day
March 25 – CSD Auction
Week of March 20th – EOG Pre-testing and Data Analysis to be completed by 3/27/16
Week of Mar 27 – 5th Grade Operas
Week of March 27 – EOG Review and Prep Begins
Mar 29 – Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Week of April 3 – 5th Grade Operas
April 7 – 16 – Spring Break
April 17 – Classes Resume

Upcoming “BIG” Dates:

May 12-13 – Staff Retreat
Week of May 15 – EOG’s
May 30 – State of the School Address
May 31 – Last Day of School
June 1-2 – Teacher Workdays

Week of February 21, 2017

Dear Staff,

I happened upon this beautiful Standing O Valentine letter that was written by one of our new fifth grade students this year.  She wrote it and gave it to her teachers.  I saw it hanging in their room, and as I read it, it brought tears to my eyes.  This… this is what it’s all about.  This is what WE are all about.  This is why we do what we do everyday, this is why even on our hardest days we keep coming back.  It’s not magic or maybe it is, maybe that human bond of having a real connection with someone, a relationship, is truly magic.  For this sweet girl it surely is, because she no longer fades into the background. Her teachers and her classmates have recognized her and made her feel welcomed and apart of something.  It is a lasting impact that will stay with her forever.  I share her words with you below and hope that they touch you as deeply as they touched me, and with that I say a sincere and deep thank you for making our students feel noticed.  Thank you for making them feel loved and important.  You are what makes CSD stand apart from the rest, you are the reason we have a wait list of over 3, 000, you are the reason parents and students love our school, you are the magic!

I was used to moving from school to school so I wasn’t really scared of the idea and reality of having a new school, but of the idea (and once again reality) of having a new teacher or teachers.  Some of my past teachers weren’t kind and I had started to perfect the art of fading into the background.  But when I came to CSD I felt welcome by not only student but teachers!  You were part of the reason I started to enjoy school and math, which I never had a problem with but always bored me so I didn’t use to work as hard on it as other subjects.  But when I started learning math here it was fun and I know you didn’t just snap your fingers to make me enjoy it.  You put energy, care, and enthusiasm into everything you do and that’s what makes it so fun!  Next year I’ll be in middle school and I don’t know if I’ll like my teachers or not.  All I know is that I will never meet a teacher as helpful, witty and kind as you!

All of you hold these words close to your heart because this is what you do on a daily basis.  Go and continue to make magic, for the children of this world need you now more than ever!

Much love,

Leslie

Week-At-A-Glance

Monday, February 22
President’s Day Holiday – NO SCHOOL
Tuesday, February 21
8:30 Love and Logic Parenting Class w/ Marianne
Coppola to the Laurels
Washam to William’s Place
Wednesday, February 22
K-7 Grab and Go Luncheon
Thursday, February 23
Kindergarten Gallery Crawls
MS Dance Dress Rehearsal at HS Black Box (Leslie at HS to supervise)
Friday, February 24
MS Dance Performances at HS Black Box (Juli and Marianne alternate being at HS to supervise)

Upcoming Dates
Feb 27 – CSD Lottery 4:00 – HS Black Box
Feb 28 – 4th Grade Mountain Unit Sharing
Mar 1 – K-7 Staff Meeting in Black Box
Mar 7-8 – AdvancEd Accreditation Visit
Mar 7 – Parent Advisory 7:30 at HS
Mar 8 – K-12 Staff Meeting after school (Accreditation Results)
Mar 9-10 – Teacher Workdays – NO SCHOOL
Mar 9 – 7th Grade SLC’s
Mar 14 – 6th Grade Butterfly Project
Mar 15 – K-7 Staff Meeting MS Black Box
Mar 17 – 3rd Grade Charlotte Symphony
Mar 17 – 7th Grade Asia Day
March 25 – CSD Auction
Week of March 20th – EOG Pre-testing and Data Analysis to be completed by 3/27/16
Week of Mar 27 – 5th Grade Operas
Week of March 27 – EOG Review and Prep Begins
Mar 29 – Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Week of April 3 – 5th Grade Operas
April 7 – 16 – Spring Break
April 17 – Classes Resume

Upcoming “BIG” Dates:
May 12-13 – Staff Retreat
Week of May 15 – EOG’s
May 30 – State of the School Address
May 31 – Last Day of School
June 1-2 – Teacher Workdays

Week of February 13

Happy Valentine’s Day!

screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-4-25-52-pm

We know you have all been working extremely hard on assessments, report cards and conferences. We commend you for your efforts as your love, care and concern for our students does not go unnoticed.

This week at parent advisory I was once again reminded of the importance of relationships.  In keeping with our mission and vision, relationships are the driving force in all that we do. The Basic School explains that to be true community, the institution must be organized around people, relationships and ideas.

I loved this reminder from Bright Side on How to Improve Your Relationships in 60 Seconds.

“Bright Side shares with you 15 incredibly simple techniques that help you build a long and happy relationship with your partner and strengthen relationships with your friends, children, colleagues, and even with yourself.”

Click here to read the suggestions!

Week-At-A-Glance

Monday, February 13
2nd Grade Sapp- Pines
5th Grade Teckenbrock- Huntersville Oaks
Tuesday, February 14
Valentine’s Day!
1st Grade James- Laurels
3rd Grade Washam- Williams Place
Wednesday, February 15
5th Grade Holshouser- Huntersville Oaks
K-7 Staff Meeting-HWT K-3
Please bring a sample of writing
Thursday, February 16
Parent/Teacher Conferences/Workday
Friday, February 17
Parent/Teacher Conferences/Workday

Upcoming Dates
Feb 20 – NO School – President’s Day Holiday
Feb 22 – Grab and Go Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Feb 23 – MS Dance Rehearsals (ES classes will attend, schedule coming soon)
Feb 23 – Kindergarten Gallery Crawl
Feb 24 – MS Dance Performances (parents)
Feb 27 – CSD Lottery 4:00 – HS Black Box
Feb 28 – 4th Grade Mountain Unit Sharing
Mar 1 – K-7 Staff Meeting in Black Box
Mar 7-8 – AdvancEd Accreditation Visit
Mar 7 – Parent Advisory 7:30 at HS
Mar 8 – K-12 Staff Meeting (Accreditation Results)
Mar 9-10 – Teacher Workdays – NO SCHOOL
Mar 9 – 7th Grade SLC’s
Mar 14 – 6th Grade Butterfly Project
Mar 15 – K-7 Staff Meeting MS Black Box
Mar 17 – 3rd Grade Charlotte Symphony
Mar 17 – 7th Grade Asia Day
March 25 – CSD Auction
Week of March 20th – EOG Pre-testing and Data Analysis to be completed by 3/27/16
Week of Mar 27 – 5th Grade Operas
Week of March 27 – EOG Review and Prep Begins
Mar 29 – Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Week of April 3 – 5th Grade Operas
April 7 – 16 – Spring Break
April 17 – Classes Resume
 
Upcoming “BIG” Dates:
May 12-13 – Staff Retreat
Week of May 15 – EOG’s
May 30 – State of the School Address
May 31 – Last Day of School
June 1-2 – Teacher Workdays

Reminders:

Accreditation Evidences for QAR Needed ASAP:
As you know, our Accreditation 5 Year Renewal Visit is coming up on March 7th and 8th.  Part of the preparation for this visit entails collecting evidences that support our mission and vision and how they relate to the AdvancEd Standards.  We need a sampling of interdisciplinary “projects” or “units of study” from each of our grade levels along with a variety of student samples.  At your next team meeting, please pick a unit from your grade level (or loop) that you feel is an excellent representation of how we teach at CSD.  Some ideas for evidences include but are not limited to the following:

Scope/Sequences of Thematic Units of Study (think “tubs” – in fact, a tub could even be an evidence!)
Key Questions/Essential Questions
Specific Lesson Plans (think multidisciplinary station work, for example)
Scripts from class plays
DVD’s of past classes’ performances (I PROMISE to take good care of these!)
Programs from past performances
*Don’t forget work samples if you have them!
There is a box outside Juli’s office labeled “Evidences.”  Please place your team’s/loop’s selection in this box by February 15th.  Thank you!

Note from Joy:

Please take time to read this culminating report of our school interval review (see email entitled “Accreditation Report).  When the Accred team comes to CSD, they will spend two days in our school in an out of our K-12 classrooms and will certainly be asking questions about what we do and how we do it. The visit is in early March and we want to make sure everyone has time to read this document prepare for the external review team visit. If you are willing to be on the list of teachers who sit in on the teacher interview with the team, please let us know because this is a very important role as you are the voice representing our school teacher group.   Huge thanks to Erika Bowen for leading this effort. Thank you so much Erika! You have done a terrific job and we are incredibly grateful.

Teaching Tips:

We wanted to check in on your “experiments” using enforceable statements and choices within your classroom.  Please let us know if you need help brainstorming ideas and solutions!

Week of February 6, 2017

Dear Staff,

As you all know, Dr. Boyer defined “literacy” broadly to include words, numbers, and the arts.  One of his Core Commonalities is entitled “Response to the Aesthetic” and reads as follows:

All Basic School students understand that people responds to beauty and can be expressive in the arts.  They explore the rich variety of artistic expression, learning about the various works of art, recognizing the benefits of making art, and knowing some of the ways in which visual and performing arts have evolved in different cultures.

Let us take a few moments to celebrate the artists among us and the teachers who have so beautifully integrated these experiences into their classrooms.  Walking down our hallways and visiting the classrooms is a feast of beauty for the eyes and soul, and we thank you, THE TEACHERS, who make this possible!

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Week At A Glance:

Monday, February 6th
Report Cards due to admin for review
Garren to Huntersville Oaks
Teacher Preview Party Bookfair (after carpool)
Tuesday, February 7th
Scholastic Book Fair (in MS Media Center)
2nd Grade Kabuto Field Trip
1st Grade Children’s Theater Field Trip (Junie B Jones)
Parent Advisory at 9:00 a.m. in 8th Grade Spanish Room
Wednesday, February 8th
Scholastic Book Fair (in MS Media Center)
Thursday, February 9th
Scholastic Book Fair (in MS Media Center)
Hurlbut to Huntersville Oaks
Hot Chocolate Party at Book Fair
Love and Logic Parenting Class – 7:30 p.m. at MS Media Center
Friday, February 10th
Babysitting Night by Key Club at HS (in MS Black Box)

Upcoming Dates:
Feb 14 – Valentine’s Day and Celebrations!
Feb 15 – Staff Meeting (K-3: Handwriting Without Tears, 4-5; Loop Reflective Meeting, 6-7 Team Planning) *K-3, please bring a sample of handwriting from a student who struggles.
Feb 16-17 – Teacher Workdays
Feb 16 – 6th Grade SLC’s
Feb 20 – NO School – President’s Day Holiday
Feb 22 – Grab and Go Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Feb 24 – MS Dance Performances
Feb 27 – CSD Lottery 4:00 – HS Black Box
Feb 28 – 4th Grade Mountain Unit Sharing
Mar 1 – K-7 Staff Meeting in Black Box
Mar 7-8 – AdvancEd Accreditation Visit
Mar 7 – Parent Advisory 7:30 at HS
Mar 8 – K-12 Staff Meeting (Accreditation Results)
Mar 9-10 – Teacher Workdays – NO SCHOOL
Mar 9 – 7th Grade SLC’s
Mar 14 – 6th Grade Butterfly Project
Mar 15 – K-7 Staff Meeting MS Black Box
Mar 17 – 3rd Grade Charlotte Symphony
Mar 17 – 7th Grade Asia Day
March 25 – CSD Auction
Week of March 20th – EOG Pre-testing and Data Analysis to be completed by 3/27/16
Week of Mar 27 – 5th Grade Operas
Week of March 27 – EOG Review and Prep Begins
Mar 29 – Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Week of April 3 – 5th Grade Operas
April 7 – 16 – Spring Break
April 17 – Classes Resume
 
Upcoming “BIG” Dates:
May 12-13 – Staff Retreat
Week of May 15 – EOG’s
May 30 – State of the School Address
May 31 – Last Day of School
June 1-2 – Teacher Workdays

Reminders

Valentines:
Please make sure you are reminding your students to work on their class Valentines.  All Valentines should be signed by each student as well as edited by the parents.  Thank you for your help with this!

Report Cards:
Optional Parent/Teacher Conferences for the 2nd Trimester are scheduled for Feb 16th and 17th.  We would like to ask that all teachers have their report cards ready for admin to review by Monday, February 6th.  Please let us know if you have any questions or need any help with assessments.  Thanks for all you do!

Accreditation Evidences for QAR Needed ASAP:
As you know, our Accreditation 5 Year Renewal Visit is coming up on March 7th and 8th.  Part of the preparation for this visit entails collecting evidences that support our mission and vision and how they relate to the AdvancEd Standards.  We need a sampling of interdisciplinary “projects” or “units of study” from each of our grade levels along with a variety of student samples.  At your next team meeting, please pick a unit from your grade level (or loop) that you feel is an excellent representation of how we teach at CSD.  Some ideas for evidences include but are not limited to the following:

Scope/Sequences of Thematic Units of Study (think “tubs” – in fact, a tub could even be an evidence!)
Key Questions/Essential Questions
Specific Lesson Plans (think multidisciplinary station work, for example)
Scripts from class plays
DVD’s of past classes’ performances (I PROMISE to take good care of these!)
Programs from past performances
*Don’t forget work samples if you have them!
There is a box outside Juli’s office labeled “Evidences.”  Please place your team’s/loop’s selection in this box by February 15th.  Thank you!

Note from Joy:

Please take time to read this culminating report of our school interval review (see email entitled “Accreditation Report).  When the Accred team comes to CSD, they will spend two days in our school in an out of our K-12 classrooms and will certainly be asking questions about what we do and how we do it. The visit is in early March and we want to make sure everyone has time to read this document prepare for the external review team visit. If you are willing to be on the list of teachers who sit in on the teacher interview with the team, please let us know because this is a very important role as you are the voice representing our school teacher group.   Huge thanks to Erika Bowen for leading this effort. Thank you so much Erika! You have done a terrific job and we are incredibly grateful.

Teaching Tips

Here’s a nice article that summarizes this past week’s staff meeting on avoiding power struggles by giving kids choices.  As you read this and review our last staff meeting, take a few moments to think about ways in which you are empowering children by giving them choices.

“Everyone in this world wants some power and control over their own lives. Have you ever said “I feel like my life is so out of control”?  We feel stressed and anxious when we are out of control.

Just like us, children don’t like feeling out of control.  They like to have a say, they like to make decisions about their lives.  They want some power. When they don’t get power, they will fight for it.  This is when power struggles happen.

When you give a child choices, you give them a sense of power.  When you give a child a few choices that you are ok with, then they are more likely to comply with your request.  They feel good about feeling in control and you feel good because your child is doing what you want them to.  It’s a win win.”

You can read the complete article by clicking here.

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Week of January 30

Dear Staff,

We hope you all enjoyed our wonderful Fresh Take Conference on Friday.  A huge thanks to  Joyce Burke for all her hard work  on making this such a successful conference.  Thanks to all of you who volunteered to help set up, clean up, serve meals, offered a session and pitched in to help make all our guests feel the CSD love.   I truly enjoyed learning and growing from such an amazing group of like minded educators.  This was our best conference yet!

As we approach the end of January and the beginning of February, thus begins awards season.  On television and in the news we hear about the Oscars and the Emmys, but in the  world of education it is another exciting awards season as well.  In the literary world it is time to celebrate the year’s best books, and this week we did just that!  On Monday, the 2017 Newbery and Caldecott winners were announced, as well as the Coretta Scott King award.  And the winners are…

The John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature goes to The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill.

Three Newbery Honor Books include:
Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan, written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan
The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog, written by Adam Gidwitz and illustrated by Hatem Aly
Wolf Hollow, written by Lauren Wolk

The Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children goes to Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, written and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe.

Four Caldecott Honor Books include:
Leave Me Alone! illustrated and written by Vera Brosgol
Freedom in Congo Square, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie and written by Carole Boston Weatherford
Du Iz Tak? illustrated and written by Carson Ellis
They All Saw a Cat, illustrated and written by Brendan Wenzel

The Coretta Scott King (author) Book Award, which recognizes an African-American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults, goes to March: Book Three, written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell.

Two King Author Honor Books were selected:
As Brave as You, written by Jason Reynolds
Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan, written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book goes to We Are Growing: A Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! Book, written by Laurie Keller.

The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults goes to March: Book Three, created by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell.

If you are interested in reading any of these books I have ordered them and they will be on the book shelf up front outside of our offices.  We will be making our rounds to read in classrooms, as these books are truly worth celebrating!  So break out the popcorn and get ready to PARTY!! 🙂 Remember, it’s award season and books are something to celebrate! 🙂  Have a fantastic week!

Leslie

Week At A Glance

Monday, January 30
2nd Grade Belnap- Pines
4th Grade Posey- Huntersville Oaks

Tuesday, January 31
3rd Grade Fire Safety
Darkness to Light Workshop for Parents 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 1
4th Grade Carr- Huntersville Oaks
K-7 Staff Meeting 9 Essentials Love and Logic®

Thursday, February 2
Groundhog Day
1st Grade Heroes Play
Parenting with Love and Logic ® 7:30-8:45 p.m.

Friday, February 3
Elementary Spirit Friday
Kindergarten Webb-Huntersville Oaks

Upcoming Dates
Feb 7-9 – Book Fair in MS Media Center
Feb 7 – 2nd Grade Kabuto Field Trip
Feb 7 – 1st Grade to Children’s Theater
Feb 7 – Parent Advisory at 9:00 at HS
Feb 14 – Valentine’s Day and Celebrations!
Feb 15 – K-7 Staff Meeting – MS Black Box
Feb 16-17 – Teacher Workdays
Feb 16 – 6th Grade SLC’s
Feb 20 – NO School – President’s Day Holiday
Feb 22 – Grab and Go Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Feb 24 – MS Dance Performances
Feb 27 – CSD Lottery 4:00 – HS Black Box
Feb 28 – 4th Grade Mountain Unit Sharing
Mar 1 – K-7 Staff Meeting in Black Box
Mar 7-8 – AdvancEd Accreditation Visit
Mar 7 – Parent Advisory 7:30 at HS
Mar 8 – K-12 Staff Meeting (Accreditation Results)
Mar 9-10 – Teacher Workdays – NO SCHOOL
Mar 9 – 7th Grade SLC’s
Mar 14 – 6th Grade Butterfly Project
Mar 15 – K-7 Staff Meeting MS Black Box
Mar 17 – 3rd Grade Charlotte Symphony
Mar 17 – 7th Grade Asia Day
March 25 – CSD Auction
Week of March 20th – EOG Pre-testing and Data Analysis to be completed by 3/27/16
Week of Mar 27 – 5th Grade Operas
Week of March 27 – EOG Review and Prep Begins
Mar 29 – Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Week of April 3 – 5th Grade Operas
April 7 – 16 – Spring Break
April 17 – Classes Resume
 
Upcoming “BIG” Dates:
May 12-13 – Staff Retreat
Week of May 15 – EOG’s
May 30 – State of the School Address
May 31 – Last Day of School
June 1-2 – Teacher Workdays

Reminders

Annual Health Inspection:
It is that time of year again when we will be receiving our health inspection any day… please keep and eye out for the below items and let me know if you see any issues.

– Dirty/broken drinking fountains
– Dirty bathrooms (no soap/paper towels) We are getting a few fix this week.
– Dirty / dusty
      floors, walls, ceilings, dressing rooms and vents (vents will have some dust no matter what but a build up is never good) We are looking for major issues not just the dust that might have accumulated during break since this will be taken care of during normal cleaning this week.
– The dumpster area also needs to be clean with no trash around it.
Thank you all for your help.

Valentines:
Please make sure you are reminding your students to work on their class Valentines.  All Valentines should be signed by each student as well as edited by the parents.  Thank you for your help with this!

Report Cards:
Optional Parent/Teacher Conferences for the 2nd Trimester are scheduled for Feb 16th and 17th.  We would like to ask that all teachers have their report cards ready for admin to review by Monday, February 6th.  Please let us know if you have any questions or need any help with assessments.  Thanks for all you do!

Teaching Tips:

Please take time to reflect with your team on what you learned and heard at the Fresh Take Conference!

Week of January 23rd

Dear Staff,
We are very excited about Barbara Coloroso’s visit to our school during the Fresh Take Conference, and we wanted to give you a taste of her message to whet your appetite. We hope everyone makes every effort to hear Ms. Coloroso speak, either at her Parent Talk on Thursday night at The Cover or as the keynote speaker at the Fresh Take Conference on Friday at CSD. Her message is enthralling and incredibly pertinent to what we are trying to accomplish as educators.


barbara colorosoBarbara Coloroso is coming to CSD’s Fresh Take Conference!

All parents/guardians are strongly encourage to attend the speaking engagement of international bestselling author Barbara Coloroso on January 26, 2017 at 7PM at The Cove Church on Langtree in Mooresville. Ms. Coloroso will present Parenting with Wit and Wisdom: Helping Children Become SelfDisciplined,Compassionate, Responsible, Resourceful and Resilient Human Beings.

Barbara will present the keynote address at Fresh Take: Strategies for Student Success education conference at Community School of Davidson on January 27 but first she will share her wisdom and insights with parents of children of any age. Tickets are free to the community. The lecture will be held at 197 Langtree Rd, Mooresville, NC 28117-7538. Doors open at 6:45 for general public seating, seating is first come, first serve.

Barbara has penned The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School–How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle, Kids Are Worth It! : Giving Your Child The Gift Of Inner Discipline, Just Because It Isn’t Wrong Doesn’t Make it Right: Teaching Kids to Think and Act Ethically, Parenting Through Crisis: Helping Kids in Times of Loss, Grief, and Change and others.

The evening will be packed with solid practical advice for parents of children from toddlers to teenagers, that shows how to utilize the very stuff of family life—chores, mealtime, sibling rivalry, toilet training, bedtime, allowances and more—to create a home environment in which children can become self-disciplined, compassionate, responsible, resourceful, resilient human beings who can act in their own best interest, stand up for themselves and exercise their own rights while respecting the rights and legitimate needs of others. Barbara will discuss the keys to good parenting: treating kids with respect; giving them a sense of positive power in their own lives; giving them opportunities to make decisions, take responsibility for their actions and learn from their successes and mistakes.

Topics
• Positive home climate
• Simple rules to help stop trouble before it starts
• Power struggles—what, how, why and when not to engage
• Six critical life messages
• Discipline and punishment—why one works and the other
only appears to work
• RSVP—reasonable, simple, valuable, practical consequences
• Mistakes, mischief and mayhem
• Three kinds of families—brick wall, jellyfish and backbone
• Keeping your cool without putting your feelings on ice
• Buffering children from sexual promiscuity, drug abuse and
suicide

Week At A Glance:

Monday, January 23rd
Christian to Pines
Walker to Huntersville Oaks
Tuesday, Jan 24th
3-5th Grade Blue Grass Performers – 10:00 in Elem Gym
Schultz to Laurels
Wednesday, Jan 25th
Fresh Take Day of Observation
K-7 Teacher Appreciation Luncheon in Elem Gym
Thursday, Jan 26th
SNOW MAKE UP DAY; School in session
Barbara Coloroso Parent Talk – 7:00-8:30p.m at The Cove
Friday, January 27th
Fresh Take Conference; No School for Students

Upcoming Dates:
Feb 1– K-7 Staff Meeting 9 Essentials Love and Logic®
Feb 2– Groundhog Day
Feb 2 – 1st Grade Heroes Play
Feb 3 – Elementary Spirit Friday
Feb 7-9 – Book Fair in MS Media Center
Feb 7 – 2nd Grade Kabuto Field Trip
Feb 7 – 1st Grade to Children’s Theater
Feb 7 – Parent Advisory at 9:00 at HS
Feb 14 – Valentine’s Day and Celebrations!
Feb 15 – K-7 Staff Meeting – MS Black Box
Feb 16-17 – Teacher Workdays
Feb 16 – 6th Grade SLC’s
Feb 20 – NO School – President’s Day Holiday
Feb 22 – Grab and Go Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Feb 24 – MS Dance Performances
Feb 27 – CSD Lottery 4:00 – HS Black Box
Feb 28 – 4th Grade Mountain Unit Sharing
Mar 1 – K-7 Staff Meeting in Black Box
Mar 7-8 – AdvancEd Accreditation Visit
Mar 7 – Parent Advisory 7:30 at HS
Mar 8 – K-12 Staff Meeting (Accreditation Results)
Mar 9-10 – Teacher Workdays – NO SCHOOL
Mar 9 – 7th Grade SLC’s
Mar 14 – 6th Grade Butterfly Project
Mar 15 – K-7 Staff Meeting MS Black Box
Mar 17 – 3rd Grade Charlotte Symphony
Mar 17 – 7th Grade Asia Day
March 25 – CSD Auction
Week of March 20th – EOG Pre-testing and Data Analysis to be completed by 3/27/16
Week of Mar 27 – 5th Grade Operas
Week of March 27 – EOG Review and Prep Begins
Mar 29 – Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Week of April 3 – 5th Grade Operas
April 7 – 16 – Spring Break
April 17 – Classes Resume
 
Upcoming “BIG” Dates:
May 12-13 – Staff Retreat
Week of May 15 – EOG’s
May 30 – State of the School Address
May 31 – Last Day of School
June 1-2 – Teacher Workdays

Reminders

Annual Health Inspection:
It is that time of year again when we will be receiving our health inspection any day… please keep and eye out for the below items and let me know if you see any issues.

– Dirty/broken drinking fountains
– Dirty bathrooms (no soap/paper towels) We are getting a few fix this week.
– Dirty / dusty
      floors, walls, ceilings, dressing rooms and vents (vents will have some dust no matter what but a build up is never good) We are looking for major issues not just the dust that might have accumulated during break since this will be taken care of during normal cleaning this week.
– The dumpster area also needs to be clean with no trash around it.
Thank you all for your help.
Fresh Take:
Our Annual Fresh Take Conference is scheduled for Friday, January 26th.  We ask that ALL CSD staff attend.  There will be no charge for this event.  For those of you presenting at the conference, THANK YOU for sharing your professional knowledge and expertise with other educators!  We look forward to learning from you!

Valentines:
Please make sure you are reminding your students to work on their class Valentines.  All Valentines should be signed by each student as well as edited by the parents.  Thank you for your help with this!

Report Cards:
Optional Parent/Teacher Conferences for the 2nd Trimester are scheduled for Feb 16th and 17th.  We would like to ask that all teachers have their report cards ready for admin to review by Monday, February 6th.  Please let us know if you have any questions or need any help with assessments.  Thanks for all you do!

CSD Power of We Podcast:
Check out the newest episode of the CSD Power of We podcast! Shannon Davis comes on to talk about the purpose and power of reflections in the classroom. Listen in here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/csdpower-of-we/id1158621626?mt=2&i=1000379677281

If you have a moment, we’d appreciate if you’d subscribe and leave a rating so we can grow our audience. Happy listening!

Teaching Tips

Using Enforceable Statements (from this week’s staff meeting)

https://www.loveandlogic.com/articles-advice/effective-responses-statements-for-teachers-turn-your-word-into-gold

so-i-was

Week of January 16

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There’s Something About January…

by Robyn Jackson

About mid January, right after the new semester begins and just before the start of testing, something really strange starts to happen in schools all over the world.  Click here to continue reading….

Week At A Glance:

Monday, January 16th
MLK Holiday–NO School
Tuesday, Jan 17th
ASE 3 Begins
K-7 Lottery Open House 9:15 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Hoover to the Laurels
Wednesday, Jan 18th
Whitley to Huntersville Oaks
K-7 Staff Meeting in MS Black Box (Love and Logic)
Thursday, Jan 19th
K-7 Lottery Open House 9:15 a.m. – morning only
Friday, January 20th
Regional Charter School Spelling Bee at Lake Norman Charter
Upcoming Dates:
Jan 25 – Fresh Take Day of Observation
Jan 25 – K-7 Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Jan 26– SNOW MAKE UP DAY; School in session
Jan 26 – Barbara Coloroso Parent Talk – 7:00-8:30p.m at The Cove Church
Jan 27– Fresh Take Conference; No School for Students
Feb 1– K-7 Staff Meeting 9 Essentials Love and Logic®
Feb 2– Groundhog Day
Feb 2 – 1st Grade Heroes Play
Feb 3 – Elementary Spirit Friday
Feb 7-9 – Book Fair in MS Media Center
Feb 7 – 2nd Grade Kabuto Field Trip
Feb 7 – 1st Grade to Children’s Theater
Feb 7 – Parent Advisory at 9:00 at HS
Feb 14 – Valentine’s Day and Celebrations!
Feb 15 – K-7 Staff Meeting – MS Black Box
Feb 16-17 – Teacher Workdays
Feb 16 – 6th Grade SLC’s
Feb 20 – NO School – President’s Day Holiday
Feb 22 – Grab and Go Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Feb 24 – MS Dance Performances
Feb 27 – CSD Lottery 4:00 – HS Black Box
Feb 28 – 4th Grade Mountain Unit Sharing
Mar 1 – K-7 Staff Meeting in Black Box
Mar 7-8 – AdvancEd Accreditation Visit
Mar 7 – Parent Advisory 7:30 at HS
Mar 8 – K-12 Staff Meeting (Accreditation Results)
Mar 9-10 – Teacher Workdays – NO SCHOOL
Mar 9 – 7th Grade SLC’s
Mar 14 – 6th Grade Butterfly Project
Mar 15 – K-7 Staff Meeting MS Black Box
Mar 17 – 3rd Grade Charlotte Symphony
Mar 17 – 7th Grade Asia Day
March 25 – CSD Auction
Week of March 20th – EOG Pre-testing and Data Analysis to be completed by 3/27/16
Week of Mar 27 – 5th Grade Operas
Week of March 27 – EOG Review and Prep Begins
Mar 29 – Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Week of April 3 – 5th Grade Operas
April 7 – 16 – Spring Break
April 17 – Classes Resume
 
Upcoming “BIG” Dates:
May 12-13 – Staff Retreat
Week of May 15 – EOG’s
May 30 – State of the School Address
May 31 – Last Day of School
June 1-2 – Teacher Workdays

Reminders

Annual Health Inspection:
It is that time of year again when we will be receiving our health inspection any day… please keep and eye out for the below items and let me know if you see any issues.

– Dirty/broken drinking fountains
– Dirty bathrooms (no soap/paper towels) We are getting a few fix this week.
– Dirty / dusty
      floors, walls, ceilings, dressing rooms and vents (vents will have some dust no matter what but a build up is never good) We are looking for major issues not just the dust that might have accumulated during break since this will be taken care of during normal cleaning this week.
– The dumpster area also needs to be clean with no trash around it.
Thank you all for your help.
Fresh Take:
Our Annual Fresh Take Conference is scheduled for Friday, January 26th.  We ask that ALL CSD staff attend.  There will be no charge for this event.  For those of you presenting at the conference, THANK YOU for sharing your professional knowledge and expertise with other educators!  We look forward to learning from you!

We also would like for you to help spread the word to all the parents you know that Barbara Coloroso is going to have a parent lecture the day before the conference. All parents are invited!

“Parenting with Wit and Wisdom: Helping Children Become Self-Disciplined, Compassionate, Responsible, Resourceful and Resilient Human Beings” on January 26 at 7PM at the Cove, 197 Langtree Road, Mooresville. Doors open at 6:45 for general seating. This is a free event (but we wouldn’t decline donations to offset costs.)

Valentines:
Please make sure you are reminding your students to work on their class Valentines.  All Valentines should be signed by each student as well as edited by the parents.  Thank you for your help with this!

Report Cards:
Optional Parent/Teacher Conferences for the 2nd Trimester are scheduled for Feb 16th and 17th.  We would like to ask that all teachers have their report cards ready for admin to review by Monday, February 6th.  Please let us know if you have any questions or need any help with assessments.  Thanks for all you do!

Check out the newest episode of the CSD Power of We podcast! Shannon Davis comes on to talk about the purpose and power of reflections in the classroom. Listen in here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/csdpower-of-we/id1158621626?mt=2&i=1000379677281

If you have a moment, we’d appreciate if you’d subscribe and leave a rating so we can grow our audience. Happy listening!

Teaching Tips:  The Importance of Social Thinking

If a 4 year old child has a tantrum in a classroom, we barely blink an eye. If a 10 year old child has the same tantrum; we are likely to call it a behavior problem.  Michelle Garcia Winner

Jen Stevens has been a tremendous resource to teach us about social thinking.  She has taught social thinking skills in the classroom and with students who need support in this area.  Her hard work has transferred over as we love hearing you remind our students of “expected and unexpected behaviors.”  The video explains how social thinking ties into academics as well so Jen has suggested the use of “thought bubbles” during literacy and perspective taking, as well as making connections with inferences and predictions.

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As Michelle Garcia Winner states in her article, “The Recipe for Improving Social Skills Begins with Social Thinking,”

 Social thinking impacts not only a student’s social success, but his/her academic success, too. Classroom academic assignments frequently tap into our social knowledge, often without our noticing. It would be impossible for a student to meet academic standards (Common Core or State based) related to reading comprehension and written expression; or participate in group-based learning activities if they didn’t have adequate social thinking skills to accurately interpret instructions or take the perspective of others.

 https://www.socialthinking.com/Articles?name=The%20Recipe%20for%20Improving%20Social%20Skills%20Begins%20with%20Social%20Thinking

Michelle Garcia Winner suggests:

3-step process to teaching social thinking and related skills:
For parents, professionals and students (who are high school age or older) we explain that there are three distinct parts to the process of socially engaging or sharing space well with others:

1. Engage in social thinking:
Social thinking is the ability to consider your own and others thoughts, emotions, beliefs, intentions, knowledge, etc. In other terms, it is the culmination of executive functioning, perspective taking, and self-awareness that enables you to interpret and understand the social situation and what behaviors are expected of you.

Remember that your behavioral-response is directly influenced by your social thinking. Social behaviors that align or fail to align with what other people expect in that situation determines how others judge your “social skills”. Improving your social thinking ability is a life-long learning process, and the key to developing chameleon-like social skills.

2. Adapt your behavior effectively (social skills)
Based on the results of your social thinking, adapt your behavior to consider the thoughts and feelings of others, as well as to communicate your intentions in the situation. By doing so, people are more likely to react and respond to you in the manner you had hoped (see below).

3. Be aware of others’ reactions:
People emotionally respond to our behaviors very quickly. If we feel a person has good social skills we may describe them as “polite” and “friendly”; if person has weak, awkward, or poor social skills we often describe them as “rude”, “odd” or “impolite”. The terms “polite”, “rude”, “friendly”, “impolite”, etc., represent how we emotionally perceive another’s behavior. We are far better at summarizing our feelings (emotional response) than we are at describing intellectually the behaviors a person produced that swayed how we felt. How people respond to our behavior often leads to how they treat us in return.

Social Thinking® the company:
The mission of Social Thinking® is to continue to develop and improve how we teach social thinking to all people, in order to effectively advance their social problem solving and thereby improve their social skills. Since social skills and academic success are related, Social Thinking® concepts and strategies also benefit performance in social-academic tasks such as reading comprehension and written expression.

https://www.socialthinking.com/Articles?name=The%20Recipe%20for%20Improving%20Social%20Skills%20Begins%20with%20Social%20Thinking


Jen has created several documents to help us incorporate social thinking into the classroom.  Below is the link to the Google folder:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B6xKjMfR32DURnJXTkxhcmdGTW8?usp=sharing

This resource will help to remind you why we do what we do each day!  You will see we already implement the many suggestions on this resource.

http://www.theinclusiveclass.com/2015/08/10-ways-to-teach-social-skills-in-your.html

Week of January 9

Dear Staff,

We hope everyone found our annual School Safety Staff Meeting helpful last week.  We know the topic of active shooters and school safety can be hard to think about, but as Officer Scott Searcy stated, we must be proactive and think ahead so we will be better prepared to make quick decisions in the event of a true emergency.  There was so much great information given in regards to best practices that we thought it might be helpful to give a brief recap of the highlights:

Intruder Info:

  • When in doubt, call 911.  In the words of Officer Searcy, if you are wondering whether or not you should call, call.
  • In the event of an emergency, you have 3 choices:  Run, Hide, or Fight.  ANYTHING is better than nothing.  So think through each of these options and go through a couple of scenarios in your mind pertaining to your specific teaching space(s), including the playground, park and black top.
  • The average public shooting instance lasts less than 6 minutes.  So quick action is essential.  Anything you can do to deter the shooter from entering your space is extremely advantageous as they are likely to move on if they can’t enter the space quickly.
  • Make sure you wear your school badge and carry your school key at all times.  This visible symbol is extremely helpful to the influx of security that would arrive on location in the event of emergency.
  • Once police arrive, the best thing to do is put your hands up and get out of the way.  Move in the opposite direction of the police.  The “hands up” signal communicates to the police that you are a “good guy.”

CSD Admin continues to be in contact and work with the Davidson Police Department to review our internal safety protocol and tweak our plans as necessary.  Keeping classroom doors locked at all times is considered best practice, but we do not want to inconvenience staff.  For the time being, we have decided to leave that decision up to each individual classroom, but best practice is to keep internal doors locked as well.

Student Accident/Injury/Illness:

  • First of all, please remember that supervision is essential.  Teachers should never be looking at cell phones while supervising children at recess.  Also, while we understand that it is fun for teachers to chat and catch up during their class’s play time, it is very important that teachers spread out and cover a wide range of areas on the playground and blacktop during recess.  If students are using the grassy area above the black top, please make sure a couple of teachers are stationed there as well.
  • If a child is ever going home in a different condition than they arrived at school, parents should be called.  This includes the obvious injuries such as cuts, bruises, sprains, broken bones, etc…  All of these accidents should be documented using the CSD Accident Report form (link below) and recorded in the Incident Binder located at the front desk.  Please be sure to notify an administrator so they are aware of the incident.
  • For Head Injuries, please do the following:

                   -Ice the point of impact.

                    -Fill out an accident report and add to incident binder.

                    -Immediately call parents and inform them of the incident.

                     -Notify an administrator.

*Follow this protocol even if the child “seems” fine or insists he/she is fine, and always call parents immediately for head injuries.

  • For Back/Spinal Cord Injuries and Suspected Broken Bones:

-Do not move child

             -Notify the front desk and an administrator immediately

  • In other emergency situations:

              -Call the Front Desk and alert admin immediately.

                -We prefer to err or the side of caution, so if it is a true life-             threatening emergency, call 911 right away.  It is always best to call 911 from the room where the student is located so information can be relayed to the dispatcher.

                -Admin will gather the facts and then the parents will be contacted (either by admin or the teacher depending on the situation).

                 -Complete Student Accident Report.

In all situations, if you are an adult helping a student other than your own, please make sure you notify the child’s teacher immediately so he/she can be kept closely in the loop.

To access a copy of the Student Accident Report, click here –https://docs.google.com/document/d/165Areljzv8Z7mNYqc1ag7Gfnm4zBBv9N5Ok2ijoRGJk/edit?usp=sharing

Please make sure this report is completed in the event of a student accident, and place a copy in the Red Binder at the Front Desk.
All medical emergency equipment (AED/defibrillator, Epi Pens, breathing masks, etc…) is located at the Front Desk in the medical cabinet behind the door to the admin offices.  It is NOT in the First Aid cabinet in the workroom.

In closing, if you have any follow up thoughts, questions, or concerns based upon Wednesday’s staff meeting, please feel free to contact an administrator to discuss.  We are so grateful for all you do to keep our students safe.  There are three essential elements in keeping schools safe:

  1. Have a plan.
  2. Discuss the plan.
  3. Believe in the plan.

While we are not perfect and could never be fully prepared for every given scenario, we do feel confident about the procedures and protocol we have in place.  And we feel extremely fortunate to have such a positive working relationship with the Davidson Police Department.  As Officer Scott Searcy mentioned,  their tactical knowledge of our building gives them a tremendous advantage when it comes to the safety of our school community. So please make every effort to thank them when you see them!

Juli, Leslie, and Marianne

Week At A Glance:

Monday, January 9th
Hosse to Huntersville Oaks
Tuesday, Jan 10th
K-7 Lottery Open House, 9:15 and 6:30
Wednesday, Jan 11th
Admin Annual Planning Day
Chris Hoover Teacher Leader
Thursday, Jan 5th
7th grade Education Day Davidson Basketball
Webb to Huntersville Oaks
Friday, January 6th
Upcoming Dates:
Jan 16– MLK Day Holiday–NO School
Jan 17 – ASE 3 Begins
Jan 18 – K-7 Staff Meeting in MS Black Box (Love and Logic)
Jan 19– K-7 Lottery Open House 9:15 a.m. – morning only
Jan 25 – Fresh Take Day of Observation
Jan 25 – K-7 Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Jan 26– Teacher Workday – No School for Parents
Jan 26 – Barbara Coloroso Parent Talk – 7:00-8:30p.m at The Cove Church
Jan 27– Fresh Take Conference; No School for Students
Feb 1– K-7 Staff Meeting 9 Essentials Love and Logic®
Feb 2– Groundhog Day
Feb 2 – 1st Grade Heroes Play
Feb 3 – Elementary Spirit Friday
Feb 7-9 – Book Fair in MS Media Center
Feb 7 – 2nd Grade Kabuto Field Trip
Feb 7 – 1st Grade to Children’s Theater
Feb 7 – Parent Advisory at 9:00 at HS
Feb 14 – Valentine’s Day and Celebrations!
Feb 15 – K-7 Staff Meeting – MS Black Box
Feb 16-17 – Teacher Workdays
Feb 16 – 6th Grade SLC’s
Feb 20 – NO School – President’s Day Holiday
Feb 22 – Grab and Go Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Feb 24 – MS Dance Performances
Feb 27 – CSD Lottery 4:00 – HS Black Box
Feb 28 – 4th Grade Mountain Unit Sharing
Mar 1 – K-7 Staff Meeting in Black Box
Mar 7-8 – AdvancEd Accreditation Visit
Mar 7 – Parent Advisory 7:30 at HS
Mar 8 – K-12 Staff Meeting (Accreditation Results)
Mar 9-10 – Teacher Workdays – NO SCHOOL
Mar 9 – 7th Grade SLC’s
Mar 14 – 6th Grade Butterfly Project
Mar 15 – K-7 Staff Meeting MS Black Box
Mar 17 – 3rd Grade Charlotte Symphony
Mar 17 – 7th Grade Asia Day
March 25 – CSD Auction
Week of March 20th – EOG Pre-testing and Data Analysis to be completed by 3/27/16
Week of Mar 27 – 5th Grade Operas
Week of March 27 – EOG Review and Prep Begins
Mar 29 – Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Week of April 3 – 5th Grade Operas
April 7 – 16 – Spring Break
April 17 – Classes Resume
 
Upcoming “BIG” Dates:
May 12-13 – Staff Retreat
Week of May 15 – EOG’s
May 30 – State of the School Address
May 31 – Last Day of School
June 1-2 – Teacher Workdays

Reminders

Annual Health Inspection:
It is that time of year again when we will be receiving our health inspection any day… please keep and eye out for the below items and let me know if you see any issues.

– Dirty/broken drinking fountains
– Dirty bathrooms (no soap/paper towels) We are getting a few fix this week.
– Dirty / dusty
      floors, walls, ceilings, dressing rooms and vents (vents will have some dust no matter what but a build up is never good) We are looking for major issues not just the dust that might have accumulated during break since this will be taken care of during normal cleaning this week.
– The dumpster area also needs to be clean with no trash around it.
Thank you all for your help.
Fresh Take:
Our Annual Fresh Take Conference is scheduled for Friday, January 26th.  We ask that ALL CSD staff attend.  There will be no charge for this event.  For those of you presenting at the conference, THANK YOU for sharing your professional knowledge and expertise with other educators!  We look forward to learning from you!

We also would like for you to help spread the word to all the parents you know that Barbara Coloroso is going to have a parent lecture the day before the conference. All parents are invited!

“Parenting with Wit and Wisdom: Helping Children Become Self-Disciplined, Compassionate, Responsible, Resourceful and Resilient Human Beings” on January 26 at 7PM at the Cove, 197 Langtree Road, Mooresville. Doors open at 6:45 for general seating. This is a free event (but we wouldn’t decline donations to offset costs.)

Valentines:
Please make sure you are reminding your students to work on their class Valentines.  All Valentines should be signed by each student as well as edited by the parents.  Thank you for your help with this!

Teaching Tips

As we approach the Martin Luther King, Jr holiday we thought you might find some of these resources helpful from Edutopia (link below). As the article mentions, teaching about Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy should not be limited to January, but focused on throughout the year.

https://www.edutopia.org/article/resources-martin-luther-king-jr-day-matt-davis
In addition, one of our school improvement plan goals for this year is to broaden the perspectives of students, staff, parents, and greater community to promote compassionate understanding and decrease a sense of “otherness.”  We have created a bookshelf in the front office area to help with this goal (please do not drop off items on these bookcases).  You can come and find various books to use for your classroom.  Please return them when you are done.

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