Dear Sexton Mt. Families:
My daughter came home from college Friday night and our family’s schedule suddenly changed dramatically. Because she has free time, she’s taking her brother out for special events in the evening and wanting to do family things at times when our lives are usually pretty quiet. She was convincing me that we needed to see the Zoolights, attend concerts, catch a high school play and take advantage of our time together. At the same time, my middle school age son still has homework and needs his sleep so that he can be rested and ready for school. These last few days, I need to be especially mindful of how the stress of the season can cause my family to go into meltdown mode. Though “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” may be playing on the radio, the frenzy of activity can make this last week before the vacation seem especially stressful for kids.
We want our students rested and ready to learn because our school is abuzz with learning activity and will be through Friday. Mr. Hayhurst’s students were sharing their writing with one another when I visited the classroom last week. Mukund told a story about a mishap when cleaning his fish bowl and Spencer wrote about going to the movies with his grandma. Kids read the work of other students then commented thoughtfully about content. Later I happened to be in Mrs. Olson’s class while students were talking about what they noticed about peer writing. In both classes, I was struck by the encouragement and truly constructive feedback students in our school offer to one another.
First and second graders were playing songs on the ukulele when I visited music class. Because we have half as many ukuleles as students, one child observes and coaches while the other child plays. It’s pretty remarkable how they encourage one another and reflect on their own learning as they offer supportive feedback to their partner.
I hope that learning won’t take a break in the upcoming weeks. My family will head over the river and through the woods to Bend to spend time with my parents and in-laws during the break. With a four-hour drive each way, I am already busy filling my seat backs with magazines and books that my kids will enjoy so they don’t have a guaranteed 8 hours of Gameboy time. With so much less structured time, I have to encourage my kids to be very mindful of how they spend time. By simply keeping a list of what they are watching or reading, it seems to inspire them to read more. I would like to encourage Sexton Mt. students to take the Winter Break Reading Challenge. Children are challenged to spend more time reading than watching television or playing video games over the winter break. Kids can make and turn in a Winter Break Reading Log for a small treat when school resumes on January 3. I notice that the first days of a new year are always easier if kids have maintained the habit of reading or writing over the break.
In the upcoming weeks, I hope that you are able to build special family memories. Thank you for sharing your children with us!
Dr. Teresa Clemens-Brower
a.k.a. Mrs. C.-B.
Reminders and FYI
Wish List--These are little things or jobs that will make a difference to our kids. If you have things you'd like to share, feel free to send them in.
· Postcards and Postcard stamps
- Paper towel tubes or gift wrap tubes
- Masking tape
- Tin foil
Stop by the Sexton Mountain office to see a college themed quilt. The T-shirt quilt was handmade and we will be selling raffle tickets for a drawing on Friday, December 16. Raffle Tickets are $2.00 each. Sexton Mountain, Portland State, Southern Oregon University, Whitman College, USC, Concordia, Carroll College, Linfield and OSU are represented on the front of this beautiful quilt. University of Colorado polar fleece lines the back. All proceeds will go towards the Fifth Grade BizTown learning experience.
District Goal for 2010-2015: All students will show continuous progress toward their personal learning goals, developed in collaboration with teachers and parents, and will be prepared for post-secondary education and career success.
The Beaverton School District recognizes the diversity and worth of all individuals and groups. It is the policy of the Beaverton School District that there will be no discrimination or harassment of individuals or groups based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, marital status, age, veterans' status, genetic information or disability in any educational programs, activities or employment.
Sexton Mountain Elementary School n 15645 SW Sexton Mountain Drive n Beaverton, Oregon 97007 n Office: 503.672.3560 n FAX 503.672.3563