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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Joy of Writing and Community Support-October 4, 2011

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                            

Without a doubt, the very best part of my job is observing students learning.  Last week, our staff development focus at our Tuesday meeting was writing so, later in the week, it was a delight for me to see our writers at work.   In Ms. Cunningham’s class, Brody wrote about his funny, awesome cat. In Ms. Hiatt’s room Renika was writing fiction (her words) about a world with floating snakes.  Mrs. Jenkin’s third graders were analyzing writing with a rubric to determine what made a quality paper.  Savannah, Rachel and MacKenzie in Ms. Weigel’s room were reading about spiders and writing facts in their own words. Next door, Sofia was working on adding details to her weekend news.  In Mrs. Olson’s class a girl was writing a personal narrative about a trip with friends.  She told me she was re-reading to make sure her purpose was clear.  In Mrs. Stratton’s room, kids were using FRED (facts, reasons, examples, and details) to support a topic sentence.  Alyssa was certain that the sentences she had to add support to the topic sentence, "Younger siblings can be annoying" were INDEED facts where others in her group thought she was giving examples.  It provided for an interesting discussion.  I am enjoying getting to know your children through their work.  I look forward to seeing them grow in the upcoming year.

I’ve enjoyed learning about the character of our families last week too.  Thanks to all who sent notes of support and asked great questions last week as we dealt with a reduction in staffing.  With any decision there are costs and benefits and by Wednesday of last week, many parents were stepping forward to offer solutions for dealing with some of the costs of losing a staff member.  We are slowly formulating a plan for how we will deal with the loss and your suggestions have been greatly appreciated!    Here are some things I learned about our community. We have an amazing volunteer with rich technology backgrounds.  Between kids, parents, and staff, we have solution-oriented thinkers.  A positive environment just makes the process more enjoyable! We value technology.  We are a community willing to serve kids. Using this knowledge, we are exploring possibilities and hope to have something to share with you next week.  In the meantime, students will continue to go to technology class in their regular specials rotation.

Between International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, the Jog-a-thon on Thursday and all of the other fun and learning that will take place this week, Sexton Mountain volunteers, staff and students will be busy this week.  Thank you for sharing your children with us!


Dr. Teresa Clemens-Brower
a.k.a.  Mrs. C.-B.

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