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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bucket Filling-November 29, 2011

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                               

This morning at 8:30 in Mrs. Olson’s class, students were having a guidance lesson with Ms. Solberg.  She was reading How Full is Your Bucket by Tom Rath.  In this book, the main character learns the importance of words and actions.  Madison noted that giving kind words makes the giver feel good so it’s a double bonus for the giver as well as a good thing for the getter. Imagine each kind word or action as a drop in the bucket.  When you are the recipient of kind words and deeds your bucket is filled drop by drop.  On the other hand, if you are the recipient of unkind words your bucket is emptied drop by drop.

As an elementary school principal, I find mornings especially bucket filling.  Kids bound out of cars and have fun stories and hugs to share.  They smile and greet one another with enthusiasm and this warms my heart, filling my bucket by proxy.  Friends tease me because I have the only job in the world where a job hazard is broken necklaces due to the frequency and intensity of hugs.  Life is good at Sexton Mountain!

This can be the season of bucket emptying.  It seems like we are bombarded with messages from the media about perfection and spending.  Marketers target our kids too.  Advertisers can make our kids feel like we are lacking items or experiences and these can be bucket-emptiers.   My daughter and her friends were home from college last weekend and they were talking about the seasonal stress they feel and how this finals season seems to be worse than the one in March or June because of it.  They’ve decided to flood each other with kindness and encouragement during this time. They are leaving notes of encouragement, baking special treats for all the kids on their floor, and have decided to just go out of their way to smile.  As they left Sunday afternoon, their moods were already more positive.   I am sure the kids in Wilson Hall will benefit from this bucket filling team.  I wonder what we could do at Sexton Mountain during the next few weeks to fill the buckets of kids and staff?

Service projects are great bucket fillers.  Our second grade students are doing a community service project for the Humane Society.  They have just finished studying animals and their Storytown book is all about animals, so they’ve decided to do a food drive for the Humane Society. On December 9th the Humane Society will come in to talk to the class about what would happen to our community if there were no Humane Society.  They will also give the class lessons on how to safely deal with stray dogs, and all dogs, they meet in their communities.  

A lot is happening at our school.  Last Wednesday, students were invited to wear college t-shirts.  As you can imagine, we had a lot of green and yellow as well as orange and black.  Natalie stood out in her Harvard sweatshirt, Mr. Mori wore a Ohio State sweatshirt, and Ms. Weigel and Ms. Hunt work U.C. Berkley shirts.  Because I was wearing an OSU mom shirt, a number of children asked if I was a Beaver. I had to explain that, while my daughter and therefore a lot of my money goes to OSU, I am actually a Western Oregon Wolf or a George Fox Bruin.  I found that when kids asked about college, it was the perfect opportunity for me to talk about how I chose colleges for the programs they offered, not their sports teams. For a long time my son wanted to go to Boise State for no other reason than they had a blue field.  When I made him look up the programs offered, he was fascinated to learn about the field geosciences.   I challenge families to talk about the academic programs universities are known for each time you see a college team or t-shirt. 

Last week we also had a fabulous assembly on Wednesday thanks to our PTC.  Did your children tell you about Mag and Don and the games from around the world they learned? Children learned to celebrate the difference and the commonalities of many cultures by playing the games people play.  They discovered that smiles are the same in any language. Kids saw the Chinese yo-yo, fling-it-net, peteca-volleybird and juggling sticks.  Visit to learn more about what kids might have experienced.

Students completed the second writing project of the year with me last week.   They created structures with marshmallows and noodles then wrote about the experience.  Kids writing stamina really improved over the last six weeks.  Many classes wrote almost triple the words this month.  The results were fascinating. Look for more information about that next week.


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.
  • Modeling clay for first grade
  • Postcard stamps
  • Postcards

Walking Route
Several families have asked for suggestions on walking routes from Flagstone and 155th neighborhood.  The route below shows one way to get to school without crossing 155th.
Walk directions from SW Nora Rd
SW Nora Rd to SW 158th Ter
SW 158th Ter to SW Redstone Dr
SW Redstone Dr to SW 157th Ave
SW 157th Ave to SW Flagstone Dr
SW Flagstone Dr to SW Wakkila Ter
SW Wakkila Ter to SW Sexton Mt Dr
SW Sexton Mt Dr to SW 160th Ave
SW 160th Ave to SW Rigert Rd
SW Rigert Rd to North School Walkpath (from SW Rigert Rd)

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