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Monday, November 21, 2011

Gratitude-November 22, 2011

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                              

An Oregonian article last Friday talked about the benefits of gratitude.  According to the author, practicing gratitude improves mood, hearth rhythms and sleep patterns.  Gratitude increases work performance, alertness and energy.   Altman, the author of One Minute Mindfulness encourages people to have a G.L.A.D. journal and each day, record one thing you are GRATEFUL for, one thing you LEARNED, one thing ACCOMPLISHED and one thing that DELIGHTED you.  The staff was not aware of the health benefits of having an attitude of gratitude as we selected the school-wide writing prompt of writing on the topic of gratitude.

I am grateful that I get to work with such amazing staff, students and families.  Sexton Mountain School is a special place indeed.    I appreciate the work all of the members of our learning community put forth for the success of the organization.  I enjoy watching the teaching that happens here daily.  I am grateful for all who go above and beyond for our students.  I was in Mrs. Parson’s room during a science lesson recently and the group was engaged in a discussion about inquiry and variables. Karson helped construct the items for testing and students encouraged one another.  In Mrs. Loumena’s class, students were writing sentences and children were complimenting and encouraging one another.  Writers in Ms. Cunningham’s class celebrated with classmates as they shared their work.  Our students have thoughtful conversations about learning and I know this is because parents and teachers have modeled this.  Thank you for your hard work.

I’ve learned so much from the students, families and staff over the past few months.  I am moved by parents willing to share stories, hopes and dreams.  I appreciate knowing that families have high expectations for kids.  I’ve learned that many parents hope their children grow up to be contributing members of a local and global community with unlimited options.    I’ve learned math games from first graders as they analyzed patterns and look for odd, even, before, after and sums.

I am amazed by the daily accomplishments of our students.  Last week in Mrs. Hiatt’s class, students were able to use mathematical terms to describe a pattern on a hundreds chart.  Caden and Alex both showed and told about a pattern. As a first grader, I’m not sure if I could have presented my ideas in front of a group of peers with such confidence.  All students in the class turned to a neighbor and described patterns they noticed.  Children politely questioned one another and they clarified and defended thinking.  Again, I’m not sure if I could have explained my thinking to peers at such an early age.  Our children are doing amazing thing.

I am delighted by the learners in our school.   I am touched by kind words students use to encourage one another.  Last week when I was in a classroom, children noticed the effort of their classmates.  We have kind kids, engaged in the process of learning.  That is a very good thing.

I am happy to be part of this community of learners.    It is a great pleasure to spend time at Sexton Mountain Elementary School.  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.
  • Person who likes to straighten or clean to organize some of our shared areas.

Fascinating Facts:
Number of Cars in the Drop off line on a recent sunny morning between 8:05-8:27 a.m.-175

Homework for Parents: Ideas Parents Can Use to Help Children Do Better in School
  • Visit an interesting place in your town. Then ask your child to create an ad to tell others about it.
  • Ask your child to tell you something she learned in school today. Then tell her something you learned today.
  • Pay your child a compliment today. Praise their effort
  • Ask your child, “What one thing makes you feel really excited?”
  • Make sure your child has access to basic reference books when he studies (atlas, dictionary, thesaurus).
  • Draw a picture with your child today. Hang it on the refrigerator.
  • Have your child tape paper towel rolls together to form a long chute. Then have her start a small ball at the top and roll it to the bottom.
  • Cut out four pictures from a magazine. Ask your child to tell you a story that involves something from each picture.
  • Do a library card checkup. Does every member of the family have a library card? If not, go to the library and sign up!
  • Ask your child, “If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?”
  • Choose a news story and learn more about it with your child.

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