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Monday, March 5, 2012

Learning, Special Guests and Spirit Building-March 6, 2012

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:

March in an elementary school is one of my favorite times of the year!  Exciting things are happening in and out of the classroom.  We had a fabulous author and talented musician present information to our students recently. Kids are hard at work on a variety of science, math and literacy projects. Family Literacy Night was a huge success. Our students collected over 2000 items for the Oregon Food Bank.  Great things are happening at Sexton Mountain Elementary School!

March and April are the months where I’m living in the present and the future.  I’m enjoying all the great things happening now and working hard to make sure we finish the year strong.  I’m also analyzing the successes of the year and am fully engaged in the planning process for the upcoming year.  I will be holding a series of workshops for parents on different topics related to the work happening in our school.  Interested people are welcome to attend.  The purpose of each workshop will be to provide information and gather input.  
  • College and Career Readiness-Why are we talking about this in kindergarten? - March 16 at 8:45am
  • Building Class Lists for 2012-2013 (Mysteries Revealed and Myths Busted) and Fly Up Planning-March 15 at 6:30pm
  • Mindset-How to Develop a Growth Mindset in Your Child-March 19 at 8:45am
  • Positive Behavior Support-Teach, Reinforce, Reteach-April 12 at 8:45am
  • Make and Take Math Games-Strategies for Keeping Skills Strong During the Summer Months-April 12 at 6:30pm
  • Reading Assessments Revealed-April 19 at 9:30am

Persian Musician Teaches Fourth and Fifth Graders by Alicia
On February 23 we had a special guest in music here to teach us about Persian instruments.  He was also a very good instructor too.  I liked the presentation because all of the instruments were unique in some way.  The drums had different beats and sounds.  The violin had a different sound than other violins I’ve heard.  That is why I liked the presentation.

Persian Experiences by Sophia
Today a man from Iran came to do an amazing presentation about Persian instruments.  He showed us a santoor and he played in harmony with a fifth grader who played an interesting drum.  They did an amazing performance and I’d like him to come back.  I hope he’ll consider repeating this for the lower grades.  I really loved the presentation and I’d like to see it again.

Persian Instruments by Atom
“…..the guys arms were so fast it looked like millions of hands…”

Grace Lin Visits Sexton Mountain
Parent Polly Campbell was able to attend Grace Lin’s presentation last week.  Her summary below provides great talking points for discussions with children.

It took Grace Lin nearly three years to write and illustrate Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, but the effort resulted in her personal favorite among the dozen books she’s written, as well as, television appearances, and awards.

The Massachusetts-based author/illustrator talked to students Thursday, as part of literacy day at the school. Where The Mountain Meets the Moon was the 2010 Newberry Award Winner and a New York Times Bestseller. Lin’s book was distributed to every family through the One School, One Book program and her appearance was supported by the Sexton Mountain PTC

To research the book, Lin, a Chinese-American, visited China and Taiwan. There she learned the Chinese history and the mythology – such as the tale of the Buffalo Boy – that led to the tales woven throughout the novel.  Though this book took longer to create, Lin said it takes at least a year and a team of about a dozen people working in different specialties to publish any book.

At one point she called on student volunteers to represent the various editors, designers, printers and binders, who along with the author, are all involved in preparing a book for publication.

Once published, a book becomes widely available through libraries and stores, unlike the first book that Lin wrote and showed to the students during the assembly. That book was written on notebook paper and bound by staples.

Remember that a Budget Teaching Session at Sexton Mountain Elementary School is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13 from 8:45-10:15am in our school cafeteria.  Additionally, I’ll be teaming with principals at Montclair Elementary School on Monday, March 12 from 6:30 to 8:00pm and at Hiteon on Wednesday, March 21 from 6:30-8:00pm for similar presentations. The purpose of each Budget Teaching Session is to provide up-to-date budget data, collect advisory data from participants and answer questions.  There will also be a hands-on activity for participants to use several budget areas to make the estimated $40 million in reductions.  The information presented will be the same at each school in Beaverton.

Our staff will be engaged in this budget process Tuesday afternoon.  Cutting this amount of money after several years of cuts could make for a very gloomy third trimester but we are going to do everything we can to build community and team spirit so we finish the 2011-2012 school year strong.  We will be having silly staff contests weekly to keep us focused on the joy that teaming brings.  I encourage you to continue sending those wonderful notes of appreciation and encouragement to your teachers.  At church last weekend I met a former Sexton Mountain parent and the thing that she remembered most about our school is that it was full of caring people.  Our school really is a very special place to spend the day.  Thank you for sharing your children with us!


Dr. Teresa Clemens-Brower
A.k.a.  Mrs. C.-B.
Wish List--These are little things or jobs that will make a difference to our kids. Feel free to send them in.
  • Legos, crayons and coloring books for our Rainy Day Games Cart
  • Silly Staff Prizes for the team building contests that will take place through the end of the year

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