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Monday, May 7, 2012

Growth Mindset and Staff Appreciation Week-May 8, 2012

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                                                                                         

At our staff meeting last week, we had a presentation about the concepts in Carol Dweck’s Mindset.  As you’ve read in previous newsletters, when students have a GROWTH MINDSET they are much more likely to recognize that hard work pays off and have an open mind to learning new things.  One of our students, Brady Rogers, presented about a puppet creator who obviously had a growth mindset.  Later, our Site Council staff members, Bob Shotola and Mehreen Kruger, presented the big ideas from the book then specific examples of what they’ve been doing in their classrooms.  Compared to a fixed mindset, where intelligence is viewed as static, the growth mindset  is based on the premise that intelligence can be developed.   A growth mindset leads to a desire to learn and therefore a tendency to embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as a path to mastery, learn from criticism, and find lessons and inspiration in the success of others.  As a result, people with a growth mindset reach higher levels of achievement and have a greater sense of free will.

I got to see the growth mindset at work last weekend at  OSU’s Mom’s Weekend!  Spending two days on a college campus I learned several things about the growth mindset.  I observed college students with growth mindsets while line dancing, at a softball game and a concert.   Students were invested in helping one another succeed.  Not only did the students I spent time with have a growth mindset with the fun stuff but I saw evidence of this with academics too.  One of the biology assignments kids were working on included doing an error analysis of a recent test.   For each incorrect answer, students had to look for patterns in the type of question missed (i.e. vocabulary or explanation) and the source of the information for that question (lecture, reading, lab).  Next they had to write a paragraph about what approach might be for future learning and they learned from the success of others as they discussed different strategies.  After my weekend at OSU, I am more aware of the importance of developing the habit of mind Sexton Mountain students will need in order to be College and Career Ready.

I see evidence of the growth mindset here at Sexton Mountain too.  Last week, when Ken Dailey, Beaverton Rotary Club President, visited our school in the role of “Principal for the Day” he noticed that our kids are working hard to improve in many different areas.  In kindergarten, McKenzie read Mr. Dailey a book.  She used a range of strategies to figure out words to make sure the text made sense.  In the computer lab, Kilo caught us and informed us of his plan for success in math.  Fourth graders were curious word learners and because the Rotary had donated dictionaries earlier in the year, we saw that many of the books were clearly worn in from looking up words.  I was happy to show Mr. Dailey all the great things happening in our school.

Our staff members have demonstrated having a growth mindset this year too.  In the face of budget reductions, our SRC team has looked into getting work done for kids by reaching out to businesses and thinking outside the box. Earlier in the year, Jessi Lynch and our SRC team applied for Pepsi Refresh dollars to purchase a SMART board for the SRC classroom.  Thanks so much for everyone who voted for the SRC in the Pepsi Refresh Project last fall.  We have our SMART boards up and running and the students LOVE them!!!  Your votes put this technology into our students' hands.  We are in the process of collecting post-data, but have already seen an increase in attending behaviors and a decrease in maladaptive behaviors during circle times.  And those all lead to more learning!!

Thanks to Lori Laraway and her team of volunteers for making Staff Appreciation Week so special.  Elizabeth, Robyn, Alayna, Sally, Mindy, and Lori were in Sunday transforming the staff room into a tropical oasis.  Many volunteers have worked to make this week special and many more families have made donations to show the staff how much they are appreciated. Thanks to all who have contributed time and materials.

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

Wish List
·       Soil for the Garden Project
·       Student Artists willing to participate in Art Show at Canfield on June 22
Upcoming Events
·       May 10-Signal to Noise Media Festival-7:00pm at Sunset Presbyterian Church
·       May 11-PTC Meeting at 9:30am
·       May 18-Carnival 6:30-8:30pm (Volunteers Needed)
·       May 22-PTC Taiko Assembly  (Primary grades at 10:00am, Intermediate Grades at 8:45am)
·       May 22-Cultural Celebration-8:45am-1:00pm)
·       May 22-Incoming Kindergarten Writing Night-6:30-7:15pm
·       May 22- GoogleDocs for Families Presented by Pam LeLand at 8:45am in the Computer Lab
o   As you know, Google Docs is a powerful learning tool that is now available for every Beaverton School District student.  We have scheduled a joint parent training about Google Docs here at Sexton Mountain at 8:45 on May 22.  Please join us.
·       May 25-Furlough Day-No School
·       May 31-Volunteer Appreciation Day
·       June 3-Hayhurst Triathlon
·       June 5- Intermediate Music Program at 6:30pm (DiResta, Stratton, Skiba, Shotola)
·       June 6- Intermediate Music Program at 6:30pm (Krueger, McConnell, Tanksley, Parson)
·       June 7-Kindergarten Music Program
·       June 8-Field Day-9:00-10:50 (1st, 2nd, 3rd, Yokom and AM K.)  and 1:00-2:45 (4th, 5th, PM and Full-Day K. and Burnett)
·       June 12-PBIS Assembly at 8:45am
·       June 12-Mt. Guide Picnic
·       June 13-Fifth Grade Party
·       June 13-Last Day of School
·       June 14-Teacher Workday
·       June 15-Furlough Day a.k.a. Budget Reduction Day
·       June 22-Canfield Art Fair and BBQ (Please let us know if you have student artwork to display and would like to attend the BBQ with your child between 11:00am and 1:30pm.)

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