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Monday, January 28, 2013

Celebration-January 28, 2013


Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                                                                                        

Last week I had an opportunity to meet with students in third, fourth and fifth grade.  We talked about math patterns and how recognizing and applying patterns can make some tasks in life easier.  While I met with students, teachers met with our Response to Intervention teacher, Megan Smith, to discuss our mid-year progress check and plan next steps for instruction.  Teachers had many little celebrations as we saw how much students have grown during the first half of the year.  This week, Megan Smith and I will meet with the rest of the teams.  Exciting things are happening at Sexton Mountain and we see evidence of growth!  We have reasons to celebrate.

Another reason to celebrate is one of our student has been wildly successful on Mathletics.com.  Andrew G. is currently ranked 61st in the nation on the Mathletics.com website!  Since our school-wide improvement emphasis has been on mathematics this year, I have a personal little party each and every time I see our children succeed in this area. 

Since September 24, our first through fifth graders have solved 109,271 math equations just on the one-minute weekly timed tests.  This means our amazing pool of volunteers have corrected even more!  The ability to quickly recall basic facts is important for math success. We hope you will continue to practice at home too.   Here are some ways you might do this:
·          Flashcard practice during television commercials
·          Keep a set of flashcards in the car and have your child practice at every stoplight
·          After dinner, practice equations orally for five minutes before you clear the table
·          Download printable worksheets from the web or make your own for kids to do

HOW MANY EQUATIONS CAN WE SOLVE IN ONE-MINUTE?

First Grade
Addition
Second Grade
Addition
Third Grade
Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division
Fourth Grade
Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division
Fifth Grade
Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division
Week Of Sept. 24
178
717
1335
1852
2785
Week of Jan. 24
1252
2094
1865
3279
3582

Another one of our strategies for improving student achievement in mathematics is to increase student vocabulary related to mathematics.  The ability to understand math vocabulary and process words associated with mathematics sets apart strong mathematicians from the rest.  In all classrooms, teachers are working to explicitly teach the terms.  At home, start a list of words or phrases that indicate what operation is needed in order to solve a number story problem.  Each Wednesday, students have had the opportunity to wear a math word (in the form of a sticker).

Additionally, we’ve worked on improving math problem solving skills. Children must understand what math word problems are asking and have a bank of strategies for solving problems.

There are many great math resources available online to provide support and practice.  Check out some of the sites below.



We know that practice makes proficient.  The best way to become a better reader is to READ then write about it.  The best way to become a better mathematician is to practice, reflect and practice some more.  Thank you for supporting our students and teachers with all your support.  Thank you for sharing your children with us!


Take Care,

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

Thank you!
·      Thanks to Lori Laraway, Kara Ebbutt, Anna McLeod, Booma Murali, and Amanda Savage for volunteering to help implement MUSIC WORKSHOP in classrooms.  Thanks to Tiffany Hellum for chairing the MUSIC WORKSHOP.  This program is similar to Art Literacy and is going to provide a great opportunity for our students!  We continue to look for volunteers so that all of our classrooms get this special experience.
·      Thanks to Megan McCue for donating hand soap for before lunch hand washing. 
·      Thanks to Roger Golliver, Heather Hough, Jen Fife-Adams, Abeer Awad, and Seona Zimmerman for leading the second round of battles for the Oregon Battle of the Books this week. 
·      Thanks to Lindsey Zobrist for sharing GREAT teaching ideas with us regularly.
·      Thanks to the Goodman and Harrison families for facilitating Family Movie Night.  Thanks to Sally Ebanks and Mary Duncan for keeping the popcorn stocked.  Families had fun!

Upcoming Events
January 31  Spirit Assembly at 8:25
February 1  Staff Development Day—No School
February 14-Dress Your Best Day
February 15-Will Hornyak-Storyteller Assemblies
February 15-Hundredth Day of School Dance, 6:30-8:30pm
February 18- Presidents’ Day-No School
February 20 Passport Club Check Day (Grades 3,4,5)-Email Heidi at glacierlodge@comcast.net to volunteer.
February 22 5th Grade Biz Town Field Trip
February 22-Art Fair 6:30-8:30pm

Wish List--These are little things or jobs that will make a difference to our kids. Feel free to send them in.
·          Volunteers Needed-We will begin our One Book, One School-school wide reading experience in mid-February.  Volunteers are needed to help label and distribute books on February 4 at 9:00am in the staff room.
·          32 Ounce  Yogurt Containers Needed
·          Donation of liquid hand soap (refills are perfect)
·          Donation of $10 Powell’s or Barnes and Noble gift cards for Ms. Kimball to use as prizes for the Adopt a Bookshelf Program

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sanitizer, Sunshine and Budgets-January 22, 2013


Dear Sexton Mountain Families:

Last Friday we took advantage of the sunshine and had our monthly fire drill.  All students were out and accounted for in about three minutes.  It was a sure sign that we are deep into cold and flu season when each of the kindergarten students in technology class quickly took a pump of hand sanitizer on their way out.  We’ve been going through tissues, soap and sanitizer like crazy. 

In addition to sunshine, sanitizer and snow routes last week, I had a chance to start thinking about next year as the District’s budget process gets underway.  It is very possible that we may face yet another round of cuts next year.  The District’s first budget listening session is tonight, Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. at Aloha High School. The session will include opening remarks by Superintendent Jeff Rose and a Budget and Funding Update by Chief Financial Officer, Claire Hertz. A panel including Superintendent Jeff Rose, Claire Hertz, Board Chair LeeAnn Larsen and Budget Committee member Susan Greenberg will answer questions from the audience.

The chart below is one that will be shared during the session.  It shows the percentage of the state budget that goes toward education.  What do you notice about change in the percentage of the state budget that goes toward K-12 education over the past ten years?

The District’s budget listening session will provide an opportunity for learning about the District.  On February 5th, Southridge High School will host a session with Representative Read and Senator Hass from 6:30-8:00pm.  This is your opportunity to talk to the people who can make a difference in the State budget for education in the upcoming school year.  The meeting will take place in the Community Room at Southridge.  

Meanwhile, teachers are teaching and learners are learning here at Sexton Mountain.  Thank you for sharing your child with us!

Take Care,

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

Thank you!
·      Thanks to Michelle Brown for assembling science packets for the whole fourth grade.
·      Thanks to Tiffany Hellum for chairing the MUSIC WORKSHOP.  This program is similar to Art Literacy and is going to provide a great opportunity for our students! 
·      Thanks to Stacy Namdar, Michele Cobain-Soto, and Darold Brower for donating hand soap for before lunch hand washing. 
·      Thanks to Roger Golliver and Grace Campbell for leading the first round of battles for the Oregon Battle of the Books today.  There were four exciting matches!
·      Thanks to Sally Ebanks for unpacking boxes of paper for the office. 

Upcoming Events
January 23 Passport Club Check Day (Grades 3,4,5)-Email Heidi at glacierlodge@comcast.net to volunteer
January 25  Family Movie Night  at 6:30pm
January 31  Spirit Assembly at 8:25
February 1  Staff Development Day—No School
February 14-Dress Your Best Day
February 15-Hundredth Day of School Dance, 6:30-8:30pm
February 18- Presidents’ Day-No School
February 20 Passport Club Check Day (Grades 3,4,5)-Email Heidi at glacierlodge@comcast.net to volunteer.
February 22 5th Grade Biz Town Field Trip
February 22-Art Fair 6:30-8:30pm

Wish List--These are little things or jobs that will make a difference to our kids. Feel free to send them in.
·          Technology Researchers Needed- Which ipad apps provide the most bang for the buck for elementary school aged children.  Please let Mrs. CB know which ones you would suggest and which ones we should stay away from if our goal is to optimize student learning through technology.
·          Volunteers Needed-We will begin our One Book, One School-school wide reading experience in mid-February.  Volunteers are needed to help label and distribute books on February 4 at 9:00am in the staff room.
·          32 Ounce  Yogurt Containers Needed
·          Musicians wanted-We would like musicians to play for us as students transition into the cafeteria for assemblies.  If your child plays and can share about four pieces between 8:15-8:30am during our spirit assemblies, please contact Mrs. CB.
·          Donation of liquid hand soap (refills are perfect)
·          Donation of $10 Powell’s or Barnes and Noble gift cards for Ms. Kimball to use as prizes for the Adopt a Bookshelf Program
·          HELP WANTED-With our economy as it is, we think there might be an untapped volunteer resource in our neighborhood that you might help us access.  We’ve heard that many recent college graduates are unable to find employment so have moved back home as they look for work.  We can provide wonderful volunteer experiences that might enhance resumes.  Does anyone on your block fit this description?  We would love to have some extra volunteers assist with kindergarten stations, technology, math games, community outreach and more.  If you know of someone who might benefit from this type of experience, please have them email Teresa_Clemens-Brower@beaverton.k12.or.us and complete the District’s Volunteer Background Check.
 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Writing, Kindness and More-January 15, 2013


Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                                                                                         

I happened to be in a first grade classroom last week as they prepared to write opinion pieces.  Students generated topic sentences that might be used to answer the given question.  Students then shared reasons to support their thinking.  They were very persuasive kids!  The question Ms. Martin posed inspired deep thought.  She asked kids their opinions on having recess before lunch.  Chase shared that playing before eating helps him get hungry.  Elijah shared that eating before exercise often makes him feel uncomfortable or sick so he likes recess, then lunch.  Orion shared that often, kids threw away lunch so that they could rush out to recess last year so there may have been more waste.  Cole shared his dislike over having recess times reduced this year so he thinks we should have recess more often, for longer periods throughout the day.  Our first graders had well developed ideas. They are able to explain their thinking and this will lead right into well-constructed writing.   We are lucky to have articulate kids and great teachers!

Our hallways are full of student writing.  Our fourth graders currently have work displayed about helping others.  By reading their work I learned about different organizations and individuals that are making a difference in our community.  Connor wrote about making contributions to World Vision so that others have soccer balls, chickens, or bed nets.  Julia wrote about inviting her friends to help her contribute to the Oregon Humane Society on her birthday.  Several students wrote about how they serve others through scouts, Pennies for Patients, the Red Cross, and Team Cole.  We have a very generous group of students and I was touched and inspired by reading their work.  I hope that you’ll have a chance to see the great things that are happening at Sexton Mountain School!

Great things are happening at Sexton Mountain!  Thank you for sending your children to school each day ready to learn! Thank you for all you do at home to make sure they are prepared!

Take Care,

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

Thank you!
  • §  Thanks to Toni Fisher for teaching kindergarten parent volunteers strategies for working with emergent readers.  We are so lucky to have an expert on early literacy willing to share ideas!
  • §  Thanks to all who attended the PTC meeting last Friday.   We are so lucky to have such a supportive group willing to work hard so that our kids have access to engaging learning materials!
  • §  Thanks to Christine Leyva for getting us started on Oregon Battle of the Books.  We have thirty-three teams off and running.  As seems to be the case with many of our volunteers this year, Christine found full time employment after starting the volunteer job.  Thanks to Grace Campbell for stepping in to help out!
  • §  Thanks to Eric McElroy for serving on our Community Engagement Committee.
  • §  Thanks to Tonya Robson for organizing Dining for Dough at Pizzicatto!  Not only do we get to earn money for our school but families also get to make connections away from school!  Hooray for community building!
  • §  Thanks to Tiffany Hellum for working to make sure that our school continues with our Green School status.  Tiffany leads our after school Eco Think Club and Garden Club.
  • §  Thanks to the Jenison family for sharing ideas on how to make morning drop off flow more smoothly.


Upcoming Events
January 15  Dining for Dollars Night at Pizziacatto
January 16  5th Graders visit Highland Park
January 17  Parent Night at Highland Park
January 21  Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday Observed-No School
January 23 Passport Club Check Day (Grades 3,4,5)-Email Heidi at glacierlodge@comcast.net to volunteer
January 25  Family Movie Night  at 6:30pm
January 31  Spirit Assembly at 8:25
February 1  Staff Development Day—No School
February 14-Dress Your Best Day
February 15-Hundredth Day of School Dance, 6:30-8:30pm
February 18- Presidents’ Day-No School
February 20 Passport Club Check Day (Grades 3,4,5)-Email Heidi at glacierlodge@comcast.net to volunteer.
February 22 5th Grade Biz Town Field Trip
February 22-Art Fair 6:30-8:30pm

Wish List--These are little things or jobs that will make a difference to our kids. Feel free to send them in.
·          Morning Greeters Needed-Grown ups are invited to help with morning drop off duty in the front traffic circle.  If you would like to help open car doors, please contact the principal.
·          Battle of the Books Helpers Needed-Battles have started and we need volunteers to help with battles during lunch recess.
·          32 Ounce Nancy’s Yogurt Containers Needed
·          Musicians wanted-We would like musicians to play for us as students transition into the cafeteria for assemblies.  If your child plays and can share about four pieces between 8:15-8:30am during our spirit assemblies, please contact Mrs. CB.
·          Pinecones Needed for Upcoming Writing Project
·          Donation of liquid hand soap.
·          Donation of $10 Powell’s or Barnes and Noble gift cards for Ms. Kimball to use as prizes for the Adopt a Bookshelf Program
·          Organized Volunteer to Pack Boxes Needed
·          HELP WANTED-With our economy as it is, we think there might be an untapped volunteer resource in our neighborhood that you might help us access.  We’ve heard that many recent college graduates are unable to find employment so have moved back home as they look for work.  We can provide wonderful volunteer experiences that might enhance resumes.  Does anyone on your block fit this description?  We would love to have some extra volunteers assist with kindergarten stations, technology, math games, community outreach and more.  If you know of someone who might benefit from this type of experience, please have them email Teresa_Clemens-Brower@beaverton.k12.or.us and complete the District’s Volunteer Background Check.