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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Practice, Proficient, Affordable Consequences-January 13, 2015

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:    

I was watching my son drive Sunday morning when suddenly the tail of the car started fishtailing.  He was clearly losing control.  The fishtailing turned into full on spins and the squeal of tires and brakes wasn’t really loud enough to cover my screams.  On I-5, semi-trucks zoomed by but the car my son was driving came to a stop 200 yards away.  Check out this 40-second clip for a better understanding of my experience.

Luckily, his out of control spins took place in a parking lot.  Instead of hitting other cars (with even a small ding costing hundreds) or being plowed over by a semi-truck at a high rate of speed (costing a life), his driving errors resulted in knocking over cones.   The consequences were affordable.  When cones on the course were knocked down, the car would come to a stop (sometimes in a Dukes of Hazard fashion), a teen in the back seat would get out, set them up again, then my son would start over.  Each time he had more control over the car and every time he failed (by hitting a cone) he learned from his mistake.   He failed, then failed better and failed again but even better.  While he is not yet ready to be a stunt car driver or even be on a snow covered road with other cars around, he now knows what it feels like to lose then regain control of a vehicle.  Practice makes proficient and this extreme driving class was a great use of his time.

Several times in the past week I’ve had opportunities to remind kids about learning from failure. When students are able to identify mistakes they’ve made, figure out where they got off track, make plans for correction, practice the new way and then readjust and refine with the focus being on continual improvement, they learn important lessons.  The best part about learning these lessons when in elementary school is that consequences are affordable.   Students learn to take risks, deal with a wide range of people, and that effort pays off!  Learning from failure is, in my opinion, one of the most important habits of mind in preparing children for a wide range of post secondary options. 

Learning from mistakes can take place at home and school.  I want to bring attention to a new problem kids seem to be having difficulty with.  Knowledge is power so I wanted to share a few resources too.  I’ve noticed that many of our students got new electronics for the holidays.  Some of these devices put the world at their fingertips.  Teaching children how to navigate safely is very important.  Does your child know what to do if an inappropriate image pops up or if they receive a message from someone they don’t know?    As this has been a problem that’s been brought to my attention, I wanted to let you know about a book that several Sexton Mountain parents let me know about.  Good Pictures, Bad Pictures is a resource intended to help parents teach children about inappropriate images.  Several families have mentioned that it’s a great book for teaching children about digital safety.  We will have several copies of the book available for check out from the office if you are interested.  Here is a link to another resource:

On an entirely different note, according to Beaverton City Cody 5.05.033, “any person responsible for any animal, except for animals of the species Felis Catus (domestic cat), shall be in possession of tools for the removal of, and shall remove, excrement deposited by the animal in any public area not designed to receive those wastes, including but not limited to streets, sidewalks, parking strips and public parks.”  Unfortunately, our younger students don’t seem to notice when people don’t follow the law and we’ve had a lot of icky shoes recently.  Please teach children to watch their step on your way to school and encourage pet owners to clean up after pets.   Speaking of fecal matter, an adult goose can drop up to two pounds of excrement daily. The goose population on our field has grown.  As they land and take off, we’ve had several children get splatted.  Students are learning to be more respectful around the gaggle as they’ve learned a possible consequence of startling them into flight.  Was it Frank Zappa whose lyrics included “watch out for those fliers in the sky?”  We are teaching children to have a great awareness of surrounding.  Please encourage this at home too.

As I’ve visited classroom this week, kids have been hard at work on a range of things.  January is one of my favorite months to watch learners as children seem to go through a bit of a learning explosion during the winter!  Thanks for sharing your children with us!


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

·       Thanks for keeping the office and teachers informed when after school plans change.  Please keep daycare providers in the loop too.
·       Please update contact information as it changes.

·       Wish List-These are things or jobs that make a difference to our kids, teachers or school.  Send in items or let Mrs. CB know if you can volunteer.

·       Donations of kids’ magazines will be put to good use in the cafeteria.
·       Volunteers are needed to do several “hands on” projects in preparation for upcoming events.  The jobs can be done at home and materials can be sent home with students via backpack mail.  Please email Mrs. CB if you can do a project for us.

Upcoming Events
January 13-PTC Meeting at 9:00am
January 18-Martin Luther King Jr. Day-No School
January 21 Passport Club
January 22 Talent Show Dress Rehearsal at 3:10pm
January 23 Talent Show at 6:30pm
January 26-Staff Development Day-No School
February 10-PTC Meeting at 6:30pm
February 16-Presidents’ Day-No School
February 18-PTC Art Fair 6:30-8:00
February 19-20 Parent-Teacher Conferences-No School
February 25 Passport Club
March 7-PTC Learn and Play Auction
March 9-12 Book Fair
March 10-PTC Meeting at 9:00am
March 12 Kindergarten Orientation at 4:00pm
March13 Grading Day - No School
March 18 Passport Club
March 23-27-Spring Break-No School
April 9- One School One Book Literacy Night-6:30-7:30pm
April 14-PTC Meeting at 6:30pm
April 15 Passport Club
April 23-Jog-a-thon
April 23-PTC Science Fair
April 24 Staff Development Day-No School
May 12-PTC Meeting at 9:00am
May 13 Passport Club
May 15-PTC Carnival
May 21-Volunteer Appreciation Day
May 22 Staff Development Day- No School
May 25 Memorial Day-No School
June 5 Field Day
June 9-PTC Meeting at 6:30pm
June 12 Last Day of School

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