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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Talent, Text Evidence, Talking about Text-January 27, 2015

 Dear Sexton Mt. Families:      

I went home from the Talent Show Friday night inspired!  I am always surprised by the life our students lead outside of school.  Break dancing, ballet, rap, piano, dance, gymnastics,  singing, tambourine, violin and comedy—who knew?!?!   I was reminded again that practice makes proficient!  Whether it’s practicing a dance routine over and over again on the playground during recess or learning fingering for different guitar chords, there was clear evidence that they had practiced and refined skills to the point that they were confident performing in front of the masses.   Thanks to all our participants for showing this and to Kate Kristiansen for organizing!  Thanks to all who helped with clean up as well!  Our community rocks!

Our teachers spent Monday learning about strategies and resources for supporting students as the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts has us shifting to:
·      An increase in reading of informational text
·      Building vocabulary needed in order to access grade-level complex text
·      Having rich and rigorous text based conversations
·      Using evidence from a text to inform or make an argument
·      Reading and writing across the content areas

To get ready for their task of developing lessons, teachers watched some short video clips and read a text to practice using evidence from multiple sources in order to form opinions.  As I’ve shared before, our children need to be able to read and think critically because they are bombarded with so many competing views.  I’ve included the links in case you want to view or read the sources to think about how you have an evidence based discussion regarding a fun topic.

Think about how you would use the sentence frames below to discuss different view points and explain how that evidence connects to ideas.  Teach children to clearly link the author’s words to an idea by using some of the sentence starters below.

  • §  The text explicitly states…so I believe…
  • §  The reporter in the video said… so I think….
  • §  The video shows…and that makes me think….
  • §  The article states… I think…
  • §  The graphic showed…so…….
  • §  The author said ___ which suggests….
  • §  I believe ____ because according to the text it states…..
  • §  I feel____ because according to the text it states…..
  • §  I think____ because according to the text it states…..

Last week, I told you that for my husband’s  birthday, I sent him to Seattle to watch a football game.  From the comfort of my living room, I watched the first few minutes of the Seahawks-Panther game to see if I could see him in the crowd.  Because our teacher Mrs. Frame had told me about a Panther player from Beaverton, I was especially interested in Number 74.   At least during the 5 minutes I watched, Remmers, was noticeable because every time he plowed someone over (his job as a lineman) he reached down and offered a hand up.  If we were discussing the game, I might say, I feel Remmers must be a kind player because during the game, he helped others up on multiple occasions.  Have you used any of the sentence frames I gave you last week for book or movie discussions with your child?  I have some more for you this week to use with FICTION.

I read an article recently that claimed that people who tend to read fiction are more empathetic. Check it out at .   As students read, they can make assumptions about a character through the character’s words, actions and thoughts.  When we practice thinking about words, actions and thoughts of characters in the books we read, are able to use the patterns to develop a new understanding of the text.  We learn about the world through reading and when we read and discuss texts closely with our children, we are able to model for children how to revise and refine our thinking as we learn more.  Through discussions about characters, our children can learn strategies for dealing with many of life’s challenges without necessarily having to deal with the challenge itself!  I’ve included some sentence frames below for you to try out as you reflect on text evidence and meaning with your child.
·      I feel _____(insert character name ) must be _____  because ____.
·      My thinking about this character has changed because first  the author wrote _____ and now the author wrote ___________.
·      These characters are really different because ____________. I think this because the author wrote ____.
·      One issue I am noticing in this book is _____. I think this because the author wrote____ on page___ and ____ on page ____ followed by ____ on page _____.
·      I think the author is trying to teach me ______________. I think this because the author wrote _________.

You might use a sticky note to mark parts of the text that support thinking.  It’s easier to go back and find evidence in the text to support thinking when you do.  Just as authors provide us with evidence to use in order to make more focused and grounded ideas about text, children can also use evidence in their own lives to make informed decisions.

There are 21,500 different sources of information about #74, Mike Remmers when I Google his name.  There are MULTIPLE sources and opinions on just about EVERY topic or idea our students may show interest in so it is VERY important that we teach them now to think critically, cite sources, analyze, compare and think at deep levels.    The world is changing and our kids need to be prepared.  The mission of the Beaverton School District is to engage our students in rigorous and joyful learning experiences that meet their individual needs and help them reach their full potential.  I know that reading closely in order to make informed decisions is an important skill and I’m delighted that WE are partnering together to provide many opportunities for rich discussion at home and school.  Thank you 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 if your child will not be going home with them.
·       Please update contact information as it changes.

Thanks to the Koppolu family for donating bags.
Thanks to the Ionis family for donating scrapbook paper.
Thanks to Xan Eriksson, Sally Ebanks, Boris Gurman, and Jane Williams for help on a district report card project.
Thanks to those who anonymously donated paper sacks with handles and ziplock bags.
Thanks to all who helped with clean up after the Talent Show.
Thanks to all who continue to send in donations for the Auction.

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.
·     We would love to have zip ties and gallon sized ziplock bags donated for upcoming projcts.
·     Donations of kids’ magazines will be put to good use in the cafeteria.
·     Donations of foaming hand soap will be put to good use.

Upcoming Events
January 27 OBOB Battles Begin (T,W,Th During Lunch Recess)
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 6  Final OBOB Battle
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 11 2nd Annual Run with the Eagles 5K
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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