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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Art of Story Telling-February 17, 2015

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                                  

On Friday afternoon our building was full of celebrating children.  In a third grade classroom, a group of students had circled around one game.  They chanted, “Go!  Go!  Go!”  The players were encouraged.  It sounded a little bit like a college party as portrayed in movies.  If encouraging is a college and career readiness skill, this class has it nailed!

I am really looking forward to Family Art Night!  Students’ artwork has been coming in and it’s amazing!  The Auction Projects are also on display.  From benches to platters and peacocks, I can’t wait to bid on items to beautify my home and office!  In addition to the artwork you can see, there will also be hands on projects.  I am very excited about a family story project.  I hope many people will take part.

Story telling builds vocabulary, collaboration skills, stamina, sequencing and recall skills.  Family stories are the first children hear and the ones most often repeated.   At my family reunion last weekend I sat next to my Great Aunt Arlene as she talked about her childhood memories of work on the farm.  Her hands, now gnarled with arthritis, demonstrated her technique for plucking the pin-feathers from chickens.  Though the younger folks seemed horrified by her tales of working through 60 chickens in one day, she had a dreamy smile as she described how the whole family worked together to have all 60 chickens canned in Mason jars by days end.  I have to admit that my pin-feather experience was non-existent so I did have to Wiki it to better understand.  Arlene’s story reminded my cousin Todd of a dissection experience in his middle-school science classroom.  Todd’s story reminded my husband of working at a truck stop and cracking hundreds of eggs on Saturday mornings.  The storytelling continued.

When you come to the Art Fair Wednesday night, please check out the artwork in the book In My Family.  The author includes simple stories about her family’s experience and her childhood memories.  Our first graders made some connections to different parts of the text.  Feel free to add your memories to the charts they’ve started.  If your family has a connection to one of the stories in the book, please write and illustrate your own story and add it to the “To Be Published” basket.  You can work on your story at home too if you’d like.  Be sure to get your artwork, story and a family picture to me by February 27.  I will compile the stories into a book on February 28.   When we did this project at my previous school, the book we made quickly became the favorite in the library as children got to read about small experiences in the lives of others. 

I’ve shared repeatedly the importance of teaching children the habits of mind needed in order to be college and career ready by reading texts closely.  We cite, describe, analyze, synthesize, choose, infer, interpret, compare, contrast and define as we read and respond.  As you write your story, use what you’ve learned from closely reading the work of others.  Carmen Lomas Garza, the author of In My Family, let’s the artwork tell the story. Her writing is simple and straight forward.   Think about the style used in your child’s favorite book or the authors you enjoy.  Play with language, word choice, patterns, and tone to create your story.

The BEST part of our school is the 500+ students, staff and families because each person brings a unique perspective that adds to the richness of Sexton Mountain.  When we share our stories, we building connections and that betters our school and community!


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

·      Parents are encouraged to do weekly head checks for lice or nits.  Catching them early and interrupting the life cycle are the best ways to avoid big outbreaks. 
·      There will be no school for students on Thursday and Friday because of Parent-Family conferences.

·       Thanks to the Eriksson, Isenhart and Fife-Adams families for donating chewing gum to our school. 
·       Thanks to the McLeod’s for donating a rocking chair to our school. 
·       Thanks to the Khartikova family for donating foaming hand soap.
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.
·      Children’s magazines
·      Antibacterial or disinfecting wipes are needed for the computer lab. 
·      Sugarless Chewing Gum
·      A volunteer is needed to spiffy up cubbies that will be used for full day kindergarten next year.  Your creative license will come in handy!  Let Mrs. CB know if you’d like to do this project for us.
·       A volunteer is needed to spiffy up tables by covering them with contact paper.

Upcoming Events

February 18 PTC Art Fair 6:30-8:00pm
February 19-20 Parent-Teacher Conferences-No School
February 25 Passport Club
February 27 Final OBOB Battle-2:15 in the Library
March 7 OBOB Regional Battle
March 7 PTC Learn and Play Auction
March 10-PTC Meeting at 9:00am
March 12 Kindergarten Orientation at 4:00pm
March13 Grading Day - No School
March 18  5th Grade BizTown Trip
March 19 Passport Club
March 23-27-Spring Break-No School April 9 One School One Book Night-6:30-7:30pm
April 11 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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