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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Moving, Thinking and Reading-April 19, 2016

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:      

Moving throughout the day maximizes learning!    Brain Rules by Medina and Eat, Move, Sleep by Rath share thinking around the effects of sleep and movement on how we think, act and feel.    We know that the simple act of walking to school or the bus stop gets the brain ready to learn!  Thanks for encouraging kids to be active before, during and after school.   Our teachers have children move throughout the day because movement matters to learning!

Thanks to all who contributed information in response to the homework survey question last Tuesday.  It was interesting to see the range.  Many reported chunking homework into 15-minute blocks with exercise breaks in between so it seems that families have noticed the benefits of moving for home learning too.   I believe that reading practice is the single most important homework that students can do at home.  Talking about what they’ve read is the second most important skill students can practice at home.    After reading a picture book or at the end of a chapter, take a walk around the block with your child and talk about the reading.  Side by side talk is a way to practice the language of the book and deepen their comprehension.  Authentic conversation about a text boosts a child’s understanding while building vocabulary while walking energizes the learner!

Another thing I learned from the survey responses about homework is how families are building (or sneaking) in practice minutes throughout the day.  Because we know that the more time kids spend reading and talking about what they’ve read, it’s important to find ways to give time to practice.  Here are a few things I learned about the great practices families are currently using:
  • Kids “get” to use smartphones for reading when families are out and about.  There are so many ebooks (including ones available from Bookshelf) that kids have high interest, just right books at their fingertips.
  • Tuck non-fiction books or magazines within arms reach of your child’s seat in the car.  Non-fiction doesn’t have to be read in order so kids can pick and choose depending on time.  Lego, Sports Illustrated, and American Girl all seem to be highly engaging.
  • Recognize the range of books that kids might enjoy.  One of our students recently made his own cookbook based on his experience with a range of cookbooks.  Another child enjoys reading the descriptions of clothing in catalogs.  What sources of print are available for your child to explore?

Five minutes here and there add up to lots of time on text and that results in better readers.  Thanks for finding time for your kids to read!

With Gratitude,

Teresa Clemens-Brower
Principal


Check out these staff blogs!

In the news:

Reminders
  • On Time and Ready to Learn—Instruction begins at 8:30am.  Students should be on their way to class at 8:25am.  Supervision begins at 8:05am so children should aim to be here by about 8:10am.
  • Sneakers are the best footwear choice for our active students. 
  • After School Safety-The paved path around our field and the pavement around the playground are closed to children from 2:50pm until 3:20pm so that buses and day care vans can pick up students. 
  • Bus Stop Safety- If your child rides the bus, please remind them to stay several feet away from the street at the bus stop and to be mindful of cars.
  • Dogs-Service dogs only are allowed on campus.

Wish List-These are things or jobs that make a difference to our kids, teachers, school and community. Send in items or let Mrs. CB know if you can volunteer.
  • Diaper and paper towel donations for the Beaverton Help Center.
  • Volunteers to serve on a Future Ready team as we focus on the digital citizenship skills our students will need to have in order to be safe, respectful and responsible.
  • Volunteers are needed to prepare two portables for adult learners.  If you like to clean and organize, let Mrs. CB know.
  • Volunteer is needed to organize and clean the remote workroom.   If you like to clean and organize, let Mrs. CB know.
  • Volunteer is needed to take a bag of supplies to the Help Center near Beaverton High sometime between 8:30 am and 3:00pm.
  • ·       Swiffer duster refills for small handled dusters will be put to good use in our computer lab.  Please send donations to the office.
  • ·       Donations of NEW child sized underwear for our Health Room are always appreciated.

Upcoming Events
April 28-Jog-a-thon
April 28-Science Technology Engineering Art and Math Night (STEAM Night)
April 29-Staff Development Day-No School
May is Walk, Bike and Bus to School Month!
May 13-Carnival
May 19- Kindergarten and 1st Grade Music Program at 6:30pm
May 27-No School-Assessment Day
May 30-No School-Holiday
June 10-Field Day (Volunteers will be needed.  Please make sure you’ve completed the new online volunteer application and background check.)
June 11-Run with the Eagles 5K
June 17-Last Day of School

September
6 - 1st-5th Grade-First day of School
6 – First day for Half of Kindergarten-Kindergarten students with a last name beginning with A-L First Day (M-Z do not have school this day)
7 – First day for the other Half of Kindergarten-Kindergarten students with a last name beginning with M-Z First Day  (A-L do not have school this day)

Find links to the calendar for next year by scrolling down to the bottom of the page at the link below:



Monday, April 11, 2016

Strengths and Hopes-April 12, 2016

Main Office  503-356-2470                         
 Attendance Line  503-356-2471 
Fax  503-356-2475

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                                                                      

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reading the All About Me pages that Kindergarten, First, Second, Third and Fourth Grade families completed for our students.  The pages will be given to 16-17 teachers so they can get to know kids a little before the school year even begins.   One of the things I love about our school is the wide range of different interests, backgrounds, perspectives, experiences, abilities and skills our students bring to school each day.  I listed a few of the words you used to describe strengths of our students.  What do you notice about the list?
Positive
Unafraid to fail
Inquisitive
Strong-willed
Voracious-reader
Determined
Organized
Upbeat
Eager
Trusted
Avoids-negative-peers
Proactive
Risk-taker
Curious
Flexible
Organized
Positive
Not afraid to fail
Problem solver
Detail-oriented
Mentally&Physically-strong
Focused
Listener
Self-Motivated
Good-listener
Plays-hard
Creative
Articulate
Respective
Compassionate
Empathetic
Reliable
Observant
Musical
Strong-willed  Courageous
Competitive
Loves-to-participate
Helpful
Consistent
Committed
Comfortable
Bi-lingual
Advocate-for-friends
Considerate
Honest
Spontaneous
Imaginative
Great-memory
Caring
Engaging
Funny
Takes-pride-in-work
Lovable
Great-with-numbers
Loves-technology
Meticulous
Tenacious
Independent
Non-Judgmental
Willing-to-learn
Problem solver
Detail-oriented
Loving
Intelligent
Willing-to-face-challenges Resilient

While the list of strengths seemed endless, when it came to each family’s hopes and dreams, there was a common theme.  We want our children to feel safe and valued by those around them while doing something they love to make a positive difference in the world.

Last week, the PTC sponsored an assembly where children were taught strategies for dealing with strong emotions simply by recognizing the emotion and deciding on a plan for dealing with it appropriately.  The presenter shared a number of stories and reminded children that one of the most important things we can do is treat others with respect and compassion.  I feel privileged to serve students in a school where this is valued and practiced.  Thank you for sharing your children with me!

With Gratitude,

Teresa Clemens-Brower
Principal

Check out these staff blogs!

Reminders
  • After School Safety-The paved path around our field and the pavement around the playground are closed to children from 2:50pm until 3:20pm so that buses and day care vans can pick up students. 
  • Bus Stop Safety- If your child rides the bus, please remind them to stay several feet away from the street and to be mindful of cars. Kids should not play chase or push games at the bus stop. 

Wish List-These are things or jobs that make a difference to our kids, teachers, school and community. Send in items or let Mrs. CB know if you can volunteer.
  • Volunteers to serve on a Future Ready team as we focus on the digital citizenship skills our students will need to have in order to be safe, respectful and responsible.

Upcoming Events
April 28-Jog-a-thon
April 28-Science Technology Engineering Art and Math Night (STEAM Night)
April 29-Staff Development Day-No School
May 13-Carnival
May 19- Kindergarten and 1st Grade Music Program at 6:30pm
May 27-No School-Assessment Day
May 30-No School-Holiday
June 10-Field Day (Volunteers will be needed.  Please make sure you’ve completed the new online volunteer application and background check.)
June 11-Run with the Eagles 5K
June 17-Last Day of School

September
6 - 1st-5th Grade-First day of School
6 – First day for Half of Kindergarten-Kindergarten students with a last name beginning with A-L First Day (M-Z do not have school this day)
7 – First day for the other Half of Kindergarten-Kindergarten students with a last name beginning with M-Z First Day  (A-L do not have school this day)

Find links to the calendar for next year by scrolling down to the bottom of the page at the link below:



Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Reading Away from School-April 5, 2016


Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                                                                       

The summons encouraged me to bring a book.  I got to read for nearly two hours before being dismissed.  Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller encourages readers to think about making time to read and being prepared for reading emergencies (like jury duty).

Reading is a complex, thinking task that requires practice.  Practice includes time to talk or write about what was read and time to reflect.  Lifelong readers dedicate time to read, self-select reading material, share books and reading with others, and have reading plans.  Proficient readers spend time reading every day.  Did you know that most kids make about 9 months worth of reading growth during the school year?  Did you know that if a child reads everyday during the summer, they make about 2 months worth of reading growth?  If a child doesn’t read during the summer, they backslide about three months.  I tried to represent that in the photo.  I had both girls start in the same spot but when one took two steps forward to represent reading growth that comes from summer reading and the other took  three steps back to represent summer reading loss, the gap between the two grew.  In just a few years, it’s possible that one student would be reading above grade level and the other far below.  


We can’t expect the reading students do at school to be enough.  Between now and June, I need your help in getting our children excited about continuing their reading over the summer.   If your child loves reading and has developed skills or habits that others might benefit from knowing, please share them with me!  We need to make what thriving readers do transparent and replicable.

If your child is a reluctant reader, let’s get together and figure out why?  What gets in the way of your child spending time in books?  Does your child have a plan for what they are going to read next?  Do they have a series or author they love?  Do they have a “to be read” list so when they hear about books of interest, they can make a note?  Do they listen to the podcasts made by children in their age group?  Do they always have a book with them?



On the evening of June 2 we will have a special reading celebration at the Beaverton City Library.  Between now and then, think about how we can get your child excited about reading.  If you visit our school library you’ll see evidence of a reading incentive program.  Our second graders are nearing the end of  reading race fashioned after a sled dog race in Alaska. When our buses were late last week, several kids immediately pulled a book out and started reading.  They were prepared!  One of our kindergarten students returned from a trip and the photos he shared with me included one of him relaxing with a book.    I hope that we go into summer encouraging all kids to read wildly!


Making the reading behaviors explicit (when so much is going on in the brain so  it is not easy for others to see) helps our children understand how thriving readers engage with text by asking questions, making predictions and connections, and determining importance.  While I was at the jury duty training, the teacher in me chuckled a bit when the video shown taught what jurors should look like and sound like with,  “Pay attention by moving your head to look at the person who is talking.”  In school, we try to explicitly teach the behaviors needed for different situations.   


  



Being explicit about the student behaviors we hope children will show helps children set goals too!  Here is an example of behaviors kids are expected to show in PE.  Think about what YOU think about while reading and how you might share those with your child.

With Gratitude,

Teresa Clemens-Brower
Principal

Check out these staff blogs!

Appreciation
  •  Thanks to Noel Tyner for sharing so much information about Autism for Awareness month.

 
Reminders
  • After School Safety-The paved path around our field and the pavement around the playground are closed to children from 2:50pm until 3:20pm so that buses and day care vans can pick up students. 
  • Bus Stop Safety- If your child rides the bus, please remind them to stay several feet away from the street and to be mindful of cars. Kids should not play chase or push games at the bus stop. 

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.
  • Diaper and paper towel donations for the Beaverton Help Center.
  • Volunteers to serve on a Future Ready team as we focus on the digital citizenship skills our students will need to have in order to be safe, respectful and responsible.

Upcoming Events
April 8- PTC Sponsored Assembly
April 28-Jog-a-thon
April 28-Science Technology Engineering Art and Math Night (STEAM Night)
April 29-Staff Development Day-No School
May 13-Carnival
May 19- Kindergarten and 1st Grade Music Program at 6:30pm
May 27-No School-Assessment Day
May 30-No School-Holiday
June 10-Field Day (Volunteers will be needed.  Please make sure you’ve completed the new online volunteer application and background check.)
June 11-Run with the Eagles 5K
June 17-Last Day of School