Welcome to April, 2017!

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Students have been studying the work of Author Mo Willems in kindergarten. Shown above are some of Ms. Wilsbach’s students, who used the story “Knuffle Bunny” to inspire their writing. Knuffle Bunny went to the beach. He went swimming. He made friends with the dolphin. He stayed in ocean. – Milana.

Thank you Kindergarten Team for all your great work with this unit of study!

For the past several weeks, kindergarten and first grade teachers have been learning more about phonics instruction and its role in the teaching of reading. Teams of teachers watched demonstration lessons presented by Ms. DiMarco/reading specialist, and they discussed new ways to enhance their shared reading with phonics strategies and tools that will support students. Special thanks to Ms. DiMarco and our “host” classrooms!

Students in our Leadership Club had a visit from Tri-State K-9 (therapy and response dogs) on Thursday. Thank you Ms. Leach and Ms. Wilsbach for arranging this visit, which aligns with the mission of the club – to be of service. Students learned about the role of therapy dogs and how the dogs learn to comfort and support others in times of need or emergency.

Define the Things You Want to Define You!

Define the things you want to define you – that was the message at this year’s Saturday Reunion at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP) at Columbia University on March 18. Keynote speaker Drew Dudley, whose TED talk, Everyday Leadership, was voted one of the most inspirational of all time, spoke to more than 3,000 teachers during his opening address. According to Dudley, leadership is defined too narrowly. “The examples of leaders given to us are giants – Steve Jobs, Oprah,” he stated. But Dudley stressed that we all have the ability to lead, and especially teachers, by helping others see how powerful they can be.

His advice – Identify your values (honesty, integrity, or empowerment, for example) and then use these values to make decisions every day. Ask yourself, “How did I show my commitment to (that value) today?

You can read more about Drew Dudley here:

http://www.drewdudley.com/

What three elements support learning?

According to Cheryl Tyler, presenter on peer tutoring/book buddies at TCRWP’s Saturday Reunion, three elements help children (and everyone) to learn best. These are:

  1. Trusting Relationships

  2. Collaboration (someone helping)

  3. CHOICE – When  you have choice, you have engagement and you take ownership.

 

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Preschool students marched in their annual BEAR PARADE last Friday to celebrate the culmination of their popular author study unit. Students chose a character from a favorite story and dressed up bears as that character.

Thank you to our preschool team for making this event so meaningful for our students. Students did an excellent job of showing their characters and marching at the ECEC building!

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Ms. McCann’s art students used skills they acquired this year to create themed artwork, which is being showcased at Casciano’s Coffee Bar & Sweetery for Youth Art Month. (These are fantastic.) The show wraps up April 7.

Ms. Rybacki’s ONE LITTLE WORD: Optimist

From left: Ms. Wilsbach, Ms. Giralo, Ms. Aumenta, and Ms. Brigandi at Family Reading Night!

April Happenings

 Tuesday, April 4, 2017 – Faculty Meeting, 3:30.

Friday, April 7, 2017 – RTI Meeting, 2:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 – Single Session (Marking Period Ends)

Thursday, April 13 – Monday, April 17, 2017 – No School

Tuesday, April 18, Wednesday, April 19, and Thursday, April 20, 2017 – K/1 Conferences.

Thursday, April 20, 2017 – First Grade Meeting, 7:30, Preschool Meeting, 11:30 (Ms. DiMarco will address reading levels/text demands in the early levels), 3:30, Kindergarten Meeting.

Monday, April 24, 2017 – CIC Meeting, 3:30, Room #12. (Moved due to conferences)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 – FIRST GRADE ZOO TRIP

Have a great weekend!

Darla

From Ms. Zuber’s Room: BELIEVE 

 

Welcome to February, 2017!

Re-Energizing Students’ Reading Engagement!

February officially marks the beginning of the last half of the school-year. More than likely, it’s time to restore the energy in our reading workshops, and set new goals for student engagement.

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In her article in Choice Literacy this week, Katrina Edwards talks about how she boosted reading engagement in her classroom by taking a close look at her students during reading using the “engagement inventory checklist” created by Jennifer Serravallo. *

“Readers, today instead of meeting and talking with you, I am going to stand back and watch. I am going to notice all the things you are doing to read deeply in your books. I am going to keep track of what I see on this checklist so we can meet and talk about the patterns we notice.”

Edwards explained the coding system she used to note and record students’ actions. Some examples: SB-switched books, ER-engaged reading, RW-responding and writing a sticky note, and LA-looking around. Collecting this information over a period of time helped her and her students reflect on patterns and make shifts for more engaged reading. Some of these were as simple as choosing a different book or choosing a different reading place in the classroom.

You can read the entire article here:

The fact is, students can’t make significant gains in reading without a deep level of engagement.

According to Calkins (2015), reading a high volume of high-success texts is critical for reading gains. High success texts are those that students can read independently, with high levels of accuracy, fluency, and comprehension.

Some things to notice and reflect on when considering reading engagement:

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  • Do students have enough independent level texts in their book bags/boxes? If not, they may need more support making choices during book shopping.
  • Do students have enough high interest books? As Calkins (2015), states, “If we hope to bring up a nation of readers, it is crucial to allow them to choose among high-interest books that they can read.”
  • Do students have enough opportunities to talk and write in response to texts? As Kari Yates shared with us on Voxer this week, students should be spending about 10% of their reading time writing about reading. For example, if students read for 20 minutes, they should take two minutes to write about reading. Writing about reading can also help students to prepare to TALK about their reading.

Talk is a key way that students learn to think at higher levels. It’s a sure way to breathe life back into workshops and engage learners.

  • As Calkins (2015) states, “In think tanks, study groups, inquiry projects, graduate courses, seminars – what do you do? You talk. Talk is the medium in which we all outgrow ourselves, over and over.”
  • Do students quickly choose a book (print or digital) and dig right into reading? If a student is spending too much time choosing, whether thumbing through EPIC or abandoning too many books, this is a sure sign that he or she needs new strategies for engagement.

If we take the time to step back and look closely at engagement, often we can target areas that need attention, restore focus and energy, and help our students set new, more challenging reading goals!

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How Can Parents Help Support Reading Engagement?

  • Make sure books students are reading at home from their book-in-the-bags are ones they can read easily and successfully on their own. Have them read these texts to you. Re-reading easy (high success) books helps students build their reading muscles and reach for higher levels.
  • Read books to your children that they choose. Just as with adults, books of personal interest motivate and engage young readers – and many times, it’s that ONE SPECIAL BOOK that turns the tide and hooks readers for good!
Resources:
Calkins, L. (2015). A guide to the reading workshop, primary grades. Portsmouth: Heinemann.
Seravallo, J. (2014). The Literacy Teacher’s Playbook K-2. Portsmouth: Heinemann.

Preview The Literacy Teacher’s Playbook K-2 here:

Some of our beautiful preschool art from the Snow Unit:

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Math Engagement Matters!

According to Catherine Attard, from the University of Western Sydney, students are engaged in math learning when they are actively participating, valuing the learning, and when they are involved in building deep understandings of mathematical concepts.

Here are some areas to notice and support in math workshop:

TALK: In engaging math workshops, there are continuous social interactions happening between students and teachers.

CHALLENGE LEVEL: Tasks are challenging, but provide opportunities for all students to experience a level of success.

CHOICE: Students are provided with elements of choice in their math learning.

RELEVANCE: As with everything, when topics are relevant to our lives they are more interesting and meaningful. Keeping relevance in math workshop is a sure way to increase engagement!

Read more about mathematical engagement in the primary classroom here:

How Can Parents Help Support Math Learning?

Click here for ideas on how to support math learning and a love of math at home:

FEBRUARY HAPPENINGS

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017 – School Safety Team Meeting

Friday, February 10, 2017 – Single Session

Tuesday, February 14, 2017Super Buddies Mentoring Meeting, (upon student arrival), Room #16. Faculty Meeting, 3:30. Topic: Student Assessment data/curriculum.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 – Mother Goose Visits Kindergarten Classrooms!

Friday, February 17, 2017 – No School; Teacher in-service

Monday, February 20, 2017 – Presidents’ Day, No School.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 – CIC Meeting, 7:45 a.m., Room #12. (Preschool Conference Week)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 – First Grade Meeting, 3:30.

Thursday, February 23, 2017 – Kindergarten Meeting, 3:30; Preschool Meeting, 11:30.

MINDSET OF THE MONTH: OPTIMISM

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Have a great weekend!

Darla

 

Welcome to January, 2017!

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Ms. Hiltwine’s One Little Word (OLW) for 2017!

We started off the new year with a wonderful day of learning during Friday’s district in-service, the topic of which was Teacher-Led Professional Development and Wellness. 

Here are just a few of the highlights:

YOGA FOR TEACHERS AND CLASSROOM APPLICATIONS:

ECEC/WES Reading teacher Elizabeth Spanfelner presented a yoga class first thing in the morning. Not only did we stretch and relax to begin the day, we learned a lot about classroom applications for yoga. “Ms. Span” explained that yoga is similar to the concept of brain breaks and, as with adults, it helps students to concentrate and focus. In fact, yoga has physical, mental, and emotional benefits!

We also learned ways to infuse yoga with phonemic awareness work and letter acquisition activities.

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Ms. Ingemi, who attended the session, pointed out that yoga is also an excellent community builder. Both teachers shared resources and ideas for using yoga in the classroom. Check out the site below for research on the benefits of  yoga for students.

BENEFITS OF YOGA IN THE CLASSROOM

USING QR CODES TO DISPLAY STUDENT WORK

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Ms. Noll’s OLW for 2017!

Ms. Tippin and Ms. Noll presented a workshop on using QR codes. Many of our teachers already use QR codes in reading workshop, but in this workshop they acquired ideas for using QR codes to display student work. Using Audio Boom, students can read their writing and then create a QR code, which can be attached to the writing. By scanning the QR code, you can listen to students read their work. This is a unique way to to publish student work, while also promoting reading fluency and speaking. It’s also a great way to motivate students to create good writing! 

You can learn more about QR CODES at the links below:

Tutorial for Using Audio Boom to Create QR Codes
Read About QR CODES

By the way – teachers – are you interesting in going home with students to read to them? Not literally, of course, but we will soon be creating a borrowing library for students that will feature teachers reading favorite books with the help of QR CODES. th-2.jpgStay tuned for more information about our QR CODE borrowing library!

Digital Tools: Apps, Web Sites, and Resources 

Ms. Brittin and I presented a session on using digital tools in the classroom. You can view the entire presentation at this link DIGITAL TOOLS and preview all of the tools, including our school’s digital data bases, subscriptions, and story telling tools. Three of my favorite tools are Tellagami, Book Creator, and Answer Garden! Be sure to check these out if you haven’t already. If youwere at the QR CODES workshop and missed this session, not to worry, we will be reviewing these tools again soon.

Student Wellness With Go Noodle

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Ms. Heggan and Ms. Aumenta presented ways to use Go Noodle in the classroom.This is a great online resource that helps improve student attention and wellness by through movement.

Check it out here:

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Other topics on Friday included an intensive workshop on the Red Rules phonics program presented by Ms. DiMarco, and wellness sessions that focused on topics such as nutrition and stress management. Many teachers also worked together to re-arrange and re-design their classroom libraries. Preschool teacher Lisa Ruiz shared math ideas with the preschool team from a recent workshop she attended at Rowan University.

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Thank you to all teachers and staff for your participation on Friday!

Special thanks to all who helped to plan the day – in big or small ways – Ms. Hiltwine, Ms. Aumenta, Ms. Garvey, Ms. Brittin, Ms. Tippin, Ms. Noll, Ms. DiMarco, Ms. Heggan, Ms. Brigandi, Mr. Lavell, Ms. Sebastiano, Ms. McCann, Ms. Cindy, Ms. Carde, Ms. Ruiz, and any other staff members that I may have missed. It all came together beautifully. Great day!

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Teachers: Don’t forget to download Voxer on your I-PHONE to participate in conversations with Kari Yates. We will start Voxing next week!

 JANUARY HAPPENINGS

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Monday, January 2, 2017 – No School; Happy New Year!

Friday, January 13, 2017 – No School; Teacher In-Service

Monday, January 16, 2017 – No School; Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 – CIC Meeting, Room #12, 7:45 a.m.

Thursday, January 26, 2017 – Preschool Meeting, 11:30; Kindergarten Meeting, 3:30.

Monday, January 30, 2017 – First Grade Meeting, 3:30.

MINDSET OF THE MONTH

Resilience

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Have a great weekend!

Darla

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Welcome to December, 2016!

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Here we are again – at the end of another year – only to begin a new one in a few short weeks. As always, it’s fresh with possibilities! Ushering in a brand new year invites us to reflect on the past year and plan new journeys for the one ahead. At the ECEC, we’ve been choosing one word to guide us as we look toward each new year.

The phrase one little word (OLW) has been written about often on one of my favorite blogs – Two Writing Teachers. Check it out here: https://twowritingteachers.org and search One Little Word for inspirational posts about choosing your own OLW. If you live by OLW already, now is the perfect time look back on your word. How did it go? Was it a good word for you? How did it guide/challenge you? 

It’s also time to choose your OLW for 2017! What will your word be?

For the past few years, much of my time and thoughts have centered around my doctoral work – how quality picture books can help support children’s social emotional skills and specifically – EMPATHY.

Empathy … is the one crucial element that is necessary in order for us to treat one another with respect and kindness. It is imperative that our young people learn to be empathetic, both for their own good and for the good of society as a whole. Books can help accomplish this (Kehret, 2001).

So with that, I choose my OLW for 2017: KINDNESS 

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I’m excited to begin the new year with kindness at the forefront. I can’t wait to see the new one little words at the ECEC and how they will help shape us in 2017. Bring on the new year!

DIGITAL LITERACY GROUP

Several ECEC and WES teachers teamed up to support digital literacy learning and articulation between our schools. On Friday, ECEC teachers (Ms. Noll, Ms. Tippin, Ms. Gilbert, Ms. Merlino, and Ms. Aumenta) met with WES teachers (Ms. Rongone, Ms. Wardrop, and Ms. Scibilia). They began to explore ideas and digital tools in order to address ELA speaking/listening and reading/writing standards. They will be designing a project that allows students to produce and share information. You can check out one of the popular tools teachers are exploring here: https://voicethread.com/.

Thank you, Ms. Brittin, for helping to facilitate this group!

FOCUSING ON MATH: TEACHER IN-SERVICES

Ms. Fisher, Ms. Mikula, Ms. Hiltwine and Ms. Leach recently attended math workshops at Rowan University. On Friday, they presented the information they learned to the entire ECEC staff.

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Ms. Mikula and Ms. Fisher discussed the need to offer students flexible ways to problem-solve. They also discussed the importance of visual thinking and showed examples of how students group mathematical information using images.

After the workshops, teachers worked in teams to design student tasks that require problem-solving and critical thinking.

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Ms. Leach discussed the importance of having students explain their reasoning and approaches to problem-solving. She and Ms. Hiltwine also demonstrated ways to help students determine the information needed to solve problems.

We continue to focus on supporting students’ mathematical problem-solving and reasoning abilities. To support our work, we are drawing on ideas from Jo Boaler’s book, Mathematical Mindsets. You can preview the book here:

https://www.amazon.com/Mathematical-Mindsets-Unleashing-Potential-Innovative/dp/0470894520#reader_0470894520

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We are also working through a six-session math course online through Stanford University.Want to take the free course with us? Sign up here: https://www.youcubed.org/category/mooc/

SUPPORTING ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING

Our preschool team met with a representative from the New Jersey Department of Education on Friday to discuss ways to support English language acquisition. Members from the Waterford School District also attended.

Thank you, Mr. Lavell, for facilitating the group! Thank you, Ms. Ruiz, for facilitating a conversation with the preschool team on supporting literacy development in preschool!

CONFERRING WITH READERS AND WRITERS

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Author and literacy expert Kari Yates continues to support us in the area of literacy instruction. On Friday, she SKYPED with the ECEC STAFF. Ms. Yates discussed high-leverage conferences and answered questions. She also replayed conference clips from her visit to our school in October and discussed the conferences with staff.

Some highlights of our discussion:

  • Helping students become the Super Heroes of their own reading and writing lives. How? By assuming students are doing great literacy work – finding that work – and then NAMING it for students. This is known as the “compliment.” The teaching point often follows the compliment.
  • Pushing ourselves to compliment during EVERY CONFERENCE before offering a teaching point. “May I give you a compliment?” …
  • The importance of DAILY INDEPENDENT CHOICE reading and teacher conferring – the center of reading workshop.
  • Supporting students’ INDEPENDENT routines for reading and work work. How? By teaching them things they can do on their own with any book and/or giving them learning strategies. For example – locating sight words in their books, saying the words, spelling the words out loud, then closing their eyes and spelling the words in the air.
  • Helping students master sounds at text levels A and B – before moving on. Often, students get stuck at level C because they haven’t really learned to use print/sounds.
  • Teaching fluency. How? For example, teaching students to read their books out loud with meaning. Ms. Yates gave the example of coaching  a student how to read Elephant and Piggy books based on the size of text on each page. The student in the conference clip had been reading the whole book the same way. Paying attention to dialogue and fluency supports meaning.
  • Finally, always helping students to focus on MEANING first. We are tempted to jump right to the print. Help students ask: “What’s the message of this book and how does it affect me?” At the early levels, pictures are a primary source of information for students. The ultimate goal is to for students to integrate ALL THREE SYSTEMS – Visual, Meaning, and Syntax.

MINDSET OF THE MONTH:

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DECEMBER HAPPENINGS

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Friday, December 2, 2016 – No School; Teacher in-service.

Monday, December 5, 2016 – MIX IT UP SCHEDULE

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 – Faculty Meeting: Stanford Course #4; In-service topics

Wednesday, December 7, and Thursday December 8, 2016 – I&RS, 3:30

Friday, December 9, 2016 – Ms. Maloney & Ms. Saia’s classes – Santa Trip

Monday, December 12, 2016Holiday Breakfast in the Faculty Lounge from Ms. Salay.  THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO FOR OUR STUDENTS AND OUR SCHOOL!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 – EAGLE THEATER VISIT for grades K-5

Thursday, December 15, 2016 – Preschool Theater Trip

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 – CIC Meeting, Room #12, 7:45 a.m. HOLIDAY Concert, WES cafe, 2:00 p.m.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 – Pizza Parties, No Lunches Served.

Thursday, December 22, 2016 – Single Session; Polar Express Day

Friday, December 23 – Monday, January 2, 2016 – WINTER BREAK

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Thank you to Ms. Noll, Ms. Rosado, Ms. Sebastiano, and Ms. Aumenta for planning bagels, coffee, and an aromatherapy jar give-away on Friday! Thanks also to Ms. Cindy for donating jars.

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From My House To Yours: Have a wonderful Holiday Season and a very Happy New Year!

Welcome to November, 2016!

Two authors in two weeks at the ECEC!

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Author Katherine Applegate with Kindergarten Teacher Allison Tippin on Tuesday!

It’s been an exciting two weeks, as the ECEC has welcomed two authors in the past two weeks! Katherine Applegate, award winning author of The One and Only Ivan and Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla, visited both ECEC and WES on Tuesday. She presented assemblies for all students in grades PK-5, during which she discussed the life of Ivan, the real western lowland gorilla, upon which her books are based.

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Students wrote informational books about gorillas, finger-painted (as Ivan did!) and wrote opinion pieces.

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Ms. Applegate also gave students tips and inspiration for writing their own stories, one of which was to never give up on your ideas!

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Ms. Applegate toured both the ECEC and WES buildings to view the magnificent STUDENT WORK created as part of our ONE SCHOOL-ONE BOOK experience.
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Ms. Applegate also visited classrooms and talked with students.

Thank you to all the teachers at ECEC AND WES for making this ONE BOOK experience so meaningful for our students by bringing the books to life in your classrooms! Thank you also to all who helped plan this experience – beginning a year ago!

Special thanks to Ms. Brittin, Ms. Rizzotte, Ms. Carde and the HH&SA!

Are you ready to start planning next year’s ONE BOOK? Contact me to get involved!

Author Kari Yates Visits ECEC!

Last Thursday and Friday, the ECEC welcomed author Kari Yates. Ms. Yates is the author of Simple Starts: Making the Move to a Reader-Centered Classroom. ECEC teachers read and discussed this book last year, utilizing many of the ideas and advice to help support more choice and independence in our reading workshops.

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Kari Yates confers with preschool students in Ms. Thompson’s room.

Ms. Yates presented a workshop on Thursday afternoon at our faculty meeting on the topic of Conferring With Readers. She then visited classrooms where she modeled conferences with students and debriefed with teachers, discussing her “conference moves” and ways to lift the level of students’ work during conferences.

She stressed to first support students in developing a love of reading and complimenting them on early successes. These could be as simple as quickly finding a place to read in the classroom or working with a partner to read one book between them. Other, more complex conferences focus on supporting the strategic reading process. We will be exploring these types of conferences further in the coming months.

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 Ms. Yates pointed out that even beginning readers who are not yet decoding (only picture reading) can utilize and build higher-level skills and strategies. For example, choosing a photograph or illustration on a page to talk about is “determining importance,” an important skill we try to develop in readers. Similarly, thinking and talking about characters’ actions and feelings using pictures is actually “inference” at the early level.

Thank you teachers for your active participation during this exciting and informative day of learning! We look forward to connecting with Ms. Yates again via Skype in December!

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A Kindergarten Student from Ms. Noll’s class during Independent Reading this week.

NOVEMBER HAPPENINGS

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Thursday, November 3, 2016 – SAC Meeting, 3:30. Room #16.

Wednesday, November 9, through Friday, November 11, 2016 – School Closed

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 – Faculty Meeting, WES Cafeteria, 3:30.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 – Kindergarten Meeting, 3:30.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 – CIC Meeting, 3:30, Room #2.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 – Single Session

Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25, 2016School Closed

Monday, November 28, 2016 – First Grade Meeting, 3:30.

Tuesday, November 29 and Wednesday, November 30, 2016 – CONFERENCES, Flyer forthcoming with more information; single sessions.

S U M M E R      R E A D I N G     P I C N I C

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Our Annual Summer Reading Picnic, which gives students the chance to celebrate their summer reading accomplishments, took place on Friday. Students “beach towel read” inside due to chilly weather yesterday! Thank you, Ms. DiMarco for organizing this event, complete with picnic snacks.

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New posts are added to Growing Super Friends on the first weekend of each month. Sign up on top right hand corner of the blog to receive updates!

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During recess in the Reading Garden, students make foam creations.

A Note to Parents about Mindset

November’s MINDSET: Flexibility

As we learn together this year, we will also be teaching important ways to think about ourselves and the world that has grown out of the work of Carol Dweck, a researcher currently at Stanford University.

Ms.Dweck has pioneered a great deal of work around the idea of growth mindset. A growth mindset is the belief that we can learn anything with support, hard work, and thoughtful strategic instruction. Children with a growth mindset outperform children who do not think of themselves and their learning this way.

The way we support this work in our classroom is by intentionally teaching ways of thinking about ourselves and our learning. This year, we will be teaching the concepts of:

OPTIMISM: The belief that no matter the obstacle, we have the power and possibility to overcome it.

RESILIENCE: The ability to bounce back from setbacks and frustrations and learn from them when they happen.

PERSISTENCE: The habit of trying something more than once, or sticking with something through the hard parts.

FLEXIBILITY: The knowledge that there are multiple ways to solve any problem, and the skills to strategically solve it.

EMPATHY: The ability to understand feelings and other people’s points of view. A fundamental aspect of a healthy child and a healthy community.

As we learn more about these big ideas, we will think about ways to support these positive habits of mind, such as through positive self talk and goal setting.

 This month, students will be learning about the trait of Flexibility.

As in all things, you are our greatest partners, and so we invite you on this journey with us. Here are some ways you can support and connect with your child around the trait of FLEXIBILITY and all of the mindsets above:

 

  • Share your own stories. Talk with your child about times you showed empathy or were flexible.
  • Listen in on your own self talk and refine it. Be mindful of saying things like “I can’t” as in “I can’t put together this IKEA furniture!” instead try, “This feels hard, but I am going to take a break and try it a different way to see if that helps!”
  • Read with your child and talk about the ways characters are acting in regards to these habits of mind.
  • Read more about this! You can read more about the Mindsets by downloading a sample chapter of A Mindset for Learning at this link: http://www.heinemann.com/products/E06288.aspx

 

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Have a wonderful November and a Happy Thanksgiving!

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A FOCUS ON WELLNESS

A group of teachers met on Thursday morning before school to create aromatherapy jars. Thank you Ms. Rosado for your great ideas!

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Ms. Rosado and Ms. Cindy, ECEC Custodian

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Information will be forthcoming to staff about a November Wellness Event!

WELCOME TO OCTOBER, 2016!

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One of our goals this year at the ECEC is to infuse more digital learning into our curriculum in order to help students become not only consumers of information, but also producers of information “pro-sumers”. I explored this topic at Teachers College/Columbia University on Saturday during the first of a two-part workshop on Digital Learning for K-6 Classrooms.

A huge take-away from Saturday was thinking about the reasons we use tech tools and how those tools relate to our goals for student learning.

Some things to think about:

  1. What is this tool helping students to do in relationship to 21st Century Literacies? According to The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), successful participants in our global society must be able to:
    • Develop proficiency and fluency with the tools of technology;
    • Build intentional cross-cultural connections and relationships with others so to pose and solve problems collaboratively and strengthen independent thought;
    • Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes;
    • Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information;
    • Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts; and
    • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments.

When designing lessons, we might ask: Is the tool we are using helping students to create, critique, or analyze? Design and share information? Build cross-cultural relationships to solve problems? Strengthen thinking? These are all goals for being a successful global participant!

Another important question is:

2. Where does the tech tool fall when we look at Bloom’s Taxonomy?

  • Consider: Is this tool necessary or just an online worksheet? Is it asking students to Remember? Apply? Analyze? Create? Evaluate? These are considerations when planning learning opportunities that incorporate technology! Although we stress higher-level learning, balance is also important.

Finally, I wanted to share this great tech tool we explored yesterday – ANSWER GARDEN – https://answergarden.ch/

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In a nutshell, Answer Garden is a great brainstorming tool. It can also be used to track thinking over time/observe growth in ideas, and help students synthesize ideas about a topic, to name a few. By the way, this can be exported to a Wordle, which could be posted/referred to later on. One idea is to “plant” a question and have students “grow” ideas before a topic is introduced, then revisit the same concept after the unit or lesson. The possibilities are endless.

Stay tuned for more on Digital Learning at the ECEC!

Teachers, do you want to get more involved in planning DIGITAL LEARNING at the ECEC? PLEASE SEE ME FOR MORE INFORMATION.

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Reading, Writing, and Math Workshops are up-and-running and students are back into the routine of learning! Students have also had many opportunities to get to know one another and become an important part of our classroom communities!

Thank you teachers for all of your work to acclimate our new students to the ECEC!

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Kindergarten students learned about Johnny Appleseed last Friday, reading stories and making applesauce. Ms. Garvey’s students (above) conducted an experiment to observe what would happen to apples in different conditions. They also choose their favorite choice of apples as a class. Red was the favorite in Room #9!
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Thank you SUPER FRIENDS – Ms. Carde, Ms. Heggan, Ms. Aloisio, Ms. Sura, Ms. Rosado, Ms. DiMarco, and Ms. Aumenta for the SUPER FRIEND WELCOME ASSEMBLIES THIS WEEK!

OCTOBER HAPPENINGS

There are numerous student club meetings throughout the month. Please see our CLUB CALENDAR for dates and times on the district web site.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016 – BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT – 6:00 PM (See flyer on district web site for details.)

Thursday, October 6, 2016 – Preschool Teddy Bear Picnic

Friday, October 7, 2016 – NO SCHOOL/TEACHER IN-SERVICE

Monday, October 10, 2016 – HOLIDAY – NO SCHOOL

Thursday, October 13 and Friday, October 14 – First Marking Period Meetings with Teachers

Friday, October 14, 2016 – RTI Meeting, 2:00 p.m; bring updated rosters.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 – CIC Meeting, Room #12, 3:30.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 – I&RS Meeting, 3:30, conference room.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 – 3:30 – Faculty Meeting – AUTHOR/STAFF DEVELOPER KARI YATES will present for staff on the topic of conferring with students during reading. 

Friday, October 21, 2016 – KARI YATES will visit classrooms and work with our staff!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 – AUTHOR of our ONE-BOOK, Katherine Applegate visits ECEC and WES!

Monday, October 31, 2016 – Halloween Parades and celebrations. See flyer that will be sent home for details.

New posts are added to Growing Super Friends on the first weekend of each month. Sign up on top right hand corner of the blog to receive updates!

September’s MINDSET:

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Our MINDSET FOR OCTOBER:

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Have a great weekend!
Darla

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Ms. Wilsbach’s students are discussing the Power of the word – YET!

 

 

 

WELCOME TO OCTOBER, 2016!

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One of our goals this year at the ECEC is to infuse more digital learning into our curriculum in order to help students become not only consumers of information, but also producers of information “pro-sumers”. I explored this topic at Teachers College/Columbia University on Saturday during the first of a two-part workshop on Digital Learning for K-6 Classrooms.

A huge take-away from Saturday was thinking about the reasons we use tech tools and how those tools relate to our goals for student learning.

Some things to think about:

  1. What is this tool helping students to do in relationship to 21st Century Literacies? According to The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), successful participants in our global society must be able to:
    • Develop proficiency and fluency with the tools of technology;
    • Build intentional cross-cultural connections and relationships with others so to pose and solve problems collaboratively and strengthen independent thought;
    • Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes;
    • Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information;
    • Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts; and
    • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments.

When designing lessons, we might ask: Is the tool we are using helping students to create, critique, or analyze? Design and share information? Build cross-cultural relationships to solve problems? Strengthen thinking? These are all goals for being a successful global participant!

Another important question is:

2. Where does the tech tool fall when we look at Bloom’s Taxonomy?

  • Consider: Is this tool necessary or just an online worksheet? Is it asking students to Remember? Apply? Analyze? Create? Evaluate? These are considerations when planning learning opportunities that incorporate technology! Although we stress higher-level learning, balance is also important.

Finally, I wanted to share this great tech tool we explored yesterday – ANSWER GARDEN – https://answergarden.ch/

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In a nutshell, Answer Garden is a great brainstorming tool. It can also be used to track thinking over time/observe growth in ideas, and help students synthesize ideas about a topic, to name a few. By the way, this can be exported to a Wordle, which could be posted/referred to later on. One idea is to “plant” a question and have students “grow” ideas before a topic is introduced, then revisit the same concept after the unit or lesson. The possibilities are endless.

Stay tuned for more on Digital Learning at the ECEC!

Teachers, do you want to get more involved in planning DIGITAL LEARNING at the ECEC? PLEASE SEE ME FOR MORE INFORMATION.

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Reading, Writing, and Math Workshops are up-and-running and students are back into the routine of learning! Students have also had many opportunities to get to know one another and become an important part of our classroom communities!

Thank you teachers for all of your work to acclimate our new students to the ECEC!

IMG_7034.JPG
Kindergarten students learned about Johnny Appleseed last Friday, reading stories and making applesauce. Ms. Garvey’s students (above) conducted an experiment to observe what would happen to apples in different conditions. They also choose their favorite choice of apples as a class. Red was the favorite in Room #9!
img_7120
Thank you SUPER FRIENDS – Ms. Carde, Ms. Heggan, Ms. Aloisio, Ms. Sura, Ms. Rosado, Ms. DiMarco, and Ms. Aumenta for the SUPER FRIEND WELCOME ASSEMBLIES THIS WEEK!

OCTOBER HAPPENINGS

There are numerous student club meetings throughout the month. Please see our CLUB CALENDAR for dates and times on the district web site.

th-14

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 – BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT – 6:00 PM (See flyer on district web site for details.)

Thursday, October 6, 2016 – Preschool Teddy Bear Picnic

Friday, October 7, 2016 – NO SCHOOL/TEACHER IN-SERVICE

Monday, October 10, 2016 – HOLIDAY – NO SCHOOL

Thursday, October 13 and Friday, October 14 – First Marking Period Meetings with Teachers

Friday, October 14, 2016 – RTI Meeting, 2:00 p.m; bring updated rosters.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 – CIC Meeting, Room #12, 3:30.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 – I&RS Meeting, 3:30, conference room.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 – 3:30 – Faculty Meeting – AUTHOR/STAFF DEVELOPER KARI YATES will present for staff on the topic of conferring with students during reading. 

Friday, October 21, 2016 – KARI YATES will visit classrooms and work with our staff!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 – AUTHOR of our ONE-BOOK, Katherine Applegate visits ECEC and WES!

Monday, October 31, 2016 – Halloween Parades and celebrations. See flyer that will be sent home for details.

New posts are added to Growing Super Friends on the first weekend of each month. Sign up on top right hand corner of the blog to receive updates!

September’s MINDSET:

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Our MINDSET FOR OCTOBER:

th-7

Have a great weekend!
Darla

IMG_6918.JPG
Ms. Wilsbach’s students are discussing the Power of the word – YET!