Dolphin Tales

The Week of January 20th, 2020

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Doherty is a National Showcase School Nominee!

You may hear your child talk about Social Contracts, Affirmations, Good Things, and other unique tools. All of this is part of our Capturing Kids' Hearts process at Doherty Elementary.


Our phenomenal staff has done such an amazing job living out the process that we have nominated as a National Showcase School.


We earned this honor in the following ways:

  • The magic created at Doherty was noticed and recognized by Joe Pellerito, our CKH regional support person. He nominated and recommended us for this honor.
  • CKH National Showcase School Nominees are evaluated and selected based on survey and performance data from administrators, teachers, staff, and students.



Here's what this all means:

  • Through the National Showcase Schools awards, the Flipped Group recognizes and celebrates schools that go the extra mile each day, creating the socio-emotional safety on school campuses that is conducive to learning.
  • 261 of US school campuses have been selected as 2019-2020 CKH National Showcase School Nominees. 434 of the over 10,000 CKH school campuses across the world are in our boat.
  • Flippen Group founder, Flip Flippen began teaching Capturing Kids' Hearts processes to schools in 1990.
  • CKH is an immersive, participatory experience where teachers, staff, and administrators learn and practice skills they will use and model in their classrooms, schools, districts, and lives.
  • The Flippen Group is a national professional development provider operating on principles that research clearly demonstrates--that students are most likely to succeed when they are emotionally safe and able to reconnect with their natural curiosity.
  • Flippen Group processes, such as CKH, provide educators the skills they need to change the trajectory of students' lives.
  • Campuses implementing CKH consistently report increases in academic improvement and reductions in discipline concerns.
  • Now, we will begin a Showcase School evaluation process wherein the Flippen Group will visit our school, talk to staff and students, collect more data, and determine if we are far enough in the implementation process to become a Showcase School.
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What You'll Find In This Newsletter

Lunch Menu & Links for Food Services


Quick Tips & Events for This Week


Early Release Day Reminders (Monday, February 3rd)

Half Day Reminder Thursday, January 23 and Friday, January 24th


Doherty Family Album


Positive Office Referrals

  • Check out leadership worthy recognition of our students!


PBIS Winners

  • Check Out Our Winners!


The One Big Thing

  • Doherty Elementary Planning Survey--Due Wednesday, January 22
  • Soup for the Emotional Soul


In the Know with the PTO

  • PTO News
  • Box Tops


Big Moments on the Horizon

  • Upcoming Community Ed Classes (Karate, Tumbling, Soccer, Writing, Basketball)
  • Worry Warrior: The Final Battle, January 23rd at Doherty Elementary
  • Resiliency Puzzle Workshop: January 29th at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital
  • Kindergarten Showcase (Formerly Known as Round up) on January 29th
  • Details about WBEF Casino NIght
  • WBSD Innovation Extravaganza on April 28th


All in the Family: Schoolwide Connections

  • Visit the Pine Cone Website
  • Pine Cone Incentive with our WB Township Libraries
  • An Important Note from Ms. Miller, our PE Teacher
  • Music @ Doherty
  • Save the Date for Spring Music Concerts
  • Mrs. Hanifi's Art Blog
  • General Information
  • Help Us With Arrival and Dismissal
  • Outdoor Recess


Reruns

  • PBIS Rewards Reminders
  • Take a Break Program Reminders
  • Doherty Literary Garden
  • How is Your Social Contract?
  • Use the Four Questions to Help Your Child Self Correct Behavior
  • Practical Steps for Helping Kids Through Challenging Situations
  • Roller Coaster Breathing
  • Shake It Off With Tumble Dryer Breathing
  • Blow Off Some Steam with Birthday Candle Breathing
  • Independent Reading and Buddy Reading
  • Practical Steps for Reading at Home
  • Next Level Efforts of Growing Our Readers--No Limits and No Labels
  • BrainPop Jr

  • Doherty Traffic Plan


Upcoming Events/Dates

Information About Lunches & Breakfast

By clicking any of the links below, you can learn more about our lunch services. Please note that if you need your child's student number for setting up an account on E-Funds, you can access it by going to his/her PowerSchool account. If you are unable to access PowerSchool, you can email Mrs. Turner at wandas.turner@wbsd.org. If you need immediate access to a student number before the first day of school, you can email me at scott.long@wbsd.org.


Link to Doherty Lunch Menu


Link to Doherty Breakfast Menu


Setting Up an Account on the New E-Funds Lunch Program


Free and Reduced Lunch Application

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Quick Tips & Events for This Week

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Quick Highlights for This Week

Sunday, January 19th: United We Walk Celebration at WBHS


  • We would love for you and your children to attend the event and participate in the walk. Mr. Long will be there to walk alongside the Doherty Family. The event begins at WBHS at 2:30 PM


Monday, January 20th: NO SCHOOL


Wednesday, January 22nd: Elementary Planning Survey Due (see article later in newsletter & PDF attachment at end of newsletter)


Thursday, January 23rd and Friday, January 24th: HALF DAYS (Dismissal at 11:17 AM)


Thursday, January 23rd: Worry Warriors, The Final Battle at Doherty iCenter, 6:30 PM (see article later in newsletter)


Check out the Pine Cone Public Library Incentive--see article later in newsletter


Students will continue taking the Winter NWEA Map Test this week and through the next two weeks.

EARLY RELEASE DAY REMINDERS

Next Early Release Day is Monday, February 3rd

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Early Release Day Reminders--Mark Your Calendars

Please mark your calendar for our upcoming early release days. Dismissal is at 2:17 PM on these days.


Our bus services will still run. The only difference is that they will drop off at stops one hour earlier.


Please note that most (NOT ALL) Mondays are early releases. Below is a list of the early release Mondays for February, and March

  • Monday, February 3rd
  • Monday, February 10th
  • Monday, February 24th
  • Monday, March 2nd
  • Monday, March 9th
  • Monday, March 16th

Doherty Family Album

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Positive Office Referrals

Part of our Portrait of a Graduate in West Bloomfield is helping students become impactful Contributors. Students are contributing when they positively impact the surrounding community and world by proactively applying personal awareness and relational skills.


At Doherty, with the support of our amazing families, we are developing Contributors. Moreover, we take the time to celebrate and recognize our Contributors!


Teachers are taking the time to send Positive Office Referrals down to the office when they notice that a student has gone above and beyond to make Doherty Elementary a better place to be. When this happens, we recognize the student on the morning announcements and Mr. Long personally visits each of these students to celebrate them for their amazing contributions.
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Gabriella Daniel, Nominated by Ms. Gasko

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Alex Theodore & Maks Seestadt, Nominated by Mrs. Earley

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Julian Carter (Nominated by Ms. Cuda) & Sophia Uzilov, Justin McKinney, Rebecca Sullivan (Nominated by Mrs. DeGasperis)

PBIS (Personal Best In School) Winners

PBIS (Personal Best In School) Winners

We take time each week to recognize students for earning PBIS Rewards points. Weekly winners are recognized for making safe, responsible, and respectful choices. These winners are recognized on our morning announcements and receive a recess with Mr. Long.


Here’s how it all works:

  • Every week, students have a chance to earn 60 points or more.

  • Students' chances of winning are higher with the more points they earn each week.

  • And, here’s the best part. Every time a student earns a PBIS Rewards point, they still have a chance to win a weekly prize.

  • There will be 20 winners every week! Winners are chosen through a lottery system.


Here's this week's winners...

The One Big Thing

Doherty Elementary Planning Survey

It is difficult to believe that we are already in the planning process for our students' needs for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.


Please fill out the attached survey (see the PDF at the end of this newsletter) and return to Doherty no later than Wednesday, January 22.


If your child is moving into 3rd grade at Sheiko, there is a portion of the survey indicating this as well. It's very important in our planning that each family fill out the survey and return it in a timely fashion.


Please note: This form does not serve as an in-district transfer request. If you are interested in an in-distinct transfer, please go to the West Bloomfield School District website to submit an online request. This window is open from January 13 - February 7.

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Soup for the Emotional Soul

Here's one more awesome breathing strategy that is comforting to the soul!


This week, we want to share Hot Soup Breathing. See the picture above AND watch an excerpt from our morning announcements. Click Here to Watch the Clip

PTO News

In The Know With Doherty PTO

Stay connected with the Doherty PTO & exciting PTO news all year long by using this link!! https://linktr.ee/dohertypto

Box Tops for Education

Please see the flyers below for information regarding Box Tops for Education. Our PTO is able to purchase amazing things for our school. The flyer will show you it is now easier than ever to help participate in the Box Tops for Education program.


The exciting change is No More Clipping!!! The box top app allows you to scan your receipt and instantly apply Box Tops to Doherty's earnings online.


No worries if you still have the traditional box tops at home , just send those into the office.

We thank you for your support.


Also, we have included a list of some products that work with Box Tops for Education.

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Big Moments on the Horizon

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Upcoming Community Ed Programming

After the Bell Activities Begin the Last Week in January!!


Monday - Karate
Tuesday - Tumbling
Wednesday - Soccer
Friday - Writing Skills


Saturday Mornings
Boys & Girls Youth Basketball League at West Bloomfield High School Gym begins 1/25/20
Coaches: Jeremy Denha and Ryan Watson
Grades 1-3 9-10 a.m.
Grades 4-6 10-11 a.m.


See the flyer image below, access the PDF version of this flyer at the end of our newsletter, or:

ONLINE REGISTRATION HERE

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Worry Warrior: The Final Battle

The third session of Worry Warriors that was cancelled last month is now rescheduled for Thursday, January 23rd in the Doherty Elementary iCenter from 6:30 to 7:30 PM. We hope to see you there!
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Kindergarten Showcase(Formerly Known as Kindergarten Round Up) at Doherty, January 29th at 6:30 P.M.

Please help us spread the word. Doherty will host a Kindergarten Showcase, where we highlight how kindergarten works at Doherty for incoming families. Following the Kindergarten Showcase, online enrollment will be available to parents of kindergarten students. Please watch the newsletters for additional information regarding the Kindergarten Showcase and the Schools of Choice Lottery.


We emailed the RSVP sheet (pictured below) in a PDF attachment last week.

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WBSD Innovation Extravaganza RSVP

We invite you to attend the West Bloomfield School District Innovation Extravaganza at West Bloomfield High School on Tuesday, April 28th from 6pm-8pm at West Bloomfield High School! This is a district-wide showcase that will showcase student learning and our portrait of a graduate initiative. This event provides an opportunity for students to share their technology expertise and how they are integrating the 4C’s into their classrooms and learning. The Innovation Extravaganza student-led sessions and expo focus on fostering the 4C’s through learning, technology, and partnerships.


Please use the link below to RSVP. Please feel free to share out the link to other members in the community that would be interested in attending this event!


bit.ly/wbinnovation


We are excited to have you!

All In The Family: Schoolwide Connections

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Visit the Pine Cone Website for More Information About Our Awesome Reading Program

If you have questions about our Pine Cone reading program, please check out the website below or ask your child's teacher:

http://pinecone2020.weebly.com/

Pine Cone Incentive

PINE CONE incentive from Mrs. Carson!


We are encouraging all families to visit our West Bloomfield Township Libraries- Main Branch or the West Acres Branch.


Bring in or email PROOF of visiting the library to check out a PINE CONE book, and you will get an automatic PRIZE from Mrs. Carson's treasure chest!!!



Proof could be in the form of:

  • a photo of you at the library checking out the book,
  • a photo of or actual library receipt from the WBTPL, or...
  • bring in the book & show Mrs. Carson


This incentive is running NOW through March 1st!!!

A Note From Ms. Colleen Miller, our PE Teacher

PARENTS--MS. MILLER NEEDS YOUR HELP!!

Now that the weather has turned to snow and cold, MANY students are wearing boots. It is very important for your child to have athletic footwear on the day they have Physical Education(P.E.). Imagine trying to run, skip, or jump rope in your winter boots----not safe, or easy, especially if you are a child. Here are the days that each class hs P.E.:


Tuesday--Cuda, Baeten, Earley, Collins/Hoskow, Burke, Metzenthin


Wednesday--Bain, Griffin, Kilano, Bieber, Miller, Samuilow


Thursday--Gasko, Karagosian, Stephens, Joynt, Tracey


Friday--DeGasperis, Kowalski, Loeffler, Romano, Valentine, Crowe


Monday schedules are on a rotation. On those days, if your child has P.E., it will most likely be a low key activity such as Yoga, or Kids In Charge lessons.


Other ways you can help maximize EVERY student’s P.E. experience:

-Teach your child to tie, AND double knot, their shoes. Having an adult have to stop teaching to tie multiple shoes in each class period compromises maximum activity time, as well as safety.

-Make sure your child knows how to put on their own shoes without adult assistance.

Thank you for helping your child, and ALL of the students at Doherty, have a safe, successful experience in Physical Education class.


Sincerely,

Ms. Colleen Miller

Doherty Elementary Physical Education Teacher

Colleen.Miller@wbsd.org


Save The Date: Music Concerts

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Save the Date for 1st Grade Concerts

Wednesday, April 29th: Baeten, Bieber, Burke


Thursday, April 30th: Gasko, Stephens, Joynt, Miller


Doherty Gym Stage


All students arrive at 5:45 PM. Students should dress fancy.

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Mrs. Hanifi's Art Blog

Please click below to view Mrs. Hanifi's Art Blog. This is your chance to learn more about the exciting art opportunities taking place in your child's art class.


http://dohertyelementaryschoolart.weebly.com/blog

General Information

Important Contacts & Numbers

· Attendance Safe Line: 248-865-6002

· Main Office: 248-865-6020

· Website: wbsd.org (go to “Schools” to find Doherty)


Reporting Absences

If your child is sick and not coming to school, it is totally fine to let the teacher know. We also need you report this absence to our attendance safe line. When doing so, please report the child's name, the dates, and the reason for the absence.


School Times

· Building Opens: 8:05 AM

· School Starts: 8:25 AM

· School Ends: 3:17 PM

· Car Line Closes: 3:40 PM

· Don’t forget about our Early Releases on most Mondays


Nutrition & Allergy Prevention

· Pack a lunch as you wish (there are nut-free tables in the lunch room)

· Specific classrooms are nut-restricted (you will receive a letter)

· Class snacks: healthy snacks (preferably fruits & vegetables)

· Fruits, vegetables, and healthy snacks only only for classroom parties

· No birthday food treats

Help Us Ensure Maximum Engagement at the Start of Our Day

Please Do Your Best to Get to School On-Time

We understand that late days happen now and again. Please do your very best to ensure that our kids are in school and on-time before 8:30 AM. This is important for so many reasons:

  • Being late and behind everybody creates unnecessary anxiety for a child.
  • When children come in late, it becomes a distraction to the entire class. Getting off to a strong, focused start early in the morning is critical to creating maximum engagement and momentum for the teacher AND for each child.
  • When children are late, they inevitably miss out on critical start of the day routines, as well as valuable learning opportunities.


If You Are Late, Please Give Your Child the Gift of Independence

We are now in the second quarter of the school year. That is really hard to believe. With that said, our children know the building well, and they are expected to be able to make it to their class on their own. So, if you are signing your child in late, please refrain from walking your child down to class and/or entering the class. This is important for several reasons:

  • Momentum for our teachers is key. When unexpected guests come in to ask the teacher questions at the start of class, it disrupts their flow.
  • Focus for our children is important. Every new guest and person that enters changes the channel of focus for our children.
  • Allowing your child to independently follow our school routines of getting to class, getting unpacked, and getting ready is imperative for their development.


If you need help with something, or if you are looking for a lost item, or if you need something delivered to a teacher, our amazing office staff and support staff can help you with that.

Help Us With Dismissal

CHANGE IN DISMISSAL PLANS?

If you have a change in dismissal plans for your child, PLEASE take the following steps to ensure that we get your child to the correct location:


  1. Email your child's teacher and the main office staff: michelle.rudelic@wbsd.org AND wandas.turner@wbsd.org
  2. If your child's change in dismissal plans impact Kids Klub (either because your child is not attending Kids Klub on a particular day OR because your child needs to attend Kids Klub on a particular day), then please also include our Kids Klub lead and Kids Klub director: carey.saperstein@wbsd.org (this ensures that we get kids to the right spot at dismissal) and collette.goestenkors@wbsd.org (this ensures that billing is accurate for families).


Please help us in our carline by doing the following:

  • Drive slow and be safe.
  • When picking up or dropping off, stay in your car. We have staff members that can assist the kids. This helps keep the line moving quicker.
  • When picking up, please be sure to keep your carline number tag visible and clear the whole time. This helps us move quickly through the line.
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OUTDOOR RECESS

It is getting cold out and we go outside for lunch recess as often as possible, even when it snows. If it feels like less than 10 degrees F, then we will stay inside. Beyond that, we are outside.


Please be sure your child has the following with their name on it:


  • Winter hat
  • Gloves
  • Snow boots
  • Snow pants
  • Winter jacket



Things get misplaced from time to time. But, if their items are labeled, it is so much easier for us to get them back to the rightful owner.

RERUNS

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PBIS Rewards Information

What is PBIS Rewards?

The overall objective of the PBIS Rewards program is for our staff to successfully implement a schoolwide system that will help us provide high levels of acknowledgement to students through positive teacher attention to great behavior.


Monitoring Your Child’s Success with PBIS

Students earn PBIS Rewards points by living out our three schoolwide expectations: Be Safe, Be Respectful, and Be Responsible. At a minimum, students can earn points in the following ways on a daily basis:

  • 9 points per day from their classroom teacher

    • 3 points for each category--Be Respectful, Be Safe, and Be Responsible

  • 3 points per day from their specials teacher

    • 1 point for each category--Be Respectful, Be Safe, and Be Responsible


Using the Parent PBIS Rewards App On Your Smartphone

The PBIS Rewards Parent App (available for free download on smartphones) is a great way to check your child’s behavior on a daily basis. If you need access to your child’s code, please email Scott Long at scott.long@wbsd.org.


PBIS (Personal Best In School) Launches This Week

Beginning this week and for the rest of the year, we are going to take time each week to recognize students for earning PBIS Rewards points. Every week, we will have winners that are recognized for being a contributor and a difference maker.


Here’s how it all works:

  • Every week, students have a chance to earn 60 points or more.

  • Students' chances of winning are higher with the more points they earn each week.

  • And, here’s the best part. Every time a student earns a PBIS Rewards point, they still have a chance to win a weekly prize.

  • There will be 20 winners every week! Winners are chosen through a lottery system.


What to Look for on your PBIS Rewards App as a Parent?

The daily point system remains the same. Students can earn 9 or more points per day for being safe, respectful, and responsible in their homeroom. They can also earn 3 or more points per day for those same expectations in their specials classes each day. On top of that, students can earn points from staff in the halls, at lunch, at morning walking club, and at other points of the day for demonstrating their very best when it comes to living out our school's values.


Students that earn 9 points or more in a day have had a great day! When you look at your child's point balance, that's where you will be able to see how many points he/she has earned for the week. By week's end, our goal is for your child to earn 45 points or more.


At the end of the week, your child's point balance is cleared, and everyone starts back at 0 to start the next week.


Please keep in mind that students are not penalized for being absent or if a guest teacher is leading the classroom. Instead, students receive a prorated point total (based on what they typically earn per day) for such circumstances at the end of the marking period.


If you have not already done so, please get the app on your smart phone and begin checking for activity. If your student earns 9 or more points per day, he/she had a strong day! If you have not already added the PBIS Rewards Parent App to your smart phone, your child’s teacher should have given you directions on how you can track your child’s PBIS Rewards points. If you need help getting the app, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at scott.long@wbsd.org.

TAB at DOherty

Take A Break

What is Take A Break?

“Take A Break” is a special space in the classroom where children can step away from the group and take a moment to decompress, reflect on their behavior, refocus, or think about making different choices. Children can choose to take a break themselves or may be asked to take a break by their teacher. It offers children the opportunity to reset and return to learning without negative consequences. The goal is for the students to recognize when they are upset or perhaps avoiding work and regulate their own emotions and outcomes.


Where does Take A Break happen?

Each classroom will have a designated space with a timer, a small basket of calming materials (stress balls, coloring sheets, play dough, etc.), and a comfortable place to sit, think, and write. It is typically separate from the whole group instruction area and is available to students at any time (including during specials). When a child is asked to, or chooses to, “Take a Break In” they use the classroom take a break card to go to the reflection area in their classroom.


Occasionally, taking a break in the classroom is not enough and children will be given a chance to take a break in a buddy teacher’s classroom (“Take a Break Out”). When that happens, the child will receive a friendly greeting from the buddy teacher and be asked to go to their reflection area until the teacher has a chance to talk with the student. After the student has had a chance to calm down and think, they will meet with their the buddy teacher (Take a Break Out), fill out a reflection sheet (a copy will be emailed home), and rejoin the class.


Click Here for Link to Morning Announcement Video That Highlights One Strategy From Take A Break

Doherty Literary Garden

Doherty Junior Literary Garden


The WBHS Literary Garden Club is so excited to partner with Doherty's students and our Jr Literary Garden. Like its high school counterpart, the Junior Literary Garden will have plants tied to the books the elementary students are reading so that the teachers can maximize sensory learning in literacy development. Your Doherty teachers are bursting with ideas beyond books - they are thinking of ways to use the Garden for math, science, and socio-emotional development.


The high school students have been designing the Garden to delight and surprise the elementary students at every turn. WB teachers Coletta Bain and Jennifer McQuillan have been collaborating on this project as well. Plans are in the works to connect high school students with elementary “book pals,” which would allow teens to come into Doherty and work with their younger counterparts in a variety of ways. This endeavor would not be possible without the generous support of the West Bloomfield Educational Foundation. We are so grateful for the “seed” money that is getting us started!


We would love your help as we “plant” this new initiative! Here’s our wish list:

  • Gardening gloves (kid and adult sized)

  • Gardening tools (kid and adult sized) (hand tools and shovels, rakes, etc.)

  • Brown paper lawn and refuse bags

  • Benches / seating / picnic table

  • Watering cans

  • Compost bin

  • Donations of perennial seeds, plants, and ideas are welcome!

  • Gently Used Picnic Tables


If you have items to help, please contact Ms. Bain at coletta.bain@wbsd.org

How is Your Social Contract?

Across the Doherty Family, our teachers and students are doing a great job living out their Social Contracts.


Last week in our Dolphin Tales newsletter, I challenged everyone to develop a Social Contract at home with their families. If you accepted the challenge, please feel free to email pictures of your child and his/her Social Contract.


Below is a picture of Mrs. Griffin's classroom Social Contract and a picture of the new and improved Long Family Social Contract. I hope these inspire you :)


As a reminder...

Here's how you build it:

  • Discuss the following four questions with your entire family: How do you want to be treated by me (the parent)? How do you think I (the parent) want to be treated by you (the child)? How do we want to treat each other? How will we treat each other when we have a problem/conflict?
  • The goal is to create a set of words/phrases that you can highlight for your social contract. For example, you might have words/phrases like "be kind," "thoughtful," "patient," and "positive" on your social contract.
  • Once you have generated your words/phrases, you record them on a larger piece of paper and post it somewhere in your house.
  • Everyone signs it or initials it to signal that they agree to these values.


Here's how you keep it alive:

  • Take time throughout the day to review the Social Contract. Pick one or two words to be the focus for the family.
  • Pick someone to rate how the family has done with those 1 or 2 words for the day.
  • Take time to affirm/compliment your children for doing a great job with one of the words/phrases on the Social Contract. Make the compliment very specific.
  • If someone in the family is having a hard time living up to the agreements, you can remind them of the behaviors they agreed upon.
  • At dinner, in the car, or during a walk, ask your child how he/she did in school with one of the values on your Social Contract. Ask them how a staff member lived out one of the values from your Social Contract.
  • Refer to the Social Contract as often as possible.

Use The Four Questions to Help Your Child Self Correct His/Her Behavior

At Doherty, when a child is not living up to what we've agreed to in our social contracts, then we use four consistent questions to help him/her self correct the behavior. These questions are a beautiful tool to help redirect behavior. They are such a great tool that I consistently use them at home with my son.


But, before I share these magical questions with you, here are some things to consider:

  1. Your tone matters. How you ask the questions is just as important as what the actual questions are. Use a kind, calm, compassionate voice tone.
  2. Your body language matters. Body language is one of the most powerful forms of communication. So, if your body language says that you are angry, then it will be difficult to be effective with these questions.
  3. Don't fall for smoke screens or a child's attempt to avoid answering the question.


Question #1: What are you doing?


Question #2: What are you supposed to be doing?


Question #3: Are you doing what you are supposed to be doing?


Question #4: What are we going to do about it?


On any given question, you can ask the question two times. If the child has not answered the questions after the first two times, then here's what comes next:

  • Step back and create physical space.
  • Pause for a moment and provide the child time to think.
  • Give an authentic compliment. It may be something like: "Grady, one of the things I love about you is that you are always so helpful around the house. Just the other day, you went out of your way to pick up all of the laundry without even being asked..."
  • Clearly state that there will be a consequence if he/she doesn't answer the question. It may sound like this: "But, I am going to ask the question one more time. If you can't answer it, then you will have a consequence of (whatever consequence you might choose)."
  • Ask the question a third and final time. If the question is answered, you move on to the next question. If it is not answered, it's consequence time.

Practical Steps for Helping Kids Through Challenging Situations

Last week, we were fortunate enough to have Nikki O'Donnell, child psychologist from Viewpoint, visit the Doherty Family. She led the first of her three-part Worry Warriors workshop. And....it was amazing.


Here's the thing: every single parent can use the strategies Nikki imparted last week, regardless of the degree to which your child struggles with anxiety. And, to be honest, even us adults could use the strategies she imparted to help us with our own anxiety. On top of all of this, Doherty employs many of the same strategies when our children are struggling to cope.


With that said, I video taped key portions of our evening with Nikki, and the link is available below to watch.


This week, we have a few home challenges:


  1. Watch the video that includes some of the highlights from Nikki--click here for the link.
  2. Think about your language that you choose to use when working to empower your child towards growing his/her emotional resiliency. Use language that is at their level. For example, talk to them about putting on their armor so they can be a warrior. Talk to them about growing their emotional muscles as they encounter new situations and challenges. Use this language when they are calm and you are talking through potential scenarios, and use this language when they are struggling with their emotions. Watch the video for more details about the language you can use.
  3. Build a coping kit for home that your kid can use to help regulate their emotions. See the video for more details about how a coping kit works. You can also see the image below that explains how to build a coping kit.
  4. Create a Calm Down Jar for home. See the video for more details about how a calm down jar works. You can als refer to the calm down jar image below to create one.
  5. Check out the next Worry Warriors session on October 24th. See the flyer later in our newsletter for more details.
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Stay Cool With Clever Breathing Exercises

It's easy for adults to understand what it means to take a deep breath. We have the mental capacity to process our emotions at a much better rate than young children. So, don't just tell your kids to "just breathe." Use specific breathing strategies that help them regulate their body and get their mind focused on something other than the problem they are facing. Roller Coaster Breathing is a perfect example of how to help kids shift their focus AND breathe to help regulate emotions. See the picture above AND watch an excerpt from our morning announcements. Click here to watch the clip.
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Shake It Off With Tumble Dryer Breathing

In our last newsletter, I explained that it's easy for adults to understand what it means to take a deep breath. We have the mental capacity to process our emotions at a much better rate than young children. So, it is important that we don't just tell our kids to "just breathe." Instead, use specific breathing strategies that help them regulate their body and get their mind focused on something other than the problem they are facing


Tumble Dryer Breathing is a perfect example of how to help kids shift their focus AND breathe to help regulate emotions. See the picture above AND watch an excerpt from our morning announcements. Click here to watch the clip.

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Blow Off Some Steam with Birthday Candle Breathing

Over the past few newsletters, we have shared some specific breathing strategies for kids that can help them regulate their body and mind while focusing on something besides the problem they are facing. This does wonders in helping them cool off and think clearly.


This week, we want to share Birthday Candle Breathing, which is always one of the kids' favorites. See the picture above AND watch an excerpt from our morning announcements. Click Here to watch the clip.

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Independent Reading and Buddy Reading

Reading is an amazing gift. It's equally a personal experience and a social experience. At Doherty and across the West Bloomfield School District, we grow readers with the support of Lucy Calkins' Reading Workshop curriculum. In this week's One Big Thing, we are challenging you to use independent reading and buddy reading at home with your child.


Independent Reading

We challenge are students to grow their reading stamina each day by reading independently a little longer each day. Just like a runner will stretch his/her running distance over the course of time, we challenge our readers to stretch their reading time over the course of time. Many teachers actually chart the number of minutes the entire class remained focused with independent reading each day. This helps provide a visual representation of how the class is growing in their reading stamina.


At home, you can do the same. Carve out time each evening where you and your child read independently. You can start small--maybe just five minutes each night. Then, you can grow that time by 2-3 minutes. Research shows that children grow as readers when they have visible models of reading in their household, so please be sure to read independently at the same time. For your readers that can't actually read the text yet, keep in mind that your child can "read the pictures" to decipher what is going on. This is something your child has learned to do.


Extra points for you if you and your child read back to back during independent reading time. See the picture below. This is how most of our classes conduct their independent reading time--reading back to back with their reading buddy.


Partner Reading

Reading is a social experience. Readers grow when they have a chance to share and talk about their reading with others. At Doherty, after readers have the chance to engage in texts, we ask them to read with their reading partner and talk about their text. Most of the time, there is a specific focus point for the conversation.


At home, you can do the same. Once you are done with independent reading time, sit alongside of your child and engage in partner reading. You can take turns reading to each other and talk about what you read.


Extra points for you if you and child engage in partner reading by sitting shoulder to shoulder, knee to knee. See the picture below. This is how we conduct partner reading time.


Action Steps

  1. Set aside sacred, super important independent reading time.
  2. Start with a short chunk of independent reading time and then grow this over time.
  3. Read independently as your child reads independently. Feel free to read back to back.
  4. Follow independent reading time with partner reading time.
  5. Take turns reading and/or talk about your reading.

Practical Steps for Reading at Home

Let’s help our children grow and flex their reading muscles at home. When it comes to thinking about how we can help our children as readers, this can sometimes be an overwhelming task. But, it doesn't have to be! Here are some simple steps you can use at home that align with many of the things we are doing in the classroom.


It Starts With Giving Kids Access to Books That Interest Them

Sometimes it is a struggle to get our kids to read. The first step in getting them excited about reading is giving them an opportunity to choose books that are interesting to them. You can help give your child access to engaging and relevant books in many different ways, including:

  • Get on Amazon and search for cool looking books with your child. The great thing about Amazon is buying a book is just a simple click.
  • Go to the book store or the public library to shop for books with your child.
  • Scan the Scholastic book order forms that are sent home with your child.

The most important thing is to make reading a magical and fun experience, where books open up new worlds to our kids.


Readability Matters: Give Kids Access to Books That Are Readable for Them

Research shows that the best way to help kids improve their reading is to give them access to books that are at or slightly above their reading level. Think of it this way. If you asked me to practice dunking a basketball on a ten foot rim for twenty minutes, I would easily give up. Why? Because I know that I can't jump that high. But, if you lower the rim a little (okay, okay..if you lower the rim a lot for me), then I will be more likely to engage in that task.


Here's a really easy way to figure out which books are at or slightly above your child's reading level:

  • Email your child's teacher and ask them what your child's F & P reading level is. Your child's teacher will give you a letter.
  • Once you know your child's F & P level, you can use Scholastic Book Wizard to search the reading level of a book. Click here to access Scholastic Book Wizard.
  • If your child's level is a "D," then you might focus on books that are a D or E.

Something to really think about here: giving kids access to books that are at or slightly above their reading level does not mean that you cut them off from checking out or buying more complex texts. Allowing and encouraging readers to explore all types of texts makes reading fun.


Another thing to consider: we do not want to put labels on our readers. The last thing we want is for a reader to say, "I am a level D reader." An F & P reading level is simply a tool to help us support and scaffold our readers. It's not meant to compare my son's reading ability to another boy's reading, nor is it meant to place unnecessary stress on our little readers. Rather, it is merely one tool you can use when looking for books to put in front of your child. Just like I wouldn't use a hammer to drill a hole, I wouldn't use a reading level to exclude kids from books, nor would I use a reading level to make a reader feel like he/she isn't good enough.


Practice Building Reading Stamina

Make a simple chart that tracks the duration of time your child is reading. Start small with a goal to read for five minutes. Over time, increase this reading target time. Continue tracking it. Your child will love to see the progress he/she is making.


When we see how far we've come, we can realize how big our reading muscles are really getting!


Read Aloud

Read aloud to your child as often as you can. Right before bed is the perfect time. When reading aloud to your child, it's best to pick a "stretch text"---a book that is more challenging and a lot of fun. By reading aloud a fun book that is a little more challenging, your child will have access to more language and more complex reading.

Next Level Efforts of Growing Our Readers--No Limits & No Labels

Last week, we explored some ways in which we can help our children grow their reading muscles. This week, we are going to go a step further in terms of things you should consider when helping your child at home.


Make Reading Fun & Open New Windows to The World

Finding books and reading material that is relevant and engaging to your child is key. The most important thing is to make reading a magical and fun experience, where books open up new worlds to our kids. Head out to the library or the book store and go on a hunt for great books. Make looking for books a cool experience. When I reflect back to my earliest literacy experiences, the most magical experiences for me were the simple ones--where my dad took me to the library and told me to find anything I wanted to find.


Readability Matters, But Never Limit Your Reader

Giving kids access to books that are at or slightly above their reading level is a great way to help kids grow their reading muscles. However, be sure to avoid pigeon holing your little reader. Never stand in the way of a child and a book by saying that it is too difficult for them.


While it's nice to know your child's reading level for the purpose of giving them access of books that they can read, it shouldn't be the only thing you do. While it's great to ask your child's teacher about your child's reading level, always keep in mind that this level isn't meant to use in a way that holds a kid back, compares a kid to another kid, or even limits a child's opportunities.


Something to really think about here: giving kids access to books that are at or slightly above their reading level does not mean that you cut them off from checking out or buying more complex texts. Allowing and encouraging readers to explore all types of texts makes reading fun.


Another thing to consider: we do not want to put labels on our readers. The last thing we want is for a reader to say, "I am a level D reader." An F & P reading level is simply a tool to help us support and scaffold our readers. It's not meant to compare my son's reading ability to another boy's reading, nor is it meant to place unnecessary stress on our little readers. Rather, it is merely one tool you can use when looking for books to put in front of your child. Just like I wouldn't use a hammer to drill a hole, I wouldn't use a reading level to exclude kids from books, nor would I use a reading level to make a reader feel like he/she isn't good enough.

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Doherty is excited to extend Brainpopjr subscription

Yay!! Our school has a one year subscription to Brainpopjr.com.


All Doherty students will have the opportunity to enhance their learning with this awesome website. This site offers common core-aligned movies, quizzes, games and activities covering Science, Reading, Writing, Math, Health, Social Studies, Art, and Technology. It encourages young learners to ask questions and form their own ideas. All text is read aloud to facilitate comprehension. You can use this site at home on your computer and iPads. In school we will use this site on school Chromebooks and classroom SMARTboards.


How to get started?

Go to www.brainpopjr.com

Username: westbloomfield (NO SPACE)

Password: doherty

After the Bell After School Activities begin the Last Week in January

Community Ed run after school classes will begin again the last week in January. Attached is a flyer with additional information, you child will be bringing home flyers next week. Classes offered will be the following:

Monday-Karate

Tuesday-Tumbling

Wednesday-Soccer

Friday-Writing Skills


In addition to the after school classes there will be Saturday Morning Boys & Girls Youth Basketball League at West Bloomfield High School which begins 1-25-20. With Coaches Jeremy Denha and Ryan Watson ,


Grades 1-3 --9-10 a.m.

Grades 4-6 --10-11 a.m.

The basketball flyer will be send home next week also

If you have any question please call Community Education (248) 865-6457

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Doherty Elementary Traffic Plan

Please view the map above for a visual of our traffic plan.


At both pick-up and drop-off:

  • Cars enter using the right lane and loop through the parking lot.
  • Once cars enter the parking lot, you'll notice that there are two lines of green arrows. We ask that you form two lines at this part of the parking lot. This is important, as it allows for more cars to fit in our car loop and ensures that our car line does not stop/block traffic on Walnut Lake Road.
  • Pull to the farthest available spot in the "Pick-Up/Drop-Off" area.
  • Drivers should remain in the car.
  • Children should exit and enter the car through the driver side.
  • Staff and volunteers will be available to assist children in opening and closing doors.


At drop-off:

  • Children should remain in the car until 8:05 AM.


At pick-up:

  • Place the Carline Identification Tag (you received one at our opening events if you applied for it) on your rearview mirror so it is visible.
  • If you have multiple people picking up your child, please be sure each one knows your carline number. Also, it would be a good idea to photocopy the tag for other rearview mirrors.


In an effort to keep children safe, I agree to the following procedures:

  1. I will place the Carline Identification Card that I receive at the start of the year in my front window so staff can easily identify me at afternoon pick-up.
  2. I will follow the traffic lanes as indicated on the map.
  3. I will follow directions provided by the Doherty Crossing Guard and other personnel.
  4. I will arrange seats and other interior items so my child can safely enter and exit my care through the back door on the driver's side of the vehicle.
  5. I will remain in the vehicle, and I will allow a Doherty Staff Member to escort my child to and from the car.


In an effort to help ensure smooth and safe operations at Doherty Elementary, I agree to the following procedures:


  1. I will not park in the Doherty Parking Lot during drop-off or dismissal unless I have urgent business in the office/school.
  2. I understand that my child may NOT enter the building before 8:05 AM each morning, unless he/she attends Kids Klub (before school care).
  3. I understand that my child will be sent to Kids Klub (paid after school care) if he/she is not picked up when the car line closes at 3:40 PM.

Upcoming Dates/Events

January 19th: United We Walk Event, 2:30 PM at WBHS

January 20th: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, No School

January 23rd: Half Day

January 24th: Half Day

February 3rd: Early Release (Dismissal at 2:17 PM)

February 3rd: Quarter 2 Report Cards Due by Midnight

February 6th: American Heart Association Kids Heart Challenge Kick-Off

February 10th: Early Release (Dismissal at 2:17 PM)

February 17-18th: Mid-Winter Break

February 24th: Early Release (Dismissal at 2:17 PM)

March 2nd: Early Release (Dismissal at 2:17 PM)

March 2nd: Quarter 3 Progress Reports Due by Midnight

March 9th: Early Release (Dismissal at 2:17 PM)

March 12th: PTO Shamrock Shake

March 16th: Early Release (Dismissal at 2:17 PM)

March 19th: PTO General Meeting, 6:30 PM

March 26th: Kindergarten Musical Concert (During School Day)

March 30-April 3rd: Spring Break

April 6th: Early Release (Dismissal at 2:17 PM)

April 9th: PTO Multicultural Night

April 10th: No School

April 14th: Kindergarten Musical Concert (During School Day)

April 15th: Kindergarten Musical Concert (During School Day)

April 15th: Quarter 3 Report Cards Due by Midnight

April 16th: Kindergarten Musical Concert (During School Day)

April 16th: PTO General Meeting, 6:30 Pm

April 20th: Early Release (Dismissal at 2:17 PM)

April 27th: Early Release (Dismissal at 2:17 PM)

April 29th: First Grade Musical Concert (Evening)

May 4th: Early Release (Dismissal at 2:17 PM)

May 5th: District Fine Arts Showcase

May 7th: 2nd Grade Musical Concert (Evening)

May 11th: Early Release (Dismissal at 2:17 PM)

May 11th: Quarter 4 Progress Reports Due by Midnight

May 18th: Early Release (Dismissal at 2:17 PM)

May 21st: PTO General Meeting, 6:30 PM

May 25th: No School

May 29th: Doherty Field Day

June 1st: Early Release (Dismissal at 2:17 PM)

June 15th: Half Day

June 16th: Half Day, Last Day of School