Edgewood's Tiger Talk

September 10, 2017

A Note from the Principal

This year, one of our main focuses is building intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is the drive to do our best, even without a reward or a prize. As a staff, we're working to answer these questions: how do we foster kids' interest in doing their best work? How do we get them to choose to do the right thing, even when no one is watching? Intrinsic motivation is tied to grit and perseverance, which we know help people successful both as students and as adults.

One thing that helps students to develop grit is having what Carol Dweck calls a "Growth Mindset." This concept is based on brain research that proves that intelligence is NOT fixed. Contrary to what many of us learned, people aren't just born smart or not. Repeated practice creates pathways between neurons. When you learned to drive, you had to think very hard about what to do when you change lanes, and now you do it automatically. Piano players start out plunking the keys, and with practice, memory makes the keyboard and hands seem one. You built new pathways in your brain. The same idea applies to reading, mathematics, or any skill. Studies have shown that IQ scores--once thought to be the same for a lifetime--can actually change over time with quality teaching and practice.

There's a lot we can do to promote the development of a growth mindset. One of the first steps is looking at our words. It's automatic for many of us to say, "You're so smart!" Or, "It's OK, I wasn't good at that either." These phrases, meant to comfort, can actually help create a fixed mindset. Check out this link to see some other phrases that might be helpful: https://www.mindsetworks.com/parents/growth-mindset-parenting. None of us are perfect--I catch myself saying, "You're so smart!" more often than I'd like to admit, but I'm working on it. Hopefully, with enough focus and practice, I'll build a new pathway in my brain.

Pawsitively Edgewood--Character Education

One change you may notice in our classrooms is that we no longer have color charts posted as a behavior management tool. Over time, we found that many kids focused more on the color than on how their behavior impacted others, or on what they should do in the future. Rather than thinking, "I need to focus," kids would focus on "being on yellow." Some would blame the teacher, "She made me move my clip", rather than thinking, "I kept talking, and no one around me could hear." From the research, we've done and discussions we've had, we think that a more direct, logical consequence, will help our kids to better develop self-control and the ability to do the right thing.

So, instead of being asked to "move a clip", kids will be asked to "take a break" either in the classroom or in a buddy classroom. In the break spot, kids will be provided tools to help them reflect on their behavior and/or regain self-control.

This change does not change our high expectations for student behavior. One of the things we value at Edgewood is our shared commitment to high standards for student behavior. By being consistent as a staff, our students feel safer and more comfortable. The above pictures show students learning our common expectations across the school. As in the past, we spend time teaching every student what is expected in each area of the building, from the classroom to the lunchroom to the swing set.

Classroom Spotlight--Mrs. Jegier

Building classroom community is one of those things that can seem "fluffy", but research shows us it's anything but. When students feel comfortable with one another, they feel safe taking risks, which we know is key for learning. Here, Mrs. Jegier had each student decorate a puzzle piece with things important to them. Then, students all worked as a team to put the puzzle together.

Construction Ribbon Cutting & First EHSA Meeting

Come to the Learning Commons (formerly known as the library) for our Ribbon Cutting at 6pm on Tuesday evening. It will be directly followed by our first Edgewood Home and School Association (parent-teacher association) meeting of the year at 6:30. Learn about all of the updates and then see how you can get involved!

Earn money for our EHSA when you shop on Amazon!

Go to https://smile.amazon.com/. Search for the "Edgewood Home and School Association, Inc." A small percentage of every purchase will come to the EHSA. Easy for you, $ for the school!

Upcoming Dates

9/12--Ribbon Cutting @ 6pm, followed by EHSA meeting @ 6:30pm

9/14--Special Education Family Night @ Konkel Park (5-6:30pm)

9/15--EHSA Fall Fundraiser Begins (it ends Wednesday, 10/4)

9/15--Wear Edgewood Shirts or Orange and Black

9/23--Back to School Picnic, sponsored by the EHSA, Noon-3pm, Konkel Park

9/29--Wear Edgewood Shirts or Orange and Black

10/19--Early Release K5-5th Grade for Parent Teacher Conferences (No School for K4)

10/20--Coffee with the Principal, 8-8:30 am, Learning Commons

10/20--EHSA Halloween Dance, 6-8pm

10/25--Parent Teacher Conferences

10/26-10/27--No School--Fall Break

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