Clinton Elementary School

March 2020 Bear Facts!

Dear Clinton Families,

During the month of February, and throughout the year, students continue to have lively discussions on cultural diversity and awareness. Please check out our new showcase displays that feature influential Americans and their impact on our society.

On February 6th, Clinton Families came together to share food and games from their native countries. In addition, Senor Carberry entertained us all with music from around the world. It was truly a wonderful evening with families. During February our students also participated in Whooos Reading! I am thrilled at the number of students who were inspired by this program to read even more.This program was kicked off with a "Mindful Reading Train". Our Kindergarten families were treated to a wonderful program called, Harmonize Kids. Thank you to the PTA for spearheading these events and so much more.

Leader in Me

Habit Highlight:Sharpen the Saw

“We must never become too busy sawing to take time to sharpen the saw.”

Dr. Stephen R. Covey

Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have--you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Physical:Beneficial eating, exercising, and resting

Social/Emotional:Making social and meaningful connections with others

Mental:Learning, reading, writing, and teaching

Spiritual:Spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer, or service.

Leader Lingo:

Sharpen the Saw means to have balance in your life.

balance - in addition to commitments, take time for yourself.

goals - what do you want to accomplish?

plan - how will you get to your goal?

listening skills - practice how to listen without interrupting.

empathy - practice considering how others might feel

talking stick - a visual of who is talking - using a stick, stuffed animal or ball. whoever is holding the object - everyone’s attention is on them.

School Spotlight:

Have you checked out our newest mural- created by staff- of the Seven Habits? It is a tree, with the habits growing upward. Please check it out the next time you are in the building. We have also begun a schoolwide Mindfulness Monday. Before classes begin, we all take a moment to pay attention to ourselves, inwardly. If you walk the halls during this time, you could hear a pin drop! A group of staff members are taking an online Mindfulness Fundamentals course and others are taking Mindfulness of Educators course. The courses were made possible by an administrator's grant through the Achieve Foundation.

Habit Homework:

Try these different ways to “sharpen your saw” at home!

★Take a walk! ☆ Do an art project!

★Visit family! ☆Listen to music! ★Cook or bake! ★Volunteer! ★Play a backyard game!

Big picture

Evidence Based Reading Program

A feature from: Bebe Greenberg, Structured Literacy Dyslexia Specialist

E.B.R. (Evidence Based Reading) is a Special Education funded program district wide, focusing on word features. Each school has an E.B.R. instructor. All are trained in Orton Gillingham, Wilson or LindaMood Bell.

Here, at Clinton, I am the instructor. Trained in the Orton Gillingham method of structured literacy, my groups are 1- 4 students throughout the day. Each group is grade level and skill level appropriate. Each group has some reading deficit that is addressed. Through our ½ hour sessions, 5 days per week, we read, and reread word lists and uses in reading passages. New patterns are introduced and practiced, as well as spelling/reading rules are taught. For example: Do you know why some words are spelled –dge, and some –ge? This is because when there is a short vowel right before the /j/ sound, it is spelled with the –dge ending. If there is a consonant or r controlled letters before the /j/sound, it is –ge. BARGE, EDGE. The d acts as a “vowel protector”. Many students may not be able to state the rule, but know how to read the words – which is the goal of recognizing, reading and creating meaning around words.

Each feature has an index card with how to pronounce, its meaning and uses, as well as an example of its use. Students review these index cards daily. Features such as vowel teams (oo, ai, ay,io,oy, oa, ue) “bossy r” (ar, er, or) prefixes (pre-, re-, sub-, ex-, com- ) and suffixes (-ed, ing, -est, -al,-able/-ible) are explicitly taught. Using a variety of modalities – such as trace and say, breaking words apart into syllables using tiles, offer students a variety of ways to learn and remember our very complex reading language. Students are assessed every 6 weeks, for me to know what is being remembered and able to be used, and what the student needs more practice with. New features are taught, and previous teachings are reviewed each session, with Fridays being “Game Day” – where reading patterns are incorporated into games, like Go Fish, and Chutes and Ladders.

It is important to note that not all students need this level of direct, focused, explicit instruction. Through reading, Wilson Fundations, UOS Phonics and Word Study, students are practicing recognizing features in their classrooms. A shout out to my colleagues in classrooms, who are always supportive and flexible, the Child Study Team and the administration who are encouraging and thoughtful.