West Hempstead Weekly Update

September 12, 2022

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Perseverance and the Habits of Mind

One of the sixteen Habits of Mind is persisting. A close synonym for persisting is perseverance. In a book I am currently reading, Do Hard Things by Steve Magness, the author speaks about the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks and his beliefs on discipline and inner drive.

"...an inner drive to keep them focused, from embracing challenges and bouncing back if things didn't go their way, from perseverance and passion." (pg14) As educators, we must provide students with the tools to handle adversity. There will always be obstacles, and avoiding them is not the answer. We need to "face the reality of the situation and what we can do about it, to use feedback as information to guide us, to accept the emotions and thoughts that come into play, and to develop a flexible array of ways to respond to a challenge." (pg 15)

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image attribution: whatboots.com/au

Chestnut Street

The Morning Routine - The Best Forty-Five Minutes in Education

Some maxims are true. Some are not. And others change over time. For example, have you ever heard the maxim, "Everything I've learned, I've learned in kindergarten?" I happen to think this is close to being 100% accurate. Spend some time being a part of or observing the morning routine in kindergarten, and you will know what I mean! The learning that occurs daily is impressive. The morning routine includes mental sweat, physical sweat, and more.

Just a smidgeon of the learning includes:

  • days of the week
  • the months of the year
  • the number of days in school
  • letter/number of the day
  • the weather
  • colors
  • sight words
  • reading
  • writing
  • rote counting
  • adding
  • subtracting

There is no place like kindergarten!

Cornwell Ave.

As Ms. Barr's class builds routines, expectations, and relationships, they are also learning. In the pictures below, students learn a routine entitled "quick images." "Quick images" helps students to develop a sense of quantity. Students need to be able to conceptualize a number in various ways. Conceptualizing numbers promotes using numbers flexibly, which supports number sense. In the activity, the teacher will display an image for a moment. This encourages subitizing (recognizing the number automatically). The students were asked to identify the quantity and how they saw them.

George Washington

You all remember the "rainbows" when finding factor pairs, don't you (ok, if you are younger, maybe not)? Factor pairs can be found in a variety of ways. In Ms. Messana's class, students had opportunities to find factor pairs and look for patterns within factor pairs. The students were engaged in dialogue around various ideas about the greatest common factor. It was wonderful to see quality math instruction in GW, CA, and the SS. It is important to balance the teaching and learning of concepts, procedures, and the application of mathematics.

West Hempstead Secondary School

Establishing Routines, Expectations, and Relationships

In our first full week of classes, we continue to build connections with students as we engage with the curriculum. Establishing routines, setting expectations, and building relationships cannot be understated. As we know, students crave routines, want to be held to a higher standard (even if they do not verbalize it!), and learn more in supportive environments. Ms. Rowland and the class were taking part in such an experience.

The lesson began with a Do Now/review of factoring. Then, students were asked to share thoughts or questions on the problems.

Ms. Rowland moved to a problem that involved more complex factoring. Again, the students were led in a whole class format to find the solution. Each step was completed in a different color on the interactive whiteboard to highlight the steps.

Students worked collaboratively on new problems in small groups. As this occurred, Ms. Rowland could speak with each group to assess their understanding and probe deeper if necessary.


Our PreK students are living the definition of learning, as stated by Seymour Sarason. He stated, "Learning is a process that occurs in an interpersonal context and is dynamically comprised of factors whose strength is never zero. Those factors have labels such as motivation, attitude, cognition, affect, self-regard."

Interactive Read Aloud

Writing about reading (and drawing as well) improves student ability to reflect on and think analytically about a text. Readers express their understanding by citing text evidence to support their thinking. Connecting story elements and themes across texts allows readers to consider texts through different lenses. This is the work of deep comprehension.

In the clip below, Brayden shares his thoughts on how a line from the story, Last Stop on Market Street, is significant to the whole text. First, he used character interactions to infer the theme. Next, he related the theme to the quote from the story. Finally, he used text evidence to support his thinking.

Have you joined SEPTA, PTA, and PTSA?

Everyone involved is a volunteer focused on meeting student needs. The difference between a great school and a wonderful school community is the strong relationships between teachers, administrators, staff, and parents.

Why join?

  • You can have your voice and perspective heard.

  • You can fundraise to support programs and initiatives.

  • You can learn about the school community, and they can learn about you.

  • You can be “reflective.” Your children can submit their work to The National PTA’s Reflections program. This 50-year-old program provides opportunities for recognition and access to the arts. Students submit artworks in several categories based on the year’s theme.

Join today and follow on social media!

PTA Join: https://whepta.memberhub.com/store Twitter and Instagram @WHEPTA

SEPTA Join: https://1966.memberhub.com/store Twitter @WHSEPTARocks Instagram @WHSEPTA

PTSA Twitter and Instagram @WHPTSA

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West Hempstead Alma Mater

Some of the faces may have changed in the video and our schools, but once a Ram, always a Ram. #RamCulture
WH Alma Mater

Upcoming Events

9/19 7 PM Open Campus Meeting for Seniors and Parents

9/19 7:30 PM PTA Meeting - CA Cafeteria

9/20 7:30 PM BOE Meeting - SS VCR

9/23 2 PM PTA Welcome Tea - CS

9/23 Pep Rally - SS

9/23 Picture Day for Students and Staff - Grades 7 & 8

9/24 Homecoming - Parade begins at 12:30 PM at CS - Carnival and Football game to follow

9/26 & 9/27 School Closed

10/1 SAT