Cordata Weekly Bulletin

3/18/2019

Happy Monday!

Part of inquiry-based learning is developing the confidence to take a risk and try something new. Just a few fun pictures of kids stretching their thinking and their skills in new ways last week...

  • Our Club de Lectura students wanted to take their bilingual skills out into the community, so planned an outing together! Thanks to Maestra Estrada who leads this enrichment club, and Maestra Jansen who accompanied them!
  • 4th graders got their new recorders, and began to explore how to make a nice tone, and use fingerings to play the notes in a song.
  • 5th graders are several weeks into strings lessons with Mr. Ross, and have now added bowing to their repertoire!
  • All of our bobcats are using their balance and motion skills to plan and implement routines on the gymnastics equipment!

Big picture

The week ahead - 3/18 - 3/22

Big picture
On the SEL calendar this week are lessons that will continue to build your class' proficiency in working together to solve problems:



Teach the lessons in Focusing on Brainstorming and Role-playing in the Positive Discipline book

o Brainstorming p.143

o Role-playing p.144

o Role-playing and Brainstorming: Working with Guest Teachers p.145

Upcoming Dates


  • March 26 - all day - MTSS team to district PD
  • March 26 - 2:45-4:30 - Cordata Leadership Team meeting
  • March 28 - Staff potluck
  • April 1st through 5th - Spring Break
  • April 9 - Cordata staff meeting
  • April 11 - 1:45-3:00 - Choice Tech Meeting (this can be a choice towards your 2.5 choice hours, cert staff) (note that this time was originally published incorrectly, 1:45 is the correct start time)
  • April 18 - 2:00-3:00 - Cert staff collaboration/PD time
  • April 19 - Spring Social, hosted by Cordata PTA
  • April 22 - Promise K Family Night
  • April 23 - 2:45-2:00 - FOURTH Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff
  • May 21 - 2:45-4:00 - Choice Tech Meeting (this can be a choice towards your 2.5 choice hours, cert staff)
  • May 24 - Bike Rodeo, grades 3, 4 and 5
  • June 7 - 5th grade track meet
  • June 19 - Field Day - this is tentatively being planned with the support of Cornwall Church volunteers . . . much more info to come. If you have ideas, send them to Analisa.
  • June 20 - last day of school - morning assembly followed by all-school recess and yearbook signing

Other News and Information

  • Derek Munson's visit on Friday is sure to be fun and inspiring for our Cordata authors! In preparation, Derek has asked that teachers read Enemy Pie aloud to your classes, so they have a little bit of background about his work. Teachers, please see Susan or Megan for a copy of the book.

  • During our PD day last Friday, I shared with you an idea for moving us forward, from inquiring into inquiry towards a more intentional and aligned implementation of inquiry-based units. This would ask each grade level to develop an inquiry-based unit that taps into the diversity of our Cordata community. I am planning to join each grade level during your collaborative planning time to answer questions and discuss possibilities. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

  • Our PTA met last week, and they are moving forward with several things this spring - yearbooks for all students, to be given on the last day of school; and a Spring Social to take the place of our spring Big Event of years past. The Spring Social will include a Hawaiian-themed dance party, cake walk, hot-dog dinner and Kona Ice, among other things! Staff volunteers make this fun event possible, so please mark your calendars for April 19, bring your families, and join the fun!

  • Also, from our PTA, we are in need of names of potential parent PTA members. Please send names of families you know who love our school and might help in this way! We will do the contacting!

  • Teachers, please check your timing at the end of the day! We need to stay consistent with getting to the buses in a timely manner, our buses need to leave Cordata seven minutes after our school-day's end in order to stay on their schedule.

In closing . . .

This is an interesting article from NPR (click the button above) on the ways in which an indigenous culture approaches discipline in childhood. I enjoyed reading (you can also listen!) and thinking about the different cultural approaches to teaching important life lessons about emotions and social interactions. Two big take-aways for me:


  • "Oral storytelling is what's known as a human universal. For tens of thousands of years, it has been a key way that parents teach children about values and how to behave. Modern hunger-gatherer groups use stories to teach sharing, respect for both genders adn conflict avoidance, a recent study reported...Today many American parents outsource their oral storytelling to screens. And in doing so, I wonder if we're missing out on an easy - and effective - way of disciplining and changing behavior."
    In school, we place a high value on learning through printed texts, and we have a collection of books that can support SEL learning in our library. If you haven't accessed these, take a look and see where you can incorporate them into SEL in your learning environment. How could oral storytelling help this as well? What might we learn from our students' families about the ways they teach these lessons?

  • "When you try to control or change your emtions in the moment, that's a really hard thing to do . . . But if you pracitce having a different response or a different emotion at times when you're not angry, you'll have a better chance of managing your anger in those hot-button moments . . . That practice is essentially helping to rewire your brain to be able to make a different emotion [besides anger] much more easily."
    This reinforces our explicit teaching of social emotional skills, and especially the teaching of regulation strategies. Starfish breathing, box breathing, visualization...all of those skills, practiced in calm moments, build the neural pathways that we want students (and ourselves!) to eventually be able to access in moments of high stress.