Cordata Weekly Bulletin

12/3/2018

Good morning, Cordata!

Friday evening's Family Glow Dance was a wonderful community building event! It is really fun to see whole families show up and celebrate together. It is clear that they are finding joy and connection in this community! Thanks for all you do to build that sense of community throughout each school day!


Below are a few pictures from the dance, as well as some pictures of other community-building things happening in our school. Each week I try to share out some photos that tell a bit of the story of Cordata. What is the Cordata story that YOU want to tell?! Send me a photo or a snapshot in words, I'd love to share YOUR stories here!


Below:

in the left hand column, kinder and preK friends, 5th graders, and families enjoying the Glow Dance

in the right hand column, kinders singing their hearts out, helping a friend get to the office, and 2nd graders writing words of encouragement as a choice during work time.

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The week ahead - 12/3 - 12/7

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These weeks before a big holiday break are a good time to revisit self-regulation strategies. On our SEL calendar, I recommend that everyone (whether you are using Positive Discipline, Caring School Community, or a blend) use the called Exploring Tools for Calming, pp 113-117 in Zones of Regulation. The SEL calendar gives a little more detail (linked in the title above), as well as a related lesson that can be found in EVO. (EVO is the website that you use when you complete the DESSA assessment, and is also a treasure trove of SEL lessons.)


Remember that Sound Discipline recommends interspersing regulation activities throughout your day with students. When we practice these strategies (belly breaths, starfish or rainbow breathing, visualizations, etc.) in calm moments, we are much more likely to have access to them when we're escalated. This goes for our students, and for us as adults.

Upcoming Dates


  • Dec. 4 - 2:45-3:45 - staff meeting
  • Dec. 4 - 6:30-8:30 - Family Engagement evening - dinner and Darkness to Light presentation. See Dan for details.
  • Dec. 6 - Sunshine treats in the staff room!
  • Dec. 6 - Sound Discipline consult for behavior data team (1:00-2:00), and Tier 3 behavior team (3:00-4:00)
  • Dec. 10 - 2:45-3:45 - Firm and Kind committee
  • Dec. 11 - 2:45-4:00 - FIRST after school Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff. (This was listed as tentative in the last bulletin - times have now changed, but it is confirmed! Please mark your calendars!)
  • Dec. 13 - Staff Collaboration from 2:00-3:00 in the library - Classified staff, you are invited too! Join us for improv, team building and laughter!
  • Dec. 13 - Festive holiday sweaters, and staff holiday party at Brandywine from 5:00 -8:00 - watch for more details to come!
  • Dec. 14 - 8:45-9:15 - School-wide Buddies event!
  • Jan. 15 - 2:45 - 4:00 - SECOND Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff
  • March 19 - 2:45-4:00 - THIRD Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff
  • April 23 - 2:45-2:00 - FOURTH Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff

Other News and Information


  • We continue to have some trouble helping our buses leave on time. They should be pulling away from Cordata 7 minutes after our dismissal time. Please make sure your children are dismissed from class no later than the dismissal bell. And please walk them in a group to the bus area so you can ensure that they get there in a timely manner. Our bus drivers thank you!!

  • You can see in the calendar above that Dr. Anthony Craig will be visiting Cordata on Wednesday afternoon. Dr. Craig is currently a professor and director of the Leadership for Learning program at UW. He is a former principal of Quil Ceda Elementary School in Marysville, where he worked with Nick. This is one outcome of our recent Cordata Leadership Team conversation about next steps in building a positive and sustainable culture at Cordata. The scope of the connection that we'll have with Dr. Craig is not yet determined, we hope that he'll be back for another future visit. But I look forward to having him spend some time with us this week.

  • Our Lock Down Drill will take place on Thursday. Please remember to prepare your students in advance. Whether you are in the staff room, on your planning time, or with students, please follow the steps for securing doors and windows in your location, then check email and respond to the questions that come your way. This will help us plan ahead for communications that would be needed in the event of an actual lock down.



  • Committee to review our responses to challenging behaviors - what does it mean to be FIRM AND KIND? So far we have two certificated staff and one classified staff who want to be a part of this team effort. We need a few more voices! If you would like to be a part of a committee to review our systems and procedures, please email Analisa with your name! This committee can include both certificated and classified staff. We will review existing documents and practices, consider case studies, consult with outside resources and research on the topic. Our purpose will be to refine and improve upon current practice at Cordata.
    Tentative meeting times: 2:45-3:45 on 12/10, 1/7. 1/21 and 2/4

  • I am still in search of some teachers to be part of a short-term committee to meet with math consultants to discuss concerns and supports regarding Bridges curriculum for mathematics. Questions about the Bridges curriculum have come up in SGC's, grade level meetings, and at the recent leadership team meeting. I would like to invite Rey Ramos and any other district specialists knowledgeable about the Bridges curriculum to meet with me to review Cordata's math data and our questions about the Bridges curriculum. I would like to open this up to classroom teachers who would like to participate in this conversation. I will wait to schedule a meeting until I know who is available, and when.


In closing . . .

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The SEL calendar this week asks you to revisit calming strategies with your kids, and one way to do that is through down-regulation activities that you intersperse throughout your day.


Music can be one of those activities. It's easy to picture our youngest learners, preK or kinders, singing together in circle time. But at any age, singing together can actually be a really powerful tool for getting brains in sync and building community. This article gives you some compelling reasons to add singing to your classroom routines.


Check in with our treasure trove of musical ideas, Lis Jansen! Or invite Dan and his guitar in to introduce some singing to your routines!


Shared rhythm activities can do some similar things for developing brains. Here's one to try...



  • During a transition, such as returning from recess and meeting on the rug, pick a leader. (The teacher can lead for the first few tries, then let a student give it a try.) The leader sits up front and begins a simple repeated pattern using claps, lap pats, head touches, etc. (pat, pat, clap, touch . . . ) As others join the rug, they join in the pattern. When the leader sees that people have the pattern down, he or she can shift it slightly, and watch while others adapt to the change. Individuals benefit from the self-regulation that rhythmic activities can bring, while the whole class is connecting through a shared rhythm. (Thanks, Megan, for introducing me to this one!)