the RAH

Jan 28 - Feb 1, 2019

from Mike-

Author Speaker Opportunity

If you are looking for a local author to visit with your young readers and writers, Ethan Bryan recently published a book of poems highlighting the city of Springfield. He is willing to share his poetry and visit with students about his love for literacy and our city. Excerpts from his book, This is My Springfield, can be found HERE. You can reach him directly at the following email →

Problem-Solving in Elementary School

Elementary students practice problem-solving and self-questioning techniques to improve reading and social and emotional learning skills.

from J-

This past week I witnessed a few (and so many more on SM) 100 Days of School events. From dressing like as a 100 years old to putting 100 bandaids on the nurse, many of you embraced the benchmark celebration of being 100 days smarter. As always thanks for creating moments that make school the place to be.

For more than a handful of students, the 100th day of school may have been celebrated within the 3rd, 4th, or even more school settings for them just this year. Two facts have stood out from the scorecard data concerning stability and mobility. 1- Our system and site stability is more stable than we generally given credit. 2- Of those students that don't experience stability, their mobility is at a higher churn factor than we are generally prepared for. This data doesn't surprise us, and is confirmed by the discussion that Dr. Jungmann and I have been having with you during site visits. A regular shared moment is that new students cause a majority of the infractions. For some, the move may have been tied to some traumatic factor, or may be a stand-alone trauma moment, and they simply don't have the coping mechanisms in place to handle it. Thus, they act out.

Here's the deal: we do not have a great amount of influence, at least at this time, if a family moves. Mobility will continue to exist in our system. Knowing that, please reflect on the following questions:

*Does your school have a welcome and on-boarding process for students? their parents?

*Are staff members, beyond the assigned classroom teacher, made aware of new students? Is one of those staff members given the opportunity to be the student's starting champion?

*Are new students assigned peers to befriend and model the expectations of your school?

*Do you or your staff make phone calls home to the new student within the first few days to share out about the student's start and the successes they are having?

I think to our first day of school, and the regular challenge I put out. Every kid gets fed, every kid has a positive experience with an adult who cares about them, and every kid gets home safely. Sometimes, because we are multiple days into the school year, we may easily forget to apply this challenge - especially every kid having a positive experience with an adult who is all about them succeeding. Transitioning to a new school environment is often difficult, but students can succeed if there is a strategic plan in place to help them embrace their new school. The wisdom of Dr. Seuss may be applied: "You have brains in your head. You have feet in you shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose."

Thanks for thinking on this topic, and giving the student the tools to steer their direction.

Make it a great week!

Why Reading by the End of 3rd Grade Matters

Interesting Kids Count report from 2010. While a few years old, it still hits home. This drives greater urgency into our PreK-2 grade effectiveness and influence.

Saw the recorders brought out this week...

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