Tuesday Memo

Week of 10/27/2014

Reminders and Information

1. Consider doing a float for the Red Ribbon Parade! You can also ride your bike and decorate it for the parade if you wish.

2. If you participate in the dress up days for Red Ribbon Week, you can wear jeans (most of you know this already).

3. Here is the eNews that was sent out last week about not walking back to the classrooms starting on Monday, November 3rd. Feel free to put in your weekly newsletters to the parents.

"Rasor teachers and students have been working tremendously hard at making our students more independent learners. Implementing the AVID program as well as the 7 Habits of Leadership has really helped our students to become more independent in their academic work and in the social aspect of school.

To continue to promote this independence, we are asking that parents no longer walk their student all the way to the classroom. Beginning on Monday, November 3rd, we are asking parents to stop at the main entrance to the grade-level to say good-bye. Parents are always welcome to write a note, send an email or call their child’s teacher if you have any questions or would like to set up a conference.

Thank you for your understanding. The growth of your child – academically, socially, and emotionally – is of utmost importance to us.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask."

4. Keep being awesome...

5. Make sure to check out the district eNews where the Cardboard Challenge was highlighted districtwide, as well as our very own Becca Bailey and Megan Livengood. It was such a great event. http://www.pisd.edu/news/archive/2014-15/cardboard.challenge.shtml

6. You may leave right after carpool on Friday.

Happy Birthday to You!!

October Birthdays

Melissa McCary - 27th

Kim Kirby - 30th

Upcoming Events

October 27 - 31
  • Red Riboon Week

Tuesday, October 28th

  • CORE team meeting after school

Wednesday, October 29th

  • Enrichment after school
  • Walk and Roll Wednesday

Thursday, October 30th

  • Staff Meeting after school canceled

Friday, October 31st

  • Red Ribbon Parade at 8:00

Monday, November 3rd

  • PLC groups meet after school

Tuesday, November 4th

  • AVID site team meeting after school
  • Team Meetings
  • Election Day

Wednesday, November 5th

  • Administrators out at Principal meetings
  • Enrichment after school
  • Walk 'n Roll Wednesday

Thursday, November 6th

  • Team Leader meeting after school
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From Coach Mac

Thursday, November 13th is World Record Day for Sport Stacking. The event is called Stack Up and the goal is to get over 600,000 people stacking around the world for 30 minutes each. Last year, we had 555,932 stackers. Rasor is already registered. All 514 students will stack during their specials time. We will be a part of an International World Record.

For PTA - I am the Environmental Chair. November 15th is America Recycles Day. Starting November 3rd, we will be collecting bottle tops. We will collect for 2 weeks and have an estimation contest to see who is the closest to guessing the number of bottle tops collected. The winner will get a prize.

Our Staff Rocks!

Brags to......

Thank you to Specials and Third grade for putting on a smashing show last Thursday. This fabulous show highlighted juggling, dribbling, playing drums, singing, artwork, QR codes, Adobe Photoshop, and writing.

Lynn S. for all she does to make our math program the success that it is and especially for teaching my math class during my absence last Friday. I knew they were in good hands!! Thank you Lynn!

What a fabulous Google spreadsheet that Athena created for the staff! It is greatly appreciated and makes our lives just a little bit easier:)

Thank you to Laura and Senida for their daily help in the cafeteria. Always smiling, always happy - you help start our students off on a good note!

3rd grade team! - thank you for letting me have your classes for extra art time to get them prepared for their 3rd grade showcase! –Mrs. Bailey

Chantell – thank you for inviting Art and PE to be in the 3rd grade showcase! – Mrs. Bailey

Gloria Ervin- for her wonderful help in getting our computer cords organized.

Nina Yates- for squeezing in time with my class during a very busy week. Thank you so much!

Christine Dargan: You always have such well put together parent emails. I can tell you are effective in your communication with your parents with visuals, attachments, and key points. Your weekly emails are awesome! J From: Ashley Bearden

Senida: You are always so consistent with our friends each day. Thank you for coming into my room and supporting our friends each day. J From: Ashley Bearden

A warm Welcome and WAY TO GO! to Susie Barron, our new first grade teacher!! She worked hard putting her amazing room together and preparing for our sweet First Graders!

I'm bragging on my teammate Taylor Brooks for the warmth and sincerity she shows with her students every day. She is a great example to watch to learn about building strong relationships in the classroom.

I'm also bragging on my teammate Christine Dargan, because when I watch her through our shared classroom window, I learn so much about organization and time management.

Another brag is in order for my teammate Ashley Bearden, who spontaneously comes up with ways to connect learning and fun in her classroom with songs, competitions, and high expectations. ​I'm lucky to be part of this team!

A Huge High 5 to Laura Morgan for putting together the best Enrichment Group Plans for Junior Einstiens! Our first day went flawlessly, with students engaged in questioning and analyzing with hands on activities!! Loved it!!

A Great Big Thank You to the Fabulous First Grade Team for pulling together and putting the extra time in to create a new class and helping our new teammate.

Thank you to the 3rd Grade teachers for supporting your students at the 3rd Grade Specials Showcase last Thursday, you ROCK!

AVID Elementary

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Technolgoy Tidbits


Resilience: The Other 21st Century Skills

Due to the interest of my post The Other 21st Skills, I decided to individually discuss each of the skills or dispositions I proposed that are in addition to the seven survival skills as identified by Tony Wagner.

This post focuses on resiliency. The first post focused on Grit: The Other 21st Century Skills. Some would categorize Grit and Resiliency as the same skill, but it is my belief they are involve two different, but interconnected, skill sets. While grit focuses on persistence, resilience is about bouncing back in the face of challenges and/or failure.

Some of characteristics or dispositions of Resilience include:

  • Bouncing Back
  • Managing Emotions
  • Awareness of Strengths and Assets
  • Passion-Driven Focus
  • Resourcefulness
  • Sense of Personal Agency
  • Ability to Reach Out to Others
  • Problem-Solving Skills

Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. It means “bouncing back” from difficult experiences.

Being resilient does not mean that a person doesn’t experience difficulty or distress. Emotional pain and sadness are common in people who have suffered major adversity or trauma in their lives. In fact, the road to resilience is likely to involve considerable emotional distress.

Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone. (The Road to Resilience)

Resiliency is not one specific thing, but a combination of skills and positive attributes that people gain from their life experiences and relationships. These attributes help them solve problems, cope with challenges and bounce back from disappointments.

Personal resiliency is about our assets – the resources, attributes and skills that help us recover from negative events or feelings, cope with challenges and adversity, and look after ourselves when things aren’t going well. (Kids Can Cope: Parenting at Home and at School)

Resilience research clearly reveals the following key points:

  • All individuals have the power to transform and change
  • Teachers and schools have the power to transform lives
  • It’s how teachers do what they do that counts
  • Teachers’ beliefs in innate capacity start the change process

A common finding in resilience research is the power of a teacher–often unbeknown to him or her–to tip the scale from risk to resilience. Werner and Smith (1989) found that, “Among the most frequently encountered positive role models in the lives of the children . . . outside of the family circle, was a favorite teacher.” The approaches, or “strategies,” used by these turnaround teachers provide a set of best practices or benchmarks to guide our work in classrooms and schools. Repeatedly, these mentors are described as providing, in their own personal styles and ways, the protective factors.

  • Caring Relationships which includes loving support, respect, compassion. The bottom line is that learners are provided with a sense of “You Matter” (see Angela Maiers initiative YouMatter)
  • High Expectations which includes belief in the learners’ innate resilience and self-righting capacities; challenge-with-support messages (“I know your can do this”); guidance without coercion; and a strengths-focus
  • Opportunities for Participation and Contribution which is facilitated by giving learners opportunities for being responsible for self and others; for reflection and critical thinking, for mastery learning and creative expression

(From Risk to Resiliency from Bonnie Bernard)

Research by Werner, Bernard and others indicate that one fo the major contributing factors towards resiliency is a positive relationship with an adult. Optimally it should be a parent. But if the parent is not available for any reason, it can be a teacher or coach.

Ways that educators can connect with learners include:

  • Finding one on one time with learners – during group work time, walking to lunch or specials, during recess, etc.
  • Listen deeply and attentively to what the learners have to say.
  • Insure that each and every learner knows “You Matter”
  • Enjoy being with the students. If you don’t care deeply about them, then I believe there is problem. I have said and will continue to say to my pre-service teachers, if you don’t love them find another profession.

Given the skills that promote resiliency, it is also the educator’s responsibility to:

  • Build a sense of community in the classroom;
  • Give students the opportunity to ask for help;
  • Give learners the opportunity to assist one another during difficult and challenging learning activities;
  • Honor, encourage, and reinforce the expression of feelings;
  • Encourage and reinforce learners’ own innate resiliency;
  • Promote and teach learners how to be assertive;
  • Ask learners to be accountable for their behavior – both positive and negative;
  • Normalize failure – teach learners how to reflect on their failures as opportunities for growth;
  • Help learners recognize and change negative, self-defeating self-talk;
  • Teach and help learners cope with stress.

If you, as an educator, take one idea from this post, let it be that working to maintain a positive and significant relationship with learners is the most important way to contribute to their resiliency.

Parting message to educators:

The key point from resilience research is that successful development and transformative power exists not in programs per se but at the deeper level of relationships, beliefs and expectations, and willingness to share power.

Relax, have fun, and trust the process! Working from your own innate resilience and well-being engages the innate resilience and well-being of our students. Thus, teaching becomes much more effortless and enjoyable. Moreover, resiliency research as well as research on nurturing teachers and successful schools gives us all the proof needed to lighten up, let go of our tight control, be patient, and trust the process.

Remember, you matter! Resilience research clearly tells us when you care, believe in, and “invite back” our nation’s most precious resource – our children and youth – you are not only enabling their healthy development and successful learning. You are, indeed, creating inside-out social change–building the compassionate and creative citizenry that will be critical to the 21st century. (From Risk to Resiliency from Bonnie Bernard)

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Rasor Elementary

Rasor Elementary, with the community, will give us a safe, caring place to learn and reach our dreams.