Lincoln Lion's Local Buzz

January 25, 2019

Effort Based Instruction

We've stepped away from our school book, "Effort Based Instruction", because of vacation and other items of business, but I don't want to retreat from the central message, "Smart is something you can get." Helping our students understand that effort is the key to success is a life lesson that they can use long after they leave us.

The video below is a Ted Talk I came across which addresses the central concept of Effort Based Instruction and is actually directed to kids. I'd say the target audience is fourth grade and up, but I think that third grade could see this and with discussion in circle get a lot out of it. I did preview this video with my son Max, who is in third grade. We debriefed after the video, because there is one segment of the video where the speaker does contemplate suicide because he felt really stupid after not being able to be as "smart" as people had told him he was. Max was able to recognize how that would have been a poor choice, but spent very little talking about that. He really focused on the fact that the speaker sounded a lot like his teacher. He talked much more about other parts of the video and how his teacher makes the students do work over so they can get it right. Forcing his classmates to put more effort into things.

I think with some thoughtful discussion after watching the Ted Talk, the speaker's message could be a great one for our students. If you think it is worth wild to share with them, go ahead. It could be a great start to supporting students as we get ready for testing. I also highly recommend that all of you watch the video. It has some great points to remind us that it is not about being smart, and the harm we can do if we just declare kids as "smart" without having any comment about the hard work and effort the student put forth to complete the project or to get better at a skill. We all can get better at any anything we put our effort towards. Enjoy!

A Fond Farewell

We have two more wonderful staff members moving on to their next adventures. Kim Lane is moving forward to a new career in banking. She will be closer to home and will have a job that does not involve the phrase, "Did you remember to wash your hands". We will miss you Kim, best wishes on your new adventure. Shawna Mitchell is also departing for a interim position in Scott County until the end of the year. Shawna has touched the lives of many of our students through her work in the Resource Room and being the long term sub for students in two grades in our building during her time here. We wish you both the greatest success in your new positions.

Congratulation's to Misty!!

I am excited to share that Misty Ezell was honored Educator Of The Week by WJHL this week! Folks from WJHL came to our school, interview her and film her wonderful kiddos. Congratulations Misty we are so proud of you and the work you do here at Lincoln for our lions!!

Your Names are Written in My Books- Sheppard's Scoop

As I read professional journals and articles with specific, research-based best practices, I always think of folks I have seen in our building using those brain boosting strategies. If you were to flip through books, each of you would find your name written somewhere. I have shared with several of you that I would be a better teacher now that I have observed each of you in action.

I recent article in EDUTOPIA, 7 Ways to Calm a Young Brain in Trauma (How can we help elementary students who have been scarred by tragedy become more receptive to learning?), I found a short list that included some of the strategies I witness daily, along with a few new ones. Just as Mr.Gordon inspired several of you to try using a "mystery student" to motivate positive behavior, this list just may give you a new idea worth trying:


  1. Taking deep breaths brings an oxygenated glucose blood flow to our frontal lobes. Taking just three deep inhales and exhales calms the emotional brain. (Mrs. Zahner really had something with the whole 3 breaths thing. Whew knew?)
  2. Movement is critical to learning, as it activates several areas of the brain at once while calming the brain. I will usually lead with a rhythm, using a plastic cup or my body, and students will mimic me by drumming the pattern on their legs and arms. The collective sound brings a sense of community to the classroom.
  3. Once a day, I pass out a drop of lotion, and for 90 seconds students give their hands and fingers a massage, noticing their palms, fingertips, and any sensations that feel uncomfortable or stiff. We always reflect afterward.
  4. For a few minutes, I have the students rock along their spine to help them feel present in their bodies. This also provides a soothing rhythm that subtly grounds them with sensation and movement.
  5. Placing our fingers on our throats, we begin the day with a sound or class chant and feel the vibration of our vocal cords. This gives everyone a chance to participate and to see how we can mimic different animals, instruments, and random classroom sounds such as papers crinkling.
  6. The students sit with their legs straight out and begin wiggling their toes and ankles, shaking knees and thighs, rotating shoulders, arms, and finally their heads, keeping all body parts moving at the same time. Then we reverse the process and stop our heads, arms, shoulders, and on down. This gives children a great body scan and a sequence for working memory.
  7. Sometimes I’ll put on music and give the students old scarves, and we’ll dance around the room waving the scarves and feeling the soft sensation as we dance and pass by one another. When the music stops, we freeze and notice our postures and movements. This strategy can be led by the teacher or a student to see if we can mimic a movement or create our own. (This is your cue NOT TO JUDGE ME if you enter my office to find me dancing around with a scarf. Some days are pretty stressful for me. :0 )

For the entire article, please visit

Behavior Field Trip

A few things to note for Monday:

  • Buses will arrive at 8:45. We will dismiss classes by PA announcement. We will have someone outside to direct what bus to get on. Since we don't know the numbers we will just have folks get on buses in order and move on to the next bus once the previous bus is full.
  • Students who are staying behind will be monitored by either an IA or teacher from that grade level. I believe that all grade levels have already worked this out. If there is any concern with ratios for teacher: student please email Suzanne over the weekend if your grade level has not identified a solution.
  • Buses will return around 11:30. This means that grades 2 and 3 will miss the start of their lunch in the cafeteria. Upon arrival back to school we ask that second and third grade go to the cafeteria as soon as you are able to get your lunches on throw away trays and eat in your classroom. Grade 5 and K will wait for an announcement or a radio call for when they can start their lunch shift in the cafeteria. We may be able to have grades 5/K lunch start on time but we might be 5 -10 min behind depending on how fast we can get the second and third graders in and out of the cafeteria with their trays.
  • Please make sure that lists of students who are staying behind and the room they are in are given to Kathy before you leave for the trip.

Thank you for all that you have done to support this trip!

Faculty Meeting on Monday

Misty, Jaclyn, Autumn, and Marsha will be headlining our faculty meeting on Monday with more information about how to improve your circles with your students. Their presentation will be connected to a great addition of technology news from Sarah Pike. Please be on time and be ready for a great meeting.

PLC's on Tuesday

Grade level classroom teachers will find the reflection sheet to review data from the past nine weeks in the Lincoln Elementary School Team Drive in their designated grade level folder. Please remember to make a copy of the form in your folder before you write on it. We will use these forms to aide in our discussion on Tuesday. If you have any questions please ask.

Do you know anyone who might want to work for KCS as an IA?

KCS needs quality people to support our students in IA positions. We have several openings in the district (and at our school) and a very shallow pool. If you know someone that is looking to make a difference, and would be a good fit as an IA here in KCS, please encourage them to apply for open IA positions. We are on the look out for good IAs.

A great Night at RCAM

Thank you to the teachers who came out to out RCAM family field trip. We had an outstanding showing with lots of great families in attendance. Truly a GREAT night for Lincoln

Lincoln Lion's Are

Respectful , Responsible, Trustworthy, And Safe

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