Cordata Weekly Bulletin


Good morning, Cordata!

There are a lot of visitors around Cordata these days, here to join our students and teachers in inquiry and learning! Here are a few of the folks you might see . . .

  • Whatcom Community College students are connecting with our 3rd grade classes to deepen their science inquiry into balance and motion. Cordata students develop designs based on what they've learned about spinners, and the WCC students turn their ideas into actual prototypes using 3D printers! (pictured below)
  • Dana Crediford, director and costumer at Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth, will soon be visiting some of our kindergartners who have taken an interest in costuming! They'll have a chance to ask her some questions and feed their inspiration! (a few of the costumers pictured below)
  • Staff and volunteers from the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center have been working with some of our 5th graders to help them learn about and experience peaceful ways of managing conflict.

As you engage with children and discover what they're curious about - whether that is with a whole class or with individuals - be thinking about who the experts in our community might be. One way to model inquiry is to make connections with experts who can share information, answer questions, and ignite even more curiosity! Not sure who the experts are? We're a big and well-connected community! Post a question in the staff room or send me an email to include in this bulletin!

Big picture

The week ahead - 1/28 - 2/1

Big picture

If you are following Positive Discipline lessons on the SEL calendar, this is a catch-up week, and a week for specialists to review concepts related to Respecting Differences (p.91 in Positive Discipline) . Let's also continue focusing on playground expectations and how to resolve small problems safely. Teachers, please remind and reinforce this in classrooms! If you haven't yet reached the point of class problem solving meetings using the Caring School Community curriculum, you may want to follow the Positive Discipline curriculum in the coming weeks, as it moves into the protocol for problem solving. I was able to observe a problem solving meeting in a classroom last week, and the kids felt proud of their outcomes of the action that they took!

Upcoming Dates

  • Jan 7 - Feb 8 - Assessment window open
  • Jan. 28 - 2:45-4:15 - Firm and Kind committee
  • Jan. 29 - Semester break, no-school day
  • Jan. 31 - 1:00-3:00 - 1st grade SGC
  • Feb. 4 - winter window for DESSA opens
  • Feb. 4 through Feb. 8 - Pack the Paw - PTA fundraiser (see notes below for details)
  • Feb. 5 - 2:45-3:45 - Staff meeting in the library
  • Feb. 7 - 1:00-3:00 - Kinder SGC
  • Feb. 8 - 4:00 pm - report cards due for grades 1 through 5
  • Feb. 11 - NAEP testing for 4th graders
  • Feb. 11 - 2:45-4:15 - Firm and Kind committee meeting
  • Feb. 14 - Valentine's Day - remember to follow the Food Policy as described in the staff handbook and the 1/14/2019 staff bulletin
  • Feb. 14 - 2:00-3:00 - Cert staff PD and collaboration time
  • Feb. 14 - report cards due for kindergarten
  • Feb. 19 - 2:45-4:00 - Choice Tech Meeting (this can be a choice towards your 2.5 choice hours, cert staff)
  • Feb. 21 - report cards go home with students in grades 1 through 5
  • Feb. 21 - 1:00-3:00 - 4th grade SGC
  • Feb. 26 - report cards go home with kinders
  • Feb. 28 - 1:00-3:00 - 3rd grade SGC
  • March 7 - 1:00-3:00 - 5th grade SGC
  • March 19 - 2:45-4:00 - THIRD Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff
  • April 11 - 2:45-4:00 - Choice Tech Meeting (this can be a choice towards your 2.5 choice hours, cert staff)
  • 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)

Other News and Information

  • Promise Kindergarten starts today! Give Kelly and Rebecca a high five when you see them - we all remember the first day jitters! Please talk with your classes about this newest group of Cordata Bobcats. Let them know where they will see them (in their classroom, the former computer lab, and joining the kindergartners at lunch and recesses) and think of ways that ALL can be welcoming and supportive as they get to know their new school and routines.

  • I'd like to introduce a student teacher who has joined us at Cordata. Emma Caro will be doing her internship with Randy Cueto - part time this winter, and full time in the spring. Welcome, Emma!

  • Our 5th graders will be expanding their musical knowledge with 5th grade strings beginning as we start up second semester. Strings will be taught by Jonathan Ross, and classes will meet in the cafeteria on Mondays and Thursdays, from 8:00-9:30. Teachers, if your classes will be transitioning to music or PE during those windows of time, please talk with your students about what to expect, and how they can help the learning by using a level 0 voice and expected hallway behaviors.

  • Let's continue our focus on playground behaviors! Remember, our behavior data team noticed a trend in unsafe behaviors on the playground, so their recommendation to all of us is to clarify expectations and reinforce, reinforce, reinforce! Thanks for making time for the classroom meeting visit. Taking your kids out for an extra recess with you, and some time to practice and debrief afterwards, is another great way to emphasize recess expectations!

In closing . . .

" . . . kids need books they can sink their teeth into . . ."

Last Thursday during our collaboration time with cert staff, we went back into the Comprehension and Collaboration book and read the 11 ways to include inquiry. Some are extensive projects (and we see some of those happening around Cordata!), while others are simple ways to incorporate inquiry and questioning into learning that's already happening. It's shifting the kinds of questions we ask, and the ways in which we ask students to engage with text and new information.

Here's an example - see how a primary teacher models inquiry with questioning during a read aloud, and in conferring with students who are becoming curious question-askers and answer-seekers themselves!