Staff Memo

Jan. 31, 2016

Global Play Day

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." ~Plato

Global School Play Day is Wednesday, Feb. 3. I can't think of a better way to have our kids use their skills of collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking/problem solving than by playing together on Wednesday.

If it's been a bit since you looked at the GSPD site, there's info below. Please stretch yourselves, if you can, to make this a memorable day for our kids.

"Tell your class to bring anything they wish to play with to school on Wednesday, February 3rd. The only restrictions: they must bring toys and these toys may NOT require batteries or electricity. No devices. Give them some ideas, since today's kids rarely play and often own very few toys: board games, dolls, Legos, blocks, trucks, cars, racetracks, playing cards, empty cardboard boxes, markers, jigsaw puzzles, blankets (for forts), social games (charades, Pictionary, etc.) The only exception on the electronics rule would be a board game that has an electronic timer, an electronics play kit, or similar. How about taking your students out in the dirt or snow to dig, explore and get messy? You may want to show your students photos of GSPD15 to open their eyes to unfamiliar types of unstructured play.


On February 3, allow your students to spread their toys out around the room or take the kids outside and just PLAY! Don't organize anything for your students. Don't tell them how to play with the toys/games.Don't interfere with your students unless you see something that could get you fired or would physically hurt a child (this does not include something that may be physically uncomfortable for a child.) Other than taking a few pictures/videos, try to be invisible and let the kids play. This is a day of unstructured play, not playful teacher-led lessons. You will be amazed at what your kids come up with!

SHARE AND REFLECT After the event, be sure to share your pictures, ideas, and reactions on social media (with parent consent) and hashtag them #GSPD or #GSPD16. Perhaps you could add a post to your blog sharing about the experience. Ask your students to reflect on GSPD as well! Be sure to talk to your students and if possible, their parents, about the necessity of daily unstructured play. Your students will most surely ask if they can have play days more often. A great answer is, "Of course! Every day can be play day with your friends in your neighborhood after school. Keep playing like you did at school today, but just do it after school."

TED Talk - The Decline of Play

I mentioned this video that Jennifer Snair shared with me in Thursday's Digest. I'm hopeful you can find the time to listen. Our kids need to play. Georgi talks about parents being absent in their kids lives. All of us have seen kids who struggle to play. What can we do to support play?
The decline of play | Peter Gray | TEDxNavesink


Thank you for pulling together as teams and figuring out how to make sure our fragile learners are supported with LLI and other small group settings. I also want to thank grade levels that have had to split kids due to the sub shortage. It takes prep, hard work, professional conversations, and compromise to make this happen. I know it's not always easy, but when we keep our eyes on the goal of making sure all of our kids have the best opportunities we can create for them to learn and grow, we can make amazing things happen.


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Kindness Week

Georgi sent me the link below. It is chock full of activities for Kindness Week (and actually every week). I know there are kiddos looking forward to our second Kindness Week. We've had some really cool things going on around kindness. Let's continue to pass it on.
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Upcoming PD Reminders and Revisions

  • Friday, Feb. 5 1:00-4:00 - Kevin Kammeraad, and One Book, One School Launch
  • Friday, Feb. 12 7:35 - Staff Meeting/PD - The Art of Teaching Reading, chapter 4 with Sean

For Your Calendar

· Feb 3 Global Play Day

· Feb 8-12 Kindness Week

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Looking Ahead

Monday, Feb. 1 Day 3

  • 8:15 STL -MH - Snyder
  • 3:10 Collab Team 3

Tuesday, Feb. 2 Day 4

  • Hale, Koewers, Murch, Henseleit, Lederach gone all - NF Notice & Note in Angola
  • 3:10 Collab Team 4
  • 7:00 PTO Open Forum

Wednesday, Feb. 3 Day 1

  • Global Play Day - Have fun!
  • 8:30-11:00 Elem principals' meeting at Admin
  • 3:10 Collab Team K

Thursday, Feb. 4 Day 2

  • 1:00-3:00 Counselor's meeting at FCE - Melissa gone
  • 3:10 Collab Team 1

Friday, Feb. 5 Day 3

  • Favorite Football Shirt Day to celebrate Super Bowl
  • Midterm
  • PTO Sweet Surprise
  • Kevin Kammeraad Assemblies at 9:00, 10:00, and 11:00 - More info coming
  • 12:00-1:00 Lunch on your own
  • 1:00-4:00 Professional Development - Warm up 3rd grade

Monday, Feb. 8 Day 4

  • 8:00 Share the Load - Zach - Koewers - Collab room
  • 3:10 Collab Team 2

Tuesday, Feb. 9 Day 1

  • Lockdown drill sometime today
  • 8:00 Tech Tuesday
  • 9:30 Admin Team mtg at FJH
  • 3:10 Collab Team 3

Wednesday, Feb. 10 Day 2

  • 2:00 Office meeting
  • 3:10 Collab Team 4

Thursday, Feb. 11 Day 3

  • 7:35 CIT meeting - collab room
  • 3:10 Collab Team K
  • 4:10 EC Collab

Friday, Feb. 12 Day 4

  • $1 Hat Day
  • 7:35 Staff PD - Team 4 in charge of warm-up - Art of Teaching Reading chapter 4
  • 1:00 RtI meeting - collab room
  • 3:10 Collab Team 1