For the last 7 years IAA has had the day following MLK off for our mid year retreat. A powerful and enriching day for the staff and that ultimately makes the teaching environment stronger for students. This is definitely not your typical professional development.
Historically, from my experience, this stretch (January 1 until February break) of school is the most stressful of the year. I believe it's a combination of the weather, cabin fever and the longest amount of time between breaks. Whatever it is, it is hard for both students and teachers. In my tenure, IAA has often been described in terms of its warm and social emotional intelligent climate and culture. That is a direct result of these kinds of retreats and their importance for the entire community. I recently read an article, Teaching Is as Stressful as an ER. These Calming Strategies Can Help. I don't contend that what we do at school on a daily basis is on par with a hospital or emergency room. However, this article does speak well to why we need days like this. Retreats are really a vital day for staff cohesion and school climate, two things that directly impact the environment we set and nurture for out students.
I recently lead a 90 minute Restorative Practice session with the Hunt Middle School Staff. I used the Meg Wheatley Poem below, as I have many time before in my career. It wholly reminds me of the work IAA consistently does as a community, the real purpose of our retreats, and how we strive to reflect and connect with each other, families and students. I hope you enjoy it.
Turning to One Another
There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.
Ask: “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking.
Notice what you care about.
Assume that many others share your dreams.
Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
Talk to people you know.
Talk to people you don’t know.
Talk to people you never talk to.
Be intrigued by the differences you hear. Expect to be surprised.
Treasure curiosity more than certainty.
Invite in everybody who cares to work on what’s possible.
Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something.
Know that creative solutions come from new connections.
Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know.
Real listening always brings people closer together.
Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.
Rely on human goodness.
Artfully and with Love,
IAA Dance Residency Begins!
This residency will take place in Ms. Maggie, Ms. Rose, Mr. Leal, and Ms. Heather's classrooms, as well as in the IAA Libary with Ms. Jen. This team of teachers, along with Ms. Judy, attended eight full days of professional development to create a vibrant, creative curriculum centered around the IAA theme this year, communication. The units emphasize developing creative and critical thinking skills around empathy and multiple perspectives. We'll also be pairing up with Seven Days - Kids VT the local newspaper that features "small people with big ideas."
Ashley came this week for the first time and introduced these concepts through movement in response to a VTS session using Norman Rockwell's image, The Gossip. Here are some super fun images of our students highly engaged in this experience. Stay tuned for more information as this residency continues.
Ms. Judy email@example.com
Wonder Week! Coming Right Up!
Wonder is the first of all the passions.
We begin our fourth round of Wonder Week on Monday, February 18th. Second through fifth graders choose from over 20 different workshops to try out, try on and enjoy new topics they might wonder about. How to knit, how to juggle, how to build a dream catcher, or learn French, are just a few samples of workshop topics. For four days students will be in small mixed groups, creating, making, or learning something new. Ask your student about Wonder Week!
Ms. Jenny firstname.lastname@example.org
Printmaking in the art studio!
3rd grade students have just completed a 2-color reduction print in art class, and the results are amazing! They started with a linoleum block and used gauges to carve out an image of a bird. Safety was a major part of their learning; students were extremely careful using and taking care of their sharp carving tools. After carving the block, they printed with one color. They then carved the negative space away, and printed a second color on top of the first color. Each student made an edition of two prints, giving them an opportunity to keep one print and give one away!
Ada Leaphart, email@example.com, @IAAartstudio on Instagram
A big shout out to all of the parents who signed up and were willing to help take our students to the ECHO Center on MLK Day. Your kindness was very much appreciated! Although the weather did not cooperate, they all had a great time preparing their songs!
These last 2 weeks are some of the most fun here in PE and Music, as we learn square dances and contra dances, then get together with other classrooms to dance together with new friends. Lots of fun: more than they thought they would have!
As always, if you have any question or just want to see what we're up to, send me an email or follow the library on instagram @iaa_library
Jen Peake firstname.lastname@example.org
We have been busy bowling and dancing for the last month. We have learned some basic square dance moves and incorporated them into various dances. We have also worked on social skills around inviting others to dance politely and using their name as a part of the invitation. We also talked about our response of YES and that we are obligated to dance for one dance. These collaboration skills can be helpful when working with others as well as a way to get to know new friends. Dance is also a great physical activity and fun! Our next unit will be working on striking skills and for some applying them in a game called Spikeball.
If you are looking for more opportunities for your child to get their 60 minutes of physical activity, don’t forget about Move it! Move it! on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday mornings starting at 7:45 a.m. We also have CaTs on the Move on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday beginning promptly at 7:45 a.m. This program is a full 30 minutes of exercise and students must be on time to join.
I am teaching Prevent Child Abuse Vermont’s Care for Kids Program. This program is a sexual abuse prevention program that promotes healthy relationships at an age appropriate level for kindergarten, first and second grade students. So far we have discussed feelings, self-advocacy and are currently on the the body parts lesson.
I have two dolls and we use these dolls to discuss body parts that people see in public and body parts that are private. While we name specific body parts (arm, leg, eye, penis, vagina, bum/ buttocks, for example), we do not associate specific genders with body parts. As always, I encourage students to share the content of our discussions with trusted adults at home and at school.
Ms. Meredith, IAA School Counselor
864-8475, ext. 4
Head lice review:
Check all family members for lice and nits (lice eggs) at least once a week. Nits are the size
of a poppy seed, oval shaped and are attached at an angle to the side of the hair shaft,
usually behind the ears and at the back of the neck. If they are more than ¼ inch away from the scalp, they are dead. They are “glued” on and cannot be shaken off. Adult lice are the size of a sesame seed. Color of eggs and lice can vary, based on the color of the hair. They do not have wings, but have 6 claws with which to grab the hair shaft. They do not willingly come off the heads. Lice that fall off the head are usually
elderly or defective. Wash bedding and recently worn clothing (within the last 3 days) in hot water and dry in
high heat for 30 minutes. Combs and brushes should be soaked in hot water for 10 minutes.
Because lice cannot survive off the human body for more than 24 hours, it is not necessary
to bag stuffed toys, treat pets, or clean the entire house. Before you spend money on ineffective products, please contact nurse Mongeon.