Cordata Weekly Bulletin


Happy Monday!

I can't help myself, I have a lot of pictures to share this week! First, some highly engaging learning going on around Cordata in the past week. And below, some of our artists (and ice-cream eaters) who had fun at Family Fun Night.

In the first collage...

Top row

  • A publishing party to celebrate 2nd grade authors of informational books
  • 5th graders sharing their persuasive writing to Seesaw after sharing it with their buddy class
  • 4th graders inquiring into size, distance, and perspective
Middle row

  • Kindergartners counting collections and building number sense
  • 2nd graders sharing and reflecting on their learning through instructional videos about Ozobots
  • A 4th grader presenting some information about Priscilla the ball python to some intermediate classes
And in the bottom row - Read Across America Day fun for some 1st and 3rd grade buddy classes, and ALL of the kids and staff in our Life Skills classrooms

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The week ahead - 3/4 - 3/8

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This week's SEL calendar again has tools that can be very helpful in teaching students how to interact with one another in respectful ways, and that set you up for problem-solving meetings in your classroom.

· All general ed teachers – teach the lessons in Focusing on Solutions in the Positive Discipline book
note: In some sections of Positive Discipline, it is possible to pick and choose from the lessons. This isn’t one of them! Working through each lesson will be important in laying the ground work for authentic class problem solving meetings.

o Four Problem Solving Suggestions p.127

o Wheel of Choice p.129

o Solution Table p.132

o Logical Consequences p.134

o Solutions and Curiosity Questions, not Blame p.136

o The Helpful, Not Hurtful Monitor p.139

Upcoming Dates

  • March 4-7 - ELPA make-ups
  • March 11 - 5:30-6:45 - General PTA meeting
  • March 12 - 8:45 am - Assembly - The Real Food Show produced by the Bellingham Food Coop
  • March 12 - staff meeting is cancelled (this was on the original calendar of meetings for the year, but we will be meeting on March 6 instead.
  • March 14 - 2:00-3:00 - SBAC Test Administrators Training in the library - For all intermediate teachers and selected classified staff who will be proctoring SBAC.
  • March 19 - 2:45-4:00 - THIRD Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff
  • March 22 - scheduling details to come - Children's Author Derek Munson visiting for separate primary and intermediate assemblies
  • April 1st through 5th - Spring Break
  • April 11 - 1:45-3:00 - Choice Tech Meeting (this can be a choice towards your 2.5 choice hours, cert staff) (note that this time was originally published incorrectly, 1:45 is the correct start time)
  • April 19 - THE BIG EVENT, hosted by Cordata PTA
  • 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

  • Shannon and Kanwaljit and all of our English Language Learners have worked hard on the ELPA in the past week or so. Because of some challenges with the testing platform, we will need to continue into this week. 4th and 5th graders will take the ELPA in the Spanish Portable on Tuesday morning, starting at 9:30. Spanish classes will take place in general ed classrooms on Tuesday only. Thanks for your flexibility, everyone!

  • A reminder that our March 6 staff meeting (2:45-3:45 in the library) is open to everyone - all are welcome and encouraged to attend! Dr. Anthony Craig will be visiting with our staff. This is rescheduled from our February staff meeting time, and will take the place of our March 12 staff meeting, which is now cancelled.

  • On Thursday from 2:00-3:00, and Friday all day, cert staff will gather for collaboration and professional development. We will focus on inquiry in the morning, and SEL in the afternoon on Friday. Here's what you can expect:
    -Thursday at 2:00 - bring your Comprehension and Collaboration book, we'll be doing some prep for our Friday together.
    -Friday morning - some time for reading, some time to collaborate with colleagues on inquiry, some time to share out, and some time to talk as a whole group about how we move forward following this year of inquiring into inquiry
    -Lunch from 11:45-12:30
    -Friday afternoon - Connection time as a whole team, some time to reflect individually on your SEL work, some time to dig into the Caring School Community and Positive Discipline resources with colleagues and connect it to the Firm and Kind work, and some time to learn new ideas and strategies from Dan.

  • Many thanks to all who came on Friday evening to support Family Fun NIght! We had a great turnout, with lots of painting, creating, and plenty of whipped cream and sprinkles on the ice cream!

  • Thanks to all staff who prepared and supported kids in our Shelter in Place drill last week. Wow, that went very smoothly! I was really impressed with how quiet students were when gathered in the gym! Well done, everyone!

In closing . . .

This week's message is coming to you from Dan . . .

Last week I attended the annual Washington School Counselor’s Association (WASCA) conference. It inspired me as much by how far along we are at Cordata in terms of following best practice in Social Emotional Learning, as it did for giving me some new ideas. I was proud to be able to be able to say we are addressing the problems associated with the dysregulated brain and give example after example of how we work to help students Regulate, Connect and Reflect. Sometimes I think it is easy to forget how much we have accomplished and how many systems we have in place that truly help our students. Over the next few weeks I am going to try to share some of the visuals I acquired at the conference with you. I hope you feel proud (as I do) about our collective work, and that you might feel inspired to add something to our already advanced practice.

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I’ve noticed throughout my career that students want to perform well for teachers with whom they feel a strong relationship. Conversely, they may stop striving for a teacher who they believe doesn’t care for them, or with whom they feel angry. Often, we might feel pressured by or guilty for spending time away from teaching content or curriculum and putting the time into relationship, play and helping children feel heard and valued. This research confirms the adage, “They won’t care what you know until they know that you care”. As we move forward in our work with our awesome Cordata kids I hope you will give yourself permission to make room for even more connection activities that include helping your students feel significant and that they belong.