Thursday, January 12, 2017

Winter Blues Got You Down?

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Winter blues got you down?   

Winter can be a hard season for so many reasons.  The excitement of the holidays and winter break are over. It is cold, dark and dreary most days.  It is hard to get the motivation to go outside when it is so cold.  Not only do we struggle as adults, but our children do as well.  There are many assessments scheduled during the winter months, which require children to sit for longer periods of time than normal.  When the weather is harsh outside, the children have to stay inside for recess.  Physical activity is so important for us all, but especially important for the children. There is a multitude of research that describes the physical and emotional benefits of fresh air and exercise.

Unfortunately, it seems we have been indoors, more often than not for recess at school. We try to have physical activities for the children, but as we all know, we are currently limited with our space.  We are hoping the weather will be better next week, but just in case, here are some ideas on how to beat the winter blues.

Our park districts can be such good resources for us during this time of the year.  They offer many different types of programming for children, even on days off from school.  The library has many activities available to the community for free.  There are ice rinks and sled hills in our local parks when weather permits.

Could one of our goals as parents be to get out and move with our children? It may be as simple as taking a long walk!  It would be great for all of us! The good news is the days ARE getting longer!

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Friday, January 6, 2017

Goodbye 2016 and Hello 2017!

Happy New Year!

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!   Time flies when you’re having fun! 

I visited a first grade class this week that was busy working on writing their plans for 2017.  They needed to write a personal goal, plans for reading, a new food to try, and something new they would like to learn.  The answers the students gave were unique and inspiring.  Some students shared that they wanted to try new foods like, curry, pickles, pie, red rice and vanilla ice cream.  Some students shared that they want to learn about different countries, learn how to read and tell the temperature.  The students personal goals included being positive, responsible, becoming a reader, and making a robot. 
I was so inspired by the students that I grabbed a planning sheet and completed one myself.  After that I walked around the building and found that students in many classrooms worked on goal setting for the New Year.

When a New Year rolls around many people like to set resolutions, however resolutions tend to be unrealistic and unattainable.  Setting goals like the many students at Windsor school is a more realistic approach especially when the goals are SMART goals.  SMART goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.  When I wrote my personal goals, I chose to run a 5k.  I chose this because I know it is realistic and something I can attain.  I used to run daily but stopped last summer when I fractured my foot.  I know with some hard work I will slowly be able to attain this goal and will run a 5k this summer. 

What goals have you set for the New Year?  Is it a personal goal?  Do you have a work or professional goal? Or  just think about a new food you want to try. The nice thing about goals is that they can always be tweaked!  

Check out Mrs. Fabrizio and Mrs. Anastacio’s 2017 planning sheets:

Thursday, December 15, 2016


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Happy New Year to you all.
Enjoy the winter vacation! We know we will as we spend time with our families and our friends!

Suggestions for the winter break:
  *Spend a day in your jammies watching old movies with your children and playing board games!
  *Bake a favorite family recipe
  *Cook a favorite meal
  *Go for long walks
  *Build snowmen

*At some point, put your cell phones and computers away!  We will also try doing this!

*Do an Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math Project (STEAM)- more about that in the January 6th blog!
*Journal about your winter adventures
*Listen to music

Friday, December 9, 2016

December Worthy Wildcats

Congrats to the following students who demonstrated Kind, Safe and Responsible behaviors this month!  They were nominated by our students/staff and then selected by students from the "Caught Being Good" committee facilitated by Mrs. Cooke.  Well done, Wildcats!

Cindy X.

Jenna S. 

Jose G. 

Lalitha R. 

Matt A. 
Mia P.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

ABC/25 Foundations Grants Approved for Windsor School

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Thanks to ABC/25 Foundation, Windsor was awarded 8 Karen Wessel Barr grants this school year. We are delighted that these grants were seen as innovative, creative and supporting the mission of ABC25. In addition, and most important, the materials and ideas will help our students to grow in school! We thank all of you that have joined ABC/25 as your membership help fund these grants that ultimately benefit our Windsor Wildcats! Did you know that ABC stands for A Better Community for District 25? ABC/25 has been a Foundation since 1991. Each year, it grows in its membership. Look for the Windsor School ABC/25 Drawing information to come out when we return to school in January. The drawing will have some new items on it this year and we are excited to share all the information with you. The drawing benefits the ABC/25 Scholarship and Grants Programs.

Here is the list of the grants that were funded this school year.

Legos for Learning- these will be used to teach, reinforce and assess throughout the primary grades and the curriculum. After learning about story elements during literacy, students will be able to design the setting of story. The Legos can also be used in math to understand attributes, fractions, adding on and more.

In Kindergarten, teachers received toobaloos. These look like elbow piping and help students hear themselves read softly aloud. They will use magnet erase boards to help work on writing during word work.

In music, the children will "travel" to Africa and having different opportunities to perform at each grade level as they work together.

The Predictive Early Assessment of Reading and Language (PEARL) is a universal screener for decoding and language skills for Kindergarten. Story Champs has a multi-tiered language curriculum that targets improving students in the development of story structure and language.

The students will enjoy learning how to use the new 3D printer in the LMC as they will need to problem solve to bring their ideas to life!

Fourth grade students will get to "STEAM" it up with their exploring of Rasberry Pi as they will learning about computer science as they utilize small, inexpensive computers that teach basic coding and programming. This help assist our children in being future ready thinkers.

Third graders at all reading levels will use Non-Fiction and Fiction Short Reads to help them practice their reading strategies and critical thinking skills.

Our Spanish dominant English Learners will benefit from new books in Spanish that explore our content studies like the Revolutionary War and the Symbols of the USA.

We look forward to getting all of these materials ordered and to begin to use them throughout our school day!