Thursday, February 28, 2019

February Worthy Wildcats!

Congrats to the following students who were selected to be the February Worthy Wildcats by their peers.

Students were selected for: after reading the book Heartprints, the student has gone above and beyond doing acts of kindness in the classroom to spread  "heartprints", always been kind to peers, following the directions in the classrooms always the first time,  always being kind and respectful, checking on his friends and always sharing a smile with them and asking a classmate in a different grade level who was sitting alone at lunch to join his table!  These students are fine examples of how to be a kind and caring Wildcat who follows the Wildcat Way of being Kind, Safe and Responsible because You are Important!   Congrats to: Kindergartener-Henry S., First Grader-Liv F, Second Grader- Gianna L., Third Grader-Kosta T, Fourth Grader- Lucas A. and Fifth Grader-Johnny N. 

Gianna L. 

Kosta T. 

Liv F. 

Lucas A. 

Johnny N.
Henry S. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

February Growth Mindset Work: Goal Setting

Image result for goal setting

In the month of February, Wildcats are learning how to set goals.  This is an important aspect of Growth Mindset as when we have not learned something yet, we can set a plan of how to learn it. As students or adults struggle with learning, Annie Brock and Heather Hundley write in The Growth Mindset Coach, with a goal and deliberate practice, improvement can occur.  We are teaching our students to set goals by using SMART goals.

S- Make it Specific, What exactly do you want to accomplish?
M-Make it Measurable, How will you know when the goal is accomplished?
A-Make it Attainable, What will you do to make sure the goal can happen?
R-Make it Relevant, Is the goal that you decide on worth putting effort into it?
T-Make it Timely, When will the goal be accomplished?

The other work we are doing is to help students work through any obstacles that can occur on the way to meeting a goal.  We will be asking the students to think of things that could occur that might stand in your way and ask them how they will deal with each obstacle.

By detailing the goal and naming the issues that can get in the way of meeting the goal, we hope that students will develop grit, tenacity and the fortitude to get through the obstacles and accomplish their goals! 

We hope that you will model goal setting for your children!  We encourage you to help your children set SMART goals and dialogue about what might get in the way of meeting their goal, so that they can persevere through the difficulties! 

A popular saying is:

Image result for goal setting

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

January Worthy Wildcats!

We are delighted to share these students who received the Worthy Wildcat Award today. These students are selected by their peers for following the Wildcat Way! Anyone can nominate the students- their friends, teachers, staff members and the student committee makes the selections! 
Congrats to Kindergartener Griffin S., First Grader: Brady H., Second Grader: Drew D., Third Grader Aidan  H., Fourth Grader: Megan A. and Fifth Grader: Esteban L.-B.

Students were selected for following the Wildcat Way and having good manners, following directions and knowing the right thing to do, being kind to peers, helping a student clean out his desk, staying late to help a peer find something she lost and switching a lunch twice a week to help with our Kindergarteners! 

These students truly exemplify the purpose of the Wildcat Way.  Our goal of the Wildcat Way is to help students respect others, help out as needed, demonstrate kindness and have good manners throughout the school day!







Thursday, January 10, 2019

Growth Mindset: January Focus- FEEDBACK

Image result for feedback
Our Growth Mindset focus for January is Feedback.  How do we give feedback to our students and how do our students share feedback with their peers are the questions that we will be looking at this month. The more specific feedback we give our students, both positive and critical, helps students continue to grow and work hard to get to "yet".

Praise is one form of feedback and it is probably most often what is used at school and at home.  Some examples are: "You are doing a great job, you're so smart, you worked really hard". These feedback phrases are specifically related to the person and not the process of the work that they were doing. It can be related to some inborn quality that one has, versus the amount of effort that one put in to the task.  In the Growth Mindset Coach, the authors share that when we praise the process as opposed to the person, you are validating the effort involved.  They share that person praise works when a task is completed successfully, but if the feedback is more critical, the person may become fearful to try new things or make mistakes.

In my opinion, praising the process (effort) is an extremely important part of feedback. But, even more important is specificity. How specific can your feedback be?  An example is, "I really see that you worked hard to organize all the books in your bedroom to help keep it clean!" as opposed to, "thanks for cleaning your room". Another common feedback comment might be, "Oh, I like what you made in art." Instead, you might say, "This drawing has so many colors and different shapes that I can tell you enjoyed making it."

Being specific with praise/feedback is not easy.  It is much easier to be general in our comments to students and our children. It is a skill that requires continuous practice and awareness.  During the month of January, teachers will be working together on process versus people praise and being specific in our feedback to our students.  We will also be working on framing feedback questions, that we hope will push students in the right direction, like "Have you considered, One suggestion might be, What a great example of.." We hope you will try this at home as well with your children.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

December Worthy Wildcats!

Congrats to the December Worthy Wildcats!  
These students were selected by their peers for:

Anna: being a good friend to others. Recently, she jumped at the chance to help her classmate who dropped her snack on the floor. She helped her pick it up.
Kailen: During lunch this student helped a friend who was very upset to calm down by comforting him and helping him to feel better. She has also been very welcoming to new students, helping them to understand our classroom rules and routines as well as to feel like they are very important Wildcats! a friend who was very upset to calm down by comforting him and helping him to feel better. She has also been very welcoming to new students, helping them to understand our classroom rules and routines as well as to feel like they are very important Wildcats!
Summer: helped a friend zip up her jacket when she couldn’t zip it herself.
Evelyn: helped a friend with spelling during class.
Tori: helped get a first grader into the building when they were having a bad day.
Anthony: held the door for all the students at recess without being asked

We are so proud of all of our Wildcats who make a positive impact on the their peers each day!

Anthony D.

Evelyn M. 

Kailen S. 

Summer V. 

Tori J. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

November Worthy Wildcats

These students were selected for always following the Wildcat Way, being kind and inclusive  helping a friend who had fallen down, helped a friend get back on track who was being inattentive, and giving a friend a plant who did not get one and helping peers in the class!   Congrats to Kindergartener Raducu; First Grader, Marley; Second grader John Luke, Third Grader, Michael G.; Fourth Grader, Olivia W. and Fifth Grader Ava H.  Congrats to these student leaders! 

2nd Grader John Luke

1st grader Marley

3rd Grader Michael G.

4th grader Olivia 

Kindergartener: Raducu 

5th grader:  Ava H.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Growth Mindset: November and December- Relationships and Challenges and Ability Awareness


The next two months we will be focusing on relationships and challenges as we work towards having a growth mindset for our staff and students at Windsor.  We can say without a doubt our teachers spend quite a bit of time at the beginning of the year as well as throughout the year developing trusting and caring relationships with our Wildcats.  Posing questions to the students about their interests, what drives them, their passions and their wonders help our teachers develop high level and challenging lessons for our students.  Teachers differentiate their instruction as they look at the 

Content: What the students are learning
Process: How the students are learning
Product: How the students demonstrate learning

We look at how best to meet all of our students various student needs by looking at those three pieces.  This helps provide equity in our teaching- how can we make sure that we provide challenge no matter the learning level of our students.  

When we have the trusting relationships with our students, students will truly feel that it is ok to try their best, make mistakes and try again.  They will feel that their teachers won't judge them. They will see that learning requires taking risks and making errors.  It is always a joy for us to hear our teachers talking with children about the students' weekends, their big game, their performance in a play or other activities the students are involved in outside of school.  

In the same vein, we are working very hard with our students to be working and learning so that they learn for growth, and not for a grade.  As we have moved to Standards Based Grading, students are learning what they need to do to achieve and grow. When we have a relationship with them, our students take feedback from their teachers to heart.  It is not about the percentage on a test anymore or a grade. It is truly about the growth that they make over time and that we believe that they can achieve.  We hope as parents or guardians, you too will see the importance of your children working to learn and grow and not working to earn a grade! 
There is a true connection between relationships, challenges and growth! 

Image result for Be Younique   ~Ability Awareness
On Friday, November 2nd Northwest Special Recreation Association (NWSRA) partnered with Windsor School and hosted our first ever Ability Awareness Day!  Second through fifth graders rotated through a total of eight stations that exposed them to a variety of challenges that people with disabilities may face.  Some of the stations provided the students experience in feeling what it would be like to have an intellectual impairment, physical impairment, visual impairment or hearing impairment.  The students were also educated on how to offer support to their peers who may experience some of these difficulties as part of the program. Throughout all of these stations, the staff from NSWRA directed the students focus on what they can do versus what they could not do.  Students were observed to be sharing their past experiences whether it be at school or with a family member. The energy in the building was positive and energizing, many students commented on how much they were enjoying the experience. We were delighted with the feedback we received from the NWSRA staff. They shared that our students were verbal about how they help peers in school. The staff also shared that our Wildcats had so much background knowledge. They were amazed by the kindness our students displayed. We hope you take some time to reflect with your child on what their takeaways were from their experience and maybe share with them some of your own.

We hope to put together an experience for our Kindergarteners and First graders later this year.