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

image.png

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

image.jpeg
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.  



Tuesday, October 23, 2018

October Worthy Wildcats!

Congrats to the following students that were selected to be Worthy Wildcats for the month of October!  Students were selected for helping clean up instead of free choice time, helping out a friend with anything that they need, being friendly to others in the class always, being on task and ready to learn with the guest teacher (sub), cleaning up lunch tables that fell on the floor and always being kind and helping others when no one is watching!

Dakota S. 5th Grade

Joshua S-C. 5th grade

Milagros M. -2nd grade

Owen U. -1st Grade

Sebastian F.- 3rd grade

Ximena T-V- Kindergarten

Monday, October 1, 2018

October Blog: Growth Mindset - What is Neuroplactisity and What is Mindful Mondays!

GROWTH MINDSET in October- As you know, each month we will be teaching and learning about different aspects of the Growth Mindset.  This month, we will be working on Neuroplasticity!
Students will learn that the brain is like a muscle that grows.  Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change and grow and make new connections throughout our lives.  Learning about this will help our Wildcats understand that challenges are good for our brains and continue to understand the growth mindset.  Our teachers will be showing the students a picture of the brain and explaining each of the areas of the brain and what they are responsible for. Ask your children what the Cerebrum, Cerebellum, Prefrontal Cortex, Hippocampus, Amygdala and the Brain Stem do.* When students understand the functions of each part of the brain and how mistakes will increase their brain growth!

We will be doing a variety of activities with all our students about parts of the brain and neuroplasticity. One of the activities that we will be doing is reading Your Fantatic Elastic Brain, Stretch It, Shape It by JoAnn Deak, PhD. and illustrated by Sarah Ackerley in each of our classrooms.  Each student will take the book home so that you too can understand how the brain works.  We hope that each of you will read the book to your children, sign the back and return it so that we can pass it on to the next student.

By doing this, we can all learn together about how the brain works!  We hope that your children will share with you all their learning about the brain, too! 

MINDFUL MONDAYS! 
Beginning today, our students will begin to learn about mindfulness. Mindfulness is being present in the moment, listening to sounds around you, noticing your breathing and learning how to be calm.  Each Monday, students will learn about taking a moment to be mindful.  Research shows that practicing mindfulness can help with focus, concentration, attention and self awareness. We will be reading books that help students to be in the moment. Being mindful can help reduce stress and we know that stress can be harmful to the brain.  We will be doing activities, reading books and talking about being mindful.  One of the first activities is to have students "Sit Like a Frog".  "The frog sits very still while it breathes".

Teachers that have tried a few activities in the classroom have noticed that their children are very calm and the students also noticed a change of how the classroom felt!  This is exciting for all of us! 

We truly hope that you will join us on our endeavors this year as we learn more about growth mindset and mindfulness! If you would like more information about mindfulness or how the brain works, please let Mrs. Fabrizio or Mrs. Anastacio know. 


* Cerebrum: Language:  cognition and language (largest part of the brain)
   Cerebellum: Movement/balance (small part at the back of the brain)
   Prefrontal Cortex:  Decision making/plans (behind your forehead)
   Hippocampus: Long and short term memories (center of the brain)
   Amygdala: controls our emotions (center of the brain)
   Neurons: small brain cells that signal messages to other cells in our body telling them what to do (everywhere in the brain)
 

Sources:  The Growth Mindset Coach, by Annie Brock and Heather Hundley
Sitting Like a Frog, By Eline Snel.







Monday, September 24, 2018

September Worthy Wildcats!

Congrats to the following students who were selected to be Worthy Wildcats by their peers!  Students were selected for showing perseverance in doing work, setting a good example in the class, being a hard worker and knowing the power of YET, playing with a new student, lending a helping hand, and always being willing to help out no matter the task! 

Our Worthy Wildcats follow the Wildcat Way throughout their school day being Kind, Safe and Responsible because YOU are Important!  :)



Andy- 3rd Grade

James- 5th Grade

Jorge- Kinder

Maeve - Fourth Grade

Penny- First Grade

Sophia - Second Grade

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

What is a GROWTH MINDSET vs. a FIXED MINDSET?



This is a quick view for you to learn more about Growth Mindset which is one of our School Improvement Goals.  The other SIP goal relates to our EL students and increasing their math mindset so that they can be increasingly successful in math.

As we begin our journey as a school community, we are focused on what is a Growth Mindset. One of the concepts that we have learned, is that we all are really a combination of both mindsets, we really want to become more focused on using the growth mindset model.

Dr. Carol Dweck is one of the key researchers and authors of the Growth Mindset model.  She writes that there are 5 areas that we respond to that we look at that we want to improve. Those 5 areas are: Challenges, Obstacles, Effort, Criticism and Success of Others as seen in above infographic.

We are working daily to stay to the right of this chart as we grow as a teaching staff, but also to have our students grow.  Making mistakes is ok, being persistent is huge and learning from others is essential.  We will be sending home a survey for you to complete next week about your perceptions of mindset.  Our teachers were given a similar survey at the beginning of the school year and your children will complete a survey after Labor Day.

Each month we will be focusing on a different topic. Next month, we will look at neuroplasticity- how we grow our brains!  We look forward to seeing how we can improve our mindset view with a focus on the growth mindset model.  We hope that you you will join us in our journey!

Here is an interesting video on YouTube re test taking and effort

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Be Thankful, Make Memories and Enjoy



Image result for summertimeThis is the last Windsorhappenings Blog for the school year. Next year, we will have a new format. We will still have a blog, but not on a weekly basis!

 I have heard from so many parents that they cannot believe how fast this year has gone.  My mother once told me that the older I got, the faster each year would go by, and boy was she right!

I am so thankful for a great Windsor staff and a great Windsor community.  We work hard to get through difficult moments and I very much appreciate everyone's efforts. We also truly love to celebrate! Whether it is when students work hard and make growth, our life events like weddings or babies,  or see our students following the Wildcat Way, we enjoy each other!

We also are a supportive bunch and I truly feel that when people share their opinions or thoughts face to face and not on social media, we can problem solve and most often come to resolution.

This summer, I am sure you will make wonderful memories with your families and we hope that you will share some of your vacation adventures using the Hashtag #Windsorviewss .  It is fun to see our students having fun outside of school!

We hope your children will read over the summer and practice those math facts!  Those are always great things to continue to support outside of school,  in addition to perhaps writing in a journal about adventures!  Of course, swimming, biking, and being active are also important parts of the summer!

We will see you all in August!  Until then.. have a wonderful Wildcats summer!