Friday, December 18, 2015

Cardboard Challenge Part 2

We had so much fun at the Cardboard Challenge. It was great to see students having an idea, making a plan and creating something!  THANKS to all who donated boxes and tape, etc. to the effort!  We so appreciate it!  Here are some pictures from the Windsor all school Cardboard Challenge! Students created houses, sleighs, candy stores, robots, skyscraperrs, airplanes, rocket ships, hockey games, skating rinks, snowmen, and workshops.  Be sure to check out the Windsor Website as it will have more photos!   Have a wonderful, happy and healthy holiday season and new year!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Cardboard Challenge- Part 1

On the last school day before the holiday break, Windsor administrators have a tradition of hosting a special event for students. In years past, we have done a fireside story time (complete with cozy fire projected on the Commons screen), experiments with fake snow, holiday carols, etc. Last year we decided to focus on a day of coding and students rotated throughout the day to try some new coding games. This year, we have decided to embrace some time for creative play, innovation, and problem solving, and will host a "Cardboard Challenge" for our students.

On Friday, 12/18, students will spend about 45 minutes working with us, and other helpful staff, to complete their own Cardboard Challenge. This means that students will be presented with blank slates of cardboard, scissors, tape, and twist ties and a problem or prompt (e.g., build a bridge, make a cardboard ocean). Then, with the help of teachers (as needed) children will be free to build creatively, to collaborate, and negotiate.

Benefits of a cardboard challenge include:
• engages children in creative play
• fosters creativity, ingenuity, resourcefulness, perseverance and teamwork
• gives children an opportunity to explore their interests and passions, and make things that have an impact on others
• provides a platform for communities to actively foster and celebrate child creativity
• increases global happiness and makes for a happier, more playful world!
We can't wait to show you the creations our students collaborate to make. We're sure their imaginations and teamwork will yield some exciting results and we'll certainly be tweeting their progress throughout the day (@windsorwildcats). Be sure to ask your children what they created (and learned!) during the challenge!

Want to know more about the inspiration for a cardboard challenge? Check out the Caine's Arcade video.

Thanks to everyone who has donated boxes!  We are good to go with cardboard!  We now need additional supplies like packing tape and twist ties. We'll be accepting materials through Friday morning, 12/18. Please drop off materials to the Windsor office.

Friday, December 4, 2015

December Worthy Wildcats!

Congrats to the following students who were announced this morning as December's Worthy Wildcats! Students were selected for displaying The Wildcat Way by being Safe, Kind and Responsible everyday and working well with all their peers, being patient, kind and a great listener, helping to translate a friend's answer so her teacher and peers could understand what she had said, helping a friend pick up materials that had dropped down the stairs, staying after lunch to help Mr. Frank sweep the lunchroom and helping a buddy who needed help picking up legos.  Well Done, Wildcats. We are so very proud of Kindergartener: Zac M., First Grader: Piper S., Second grader: Miriam R., Third grader Alison B., Fourth Grader Tye J. and Fifth grader: Vicki K.  
Zac M.
Allison B. 

Miriam R. 

Piper S. 

Tye J. 

Vicki K. 

Parenting in the 21st Century

We love Twitter. We use it for professional learning and of course to share with you all the exciting and engaging learning that happens throughout our school day. I often keep articles that I find while reading through my Twitter feed. These articles were particularly interesting as they were trending this week.   I was wondering why. Because there are so many things that impact us as parents every day, that they struck a chord with me. There are many things we can control and of course there are those things we cannot control. We want our children to be successful, sometimes to a fault. It is ok for our children to make mistakes. It is ok if they forget their homework at home. It is ok if they do not have a snack one day. It is ok if they do not study for a test, but learn from their grade that perhaps studying will help them in the future.  I wanted to share the articles with you. The first is:  What Students Lose by Being Perfect? Valuable Failure.

The second article is about "Helicopter Parents"  that was in the Chicago Tribune.  Both are quick reads.

While I may not agree with everything in these articles on parenting or every article I read on teaching and learning, I always find the text thought provoking. What might I do different? What might I dialogue about with my peers to get their points of view? And, how if I change one or two things will it successfully impact our school, children or even you- our parents?

There are so many sad and horrible things we hear on the news every day, that it is often hard to watch it and continue to take it all in. Information shared on social media can cause us to take pause and sigh. This plethora of non-stop information impacts how we raise our children and we may not be aware of it. We feel the need to protect and control all we can when it comes to our children. We may always want to solve their issues. We try to make it easy for them, but at what cost? If we become too controlling, our children will not experience how to apologize for a mistake or how to solve problems. They will not experience how to deal with disappointment or upset and they will not be able deal with failure. They may go to college unprepared to deal with the small issues. University administrators are often talking about students who have to call home for every issue as they cannot figure out what to do on their own.

While we want to tighten our arms around our children to protect them from life's upset, let's try to loosen up our grip, even just a little, to see what happens. Let's work together to help our children deal with mistakes and help them become successful, independent thinkers who as Jessica Lahey writes, know how to cope with life's ups and downs.