Principal's Message, 12/3/17: Dear Addison Families,

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 10:03pm

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We spent a glorious week in and around Yosemite and appreciated the beauty and serenity of nature and many great hikes. After talking to one Addison family, it turned out we were on the same trail on the same day! However you spent your time, I hope you were able to relax and reconnect with loved ones.

The Friday before break, I hosted a Principal's Coffee and was happy to see approximately 50+ parents/ guardians in attendance.  I shared information related to our new Bridges Math Curriculum and showed this short video that shows the key components of the program  Even though the video was not filmed at Addison, it looks very familiar to what I'm seeing in our classrooms.  I also shared the online family support website and free math apps that align with our new program The most frequent question that I receive from parents is how to help with math at home since it is being taught in very different ways than how we learned.  In our new program and with the adoption of the Common Core State Standards, we are teaching students a variety of strategies to solve math. There is a greater emphasis on conceptual understanding and encouraging students to share their thinking related to problem solving. Therefore, in order to support students at home consider choosing a problem and asking your child to explain it to you, ask your child to provide reason, and follow up with questions. If your child does not know where to begin, it's ok to teach them "traditional methods" as inevitably they will choose the math strategies that feel most comfortable for them.

We also looked at the social emotional learning standards for each grade level and discussed some of the challenges in meeting these standards. I shared an article that had simple suggestions of how to help prepare kids for the social expectations of school.  They included: (a) Limit technology, and re-connect with your kids emotionally (b) Train delayed gratification (c) Don't be afraid to set the limits. (d) Teach your child to do monotonous work from early years as it is the foundation for future "workability" and (e) Teach social skills including turn taking, sharing, losing/winning, compromising, complimenting others , using "please and thank you". These suggestions were important reminders for me as I find it difficult sometimes to slow down and take the time to teach my kids how to contribute in positive ways to our family and greater community. Another article I shared is one that I've re-read many times. It highlights the importance of accepting your kids for exactly who they are and focusing on their childhood rather than their future:

I wanted to let you know that Joy, who works in the front office, is preparing for knee surgery on Tuesday, 12/5, and may be out until the new year. She will work on Monday, 12/4 and then begin her medical leave. Crindy will be covering for her the rest of next week and if she needs to be out beyond next week, Sharon will be our substitute Clerk through the rest of the month. I know Joy is very special to all of us so please send positive thoughts to her on Tuesday!

Lina continues to be out on medical leave which was just extended through the end of December.  She is doing well but it is a slow recovery. She sends her best wishes and says she misses us.  Emmanuel will continue to be our day custodian throughout her absence.

Finally, I have some exciting news to share. Our Kindergarten teacher, Lee Mitchell, became a father again last week!  Darren Byron Mitchell was born on Monday, November 20th at 11:50 am. He weighed 9lbs 5oz and was 21 3/4 inches long. Everyone is doing well and Lee's first child, Hannah, is enjoying being a big sister. Lee is taking a paternity leave until February so Deb Baldwin, a familiar Addison substitute teacher, is working with the students in Room 3. Congratulations Lee and Heather!

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