Principal's Message 1/26/20

Thursday, February 6, 2020 - 9:19am

Our 5th graders returned from Science Camp last week with new concepts, great memories, and a renewed sense of community amongst their classmates.  We are in the process of preparing for our final overnight field trip for the year: the 4th grade trip to Coloma at the end of April. I hope all the 4th grade families will be able to join us for the Parent/Student Information Night on Mon, Jan 27 at 6pm in the Walter Hays MP Room.

This past week, we had a Responsive Classroom Consultant visit Addison as approximately 80% of our teachers have been trained in Responsive Classroom strategies.  Responsive Classroom is an approach to teaching centered on the core belief that for students to be academically, socially and behaviorally successful in and out of school, they need to learn and develop social and emotional competencies and academic skills. For students to acquire these skills, teachers use the RC approach to create the optimal classroom conditions described by the four RC Domains: Effective Management, Positive Community, Developmentally Responsive, and Engaging Academics. The Consultant visited approximately (10) classrooms and then met with members of our Leadership Team to debrief.  She stated that the following themes emerged as strengths at Addison during her observations:

“Safe”: students are not just physically but emotionally and cognitively safe.  She had many examples of students taking risks and being their authentic selves 
“Relationships”: she had a strong sense that staff really knew the students and that students knew each other well.  During one of the observations, students were brainstorming what they could be when they grew up and when one student was unsure, his peers offered many suggestions based on his observed strengths
“High Academics/ Best Teaching Practices”: In all the classrooms, she observed choice, small group instruction, and strong Readers/Writers Workshop

Overall, she was impressed with our child-centered curriculum and parent involvement/ engagement. I felt she was able to accurately capture the spirit of Addison and what we strive for each day! Although we received a lot of positive praise, there is always room for growth.  We are constantly working towards culturally responsive teaching and ensuring that ALL students feel like valued members of our community. If you have ideas about how we can grow in this area, I’d love to hear from you.

Next week, we are celebrating INCLUSION and teachers will be exploring with their classes what it means to be inclusive.  They will be deciding on a theme or slogan representative of their class commitment to inclusion which will be posted outside their classroom.  If you’d like to further the conversation at home, you might consider watching and discussing the animated short film, Ian.

Finally, Playworks Coach, Nikki, visited Addison this past week!  She worked with all eighteen classes and taught them a variety of games.  In Kindergarten, they played “Mr. Fox”. In 1st-3rd grades, they played “Foot Tag” and in 4th and 5th grade, the students learned “Crossover Dodgeball”.  All of these games focused on multiple roles for students, so even when students were “out” in a game, they were not completely eliminated from a game but instead assumed a new role. This helped promote honesty and fair play . 

Nikki also held a Jr. Coach Meeting on Wednesday to review strategies for starting games at recess and lunch and playground equipment responsibilities.  I love seeing the Jr. Coaches wearing their purple shirts on the playground and managing our balls, encouraging play and positive sportsmanship!

Fondly,
Amanda Boyce
Principal

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