Thursday, August 27, 2015

Responsive Classroom Morning Meetings

Responsive Classroom 

Fayston School is a Responsive Classroom School.  Responsive Classroom is a research-based approach to education that is associated with greater teacher effectiveness, higher student achievement, and improved school climate. One element of RC that I would like to share with you is Morning Meeting.

What Is Morning Meeting?  

Responsive Classroom Morning Meeting is an engaging way to start each day, build a strong sense of community, and set children up for success socially and academically. Each morning, students and teachers gather together in a circle for twenty minutes and interact with one another during four purposeful components:

1. Greeting Students and teachers greet one another by name and practice offering hospitality.

2. Sharing Students share information about important events in their lives. Listeners often offer empathetic comments or ask clarifying questions.

3. Group Activity Everyone participates in a brief, lively activity that fosters group cohesion and helps students practice social and academic skills (for example, reciting a poem, dancing, singing, or playing a game that reinforces social or academic skills).

4. Morning Message Students read and interact with a short message written by their teacher. The message is crafted to help students focus on the work they'll do in school that day.

Please join us during our daily morning meetings.  Most meetings start at 7:40, however check in with your child’s classroom teacher to confirm.  Having your child arrive on time to school ensures that they will be able to participate in Morning Meeting which is an important part of their school day!

In addition, twice a month on Wednesday mornings we will have a whole school morning meeting from 7:40-8:00 to discuss whole school topics and to build community.  Parents are welcome to join us! You will find whole school meetings dates by checking out our school calendar on our website.  Feel free to add our calendar to yours.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

First Day of School!

Today we celebrated the 1st Day of School with our traditional First Day of School Breakfast! Thank you again to Cari Wilson for taking the lead on what is truly a collective effort.  Cari and her mom, along with Jill Ellis, spent the good part of Monday setting the tables and creating bouquets of fresh cut flowers (donated by Cari, Jill, and other Fayston Families).

Special thanks also goes out to Cary Bennet who played our new piano during our breakfast!

Parents!! Please remember to sent in your Student Bus/Pick Up Schedule.  They must be returned to Amy Yavitz as soon as possible. Thank you!

In closing, I am including below my first school podcast where you will hear a few Fayston students answering the following question.  How was your first day of school?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Bus Routes and Getting Ready for School Tips

**Here are some helpful tips with helping your child(ren) get ready for the school year...
  1. Talk about school starting as a positive event – not a negative.
  2. Have your child help pick out their own school supplies (backpacks, lunch box, pens, pencils, etc.)
  3. Visit or revisit the school grounds so that your child feels comfortable in their school environment.
  4. Start tailoring your schedule now so that it matches your school schedule.  Earlier bed times and earlier rise times.
  5. Engage your child in discussion about the upcoming school year – what are they looking forward to, what are they scared of?
  6. Make sure your child knows emergency contact information.  This will help your child and you both feel more secure.
  7. Take advantage of any back to school open houses, tours, or parent-teacher meetings that the school offers.
  8. Familiarize yourself and your child with their teacher’s name, school room location, school office, and locker location.
  9. Discuss your child’s school schedule.  When do they start, when is lunch, when does school get out?
  10. If your child takes the bus, visit the bus stop and make sure your child knows what time the bus picks up.
  11. If you have any specific concerns regarding your child, contact the appropriate party and make your concerns known.  This could be the teacher, school nurse, school counselor, etc.
  12. Start building up their confidence by revisiting topics that they were learning last year.
  13. Encourage your child to work hard this school year by setting up a study schedule and quiet area for them to work in.
  14. Label your child’s belongings.  Many kids will have the same backpacks, lunch boxes, etc.  Print your child’s name, use stickers, or even use a luggage tag to help them identify their stuff.
  15. Have your child’s backpack and lunch prepared the night before to help the first day of school go as smoothly as possible.  Enclose a special note with their lunch so they know you are thinking of them.
  16. Make sure you enjoy these last days of summer!!!