December 16, 2015Dear Loma and CT Parents:
Thoughts From Tuesday Night
Traditionally at this time in the school year, I am encouraging families to enjoy the time off, create memories, have fun, travel safe, and lower stress wherever possible during the winter break. Those reminders still feel true this year. Perhaps we need this now more than ever with so much of our world engulfed in conflict and strife. Terror, and threats of terror, at home and around the globe have shaken the foundation of trust and safety for many. Fear is a powerful force. It can have an insidious way of creeping into our thoughts and coloring our view of our world, our neighbors, our community. My additional wish for winter break this year would be for each of us to fight back against the tide of fear in our own personal way. I invite you to find reminders of hope, resilience, comfort, generosity, caring, and concern for others in our time off, time with family, and safe travels. There is so much good and right with the world, I hope to take time to notice and give thanks for the many daily kindnesses that are noteworthy but won’t make the news.
We have so much to be thankful for at Loma and CTE. Thank you for entrusting us with your amazing kids. Each of them is unique and is part of the mosaic of our experience as educators. We are very grateful for the sense of community we enjoy and the commitment to our schools that you embody. Your kids have worked hard (and you right along with them). Enjoy the break and each other.
Please remember that this Friday is a MINIMUM DAY with dismissal at 12:30 for both Loma and CT. There is no lunch at school so pack a big snack. Our first day back is January 4, 2016. See you next year!
Save the Date – March 23rdWe are delighted to announce that best selling author, Julie Lythcott-Haims will be speaking at Loma/CT English on March 23rd. Julie is a dynamic speaker who articulately addresses many of the challenges we face as parents in her recent book How to Raise an Adult. As a parent and educator, I found her book personally compelling in its honesty and hopeful in its practicality. Please plan to join us on March 23rd. More details will be coming in the New Year.
You can visit her website at www.howtoraiseanadult.com to view a trailer on her book as well as background and biographical information.
From the site: In How to Raise an Adult, Julie Lythcott-Haims draws on research, on conversations with admissions officers, educators, and employers, and on her own insights as a mother and as a student dean to highlight the ways in which overparenting harms children, their stressed-out parents, and society at large. While empathizing with the parental hopes and, especially, fears that lead to overhelping, Lythcott-Haims offers practical alternative strategies that underline the importance of allowing children to make their own mistakes and develop the resilience, resourcefulness, and inner determination necessary for success.
Relevant to parents of toddlers as well as of twentysomethings - and of special value to parents of teens - this book is a rallying cry for those who wish to ensure that the next generation can take charge of their own lives with competence and confidence.Carino’s Curriculum Corner:
Project Based Learning Gives Holiday Fun a New Focus
When does learning stick? Current research indicates that the brain must grapple with material to make sense of new ideas and connect them to already developed schema. If learning is effortless, well, is it really learning or just familiarity? Moving away from new ideas as they are becoming familiar and then returning to them later helps the brain work to retrieve information and connect it to current applications. In doing so, stronger pathways and solid connections are established. The new information is solidified and is more likely to move into long-term memory.
Project based learning is a teaching strategy that facilitates the above learning theory. Students are provided with an authentic problem to solve and are required to tap into previous learning, select applicable components, and apply them in a new situation. An effective project ignites student enthusiasm. Students are intrigued by the subject matter and motivated by the challenge. The challenge itself generates the “need to know” aspect of learning. The authenticity of the project is also a factor. When there is a purpose for the project, students are compelled to consider that purpose which activates critical thinking. Student teams utilize cross-curricular knowledge in discussing and completing the project. They look up information, collaborate on its use, divide tasks, and determine the best way to present information. Project based activities typically involve teams of students working towards one goal. In some instances, teams are specialized working on subcomponents of the project. In other cases, student teams work on their own interpretation of the project. In the end, the project is presented to an intended audience for feedback or final selection.
A marvelous example of project based learning recently took place in Mrs. Zook’s Kindergarten Class. After reading a number of stories that focused on gingerbread and gingerbread houses, students were asked to construct and decorate a gingerbread house to adorn the stage for this Friday morning’s sing-a-long. A large appliance box arrived on site. Students studied design elements, such as roof style and window placement. Desired shapes associated with each feature were discussed in small groups. Each group then drafted a design proposal to present to the class. Proposals were discussed as a class and a single class design was created to guide the construction of the house. Students were divided into teams and assigned a side of the house to decorate. Again, they looked through various decorating ideas and determined what elements would work best for their side. When I came into the classroom to examine the house, many students pointed out with pride the side they worked on. They elaborated on the special ways in which it was decorated. Learning to share and collaborate is an essential element of Kindergarten. Clearly, Mrs. Zook’s students are well on their way to meeting the goal. The gingerbread house is currently on display in the front lobby and will be decorating the stage on Friday morning. Come by and take a look.Lost and FoundThe lost and found items are on display in front of the school. If you are missing a jacket, sweatshirt, water bottle, shoes, etc., please take a look at the items in the lost and found. Everything remaining after this Friday will be donated over the December Recess.Attention Parents of Eighth Grade Students!Margaret Klaney who is a Music Booser at Fisher wanted to let our CT 8th graders know of a LGHS Music information night being held on Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at 6PM in the Fisher Library. Teachers and students from LGHS will be there to answer questions. Any questions she can be emailed at musicboosters1@Fisherhsc.com. She was hoping to get this information in our Wednesday packet. If you need to call her, her cell phone is 408-472-0087.
Wild Times @ CTE
Early Release EVERY Wednesday @ 1:30 pm
12/21 through 1/1/16 No School December break
1/4/16 school resumes
1/13/16 CT HSC Mtg. 8:30 Rm 7
1/15/16 End of Quarter 2 grading period
1/18/16 NO SCHOOL- Martin Luther King Holiday
1/19/16 NO SCHOOL-Staff Development Day
All other items, which were scheduled, are TBD because of community center/gym bld.