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News From Mrs. Talley
December: Silver Beach Gives Back
Dear Silver Beach Families,
During this time of the year we feel the importance of giving to one another, but it also can be a time for reflection. The holiday season is a time to be grateful for the many gifts we already have: children, love, good health, and friendship. We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful school and community. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of it. Each morning, I am greeted by friendly smiles and warm “Good Mornings!” I can walk down the halls and see community members working one-on-one with children or in small groups. Many of the incredible projects around our school and out on the playground have been organized and completed by our Silver Beach volunteers. Our PTO is generous beyond words and supports each classroom with enriched activities and supplies. Our staff works together to provide the best opportunities for our learners and cares about every child. When a family is in need, our community is there to assist and help out in any way they can. Below are several ways that the Silver Beach community is reaching out to help others.
Wishing you and your family a very warm December,
Family Support Network
Last year, over 75 Silver Beach families participated, providing food, clothing, bedding, cleaning supplies, holiday gifts, and more to families in our school community facing big challenges and struggles. If you are not signed up and interested in purchasing holiday gifts please contact Vibha at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or our school counselor, Brian Gilmore at 676-6443 (ext.2328).
Helping Hawks: Student Leadership
Here at Silver Beach we have a student leadership group called the Helping Hawks. Our school counselor, Mr. Gilmore, oversees and orchestrates this very motivated group. This year, the group has been limited to 5th grades due to the large number of interested students. To become a Helping Hawk, students fill out an application, get parent and teacher approval and commit to meeting with Mr. Gilmore every other week at recess. We are always looking for ways to enhance student leadership here at Silver Beach, please let us know if you have ideas for future projects or opportunities.
The Helping Hawks are sponsoring a Food and Clothing Drive
November 24th- December 15th.
Non-perishable food items and gently used clothing, coats, accessories, toys and games will be collected in our lower commons for delivery to the Bellingham Food Bank and ARC of Whatcom County. We are looking for parents willing to deliver the food on Friday, December 19th. Please contact Brian Gilmore if you are able to help at 676-6443 ext. 2320 or Brian.Gilmore@bellinghamschools.org.
As part of our theme this month celebrating community and giving back, you are encouraged to send in a family photo for our, “Warm Winter Wishes… from our Family to Yours” bulletin board. This will be a fun way to celebrate all the families that make up our Silver Beach Family.
Welcome to November!
Last Friday was the final celebration for surpassing our jog-a-thon fundraising goal. Thank you for your support! It was a fun afternoon that included pies in faces and an extra recess. Thanks also to Mr. Hanaway, Mr. Perigo, and Mr. Zigulis who volunteered to join me in the pie line.
“What do teachers do on early release days and the ‘Purple’ Fridays?”
I have had several parents ask me this question. (The Fridays are referred to as ‘Purple’ Fridays because on the district calendar they are colored with a purple circle.)The short answer is… LEARN!
Thursday Early Releases
The first hour of Thursdays is designated for individual teacher planning but teachers spend most of the time with their grade level team planning for instruction. The focus this year has been the new math curriculum, Bridges. There are many components to this curriculum that teachers need to learn and plan for.
One Thursday a month is designated for all staff to meet together. As a school, we decided to focus on the 7 Habits and use this time learning about one of the 7 Habits and working together to find resources to teach them to students.
These days were added to the school calendar in an effort to provide time for professional learning without requiring teachers to be out of the classroom. Teachers work their regular contract hours of 8:00am-3:30pm.
In the mornings, staff meets together to focus on an aspect of our school-wide goals:
- Students take ownership of their learning.
- Students use assessment data to evaluate their own learning, determine goals, and monitor progress over time.
- Students show compassion and act with integrity.
In the afternoons, staff meet in grade levels or job alike (ex. counselors, PE, Music) groups across the district. For elementary teachers, the learning is focused on the new math curriculum, Bridges. I attend with the 5th grade teachers, who meet at Wade King. Time is spent sharing resources, discussing instructional strategies, and planning for the upcoming unit of study.
I am continually impressed with how hard our teachers work to meet district expectations and provide high quality instruction for our students. This year, they are faced with learning a new math curriculum, new writing curriculum, new approach to serving our highly capable students, and a new district data system, just to name a few. Our staff here at Silver Beach comes to work early and stays late; they do this because they know the work they do truly makes a difference for our kids. Our staff and students together make Silver Beach a wonderful place to work and learn!
Yes, school has begun! It was a busy start, and also an exciting start as we all passed through the Silver Beach doors to begin another successful school year. Thanks goes to all of the staff, students and families for creating this positive and welcoming beginning.
As I walked into classrooms over the last three weeks, I could hear and see students acclimating to the routines of their new grade levels and coming to know what they need to do, to be an active learner.
As a staff we have been learning about the 7 Habits of Happy Kids and in September we focused on Habit 1: Be Proactive- doing the right thing even when no one is looking. We are preparing to introduce Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind- Have a plan.
Begin with the End in Mind means to think about how you would like something to turn out before you get started. Reading a recipe before cooking or looking at a map before leaving on a trip is beginning with the end in mind. Before doing a puzzle, they look at the cover of the box. This is starting with the end in mind.
As a family, you can talk about how planning ahead- whether it be with money, in school, or in life always leads to good things including being better positioned to help others. Here are some activities students can do at home:
- Lay out your clothes for tomorrow before going to bed.
- Write down a goal you want to accomplish then make a list of specific steps to accomplish this goal.
- Think about something you want to buy then make a plan for saving the money.
- Talk about what you want to do when you grow up.
- Celebrate accomplishments.
Have a great month!