Friday, September 22, 2017

Responsive Classroom and The C.A.R.E.S. Traits

At Woodbrook Elementary School, we follow the core principles of Responsive Classroom.  
What is Responsive Classroom?  "Responsive Classroom is an evidence-based approach to elementary and middle school teaching that focuses on the strong link between academic success and social-emotional learning (SEL)."

The Responsive Classroom method was developed by classroom teachers.  At its core, it is a way of teaching that emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth.  The skills that are directly and explicitly taught include cooperation, assertion, respect/responsibility, empathy, and self-control (CARES).  
The CARES traits are taught directly and indirectly through morning meetings as well as other times during the day.  This is one of the reasons it is very important students arrive to school on time, so they can be part of the instruction and practice.  

Over the past two weeks, the students have been focusing on ASSERTION.  This week, our Word of the Week is Respect.  We continuously ask our students to observe the world around them for examples of respect, and encourage you to do the same when they are at home. Respect is not something that we are born with, but is an explicitly taught trait. Young children use the words and actions of all those around them to help develop an understanding of what respect is and is not. We hope that you will take time to talk with your child about all the ways he/shows respect in and out of school, as well as the ways the others show respect to him/her. Just this one small action step of talking with your child about this trait shows that it is important!

1/2 Multiage Update by Mrs. Dion and Ms. Sullivan
Our first month in our multiage classroom has been such an amazing experience to witness. While at first, younger students were clearly hesitant to work with older, and visa versa, now, when you walk into our classroom, collaboration and cooperation between age levels is seen constantly. After such a strong start, we are so excited to see how our classroom family continues to develop throughout the year, and how we will continue to work together to support one another towards success.

Back to School Night
We want to thank all the parents who attended Back to School Night.  This annual event allows every classroom teacher the opportunity to explain the expectations for their class. It is also a time to give the State of the School Address.  If you missed Back to School Night, the State of the School address will be posted on the Woodbrook webpage.  Furthermore, if you missed the event, please connect with your child's teacher to get informed on what you missed.  Here are a few pictures from the annual event. 

New Teacher Interview: Adam Reinhard-Art Teacher

Where are you from? 
I was born in New Hampshire, but my family moved to Salem, VA when I was 9, so while I absolutely love New England, I consider myself to be southern at heart. I say ‘y’all’, I consider barbeque to be its own food group, and I am quickly losing the ability to weather a winter where the temperature dips below 32 degrees.
What was your favorite cartoon growing up? 
I was of the Rugrats and Doug generation.  I loved Scooby Do too, but in all honesty I am a big scaredy-cat, and sometimes the villains would scare me.  That is embarrassing to admit.  To this day, I still won’t watch horror movies.
When did you realize that you loved art?
My mother is a commercial artist, so growing up she was always working on artwork for clients.  In pre-Photoshop days, if she made a mistake on a project there was no ‘undo’ button, so she had to start over, which meant that I got to finish a lot of these really awesome partially-finished works of art.  I was frustrated that the part that I had drawn did not look as good as the part that my mother had drawn, and I resolved to get better at art.
How many years have you been teaching? 
This will be my sixth year of teaching.  I taught for three years in high school in Washington, DC and then for two years at an International Baccalaureate middle school.  This is my first year teaching elementary school!
What made you consider teaching art as a profession? 
I have been fortunate to have some really talented art teachers and professors in middle school, high school, college and graduate school.  I enjoyed school very much, but especially my art classes, so when I finished graduate school it seemed a natural progression for me to get my teaching license and see if I could be that teacher for a future generation of art students.
Who is your favorite artist?  Why? 
It is easier to pick a favorite artist before you study art, because you just go based on what you see in front of you; after studying artists and their narratives it is easy to find a way to like almost any work of art. But I think for purely aesthetic reasons, a long-standing favorite of mine is Andy Warhol.  When I discovered his art in high school I felt like my whole opinion of art changed.  Here was an artist who did very little drawing in the traditional sense, and yet he made world-famous artwork that is worth millions of dollars.  In fact, his appropriation of news-paper images, and use of photographic images in his work made me realize that anyone can make good art if you have an idea to explore.  Besides, his artwork is just fun to look at.   
If you could pick one famous piece of art to have in your home, what would it be? Why? 
Well, now that I just talked about Andy Warhol, I definitely have to pick one of his artworks, don’t I?  Andy Warhol did this thing where he took items and celebrities from pop culture and turned their likenesses into works of art.  My favorite are his Campbell’s Soup Can series.  He did 20 of them in 1965 which explored different exciting color combinations.  I love the idea that a wall of Campbell’s soup in the grocery store might not be art, but by appropriating the image and putting it on a canvas magically turns it into art – this was one of the first demonstrations for me that art is simply an idea…

The Woodbrook students continue to be amazed and curious about the construction happening on campus.  Everyday, students are asking Why, What and How questions about the work being done.  We are working with the construction crew to find those answers.  

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