Friday, September 1, 2017

September 5, 2017: Dream Big




Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”.  For educators, the summer is an excellent time to reflect on the year that was while also dreaming of the year to come.  This was an exciting summer at Woodbrook.  The construction took center stage as the school began the process of renovation and remodeling. Summer school was held in Agnor-Hurt’s multiage learning space and was a big success.  Kids came everyday eager to learn, and have fun.  Learning is fun!


During the long, hot days of summer, construction crews filled the Woodbrook halls while our multiage teachers collaborated and planned the amazing year to come.   Those work sessions helped prepare the teachers for the coming year but also helped build a strong relationship between them as co-teachers.

The multiage spaces have come together beautifully.  Both the students and the teachers are learning how to best utilize the space to allow for authentic and engaged learning.  As the multiage teachers continue to grow accustomed to the new learning environment, the students are witnessing lifelong learning in action. Is it perfect?  No.  Will the space and the instruction continue to adapt?  Yes.  Learning is an on-going adventure.  
  
The Woodbrook staff is excited to welcome new members to our Woodbrook family.  Starting with the next blog post, we will feature an interview with a new staff member.  Our new Art teacher, Adam Reinhard, will be our first feature interview.
 
 Principal Lisa Molinaro is excited to welcome Michael Thornton as the new Assistant Principal.  Michael joins us with over 12 years of teaching experience. Over the last 3 years, Michael played an essential role in developing the multi-age curriculum and learning space at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School.  Lisa and Michael are fervently working together to plan an exciting year of instruction at Woodbrook.  
Over the first few days of school, the school community has been discussing The Word of the Week, cooperation.  Cooperation is a basic life skill that helps us work successfully in groups and interact harmoniously with others.  
This is the first of the C.A.R.E.S traits that will be discussed throughout the school year.  Each morning, as the students arrive, they read a morning message at the front door.  In addition, every morning announcement includes a quick message about the Word of the Week. The instructional staff is modeling and highlighting exemplars of cooperation throughout the day to help foster this trait in school.  
Each year, students fill the halls and classrooms in Woodbrook Elementary School with their own dreams and aspirations.  We, as a collective group of student-centered educators, work tirelessly to help foster those dreams into reality. We strongly believe that collectively we can ensure that all students at Woodbrook will have a successful year of learning.
In order for this to happen, each member of the Woodbrook learning family, teacher and student alike, must be willing to continuously grow as lifelong learners. We want every student to feel passionate about their learning.  
There are many ways to build authentic, passion-based learning.  One such way is to open the world to the students.  Give them the opportunity to explore and ask questions.  Construction has been a great prompt for questions and engagement.  The students are enthralled with the work being completed at the school.  Eyes are constantly gazing out to see what has changed and what resources are being used.  This leads to authentic questions about the construction.  For example, a massive crane was being used this week.  The students in grades 3, 4, and 5 all predicted what that crane was going to be used for.  It led to discussions about mass, simple machines, and the scientific method.  Now as the students eat lunch in the cafeteria, they can also follow along with all the neat construction happening at the back of the building.

 


   











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