June is a great month to reflect on our accomplishments as well as look forward to our next steps. What do we ask everyone to do on summer break? Keep learning!
Learning, remaining curious and setting goals is important for all ages. For children, it leads to positive cognitive and social development, while for adults it can lead to improvements in self-esteem, social interaction and a more active and involved life.
Learning is more than just an activity for formal education. It can include any approaches to maintaining curiosity and an enquiring mind. How can we encourage curiosity with our children?
Engage in conversations with your child; encourage responses in complete sentences.
Go to a museum, an art gallery, a hike, the beach, star gazing or another fun outing. Each experience offers you a way to connect, learn new vocabulary, and experience the world together.
Many of us saw the fruits of focus and determination mature at our Sumac's Got Talent Showcase. We will see the same determination present at our Jog Wars Jog-a-thon on Friday. How do we sharpen our mind to support learning? Practice.
Practice can take many forms in the classroom. Teachers walk students through visualization, positive self-talk, grounding activities, and guided reflection after recess and lunch.
Practicing mindfulness can also be brought into the home environment through apps like Headspace or taking a nature walk. One great website is Mindful Schools, where you can learn about engaging the five senses while exploring the world around us.
The basics of mindfulness:
May the sense of awe and the growth of spring surge you forward toward more mindful moments.
Sumac L-STEM Elementary proudly facilitates the LVUSD six dispositions of our Student 360 initiative every day. We design the learning environment to promote autonomy and independence, collaborative communities, empathy and understanding, mindfulness and thoughtfulness, persistence and grit, and positive mindset. We know that the cultivation of these dispositions support learning and success in school and in life.
Our focus for April is persistence and grit. In our classes we will highlight the core practice of students engaging and persevering at points of difficulty, challenge, or error. We know that mistakes are a valued part of the learning process.
As written in the education blog, The Edvocate , grit, “ is defined by University of Pennsylvania psychologist Angela Duckworth as ‘perseverance and passion for long-term goals.’ According to Duckworth, grit is a better indicator of future success than IQ or talent. It’s a combination of determination, focus, passion, and resilience. It’s the ability to persevere in the face of challenges and failure.” At home you can continue this effort with many ways to develop grit in your child.
Here at school we will be building grit as we deliver the curriculum. For the next month, our grades will be focusing on the following:
The dual team has been working on oral language themes across the grade levels. J, First, Second, and Third Grade are enjoying the use of seesaw digital portfolios to showcase students' work.
First Grade will be focusing on Earth Day curriculum, opinion writing, measurement, time, our nutrition units learning about healthy choices, biographies, and practicing kindness in a variety of ways.
Second Grade will be focusing on good citizenship and becoming stewards of our Earth, celebrating Earth Day, and learning to take care of our planet and natural resources. The literacy skills developed will be point of view, summarizing, and continuing reading comprehension with a focus on theme. Math will center around money and time in English and Spanish. Opinion writing and writing an autobiography about their lives will round out the month.
Third grade will be focusing on raising mealworms and creating/editing videos of them. They will be working on engineering challenges (Tally: rockets; Seideman: billboards from The One and Only Ivan ) for the engineering fair in May. Miss Seideman's class will also be making creative booklets and videos to go with it on Seesaw. In addition, third grade Dual will be working on opinion writing, "All About" books, digital stories, and green screen movie projects to be showcased at open house!
Fourth and Fifth grade dual classes are in the process of publishing their own books. They have spent the last three months writing their own story and using peer editors to help with this. After spring break they will be designing a dedication page, about the author page, and drawing illustrations for their books. There will be an Author's Breakfast later in May where parents and students can view their books.
Fifth grade traditional has been working on opinion writing using their Outdoor Ed experience, designing their own fractional school playgrounds, and learning about Colonial America.
There are a number of areas where we made progress in February:
Penny Wars, January 17-20th
Jump for Heart, January 27th
Black History Month
Second Round of Intervention begins this week
Patriotic Songfest lead my Music Teacher
QUESTIONS / SUGGESTIONS?
There are a number of areas where we were focused in January...
Jump for Heart
2nd Round of Targeted Instruction
Dual Language Parent Network
Morning Carpool Duty
Sumac L-STEM Elementary
Principal: Alina Silvestre / Silvestre@lvusd.org
6050 North Calmfield Ave., Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Phone: (818) 991-4940
It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I join the Sumac Family for the 2015-2016 school year. Excited and humbled, I am honored to join a staff of dedicated and compassionate educators that are committed to our L-STEM program.
I have been fortunate to be part of the Las Virgenes Unified School District for the past fifteen years. Thirteen years were spent at Chaparral Elementary as an upper elementary teacher and Teacher in Charge. The last two years I was part of the district's dynamic technology department as a Media Specialist. As a media specialist I focused on the implementation of technology, rolled out our current universal screening tool, lead the adoption of new math curriculum, and facilitated trainings for the Forward Learning program. These opportunities have afforded me a wide breadth of experience and perspectives that will be essential as I embark on this new role as principal and lead learner.
As we quickly approach August, we are busy with various projects on our ever evolving campus. Richard, Mike and Ava, our hard-working maintenance crew, are tirelessly tackling their summer projects with gusto. While our physical site is getting extra love and attention, I have also had the opportunity to hire three amazing teachers for grades 1, 3, and 4. Last but not least, I have been meeting with staff members and parents alike to start planning our schedule for the upcoming school year.
Sumac is an amazing place to grow and learn! I look forward to supporting the growth of our expanding dual language program as we welcome 4th grade to the program. Our STEM program will continue evolving as we plan engaging hands-on curriculum that opens students' eyes and minds toward math, science, engineering, and technology.
Our doors open August 5th (classes start August 19) , so please savor the rest of your summer! Relax and enjoy your time with family and friends, because next year promises to be filled with a unique and unforgettable learning adventure for our entire community... staff, students, parents, and friends alike!
Alina Silvestre, Lead Learner/Principal