A Note from Our Principal
Time sure does fly by when you are having fun! It is hard to believe that we are starting the 2nd quarter of our school year.
As I mentioned in the letter I sent out last week, report cards will be posted to Skyward on November 12th at 5:00pm. The goal of this new report card is to better represent the learning taking place in our classrooms and help parents know what their child is able to do and what skills they will continue to develop.
The measurements of learning are changing from the traditional A, B, C, and D. We’ve framed learning into “I can” statements, based on our Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum, and we’re reporting based on levels of mastery. Keep in mind that teachers may not evaluate on every “I can” statement listed. (The statements represent what is covered during the entire school year.)
You can use the following link to look at your child’s grade level to better understand the “I can” statements that the teachers will report on throughout the year: Understanding Your Child’s Report Card.
I look forward to seeing all of our Walker families on Thursday, November 21st from 4:30-7:00 during our Student Led Conference Night. If you have not signed up for a conference time slot, please do so at this link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c4fafaa2da7ff2-studentled5
News from Our Classrooms
Team Persistence Skyped with a ranger from Calaveras Big Trees State Park in California. Ranger Jenny read us a book called The Sequoia Lives On. We learned about the interdependency of animals and plants in the forest. Did you know that sequoias actually rely on forest fires to clear the forest floor for new growth? Wow! We also learned that it would take 20 of us to reach all the way around a huge sequoia tree!
Team Respect has launched our next project! We will be learning all about our community. Our launch included a mile long walk to Greenfield Park. We investigated the neighborhood along the way. To enhance our experience, the West Allis Rec Department came to teach us about the importance of parks. Then they met us at the park with lots of fun things to play with through Operation Recreation. We had Mr. Kirkpatrick follow us with his really cool drone. He will give us a different perspective of our neighborhood. Finally, Officer Nelson escorted our team with his squad car to keep us safe. We are really excited to dive deeper into learning all about the world around us and the people that live and work there.
Team Integrity had been continuing to work on our Little Library Project. This week, we used our previously-made blueprints to create our 3-D prototypes.
The students are working on teaching each other how to play math games using the skills they were taught in guided math groups.
These two girls did a great job teaching each other strategies to solve problems for the math game they are playing.
Team Excellence East
Excellence East has been working hard learning division and multiplication in Math. We have also been reading chapter books in reading and working collaboratively in inquiry to create service learning projects. On Halloween students worked on a scavenger hunt to find out facts about the history of Halloween.
Team Excellence West
Student representatives from Excellence West presented their "Snack Shack" ideas to a "Shark Tank" panel from the district. They were tasked with creating a business plan which included marketing strategies, student implemented surveys and plans. After hard work, dedication and an outstanding presentation, the sharks chose to fund our project idea! Look for updates regarding the "Snack Shack" in the months to come.
Team Endurance has been working very hard on a Haunted House project! Their driving question is: How can we convince people to visit our haunted house and pay for admission?
This allows our students to dive into deeper learning through Collaboration to choose haunted house theme, Communication in making prop/design choices, Critical Thinking/Problem Solving while working on many subject areas such as: Perimeter and area, Math word problems; Planning and problem-solving; Design, spatial awareness, mapping; and Narrative, persuasive, and informative writing. We are currently wrapping up these projects and students will publish and present advertisement brochures, written paragraphs, and haunted house floor plans.
Clubs and Specials Update
SEL (Social Emotional Learning)
In SEL we are finishing up our review of Zones of Regulation and Peace Corners. While finishing Zones of Regulation practice through Seesaw assignments and conferring with Ms. Brownell, students had the opportunity to work at different SEL centers. Students practiced emotional identification by building Candy Corn Feeling Puzzles! Students use context clues from quotes that communicate a feeling to match to the correct word and face expression to build a candy corn. Students also practiced their knowledge regarding Size of the Problem center. Pumpkin seeds containing different scenarios are sorted into whether they are a tiny, small, medium, big, or huge problems. The size of the problem affects the size of our reaction. Sometimes at school we have big reactions to tiny problems; instead, we learned to recognize the size of the problem, whether we need help to solve the problem, and how to regulate/calm down through the problem. Other centers students worked at in SEL this week was our Collaboration Coloring station. Students have the opportunity to color mandalas when they visit the Peace Corner, so we reviewed Mandala calm down expectations and then students colored Fall themed worksheets that they then cut out and collaborated together to build a life-size mandala! The last center students had the opportunity to work at was to use creative expression to show what they know about Zones of Regulation and Calm Down Tools. Poetry + music = Zones of Regulation and Calm Down Tool Raps!
Last week we had our first Social Emotional Learning Family Engagement Night here at Walker. Thank you so much to all the students and families that attended. Students got to take their families on an SEL Adventure Quest to demonstrate the different ways they experience Social Emotional Learning on a daily basis. Students practiced Self Control through activities in the "Success Skill Jungle". Success skills are our building wide character traits all students learn within on a weekly basis within their classrooms. Success skills include, self-control, sportsmanship, embracing diversity, integrity, grit, and empathy. Keep an eye out for letters sent home about each of these traits, resources and books you can use at home are often referenced in the success skill letters! Other stops on the SEL Adventure Quest Map included learning about Mindfulness, Peace Corners, and Social Emotional Learning class. Our Student Ambassadors did a wonderful job communicating with families about our different SEL topics. Check out the video to catch a glimpse of our night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55wCU0LVY7M&feature=youtu.be We received very positive feedback through family surveys, thank you everyone! Additional resources to continue to reinforce SEL skills at home can be utilized from our SEL Family Library located in the foyer at the front of our school. Books are available to check out that contain a QR code that links to a Google Website providing different crafts and activities that support the book you chose. We also have social emotional learning games that will be added to our SEL Family Library! Stay tuned for our second Social Emotional Learning Family Engagement night taking place in January. This night will provide parents the chance to reflect more on how SEL skills can be transferred from school to home with the opportunity to create some resources to take home with them at the end of the evening.
During tech this past month our focus was on Digital Citizenship, how we can be responsible, respectful and safe online. Many of our discussions focused on Media Balance and how we need to find the right balance between digital tools and keeping active and spending time with friends and family. Common Sense Media has some great resources for parents on Media Balance. Check it out HERE.
Garden Club has begun their education and service to Walker School with Fall meetings in September and October. During this time we weeded our garden plots in the Courtyard, created non-toxic weed killer to clear our learning pathways, planted donated flowers that were split from the gardens of Garden Club members' homes, and planted bulbs in pot containers for us to take home and care for so we can plant them in Walker's gardens in the Spring. What an amazing group of kids! Big thank yous to the Burke family for generously letting us use their tiller, and so many of the families of Garden Club members for donating snacks, plants, and bulbs. We'll meet again in March!
GCT and PBL
Take a look at Mrs. Robertson's blog HERE!