Friday, February 26, 2016

100 days of amazing perseverance!

This year at Sexton Mountain, we have focused school wide on character traits each month to teach and highlight the skills that make respectful and responsible members of our school community. The traits are introduced at the school wide assembly, then explicitly taught at each grade level and in each classroom in ways that are uniquely meaningful to each little micro-community. We have worked hard all year to exemplify these character traits and to be examples to those around us. A few of our friends have even won school wide recognition for the traits of friendship and courage.

At the beginning of February Mrs. Jenny, our fabulous school counselor, introduced to the school the concept of perseverance. She explained that while lots of people work hard and start with great intentions, it is truly those that persevere that are able to make it through exceptionally challenging situations.

I find that this was an especially appropriate character trait for us to focus on during the month of February. While the calendar says February is a short month, February is a very full month of the school year, full of rich learning opportunities. We're not going to or coming back from a break. We're in what is often a tough spot in the season of rainy Oregon winter. And we've all also reached the important milestone of being in school 100 days.

This month our students absolutely amazed me with their love and compassion when I was injured. They made me so proud with their genuine interactions and growing friendships. They wowed us and themselves with their understanding of texts. They impressed me with their ability to compare numbers and quantities across curricular units. But more than anything, they inspired me with their perseverance. These little guys have worked so hard for the last 100 days of school, through a variety of obstacles, and show no sign of stopping.

This inspiration has spread to others in our Sexton Mountain community. So much so, that our entire class has won a perseverance award. We are so thankful and honored!

So much excitement!

Fun in the Sun!

The last few weeks haven't really felt like winter around here, and we are certainly taking advantage of that! We've been studying different habitats in our environment, and what we can do to help keep our environment clean for people and animals. The level of independence we have seen with these skills has been quite impressive, and I think there are a few things that you could try at home as well.


Sexton Mountain has raised community garden beds, and this year, the SRC and the 5th grade will share the responsibility of tending the gardens. With the support of our amazing PTC volunteers, this week we prepped the gardens for planting by pulling weeds. The kids used gloves, trowels and shovels to pull up weeds. As we worked, we talked about how it was necessary to pull the weeds to prepare the soil for seeds. Soon, we will help plant native plants in the garden!

How can these skills be applied at home? Do you have weeds in your garden that need pulling?


Our school makes every effort to be "green"! Right down to composting the leftover fruits and vegetables from lunch. Our older kids help out by carrying the compost down to the compost bin by the garden.

Does your neighborhood have composting available? Would this be helpful for your family garden?


We have learned this month ways that we can reduce, reuse and recycle supplies to cut down on waste, and help make new things. Our students have become very cognizant of their waste, and know how to sort their recycling from their garbage. Our classroom and cafeteria have very clearly labeled bins that the kids independently use for sorting.

Do you have clearly labeled recycling bins at home? When is your recycling day? Could your student take on the task of sorting and taking out the recycling?

Learn more about recycling from Metro here:

Here in the SRC we are all about teaching kids skills that they will use FOR LIFE. These concepts of sustainability, environmental awareness and independence are some that they can and will use every day through school and into adulthood!