I just wish I could capture all of the great things that happen every single day at CES to include in this blog. The reality is that I would need to clone myself 50 times over to do that. Our district conducts annual Instructional Reviews.
The Instructional Review is part of our district’s evaluation process for each building. A team of 12 people from our district and community toured the building all day, Afterwards, our superintendent, Mr. George Welsh shared in his weekly blog, Echos and to our staff a communication about what they saw. I thought I would share part of it with you and perhaps this will illustrate more clearly what I mean. Here was the team’s main take-away:
- At every turn, we saw deep engagement by students, thanks to teachers performing at an expert level.
- In every classroom, we met kids who can explain what they were learning, and why.
- We witnessed teachers and kids approaching learning processes by utilizing high-level academic vocabulary.
- At every turn, the rigor of instruction was right on target.
- The quality of instruction offered by paraprofessional support staff was incredible!
- It is clearly evident CES’s focus on a culture of kindness is clearly taking hold.
- Support for leadership at CES is at a level we have rarely seen in this district.
- From the time we entered to the time we left, we felt a positive energy. As Larry Oddo, one of our Compass Committee members said, “CES is a beacon for the community. We can easily invite everyone in because we would never be embarrassed by anything that is going on here.”
- I was personally pleased by my observations of how many teachers are clearly taking ownership of the skills and traits we have pledged to develop in our students.
- We witnessed technology being implemented at an expert level, enhancing CES’s multi-grade instruction and to support blended learning.
- We saw a commitment to expanding the depth and complexity of student learning.
- CES even received high praise from Molly Merry, who said, “I am simply impressed by how this staff does not stand still. They continually strive to improve their implementation of the four pillars of the exploratory model; Multiple Intelligences, Choice Theory, Multi-Grade instruction, and Project-Based Learning.”
I am so proud of the work our staff, students, and families do each and every day to make CES the special place it is for living and learning!
100th Day of School Fun
I missed getting my blog out last week, so this is a bit late, but–the 100th day of school was celebrated here at CES Monday, the 10th. As you can see, our Scouts had lots of fun things to learn about that involved the number 100! Poor Mrs. Rivera–I think this job must be getting to her!
We use our Big Buddies all over the building–even in PE!
Collaborative Conceptual Unit Work
Students in Mrs Veatch’s and Mr. Dieckman’s classes working collaboratively to compare and create food webs for each of Colorado’s eight Ecosystems. Next week students will be recreating the plants and animals for display on an interactive bulletin board where they will be learning about their adaptations. Third and 4th graders will also have a presentation next week by Janelle Valladares from the US Forest Service about animal adaptations.
A Message from our Founder, Molly Merry:
When kids are making, crafting, building, or creating, they are using some vitally important thinking skills. Those skills all connect to Multiple Intelligences, and the district’s focus on Traits and Skills. CES students will be making visual representations of some of those Traits and Skills. Making these representations is about so much more than drawing! For most students, their introduction to Traits and Skills concepts is through vocabulary and definitions of terms which is very abstract and difficult to grasp. By using a Multiple Intelligences approach and creating visual representations, students move into something much more concrete. For example, lets consider the trait ‘tenacity’. Most students would not know what tenacity means or tenaciousness. But by helping students visualize sticking with the hard work it takes to complete something, not giving up, and building a sense of accomplishment, they can begin to visualize and share examples. They can make illustrations that help not only their understanding, but strengthen everyone’s understandings as their share ideas.Maybe it is an explorer reaching the summit of a mountain, a person with a disability competing in the Special Olympics, an actor who goes to many auditions before getting a part, or a research scientist who continues to work to find a cure for a disease. There are examples of people in history who have made a difference through their tenacity—Florence Nightingale, Harriet Tubman, John Glenn, Ernest Shackleton, and Jonas Salk, for example. CES is committed to making sure students experience understandings through approaching complex ideas with concrete and connecting experiences.