Growth Mindset...Belief and EffortPosted by Dan Courtine at 8/29/2016 10:00:00 AM
Mrs. Gowers' class has been working on growth mindset and understanding that it's ok to not be the "best" at things. We just have to believe in our self and never give up. Check out their video for some great inspiration.
Growing in Many WaysPosted by Dan Courtine at 8/29/2016 8:00:00 AM
Did you know that right behind our school we have a 100 X 30 foot vegetable garden just finishing up its 9th growing season? The garden is available to all classrooms to use for instructional purposes. Our Kindergarten students use an indoor greenhouse to plant our tomato and pepper seeds and then the 1st through 3rdgrade students plant the garden in the spring. We have a before school garden club for 1st (spring) through 5th grade students who care for and harvest the garden and on Thursdays, Joy Brown (retired teacher and fabulous volunteer), leads classes who sign up with lessons in the garden. We have super parent volunteers who prepare our harvest for students to taste and more awesome parent volunteers who deliver the leftover produce to the Fuquay-Varina Food Pantry. It’s education, health, fitness and community stewardship rolled into one! If you would like to help with any of these aspects of the school garden, to donate supplies, to help with general upkeep or to volunteer in some other way, please email Mrs. Lewis (1st grade) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kagan Collaborative StructuresPosted by Dan Courtine at 8/24/2016 11:00:00 AM
The Willow Springs staff is placing a heavy emphasis on the 4C's of Education (Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Communication). We devoted a full day of professional learning to the Kagan Collaborative Learning Structures. You may be hearing terms like, "Rally coach," or "Rally Robin," or "Time Pair Share." These structures are being used daily to allow students to collaboratively work on their activities.
Mrs. Alala's class used Rally Coach to complete a mental math activity. Mrs. Alala stated, "It's interesting to hear them work through it. It is hard to hear them at first but a couple of seconds in, you can hear them work together to figure it out. I love how they think they have it but realize they don't and have to try again."
Mrs. Cole's stated, "After reading the story Elmer by David McKee, Kindergarten students collaborated in pairs to make their own unique elephants. They planned their designs, listened to one another, worked hard, and had a lot of fun in the process!"
We are excited to continue implementing these awesome strategies with the students.
Guess WhoPosted by Dan Courtine at 7/29/2016 10:45:00 AM
Ms. Gowers' class has been working hard on a Guess Who descriptive writing project. Can you guess who they are?
First DaysPosted by Dan Courtine at 7/22/2016 3:00:00 PM
The first days of school are an exciting time, but can also be stressful for many students. How lucky is our community to have the staff that we do to welcome the students! The first days are filled with smiles, personality, and a whole lot of fun and encouragement.
Mrs. Romines wasted no time in connecting with her students. She is so wonderful in the way she encourages her students, and she understands the importance of getting down to their level to connect.
The first few days of school can be exhausting, and we are lucky to be able to take breaks. Mrs. Brown took a break to connect with her students in a friendly game of Old Maid before school. Apparently she wasn't very successful in understanding the rules the students created for their own benefit, but all had a great time.
Our ShowcasePosted by Dan Courtine at 7/22/2016 7:00:00 AM
The students, staff, and community of Willow Springs are doing amazing things. We want to celebrate this more by showcasing our work here. We look forward to providing examples of Willow Spring Elementary's success. When you are in the school next, please stop by the front lobby and look at the staff tree Ms. Phillips created. These wonderful people are committed to you and your children.
You've probably heard from your children about the new computer lab. Gone are desktop computers and tables. Replacing them are laptops, Hokie stools, a dry-erase table, and comfortable chairs. This new design will allow students to collaborate much better than the old design. The students cannot walk by the lab without peeking in to see the new changes, and most are overheard with their, "Oohs," and "Aahs."
Along the same lines as the computer lab redesign, 1st grade is testing a new design with a variety of seating. People are all different. Some like to sit, some high and some low, and some people like to stand. This design has all those options for students to work in a way that allows comfort and focus on their work.
We are excited about these changes and the positive impact they will have on student learning. The students' initial response has been very positive.