Bullying is defined as a repeated pattern of intentional aggressive behavior when there is a power imbalance.
Bullying is not tolerated at John Hancock Charter School, and we have a school assembly teaching the kids to STOP - WALK - TALK when they are dealing with bullying behavior. Sometimes kids fail to recognize peer behavior as bullying--they just think the other kid is bossy, but if it is repeated and intentional, with the imbalance of power (i.e. the child gives in even when they don't really want to), then it is bullying.
Examples of bullying behavior that may be confused for being bossy include:
As stated before, because of the imbalance of power, the victim feels like they have to give in to the bully even if they don't want to, and the bully doesn't think they did anything wrong because the other person just did what they asked. After these types of situations, the further imbalance of power leaves the victim feeling dejected and un-empowered.
At JHCS, we teach our students to handle bullying behavior by learning to Stop - Walk - Talk
1. Stop - put your hand up and tell the person what they're doing that you want them to stop. If they don't, then...
2. Walk - walk away from the person and go do something else. If they follow you or continue their behavior toward you...
3. Talk - talk to a teacher or other adult about what's going on.
We want to give tools they need to solve their own problems whenever possible. With this method, kids have two tries to resolve the problem on their own before asking an adult to intervene.
Here's a great link with more information to help you as you talk to your child about handling bullies. http://www.parents.com/kids/problems/bullying/how-to-deal-with-school-bullies/
Have you ever wondered what makes John Hancock Charter School so great? While there is quite an extensive list of factors that contribute to our school’s many accomplishments, today I want to focus on one aspect of success that often goes unnoticed and underappreciated - the use of art in the classroom.
In the field of education, teachers are confronted with several challenges, which can hinder their ability to effectively reach all learners. Integration of the arts is a critical classroom component for teachers to meet these challenges and support the needs of all students. But, what exactly does it mean to integrate the arts? Arts integration is the purposeful and masterful weaving of music, visual art, dance, poetry, movement, storytelling, and drama throughout a variety of academic subjects. This blog post touches on a few of the current challenges many educators face, along with several reasons why arts integration is critical for the success of our students.
Challenge #1- Active Students
Many seasoned teachers believe that today’s students are far more active than ever before. For this reason, there is a strong rationale for educators to incorporate movement into their curriculum because students of all ages literally think with their bodies. Movement is an embodied approach for students to learn new concepts and can also be a vehicle that allows students to demonstrate their understanding of concepts previously learned. Often teachers rely too heavily on visual and auditory modes because those have been the primary ways of their own learning, yet kinesthetic approaches remain a powerful way of teaching. Students who have opportunities for kinesthetic learning during the school day increase functioning in areas such as confidence, positive social interactions, problem solving and creative thinking skills.
Challenge #2- Increased Depth and Rigor in the Standards
State standards require educators to teach with more depth than ever before. The introduction of more rigorous core standards has also placed higher demands on students’ cognitive capacity. The key to helping students achieve success with today’s standards is to integrate the arts. The arts move students far beyond basic skills and simply recalling knowledge toward an assimilation of learning in meaningful ways. The arts provide a variety of opportunities that promote students to use higher order thinking skills. Students who are learning through the arts increase in their ability to solve problems, evaluate knowledge, use their imaginations, exercise their curiosity, and make connections among ideas and across subjects.
Challenge #3- Every Teacher- a Literacy Teacher
Too often teachers are heard to say, “how can I fit it all in?” In addition to more rigorous standards, classroom instructional time is often lessened as more and more time is spent on high-stakes assessment. This requires teachers to do much more with less time and resources than before. By integrating the arts, teachers are able to use their precious time and resources to cover several standards in one lesson and to produce the greatest student success. The skills students learn through the arts often cross over into other academic areas including reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Research suggests a direct link between art experiences and literacy skills. The arts provide an avenue for meaning making, just as reading and writing do, yet the arts are less likely to confine some learners who may have deficits in the area of language arts. Instruction in reading, writing, speaking, and listening is increased through the special communication capacities that the arts provide.
Challenge #4- Student Centered Learning
The climate of traditional education in America tends to be one in which the child is a passive consumer of learning rather than an active producer. Teachers can rely too heavily on direct instruction, which sends the message to students that the adult has all the knowledge and the student’s only purpose is to sit quietly and take it in. Learning through the arts cements children’s understanding in ways that a lecture or direct instruction cannot do alone. The arts provide meaningful opportunities for children to develop skills needed in society. Instead of being something disseminated down to students, knowledge becomes something explored, created, and reflected upon which gives them full ownership of their learning and the motivation and positive attitude to want to learn more.
Challenge #5- Diverse Learners
Students enter schools as diverse and distinct learners. By including the arts as an instructional practice, teachers provide far greater opportunities to reach every student. This differentiated instructional approach strengthens the learning pathways and deepens the connections of every single participant. As teachers differentiate by including the arts, they provide a way of leveling the playing field so that lessons and content become challenging and engaging for all students regardless of ability or experience. The arts can reach the delayed learner, the gifted child, or the multi cultural student. Through the use of arts in the classroom, students learn that everyone has a voice.
In conclusion, art cannot be just an “extra” content area to be provided as time permits in the classroom. JHCS teachers take this philosophy very seriously. Arts integration in all academic areas is considered the essential component of superior instruction. Such instruction helps teachers to successfully meet the challenges presented in every classroom.
We all look forward to summer! It comes with a happy change of schedule and the hope of
many great experiences just ahead!
Often, as we begin the summer months, there are great intentions of keeping children
academically strong; after all, they just enjoyed incredible progress over the past school year!
However, without some discipline and direction, the months of summer quickly slip past, like
the sand in an hourglass. If academic activities don’t happen, soon children begin to slide! As
the old saying goes, if you don't use it, you lose it!
Here are some staggering statistics to consider when thinking about the Summer Slide.
100% of Students experience summer learning loss if they don’t engage in
educational activities over the summer.
25% of academic learning is lost by children during summer vacation!
4-6 Weeks is the time it takes teachers to re-teach material that students
have forgotten over the summer.
2.6 months is the average learning loss per student in math and 2 months is the
average in spelling!
2/3 of the achievement gap between ninth graders can be explained by summer
learning loss during elementary school years!
3 years out of the first 5 years of school is the cumulative impact of summer learning
You can see why teachers and administration get a little anxious when considering a summer of
non academic activity from their students! So, here are some fun activities to consider when
trying to avoid the summer learning slide:
1. READ EVERY DAY-- non-fiction, fiction, ebooks, poetry, newspapers, enroll in your
summer library reading program. Read out loud to your children!
2. COOK WITH YOUR CHILDREN! This is one of the best ways to integrate math, reading
and following directions skills. It takes patience, but it is worth it!!
3. ENROLL IN A QUALITY SUMMER CAMP. It will provide your child with opportunities to
build and enrich their critical thinking skills.
4. PLAN A TRIP! Use Google Maps to help you and your child investigate journey distances
and travel times.
5. SUMMER JOURNALING! Ask your children to write daily what they have done or
6. LEARN LOCALLY! Don’t forget about the local park, museum, zoo, aquarium and other
interesting places. Have you ever floated in the Great Salt Lake? Have you gone to The
Golden Spike National Historic Site? Have you gone fossil trilobite hunting near Delta!
(We did this with our kids one summer—it was so much fun!) Or have you discovered
the Spiral Jetty, an earthwork sculpture on the northeastern shore of the Great Salt
Lake? There are so many interesting Utah things to do and discover!!
7. DOWNLOAD QUALITY MOBILE APPS! Modern day technology can help kids practice
math and reading while having fun. But please, be aware of too much screen time.
Help your child SET LIMITS and then stick to it!
It takes discipline, direction, determination and yes, even courage to choose to be academically
minded over the summer months. There are only 40 days left before school starts up again! I
encourage you to enjoy and make the most out of the remaining days of summer and help your
child maintain a high academic outlook!
As a faculty at John Hancock Charter School, we are always looking for better ways to reach our students and help them succeed even when they fail. One such idea helping students to adjust their mindset in order to reach their true potential. The excerpt below comes from the book Mindset by Carol Dweck.
WHAT IS MINDSET?
Every so often a truly groundbreaking idea comes along. This is one. Mindset explains: Why brains and talent don’t bring success. How they can stand in the way of it. Why praising brains and talent doesn’t foster self-esteem and accomplishment, but jeopardizes them. How teaching a simple idea about the brain raises grades and productivity. What all great CEOs, parents, teachers, athletes know. Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference.
In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.
In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.
Teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity in the worlds of business, education, and sports. It enhances relationships. When you read Mindset, you’ll see how.
Mindsets are beliefs—beliefs about yourself and your most basic qualities. Think about your intelligence, your talents, your personality. Are these qualities simply fixed traits, carved in stone and that’s that? Or are they things you can cultivate throughout your life? People with a fixed mindset believe that their traits are just givens. They have a certain amount of brains and talent and nothing can change that. If they have a lot, they’re all set, but if they don’t... So people in this mindset worry about their traits and how adequate they are. They have something to prove to themselves and others.
People with a growth mindset, on the other hand, see their qualities as things that can be developed through their dedication and effort. Sure they’re happy if they’re brainy or talented, but that’s just the starting point. They understand that no one has ever accomplished great things—not Mozart, Darwin, or Michael Jordan—without years of passionate practice and learning.
TEST YOUR MINDSET at http://mindsetonline.com/testyourmindset/step1.php
For more information visit Carol Dweck’s Mindset website at http://mindsetonline.com/index.html
3rd Grade Teacher
Music is Vital!
Music. Many people hear that word and think of jamming in their car, singing in the
shower, or how they used to play an instrument back when they walked to school in
the snow, uphill both ways. Some people think of attending a rock concert, a
professional symphony, or those oh-so-catchy commercial songs that seem to never
leave your head just as your head hits the pillow. Music encompasses so much of
our everyday lives without us probably even realizing it. Music is vital; it provides
us with a better brain, better enjoyment, and consequently a better, more enriched life.
You’ve probably heard that music makes you smarter, but does it really? The
College Entrance Examination Board conducted research regarding this topic and
discovered that students who were enrolled in Fine Arts courses performed
significantly higher on the SAT than students who were not enrolled in such courses.
In addition, playing a musical instrument gives a student’s brain a
workout…literally. Check out this TedEd video by Anita Collins:
Music’s impact is blind to age. According to alzfdn.org (Alzheimer's Foundation of
America), “Music has power—especially for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease
and related dementias. And it can spark compelling outcomes even in the very late
stages of the disease. When used appropriately, music can shift mood, manage
stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function,
and coordinate motor movements.” That’s pretty amazing!
In addition to the awesome brain boosts that music gives, it also provides
individuals with heightened expression, greater creativity, and bonding. Have you
ever turned on that one “touching” song and had soft tears rolling down your
cheeks? Have you ever made up some crazy dance moves to your favorite disco-
fever tune? And remember that one song from high school that you and your
friends would always jam to? Good memories – good times, right! Music really adds
enjoyment to our lives (unless it is the never-ending “This Is the Song That Never Ends").
Besides giving our brain power and heightened enjoyment, music gives our students
and us a better life. With a musical education, students develop life-long skills such
as discipline, teamwork, and responsibility that are applicable to being a good
employee and community member. Professional musicians create music we enjoy
and that music can help carry us through hard things.
Without music, life would be a mistake. May you help others have a better brain,
enjoyment, and life through advocacy of the gift of music.
National Rural Teacher of the Year Finalist
Arizona Rural Schools Association Teacher of the Year
Arizona Education Foundation Ambassador for Excellence
Back to School: 5 Things JHCS Teachers Want Parents to Know... by Mrs. Tatum Bunker, Fourth Grade Teacher
1-It’s okay for kids to fail
One of the “8 Keys of Excellence” that we teach our students is, Failure leads to success. We get it. Parents don’t want kids to fail but did you know, by allowing the opportunity for failure we are allowing students to learn? Through struggle and persistence to overcome difficult tasks, students can learn that they don’t have to get things right the first time. There is plenty to be learned from mistakes and those mistakes drive improvement. Our school is a safe place for children to fail because the teachers and staff support their failures. We’re teaching students how to get back up, learn from their mistakes and try again. At the same time we are helping to instill in your child the lifelong skills of grit and perseverance. As parents you can reinforce your child’s ability to cope with challenges. Encourage learning from failure by asking your family members, “Who had a great failure today? What did you learn from it?”
2-Be involved, stay involved
An involved parent greatly increases the success of students at JHCS. There are several ways you can be involved in your student’s education this year.
o Talk... a lot! Take time to discuss what your students are learning at school. Be sure to ask open-ended questions that elicit deeper conversations.
o Plan to volunteer at the school often. It takes a village to educate a child!
o Check on homework regularly, but please don’t do it for your student! Homework is assigned to reinforce the skills they have learned during the day.
And most importantly-
o Read to and with your child daily. Discuss what your child is reading. Check out the research below to find out more about how important reading is!
3-3.Test results are not the be-all, end-all
While assessments help teachers drive instruction, we believe education is about much more than just a test score. We’re not here just to get your child to pass that end of year assessment. It is good to remember that just because your child scored poorly on an exam does not mean they are not smart. Also, just because they score high, doesn’t mean there is nothing left to learn. Our overall goal is to help every JHCS student enjoy learning and be prepared for the great big world out there
4- Healthy kids are better learners
Nutritious meals sustain your child’s ability to learn far longer than empty calories or an empty stomach. Make sure your child has breakfast every day. Even a piece of toast eaten during the car ride to school is better than a grumbling stomach during math class! Consider what you send with your child for snacks and lunch. Examine how much sleep your child should be getting per night and adjust bedtime routines to accommodate those needs.
o 3-6 year olds need 10-12 hours
o 7-12 year olds need 9-11 hours
o 12-18 year olds need 8-9 hours
5- Be organized & establish a study routine
You probably already know the importance of providing a dedicated place and time for your student to do homework. You may also know to provide a spot to store backpacks, lunchboxes, and homework folders. Did you know there are other good study skills we stress at JHCS?
Studies have shown that students who review information a few minutes before bedtime increase their ability to recall that information later. This is because all learning is “downloaded” into long-term memory during sleep. Does your child need to remember spelling words, math facts, or history content? Consider implementing the JHCS “Bedside 5” in which your student spends the last five minutes before bedtime studying the most important information from the school day. In addition, we encourage you to limit screen time and strongly suggest turning technology off at least an hour before bedtime. Turning of the tech along with a Beside 5 helps primes the brain to first “download” the school day information after your child falls asleep.
We believe JHCS is the best place for your child to be! We are grateful for the associations we have with you, our invested parents and our dedicated students. Here’s to a fabulous school year!
Summer mean many things to different people. If you ask my 15 year old son, you might get a response something like this, "summer is sleeping in daily, staying up late, playing video games, and spending time with extended family." If you ask my husband you may hear, "summer is full of long, hot summer days and evening thunderstorms." My daughter looks forward to less structured lazy days. Each of you have your own thoughts of summer which may include going to the pool, reading a good novel, going for a mountain drive and more. I am sure they are completely different than how I feel about summer.
Summer is by far the loneliest time of the year for a principal. I still have all the same reports to write and meetings to attend, but I do not have the pleasure of interacting with the students, which is my very favorite thing about being a principal. I walk up and down the lonely quiet hallways, looking for items to clean and repair without any similes from first graders or laughable sarcastic comments from 7th graders. I attend trainings and meetings with adults who don't always know how to laugh at themselves and I try to find enjoyment without the giggles of the third graders headed out to recess. I miss the stories at the drinking fountain, the excuses about why they have to call their mother because they want to go home with a friend after school, the backpacks lining the hallway and the smell of burnt cup of noodles in the lunchroom. When will the misery end?
8:30 a.m., August 18, 2015 can not come soon enough for me. I look forward to seeing the nervous kindergarteners standing in line with their mothers, who are just as nervous as their children. I look forward to the smell of the laminator which was left on too long. I look forward to all the students with their shiny new shoes, clean uniforms that actually fit and non-stained white shirts. I look forward to all the back to school shopping and all the new school supplies. I look forward to watching the students greet their friends asking them, "what did you do this summer?" I look forward to seeing all the decorated bulletin boards and the creative classroom decorations the teachers work so hard on all summer long. I am sorry, but I look forward to the first day of school!
The first day of school is more exciting for me than Christmas Eve. The night before is sacred to me. I pack my lunch, lay out my clothes and pack my briefcase with everything I may need. I want to get a good night's rest so I am fresh that morning, but it never happens. My mind races all night long, keeping me up thinking about how excited I am to see all the students, teachers and parents again. I jump out of bed before the alarm clock even goes off and quickly get ready to go to school. I stand outside on the blacktop so I can greet the students after the long 10 weeks of summer and I tell them how glad I am to see them again. I stand in the hallway so I can listen to the excited buzz spilling out of the classrooms. By the end of the day my smile bones, aka cheek bones, hurt form smiling all day long. Overall, the first day of school is my favorite day of the year.
I am very blessed to be able to go to "work" every day knowing that I do not want to do anything else. I love my job. I love the students. I love the parents. I love the teachers and staff. Simply, I love John Hancock Charter School. Thank you for letting me be a part of your child's life. I am very grateful and I take this responsibility very seriously. I can't wait to see you on the first day of school!