Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fun in the Snow

Fun on the West Clifton Lawn
     On Friday afternoon, over 300 Horace Mann students enjoyed Fun in the Snow outside and hot cocoa inside.  With the help of our energetic and creative PTA members, our K-5 students, their families and teaching staff celebrated all the safe, responsible and respectful behavior demonstrated at Horace Mann during the 2nd quarter.  Please see more pictures below.

     We are so proud of how the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Star Program is encouraging our students to be the best they can be every day.  We believe that taking time out to recognize efforts in the social domain of development is critical to student success.  Plus, who doesn't appreciate having some fun at school?!  

     Many people helped this event go smoothly, but three people, especially, deserve our thanks for planning and facilitating things:  Mrs. Heather Facaros (PTA President), Ms. Carla Adamov (PTA Programs Chair), and Mrs. Anne Schleicher (PTA Recording Secretary).  We LOVE our PTA!

     Looking ahead to the end of the 3rd quarter in March, our PBIS quarterly celebration will be an all-school assembly with Jungle Terry.  It should be wild!  We hope parents will join us--watch for the flyer when the time draws near.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Our Clip Chart

The Horace Mann Clip Chart
     This year, as part of our Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS) program, all Horace Mann classrooms are using the same system for tracking student behavior.  It is the "clip chart" with an example pictured at left.

     All students start the day on green, or Ready to Learn.  In grades K-2 students either stay on green or, if they have difficulty following behavioral expectations, may go down to yellow, orange or red.  Students in grades 3-5 may clip down, but also may move up the chart to blue, purple and pink for exemplary behavior.

     During the first semester, while we all got the hang of the clip chart, each classroom tracked student behavior separately, and places like the lunchroom, recess and car line were not included.  After just one semester of using the clip chart, our staff and students are doing so well that the PBIS Committee decided we were ready to take the next step...

     Starting on Monday, January 26th, the clip chart will "carry over" throughout a student's entire day on the Horace Mann campus.  Teachers and other staff members will communicate with each other to have behavior demonstrated in all settings reflected on the homeroom clip chart.  We anticipate that students who sometimes have difficulty following the behavioral expectations in settings outside the classroom may be encouraged to do so based on this carry over.

     Although the use of the clip chart is expanding, other elements of the PBIS program will remain the same.  We will continue to use Project Wisdom daily broadcast messages/monthly classroom lessons, star tickets, weekly rewards, star students of the month and quarterly reward activities. We hope to see you at our upcoming  quarterly reward activity--Fun in the Snow--on Friday, January 30th from 2:00 - 3:00 pm!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Buckeyes & Bees

     It seemed like the whole school--and state--was in the mood for football last Monday night.  Horace Mann staff and students donned their scarlet and gray to show support for the Ohio State University Buckeyes.  The sounds of the OSU fight song were even heard coming from one 5th grade classroom!  Although there were some "Tired-eyes" on Tuesday morning, we were happy for the win over the Ducks.

     On Friday afternoon, the Horace Mann 2nd graders had an educational, entertaining, and edible treat.  They were visited by a local beekeeper (or apiarist).  Although I personally did not see the presentation, I talked with two of Mrs. Wynne's students, Kelci and Erta, afterwards.  They told me the bee keeper brought in a bee box style hive, showed a short video, and had great discussions with students about bees, especially why they are important for human life. I was impressed with their newly found knowledge.  They also told me they got to taste just a little honey (on a toothpick).  Did honey win the taste test?  It was a 1-to-1 tie :-)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Coping with the Car Line

     While many Horace Mann families drive their students to school all year, the cold weather has resulted in even more traffic in the Webb parking lot at arrival and dismissal.  Here are a few reminders:

1.  Drive slowly.
2.  Only drop off/pick up your child at the curb--do not make a second lane of traffic.
3.  When in the curb lane, stay in your car.  If you need to get out, please find a parking space.
4.  Minimize cell phone usage.
                                         5.  Children should arrive at school as close to 8:45 am as                                                    possible, and no earlier than 8:30 am.
                                         6.  Just as we say in Project Wisdom every morning:  Be safe, be                                          responsible and be the best you can be.  The choice is yours.

     If you have any questions or suggestions, they are welcome!  Please contact me anytime at 216.529.4257 or

     Just to remind us that we are not alone in needing to cope with the car line, here is a funny clip from the classic movie Mr. Mom:,d.aWw