Saturday, October 29, 2016

Wheelchair CAVS & Spooky Spirit at The Mann

Although it was the last week of the grading period and students and teachers worked hard to complete assessments for report cards, we found plenty of time for fun, too!  Students took field trips to Donato's and Playhouse Square and we showed our Cleveland pride by wearing Indians and CAVS gear almost every day.

Two "firsts" happened at Horace Mann this week.  One of them was a visit from the Wheelchair CAVS--a squad of amazing basketball players who showed us their skills during our Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports (PBIS) celebration.  One of the best parts was seeing several Mann teachers try to play basketball in wheelchairs.  It only took Mr. Karabaic about 2 tries until he seemed like he'd been doing it forever!  These players' stories were quite inspiring and showed all of us what it means to do the best with whatever life gives us.

We also had a great time during "Spooky Spirit" on Friday during lunch and recess.  PTA provided a fun recess activity where kids listened to music and made toilet paper mummies out of each other (see photos).  There was also a quiet craft for kids who preferred something different.  A little treat bag for each child and student-carved pumpkins from Mrs. Axford's class rounded out the super-fun atmosphere.  It was great to have a chance to celebrate the season without interrupting instructional time.  Thank you to all the parents and grandparents who helped with this new tradition at our school!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Fall Book Fair & Family Dance

Our fabulous Horace Mann PTA made the most of the "Bookaneer" Book Fair this season, and capping it off with party on Friday night that would have made any pirate proud!   The Horace Mann news crew got into the action by doing daily "book talks" each morning, featuring a "hot title" available at the book fair.  Students were able to shop before and after school, and many classrooms visited during the school day to make wish lists and enjoy looking at all the treasure.

Coming off the tremendous success of the Mother-Son Dance organized by the Horace Mann PTA (but held at Harding Middle School for space), our Friday night party was extra fun this year, with popcorn and fun booty for kids to enjoy with their dancing (and just plain running around the gym).

 We all know that the primary purpose of school is to learn, but here at The Mann, we believe that having fun and loving your school provides a strong foundation for that learning.  Thank you so much, PT--and all the parents that supported the book fair and attended the dance--for making our school a place for the whole child...and the whole family!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

We Love That Fire Truck Ladder!

Safety was the emphasis last week at Horace Mann! We had our annual school-wide Fire Safety Assembly with comments by Lakewood Fire Marshal Tim Dunphy and an engaging video about smoke detectors. Our 5th grade essay contest winners were Olivia Diemert (right) and Regan Bratko (below). Regan was also named Jr. Captain at the district level. Both girls did a great job reading their essays for our entire student body.

Before we headed outside to cheer the fireman all the way up the SUPER tall ladder, we also swore in 24 new Safety Patrol members. They are off to a great start this year, assisting adults with safe and orderly arrival and dismissal. Here is this year's Safety Patrol, co-supervised by 5th grade teachers Mrs. Allison Martzolf and Mrs. Kelsey Robinson:

Madison Civille Conor Carlin
Rowan Brown Joseph Villafane
Akram Ali Jalen Brown
Olivia Diemert Annabelle Baker
Aidan Maxwell Savannah Zaleski
Owen Gibbons Ariana Marich
Michael Fallon Moyeen Ali
Grace Rowell Carlito Gonzalez
Elise O’Donnell Nora Germaine
Olivia Baker Hutch Reed
Anthony Severino Hannah O’Toole
Hayden Trnavsky Cicely Campen

Kids excitedly streamed outside to watch the fireman climb (with fun theatrics and lots of cheering, I might add) all the way to the top of the ladder. After he made it back down, the ladder swung out over the kids as it was reeled back in - cool!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Kids Voting at Horace Mann

 OK, so recess might not be as important as the upcoming general election...or is it?  For kids in grades K-5 at Horace Mann, recess is a pretty big deal!  Since recess is important to kids, we believe they need to have input into how the game is played...

Last year, we introduced a bench to the playground.  The bench, itself, is not much to look at, just a plain black metal seat.  The big deal is how the bench is used.  The adults tried a few different ideas last year, and then we realized we need to ask the students how they want to use it!

With the ever-ready help of parent volunteers, a voting system was designed to allow kids to vote by grade level.  Since each grade has their own recess time, we have the freedom to designate different uses for different grade levels.

Students had three choices:

  • Buddy Bench:  If you need someone to play with, go to the bench.  All children are taught that they can be the person who goes to the bench or the person who sees someone sitting and offers to play.
  • Friendship Bench:  Students in each grade level (grades 2-5) are given a little training on how to start play or conversation with someone who might struggle in that area.  these kids (who we called Recess Rangers) would take turns being at the Friendship Bench.  Thus, when a student needed a friend, s/he cold come to the bench and find a peer there to help.  

  • Resting Bench:  Just a place to sit and take a break.  The bench has not been and will not be used for time out (although we do have a another spot for this appropriate consequence).

The results are so interesting!
  • Resting Bench was the clear winner for grades 2-5.  Several students described a desire to just have somewhere to sit peacefully for a few minutes.
  • The results were mixed for K and 1.  This may be due to several factors, including not quite understanding the differences among the choices.  We plan to follow up with these groups to see what will work best.
We have other ideas in store for recess this year, including Recess Rangers leading and organizing games and small groups of students receiving extra TLC for social skills using a variety of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, architecture, math) toys (think Legos, Erector Sets, Robotics, etc.).  As always, we welcome your ideas and suggestions!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Horace Mann Medical Center

Where could a Lakewood student have a vision screening, dental exam and well-child visit all in one day?  Horace Mann Elementary School, that's where!

Last Thursday, our school morphed into the "Horace Mann Medical Center," complete with high school and college students being trained to provide medical care.  Upstairs, children in multiple grade levels had vision screenings administered (with supervision, of course) by West Shore Career Tech students in the Health Careers program as well as college students from Lorain County Community College.

Downstairs, the SMILE! Dental Program was set up to do a variety of dental procedures for students (with appropriate permission from parents).  The SMILE program comes to Horace Mann annually and will complete its third full day here on Monday, October 3rd.

Finally, in the Webb parking lot, the Cleveland Clinic School-Based Heath Center mobile unit made its Horace Mann debut (after successes at both Harrison and Garfield last year).  Eleven students were seen for parent-requested services such as well-child visits, vaccinations and flu shots.  The team from The Clinic were wonderful (thanks, Dave and Jami!) and provided additional information about the mobile unit:

Many thanks to the Lakewood Schools Student Services Department--including our own Health Aide, Sheila Sabol--for bringing these critical health care offerings to our school.  While they can make for a day where instruction is not as seamless as usual, the access to health care is well worth it!