• Welcome Back, Again!

    Posted by Sarah Kwilinski on 1/7/2019

    I said welcome back to my returning students in August and now I get to say welcome back to everyone. 

    This is probably my preferred "start" to the year. This time we already know each other, have established routines, and are deep into our growing and learning for the 18-19 school year. 

    I am looking forward to hearing what each student wants to share with me about their winter break. I am also looking forward to seeing how much they remember and how quickly we can get our little community back into the groove. 

    I know the first week back will be a tired one as we all adjust back to school time sleep schedules. We'll be patient with each other as navigate a major adjustment. 

    Best wishes to all of my families on this new year!

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  • Friendships and Social Skills

    Posted by Sarah Kwilinski on 12/7/2018

    By this time of the year we are seeing some solid friendships develop. The kids avidly look forward to greeting the adults and their friends as each arrive in the morning. During the day they care about who is sitting by them and often fetch chairs for each other. If a friend is absent they ask about them and are excited when they return. They play with each other during free choice time and are learning to try new activities in order to join a friend.

    Of course they also know just how to push each other’s buttons by now, too! And, some have learned it’s great fun to copy the behaviors of others that get a lot of attention from adults. These are all the typical social behaviors that are happening in all classrooms here at Wilkshire and it’s nice for we adults to have a community of talented colleagues to use as resources in finding novel approaches to the age-old problems!  

    I enjoy the feeling that we’ve settled into our routines and the kids are relaxed and comfortable. One of the biggest benefits of having a special education classroom is that I usually have students for more than one year. I like building a community and watching it grow and deepen every year.

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  • A Wonderful Staff

    Posted by Sarah Kwilinski on 10/11/2018

    I'd like to take a moment to talk about the wonderful paraprofessionals who work in The Mother Goose Room. We have many parapros at Wilkshire but four of them, Mrs. McCarthy, Mr. Pettis, Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Veach work closely with me each day.

    Sometimes I wish our classrooms had observation booths so parents could see the paras in action. They would see patient, kind, insightful people on constant alert in order to anticipate the child's next need. They would see smiles, laughs, and a lot of humor used to cajole the child into giving that difficult task one more try. They would see hugs and comforting words after the inevitable bump on the playground or when little ones are all tired out. 

    And this dedication to their work continues after the children have gone home. I appreciate the conversations we have when a para has noticed something and wants to discuss it. I hear insightful comments and probing questions. We compare notes, strategize, and plan next steps. I use their observations to create new materials and methods...always looking for that sweet spot where a child's needs can be met in the most efficient manner. 

    I'm very grateful that I get to work with such a great staff. And, from the big smiles and happy greetings I hear from the students each morning, I know the students are, too!

    Mrs. McCarthy working with a student  Mr. Pettis working with a student

    Mrs. Veach working with a student

    Mrs. Smith working with a student

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  • Settling into the Year

    Posted by Sarah Kwilinski on 9/26/2018

    Wow, here we are almost a month into the school year! I know the start of a new school year is a hectic time for everyone but I hope that by now your family has settled into a routine, gotten used to all the new faces, and is feeling more comfortable. 

    This is a good time to reflect on the habits we want to establish for the rest of the year. Do we have procedures and routines in place for all the expected things? Did we pad in a little extra time for all the unexpected things? Are bedtime routines early enough that little bodies are well rested and able to fight off all the germs?

    Please take a moment and check that you're taking advantage of all the methods of communication coming home from the Mother Goose room. 1) Daily "What I Did Today" worksheet to enable conversation at home. 2) Friday folder to be emptied over the weekend and returned on Monday.  3) Weekly newsletter published on this webpage each Friday and then archived for reference. 4) Seesaw pictures and comments sent every 1-2 weeks. 5) Personal emails on your child's progress sent every 1-2 weeks. 

    We are forming a really lovely community in rm 201 this year. It's a genuinely happy room with lots of warm smiles at the start and end of our day. I'm so glad your child is with us! Thank you for sharing him or her with us each day. 

     

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  • Back to School Transition Ideas

    Posted by Sarah Kwilinski on 8/7/2018

    Welcome back to school, everyone! I love this time of fresh beginnings and new opportunities. But I also know transitions can be difficult. Here are some ideas for how we can help kiddos feel comfortable in their new classroom. 

    • Attend the Open House on Tues, Aug 21 from 5:00-6:30. All my students are welcome! 
    • Schedule a private one-on-one open house with me so your child can be introduced to the room in a quieter environment.
    • Encourage your child to draw a picture, or choose a photo of a favorite item, to bring to school on their first visit. We will help them put this page in their cubby so it feels special to them.
    • Make a mini photo book of beloved people, places, and things. Send it to school on your child's first day and we'll use it to learn about them and connect activities to their interests. A brief label on pics would be appreciated!
    • Come on up to the school and let your child explore. Play on the playground and look at doors and sidewalks your child will use to enter/depart.
    • Please contact me if you have another idea you want to try!
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Mrs. Kwilinski

Phone: 517-339-8208 x3318

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelors of Science in K-12 Special Education with endorsements in Learning Disabilities and Emotional Impairments

Mrs. Kwilinski

Hello! My family moved to the Haslett area in 2003 and I taught in Bath and DeWitt before coming to Haslett. I have a B.S. in Special Education from Greenville University in Greenville, IL with K-12 endorsements in Learning Disabilities and Emotional Impairments. I have taught in a wide variety of special education settings over the course of my career and have found something to learn from each one of them. I get excited about the idea of creating programs and writing curriculum that address the whole child and provide a seamless, comprehensive learning experience from first bell to last bell. I am happiest when my students are moving from one learning activity to the next in a journey of discovery that is connected across subject areas and modalities.

My husband and I have three sons. The oldest is at Haslett High School, the middle is at the Middle School and the youngest is a toddler at home who will be riding to work with me at WECC in a few short years! There are also a whole slew of dogs, cats, goats, chickens, and ducks wandering around who help keep things interesting. Yes, I did once find a goat in my bedroom but it was only the one time and we're pretty sure it was the cat's fault.