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Briarcliff's Todd Elementary Earns International Habits Of Mind Award

First-grade students at Todd Elementary School in Briarcliff Manor acted out “The Tortoise and the Hare” during a special assembly recognizing the school as a Habits of Mind International School of Excellence.
First-grade students at Todd Elementary School in Briarcliff Manor acted out “The Tortoise and the Hare” during a special assembly recognizing the school as a Habits of Mind International School of Excellence. Photo Credit: Contributed

BRIARCLIFF, N.Y. -- Habits of Mind author Dr. Bena Kallick presented the Todd Elementary School with a special award of recognition as a Habits of Mind International School of Excellence with special assemblies and student presentations.

“Today is a very special day,” Principal Nadine McDermott told students during the May 24 celebration. “You get to share [the Habits of Mind you have learned] with one of the authors of Habits of Mind, Dr. Bena Kallick. She is so impressed with the work you are doing that we are going to receive a special award. I am so proud to be your principal today.”

The school welcomed Kallick, who presented Principal Nadine McDermott with a plaque commemorating the international recognition. She first addressed the students, commending them for their knowledge and demonstration of the 16 Habits of Mind and asked them to pat themselves on the back for their hard work.

“Todd Elementary School joins an expanding international league of educational institutions dedicated to encouraging greater thoughtfulness by embracing habits of mind in an effort to better serve their students and make the world a more thoughtful place,” said Dr. Kallick, who explained the certification is valid for three years.

Students from each grade level created a presentation related to the Habits of Mind they have learned this year. Kindergarten teachers led the youngest students in a trivia game that challenged students to identify the habits in various photos.

First-graders performed a skit of “The Tortoise and the Hare.” Second-grade students took to the multipurpose room stage to share entries from their Habits of Mind journals. Third-grade students led a singalong about Habits of Mind to the tune of “Jingle Bells.” Fourth-graders shared a poem about Habits of Mind and fifth- graders took turns sharing their top 10 reasons to use Habits of Mind and the top 10 consequences when you fail to use the habits.

McDermott, who has spearheaded the school’s Habits of Mind efforts and teaching students about different habits through regular read alouds, said, “Boys and girls, I couldn’t be more proud of you.”

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