Weekly Update: 8/19/2013

I hope you enjoyed the beautiful weekend.  Here is the weekly update:

PLC and planning time:

My hope is to have PLCs begin next Monday, Aug. 26th.  We are still looking for a PE teacher but I might begin with a sub so we can get going.  I will keep you posted.  Schedules would be the same as last year and I will send that out to you as soon as I can.  Some grade levels are still scheduled to meet to plan out Unit 2 and beyond.  If your grade level has not used the full day that I afforded you, you may still use this, just keep in mind that you don’t want to plan for a day when you have PLC.

Writing PD:

Thank you for your attention during the all-day writing PDs.  I hope you came away with some understanding about how you can make writing come alive in your classroom on a regular basis.  I will be asking you soon when in your day you have scheduled a writing block so that I can visit and support you with writing.  (I have your schedules from last year and will bring those around when I meet with you but know that you might be adjusting those) I know writing may be “scary” for some of you but the only way we can tackle our fears is by trying it out.  Chris and I are willing to come in and co-teach or do demo lessons (that will not be perfect 🙂 but with that comes the understanding that you are involved and try it out the following day.

Staff Meeting/Planning:

This Wednesday, you will have the first part of the time to meet with your grade level to plan.  (1:45-2:30)  Afterwards, please come to Rm. 14 to learn more about our ELD plans and groups.  (ELD will begin Tuesday, Aug. 27, 8:15-8:55)

PBS:

Our first PBS school-wide lesson will begin Monday, Aug. 26th. (8:15-8:45) Chris will send you the powerpoint and add’l resources this Friday.  If you really want to do this right for our students and school, please review this information before teaching the lesson on Monday morning.  You have the power and permission to spice it up, turn this time into “circle time”, class meetings, etc.  The more you invest in this time with passion and enthusiasm, the more powerful the effect.

Library Schedule:

Teresa documented what is working and what needs adjustment with regards to the library schedule as she finished her first week.  We will be meeting soon to discuss what changes, if any, need to be made.  I will send out an email with any changes soon.  Your times should not be drastically affected, if at all. but we might make slight adjustments to the p.m. time slots.

CyberSmarts Week:

Next week is CyberSmarts week.  Please see the email sent out to all sbusd users on 8/7/13 for details.  Here is one link with more info but I advise you to read the email from 8/7/13.  http://tinyurl.com/becybersmart

ActiveVotes/Expressions:

Please check your activevotes/expressions to make sure you have them operational before we are asked to use them for our first performance task/assessment.  If you need help with repairs or setting them up, please put in a work order asap.

Imagine Learning:

Imagine Learning in Rm. 21 began today, Monday.  Please read the email that Adriana sent out on Sunday, Aug. 18th.  She has given info regarding the current students and future plans.  If parents ask you about signing up their child, please let them know that we are selecting students with specific criteria in mind and direct them to Rm. 16 for more information.

Classroom visits:

I’m sure you are well aware that there have been many visits already from our district office personnel.  This has been done with the intention of learning where we are in implementation of Common Core expectations so that they can better support us.  Shelley Burgess visits this Wednesday and this is what she wrote to me:  “I have no expectation people will be perfect as we are all new learners of this work!”  We do expect that you be “trying it on” so we can see where and how to support you.

Supt. McNamara visit:

When Dr. Mc came to visit, I asked her if she wanted me to introduce her to every staff member.  She responded that she did not want to interrupt instruction and instead, she really wanted to get a sense of what the objective and purpose of the lesson was, and to see if students could talk about it and to see if the lesson was heading in the direction of fulfilling that objective.  After spending on avg. 5 minutes in our primary classrooms, I asked her if it was still her goal to get into every classroom and when she replied, “Yes”, she realized we needed to speed up the visits which is why most of our 3rd-6th grade teachers received very brief stop-in-and-say-hi visits.  We did not discuss the instruction we saw in each classroom but rather spoke about the strengths of the school.  She asked me for the name of each teacher she met, and she took brief notes about what she saw so that she can tie names to faces and classrooms.  I was very pleased with the time we spent together and I feel very confident about our future with her at the wheel.  She said she plans to visit schools as often as her schedule permits.

Quote of the Week:

“All children have the right to have their gifts and talents cultivated through the process of education.” – Anthony Muhammad

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