Weekly Update: 9/16/2013

Minimum days all this week and a 2 week Fall Break right around the corner.  Here’s the updates for this week:


PLC’s continue this week with upper grade PLC taking place in the morning at 8:55 to 10:10.

5th grade PLC will switch to Monday, and 4th grade will switch to Tuesday.

Your team might want to use your PLC time this week to look at upcoming district wide assessements.  These assessments will incorporate activotes/expressions, discovery education, reading and writing.  Below is the link from our district website to give you a preview of your grade level expectations.  PLEASE do not preview this assessment with your students.  We want this to be an authentic assessment.  It will be difficult for students but will be a good indicator of next steps to help them to be successful.  Please make sure your activotes/expressions are working and ready.   Please make sure you can access Discovery Ed beforehand.


Important info:  We have set up Rm. 4 for the Science teacher to use for Science rotations.  This will enable her to have more hands on lessons without having to cart around science materials and supplies.  So, for this week and on, Ann Linn, our science teacher, will pick up your students and bring them to Room 4 for Science lessons.  The only exception right now will be 4th grade.  She will come to teach in 4th grade classrooms since they are doing lessons which incorporate our school garden which is located near the 4th grade classrooms.

Impact teacher update:

Our newest impact teachers now have email access.  Feel free to email them with questions, suggestions, feedback, etc.

Ann Linn (Sci.), Jaime Schoenbrun (tech), Suzann (goes by “Beany:) Chalfant (PE)

Our new Newcomer teacher, Maria Zavala, who goes by “Tessie”, will begin after Fall Break.  She will prep over Fall break and on Oct. 7 and hopes to begin groups on Tuesday, Oct. 8.  If you have a “Newcomer” student/s, please email Adriana as soon as possible so she can begin to create and lower and upper grade group for the new teacher.  We will email you when we have the schedule and lists solidified.

Writing PD:

As mentioned in the weekly update last week, we have confirmed the next dates for our writing pd with SDAWP.

K-2: Sept. 16th, 8:00-10:45 a.m. in Rm. 21 at Emory. (this Wednesday)

3-6: Oct. 7th, 8:00-11:00a.m. in Rm. 21 at Emory (Monday after Fall Break)

Unique Assembly:

Connie has been able to secure an affordable assembly last minute around the 6 traits of Writing.  There is only one hitch.  They could only come this Wednesday.  Here is the schedule:

8:05-8:50 Kinder                               8:55-9:40  1st-3rd;                                  10:30-11:15 4th-6th

This means that ELD for 1-3 will need to end by 8:45 so they can get to assembly on time.  If this really throws a wrench in your plans, please let me know that your class will not be attending.

PLNU Art Students:

Our PLNU Art student teachers will be returning this Fall.  There are only 9 students this Fall and the art lessons will fall on Tuesday and Thursday.  5th and 6th grade  will participate this time and we will probably switch some PLC times around those weeks.  We will need 2 more classrooms to participate.  Let me know if you are particularly interested to participate.

Thurs.  Oct 10 — Planning meeting with teachers
Thurs.  Oct 17 — First art lesson
Tues.   Oct 29 — Second art lesson (On Tuesday to
avoid Halloween, but not to spread the teaching dates too far between the two


You have been sent the PBS powerpoint and resources for Restroom Expectations to be taught Monday morning at 8:15a.m.  Please continue to reinforce this during the week and if you have recess duty, please make special effort to stand near or check in on the restrooms on our playground to reinforece expected behavior.  Thank you!

6th grade Fundraiser for camp:

Thank you ahead of time for your support in promoting our 6th grade camp fundraiser.  Shelly Molina and her student teacher, Connie Ruiz, sent you emails last Friday, 9/13, with a great little video clip to promote this fundraiser,  Fliers also go out Monday but it would be so great if you could show the video to your class and promote this.  I know every grade level does what they can to fundraise for field trips but please hype this up– 6th grade camp is especially expensive for our students but a very worthy experience that we don’t want them to miss!

Common Core Math preview PD:

Amy Illingworth sent an email late last week to announce PD for Common Core Math over Fall Break.  Teachers will receive out-of-contract pay.  Please see her email for details.

Popcorn and Reading:

Please email me if you’d like me to visit your classroom to read and bring popcorn if your class won the attendance award for August.  September is just about finished for us and when we return from Fall Break, we will be announcing our winners for September.  Thursday (any time) and Friday (after 11) of this week would be the best days for me.

Shout Outs:

Please check out the other tabs on this blog for good info and “shout outs” which allows staff members to recognize their peers for some of their individual efforts.

Quote of the Week:

“Learning together serves a crucial function… it makes learning happen.” – Seth Godin

Weekly Update: 9/9/2013

Go Chargers! Here are the updates for this week:

Ronald McDonald Assembly:

Thank you to Eunice for coordinating this free assembly related to good character traits.  The rep from this assembly told me that quotes from teachers on their feelings about the assembly is the most powerful and influential way to ensure that they continue to receive grants for these free assemblies.  If you don’t mind, and you liked the assembly, please email me a brief blurb endorsing the assembly.  I will then copy paste them onto a school letterhead and send that to her.

PBS lesson:

Our next PBS lesson will take place today, school wide, at 8:15.  Chris sent the powerpoint and Melinda sent the flipchart last week.  “Hallway expectations” is the focus this week.  I will come around to see how it’s going.


PLCs will continue this week but for any minimum days on which PLCs fall, the upper grade PLC will be moved to the morning from 8:55-10:10.  The impact teachers are already aware of this.

Staff Meetings:

There will be no staff meetings until we return from break due to parent/teacher conferences.

Parent/Teacher conferences:

I highly recommend that you have resources available to give parents regarding the Common Core if you haven’t already given them at Back to School NIght.  There are tons of resources on our district website in both Instructional Resources (under “For Staff” tab) and in Common Core Resources (under “Parents, etc.” tab)


We have secured dates/times for the next Writing PD with SDAWP:

K-2: Wed. Sept. 18th 8-10:45 Rm. 21 at Emory

3-6:  Mon. Oct. 7 8-11 Rm. 21 at Emory

We tried to secure Oct. 7 for primary as well but the primary SDAWP and West View staff were unavailable at this time.  However, Ana Reyes will come on Oct. 7 to meet with k-2 grade levels to support you around writing, answer clarifying questions, etc.

PLNU Art Students:

Dr. Sangren from PLNU has asked once again if Emory would be interested in hosting her Art Students.  I know this is another “item on the proverbial plate” and appreciate that you all have been so open to it.  It requires extra time on your part and some minutes away from your instructional day for art lessons.  I have viewed this as a vehicle for our students to receive add’l art instruction and also a way to prepare future teachers for the challenges they will face in this profession.  IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE SKIPPED IN THE NEXT ROUND OF ART LESSONS, please email me.  I will not think differently of you if you choose to pass this time.  I just need to know before I schedule the fall sessions.

Quote of the Week:

“No subject of study is more important than reading . . . all other intellectual powers depend on it.”

—Jacques Barzun

Speaking of reading……Here is a great and short article on 5 steps to help students with Close reading;


Weekly Update: 9/2/2013

I hope you stayed cool over the hot 3 day weekend.  Let’s hope we get some relief this week.  Here are the updates for the next 4 days:


We will have our first trophy cermony today where I announce the winners for the month of August.  If you still have a trophy in your room, please brng it to the blacktop this morning.

PBS lesson:

Due to the holiday, we will not have a new PBS lesson this week.  Please continue reinforcing Playground Expectations.  Bring your blue slips with you whenever you leave your classroom and try to pass a few out for correct playground behavior.  This will have a better result than giving out more yellow slips.


PLCs will continue this week where you will have time to plan around CC, Chaptering, and common formative assessments.  1st and 4th grade PLC will take place this Friday.   We have secured a new PE teacher, Suzann Chalfant (shol-font).  She will begin with classes today.

Staff Meeting:

The bulletin says “no staff meeting” but we will have a 45 minute staff meeting to share out what each grade level team is doing with their planning time around Common Core.  We will meet in Rm. 24 this week.  After the 45 minutes, your grade level team may eithe choose to plan together or begin preparing for parent conferences.  Majority rules so if you have 3 people on your grade level and 2 who want to plan, then everyone plans together.  We will not have staff meetings Wednesday, Sept. 11 or 18 due to parent conferences so the ILT team felt it was important that we meet for a little bit this week.

Bus evacuation:

Our annual bus evacuation drill is scheduled for Wednesday this week.  Eunice sent an email with the schedule a while ago but here it is again. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_9nroXJbGPtYmthdHV6YXB0Ymc/edit?usp=sharing


The weekly bulletin can be found every week on our blog under “Bulletin” tab.  The intent with the blog is to make it easier to find everything at one place.  It is a work in progress, with the TEch dept. still working on filtering issues so I appreciate your patience.

Brain Pop:

We still have until December until our BrainPop subscription ends and we will renew that subscription again in November.  Dana sent out the username and password to you last week via email.

Writing PD:

We have tentatively scheduled a half day for the next writing PD for Oct. 7 from 8-11:30.  In the meantime, please continue to spend time building a safe writing community in your classrooms.  I know it is hard to stay away from students giving you a product, or making them accountable for writing or not writing BUT if you do this, you will undermine the idea of students feeling safe to take risks around writing.  DO NOT be preoccupied with students editing, revising, or writing/producing a certain amount right now.  DO NOT worry about your Units of Study and what they say you should be “producing” right now.  PLEASE take the time to show students that they can have fun writing about topics that are interesting and for which they have some choice.  Celebrate their ideas and writing daily by sharing out.  Celebrate their thoughts, even if they have written only one sentence.  When it comes to parent conferences, feel free to tell parents that you are building a writing community and you do not have a “grade” for their writing at the current time.  Feel free to share their writing journals with the parents.  If you are in upper grade, you might want to share their “identity poem” interview with the parents.  It gives a lot of good insights about each student.  I was moved to tears when reading some of them when I visited classrooms.

If you feel that you have spent considerable time facilitating lessons around “building a writing community” then you can begin to move into setting up your Writer’s Workshop by teaching mini lessons around the differnet components.  Please ask for help and support if you need it! chris and I are willing to help and learn alongside you.

Impact Teachers:

I was able to secure a Newcomer Impact teacher at last week’s interviews.  Unfortunately, she is in a long term sub position until Fall Break at Nestor.  She came highly recommended so I am willing to wait rather than going back to another round of interviews, especially considering that by the time I get a new round of interviews set up, it might be close to Fall Break anyway.

Quote of the Week:

“Do or do not; there is no try.”  – Yoda