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




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