Weekly Update: 10/28/2013

Here we are in our last week of October!! Where did it go? Here are the updates.

Title I meeting:

I will be conducting our parent informational meeting for Title I schools on Monday morning in Rm. 16.


Monday morning, please teach Part 2 (of 4) PBS lesson on Bullying.  Chris and Melinda S. have sent you the powerpoint and flipchart.


Please continue to plan around your Common Core ELA.   This might include looking at PTA assessment, taking a deeper look at the standards, unpacking the standards to see what skill should be taught first, next, finally, etc.

This week, 5th grade will have their PLC on Monday and 4th grade will have their PLC on Tuesday.  Both will take place at normal time, 1:05.

Staff Meeting:

We will have another staff meeting this week with a focus on authentic literacy with a focus on close reading.  The meeting will take place in Rm. 13 at 1:40.

Writing PD:

We will have our next Writing PD for primary grades this Wednesday in Rm. 21 (bulletin says Rm. 4 but please disregard that).  PD will begin promptly at 8 and end at 10:50.  Please bring the packet that was given to you on your first full day of Writing Pd this year with the steps of writer’s workshop, tailored to your grade level.  (is copied on colored paper)

Costume Parade:

We will have our annual costume parade this week on Thursday at 8:15a.m.  Please see Roseann’s email for details.  (No ELD on this day)

Teacher Created Materials:

A rep from Teacher Created Materials, the same man that came to one of our staff meetings last year, will be in our lounge to give you any info on non-fiction texts.  He will be here on Nov. 4th.  Do not feel pressured to purchase resources from him.  Some of the schools are using him to order small sets of multi-leveled readers and have reported to me that he has been very helpful and accommodating to their needs.  Our first grade team went with another company which allows you to purchase from a variety of publishers so you might also ask the first grade teachers more about their purchases.  Remember, each grade level has $1000 (if you haven’t already spent this) to purchase resources that will help you.  The intent is for your grade level to purchase materials for the students and for it to be somewhat consistent for the grade level.  If you ordered Nat’l Geog. or Time 4 Kids, this will not be taken out of the $1000.

Bicycle meeting:

I have received all the paperwork for our bicycle parents meeting and will schedule this for the week after our Carnival.

Question for the Week:

If you participated in trick or treating as a child, what was your favorite “treat”?

Quote of the Week:

Children have to be educated, but they have also to be left to educate themselves.”

-Ernest Dimnet





Weekly Update: 10/21/2013

Here are the updates for the week.

PBS lesson:

We will resume our Monday morning school-wide PBS lessons with our first of two on Bullying.  There is a primary and upper grade lesson so please make sure to use the one appropriate for your grade level.  Chris sent this out last Friday.


Thank you to Adriana and her support team for organizing and administering the whole group portion of the CELDT and thank you to everyone for your flexibility in taking other students during these days.

Staff Meeting:

We will have our staff meeting in Rm. 5 this week at 1:40.  We will spend a majority of the time watching videos around effective instruction.  We will have our meetings in different grade levels this year and in different rooms each time as well.  Everyone will get a chance to host, if not this year, next year.


I appreciate that every grade level is using their PLC time wisely with a focus on CC ELA.  Please keep in mind that there are a variety of agenda items that you may include in this time.  Planning around UNits of Study (chaptering), planning a specific lesson, studying and learning more your grade level PTA (performance task assessment, scoring the PTA.  Another activity that will not take but more than 10-15 minutes is completing your grade level survey which can give valuable feedback to the district.  Keep in mind, your feedback should be constructive in nature and positive comments would be appreciated as well when possible.  Here is the link but you can find this under the Common Core Units of Study link on our website on the left hand side by clicking the blue “feedback” link.


Science Shed:

Over break, Frank Villagrana was generous enough to provide us two hard working men to clean up our Science shed.  They also fixed it by replacing the doors so that it is sealed now making it harder for little rodents to enter.  The good news is that the shed is clean.  Unfortunately, most of the items in the shed were destroyed and or deemed “infested” and had to be thrown out.  Feel free to use your classroom key to open the shed and see the results.  There is not much left!  Dana has graciously volunteered to take the lead on “rebuilding” and organizing our efforts to replenish the supplies.  If you are available to help out, please email her and let her know.  She will be sending an email or two out about supplies to get a sense of your priority items for the shed and to see what you might have in your rooms that you could donate to the shed.  (Time for some Fall cleaning?….)

Emergency Drills:

Thank you for your patience with last week’s Duck and Cover (earthquake drill).  The instructions we are given for the bells/intercom sounds are confusing.  I will continue to ask for guidance but I am trying my best to interpret them correctly.  This drill was a Duck and Cover drill and in some instances, the end of a duck and cover drill can end with EVACUATION (if structures are deemed safe to exit)  Therefore, we are able to “check off” our fire drill for this as well because in a fire drill, we evacuate.  But for duck and cover drills, everyone should complete/use the pink Emergency/Disaster frill form when we evacuate to the grass.  We were looking at this form and have decided that we want to revise it (like good writers do 🙂 to make it more informative and user friendly. Eunice will be doing this and we will pass out new ones to you in the near future and quickly review it at a staff meeting.  PLEASE DISCARD ANY PINK FORMS THAT ARE CURRENTLY IN YOUR RED EMERGENCY BACKPACK. A fire drill will always be indicated by the extremely high pitched alarm signal and in that case, please use the yellow form once we evacuate to the grass.

Instructional Rounds:

Our PLC impact teachers have a few “extra” days on their work calendars so we will be utilizing them to sub for grade levels so that grade levels can observe other grade levels, again with purpose of learning by observing.  This Wednesday, our 2nd grade will observe 1st grade during CC ELA, with a focus on “authentic literacy” in the classroom.   This is NOT meant to be a dog and pony show, as we want to observe and collect authentic data.  Thank you to 1st grade for being the first grade level to be observed this year.  Each grade level will spend about 2 1/2 hours out of their classrooms and the impact teachers will sub during this time.

Another helpful resource:

Please feel free to check out http://www.achievethecore.org/ to find anchor papers on writing and much more.

Bulletin error:

Eunice wanted to me inform you that this week’s bulletin (found under Bulletin tab) has an error.  It states that our Fall Carnival will take place on Nov. 4.  The actual date is NOV. 6.  Please contact Shelly for info on how you can help.  Please remind your students on Monday, Oct. 21st that our candy drive will end on Tuesday.

Question for the Week: Please respond using “comment” link.

What is one of your favorite children’s literature books? (From your childhood, parenthood, or teaching days)

Quote of the Week:

“Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques.  The teacher is the heart of the educational system.”

-Sidney Hook




Weekly Update: 10/14/2013

Here is a short preview of this week:

Spirit Day:

Don’t forget to wear your favorite sports team’s jersey on Monday!


: We have a switch in PLC which is documented on last week’s update and this week’s bulletin.  6th grade goes on Monday and 4th grade goes on Thursday.  Use this week to continue to work on Unit 3 planning.   Some grade levels have also been using the time to read through the expectations of the first ELA performance exam.

Staff Meeting:

We will have a staff meeting this week in Rm. 2 (We will begin having staff meetings in ALL classrooms due to popular requests so be prepared to sit in small chairs.)  We will analyze some student work/task as a means of deepening our understanding of Common Core standards– WHAT WE TEACH.  Please bring your writing composition book.

Mark your calendars:

-The math benchmark will be administered the week of Nov. 4.  It will be just like past GVC benchmark assessments.  Cindy will give you a class set once they arrive.

– School Carnival will take place on Nov. 6

Time 4 Kids:

If you are a teacher that requested Time 4 Kids and are interested in accessing on-line resources, please see the email that Eunice sent you last week for info on how to do that.

PBS lesson:

We will have another school wide PBS lesson this Monday, Oct. 14 at 8:15 on Cafeteria Expectations.  Please look for the email from Chris with the power point.

CELDT testing:

CELDT whole group testing will take place this Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  This will take place during ELD so there will not be ELD on those days.  Please see the schedule that Adriana sent out and is also posted on white board in lounge.


We will soon be having a parent meeting for those families who are interested in allowing their child/ren ride bikes to school.  Our school is not located in an area that is ideal for this but the school board passed this policy last year and all schools are now expected to allow this option for students.  There will be some strict rules around this, one being that parents must attend this meeting for their child to participate.  I will send you more info after I set the date for the meeting.  If students begin to ask you about it, as they have of me, please let them know there will be bikes allowed soon, but there will first be a parent meeting.

Supt. and Asst. Supt. Visit:

Supt. McNamara and Asst. Supt. Burgess visit this Tuesday from 10-11:30.  We will be visiting primary grades (K-3) this week to observe CC ELA lessons.

Quote of the Week:

“Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.”

-Rabindranath Tagore


Weekly Update: 10/8/2013

Welcome back everyone! I truly hope you had a chance to rest and relax and enjoy time with friends and family.  I sure feel like that two weeks went by quickly!!  Here are quick updates for this week:

Flag Salute:

Please bring your trophies to the flag salute Tuesday morning.  I will be announcing “September winners”.


Chris has posted the PLC/Staff Mtg calendar for this month under “PLC Calendar” tab.  Please refer to it for a general view of this month.  For this week, please continue to work on planning around Common Core with your grade level.  This week, PLCs that typically happen on Monday, will take place on Friday.  5th grade PLC will meet on Tuesday morning 8:55-10:10 due to minimum day.

Staff Meetings:

There will be no staff meeting this week but Adriana will be meeting with those teachers who are administering the whole group CELDT.  We have a packed schedule for PD during staff meetings this month and we want to help you deeper your understanding around Common Core.  With this in mind, hopefully you will find time to “prep” on Oct. 7th, 8th, and 9th.

CELDT testing:

Adriana will be sending out a schedule to everyone regarding the dates and times of the whole group CELDT testing as it will impact everyone on those days.  Please be on the look out for this email and jot those dates, times, and details down.

Newcomer Impact teacher:

Maria Zavala, who goes by “Tessie”, spent numerous days here over Fall Break getting her classroom organized (check out Rm. 31 when you’re in that neck of the woods) and doing some preliminary planning.  The district has not set up Tessie with email just yet so please send Adriana any emails regarding the Newcomer support.  Thank you to those of you who already sent names to Adriana as requested.  Tessie will begin assessing these students to make sure that they meet the criteria and levels for this group.  Do not assume that the student names you sent Adriana will automatically be part of this group.  Within a week, we should be finalizing the schedule and students who will be receiving Newcomer support.  The schedule should be similar to last year’s with upper grade in morning and primary in the afternoon.  Tessie will also assume the role of after school Imagine Learning supervisor.  Thanks to Adriana and Chris and any other teachers who have been doing the after school Imagine Learning duty for the past several weeks.

Carnival Date:

The carnival date has been set for Wednesday, Nov. 6.  Mark your calendars- more details to come!

PLNU Art Students:

Our PLNU Art students will be returning and REALLY  appreciate your continue support for their learning.  This fall, they will teach art to our 5th and 6th grade students and also to Rm. 5 and Rm. 6 who were interested in participating as well.  The focus will be on illustrators for children’s literature.  The schedule is as follows– mark your calendars of you are a participating teacher or in 4th grade:

Thurs: Oct. 10– planning meeting with teacher at 2:30-2:40.  Please be in your rooms to receive them.

Thurs. Oct. 17th: First art lesson at 1:30-2:15.  (6th grade PLC will switch to Mon. Oct. 14th and 4th grade PLC will switch to Thursday that week.)

Tues. Oct. 29th: Second and final art lesson at 1:30-2:15.  5th grade PLC will take place on Mon. Oct. 28th and 4th grade will switch to Tues. Oct. 29th)

Thank you to 4th grade for being flexible and making two switches with your days on these weeks.

Classroom Visits:

Chris and I have set goals that are pretty ambitious, with the hope of visiting every classroom one to three times per week.  We know that this will not happen every week due to meetings, PLCs, etc but please don’t be alarmed if you see us more than once each week.  We want to support everyone and one of the ways to do this is to get into classrooms.


The 6 traits writing assembly that I confused you with last month is finally taking place on Wed. Oct. 16th.  I will send you the schedule for that day again via email.

Question for the week: please respond.

What was your favorite experience over Fall Break?

Quote of the Week:

“The more I learn, the more I realize the less I know.”