Weekly Update: 11/18/2013

One week before a much-deserved break, here are a few updates:


This week is our PBS is on Library Expectations.  Please make sure to use Monday morning to review this.


This week please continue to work on Unit 4 planning and/or discussing and scoring PTA.  When we return from break, your class will be at a new rotation. (PE, Tech, Science).

Emory Golden Eagle awards:

Gr. 3-6 go on Monday.  Gr. 1-2 go on Wednesday.  We will be honoring 5 and 10 week winners.

Monday traffic:

We have received news that Coronado Blvd. will be repaved Monday.  It is supposed to open to traffic needing to get into our parking lot but no guarantees.  We will keep an eye on this during the day to see if we need to find alternate routes for dismissal.

Classroom visits:

We will have Amy Illingworth visiting classrooms with Chris on Tuesday morning to support Common Core as well as Chris’ coaching expectations.  On Wednesday, Shelley Burgess will have a group of 7 employees from Ramona school district visiting us from 10-12.  Our district is beginning to get some notoriety since we are one of the districts that is leading the way with Common Core.  For this reason, other districts are showing interest in visiting to learn more.

Teacher/Certificated Employee of the Year:

Miliedee will take the lead on our Emp. of Year committee and has already placed a nomination form in your cubbies.  There is a very short timeline for this from our district.  We must have your nominations by this week as we are to announce the winner when we return from break.   Please find a little time this week to write something up for one of your deserving colleagues and turn it in to Eunice.

Question of the Week:

What are your plans for your upcoming week off?

Quote of the Week:

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” — May Smith


Weekly Update: 11/11/2013

Here are the updates for our 4 day week:

Busy Week:

I wanted to let you know that I will be off campus for much of this week.  My son leaves for 6th grade camp so I will be just a few minutes late on Tuesday as I will be seeing him off at 8:15.  On Wednesday, I will be at SWTA working together until 1ish.  On Thursday, I have Principal/Coaches meeting.  On Friday, I will be with upper grade at writing PD until mid-day.  This is not typical and please know that I prefer to be on campus with all of you.


We have only one change this week.  1st and 4th grade will have PLC on Friday due to Monday holiday.  Same time as usual, just a different day.

If you haven’t already, you might want to begin looking at Unit 4 as most grade levels should be near completion of Unit 3.  You might also want to discuss report cards and come to some consensus on how you will be  completing report cards for this term.  Remember, report cards are a way to communicate to parents how their child is progressing.  In the narrative portion of the report card, I highly recommend that you begin with at least one positive statement about what the student CAN do well.  Everyone should be able to find a strength in each child.  Below is an email from Amy Illingworth regarding report cards:

Report cards can now be started by teachers in Data Director.

  • At the end of the day on Friday, November 15, our office will provide attendance information to Data Director to populate the report card.  This is the only information that has a “cut off” of November 15th.  Data Director will respond in 1-3 business to let us know when this is complete (this should happen on or before November 20). Once we have notice from DD, Barb will forward that information to you and report cards can then be printed.
  • All other information can be inputted up until they are printed.  This includes grades and comments. Any deadlines for entering this information would be made at the site level.
  • Report cards are to be sent out on Friday, November 22.
  • As a reminder, the Performance Task scores will not be filled out for Trimester 1—this means that they will be blank on the report cards, and do not have to be entered by teachers.

Staff Meeting:

There will be no staff meeting this week but I highly encourage you to meet with your grade level to continue planning around Unit 3 or 4 and/or to continue discussion around report card expectations and/or to take some time to look at online resources together.

Writing PD:

We will have upper grade (3-6) Writing PD this Friday from 8-10:45 in conference Rm. 4 at the district office (same place as last year).


Please make sure you get P-30 requests into Eunice AT LEAST two weeks ahead of time if you are going to be out for a release day of some sort.  It is becoming challenging to process these in a timely manner for Eunice as well as at the district office level if they are coming in at the last minute and it jeopardizes your chances of finding a guest teacher (sub).


I may have mentioned this site already, but here is another great resource for Common Core.  http://achievethecore.org/  This site allows you to sign up as a teacher and choose a specific subject area and grade level.  It has writing samples, sample lessons, assessment questions, etc.  It also has resources for parents.  Check it out.

Question for the Week:

Have you found something that you feel could be useful to send home to parents with the report cards to give them a little more info about the shift to Common Core?  Please share with us.

Quote of the Week:

“Believe you can and you’re halfway of there.”- Theodore Roosevelt.



Weekly Update: 11/4/2013

Welcome to November! Here are the updates:

Attendance Awards:

Please bring trophies to the black top this morning for October attendance awards announcements.


Today’s lesson for PBS will be part 3 on Bullying.  This is a pervasive issue on school campuses everywhere so please take the time to discuss with your classroom and continue to encourage the idea of being an Upstander.


Please continue to focus your time around Units of Study.  Though there is no real pacing guide, you should be trying your best to stay around the recommended days/weeks for each Unit of Study.  If so, there should only be a couple more weeks of Unit 3 for most grade levels.  To make the most of your time, every grade level team should be communicating ahead of time about your specific agenda for the upcoming PLC which will allow to you to be most productive when you walk into collaboration time.

Grade level release time:

Since our Writing Consultants cost was a little less than first proposed, I can now use this money for more grade level release time.  At this time, I am offering each grade level one 1/2 day for additional planning around Units of Study.  This time cannot be used to do report cards or other important items, it must be used around Units of Study as all of “grade level release time” is written in our Site Plan to be used around deeper work around Units of Study.  If your grade level is intersted, please see Eunice to make sure the day that you have in mind is available.

No Staff Meeting:

There will be no staff meeting this week as we will have our Fall Carnival.

Fall Carnival:

Shelly has requested that everyone come to the cafeteria after school on Tuesday to pick up your booth items.  I will be making a connect ed tonight to encourage parents to help out with booths, set up, break down, and donations.   Please do the same in your weekly letters.

Certificated Employee of the Year:

Late last week we were requested to begin the quick process of selecting our Emp. of the Year Selection Committee.  These are the staff members that will read nominations and select the employee of the year.  Late Friday, nominations were placed in your cubby.  Please take a couple of quick moments to read it and write your names down and turn into Eunice.  I encourage you to do this while you are still in the lounge so you can get it done right away.  It is due to Eunice this Thursday.

Writing PD change of venue:

We have moved the upper grades writing PD for Nov. 15 (Gr. 3-6) to Conf. Room 4 at the district office because we will have PLCs (first and fourth grades) on that day since Nov. 11 is a holiday.


At last week’s staff meeting around Close reading, I shared with you another resource, Educreations, in which you can create your own lesson or view some from other teachers.  Another resource that I have been hearing about quite often is Khan Academy.  This online teaching website was created by Sal Kahn and has many teaching videos/tutorials for grades 3 and up though as I watched a couple of third grade tutorials and saw the topics, I think lower grades could use some of them too.  I have found the math tutorials to be particularly worthy but there are other subjects as well.  www.khanacademy.org will take you to an initial screen where you can sign in as a teacher or a student.  Students can take a pre-test and begin their own cycle of learning.  This might be a great resource for you to recommend to parents who are requesting tutoring in math.  For teachers, it provides you with step by step videos on teaching a variety of skills.  The math videos I have watched go the conceptual understanding level which is huge with Common Core math.  Once you have signed in, go to the “learn” tab in far left corner and it will give you choices on subject matter and then grade level.

Quote of the Week:

“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.”

-Peggy O’Mara