Weekly Update: 12/16/2013

We are 5 days away from vacation!  Here are the updates for this week:


We have PLCs this week.  Please continue to unpack standards like we practiced in staff meeting last week.  You might also want to use this time to take the PTA survey found in the Units of Study link on our district website or here.  You may also be using this time to score your recent PTA or look at an upcoming one.

In January, please mark your calendars for the following PLC changes for our first week back:

Tuesday, Jan. 14- 5th gr. PLC at 8:55-10:10 (due to minimum day) and 2nd grade at regular time at 10:25.

Friday, Jan. 17 and Friday Jan. 24th- 1st and 4th grade has PLCs due to Mondays with no school.

Writing PD:

Our next upper grade writing PD will take place on Jan. 22nd in Rm. 21.`

If you are interested in receiving some additional support in planning around writing, Ana Reyes (primary) and Barbara Montfort (upper) are available and eager to help in any way they can.  Ana recently did a series of lessons for our Kinder teachers and Barbara recently met with some upper grade teachers at Berry and helped plan some writing lessons which they found helpful.  They wanted me to let you know that they have some free time available on Monday, Jan. 13th.  (your planning day).  We will meet for the first hour of the day as a staff but afterwards, you will have the rest of the day to plan with your team.  Hurry and book some time with either Ana or Barb as they are both available but their schedule is filling quickly.

Popcorn and Reading:

This week would be a great week for attendance winners to book their reading time with me.  Please email me to schedule a time.

Question of the Week:

What are your plans for the Winter break?

Quote of the Week:

“Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are changing the future.”  Steven Jobs


Weekly Update: 12/9/2013

Good morning, here are the updates for this week:


This week we will focus on Conflict Resolution and next week students will learn about proper behavior in holiday gift shops.


Please continue your work around Unit 4 and possibly Unit 5 for those of you that are looking ahead.  PLC’s will continue through the Dec. 19th.

Staff Meeting:

Last meeting’s staff meeting has been rescheduled for this Wednesday in Rm. 26.   Please bring your writing composition book and Unit of Study packet for UNIT 5.


Please make sure to read email from Adriana last week regarding ELD and Imagine Learning schedule for the next 2 weeks.

Classroom Visits:

Shelley Burgess and 3 of my principal colleagues will be visiting this Thursday to assess our implementation of CC and to discuss our own understanding of CC implementation.

Chris and I will continue to visit classrooms this week with an effort to visit to during your writing times last week.  We are using the schedule that you provided us.  Please remember, fluency writing/power writing should not constitute all of your writing block.  If you are experimenting with writer’s workshop, please let us know so we can visit.

Primary Writing PD:

K-2 Writing PD will take place this Friday in Rm. 21 from 8:00-10:50.  Please bring 5-10 books/mentor text per grade level around your current writing genre/text type.  This might include your Science or Soc. Studies books if you might be using them to teach a specific topic from them.

Employees of the Year:

Another huge “Congratulations” to our deserving employees of the year, Eunice and Rebecca!!  Mark your calendars as they will be honored at the Board Meeting taking place on Feb. 27th.

Congratulations to K.C. and our Emory Flag Football Team:

Our boys won District championship this past Saturday 28-12 and will be playing for the City championship this upcoming weekend.  See K.C. for details.

Book Fair, Canned Food Drive, Holiday Gift Shop:

Please continue to “publicize” these events to your students and parents.

Quote of the Week:

“Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.”-Carl Jung



Weekly Update: 12/2/2013

Welcome back.  I hope you had a great week off and had time to re-energize and reconnect with family and friends- and hopefully eat some yummy food too!!  Here are our weekly updates:


Chris sent our latest powerpoint, revisiting school-wide expectations.  Please make sure to use the first 30 minutes of your classtime tomorrow reviewing this with your students.


Please continue to work with your team on planning around Unit 4.  You might also choose to use a few minutes to take the PTA (performance task) survey for your grade level, score the assessment (if your grade level just gave the assessment), or look at recently sent “Source Sets” that are now included in your Unit 4 thanks to our hard working Educational Services team (Amy Illingworth has recently been sending each grade level an email with more info).

Staff Meeting:

We will meet in Rm. 26 this week and we will be doing some work around breaking down the standards.  We did this recently at our ILT meeting and your ILT colleagues felt that it was extremely valuable and asked that we do this as a whole staff.  You will be sitting in grade level groups at the staff meeting.  Thank you in advance to Mike for hosting.

Writing PD:

Chris and I will be making an effort in the next few weeks to visit you during your writing block so we can help support you and ascertain next steps for future Writing PD.  Reminder to primary teachers: next PD will be Friday, Dec. 13th in Rm. 21.  Please email me asap if there is anything specific you would like them to address.

Science Shed:

Thank you to Dana and Board Member Ellsworth for working on our Science shed over break.  It still needs some work but feel free to peek inside, your classroom key opens the lock now, and/or ask Dana about items that we still need.


I know we have all been extremely busy but if you are interested in having your students help in giving some TLC to our garden, please let me know.  It still looks good but is not as full as it was at the beginning of the year.  You can also email Angelica Goulding as she might have an idea about next steps.  I am more than willing to create a schedule for weeding and watering if you are interested.

Bicycle Update:

Monday, Dec. 2nd will be the first day that students who have signed permission slips can ride their bicycles to school.  I am also allowing scooters but only if they can be locked up.  Parents who attended our meeting and who have signed the permission slip are well aware that we are NOT responsible for the bikes and scooters while they are on our campus and that there will be no supervision dedicated to the bicycle rack area.  If students ask you about how they can begin to ride their bikes to school, please send them to the office for the permission slip.  Bicyles and scooters are expected to have a special sticker that we distributed and I will be checking the area to make sure that all of them have the stickers.  We will NOT open the gate near Rm. 15 after school.  This means that those who bring their bicycles or scooters to school are expected to WALK their bike/scooter to the front of the school and exit at the front and not mount the bike until they are down the street.  I appreciate your help in letting me know if you see a student who is on their bike or scooter in our hallways or blacktop as their priveleges will be revoked after one warning.

Ramona Visitors:

We had a really positive visit from our friends from Ramona.  They were really impressed with the way we are beginning to address Common Core expectations.  Most of the visitors were teachers and spent most of their time in classrooms looking at charts posted on walls and looking at what students were doing.  They were taking it all in, using ipads and phones to take pictures of great ideas and at the end they told me their brains were full with all of the great ideas that they saw.  Thanks to those teachers whose rooms we visited and thank you to all of your for being ready and willing to open up your rooms to them.  On Thursday, Dec. 12th, my principal peer team and Shelley Burgess will visit Emory from 10-12 to observe classrooms and callibrate our understandings around Common Core expectations.

Question of the Week:

What is one new thing you have tried around instruction this year for which you are proud? Why?

Quote of the Week:

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.  Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”  – Henry Ford