Weekly Update: 4/14/2014

Here are the updates for this week:


PLC’s are back to normal this week with regular days and times.  ILT leads, please help facilitate the guidelines for unpacking standards which will help each team member be involved in processing the standards and having a voice.


Testing the test begins this week with 3rd grade.  3rd grade teachers, please see Chris’ email sent to you on Saturday night regarding student labels.  Amy I., Chris, and I will be coming around in the morning to 3rd grade classrooms to see how it is going and support teachers.  Please let us know what’s working and what needs refinement.  Amy and her dept. will be sending info to the testing headquarters as requested.  Please follow guidelines for expected times for each section.  You probably should not be spending more than 1.2-2 hrs on each section.  If a student is not finished, that student is probably “checked out” at this point.

SST day:

Monday is our first yellow folder day for our primary teachers.  Please bring your yellow folders to Rm. 1 when the roving sub arrives to your classroom.  If Tracy was not able to fit you into the schedule for Monday, don’t worry, we will find some time in near future to meet with you and we will be having more sst days before the end of school.

Classroom visits:

Shelley Burgess will visit Tuesday, April 15th from 8-11a.m.  She may also want to pop into 3rd grade to see how CAASPP testing is going.

The SBUSD Board of Trustees and EXec. Team will be visiting on Friday, April 25th from 10-12ish.  We will probably only have time to visit 5-6 classrooms at most.  They would like to see how the district goals (see here) are being implemented in classrooms  and they would also like to peek into a CAASPP testing room.


Reminder that there is NO ELD for 3rd grade this week and NO PBS this week.  All other grades will have ELD this week Tuesday-Friday.

Foundation Dinner and Dance Basket:

Our annual Stars Under the Stars event is coming soon and each school is responsible for putting a basket together.  This basket needs to be ready by May 1st.  Maria Hopkins and Cindy have generously offered to put it together but we need your donations of $.  If each staff member could donate a small amount of $ then we would be able to create one of the best baskets at the event! Remember, all proceeds from this event go right back to the students!  Eunice will have an envelope in the office for donations.

Transitional Kindergarten:

I was informed last Friday that they will be opening a TK classroom at Emory for next school year.  We will host all TK students from Mendoza, Berry, and Emory.  We just sent in enrollment numbers to the district and I will be meeting with Kim Phifer soon to discuss projected classrooms and profiles.  Our numbers are lower than last year and I anticipate that she will recommend a number of combination classrooms.  I have not given any thought to teaching assignments at this point.  I always wait until I meet with Kim and voluntary site assignments are distributed and collected.

Box Tops:

Dana will send students around on Tuesday to collect and Phylis will be here on Wednesday to collect.  Please remind your students to bring them in on Monday.


March attendance winners will be announced on Monday.

Blue Slips:

I will do Blue Slip drawings on Monday during lunch.  Please send a student with your blue slip bin to lunch on Monday.

Question of the Week:

With anything new, anxiety often follows but in thinking about Common Core Math, what excites you?

Quote of the Week:

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — Norman MacEwan




18 thoughts on “Weekly Update: 4/14/2014

  1. Shift away from mile wide and an inch deep–exploration, hands on, problem solving, acceptance of failure as learning opportunity, developing a passion for persevering to discover solutions.

  2. Exploratory problem solving. I like the idea of allowing students to figure out how to approach a problem and giving them the chance to do so before discussing what works, what doesn’t, and what possible take-aways they have from the experience.

  3. I like the idea of going slower and moving at a pace where true deeper understanding can take place. Instead of just lightly covering everything.

  4. Ditto. I agree with the above. I also wonder if teachers will feel more ownership of the instruction as we do with CCSS L.A. due to unpacking the standards and designing some of the instruction ourselves.

  5. I think giving the students more of a chance to figure out the problem on their own first sounds great. I like the idea of covering less, but getting deeper into it also.

  6. Having the time to teach math concepts at a much deeper level so the students actually walk away understanding them not just exposed to them.

  7. Learning more strategies to continue to empower students to be THINKERS….To be able to guide them to apply this knowledge into their daily lives.

  8. Getting students to enjoy math. When they really work/struggle and achieve learning on their own terms, I think they’ll be proud of themselves and see that math can be a strength for them.

  9. The Commom Core’s SMPs “stress the relevance and importance of persevering in solving a problem and learning from mistakes” so I think the students and teachers will excel .

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