Weekly Update: 8/18/2014

I hope you survived the hot weekend and found somewhere to stay cool and relax.  Here are the updates for this week:

Impact Teachers:

After my visit with Asst. Supt. Cindy Schaub last Friday, I decided to quickly go the the impact teacher interviews since I had heard that most of the candidates were interviewing Friday.  I am pleased that I did go as we were able to obtain one impact teacher who will be working in our primary grades support position.  Melina Waltl will most likely begin some prep work later this week and will be ready to begin supporting grades TK, K, 1, and 2 next Tuesday.  We are still in search of two more impact teachers.  One for our PLC rotations and one for our Newcomer groups.  To give you some perspective, our SBUSD schools need over 20 impact teachers combined and there were only 8 viable candidates from last Friday.  We have another set of interviews scheduled on Monday but as of Friday, only 2 candidates are scheduled to interview.  If you know of anyone who might be interested, please encourage them to call me or HR.  Some of our substitute teachers may not know how opportunistic this position is as all of our full time hires have been impact teachers in our district.

ILT (Instructional Leadership Team):

Our first ILT meeting will take place all day this Tuesday.  Thank you to our former members and thank you to our new members!  Tracy Rolfe will be admin. designee for the day.  Thank you Tracy!

PLCs/Grade level release time:

We are still in search of another impact teacher to complete our PLC rotations.  While we are waiting to begin PLC collaboration, please know that I have budgeted 3 release days per grade level for the year.  If you would like to take your full day or two half-day release days in the next few weeks, please check with Eunice about high impact days and then complete a P-30 and give to Eunice.  Ideally, we should we receive the p-30 one week before your requested release time.  HR has asked for us to give them one week notice.  Thank you.  Note: 2nd grade took one of their release days over summer break.  Later in the year, I will be able to determine if we have add’l funds for more release time.

Library/Computer Lab schedules:

Thank you for turning in your preferences for library and computer lab times.  I will send you the tentative schedule asap.  If you are schedule for Mondays or Fridays, please keep in mind, we will have open slots available if you should miss your time due to holidays.


There will be no staff meeting this Wednesday.  Please use this as a time for “PLC” since we might not be able to have PLCs for another couple of weeks.

Chance to Dance:

I am proud to say that we have some of the best representation in the district for Mary Murphy’s Chance to Dance program.  If you would like to join our already prestigious group of dance teachers, the first lesson is this Wednesday, Aug. 20th at 4:30p.m.  This is another great way to get students involved in active lifestyle that reaches those who may not like the standard forms of P.E.

Fire Drill:

We have a fire drill scheduled for Thursday right after 6th grade lunch recess.  Please check your red backpack ahead of time to make sure you have everything you need.  We have placed a work order for classroom numbers that hang along the east fence to be replaced, repainted–fixed!  Until then, please do your best to find the appropriate spot.  For this time, please prepare your students ahead of time about the piercing alarm that they will hear.

Classroom Visits:

Thank you for those of you who hosted our first set of classroom visits from district personnel last week.  They were very complimentary on the number of teachers who are taking risks around CC Math as well as those ILC/new Chromebook teachers who are jumping in and trying to engage students through Chromebook use.

SBUSD Board Visit:

We will have our first visit from Exec. Team and SBUSD Board Members on Thursday, Aug. 28th from 8:30-10:30.  They would like to visit every classroom for a quick pop-in.  To accomplish this in 2 hours, they plan to break into 2 groups which means you will NOT have a group of 10 people walk in to your classroom at the same time.  I will bring one group around and Chris will escort the other group.  The purpose of this visit is simply to say “hello” to you and the students.

We know that this is Picture Day for primary grades and will work around that schedule.

Dismissal Procedures and Sub Plans:

As some of you may know, we had a first grader missing for some time after school last Thursday.  Fortunately, he was found safe and sound.  Unfortunately, the guest teacher released him to someone who waved at him thinking it was his mother/family member and allowed him to exit the room.  This was simply unfortunate but gave us an opportunity to reflect on “What can we do that might prevent this from happening again?”.  If you do not have this already in your sub plans template, please include a passage about explicit details of your dismissal routines and also make note if you have any students that you feel might need a guest teacher to pay “special attention” to around dismissal time (or any time for that matter), please note that as well.

Fall Fundraiser:

Please remember to “hype” the Fall Fundraiser that begins this week.  All proceeds to our PTA and back to the students.  We will also be sending PTA membership info and envelopes out soon.  Students who have families who join will receive another free homework pass and special rock and roll recess.

Question of the Week:

Please share one website or resource that you have found to be very helpful in your planning and/or instruction.

Quote of the Week:

“Failure is the only opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” – Henry Ford




16 thoughts on “Weekly Update: 8/18/2014

  1. CNN Student News – we watch, they take notes to remember the stories, I clarify, they make a post on Edmodo about what resonated with them, then reply respectfully to 3 other posts, then we partner talk about what the trends were that day. Speaking, listening, reading, writing, technology.

  2. The “Number Talks” book and DVD that Jil bought for us to use as a math CC resource. Teresa has it available for check out. The DVD has some great math lessons that I know I will do in my classroom.

  3. In English Language Arts I still use the toolkit a lot and like “Texts and Lessons” by Harvey “Smokey” Daniels and Nancy Steineke. The strategies are awesome and the texts are very engaging and discuss present day issues. In Math I learned about the book “Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics” Developmentally Appropriate Instruction for Grades 3-5 (Pearson Prof. Dev.) 2nd Edition. I was actually going to ask Jill if she might get it for the library so I wouldn’t have to buy it. Pretty cool book and a great common core math resource.

  4. Wonderopolis.com gives me an array of topics related to every subject. I use the videos to introduce my focus of learning and then build up from there to accommodate many of the Common Core standards for speaking and student collaboration.

  5. My students and I have really enjoyed using Wonderopolis. These are great articles that I have used for my ELD block as well. I also like readwritethink.org.

  6. slideshare.net has powerpoint presentations on almost anything you can imagine. You can download and save, then convert to whatever format you would like (Googleslides or Active Inspire).

  7. For the past two years, I’ve enjoyed connecting with my students on Edmodo. Edmodo is my technology “HUB”. Parents and students know that Tuesday is “Techie Tuesday” homework night!
    On this website I link new and favorite websites for students to explore. I first begin with asking/answering questions, then move into embedding websites such as: IXL, Wonderopolis, Newsela and more! ……….:)

    Edmodo is a wonderful collaborative tool for teachers but more importantly for students to gain authentic practice keyboarding and communicating online.

  8. In the past I’ve used Brain Pop and plan on using it again. I have also found that Pinterest sparks ideas for my teaching.

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