Weekly Update: 2/2/2015

Happy Groundhog Day! Here are the updates for this week, which might be a little quieter without those noisy 6th grade teachers! I mean students…. 🙂


Please make sure to review Restroom Expectations and reinforce these when you are near the student restrooms, on duty, etc.  The more specific feedback we give to ALL students around our expectations, the better!


Please carefully read Adriana’s email around adjustments to ELD this week while our 6th graders are at camp.  It was sent out twice last week.

Box Tops flier:

Our wonderful retired teacher, Phyllis, is now trying something new to motivate students to bring in Box Tops, which bring us MONEY for doing next to nothing, except promoting this as teachers, and students using their scissors at home once in a while.  On Monday, a flier is going home to inform everyone that we will be giving one $20 gift card to a deserving student via an opportunity drawing which will take place in June.  Any student who brings in 25 Box Tops in one month will have their name submitted into this drawing.  So, if a student brings in 25 Box Tops every month, this means that their name will be in the drawing “hat” 5 times, thus increasing their chances to win!  Please announce this to your students as this is something new, AND remind them to put their name and room number on their Box Tops baggie, paper, envelope, etc.


This week you might want to have the following on your PLC agenda or a mix of the following:

-Unpack standards

-Examine and score student work from recent PTAs.

-Take 10 minutes to share info with your team if you recently attended a Grade Level Lead meeting.

-Take just a few minutes to complete survey, via “feedback” link, found here, regarding the benchmark assessments as this is a great way to give your feedback.  Remember, your feedback can also be positive if there are aspects of the PTAs that you appreciate.  Please be as specific as possible with any issues or concerns that you may have.  Instead of saying “It’s too long”, you could say “Part 2 of the PTA is too long in that my students are struggling to complete it in a timely fashion.” Or you might say, “The pacing for Unit ____ seems to be too quick because ________”.  Practice what we expect from our students: use arguments supported with specific evidence.  Thanks!

Please make sure to honor your “next steps” from your prior meeting so all team members are on the same page.  We want to avoid one teacher bringing what he/she thought was expected while other team members forget to bring the same items listed on the “next steps” from the previous week’s PLC minutes.

Classroom Visits:

Amy Illingworth and Jen Oliveira from Ed Services will be visiting on Thursday from 8-10:30a.m. to join Chris in classrooms and possibly in PLC.  This is an opportunity for those of us who visit classrooms to make sure we are aligned and calibrated in our thinking around district expectations for instruction.

Principal Round Table:

We had a heated and healthy discussion around issues brought up in Principal Round Table.  I don’t know that we landed on a solution for taking care of our lounge but I can tell you that I communicated the concerns to all staff on our campus: Classified, Extended Learning, etc.  Now, it’s up to us to clean up after ourselves.  One of the issues comes from celebrations that we occasionally have in the lounge where individuals might bring items to share, but use our lounge dishware to hold the food items.  If you borrow dishware, please remember it is still your responsibility to wash this at the end of the day.

As for being responsible with regards to your professional duties such as recess duty, picking up students on time, etc., I am committed to having these conversations with individuals when I see it, but also encourage you to have these tough conversations directly with your colleagues when you encounter an issue.  I know this is tough, but so much more effective than ignoring it and becoming resentful.  Also, if one of your colleagues does approach you to address an issue, please think about how you react as this has huge future implications for the culture of collaboration that is necessary both in and out of the classroom.  We need to have a growth mindset about our own behavior and how we react when someone is courageous enough to confront us with a delicate conversation.

Blue Slips:

We will have our next Blue Slip drawing during lunch time on Feb. 9th.  Please make a note in your plan book, schedule, white board, etc. to send blue slips to lunch next Monday.

Question of the Week:

What were the highlights of your Super Bowl Sunday? And if you could care less about Super Bowl Sunday, like my husband, how did you spend your day with our beautiful So Cal weather?

Quote of the Week:

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.”  -Sally Koch


16 thoughts on “Weekly Update: 2/2/2015

  1. Nursing myself back to health–at least trying to do so –and working with Karina,who was feeling sicker than I, in our classroom preparing for this week.

  2. My daughter had a volleyball game, and I didn’t care about the teams this year so the Superbowl just didn’t have the same appeal………..

  3. Worked out and got in a 6 mile walk…..then watched every minute of the game while putting together Math Lesson flipcharts…..

  4. Enjoyed the beautiful weather in my backyard…Outdoor yoga, shooting some hoops with my husband & son, cutting LOTS of lemons from my trees…(I’ll bring some tomorrow)

  5. I spent the morning with my wife, my oldest son and his wife having brunch in the East Village area. Then I corrected schoolwork for most of the superbowl, looking up when my wife commented on either a great play or a great commercial.

  6. went to the beach in the morning and broke my my ‘super bowl ‘ thong, funny thing though, all the tourists starting running into the water…

  7. I made a yummy New England seafood stew to honor Bill’s NE roots while watching the Super Bowl. Good game! Think I heard my sister yelling then crying all the way from Seattle where she lives…

  8. I went to my classroom in the morning to leave lesson plans for today’s sub. Then I went home to be with family and watch the game!

  9. Entertained friends and family in the new house !! 🙂 Celebrated January birthdays and danced during the half time show with my little ones during the Katy Perry performance. Good weekend and looking forward to our short week next week. Loving our new home and the fact that people are now visiting us instead of driving to visit others.

  10. I cooked and occasionally peaked into the game. I made sure to watch the half time show, but I wasn’t too impressed. Other than that, I had a nice morning read on grammar and enjoyed reading the newspaper and a great cup of java in Kensington.

  11. Couldn’t care less about the game, but had fun with the pool (thanks, C.A.) and loved the commercials this year. Had Loren’s dad, bro and sis (the OTHER Mrs. Tomlinson) over to watch the game.

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