Weekly Update: 2/9/2015

Good morning! Here are the updates for our 4-day week:

6th grade Camp:

I want to say “Thank you” to our wonderful 6th grade teachers and their amazing support crew of Eunice and Adriana for making 6th grade camp happen again this year.  We are definitely seeing the effects of camp costs and a tough economy but we managed to send all but a handful of students to camp (and we offered to send them all but some parents have a tough time letting go, which is bound to happen)  and I received feedback that this group was one of our best!  Thanks!

Blue Slips:

I will be holding our Blue Slip drawings today at lunch so please remember to send your blue slips to lunch with a student.


Our PBS lesson for Monday morning will focus on Cafeteria Expectations.  Melinda Seubert has also kindly included the PBS flip chart for Gift Shop expectations as we have our Valentine’s Gift shop open this week.  I want to thank all of you for setting and reinforcing expectations for walking in the hallways as I have seen quiet lines in the hallways even when students don’t know I’m watching.  Let’s continue to set the bar high with all of our other PBS expectations.


Please continue your work in PLCs around deeply unpacking standards.  This week might also include, amongst other things, scoring of your PTAs and completing the Units of Study/Assessments survey that is on our district website under “Feedback” and was included as a link in last week’s Weekly Update.  Chris or myself will be making every effort to attend every PLC for at least a portion, if not all, of the time.  We are there to support, answer questions, ask guiding questions, and keep on track if necessary so that this precious time can be maximized effectively.  We will use your previous week’s PLC minutes to help us understand your agenda for the current week so please try to adhere to your “next steps”.  Thank you.

Classroom Visits:

Thank you to those teachers who received visits from Chris, Amy I., and Jen O. last Thursday.  I received great and positive feedback from the team as they noticed that all teachers were engaging students in critical thinking and releasing students to do more and more of the “cognitive workload”, as challenging as that may be.

On Friday, I visited just about every, single, classroom for just 5-7 minutes and was equally impressed with the level of instruction and efforts to engage students in independent reading, speaking, writing= THINKING!  I also saw more differentiated instruction than ever before in different forms: small group, advanced organizers, challenge problems, etc.

I know as educators we often don’t receive enough praise so I want to say “Thank you” for all of your efforts.

Shout Out:

I wanted to give a special “shout out” to Mike H. who generously helps out with traffic duty even when he’s not assigned to.  This past week, Mike covered traffic duty for our 6th grade teachers who were at camp because I forgot to find coverage.  He didn’t say anything, just did what he did because he is who he is– a great man.  Thanks Mike!

Question of the Week:

What ELA standard are you finding to be more confident in teaching which has come from the tough unpacking work that you did last school year?

Quote of the Week:

“What we will remember when we’re old are the things we did for others”.  -Will Rogers




15 thoughts on “Weekly Update: 2/9/2015

  1. RL 4.2 Determine the theme of a story….really dug deep last year to find text and used the text again this year to facilitate the instruction.

  2. I have been more confident with RL4.3- describe IN DEPTH a main character, event, or setting in a story. Unpacking all the things ( prior knowledge required) that lead up to this has been very helpful.

  3. The ELA units have been less daunting the second time around, that’s for sure! Right now we are in unit 5, which includes a standard about finding 2 or more main ideas in a text. I feel more adept teaching this standard the second go-around, and have more time to take it to the “next level” now that lots of the unpacking has been done already.

  4. I want to give a SHOUT OUT to Nurse Sharon for all the work SHE did in getting our kids who have health issues to camp with their forms properly filled out, etc. YOU ROCK and will most certainly be missed.

  5. TK is a new adventure for me, so my last year’s experience is more general in its effects on my current lessons. Continuing our work to unpack standards in order to more deeply understand what students need to know and need to be able to do is confidence building for for me in that we plan our lessons around that learning

  6. I think the biggest difference from this year and last is realizing where you can overlap standards and that has made it a lot easier. Right now we are in Unit 5 and working with Figurative Language (standard L.4.5) and adding it to our Narrative writing to make our writing “show” and not just “tell”. (standard w.4.3). It seems to flow a lot more naturally this year and I’m praying the same thing will happen in math next year !!! LOL 🙂

  7. W.5.2
    Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
    This standard is something that completely overlaps almost with all subjects. I have had extreme fun implementing it in my social studies and science curriculum.

  8. Unpacking and implementing/teaching are two completely different beasts!!! Last year I unpacked standards with various grade levels, but never taught the CCUS since all of my instruction was with intervention groups. My struggle is 17 years in upper grades and being back in primary. Still adjusting…

  9. Working on finding key evidence to support the main idea or character traits is becoming easier for myself and the students.

  10. I am more confident, but not 100%, in teaching (W.K.1) Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose opinion pieces.

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