Weekly Update: August 10, 2015

Thank you for a great start to our new school year. It was nice to visit your classrooms this week. Our families are lucky to have you working hard for our students.

Classroom Visits:

Sorry to those of you that I missed this visiting this week. Chris and I saw students talking to their “elbow”, “cookie and cream”, “s’more’s”  etc partner in many of your classrooms. It is evident that you have been practicing this routine and providing sentence frames/starters. I appreciated seeing your frequent checks for understanding: thumbs up, white boards, moving through the room etc. By the end of our second week, you have created environments where students are respected, show respect and understand our expectations. I saw students who were engaged in the learning and having fun. I hope you were, too.

I will be out in classrooms (and observing lunch and dismissal) on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday next week. I will be spending time getting to know our tk/kinder students and plan to visit all classrooms that I missed this week. I hope to pop into all classrooms for at least a brief visit. I do not plan to send you an email if I just pop in, please email me or find me if you would like me to provide feedback.

Thank you for, once again, making me proud to be the Principal for Emory.

CyberSmarts Week:

Please remember that the District-wide “CyberSmarts Week,”  is scheduled to be a focus by all teachers in South Bay USD classrooms during the week of August 24 – 28, 2015. Click the following links for your Teacher Agenda and an Overview of Cybersmarts Week for more detailed information. Please take some time to review your grade level content at the posted CyberSmarts agenda website at http://tinyurl.com/becybersmart  for your classroom instructional planning.

Chromebook Resources:

Full disclosure– I found this at Twitter…I know that some are great, however, use at your own risk 🙂


Positive Behavior Supports:

Thank you for teaching, practicing and reinforcing our school-wide expectations. Primary teachers, please spend a few minutes each day reminding students to keep hands and feet to themselves. All teachers, please remind students of the power of their words and to use kind language when speaking to friends. Please continue to follow the PBS expectation schedule and devote time toward setting the stage for a successful year.

Primary Resources-funny video about listening,  funny video about following directions (optional- show if works for you 🙂

Goal Setting Meeting with Jenn:

Thank you to those of you who I have met with already, please remember to contact Eunice to schedule a meeting with me to help me learn about your strengths and areas where you would like to grow this school year. I would like to meet with each of you for 10-15 minutes before August 31. During this meeting, I would like you to share with me an area of professional strength as well as an area where you would like to grow in your teaching practice.

Back to School Nights:

Thank you upper grade teachers for hosting a great evening for our families. We have our “Back to School Night” this Wed. Aug. 12  for grades 1-3.

Old School Meets New School:

Thank you to RoseAnn, Daishanna, Cindy and her volunteer crew, Eunice as well as Daishana’s dad for providing us with a great opportunity to socialize. Please enjoy the flipgram that RoseAnn created.


Our first Instructional Leadership Team meeting of the school year was Thursday, August 6th. Thank you ILT for creating sub plans, engaging in the learning and participating in honest conversations. Thanks to everyone else for watching our students and keeping the ship afloat in our absence.

A focus for the district this year is improving our wellness. Whether reducing stress, promoting resilience or increasing happiness, we will be talking about how we can be our healthiest, happiest selves, so that we are able to give our students and our own families and friends our best.

At ILT we practiced Mindful Breathing. Click here if you would like to try this yourself or with your students.

If you’re interested in reviewing all that we did, click here to see the ILT presentation. Image credit to RoseAnn on slide 7.

PTA, Box Tops for Kids, Labels for Education:

I know that you have a lot of your plates as you work to meet the needs of our students, however, I urge you to remind your students and families to sign up for PTA. Please also encourage students (you can do it, too) to collect box tops and labels for education. You should have envelopes in your classrooms and Cindy created boxes for the auditorium.

Epi Pen training:

Reminder: Epipen Training Wednesday, August 12 at 1:40 in lounge. Our new nurse, Timea Wegener emailed you directly if you have a student in your class with an epipen. Feel free to drop by if you would also like to be trained or to meet our new nurse.

Question of the Week:

“What is a strategy that has worked for you to support English Learners in your classroom?”

Quote of the Week:

“Every child deserves a champion; an adult who never gives up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the best they possibly can be” -Rita Pierson

Bonus Image:


15 thoughts on “Weekly Update: August 10, 2015

  1. A few strategies that I have used to support English Learners are making lessons visual by using graphic organizers, photos, charts, etc… these are great scaffolding tools. I also try to tap into my students’ prior knowledge and ask them to share their own experiences and ideas on the content being addressed so they can make connections. I also like using “think alouds” where I can model for them my thought process while I read a text or solve a problem.

  2. I have tried a variety of strategies with my ELL’s. One strategy that I have found to be valuable is using sentence starters on sentence strips. I have integrated videos and images in my lessons in order for my students better understand what is being taught. I have also found that having students read,write and speak the English language on a daily basis to be effective.

  3. I have been digging deep into my BCLAD resources to provide scaffolding and differentiation for my students who are bilingual or in the process of learning English. We discuss cognates quite a bit, I handed out Spanish/English dictionaries to specific students, I include visuals in my lessons whenever possible, and have also been translating graphic organizers and mentor text into Spanish. As the year progresses, I will alter/remove some of these scaffolds. It’s amazing how quickly children can pick up a second language! I am still very much a work-in-progress with my Spanish… :0)

  4. music, games, TPR, lines of communication, visuals, flipped classroom using Google classroom, sentence frames, Marzano vocabulary strategies, GLAD strategies, text coding, sketching through the text, wait time, steps, to name a few….try to mix it up so we can keep the party going 🙂 LOL

    Also I put all of my ELD kids on colored sticks according to CELDT levels so when I ask kids questions I challenge them at their level and so I am aware of CELDT scores daily (red questions,yellow questions and green)

  5. music, games, TPR, Marzano vocabulary strategies, GLAD strategies, flipped classroom using chromes, visuals, videos, lines of communication, talking stick, summarize in writing, sentence frames, steps, thinking aloud and asking kids to sum up….to name a few..try to mix it up so we can keep the party going..LOL 🙂

    I also put my ELD students on colored sticks according to CELDT levels to ensure I am asking challenge questions at their level and thinking about CELDT levels daily.

  6. I scaffold my instruction and give kids plenty of opportunity to practice oral language. Sentence frames/structures are provided if needed.

  7. let them know they can answer questions in English or Spanish, and encouraging them to laugh at me when I try and speak Spanish

  8. I do my best to scaffold, even for my kiddos. Frontload some challenging content specific vocabulary and use pictures, videos etc. whenever possible and a variety of foldables for note-taking.

  9. Wow, many great strategies have already been mentioned that I also try my best to integrate in my instructions such as: incorporating powerful and interesting videos, visuals, sentence frames, sketching opportunities………..the students are enjoying lines of communication and having clock appointment partners… they love the music integration..:)
    ……..I have found that the key is to provide my ELL’s with lots of SAFE opportunities to speak and write….take risks when sharing!……

    I like what Dave E. wrote…..”constant caring review.” 🙂

  10. I use visuals in my lessons as well as sentences frames, movement and quick check ins for clarification. I have also partnered ELLs with a more advanced ELL to help them with translation.

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