Weekly Update: August 31, 2015

Stay Cool! Literally and figuratively.

Legoland FREE Admission for Teachers:

2015 – 2016: Saturdays and Sundays: Sep. 5 – 27, Nov. 7 – 22, Jan. 2 – 17, Mar. 5 – 13, Apr. 30; May 1, May 7 – 15. Valid for K-12 California classroom teachers. Reservations and advance tickets required. Full day Park admission. Family and Friends $52. Call (760) 438-LEGO.

School Day and Minimum Day PLC:
I am excited to confirm that we will (FINALLY) begin our collaboration during the school day. To accommodate our district sub schedule, this week’s schedule is different than what we will use for the year. Click here to see the schedule for this week ONLY. Please have rich conversations with your colleagues about the upcoming units of study or student outcomes/assessment from the first five weeks of school. Additionally, we have PLC time this Wednesday, September 2nd. Please email me the location where your team will meet and submit minutes/notes from your PLC to the binder (or via google docs) in room 23 within 24 hours of your team PLC time. One document for both Wed afternoon and your time during the week will suffice.
Thanks to Chris for working so hard to learn about and organize what is best for our students learning English. The links to your homeroom and ELD rosters are below.  Chris finalized your rosters Friday afternoon. Please review them and let him know of any changes so that we are ready to go on Tuesday, September 1. Send your students to their ELD rotation betwen 8:10 and 8:12 so that they arrive and are ready to go by 8:15. Please release students at 8:55 and expect them to be back in their home room classes, ready to learn by 9:00 Third grade, I will connect with you on Monday to discuss the specific student moves as things are a bit crazy for your kiddos. 

Rotation rosters

Homeroom rosters

If you have have a group of English Learners, and have not already done so, please see Teresa to obtain your assigned SELD Unit Assignments.

We will be in the halls on Tuesday morning assisting students as they transition to their ELD group. Thanks to all of you for your patience and support!

Student Concerns/Yellow Folders:

If you have concerns about your students (academic, behavior, language development etc) please sure to connect with our specialist team (Tracy, Lindsay, Laura, Rorie) to hear about strategies to support your student and/or to obtain a yellow folder to begin collecting data.

Classroom Visits:

Sorry for not making it to some of your classrooms this week. It is my goal to be in your classroom each week and this week a shortage of subs (both certificated and classified) prevented this. At our ILT/PBS meeting, this week (thanks to those who attended!!), I was asked what I am looking for when I am in your classrooms. At this point, I am trying to get to know who each of you is, who our students are, what we know and what makes us great. I am so proud to be here at Emory with you. Our students are thinking about and discussing their ideas with their peers, writing- on white boards, in journals and on chromebooks, all while mastering the ELD and Common Core Standards. I appreciate that you post objectives as it is helps our students connect their learning and provides me with a tool to use on a brief visit to “see” where you are. This week I will be at the district office from 8:30-4:00 on Wednesday and Thursday, therefore, I will only be able to visit your classrooms briefly. I will join Amy Illingworth, Michelle Syverson and Chris on Monday (midday) and hope to spend all of Friday with you and the students. Additionally, Dr. McNamara will be on campus Tuesday afternoon to visit with me in the office.


Some of you have been interested in learning more about Remind. It is a free tool to use to communicate with your families via text message. Feel free to check it out if you are interested. remind.com

Student Council:

Thanks to Angela and Angelica for coordinating our Emory Student Council. Elections for students in grades 4-6 grade classrooms will be the week of Aug 31-Sept 4 (forms due to Ms. Muniz by Tuesday, Sept 8). We are looking for 2 students from each class – one boy and one girl. The first Student Council meeting is THURSDAY, SEPT 10 in Rm. 18 during upper grade recess (10:10-10:25).

Box Tops:

Thank you for encouraging your students and families to submit box tops and to Erin and her students for collecting and remitting them to our retired teacher Phyllis. We will make $250!!! Our next collection date will be just before fall break. Please continue to collect and remind students to bring them in to you.

New and Returning Staff:

Please join me in welcoming our newcomer teacher Eugenia Salazar and our primary intervention teacher Gina Pierotti. We are excited to have them join the team. Melina Waltl will also be returning to provide enrichment activities for our students in your classrooms and in room 16. Liz Desmond, a regular sub and teacher credentialed in the state of Virginia, will join us to support our PLC’s this week. Alan Salazar, district substitute, will also join us this week as we support your team’s collaboration. I have two possible candidates to finalize our staffing for 2015-16. I will keep you updated.

Update your website by Friday, Sept. 4:

Thank you to those who have already updated your teacher webpages. By Friday, September 4th, Please be sure to update your welcome message for the 15-16 school year and one additional thing from the list below.

    • List web resources for practice at home
    • Advice for parents/families
    • Post Assignments
    • Link to other (Class Dojo, Edmodo, Jupiter Grades etc)
    • Update Calendar
Fall Break Professional Development Opportunities:

Monday, Sept 21 and Tuesday, Sept 22

ELA/ELD Framework and ELD Standards

Wednesday, Sept 23

Systematic English Language Development (SELD)

Thursday, Sept. 24

Google Boot Camp 2– from 8:30- 11:30 AM. This training is for 3rd – 8th grade teachers, Principals, Coaches, and IMRTs. We will have opportunities for Basics and Beyond. Some content will be repeated from the summer Boot Camp.

Friday, September 25th

Google Apps for Teacher Productivity– from 8:30- 11:30 AM. This training is for TK- 2nd grade teachers, Principals, Coaches, and IMRTs wanting to learn more about using Google Apps (Docs, Slides, Forms) with their teams and school site.

Calibration Workshops:

Ed Services is pleased to offer another round of calibration workshops during your Benchmark Assessment Window this Fall (10/5-10/20).  These are optional [paid] workshops teachers may attend to get support with scoring student writing. See email from Amy Illingworth for the fine print.  Please click here to see the dates and register yourself for the Math and/or ELA calibration workshop.

Notes from the IT Team:

You received an email a little more than a week ago from the district sharing that we are provided Internet connectivity via SDCOE and have recently experienced some outages or slowdowns. See the email for more information about the reasons for the slowdown. However, I’d like you to consider the tips included below.

Bandwith Conservation Tips:

  • Use audio or video streaming services only as instructional tools, when absolutely critical and only for brief periods (YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc.)
  • Consider methods for minimizing the need for multiple concurrent student streaming instances whenever possible. A full class of 32 students streaming content adds a lot more traffic congestion than whole-class viewing, students in pairs, or staggered student viewing times (DiscoveryEducation videos, Youtube for Education, etc.).

Promethean Board/Projector Servicing Reminders:

To avoid “projector burn-out” – please try to shut down projectors whenever not in use for over 15 minutes. This may help extend lamp & projector life.

Question of the Week:

What is something that works well for you as you conference with your students’ families?

Quote of the Week:

It’s so important to realize that every time you get upset, it drains your emotional energy. Losing your cool makes you tired. Getting angry a lot messes with your health. Joyce Meyer

Song of the Week:

Video of the Week:

This week at the district leadership meeting we had the opportunity to view the video at the link below. It is long (about 20 minutes) but it makes an interesting case that our society may be unfair to introverts. A takeaway that I have is about ensuring that we allow students time to process and complete their own work. It really made me think. Feel free to view if you have the time and are interested.

11 thoughts on “Weekly Update: August 31, 2015

  1. First, I send out a reminder and ask parents to think and write out any possible questions they already have about their child’s progress. At the conference, I’m always focusing on the great things the child does in class and his/her academic strengths and then I gradually discuss the areas where the child needs improvement with helpful suggestions. I usually have the assessments ready as evidence.

  2. Starting with the strengths of the student and thanking the families for making the time to attend the conference.

  3. I do have a hard copy progress report that is discussed and parents can take home. Always, the very first discussion point is something positive about each student. I always end the conference with an expression of gratitude for their time.

  4. I have a Communication form and student folder prepared ahead of time to stay on focus and I ask a lot of questions and listen.

  5. I went to a workshop many years ago and I learned to conference at a table (not your desk or work area!).


  6. I always share positive experiences and successes of students. I also share work samples with parents and let them know how they can help their child at home.

  7. I share the positive first, and then what needs improvement- last, I give ideas to the parent on how to help their child.

  8. Share student work samples, highlight student strengths and discuss the standards based scores on the report card emphasizing that a 4 is not an “A” and that it represents work ABOVE grade level.

  9. Being prepared, knowing my students strengths and interest is a great way to start–: positive and with a smile! 🙂
    Listen. Show work samples and having outline of expectations aligned with upcoming report card.
    Ending conference with ways they can support learning at home i.e. online resources, reading my parent letter updates, etc. It’s a partnership!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s