Weekly Update: October 26, 2015

Happy Fall Carnival and Red Ribbon Week! Thank you for your donations of goods and time!

English Learner Committee:

This year, along with many other SBUSD schools, Emory has established a committee to address the needs of our English Learners. The purpose of the committee is to grow our collective expertise in supporting our English Learners, to ensure that teachers have input as we refine our designated ELD block and to develop a plan to meet the Federal AMAO’s. Thanks to your colleagues who have volunteered to represent you and our students (Karina, Rebecca, Erika, Angela Chris and Cathryn).


This week during your PLC block, I would like to you review the proposed changes to our designated ELD groups/structure. Please get feedback to me by the end of the day Thursday. After you have reviewed the proposed ELD groups, please review the Benchmark/PT data and discuss how this will inform your upcoming instruction.

ELD Changes:

Based upon feedback from the EL Committee and you during your PLC, you should expect to see revised ELD rosters by next Monday, November 2nd. We will start our new groups on Tuesday, November 3rd.

Emory Governing Board Presentation:

On November 5th, at 6:00 p.m., I will make a presentation to the Governing Board about Emory. I would love it if you were to join me there. (You will be on your way home before 6:30). This is my opportunity to highlight many of the amazing things that we have been up to this year.

Impact Teacher Change:

Our Impact teachers will rotate on Tuesday, November 3rd. We are very fortunate to have Cathryn and Melinda with us and will continue to have sub Liz Desmond until we are able to find our final impact rotation teacher.

Report Cards:

Thank you for your hard work completing your report cards. As a reminder, they need to be sent home on Friday, October 30th. I encourage you NOT to procrastinate, you will want to attend the fall carnival 🙂 and to avoid any technical difficulties. If you need assistance, be sure to find Chris or me. As you provide honest feedback to families about their students’ strengths and areas of concern, I encourage you to find something positive in each of your students.

Reading Assessment:

I am excited that so many of you have gotten underway assessing your students. Please let Chris know if you or your team would like to meet after school or during your PLC time to receive additional training around administering the Fountas and Pinnell. On Wednesday, November 4th, we will discuss structure in your classroom to allow you to meet with students in small groups and begin to discuss tackling our classroom libraries.

Red Ribbon Week:

Thanks to Daishanna and Angela for helping us celebrate Red Ribbon Week! See email from Daishanna for more information.

Monday: “Unite against drugs” School wide Pledge and Wear Red

Tuesday: “Band together” against to drugs and alcohol (Red Bandanna Day)

Wednesday: “Sock it” to drugs and alcohol (Crazy Sock Day)

Thursday: “Turn Your Back” on drugs and alcohol (Wear Shirt backwards)

Friday: “Slam the Door” on to drugs and alcohol (Outside door decorations) OPTIONAL 

Optimist Contest:

2015-2016 Optimist International Oratorical Contest

Emory teachers have developed an outstanding reputation for preparing students to compete in the Optimist Oratorical Contest. The topic for this year is, “How my best brings out the best in others.” The deadline for entries is end of February 2016 and the event is scheduled for the beginning of March 2016.  The application has expectations, participation rules, my contact information, etc. Please let me know if you would like any support in preparing our students for this opportunity.


TedX Event:

I am allowed one guest at our South Bay TEDYouth 2015 event. Please let me know by the end of the day Monday if you are interested in attending. I will draw names and let you know Tuesday morning.

What is the TEDYouth 2015 event?

TEDYouth is a day-long event for middle (6th, 7th, and 8th grade) and high school students, with live speakers, hands-on activities, and great conversations. Scientists, designers, technologists, explorers, artists, performers (and more!) share short talks on what they do best, serving both as a source of knowledge and inspiration for youth around the globe.The theme for this year is “Made in the Future.” We will be watching a live cast of this event.

When is the TEDYouth 2015 event?

On Saturday, November 14 from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM in Burress Auditorium.

Why are we viewing this event?

South Bay is considering future opportunities for  sixth grade students likely to attend Mar Vista Middle School. We are exploring the possibility of highlighting our own SBUSD students at a TEDx Youth event to be held in the District in 2017. We are hoping that our shared experience, and subsequent discussion, on the 14th will be the catalyst for our own event, and are anxious to have YOUR ideas on how to make our event a success!!

Bonus Information

Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided on Saturday and we hope that day will be relatively unstructured and a fun collaborative opportunity for us as a team.

Box Tops:

Box Tops Collections are Wednesday. Erin will send a student around to collect. I am sure that with so much that you have on your plates, that box tops seem like one more thing, well they are, but they brought in over $1,000 last year. Please remind your students and families to collect for our school. (Thanks Erin and Phyllis)

Wednesday Staff Professional Time:
There will NOT be a  whole group meeting. Please use this time to complete your report cards, continue to review updated ELD group placements, collaborate with colleagues or plan to support our students.

Fall Carnival:

Thank again for supporting the fall carnival! (This Friday, October 30th from 3:30-6:30) Families with perishable donations should bring them in on Thursday (see email from Shelly with more specific details/information). Our carnival is a great community event and fundraiser for our school. Please encourage your students make donations for our event. Thanks for coming out to help on Friday and for recruiting your families to volunteer. You may enter volunteer sign ups at this link  ( it is working now). If you can’t figure out how to use the google doc, please email the details to Chris or me and we will enter you and your families.

Unicef/Costume Parade:

On FRIDAY, October 30th at 8:15, please have your students bring out their chairs and form a large circle on the playground. Every year Emory teachers ROCK with their creative costumes!

Question of the Week:

How will you use the data from our Performance Task/Benchmark Assessments to inform your instruction/instructional decisions?

Quote of the week:

7 thoughts on “Weekly Update: October 26, 2015

  1. I have already looked at the written portion of the ELA assessment and realized I did an awful job of instruction with this standard. We are going back and making some quick adjustments to correct this. For the most part, there are a lot of little changes to be made, so hopefully this will be quick and effective!

  2. I’m reteaching realistic/historical fiction narratives as I read a lot of zombie apocalypse stories that were supposed to be realistic fiction instead of imaginative narratives.
    I used RL.4.2 theme data as a pre-test as it wasn’t actually supposed to be taught until the next unit after testing. I learned that determining theme is pretty easy for them but extracting evidence to support their reasoning is harder so we are focusing on this in whole group and those still having trouble determining theme are being guided in small group.

  3. Like Holli, I realized that I sucked at teaching one specific math standard (my class was below Emory’s 6th grade average and the rest of the district) so last week we did some reteaching and extra practice to get my kids closer to meeting expectations.

  4. this was a hard week for me, as I had only one student out of twelve who is at grade level work, these kind of tests don’t offer me any information I can use

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