Weekly Update: December 7, 2015

Enjoy your week!

SST Day:

Thank you for your patience. We will conduct SST meetings this Thursday, Dec. 10th. Mr. Zagami will be around to release those of you who will attend. A follow-up day has been tentatively scheduled for January 14th. Thanks to our specialist team for coordinating.

Staff Meeting:

No Staff Meeting this week. Please take the time for personal planning or to collaborate with your team.

Positive Behavior Supports:

In support of appropriate behavior for the last school week of 2015, please send your blue slips to lunch on Friday, Dec 11th. I will be passing out prizes from the wagon.

Reading, Reading and More Reading:

Thank you for assessing your students, diving into differentiated small group reading instruction, book clubs, building stamina etc. (wow– you are really making changes to meet our students’ needs!!) You may remember reviewing this document (Getting Started: The First 20 Days of Guided Reading) at a recent staff meeting. Don’t forget it, as it lays out a plan for for what you might do after you obtain your reading assessment results.

Holiday Party:

Thanks to Leslie for coordinating our Holiday Party which is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 18th 5:00 at Achiote’s. Click here to see more.

Coach’s Corner:– a note from Chris

With the intent to save some time, a central supply of Fountas and Pinnell recording forms are available in the copy room.  We will eventually order from the print shop to restock the copies.  Until then, if you take the last copy, please use the masters from the binders and refill the folder.  Thank you to those that donated the containers and file folders (Elizabeth and Erika).  

Last week I was able to visit Nicoloff and visit a few classes during their Literacy block.  This was also the 3-week reading assessment period.  In every class, across all grade levels, kids were reading independently for extended amounts of time.  Teachers were quick to say that it didn’t start out this way.  It took time. Reading endurance was built slowly.  Experimenting with different ways to be able to assess kids was challenging.  We are on the same track.  If you are interested in trying to build reading stamina with charting/goal setting; create flexible structures to accommodate testing; or anything else. I’d be happy to help.  Your hard work and commitment to learning is making a difference.

Hour of Code:

Reminder South Bay Union School District would LOVE to have everyone participate together in the Hour of Code on Friday, December 11th for the last hour (or any time) of the school day. Click HERE to watch a short video about the event! Go to code.org to see the puzzles and activities students can do. Try some out yourself, you’ll be surprised at how engaged you become! DON’T WORRY!!! You do not have to be a coding expert! Check out this brochure for more information.


Winter Break PD:


Google/Math —Friday, January 8, 2016 8:30- 11:45AM

TK-2nd Grade Teachers

Session 1 (8:30- 10:00) How to plan lessons using math manipulatives- 90 minutes

Session 2 (10:15- 11:45) Using Google Apps for Teacher Productivity- 90 minutes

3rd- 6th Grade Teachers  

Session 1 (8:30- 10:00) Building Student Portfolios using Google Sites  90 minutes

Session 2 (10:15- 11:45) How to plan lessons using math manipulatives- 90 minutes

See email from Jen Olivera for more details. To RSVP HERE

SELD Day 2

Thursday January 7, 2016 from 8:30 – 3 in conference rooms 1, 2 & 3


Just a reminder as we celebrate the holidays. Our students and families may have traditions and beliefs which are different from our own. Be mindful of these differences which make our school community a diverse and special one. Consider discussing and celebrating multiple traditions (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza) or avoiding  any mention at all.


Imagine Learning:

Thanks to Rebecca for coordinating and Connie, Karina and Erin for facilitating, we will finally begin Imagine Learning Monday, Dec. 7th before and after school. Thanks for passing out and collecting permission/notifications. The schedule is below.

Morning Imagine Learning

Monday – Friday                                              7:25-7:55

Afternoon Imagine Learning

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday        2:25-2:50

Principal Roundtable:

Thanks to those of you who participated in Principal Roundtable.

Questions which arose–

In the Playground Expectations powerpoint, we state that students are to do a 100 count to assist with sharing the swings. By consensus, panel suggested modifying the powerpoint to a 20 count. The powerpoint will be updated.

It was mentioned that Impact teachers are not consistently locking classroom doors. I emailed our Impact Teachers and reminded them to always keep their and your classroom doors locked.

IEP Scheduling/Notification was discussed. Concerns were raised about the notification process/timing for recent IEP meetings. Tracy shared that different teachers prefer different notifications (some don’t regularly check email and prefer a phone call day of and others prefer a calendar invite well in advance of the meeting). We are looking for volunteers to assist in developing a consistent procedure. Please let me know if you are interested in being involved in the solution.

It was shared that not all staff are aware that there is a testing materials copy code. Please submit copy orders to Cindy P or check with Eunice in the office for more information.

We are out of Blue Slips. Eunice reminded everyone that if you are the last to use any supplies, please tell Eunice.


Save the Date Attendance Awards (Popcorn/Reading Friday Dec 18th)

PTA Meeting/Bingo Night:

Please join us on Wednesday, Dec 9th from 5:00-6:00 for PTA Family Bingo Night.


Question of the week:

What is something new instructionally that you have tried this school year?

Quote of the week:






8 thoughts on “Weekly Update: December 7, 2015

  1. I’m letting go. In my research groups, I pick a moderator and I let the students pick an article from TFK; they annotate, take notes and discuss their specific topic. On the second or third day, students research the topic further on their chromebooks to gather more information and to answer any “wonderings.” After they have gathered all their information, with help of their moderator, the group decides how they will present the information to their peers. I’ll walk the room, conference with a few, make observations and probe about their topic. Then I anxiously await for their Friday group presentation about their topic.

  2. My team and I are letting students choose their texts as they work on each standard. For example, we are working on the text structure “problem and solution” and so we uploaded several problem and solution texts for students to choose what they read and write an analysis on. It’s interesting to see what teams choose and it gives them buy in and makes for engaging partner conversation.

  3. So much new this year! I’ve fully embraced our Chromebooks and am loving them even more now that LanSchool is good to go! This was the expectation, however. The NEW thing I’m going with ironically was last week’s post: I began Literature Circles. I realized that if I didn’t begin when the moment came, I’d keep making excuses and they wouldn’t have happened. 31 kiddos were fully engaged in their reading and in conversations. Rather than “winging it” this week with LC, I am fully planned! Thank you to Chris, Shelley, and Jenn who made this happen!!!! BTW…kids are loving that the 6th graders are also doing Literature Circles, they feel so “big kid!”.

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