Weekly Update: February 29, 2016

Thank you for all of your hard work during a very busy February. So many of us were coughing or sniffling. Here is to a healthy, relaxed and fun March full of personal learning and growth for us and for our students. Monday is payday and we are within three weeks of spring break woohoo!

PBS Lesson:

We will be starting our new character trait this week. The virtue we will be looking at is Honesty. The video is available on the connect with kids website (http://sbusd.connectwithkids.com/). The video can be reached by going to Student Resources-> Elementary->Character/Life Skills. Lesson plans to use/modify are right below the video and the K-2 lesson plans are available on the previous page.

ELD Updates:

We will be making some slight changes to our ELD groups and English only groups. The changes will occur on the March 1st. Click here to view the changes document. Be sure to communicate the changes to your students so that they are in the correct place on Monday.

Staff Professional Learning:

We will meet together this Wednesday in room 23. At this time we will focus on learning more about the “ideal” classroom library, what to do now that we have some data about our students’ reading levels and reader’s workshop. I look forward to spending some time with you.

On Wednesday, March 9th, our teachers of students in grades 3-6 should plan to meet in room 23 to participate in Smarter Balanced training. Topics to include testing schedule, login information, designated supports.

SST Day:

On Tuesday, we will have a roving sub on campus to release those of you who will be providing feedback about our students’ performance at SST, 504 and IEP meetings.

Blue Slips at Lunch:

In an effort to promote positive behavior during the three weeks leading up to spring break, I will pass out prizes from the wagon on Thursday during lunch. Please bring your blue slips to lunch with you.

Attendance:

Thank you to those of you who have been promoting regular on time attendance. We appreciate your support of our current incentives and getting kids here on time every day!! Every day counts! Please celebrate your classroom’s and students’ success.

Computers for Kids:

Click here to see the names of the 40 families at Emory who will receive a new computer next week.  Thank you for sending the forms home and encouraging your families to sign up!! The district will contact these families to inform them. FYI-Families should pick up/pay for computers on Thurs. March 3 from 3:00-3:30 at 601 Elm St.

Fountas and Pinnell into Illuminate:

Click here for Directions for Entering Fountas and Pinnell Scores into Illuminate

 

District Professional Learning Survey:

I encourage you to complete the Learning and Innovation professional development survey. Please clickhere to participate in a brief survey.

Remind:

Many of you send home newsletters (paper or virtual). Please share with your parents information about Remind text message notification service. Click here for the full instructions or see below (this is on the Emory School web page). This is a way for us to text message our families. (yes, it’s free).

Sign up to receive text message reminders from Principal Grondek. See instructions below. Send a text message to the number 81010 with the message @jgron

Coach’s Corner:

I was fortunate to attend the Illuminate Education Conference at the Convention Center this week. First of all, I really didn’t think that Illuminate was that big.  It is.  There were educators from across the country in attendance.  And boy, did they LOVE San Diego.  Beside enjoying the beautiful weather and locale, I learned more about the assessment tool.  We all have experience with the District Benchmarks in Illuminate and we know that we can create our own, but really haven’t played around with it.  There are teachers using this tool to expose students to the different types of questions that they will encounter through itembank assessments as well as to create their own questions with their own resources through hybrid (manual) assessments.  Teachers were also using the assessment tool, not as assessment, but a way to monitor student progress in their writing and as exit tickets.  It was cool to see how creative educators were incorporating Illuminate in their daily instruction.  If you are interested in hearing more, let me know, and I’ll give you a synopsis in PLC.

Million Word Challenge:

Week 2- Thank you to those of you who have been encouraging our students to read. As a reminder, Teresa will collect logs at your library visit during the week beginning March 7.    As a reminder, students who submit a reading log (with reading documented) will receive a small prize for each log submission. The more our kids read, the better readers that they will become. The better that they read the more successful they will be in school and life.

Quote of the Week:

Video of the Week:

Check out this school that has transformed the way that they intervene to better meet the needs of their students. Click here and scroll down the page to view the short five minute video. Please do not think that I believe that this is an exact way to do it, but allow yourself to think about what elements you like and what makes sense for ourselves as educators, for our students and in our community.

 

 

Weekly Update: February 22, 2016

Please take care of yourselves. I know that this has been a very busy month. Between administering and grading performance tasks and now preparing your report cards, hang in there! I appreciate all that you are doing for each other and our students.

Staff Meeting:

No meeting this week. Please take the time to finish your report cards. Or if you are done, get some planning done.

Report Cards:

Report Cards should be sent home on Friday, February 26th. See directions below from Jen Oliveira.
Access report cards via illuminate.
     Access resources to help you (video, handout with pictures, etc) on the  Units of Study website
·         BROWSERS– Illuminate and the Ed Services Department recommend CHROME. Using an out-of-date Internet Explorer might cause technical difficulties specifically with Illuminate.
·         LANGUAGE– Remember you are completing the English version, and you have the option to print in either Spanish or English.
·         COMMENTS– You encourage you to draft your comments in WORD or on Google Docs and then copy and paste them into your report cards.
·         FINAL DRAFTS– Attendance, Performance Task Scores, Teacher Name will be finalized February 24th. Please make sure these fields have had a chance to populate before you print and send home.
·         Smarter Balanced Parent Guides– The CDE has good parent guides for 3rd-5thgradeand 6th– 8th grade. We don’t recommend sending these out,  but they might be a good resource for you if parents have questions.

Coach’s Corner:

This week Jennifer Oliveira from the district Learning and Innovation department spent some time with some primary grade teachers and classified staff.  She presented ideas on how to utilize the computer lab with our K-2 students.  With Chromebooks being in all our 3-6 classes, I have overlooked the importance of exposing our primary students to technology.  I am grateful that the primary teachers were proactive in their learning.  They reached out to Jenn and made a commitment to learn.  I learned that our students would benefit from Computer 101.  They should spend some time to just explore the tools and programs that they will be using:  Google docs, Word, Sketchpad, etc.  We can show them how to use the shift key, change the font color or center the text.  ‘Playing’ with the tools will help them to be more familiar and efficient with them as time goes on.

ELD Updates:

We will be making some slight changes to our ELD groups and English only groups. The changes will occur on the March 1st. Updated lists will be sent this week.

Class Dismissal:

As a reminder, please keep your students in class until the bell rings. If you release students early, it can be disruptive for other classrooms.

CAASPP Meeting:

Save the date: on Wednesday, March 9th, we will need to meet with our 3rd-6th grade teachers and specialists. Topics include the testing schedule; designated supports, practice test administration. Details to follow.

 

Use of district email account:

As a reminder, your email, my email, and any public employee’s email account is subject to a public records request. That means any email that you send from your SBUSD account or receive to this account may, by request, possibly be released. I am sure that your communication via email is always professional, however, wanted to share this reminder with you.

New Impact Schedule:

Beginning Tuesday, Feb 23, our Impact teachers will switch classrooms and begin a new unit with your students. Click here to view the schedule.

Million Word Challenge:

Beginning Monday February 22, Emory will join other schools throughout California in participating in the Million Word Challenge. The intent is to increase the time that students read outside of school together with their families or on their own. I will speak about this, briefly, with our students on Monday at flag salute and Teresa will explain the program in detail to our students during your library time this week.

Who: Our students, their families and us

What: Million Word Challenge

When: February 22-April 29

Where: Library and our community

Why: Reading is an important skill to succeed in school and life. Practice makes perfect.

How: Please encourage students to read, complete their reading logs and return them to Teresa in the library.

Week of Feb 22

Kick Off Million Word Campaign

               Jenn, Teresa and Teachers promote with students and families

               Teresa to explain details and pass out reading logs in the library

               Students read 🙂

District Professional Learning Survey:

I encourage you to complete The Learning and Innovation professional survey. Please click here to participate in a brief survey.

Quote of the week:

Image result for the impact of a teacher quotes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Update: February 16, 2016

Thank you for your hard work administering the PTA’s. I hope that you are finding the data helpful as you make instructional decisions related to your students’ needs and plan with your team.

 

Performance Task Assessments (PTA):

Scores must be entered by Friday, February 19. 

Hope everything is going well for you and your students. Please let us know if you have any questions or need any assistance. Visit the Educational Services website to view Anchor Papers for your grade level.

Attendance Contests:

Unfortunately, we had some confusion related to our two new attendance contests. We will begin our classroom “Emory Eagles Soaring to Success Contest this week (the letters which had been prepared for your classrooms went missing). We will track the weekly winners for our student level contest in the office. We appreciate your support of these initiatives. Our students miss out when they are absent from your classroom. As it takes time for you to catch up students after their absences, it impacts you and the other students in your class as well.

Gratitude:

We began our time together this week by sharing something that we are grateful for. If you are interested in learning more about practicing gratitude for yourself, your family or your classroom. Check out one or more of the links below.

How to Foster Gratitude in Schools

Gratitude and School Transformation

 

Digital Learning Day-February 17th:
Digital Learning Day is a global celebration for educators to share how they are integrating technology and how using technology is not “about the app”. It is about giving students choice, communicating with experts, collaborating with peers, creating something new to show their learning and to practice being a global citizen. Click here for some lesson ideas. You may use your twitter account to follow @officialdlday to see what other teachers are doing. Let me know if you’re doing something fun as I would love to stop by.

 

Report Cards:

Report Cards should be sent home on Friday, February 26th. See directions below from Jen Olivera.
Access report cards via illuminate.
     Access resources to help you (video, handout with pictures, etc) on the  Units of Study website
·         BROWSERS– Illuminate and the Ed Services Department recommend CHROME. Using an out-of-date Internet Explorer might cause technical difficulties specifically with Illuminate.
·         LANGUAGE– Remember you are completing the English version, and you have the option to print in either Spanish or English.
·         COMMENTS– You encourage you to draft your comments in WORD or on Google Docs and then copy and paste them into your report cards.
·         FINAL DRAFTS– Attendance, Performance Task Scores, Teacher Name will be finalized February 24th. Please make sure these fields have had a chance to populate before you print and send home.
·         Smarter Balanced Parent Guides– The CDE has good parent guides for 3rd-5th gradeand 6th– 8th grade. We don’t recommend sending these out,  but they might be a good resource for you if parents have questions.

Coach’s Corner:

Now that the Benchmark Assessment window is closing, scoring the assessments becomes the next task.  Entering the data and assigning a score can become the focus.  Let’s remember the big picture.  This is the time where we look at what students can do and what they need support with, according to the standards.  Take the time in PLCs to look for trends, discuss what was taught and why students responded the way they did.  Let the data drive the decisions you make around instruction.  In our staff development looking at data was tedious at times, but the conversation about the successes and challenges were productive.  Identifying the needs of our students will guide the action taken in instruction.  The action doesn’t have to be all out change, just what you feel comfortable with to meet the need of one student, a group or the whole class.  I look forward to the opportunity to participate in this work with you all.

Question of the Week:
Who is someone on our Emory team that you are grateful for?
Quote of the Week:
 

Weekly Update: February 8, 2016

Wow! What a beautiful weekend. I hope that you relaxed in the sunshine. Thank you for all that you do for your Emory family and our students!

Flag Salute:

We will continue with an extended flag salute. Please bring your trophies to the blacktop Monday morning. If you brought them out this Monday, I will bring them back to the blacktop for us.

Performance Task Assessments (PTA):

Administration Dates: February 1-16. Enter scores by Friday, February 19. 

Hope everything is going well for you and your students. Please let us know if you have any questions or need any assistance.

3rd– 6th grade: directions to access the online assessment as a teacher, preview the assessment, and login as a student. USE ONLY SIMPLE LINED paper for TK-2 Assessments. Videos and job aides to access assessmentmaterials and scoring are available on the Units of Study websites. Visit the Educational Services website to view Anchor Papers for your grade level.

Staff Professional Learning:

We will meet this Wednesday at 1:45 in room 23. After a great meeting with the English Learner Task Force, we have decided to devote our time together this week to discuss who our English Learners are and how we best meet their needs during designated ELD time and throughout the school day.

School Website:

In the past two few weeks, I have had a few parents comment to me about how disappointing our website is. After spending a minute, being offended, I realized that after receiving feedback that many Emory families do not visit the website, I have not devoted much time to making it spectacular. I will be updating the school level website. Let me know if you have any suggestions for content. I encourage you to consider what is on your Emory teacher website. Many of you use dojo, Jupiter grades or something similar, if you have not done so, you may wish to add a link to your Emory site.

Digital Learning Day-February 17th:
Digital Learning Day is a global celebration for educators to share how they are integrating technology and how using technology is not “about the app”. It is about giving students choice, communicating with experts, collaborating with peers, creating something new to show their learning and to practice being a global citizen. Click here for some lesson ideas. You may use your twitter account to follow @officialdlday to see what other teachers are doing. Let me know if you’re doing something fun as I would love to stop by.

Response to Intervention/Multi Tiered Systems of Support/Intervention/Learning Center/Co-teaching Task Force:

Thank you for your interest in joining this committee. We are not able to meet on 2/22. I will send an updated timeline as I have more information. It’s not too late, if you are still interested in working with us, but forgot to let me know, please do so.

Lifting Student Learning: 

Click here to learn more about a professional learning opportunity offered by SDCOE. I believe that this opportunity will help teams refine their collaborative planning. Please let me know by Friday, 19th, if your team is interested in attending. This opportunity was not designed to meet the needs of individual teachers.

Optimist International Oratorical Contest:

Thank you to those of you who have been working so hard to assist our students in preparing for this event!! Speeches are due March 4th and the Contest is March 8th.

The topic for this year is, “How my best brings out the best in others.”  Students under the age of 18 may enter.  The deadline for entries is February 2016 and the event is scheduled for March 2016.  For more information, please see the application.

Coaches’ Corner:

As I reflect on the past week I have to say that what comes to mind is I very much appreciate my wife, Jocelyn.  She was at camp with her class this week.  Man, does she do a lot that I sometimes take for granted.  I am so grateful for her.  Coincidentally, gratitude was addressed at the ILT meeting.  Taking time to think about what we are grateful for helps our well-being.  We can do this personally and professionally…  I am grateful not only for my wife, but for my teenage girls that help when they want to 😉 and provide me with much happiness.  I am grateful for the teachers, staff and parents of the Emory community for doing what is best for our students.  I am grateful for the chance to learn to be more patient while my daughter is behind the wheel and I have no control.  I am grateful for the students that didn’t achieve the learning goal I planned for it made me think of other ways to reach them…  It was a long week and I got through it.  Can’t wait for Jocelyn to get home..  🙂

Fountas and Pinnell into Illuminate:

Click here for Directions for Entering Fountas and Pinnell Scores into Illuminate

 

Quote of the Week:

Question of the Week:

How is the PTA administration going for you? Do you need any support? Did you learn anything that you might want to share with your colleagues?

Video of the Week:

All about gratitude…not an essential watch, but about ten minutes and will probably make you smile. In my opinion, it gets REALLY good at 4minutes and 50 seconds.

Click Here