Team Thomson News & Notes
#ThomsonRocks Week of: April 21, 2019
Important Information for You!
It's Round-up Week!
As you are all aware, this is Kindergarten Round-up week! I would like to start by giving a huge thank you to our office staff, Anna W., Sue, and Anna P, these three ladies work so hard to make sure that everything is ready to welcome families to Kindergarten. It is such an exciting time of year and I just love seeing all the little ones that will soon fill our classrooms and halls.
Also, it is important to note that the office will be a sort of 'in and out' this week and we need your help. Anna W. and Sue will be back and forth, as will I, and Anna P. will be working all week in the office. Any help you can give is greatly appreciated: please be sure to check bus tags right away in the morning and send any paperwork or requests down first thing as well.
In previous years and as I shared at our staff meeting last week, teachers would receive a budget supply memo from the Coordinator's office asking teachers to choose some ELA consumable items for their class for the following year. To better assist teachers in getting what each individual teacher needs for their classroom, that consumable money has been divided out and will be added to your district supply fund. Therefore, YOU will get to choose what you need to best serve your students. You will no longer receive the memo from the Coordinator's office, so all of the items you would typically get from that will have to be ordered when you put in your supply order.
I will send out a memo with specifics including the exact amount each teacher will have and what the items were on the ELA memo for your reference. This should allow you more flexibility and autonomy with your budgeted funds. Please let me know what questions you have. However, it is important to start creating an inventory now of items that you will need now...so open up those cupboards and drawers and take note of items and quantities that you may need. As with any budget, being as intentional as possible will stretch your classroom budgets.
Literacy Essential #3
Essential 3: Small group and individual instruction, using a variety of grouping strategies, most often with flexible groups formed and instruction targeted to children's observed and assessed needs in specific aspects of literacy development.
This week let's focus on the third bullet which states that the teacher employs practices for developing reading fluency, such as repeated reading, echo reading, paired and partner reading. Reading fluency starts with the first readings a student does. Often when little ones begin to read even the simplest text it sounds robotic, word by word reading. It is important to help students develop an ear for reading fluently through teacher modeling of fluent reading and repeated reading of familiar text. When students first are learning to read we want to ensure that students are pointing to each word however, this can get in the way of fluency as they develop their reading skills. At this point in the year, students should be sliding/gliding their finger under each word (or moving away from using their finger, especially if they are at a DRA 4 or above). When you hear students reading word by word, model and as them to reread the section. In the video below, you can see some best practices in small group fluency instruction. These videos are great resources for all teachers and parapros. I appreciate the time you take to watch them and the effort you make to put them into practice.
Registration for the May intersession is now open and will run through April 26th. Intersession 3.0 is May 28th - May 31st. The theme is Lil' Sprouts, Outdoor Adventurers! Please be sure to share this in classroom newsletters.
Third marking period report cards are expected to be completed by all staff by 4 pm on Wednesday. Anna will then begin to generate cards on Thursday for your review prior to sending home with students on Friday. I will also be taking time to read through report cards to learn of the great progress our students have made.
EDUStaff 2019 Sub Appreciation Week
EDUStaff, our guest teacher contractor, is looking to recognize outstanding employees during educator appreciation week. They would LOVE for you to complete a form for each and every one of the great guest teachers working at Thomson, and not just the ones you feel are the best. If you have something positive to share, please do so. The EDUStaff will then compile a list of who gets the most forms to determine their Guest Teacher of the Year winner, which they will announce later in May. Every guest teacher who receives a positive “EPF” will get a phone call from EDUStaff and a certificate of appreciation in the mail. Interested? See the office staff for the form to nominate an outstanding guest teacher. On a side note, nominations for outstanding work shows our appreciation for the work these employees do and encourages them to return to Davison and more specifically to Thomson!
With several different contributions, I am working to complete a few third round and work through the fourth round of observations. Even with Round-up this week, I will be catching up on feedback and finishing up all the third round observations. My goal is to have all observations completed prior to the May Intersession so that I can deliver final evaluations as soon as the student growth data is available in June. With testing, school events, and the daily 'unknowns' that pop up, this may be tricky, but that is my goal. While I am sure that you have all heard about the possibility of the student growth component going back to 25%, for now it remains as 40% with the observations 60%.
Cardinal Code Focus for the Week: Playground
This week's Cardinal Code Lesson Focus for the week is the Playground. Now is a great time to intentionally review the Cardinal Code for the Playground. Spring is the time of year we see an uptick in 'rough' play and that is just what has been happening. Students playing 'games' that involve fight/combat type play that often end up causing real anger and/or students getting hurt. Please take a moment to talk about the types of games/activities that are appropriate for school and the general rules for the playground.
Quotes Worth Reading
"Behavior change in a student most often requires a behavior change in the adults first. It is the professionals that support them who must take the first step."
I saw this quote over the weekend on a friend's Facebook page and it spoke to me. As educators we often find it difficult to shift our thinking away from how 'we were raised', however, we also have students facing trauma, social pressures, and living within environments that we can not even imagine. We MUST change our response/behavior if we ever want to change theirs. Start by taking a deep breath before even responding...
Celebrations & Announcements
Birthdays: None this week...
Did you know April 21st is National Kindergarten Day? I didn't either until I heard it on the news Sunday morning. The first kindergarten was opened in Germany in the 1800's as a way of preparing students for school. The first kindergarten in the US was opened in 1860's. Happy National Kindergarten Day!
Important Upcoming Dates:
Sunday, April 21th- Happy Easter!
Week of April 22nd-Kindergarten Round-up!
Tuesday, April 23rd-K-4 Math Learning Labs
Thursday, April 25th-CMC 4-7 p.m.
Week of April 28th- PLC Week
Monday, April 29th-NWEA Assessment Window Opens; ACC, 4:15-6:15 p.m.
Tuesday, April 30th-DIBELS Assessment Window Opens; Author Denise Bennan-Nelson Visits
Wednesday, May 1st-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda: End of Year); KRA Webinar (Megan C. and Natalie)
Thursday, May 2nd-Elementary Principals Meeting (Natalie); Volunteer Dinner
Week of May 6th-Staff Appreciation Week...more to be announced later, but you may want to start looking for that Hawaiian shirt buried in the back of your closet.
May 6th-8th AdvanceEd Onsite Review: We will have our building visit on Tuesday, May 7th with details to come.
Wednesday, May 8th-Early Release 1:45-4:45 p.m. (Agenda: Mindfulness & What to do with Magnetic Letters)
Thursday, May 9th-General Admin Meeting (Natalie); Megan & Michael's Baby Shower, 4 p.m.
Friday, May 10th-Leadership Team Meeting, 7:15 a.m.