Tiger Beat

Acton Weekly Update 12/13/19

Things to Know

Everyday Math Expectations:

1.Teachers grades K-5 are expected to be teaching EDM with fidelity. We do not want teachers to be pulling extra resources or activities for students. We need to have the manual in hand and follow the three sections as written.

2. We want to limit our students from using Prodigy and replace it with Xtramath. Prodigy has too many non math skill related activities involved that student are not getting as much practice. Xtramath is basic fluency practice and can provide detailed reports for teachers and parents.

3. Grades 3-5 will be starting Math CFA's. The CFA's will simply be the built in EDM Assessments. Jen will go over exact details with grade levels. Data from these assessments will be entered into an EDM spreadsheet. More info will be coming soon.

4. We need all 3-5 students to complete the Unit 5 Mathboxes Preview page which is located at the end of unit 4.

Parent Requests for testing: Since PTC's this year we have had several parent requests for an educational evaluation. Whenever a parent gives a verbal or written request we have 10 school days to respond to that parent. Please send an email to me (Brook) and Dr. Welch, aerin.welch@ftcsc.org, immediately. We appreciate you continuing to share with families the SOS process and how we can learn how to best service the student through that process first, but we do need to be made aware. There are excluding factors that we need to explain to families and we can take care of those things for you.

Grading Window:The grading window will open next Monday. Just a reminder to do your best to have grades entered and posted before we leave for winter break. You will not be required to report to school (you may work from home) on Jan. 3rd, IF your grades are posted. Please let Sarah know as soon as your grades are ready to be checked. This will be your check off for not having to be in the building on Jan. 3rd. Anyone whose grades are not correctly posted on/by January 3rd will have a disciplinary action. So, please get them posted as soon as you can and Sarah and I will check for you so you know you are good to go!

Greetings Reminder: Please be sure you are at your classroom door when students are arriving. Your greetings to students make their day. In PBIS and CD training this is one of the top ways to build a relationship with your students.

PBIS Perceptual Data: From last week's PBIS pd, we were able to determine that student self control is the number one most frustrating student behavior. Miss Cordes is working on a 30 minute lesson plan for her, Mrs. Pryor and myself, to deliver to each classroom the week that we get back from break.

Infinite Campus Grading: For our gen-ed students who receive accommodations on assessments such as: parts of the test read or are allowed to redo an assignment/assessment, please note that in the comment section in IC for that assignment/assessment. We are noticing that some students who "struggle" actually have decent grades due to the supports teachers are naturally giving the student. By documenting that in IC, it allows the parents, student support team ,administration, and school psych to have a better understanding of the specific needs of the student.

January GR Training Dates: January 13-17th

Carolyn Gwen will be back in Franklin Township for one week for continued Guided Reading training. Please review the schedule below and plan accordingly. Sarah already has everyone's subs scheduled. (GREAT JOB SARAH!)

Jen Pryor will be at each training.

January 13th- Third Grade/Renee Alger

January 14th- Fourth Grade/ Jessica Curtis

January 15th-Fifth Grade

January 16th- First and Second Grade/ Megan Davis

January 17th- Kindergarten

The Acton Link

Click here for a list of helpful school specific links.

PBIS Central

Click here for anything and everything Acton PBIS.

19/20 SOS Form

Print this off and fill it out or make a copy and send to Brook.

Coaches Corner

Creating a Culture of Thinking

How can we create a culture of Thinking in our classrooms? Knowing the answer is one piece of evidence of understanding, but how much deeper is that thinking if they can talk about how they know. Simply asking, “How do you know?” in addition to that answer opens up a pathway to their thinking and gives us information about their misconceptions and if their thinking is sound. Read HERE for a small article that goes just a little more in depth.

Friendly Reminders:

  • Please read the chapter in the yellow book that pertains to your group and follow the steps outlined for each day. Below is a link to a cheat sheet that tells you the page numbers needed for each section of the template.
  • 3-5 Please use your Airways benchmarks to expose students to the vocabulary, the rigorous questioning, and the various question types they will be encountering during ILEARN.
  • K-5 Half-day planning for Q4 is the week of February 24th.
  • If you have a fluent group, but they still need word study due to their Word Knowledge Inventory data, use the transitional lesson plan template to incorporate this into the lesson.
  • You can extend your Guided Writing over 2 days if necessary.
  • Make sure you are using the super helpful resources that came in your component kits that accompanied your pioneer valley books. All teachers received the component kits.

Guided Reading Reminder

Thinking Ahead: The Middle of Year Guided Reading Assessment window is right around the corner, January 6-17. Just to be thinking ahead, here are some guideline tools to use to help plan for this. Keep in mind that you are able to use time at your Victory Table to complete assessments. Ideally we will still meet with our most frequent groups.

I will be making master copies of the whole group MOY assessments for each of you.

Upcoming Dates:

Q2C2 post/benchmark given by 12/20

Q2C2 data entered by 1/3

Data discussed on 1/8

Airways window: 12/2-12/13

Guided Reading MOY Jan 6th-Jan 17th

Carolyn Gwynn: Week of January 13th

Half day planning: Week of February 24th

Guided Reading

For some these are a review. Here are some lesson plan cheat sheets that outline the page numbers to use as reference for completing the lesson plan templates:

In the Yellow/Gold Next Step Forward in Guided Reading Book review the following for some helpful planning tips, ideas, etc.:

  • Lesson Modules: 257-286

  • Strategies and Skills by Level: 291-299

    • This also helps decide when to move to the next level

ELA Teaching Templates/Checklists:

We will eventually be revisiting our Mini-Lessons and Interactive Read Alouds. Until then, here are some reminders of useful tools:

19/20 Collaboration Schedule

Tuesday and Wednesday PD Schedules. This may change and will be updated throughout the year.

Counselor Corner

I've been reading some articles on how winter break can be hard on students and wanted to share some ideas I had that you could incorporate in the classroom to help relieve some of the stress/anxiety.

  • Change in routine- Even for the most regulated kids, a change in routine can be difficult! As my friend Becky showed in our CD video this week, review a visual calendar of how many days students will be gone and when they will return to school.
  • Changes in Tradition- I have talked with a lot of students about how they are worried or sad about Christmas this year because it is the first year without a loved one who died or things are different because someone has moved or their parents are separated.
  • Trauma- I have no data on this, but I believe often traumatic events happen around the holidays and this time of year can be very triggering to negative memories/associations. Acknowledge that winter break and holidays can be super fun, but can also be a hard time for many people (adults included). Allow students to draw or write about what they are excited about and what they are worried or anxious about.
  • Remember not everyone celebrates Christmas! I don't know if anyone at Acton doesn't, but I think we should be aware that it is not a universally celebrated holiday even though it feels that way.

Validate student's feelings and remind them you will be here when they return ready to hear about everything they did. Remind students they can use the calm down strategies they use at school at home. Send them to me if you think they need to talk through some things!

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Coming Up

Monday 12/16: Holiday Bling Day

MR Conference 8:15

WI CC 9:00

AG CC 11:50

Tuesday 12/17: Cookie Exchange in the Lounge

Collaboration: NO AM MEETING! Grade levels meet with Jen during Prep.

Sped Staffing 9:00

ZS Phone conference 11:50

CS Conference 1:30

Wednesday 12/18: Staff Breakfast in the LGI

Collaboration: Staff Breakfast

KK COnference 9:00

11:00 Sped Planning

11:50 IREAD Planning

Thursday 12/19: Staff Dinner at Revery

K fieldtrip

HK Meeting 11:50

Friday12/20: The Great Gift Give A Way

Last Day of school before Break!

All Pro Dads 7:45

2:00 All School Sing A Long

3:00 Winter Celebration


3 Teacher Record Day

6 Evac Drill

6 Students return

6-17 MOY Guided Reading

7 grades post for parents

9 PTO Meeting

10 Bus Driver Appreciation day

13-17 Kindness Week/Library Lessons K-2

13-2/28 WIDA

14 Skating Party

17 All Pro Dads

17 Mother Son event

20 MLK Day (make up day if necessary)

22 Field Trip forms due

22 Counselors meeting

FTCSC Hedgehog Focus

The Hedgehog Concept is based on an ancient Greek parable that states, "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." ... Hedgehogs, however, simplify the world and focus on a single, overarching vision, which they then achieve.

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