Union Weekly Staff Update

Volume 24- February 7, 2016

Our Mission

Union Elementary strives to create a nurturing and kid focused learning environment where teachers, students, and parents work together in supportive and collaborative partnerships so all students can meet their potential.

A Message from Jen

I want to share my thanks for all of your efforts to make last week so fabulous. Student grant presentations, Dads Club meeting, 2nd grade Dads breakfast, and STEM night all made for a fun but quite busy week! Thank you for the extra time and energy you put in to make it memorable for our students. I am honored to work with such a dedicated team that is willing to go well above and beyond the call of duty. I hope that you were able to relax in order to gear up for our last full week before the Presidents' Day break.


From the reports it appears that winter is returning early this week, so please be safe as you head to and from school this week.


Go Broncos!

This Week's Events

Its Random Acts of Kindness Week! See email from Stacey for details.


Continuing this week- Team Witsken Tennis during PE classes; Mid Year Meetings Continue; OLSAT testing for new 4th graders (2/9 and 2/11)


Monday, February 8th

8:00, February PD Planning Meeting in first grade classroom (anyone willing to host?)

8:00, ACR in Conference Room- Andrus, Ruthsatz, Van Curen, Lockhart, Ioannacci

6:00, School Board meeting at ESC


Tuesday, February 9th

Roselli's Lunch Orders due

8:00, Staff Meeting in the Green Computer Lab

Jen out for INALI Cohort Meeting

4:00, Handbook Committee at ESC


Wednesday, February 10th

10:50-1:05, Star Student Lunches in Conference Room- Raycroft


Thursday, February 11th

Green Team Roselli's Lunch

8:15, Speech ACR in conference room- Van Curen, Ioannacci

10:00, Office Meeting


Friday, February 12th

Valentines Day Classroom Parties

9:30, ABM Weekly Meeting

February 9th Staff Meeting

Back by popular demand, our February 9th meeting will be a "choose your own adventure" PD experience. We will begin together in the Green lab at 8:00 for celebrations and to continue our discussion on student empowerment from our November meeting. We will then disperse for 20 minute sessions led by resident experts around the building. 20 minutes will pass quickly, so hopefully these sessions will give you a taste of the topic. Perhaps it will ignite an interest you will want to pursue during your professional time during the afternoon of our PD Day next Tuesday.



Junior Great Books- You may have heard about Junior Great Books as a literacy resource for high ability students. However, the development of close reading and discussion skills and the exposure to classic literature are good for all students. Come to this session to learn more about the basic structure of the program and about the materials available for use here at Union.

Shared by: Jenny Hamelmann and Kathy Roy

Location: Kathy’s classroom


Ron Clark- Are you interested in learning about The Ron Clark Academy and new activities to integrate within your classroom the next day? Then this session is for you! Breanne spent two days at the RCA experiencing this cutting edge school and is excited to pass along what she learned.

Shared by: Breanne Tisch

Location: Breanne’s classroom


Mathematical Problem Solving- From the work of the Flessners, learn more about how to identify and write the 14 different problem types that that form the basis of the Indiana College and Career Ready Standards.

Shared by: Katie Meyer and Lyn Smith

Location: Lyn’s classroom


Practice Math Skills through Games- If you are looking for an engaging way to practice computation skills and problem solving come take a look at games used by Flessners. Your students know how to play these games already and you will leave with gameboards. No extra prep needed.

Shared by: Trish Brimmer and Lynne Munley

Location: Trish’s classroom


Weebly- Looking for an authentic medium for students to make their learning more visible? Intimidated by the thought of having your students creating websites? Don’t be!! Tonya and Erin will share some tips for getting started using this free, drag and drop website creator.

Shared by: Tonya Clark and Erin Kay

Location: Green Computer Lab


Writing in Response to Close Reading- In this session, participants will learn how to extend students’ written response to reading. Kelly will share how she has been able to integrate what she learned from a recent Smekens workshop to add another dimension to her Readers’ Workshop.

Shared by: Kelly Masters

Location: Kelly’s classroom

Calkins Study Group- Friday, 2/12 at 8 AM

On Friday morning, those who recently received the Calkins RUOS will meet in the conference room for conversation on the Lucy Calkins Reading Units of Study materials. However, anyone interested in learning more is welcome to join us! Our focus this meeting will be the architecture of a mini-lesson. Lucy has a lot to say, so how can you ensure that the lesson is truly mini? We will work to support one another in making the lessons our own, while staying true to the teaching point. If you have received the RUOS materials, please bring one unit with you to work with. Snacks will be provided.

Valentines Day Parties

A few reminders (repeat from email sent 1/29)-


- Please check with your room moms about snacks/crafts and making sure that they are safe for all of your students. Reach out to the families of your students with allergies.

- If you are doing Valentine exchanges, please remind your families to keep these to non-edible items.

- Please make sure that your volunteers have background checks. Marchele has this information.

- Please let Marchele know what time you are having your party.

February Birthdays

The happiest of birthdays to the following STARS who will be celebrating another year during the month of February:

February 1st- Patty Williams

February 3rd- Jenna Reynolds

February 6th- Kathy Roy

February 8th- Lauren Dunn

February 25th- Cindy Jansen

February 28th- Trevor Dixon