Ridgeview Review

Week 33 ~ May 4, 2015

I Wish My Teacher Knew...

If you have not heard about this teacher from Denver, CO, I encourage you to watch the video. http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/colorado-teacher-shares-heartbreaking-notes-graders/story?id=30368103

The lessons she learned by asking her students one simple question are astounding. Our students bring so much with them as they enter our doors each day. We need to KNOW them so that we can REACH them! Ideally, this is an activity to use at the beginning of the year, however, it is never too late build a positive relationship with a student.

Kyle Schwartz teaches third grade at Doull Elementary in Denver.

Although she says her students are a pleasure to look after, the educator of three years adds that many of them come from underprivileged homes.

"Ninety-two percent of our students qualify for free and reduced lunch," Schwartz tells ABC News. "As a new teacher, I struggled to understand the reality of my students' lives and how to best support them. I just felt like there was something I didn't know about my students."

In a bid to build trust between her and her students, Schwartz thought up a lesson plan called "I Wish My Teacher Knew."

For the activity, Schwartz's third graders jot down a thought for their teacher, sharing something they'd like her to know about them.

"I let students determine if they would like to answer anonymously," she says. "I have found that most students are not only willing to include their name, but also enjoy sharing with the class. Even when what my students are sharing is sensitive in nature, most students want their classmates to know.

"Some notes are heartbreaking like the first #iwishmyteacherknew tweet which read, 'I wish my teacher knew I don't have pencils at home to do my homework.' I care deeply about each and every one of my students and I don't want any of them to have to suffer the consequences of living in poverty, which is my main motivation for teaching."

"Building community in my classroom is a major goal of this lesson. After one student shared that she had no one to play with at recess, the rest of the class chimed in and said, 'we got your back.' The next day during recess, I noticed she was playing with a group of girls. Not only can I support my students, but my students can support each other."

Schwartz says she also hopes her lesson can help her connect students and their families with the proper resources they need to live comfortably.


The next step in our PBIS journey will be the implementation of CHAMPS in our classrooms. Several of our teachers have begun using these techniques this year and are seeing drastic improvements not only in classroom behaviors, but in the flow of their day. CHAMPS provides a consistent structure for our students.

This summer Ridgeview and Freedom Elementaries will be combining for a 2-day CHAMPS training, brought to our school from Region 11. Although attendance cannot be mandatory, CHAMPS implementation will be and I encourage you to take advantage of training from the experts.

The 2-day workshop will be July 28-29. We hope to be able to offer this as equivalency time for next year's school calendar. Please mark your calendar and plan to join us!

Here is a link for more info:


Keller University - Registration Opens May 4

This 4-day conference will provide numerous mini-sessions for you to choose from based on your own professional goals and learning needs, as well as 4 dynamic guest speakers. It will be well-worth your time!

You will receive your equivalency time for next year's calendar and your 6-hour GT update, but most importantly, you will spend 4 days learning with and from your peers. I hope you will join us!

Please vote for Ridgeview's Paraprofessional of the Year using the link below:

Pastries with Parents

This year our PTA hoped to do a breakfast with our parents. This is something many schools already do. Instead of having a separate day for each parent (Donuts with Dad; Muffins with Mom), we opted to have one day that included both, Pastries with Parents.

This date has been on our calendar all year. When we had to reschedule Open House, it unfortunately fell on the day before. Although we recognize the timing is not ideal, inviting our families into our school is always excellent customer service.

On Friday morning, parents and students will come directly to classrooms at 7:30. PTA will have pastries and juice in each room for every child (whether they are with a parent or not). Parents will be invited to eat with their child and then we will invite parents to leave after morning announcements. We will come around the building to help with any lingering folks.

Thank you for your flexibility as we look for a variety of ways to involve our parents in their children's education!

MAY EVENTS (And there are A LOT of them!)

May 4 - May 15 - EOY AIMSWEB Testing (3-4)

May 4 - RES Helping Hands Blood Drive; Author Visit for 3rd and 4th

May 5 - 4th Grade Play Day

May 6 - Birthday Book Club Party

May 7 - 4th graders to BCI; Open House/Fine Arts Night

May 8 - Pastries with Parents

May 11 - May 15 - CPAA Testing (K-2)

May 12 - Theatre performance; Film Festival Awards Night

May 13 - 4th grade to Art Museum

May 14 - P.S. It's My Body; Modules 3 and 4 of Literacy for Learning

May 15 - Flip Flop Visits due; Fire Drill

May 18 - May 22 - BOOK FAIR

May 19 - Rockin' Rattlers to NRH2O; Kid's Hope Mentor Party after school

May 21 - 4th graders to TMI; GLC Meeting; Chic fil a Dining Out Night

May 22 - RES Field Day

May 25 - NO SCHOOL

May 26 - TSMS Jazz Band performance; Reading Olympic Celebration

May 28 - Modules 5 and 6 of Literacy for Learning; Kindergarten Orientation

May 30 - KISD Graduations

June 3 - PTA Luncheon for Teachers

June 4 - Kindergarten graduation; EOY Class Parties

June 5 - Character Assembly; 4th Grade Send-off; Early Release

This week at RES....


Helping Hands Blood Drive - 8:00 - 1:00; front loop

Author Visit for 3rd and 4th grades; 8:45 - 10:40; library


4th grade Play Day!

Kindergarten graduation pictures (Snake Pit)

Elementary #23 Architect visits (11:30 - 3:00)


Deb out

Elementary #23 Architect visits (11:30 - 3:00)

Birthday Book Club Birthday Party; 2:20; library


4th grade to BCI; 8:30 - 10:30

Mystery Activity; 3:30; cafeteria

Fine Art Night/Open House; 5:30 - 7:00


Becky off campus

Pastries with Parents; 7:30; classrooms