Team Thomson News & Notes

January 22, 2018

Important Information for You!

Staffing Update

Well...there have been some shifts in counselling staff throughout the district and Jason will be staying on as our counselor here at Thomson. He will take on the position of Thomson/Hill. Jason is very excited to be able to stay here at Thomson and this will be his home school. As we finalize his schedule and the transition plans work themselves out, I will let you know. We hope to have all the transitions completed by Monday, January 29th.

Literacy Conference, Essentials, Vocabulary & More

This past weekend, Sara H., Megan R., Suzanne, and I along with several other Davison elementary teachers attended the GISD Literacy Conference. The key note speaker was Dr. Tanya Wright from MSU who has also done a tremendous amount of work on the Essentials of Literacy that the State is using to guide conversations and best practices as these essentials are all based in practical literacy research. I know that all of you have been given copies of the K-3 Essentials and that we have reviewed them, however, continual reference and discussion must continue. The State is doing a very nice job on the modules and video clips to accompany the Essentials and while it is taking some time to get them all out, they are doing them right. I have shared videos with you in the past as they have been release, but I encourage all of you to bookmark and refer back to it frequent. These essentials are a perfect accompaniment to our refocus on Balanced Literacy.

Tanya Wright's keynote focused on vocabulary development. The bulk of her research has been done in this area and in a study she referenced, there is little to no explicit vocabulary instructions taking place in classrooms today. Instead, there is lots of 'teachable moment' vocabulary teaching where a teacher comes across a word and gives a student friendly definition and moves on, never coming back to the new word or doing anything with it beyond that. In order to really engage in vocabulary learning, it must be intentionally planned, repeated, and revised. We should be working on building up our text sets around content area vocabulary. Also, as educators we must intentionally think about the language you use in the classroom. I will share some of the examples at our staff meeting Wednesday. In the meantime, please check out the YouTube link below from the Literacy Essential website demonstrating vocabulary instruction. The video is a little over 9 minutes.

IRIP Deadline Extended

Megan C. and I met last week and will be extending the IRIP Deadline until February 9th. This will allow us to hold all PLC Data Discussions and also give time for Megan to also meet with you in PLC groups if you'd like to write/revise the IRIP documents, but still have them completed in time for Early Parent-Teacher Conferences February 13th.

Cardinal Code Focus of the Week:

This week the Cardinal Code focus is RESTROOMS. One of the biggest problems I see is trash on the floors. Please make sure to review this entire lesson with your students.

Report Cards Distributed This Week

Report cards will be sent home with students this Thursday, January 25. In order to accomplish that task teachers need to make sure all grades and comments are entered into Synergy no later than 4:00 PM on Tuesday, January 23. Anna will run report cards on the morning of the 24th and teachers will then review, sign, and make additional copies for non-custodial parents on Wednesday afternoon. Parents should return signed report card envelopes to their child's homeroom teacher by Monday, January 29.

District Level Committees

The work done in district level committees is important and vital to providing the best curriculum for students. That work rests on the shoulders of teachers and is a professional responsibility that enables educators, who have a sense of where students are, to design instructional practice which promotes excellence. If you are serving on a committee it is important that you attend meetings and contribute to the process. When teachers are absent from a committee meeting their colleagues are shouldered with writing new curriculum and then having others potentially criticize it as not being representative of a grade level.

If you are serving on a committee and unable to attend due to family or your illness, please extend the courtesy of letting your committee chair (or coordinator) know you need to be absent. Likewise, if you are not currently serving on a curriculum committee your help is needed. I know that Thomson needs additional representation on the social studies and science committees, please let me know if you can help. Your professionalism will be appreciated.

Spending Cut-off

We have received the spending cut-off for all district general funds and this date will be February 23rd. If there are items that you wished to use general funds for, those orders will need to be turned into my office by Friday, February 2nd. Likewise, if there are 'big' items that you need for your classroom, please let me know right away. All student activity accounts (A-74) will remain open as usual.

Quotes Worth Reading

"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.“

Malcolm X

Thomson Elementary

Home of the Thomson Teddies!


Where Kids Come First and Futures Begin!

Celebrations & Announcements

Birthdays... No Birthdays this Week!

Sign up for the Staff Potluck February 2nd.

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Tuesday, January 23rd-Julie returns, Dee's last day!; Child Study Day (please get names to Jason and fill out the SIDR); Science Curriculum Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.; PTO, 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 24th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda: Building Problem Solving; Literacy Essentials; Retention Forms/Early Spring Conferences); Report Cards will be printed
  • Friday, January 26th-Report Cards Sent Home; End of PTO Box Top Challenge
  • Week of January 29th-Official PLC Week, but remember you will need to meet outside this week for PLC Data Day and to complete IRIPs.
  • Monday, January 29th-Math Curriculum Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 30th-PTO Pals; DI Meeting, 4:15-5:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 1st-Photo Factory will be in the building to take 'candid' shots; Elementary Principals Meeting (Natalie); CPR Training for MERT Team 3:45-6:45 p.m.
  • Friday, February 2nd-IRIPs due to Megan; Staff Pot Luck...sign up in the lounge.