Thursday's Thoughts

Feb. 2, 2017

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It is up to us to create a culture of readers!

We have spent a lot of time this week discussing how we could instill the love of reading into our children. The students we serve each day are growing up in a digital world, and it is becoming more and more difficult to inspire them to pick up a book to read for enjoyment. Although the task may be difficult, we will continue to push forward! What are some things you can do every day to promote reading? Here are just a few musts for the elementary classroom.

1. Read aloud to students every day.

2. Use a reading log to track reading and to give you an idea of what students enjoy reading, to determine if they are abandoning books too easily, and ideas of what to purchase when building your libraries.

3. Send books home with students to read every single day in grades K-2. Utilize the library to make sure students are chosing "just right" books to ensure students in grades 3-5 always have a book to read.

4. At this time of the year, revisit your mini-lesson on choosing "just right" books. Many students need reminders in making good choices.

5. Create book challenges with your students to challenge them to read a certain number of books or pages.

There is no arguing the research that readers are better students. We are runners, so let's push to create students who want to read more and more. Read on CGE!

Homework and GoalPost

We have made some changes to our schedule in GoalPost and are working to provide more small group instruction for homework. Matt and I have joined the teachers who work regularly in GoalPost to help with homework. One of the issues with homework time is trying to depend on what the students tell us they need to complete for homework. Some students have copies of a weekly homework card, while others do not. In order to assist with this, and to ensure all students are clear on what needs to be completed each evening, please write the week's assignments on the board and have students take a picture on their iPads in grades 3-5. If you are already providing a written copy of weekly assignments, please disregard this. If you would rather provide a paper copy with the week's assignements, that is fine.

We have grouped the students and created a schedule where they rotate among the comptuer lab and reading time after finishing homework. We plan to track their work on the computers and their reading time as well to ensure this time is beneficial for them.

Also, please remember that 10-12 math problems is sufficient each night along with any other studying and/or reading.

We want to use our GoalPost time as time to move our students as much as we can as these are typically our students who have no help at home.

The Amazing Shake

Our second annual Amazing Shake event is planned for February 24th. This event is for students in grades 3-5 as students in grades K-2 are still working to develop their handshaking skills. Over the next week and a half, please determine who is your best shaker. Please remember that not only do they have to give a nice, firm handshake, but they must look you in the eye and have excellent communication skills. Your class winner is due February 16th. Class winners will compete against eachother as they participate in an interview process. Remember, they must have great communication skills and be able to keep a conversation going when speaking to an adult. We are working to secure some great judges and hope this contest will be a great experience for our students.

Daddy/Daughter Dance

Our Daddy/Daughter dance will be February 16th. We have some committees helping this year. I hope you will plan to be a part of this event as it is always one of our more special nights here at CGE.

Big Brother/Big Sister

Although we are a little late with this, we are going to grow our Big Brother/Big Sister program. In order to add to our program, please take the time to ask your class this question: "If you could sit beside anyone you wanted, who are three people you would chose in our class." A roster has been placed in your boxes. Please tally the number of times that each child is named. This will give you a clear picture of those children who need a big brother/big sister. It will also point out to you who may need some extra attention in your rooms. Please place your rosters with your tallies on my desk by next Tuesday, Feb. 7th. The Big Brother/Big Sister reveal will be Feb. 10th.

Annie

I am so excited about our first ever musical here at CGE. Thanks to Sheri and Stephanie for taking the time to organize, plan, and direct this event. Auditions are next Wednesday and the cast will be announced Friday, Feb. 10th. This is going to be so amazing! If you can help with auditions next Wednesday, please let Sheri know. I know with all the runners here that she will have more than enough help as she and Stephanie conduct auditions. :-)

MAAM

A few of us met this week to discuss TDA's and writing for our school. Remember to make sure you are teaching writing according to our CGE writing plans. As I have said before, this is one subject where you need chart paper, paper, and pencils. Leave the smartboard off for writing instruction. Get pencils to paper!

For teachers in grades 3-5, we want everyone to have the MAAM poster displayed. We want students to consistently use this strategy. If you need a copy of this poster, please let me know.

Upcoming Dates:

Feb. 6th: JRFH begins

Feb. 7th: Tallies due for "Who would you like to sit beside?"

Feb. 7th: Jennifer Carraway's Shower :-)

Feb. 8th: Annie Auditions

Feb. 10th: Annie cast announced

Feb. 10th: Big Brother/Big Sister reveal

Happy Friday!