Team Thomson News & Notes

March 6, 2017

Important Information for You!

Family Reading Night

Thank you again to everyone who helped to make this year's Family Reading Night a huge success! We welcomed over 200 families into our building last Thursday evening and I heard nothing but positive comments. Events like this demonstrate our commitment to our kids and parents alike and I couldn't be prouder...again, thank you!

March is Reading Month

This week I will begin taking the pictures for 'Pie in the Face'. This was so much fun for the students last year and when asked if staff wanted to do it again this year, there was no objection. Thank you for your willingness to possibly get a 'pie in the face'. Classroom teachers, please continue to promote the reading calendars in your weekly newsletter.

Cardinal Code Relaunch

This week we kick-off the second week of our Cardinal Code Relaunch. I can not tell you how excited the students are to put their cardinals on the tree and how proud they are to show their parents. If you haven't already, please introduce the 'yellow cardinals' to your students. The purpose of the 'yellow cardinal' is for students to recognize other students who are following the Cardinal Code. Please remember that we are not to 'pass judgement' on their thinking, but rather to guide them, if a student can justify why they believe a 'yellow cardinal' should be given they should be allowed to do so. I believe that each teacher was given enough for each student to recognize at least one fellow classmate, but of course you can always cut or give out more. We will also continue to give out 'red cardinals' this week as well and Classroom teachers should be planning to spend time each day reteaching the areas of the Cardinal Code that your classroom needs most.

Memos from Mr. Brown

Friday, certified staff received two memos from Mr. Brown's office one on the evaluation process and one on lesson plans. Please take the time to read through them carefully. In memo on lesson plans, Mr. Brown shares the importance of lesson planning and the need for changes to these plans given state expectations and our new evaluation tool. While this change appears to be quite scary, as all change is, please note that this change will not take full effect until the start of the 2017-18 school year as I shared in an email Saturday after hearing from a couple staff members. Please know that while a timeline was not included within the memo it was important that Mr. Brown notify all staff of the upcoming changes to lesson plan expectations. At this time I would encourage all of you to review your plans and, as we continue to unpack CCSS, work to include the standard number (you do not have to write out the CCSS verbiage) or any other component of the new expectations that you may not presently include in your plans. I will not be marking anyone down if these expectations are not tried out this school year. I do expect that staff will begin to work through their current plans so that they are able to meet the new expectations in the fall. As I shared, I am more than willing and happy to work with any teacher, PLC, or group of teachers that have questions and to work with willing staff members to create exemplars for lesson plans including the expectations for next year.

Learning Targets: Success Criteria using Co-Teaching and Exemplars

In past newsletters, I have shared the importance and research of linking success criteria to learning targets in order to support student learning. The following videos touch on precision teaching (purpose) using exemplars for success criteria and co-creating success criteria with your students. As I observe in classrooms I'm seeing much of this work in action but offer these two videos as a review and examples of ways in which this may look in the classroom. I encourage you to take the time watch the videos and discuss with your PLC teams how these types of teaching may look in your classrooms, how they may be modified, or ways in which you are communicating success criteria to your students.

Co-creating success criteria, Sara Carroll
Precision Teaching: Success Criteria and Exemplars

Quotes Worth Reading

"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future."

-J.R.R. Tolkien

"Be the energy you want to attract."


Thomson Elementary

Home of the Thomson Teddies!


Where Kids Come First and Futures Begin!

Celebrations & Announcements

Birthdays: None this week...

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Week of March 6th-PLC Week
  • Monday, March 6th-Math Curriculum Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 8th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 p.m. (Agenda; Mini QAR Follow-up/SIP; Quadrant Data;Sandy Hynes Memorial Fund); Tornado Drill
  • Friday, March 10th-Leadership Team Meeting, 7:30 a.m.(remember all are invited and PD will be granted); STAR Progress Monitoring Day
  • March 14th-District Improvement Meeting,4:15-5:15 p.m.
  • March 16th-Fire Drill
  • March 17th-St. Patrick's Day; $5 Pizza Lunch sponsored by Social Committee
  • Week of March 20th-PLC Week
  • March 20th-PTO, 6:30 p.m. Lauren and Andrea are the teach reps for this meeting
  • March 21st-PTO Pals; Playground Monitor Meeting, 10:30 a.m.; ELA (K-2 only) Meeting, 4;15-6:15 p.m.
  • March 22nd-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m (Agenda: Amy Chorley, Behavior Series); Child Study Day (Please send any new names to Maida and myself)