Thursday's Thoughts

January 7, 2015

2016 - The Race Is On!!

The beginning of January marks the second half of the year filled with benchmarking students in order to get current reading levels, anaylzing standards to be sure that you will cover your grade level standards before testing and the end of the year, and determining what to do for those students who are not where they should be after 4 1/2 months of instruction. The push is most definitely on as we know about our new state test and every minute counts! Remember -EVERY MINUTE DOES COUNT! As I walked the halls yesterday morning, my heart was filled with joy as I looked at my watch at 8:17 and could here many of you already beginning your instructional day. I am thankful that you realize the importance of having no wasted/down time in your classes. Thank you for being the teachers our kids deserve!

This week's Thursday's Thoughts is filled with a lot of information. Please read it carefully. I do not want to waste your time meeting when I can send it to you for you to read. If you have any questions about this information, just let me know.

Kristie

Attendance

I cannot stress to you enough the importance of taking attendance and ensuring that attendance is correct. Attendance is tied to our funding, and we have to make sure we have this right. We have had 9 students to enroll this week and 7 students to leave us. Please remember that even if you know a students has moved, and they are still in your grade book, YOU MUST CONTINUE TO MARK THEM ABSENT. We will not take them out of your grade book until we have a records request from the receiving school. This may mean that they are still in your grade book for many days even after they have left our school. You must mark them absent. Please follow this rule at all times: If a student is not sitting in front of you in the classroom and their name is in your grade book, mark them absent. If they are sitting in front of you, mark them present. I know you are ready to begin teaching, and you have a lot going on in the mornings, but attendance is very important. Please make this one of your priorities each morning.

Jennifer Seravallo in Columbia March 3rd! If you would like to attend, let me know.

Reading conference in Hilton Head February 26 & 27. Let me know if you are interested.

Attendance

We are in the process of coming up with a way to promote good attendance in the coming months. We will let you know as soon as we come up with a plan. Good attendance is critical for both our students and our staff. Attendance Blitz plan coming soon!

Recess

Jane Harrison shared a research study with us today about a school in Texas that implemented a morning and afternoon 15 minute recess each day. The study showed that rather than having one 20-30 minute recess, students benefited from a morning and afternoon break. It spoke about the differences two breaks made especially in students with attention issues. They found that grades rose and test scores increased when students were given a 15 minute recess in both the mornings and afternoons. Just something to think about...

Along those same lines, please remember the importance of supervision during recess. Make sure you are seated in various areas of the playground so that you can see all students playing. Also, if students need to come in from the playground, please walk them down to the door. We have almost lost some students because they can't get in and they are walking to different doors. We want to make sure we have an eye on all students at all times.

In addition, our school rule for recess is going to be to stay inside if the temperature is below 40 degrees. If the temperature is 40 degrees or higher and not raining, please go outside if only for a short time. Recess is important and different grade levels are doing different things about going outside. This rule will make us consistent across grade levels when it comes to recess. If a student does not have a coat, you can send them to me and we can get them one so that they can go outside.

Copier

Just a reminder about color copies and copies in general. Please only copy what you need. Our copier bill continues to be a very high bill each month. I know you need copies, but just be mindful about what you do copy.

Reading KIt- LLI: Levels R and above

We have purchased the purple LLI kit that begins at level R. This kit has guided reading lessons for each level along with the books. The lesson plans are already created and it is good lessons written by Fountas and Pinnell. This kit is located in the old computer lab. We use LLI for our struggling readers, but you can use these lessons for your high groups. Let me know if you have questions about how to use this program. It is really good!

Board in conference room

Please update with your current plans.

Morning Announcents

We will begin morning announcements through videos next week. I had hoped to have it ready by tomorrow, but was unable to do so. I will send you the link next week before Friday.

Reading Staff Development

Our next reading staff development with Stacey will be February 4th and 5th. We will be discussing data and the importance of using data in reading. Please look at your lowest student and plan to bring the following items with you to this training: reading log, journal, independent reading notes, interest inventories, and a current SEI. We will follow the schedule below:

February 4th:

AM: Grades 2&3

PM: Grades 4&5

February 5th:

AM: Grades K4, K5, and 1st

Interventionist Meeting

I would like to meet with Beth, Jane, Hannah, and Amber January 13th at 9:00. Let me know if this time works for you.

Faculty Meeting

We will meet Tuesday, January 12th at 3:15.

Please pray for Mr. Terry. He has not been feeling well this week.

Happy Friday and Duty Free Lunch!