Team Thomson News & Notes

January 23, 2017

Important Information for You!

Thomson Mini QAR 2017

The Thomson Mini QAR presentation will be February 15th from 4:15-5:15 p.m. Melissa and I met with Angie Hards and have a clear direction for our presentation. While we will briefly discuss each of our goal areas, the main focus is on updating where we have come in the area of Math. Melissa and I will be working out the details for completing the actual presentation and soliciting our committee chairs to present. I do not believe that this will be a difficult presentation to put together as we live our School Improvement Plan everyday. As always, School Improvement is considered a professional responsibility and the Thomson staff have always done an excellent job in this area. Please mark your calendar for February 15th and plan to attend our Mini QAR as either a presenter or supporter of your colleagues that present.

Cardinal Code & Trading Post

Due to snow days and holidays we have not had as many students visit the Trading Post these last two rounds, which is to be totally expected. However, the Behavior Committee and PPSC Teams have been working on a couple of ideas to implement to keep our students engaged and working toward earning those Cardinal Code stickers and making their way to the Trading Post. Beginning February 3rd, students will see Level 2 items at the Trading Post, meaning that they have to have two sheets filled up to earn that particular prize. These prizes may include:

  • Larger 'gifts': small stuffed animal, cool cups
  • Kid Spotlight int he Thomson Tidbits
  • Movie (15-20 minute show) and Popcorn with the Principal
  • Recess Buddy with Mr. Romanik
  • Special Short Craft
  • Treat with the Principal
  • Check out an extra book at library

We will be working out which ones we will use first and then let you know, so you can begin to share with the kids. Also, please consider changing up or adding to the 'Teacher Choice' in your classrooms. If you are noticing fewer students choosing this or not at all, it may be time to change up or add an additional items to this choice.

Additionally, we will have a Cardinal Code Relaunch when we return from Intersession which includes another tree with students earning cardinals and the announce/reminders for key areas. Since this will not take place until 27th, we will save the details for a later newsletter. If you have any ideas for the Relaunch, please let us know.

Don't Forget...The 15 Second Intervention Works!

The 15 Second Intervention has been around for awhile and it’s so powerful. This intervention helps build the social skills of kids who have not been taught how to appropriately interact with others, which can include a lot of our little ones who are still 'working things out'. It works because: 1) It points out to the student what was wrong and 2) It teaches kids what to do differently next time. Imagine what could happen if we all used this strategy, consistently. POSITIVE CHANGE for all involved!

Here are the basic sentence starters: “I saw you…..This doesn’t help other…….I’d never let anyone disrespect’s not okay…..In the future…

What Our Kids Need to Really Learn + Achieve--Straight From the Experts!

Shelly Fenner, Middle School Principal shared the following points with her staff recently and I thought that include them as a good reminder of what has the greatest impacts on learning and achievement for even our little ones.

*Relationships with adults who listen, show empathy, warmth, caring and positive

attitudes/hope for the future (.72 Hatttie effect size)

*Teacher clarity: learning targets; clear expectations/directions for activities orally/

visually; teachers provide guided practice with time for kids to get feedback on what they are doing; learning assessed throughout the day (.75 Hattie effect size)

*Coherent, viable curriculum: following curriculum; sticking to and knowing Common Core State Standards

*Sound teaching routine: including 5 minuite limit on teacher talk followed by student

processing of activity, student talk, etc.; what are the ways you are upping the amount of student talk in your classroom?

Although a few things above are more suited to teachers and parapros, the first one includes ALL staff!

Success Criteria

“Success Criteria describe in specific terms what successful attainment of the Learning Goals looks like.” (Growing Success, 2010) What are Success Criteria?

Success Criteria:

 describe what successful (“on target”) learning looks like.

 are developed by the teacher through deconstructing and analyzing the curriculum/ program expectations linked to the Learning Goal to determine what characteristics or qualities to look for in a student’s performance/work.

 answer the questions: “How will teachers and students know when the Learning Goal has been met? What are we looking for during the learning to inform our instruction?” What are the characteristics of effective Success Criteria?

Effective Success Criteria:

 are established by the teacher and clearly show students how to successfully demonstrate learning at the end of an instructional period.

 allow for differentiation in process and product based on student needs.

 are expressed in clear language which is meaningful to all learners.

 can be refined during the instructional period, depending on student needs It may be important to articulate the steps required to complete a task; however, these steps do not describe successful attainment of learning and are not Success Criteria.

High School Graduation

High School Graduation Information regarding this years graduation ceremonies has been sent out. I encourage all staff to participate in the ceremonies. If you choose to participate, and I hope that you will, please complete the form sent out by Robin Ricica and turn in to Anna. She will forward them on. New this year—a parking voucher and I will offer the same deal to all teachers that participate as I did last year!

Early Release Day

Mark this on your calendar!

Wednesday, February 8 is our next early release day. Please note the following: Teachers—ALL teachers (including specials) will meet at Central for our upcoming early release. Our afternoon will begin at 2:15 and go until 5:15 pm. The time of the PD will allow out of town teachers time to get to Central after their students are dismissed. During the PD time we will take both the STAR Math and Reading Assessment, review quadrant data, and unpack CCSS. An agenda will be coming out soon with further information.

Para-professionalsALL para-professionals and Challenge Coordinators will be meeting in the DMS Community Room. The afternoon will begin at 1:40 pm and go until 4:40 pm. During this time staff will meet with Amy Chorley for strategies and skills students need to be successful in the classroom; and with Julie Crockett who will share some strategies for the teaching of math.

Early Conferences

As you set your Early Conference times with parents, please make sure a copy of your schedule is given to the office. If you have any conference that you'd like me to sit in on with you, please let Anna know so she can get them in my schedule.

5D+ Self-Assessment & Goals

Remember your new Self-assessment should be completed by January 27th. This is for all certified staff members. When completing your self-assessment to begin the Second Inquiry Cycle please remember to follow the steps below:

-Log on to PIVOT

-The last button across the top menu bar is Evaluations

-Put your cursor there and you’ll get a drop down menu

-Click on My Evaluations

-A new page will open and you’ll see “New Self-Assessment” in a green box at the top.

-Click there to complete your self-assessment

Quotes Worth Reading

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education."

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself."

-John Dewey

Thomson Elementary

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Where Kids Come First and Futures Begin!

Celebrations & Announcements

Birthdays: No birthdays this week...

We have another new face at Thomson this week! Please join me in welcoming Stephanie Weidenhammer to Thomson. Stephanie will be Emily William's long term sub while Emily is out on maternity leave. Still no baby, but hopefully today...stay turned.

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, January 23rd-Math Curriculum Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.; PTO Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 24th-PTO Pals; Flushing teachers visiting Developmental K classrooms
  • Wednesday, January 25th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 p.m. (Agenda: Amy Chorley-Behavior continued); Data Day
  • Thursday, January 26th-Data Day
  • Week of January 29th- PLC WEEK
  • Wednesday, February 1st-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda:TBA); District Kindergarten PLC all day
  • Friday, February 3rd-Super Bowl Snack Lunch...sign up in the lounge!
  • Monday, February 6th-100th Day of School!; Science Curriculum Meeting 4:15-6:15 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 7th-Photo Factory here to take candid class photos; Early Parent-Teacher Conferences 4:30-6:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 8th-Early Release Day
  • Friday, February 10th-Leadership Team Meeting, 7:30 a.m.; PTO/Chuck E. Cheese Fundraiser after school until close