North Side Paw Prints

Staff Newsletter

April 25, 2014

Volume 5, Issue 33

Mission Statement: "Maximize potential in all people every day"

Vision Statement: "To create a culture in which all children can learn lifelong skills to succeed"

Congratulations Laura Pepple and Ann Robbins for Going the Extra Mile this Month!

Weekly Quote

"If you’re going to keep moving forward, you have to keep your vision in front of you."

~ Author Unknown

Weekly Reflection

One measure of a great teacher is how much laughter and praising takes place in their classroom. How much laughter and praising takes place in your room?

Upcoming Dates


April 29-May 7th - ISTEP Multiple Choice & IMAST testing window

April 30 - May 5th - Actual ISTEP testing days (no success, IA's report early for testing, 2 hr delay schedule for these days)


April 30 - May 5th - Actual ISTEP testing days (no success, IA's report early for testing, 2 hr delay schedule for these days)

May 1st-7th ISTEP & IMAST Testing continues

May 7th - Spring Pictures & Class Pictures; Kdg field trip to Camp Lutherhaven

May 9th - Snow Make-Up Day: School will be in session; PTO Carnival 6:00-8:00pm; 2nd grade field trip to Botanical Conservatory/Science Central; SOM names due to Venita

May 12th - Breakfast with Mom 7:00-8:00am; Leadership Meeting 3:10 in conference room

May 13th - Middle School Staff visit for 6th grade; PTO Meeting 5:30 in library

May 14th - mclass reading and IRI window closes

May 15th - 5th grade field trip to McMillan; 6th Grade Parent Meeting at the Middle School

May 16th - Snow Make-Up Day: School will be in session

May 21st - Retirement Dinner; mclass math ends

May 22nd - 1st grade field trip to Zoo; 4th and 5th Grade Music Program at 6:30

May 23rd - Snow Make-Up Day: School will be in session

May 25th - TinCaps Game 7:05pm at Parkview Field

May 26th - No School - Memorial Day

May 29th - 6th grade Band Concert at South Side (students arrive at 6:00; concert at 6:30)

May 30th - Laptop Collection; 4th grade field trip to Sauder Village

This Week's Case Conferences

April 28th @ 12:20 Stoll, Savage

April 28th @ 1:00 Demske, Wilder

April 29th @ 3:30 Stoll, McHenry

Featured Instructional Strategy of the Week

Big image

To edit or not to edit - that is the question

QUESTION: Should a teacher "edit" or fix all the errors in a student's writing?

ANSWER: If fixing all their errors meant that students would never make the same mistakes in writing again, it would be worth the time spent to proofread and mark everything. But we know from research that it doesn't work that way. Deeper thinking happens when students can apply grammar rules rather than simply recalling the rule itself.

Students don't learn skills/rules when we fix their writing. For students to truly personalize the rules of grammar and conventions, they need to go through a process described by Janet Angelillo in A Grammar Study.

  1. NOTICE IT. Reveal examples of the skill used well in mentor text. Explain its function in writing. Why does a writer use this skill? How does it aid the reader? Reveal the formal rule to let students in on the specifics for the skill. (For mini-lesson ideas to support your convention instruction, check out our archived articles within the Idea Library.)
  2. NAME IT. Once students know what the skill looks like, they need to be able to find the skill in action in other texts. If they can't find it and acknowledge it in action, then they don't understand it enough to apply it in their own writing.
  3. TRY IT. Before students can apply the skill intentionally within a first draft, they need to be able to apply it as an after-thought in a previous piece. This allows them to practice the skill within the context of real writing they generated. In authentic writing, students will have to determine where and how to apply the skill to maintain the integrity of the message. NOTE: Most practice for grammar/convention skills occurs in a worksheet mode. However, it's easier to find and fix errors when each of the examples is formulaic and has the same mistake. That does not allow authentic practice of a skill.
  4. APPLY IT. The last stage of the process is to expect students to use the skill correctly when they write a new piece--and all pieces after that. This is when you can add the skill as a required component to a writing rubric and grade for its regular and accurate application.

For students to learn from their own writing mistakes, they need us to stop correcting their drafts.

CCR.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

CCR.L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

CCR.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Character Counts Pillar of the Month

April: Trustworthiness