Tiger Beat

Acton Weekly Update 1/4/18

FTCSC Hedgehog Focus

The Hedgehog Concept is based on an ancient Greek parable that states, "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." ... Hedgehogs, however, simplify the world and focus on a single, overarching vision, which they then achieve.

Big picture
Big picture

Coach's Corner

As teachers, it's vitally important that we continue to push ourselves and grow professionally, continually honing and perfecting our craft. In December, we looked at how we can slip into the Zero-Learning Zone.

Here are a few ways we can either stay out of, or climb out of, the Zero-Learning Zone.

Flip your perspective. One way to move forward as a learner is to gain a different perspective on how you lead and teach, or how your students learn. The easiest way to do this is to video record yourself doing something important, such as teaching a lesson. If you're not ready for video, try the audio record function on your phone. Interview students to hear their perspectives on your teaching. This will force you to see or hear things outside of your own perspective and, yes, learn.

Create specific goals. Well-crafted goals can provide guideposts that nudge you out of your comfort zone. Heidi Grant Halvorson says, "Taking the time to get specific and spell out exactly what you want to achieve removes the possibility of settling for less—of telling yourself that what you've done is good enough. It also makes the course of action you need to take much clearer."

Keep it simple and targeted. Learning may seem overwhelming if we try to accomplish too much all at once. Choose one learning target and stick with it until it is accomplished. An elementary teacher explained how each Friday she made a list of all the students in her class. For the students whose names she forgot or had to struggle to remember, she made notes about their unique strengths. The next week she took special care to think about the students she'd forgotten and reminded them and herself of their strengths so that she didn't forget those students the next Friday.

Treat yourself with compassion. Teachers are often harder on themselves than anyone else would ever be, and certainly harder on themselves than they would ever consider being with a friend. I believe educators need to be more compassionate toward themselves.

Next week is a big week for all of us. I can't wait to see the amazing gains that will come from next week's Guided Reading Training!

Curricular Updates

January 8th START 8:30-3:30 @ Ctech- Kindergarten Teachers

Lunch will be provided at 11:40

Live student demo ~ 2:00

January 9th START 8:00-3:00 @ Ctech - 1st-2nd Teachers

Lunch will be provided at 11:40

Live student demo ~1:00

January 10th START 8:30-3:30 @ Ctech - 3rd, 4th, 5th grade Teachers

Lunch will be provided at 11:40

Teachers bring

Chrome book

NSFGR (yellow book)

NSGRA (Assessment Kit) AND

K teachers ONLY ABC letters, trays, white board/marker

1-5 teachers whiteboard/marker

Conscious Discipline Video

Here's a funny video of a middle school teacher who changed his classroom by focusing on the Brain Smart Start, classroom jobs, and Wish Well. It's worth the watch.

Conscious Discipline Video


Weekly PBIS Focus Expectations:

Jan. 3-11 Week 1 Classroom Behavior Expectations Review (Hallway, Bathroom, Cafeteria, Guest Teachers)

PBIS Videos

PBIS Central

Click here for anything and everything Acton PBIS.


Next week: Please keep absences to a minimum! We will have several staff members out each day for Guided Reading Training and we will be doing our best to cover classrooms.

Here is our coverage plans at this point.

January 8th- K Only- NO SUBS

- All covered by IA's

Froning-IA Calvert

Emerine-IA Stevens

McMaster- IA Sutton

-Lunch Duty covered by: Waskcom/Wolski/RA/Thomas (EL)

January 9th- 1st and 2nd- 3 SUBS

Miller- IA Sutton

Gilkerson- SUB Lyons

Elliott- IA Stevens

Krug- IA Calvert

Brooks- SUB Coney

Parsons-IA Wolski

Davis-SUB Lane

Lunch Duty- Waskom/ RA/ SpEd IA's/ Thomas

January 10th- 3rd, 4th 5th- 6 SUBS

Jewell- SUB Lyons

Milholland-IA Calvert

Simmons- IA Sutton

Rigsby- SUB Coney

Reynolds-IA SUB DeNeal

Beechler-SUB Huxley

Leal-SUB Schulenberg

Neifert- IA Stevens

Greene-SUB Lane

Report Cards go home on Tuesday, January 8th. They will be in your mailbox today for your review. PLEASE do NOT send them home until Tuesday.

Please watch the video below. We will be sharing our "One Word" for 2019 at Tuesdays Collaboration Meeting. Think about this seriously over the weekend and decide on a word that will be your focus for this year!

Weekly Collaboration Schedule

Choose the tabs at the bottom to view each quarter

DOE Resources

The DOE has released items to practice with your students. Take a look at the way the questions are worded, the new formatting, new tools, and the rigor of the ILEARN test. Click on the link below to get started.

ILEARN Released Item Repository Grades 3 -5

Answer Keys: 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade

Planning Lessons by Standard ~ The DOE has provided many valuable resources

to help plan your mini-lessons and even questions your quick checks. Click on links.

Literacy Framework ~ (All Grades & all subjects) ~ Provides Learning outcomes, I Can

Statements, Question stems, vocabulary, & EL/SPED learning considerations

Item Specifications Database ~ (3rd - 5th Grade all subjects tested on ILEARN) ~ Provides clarity to how each standard could be accessed on ILEARN, a breakdown of the standard that gives insight into the DOK and specific skills needed, reading passage excerpts, sample questions and expected student responses to those questions.

Performance Level Descriptors ~ (3rd - 5th Grade all subjects test on ILEARN)

~Provide learning progressions for each standard from below, approaching, at & above proficiency.

Vertically Aligned Specifications: ELA & Math (All Grades) ~ This document allows the teacher to see the learning progression across grade levels for the same standard.

Writing Scoring Rubrics for ILEARN

~New Rubrics & Guidelines

  • Organization/Purpose (4 points) & Evidence/Elaboration (4 points) ~ These 2 scores are averaged.

  • Conventions Rubric (2 points)

  • Students read 2 sources in 3rd & 3 sources in 4th-5th to plan their writing.

Link to all Writing Rubrics

Link to Scoring Explanation

Ohana Calendar

Monday 1/7/19

  • Front Office Meeting 9:30 AM

Tuesday 1/8/19
  • Collaboration: Increasing Reading Log Minutes- share out what you've done. One Word for 2019

  • Kindergarten Team and Matt at Guided Reading Training

  • PTO at 6:30

Wednesday 1/9/19
  • Collaboration: Team Focus
  • First and Second Grade, Matt and Brook at Guided Reading Training.

Thursday 1/10/19

  • Third, Fourth, Fifth Grade Teams and Matt at Guided Reading Training.

Friday 1/11/19

  • Fifth Grade classes go to East for Music Recruitment 9:00

Coming Soon:


14-18 Kindness Week/Riley Jar Wars

14 School Board Meeting

15 Donatos fundraiser

16 Robotics

17 Grade 1 DIBELS Parent Night

18 All Pro Dads

18 Feb field trips due

21 MLK Day

22 5th grade instrument testing

23 ILearn Readiness Test

23 Robotics

24 STEM Scouts

25 Mother/Son Night

28 Skating Party

29 3rd grade field trip

30 Robotics

31 Yearbook activity pictures

Brook Wessel-Burke

Cell: 317-331-1920

Twitter: @bwesselburke

Acton Facebook Page

Acton Website