Raymore Update: 11/19/13

News For & About our Staff Family & PLC

Inspirational Quote

"An artful teacher helps students see themselves, their lives, their talents, and their aspirations in the curriculum they study." Carol Ann Tomlinson & Tonya R. Moon

Thanksgiving Dinner Friday, November 22

Many of our Raymore families look forward to our Annual Thanksgiving Dinner. We will have approximately 1,000 people onsite this day. Our themes for this day will be an enjoyable and thankful fellowship, positive PR, and security. In order to ensure these themes are carried out to the fullest extent, please remember to carefully read the following Thanksgiving Lunch Procedures listed on this link:


Also, the Thanksgiving Lunch Schedule has been updated (grades 3 & 4). Please check the finalized schedule and communicate any changes to parents as needed. These documents are all shared with you in the RE Shared Folder under "Thanksgiving Lunch". Here's to a wonderful feast on Friday!! Enjoy!

Adopt-A-Family Here at Raymore for Christmas!

The holiday season can be a difficult time for some families who are facing tough financial situations. This email will provide information for those families who would like to be adopted and for those families who would like to adopt a family.

Families Requesting Assistance Information

As the 2013 holidays near, our school receives requests from our school families, churches and civic organizations for families that could benefit from help. If you wish your family to be included in this community outreach, please go to the following link and complete the form no later thanThursday, November 14th. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1jiTLe1wIsZ13KlVEa0U1k0AdCGR7b3oUi82_uHZY0Z8/viewform.Please remember that this is a request for help; there is no guarantee your family will be adopted, however we will do the very best we can to help fill your need.

Families Interested in Adopting a Family Information

If you are planning on adopting a family during this holiday, please consider adopting a family at Raymore Elementary, knowing you are helping a family right here in our school. All families will remain completely anonymous and confidential. Neither the family nor children’s names will be given; this includes both the family “being adopted” and the family “doing the adopting.” We feel this is important for a variety of reasons. All presents will be delivered to the school and I will be sure they get to the family. Please see below for more details. If you or someone you know is interested in adopting a family, please go to the following link and fill out the form no later than Thursday, November 14th. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1seOVzWuh2hIOfGrKk6jLzN-nGo8oA95cD_W83huI2mk/viewform I will then email you with the information of your family, including the age, gender, clothing, and toy requests. Often people ask me what they can do for the parents. If you are wanting to get a gift for the parents, gift cards to clothing or grocery stores are always great. We thank you, in advance, for your help with this wonderful program. Please be sure to follow the steps below to ensure the most efficient and effective way, while maintaining confidentiality to deliver all presents in time for the holidays. The information you receive regarding your “adopted family,” will include a number assigned to each family and letters assigned to each child (no names will be given).Please include wrapping paper, tape and gift tags we can give to the parents. This way the parents are able to see what the presents are, wrap the presents themselves and write the child’s name on the outside of the present to make it more personal. Please put all presents in a big bag(s) and be sure to indicate the family number and child letters on the outside. **All presents must be bought and dropped off at Raymore Elementary by Monday, December 9th. You may drop off the presents anytime prior to the 9th. Please drop off at the Raymore Elementary office.

All of us here at Raymore Elementary wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season!

Repeat from Last Week: MVP (Most Valuable Piece of information) from my reading

From time to time, I find myself re-reading "good stuff" from my past book studies, articles, etc. One of those books from my instructional coaching days is Classroom Discussions: Using Math Talk to Help Students Learn by Chapin, O'Connor & Anderson. The great thing about these strategies is that they work for ALL content areas to delve into kids' thinking AND engage more than just the one child initially responding!

Here are my favorite parts of Ch. 2: The Tools of Classroom Talk

  • It matters what you say and how you say it!
  • As teachers, we elicit responses from our students in various ways...when students become familiar with our inventory of phrases and expressions, they usually know what we expect of them. Although we rarely stop to think about our most common conversational prompts, they are among our MOST important instructional tools!
  • Five productive "talk moves:"
  • Revoicing ("So you're saying that it's an odd number? ... ")
  • Asking students to restate someone else's reasoning. ("How would you repeat/describe what he just said in your own words?" ...)
  • Asking students to apply their OWN reasoning to someone else's reasoning. ("Do you agree or disagree with...? Why?/Justify it...with evidence!/thinking")
  • Prompting students for further participation. ("How could you add on to what so-and-so just said?")
  • Using wait time! ("Take your time...we'll wait..." ...and then ensuring we do!)

My takeaways~Questioning is one of the MOST powerful tools to facilitate students' learning, ensure they deeply reason/justify that thinking with evidence/logic, AND increase the accountability of MANY students v. just the student you're doing teacher Q&A with. When I coached, I would often suggest pre-planning ONE "big question" related to the content target to answer by the end of the lesson and then intentionally use these talk moves to facilitate students' thinking along the way. That way, the kids were doing the thinking and talking v. me/the teacher & the depth of their responses was great!

Consider: How these might be have value in our weekly lesson planning here?

Reminders & FYIs

  • Friendly Reminder: It is important to make sure you are on time to greet your students in the morning at the classroom door, for meetings, PD, etc.
  • Thank you for scheduling class restroom breaks. If there are emergency situations, it will be important to send a student with a buddy to the restroom. Hopefully with these structures in place it will help reduce the amount of vandalism that is occurring in our restrooms.
  • Do not "friend" students or former students on Facebook (reviewed again in August in the training.) That opens you/others up for great risk. Thank you for exercising this to ensure great professionalism with our interactions. If you have questions, don't hesitate to talk with me.
  • Please remember to keep your classroom doors locked and use the magnet strip on your door to allow access into the classroom. If you need another magnet strip, please see Jennika.
  • Don't forget Seth will be offering "Pop In" PD in the mornings to help with technology questions you may have. Look for scheduled dates.
  • Call or text Michelle & Jennika if you're going to be unexpectedly absent (after 4 pm day before). 616-4210 and 550-4434
  • Call or text Michelle if you will be in the building on the weekend! Protection One and Raymore PD contact her directly, so it's important she is aware in case a worry arises. 616-4210
  • Remember to check the RE Shared Calendar for events! We are still adding, and things change.
  • Remember to add your lesson plans to the Google RE Shared Folder each week.
  • Remember to add your current class schedule to the Google RE Shared Folder & before you implement changes; post outside your door too.

PLC: Our Mission, Vision, Values

As a professional learning community, we commit to three big ideas:

  1. Focus on Learning
  2. Build a Collaborative Culture
  3. Focus on Results

We answer four questions:

  1. What do we expect our students to learn? (Goals/Expectations)
  2. How will we know they are learning? (Assessment)
  3. How will we respond when they don’t learn? (DI Intervention)
  4. How will we respond if they already know it? (DI Extension)

To fulfill our mission & vision:

  • M: Preparing each student for a successful and meaningful life
  • V: Turning today's learners into tomorrow's leaders

With these commitments:

  • We are committed to consistency & accountability for each student's success.
  • We are committed to a system of support for students and adults.
  • We are committed to a safe, trusting and collaborative environment.
  • We are committed to best practices.
  • We are committed to high expectations for learning, behavior and citizenship.
  • We are committed to quality communication & positive relationships with all stakeholders
  • We are committed to effective communication regarding student progress.
  • We are committed to data-driven decision making.
  • We are committed to use of appropriate channels for communication.
  • We are committed to a guaranteed (consistent) and viable (doable) curriculum.
  • We are committed to maintaining fiscal responsibility while improving student achievement