Friday Focus

September 25th, 2015


Thanks so much to all who came out to our PTO Pizza Fundraiser! The PTO very much appreciates your partnership.

Awesome job to Melissa Love and Pat who have created an awesome, interactive learning space in the LRC!

Thanks to Lydia who spent her Thursday evening at the Woodridge Library signing up families for library cards.

Thanks again to fifth grade for starting the shout-out board. Let's add to it!

Eight Powerful Strategies

Please take the time to read the following (brief) article. Consider which strategies are consistently being implemented in your classroom. Which strategies can you work to embed? You'll notice how F.O.C.U.S is woven throughout the eight strategies.

Standards-Based Grading Meeting

I am encouraging all teachers to attend the District's Standards-Based Grading meeting on Wednesday, September 30th from 3:30-4:30. (I realize some have daycare issues, etc. so I understand if you can't be there.) It will be a great opportunity for you to learn more and to get your questions answered.

Here's the invite:

We will hold an informational meeting for staff who have questions about our change to Standards-Based Grading (SBG) at the Professional Development Center on Wednesday, September 30th from 3:30 to 4:30 at the PDC. The purpose of this meeting is to answer any questions that may still be lingering. We will send out a list of the questions asked and answers to them following the session. If you can't make it, please give your building Instructional Resource Specialist your questions so we can have answers for them and add to the list.

Planning and Preparation - Designing Coherent Instruction

One of the critical components of effective instructional planning is ensuring that learning activities are aligned to instructional outcomes. What do you want students to know and be able to do as a result of the lesson? What is the standard being addressed? What is the learning target?

As I review our Meadowview lesson plans, I see a series of activities in the plans, as opposed to a series of activities that align to instructional outcomes. You'll notice that in the Danielson Framework, coherent instruction requires an alignment of activities to instructional outcomes (snapshot below). (Please review the PDF I shared with you or find it on the shared drive in the Woodridge Teacher Evaluation Plan Resources folder.)

So, to support you in this area as we move through our new evaluation framework, I am expecting you to include the learning standard and the student-friendly learning target for ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS and MATH in your weekly lesson plans. This will afford you the opportunity to offer evidence that your planned learning activities align to instructional objectives.

Here are examples of what I currently see in the lesson plans:

Reader's Theater

Introduce Main Idea

Practice Math Fact Fluency

Do measurement worksheet

Here are examples of lesson planning that shows evidence of planned activities that align to instructional objectives:

Reader's Theater > Standard - Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension > Learning Target - I can read fluently (easy, smooth, automatic)

Main Idea > Standard - Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details to explain how they support the main idea > Learning Target - I can define the main idea (who or what the text is mostly about)

Math Fact Fluency > Standard - Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies > Learning Target - I can recall from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers

Measurement > Standard - Estimate lengths using units of inches, feet, centimeters, and meters > Learning Target - I can estimate the length of a given object in inches and feet

A tool that makes this quick and easy (after set up) is Common Curriculum. This site is free and allows you to personalize a lesson planning template to meet your needs. It has a drop down bar with the standards listed so that all you have to do is click on the standard you wish to address for each particular lesson. I've included two screen shots of how a teacher here at Meadowview uses this planning tool (below). Planbook is also an online tool that others in the building are using. It offers many of the same features as Common Curriculum.

You'll notice that once you start writing the instructional outcomes in your plans, your lessons will become more coherent and students will have a better chance of reaching the communicated learning target for each activity in which they are engaged. Also, this will assist the staff that push in to your rooms. They review your plans weekly and it's difficult for them to know how to provide targeted support when all they see is, "Reading Lesson 8." The standards and learning targets will help them plan accordingly with an aligned effort to support students.

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Teacher Assistance Team and Social Emotional Learning

At our Monday Meeting, classroom teachers will be provided with an overview of how our Teacher Assistance Team (TAT) will work. As some general reminders, we are required (by law) to follow the RtI process when bringing both behavioral and academic concerns to the team. What that means is that we need to provide core/universal curriculum for both behavioral and academic needs prior to a student moving to the Tier II intervention level.

Regarding social/emotional learning and behavior, classroom teachers need to address the Illinois Learning Standards for Social/Emotional Learning. The link is below. Many of you do this through Caring School Community, CHAMPS, Second Step, or in a variety of other ways (classroom meetings, etc.), and of course our Significant 72 activities address SEL as well. Our school social workers across the district are required to spend the majority of their time on their IEP caseload. This means that classroom teachers need to address the SEL standards through their core curriculum PRIOR to bringing a student to the the TAT or problem-solving team. We'll explain more on Monday. If you are in need of any materials to address the SEL Standards, please let me or Wendy know.

S'more Smores

Notes and Reminders

  • There will NOT be a Smore next Friday. Please work on the above items and make note of the upcoming dates below.
  • I will be at the IRC conference next Thursday and Friday to support Liz, Melissa L, and Vickie as they present to educators from around the state.
  • After school clubs start on Tuesday. Please carefully review your list of students attending after school clubs and ensure they are sent to the correct place.

Monday Meeting - All Staff

All staff should meet in the LRC on Monday at 3:10 for an overview of My Learning Plan. (Melissa, we'll need Chromes.) SpEd Team and TAs will collaborate beginning at 3:30. Classroom and specials teachers will receive an overview of our Teacher Assistance Team process beginning at 3:30.

Coming Up...

The Week of September 28th is a B Week

Monday, September 28th

Supervised Law Enforcement Drill (lock down) 9:15 AM

Monday Meeting - All Staff 3-4

Board of Education Meeting, 7:30 PM, JJH - Kindergartners will be presenting the Pledge

Tuesday, September 29th

Smile, it's Picture Day!

Admin Meeting - Reg out for part of day

After school clubs begin - Please make sure you triple check how students are getting home.

Zing meeting for those interested - LRC, 3pm (see invite from Liz)

Wednesday, September 30th

Standards-based Grading Meeting at PDC, 3:30-4:30

Thursday, October 1st

Reg out at IRC Conference

Friday, October 2nd

Reg out at IRC Conference

Dates to Remember:

Monday, October 5th - Monday Meeting, Certified Staff

Tuesday, October 6th - EL Achieve Teacher Training

Wednesday, October 7th - Girl with a Cape Assembly

Thursday, October 8th - PTO Meeting Rescheduled due to Parent Grading Meeting at 6:30 PM at JJH

Monday, October 12th - No School, Columbus Day

Thursday, October 15th - Follow a Monday Schedule

Thursday, October 15th - 5th Grade Wheaton College Symphonic Band Concert Field Trip

Thursday, October 15th - PTO Meeting (3rd Grade and Gifted Representing)

Tuesday, October 20th - Parent Meeting for Robert Crown, 6:30 PM

Thursday, October 22nd - 5th Grade Outdoor Ed

Thursday, October 23rd - 5th Grade Outdoor Ed

Friday, October 23rd - Title TAs out of building at training

Monday, October 26th - Friday, October 30th - AIMS & STAR Growth Testing

Monday, October 26th - Red Ribbon Week Begins

Monday, October 26th - Monday Meeting, Certified Staff

Monday, October 26th - Board of Education Meeting, 7:30 PM, JJH

Tuesday, October 27th - Admin Meeting, Reg out in AM

Friday, October 30th - End of 1st Quarter

Friday, October 30th - PTO Sponsored Halloween Dance, 6:30 PM

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