Burrell's Mentoring Minute

April 4 - April 8

Quote of the Week

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ~ Maya Angelou

Count Down!!!

Welcome Back from Spring Break. I hope your break was all you needed it to be.

Congratulations on making it to the FOURTH QUARTER!!! The next several weeks are sure to be busy with PARRC and other assessments, final observations, close out procedures, end of the year evaluations, grading, etc.


  • April 12 ~ 3rd Quarter Report Cards Released
  • April 18 ~ PARCC Testing Begins
  • April 26 ~ Holiday ~ Primary Election Day ~ Schools and offices closed
  • June 20 ~ Last Day for Students ~ 2 hr early dismissal
  • June 21 ~ Last Day for Teachers

Professional Development Opportunites

  • Continue to checkout ERO for professional development opportunities.

  • Be on the look our for the final session of the PEIP Professional Development series. These trainings will take place in May. I will provide topics later this month.



April is Poetry Month

· Poetry Update:

o April is National Poetry Month! Here is our Poetry month packet which provides a wealth of resources and activities to use throughout the month. Please take advantage of this opportunity to showcase the poets, lyricists, and troubadours in your school! Please share your school's plans to celebrate: are you hosting a poetry slam or gallery walk to spotlight student balladry? Please send any pictures you take of your school's events to Rick (shadrick.woods@pgcps.org).

Technology Link

Since 1993, the Screen Actors Guild Foundation has been committed to championing children's literacy. 'Storyline Online' features professional actors reading notable children's books and extending supplemental activities for each book co-developed by an early literacy specialist. Content is available online 24/7 free of charge -- and ultimately is intended to ensure that every child with Internet access can be read (and enjoy the benefits of) a bedtime story. http://www.storylineonline.net

For Parents

PARCC has released a five-step checklist that will help parents get their kids ready for testing. The checklist features links to a host of assessment-related resources from both PARCC and partners such as the National Parent Teacher Association, Learning Heroes, Raise the Bar, and Great Kids, that will provide both parents and teachers with information about when the assessments will be given in their child's district, what will be expected of them when they are testing, and much more.

Both parents and teachers may also use the checklist to find practice tests, along with released items on the Partnership Resource Center. View the Checklist >>

Reading Incentives

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

Free online summer reading program. Click here for details.

Professional Opportunities

Free Heinemann Webinar April 5, 2016

Sketchnoting for Deeper Comprehension K-12

Free Virtual Conference from Student Achievement Partners and Achieve the Core

April 5-7, 2016

Click here for details.

MSDE Updates

Click here for MSDE updates.

Elementary Reading/English Language Arts Quick Links

Elementary Reading Teachers' Googlesite: https://sites.google.com/a/pgcps.org/elementary-reading-teachers/

Reading Web Connection: https://sites.google.com/a/pgcps.org/reading-web-connection/

Elementary RELA Curriculum Documents: https://sites.google.com/a/pgcps.org/curriculum-es-rela/

Edmodo https://edmo.do/j/qpnse7


“Spring is a time of new beginnings, new possibilities. What quality would you like to grow this spring?” — Tara Killen

Math Month-2016

Math Month is here! You may visit these web-links for resources and ideas:




Share exciting news of how your school/classroom is celebrating “Math Month” in the Good News Gazette (see below.)

MCTM has published their annual Math Month Calendars by grade band! Those can be found here: MCTM Math Month Calendars

Curriculum Updates and Focus for the Week

PARCC Updates: In updates sent from PARCC, it was mentioned that there is now a 5-step parent checklist to help parents prepare their child for PARCC. It can be found here. You can also click the following link to view a graphic from New Jersey Department of Education created about the changes to this year’s PARCC.

Graphic About PARCC Changes

For those teachers who downloaded copies of the Grade 3 and Grade 5 Curriculum Framework Progress Guides early in the year, you may want to check that they were complete. Some pages did not come out in the earlier versions but are there now.

The link below provides a variety of dot grid paper that can be used K-5 to provide students with opportunities to use these tools prior to seeing them on unit assessments. These can also be found under the web resources table on the Resource Site. http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/0072532947/student_view0/grid_and_dot_paper.html

County Initiatives

B.E.A.M - Be Excited About Math! This year’s B.E.A.M. Fair is Saturday, April 9, 2016 at the Bowie South Library between 10:30 am and 12:30 pm. Thank you to those schools who have spread the word and we hope to see your students there!

The final PGCPS PARCC Night will take place place this Wednesday April 6th from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at Laurel High School, 8000 Cherry Lane • Laurel, MD. Registration is encouraged and can be accessed here. For more information you can go to: http://www1.pgcps.org/communications/press.aspx?id=221911

Professional Development

There are so many amazing things happening in Mathematics across PGCPS and we would like to highlight them in the weekly updates! Please share with us highlights of your phenominal work in the Good News Gazette http://goo.gl/forms/FJ4Y88g6HJ We will have the link in each update so that you can complete it whenever you wish. Parent nights, Math Fairs, Math Clubs, and the list goes on an on. Once you complete the form be on the lookout for your good news in the weeks to come!


MSDE has now published its Summer Online Professional Development Offerings. More information can be found at http://tinyurl.com/onlinepdcatalog

MCTM is proud to announce two regional conferences coming up in April and May.

● The Central Regional is holding a Mini-Conference on Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 8:00-11:30 a.m. at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, MD. The elementary sessions include “Closure Beyond an Exit Ticket” and “Jump start your Math Class with Engaging Number Routines K - 2.” More information about this mini-conference can be found here

● Eastern Shore Mini-Conference will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. - noon at Chesapeake Community College. Sessions include “A Fresh Look at Differentiated Instruction”, “CRA Assessment - What is it? How do they help teachers provide differentiated instruction?” And “Are You Flummoxed with Formative Assessments?” More information about this mini-conference will be shared in next week’s updates.


First in Math - Thank you to those schools who continue to promote First in Math for their 2nd - 4th graders. It is a wonderful tool that can be used in many ways - centers, math logs, fluency practice, Know & Show, etc. How many stickers do your students have?

Elementary Mathematics Google Sites - please encourage teachers to check the elementary mathematics resources google site and the elementary mathematics curriculum site for updates and resources.

Resource Site: https://sites.google.com/a/pgcps.org/elementary-mathematics-russ/ Curriculum Site: https://sites.google.com/a/pgcps.org/k-5-mathematics-curriculum-google-site/

Special Education

  • ESY Transportation registration for all ESY eligible students must be submitted into the required online form with correct pickup and drop off information. This is an urgent task that must be completed ASAP for students already determined eligible. This information is used to determine transportation and the number of staff to hire for the ESY Program. Here is the link to complete the form: https://forms.pgcps.org/esy/
  • The correct special education service hours for students transitioning to Middle or High school must be documented on the active IEP before the last day of school.

Attention Special Education Teachers: Help Spread the Word!

Each year the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) surveys parents of children receiving special education services in the State. The purpose of the survey – The Maryland Special Education Parent Involvement Survey – is to hear from parents about how well they think their child’s school is partnering with them and promoting parent involvement in their child’s education. Click here for more information.