Tiger Beat

Acton Weekly Update 8/24/18

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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.

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Coach's Corner

The question I get asked most by teachers, other than how to grade a particular assignment, is to explain how the new pacing guides, Common Formative Assessments, mini-lessons, and Daily 5 all fit together, and most importantly, how can it fit together to make sense and work in a given teacher's classroom.

The first part is easy. The new pacing guides were created using ilearn documents. Tested standards were given priority based on the number of questions they will receive on ilearn. Top educational researchers have compiled mountains of proof supporting the use of the data that comes from common formative assessments. We also know from research that taking students through the gradual release of responsibility model in roughly 20 minutes yields higher gains than 40 minutes of lecture. If we put all of our eggs in the whole group basket, we need to think of shifting our mindset. Our best, most intentional, teaching should happen at small group. This is where our energy should be focused....which is a great segue to why we are implementing Daily 5. These are the proven, literacy activities our children will do while teachers are changing students' lives during small group instruction. You're doing a great job launching your Daily 5!

The second question is hard. How should you organize your block? The answer is different for everyone. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

1. Support - What time does your support come in? How can they best support you in reaching the goals you've set for your students?

2. Stamina - Find out if your students have the ability to make it for two Daily 5 rotations in a row. If not, you may need to break up the rotations with another mini-lesson.

3. Where does writing fit?? If you're having a hard time finding when to teach writing, you can do your writing lesson first. If you need to, set an alarm on your phone to remind you to start your writing lesson.

4. Be flexible - Your lit block doesn't have to be the same every day. One day you may do mini-lesson, D5/TT, mini-lesson D5/TT, writing mini-lesson, D5/TT, extended writing time. The next day may be mini-lesson, extended independent work time, D5/TT, D5/TT, mini-lesson.

5. Try it out - Experiment with the endless possibilities

6. It's hard for me to give an appropriate answer without knowing what your reading instruction and classroom look like. Ask me to sit in for a lit block. I'd love to help.

Please know that my 2-page job description can be boiled down to this simple sentence. My job as an instructional coach is to help teachers. Please ask if you need anything.

Reaching All Learners

Midterms: I am sending out the following message with a little more explanation to our families via an IC email this weekend. Then I ask that you cut and paste the statement into your midterms for ELA comments.

Due to modeling and practicing beginning of the year procedures with independent structures in the classroom, there were not enough assignments/assessments for an accurate grade at this time.

School Visits: You will see Dr. Toni Stevenson (Chief Academic Officer for Elementary Schools) coming around with me periodically to visit the classrooms so we can debrief about what we are seeing in our classrooms and know how to provide support to you all, as well as how to reinforce the great work you are doing. She wants to have a pulse on the FTCSC elementary classrooms, and ensure that we are moving forward with the expectations that we are asked to abide by (such as I charts or stamina charts with Daily 5 procedures, etc.). When she is here, she is simply here to support us and follow up on the initiatives we have in place. I expect her here during the board tours and later in the week.

Grades 3-5 Grading: If your students are struggling with the CFU's then that data should be used for reflection. Please reteach the material and give students an opportunity to retake the CFU. Be proactive with families and communicate that you may not be putting all grades in the grade book until they've had a chance to master the material or you can let them know there is a grade in the grade book, but their student will have the opportunity to retake it. When letting a student retake a CFU or CFA, they should be given full credit. Mastery is the goal!


Weekly PBIS Focus Expectations:

Aug. 27nd Week 5 Guest Teachers/Classroom Procedures

PBIS Team Meeting: We chose to focus on Student Respect in the classroom. Last year we had 17 incidents of disrespect in the classroom. Our goal will be to get this to less than 15 incidents. The team has begun discussing possible lessons and strategies to support this goal.

Shout out to Mrs. Rigsby for practicing hallway procedures with fourth grade students on Thursday. There are a few minor behaviors that several students have been struggling with, so she is reteaching and practicing.

I am in the process of arranging a bus to come to the school one day. We will quickly pull any students who've gotten a bus referral in the first month and we will be reviewing and practicing bus expectations. I will let you know more as soon as it is scheduled and if you have a student that needs to come with me.

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  1. Please be sure your bulletin boards are up, decorated, displaying student work and has a stated objective with it if there is student work.
  2. Reading Logs will be collected and totaled every Monday morning. Please just clip them outside your door and we will come around to collect them.

  3. Students who are coming in to the cafeteria from walkers or car rider line right before the bell will be given a breakfast and sent to class. All other students will eat in the cafeteria. We don't want the later students to miss class time.
  4. Matt, Kevin and I will take your class if you need to reteach any PBIS procedures around the building (hallways, bathrooms, classroom expectations, playground, etc).
  5. Please get your Safe Schools videos and quizzes done BEFORE the deadline- we only have a few more staff members to be at 100%!

Trauma Informed Instructional Practices

Here are a couple of great ideas that have been shared with me recently.

1. When a child "is out of control" try to give them 10-12 oz of cold water. Water metabolizes cortisol and helps the child to calm down faster. This would be a great "strategy" to give kids when they are learning self-regulation!

2.COPY CAT (beginner)

Equipment: None needed

This can be adult paired with a student or adult faces a whole group

What you do:

1. Stand facing the student and say, "Watch what I do and then copy me."

2. Raise your hand straight over your head and bring it out to your side and down to your thigh in great semicircle. Say, 'Now you do it.'

3. Say, "Here comes another move. Watch" Balance on one foot and wiggle your other foot.

4. Continue moving your arms and legs and head in various ways for student(s) to imitate.

5. Now let the student lead (or put in pairs and they can lead each other)

This activity helps the student develop and enhance

a) body awareness

b) motor planning

c) visual processing

Ways to make it more challenging:

*Have student mirror your movements simultaneously, rather than waiting to start until you've finished a move.

*Play "Copy CAN'T" by having the student do the opposite of your move. For example, if you reach way up high with one hand, they will read down low with one hand.

Ohana Calandar

Monday 8/27/18

Tuesday 8/28/18
  • Collaboration- Quick Assessment Update and the team collaboration/planning for: D5, mini lessons for learning progressions, Extensions.
  • Nadine at AC to support K Chromebook log-ins.
  • School Board Tours 10:00 AM

Wednesday 8/29/18
  • Collaboration- Grade Level Team Focused- Meet in the Media Center
  • Staff Cookout- front of the building! Don't bring your lunch. Join our ctech chefs for a delicious lunch.
  • Fall Picture Day: Schedule as follows.

8:25- Staff Photo

Most Pictures will be during RA time. This is also the Talent Show Audition Day. Please bring all classes to the gym.

9:00 Leal, Scott, Neifert

9:45 Rigsby, Reynolds, Beechler

10:15 Emerine, 10:30 Froning, 10:45 McMaster

11:00 Elliott, 11:15 Gilkerson, 11:30 Miller (Take recess at a different time this day)

11:45 Simmons, Jewell, Milholland

12:30 Brooks, Parsons, Krug

1:15 Any staff that has not had their picture yet MUST get their picture before the cameras are packed up. We have to use your picture for our website, Infinite Campus and badges, in the future.

Thursday 8/30/18

  • Dr. Stevenson building walk through 9:00-10:30.

Friday 8/31/18

Coming Up Before You Know It:

9/3/18 Labor Day- No School

9/4/18 Building Evacuation Drill @3:30

- PTO meeting 6:30

9/7/18 Midterm Grades posted on IC

9/10/18 Bus Evacuation Drills

-Anti Bullying week 9/10-9/14

9/21/18 PTO Team A Thon

Brook Wessel-Burke

Cell: 317-331-1920

Twitter: @bwesselburke

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