March 21, 2016 :: 11 Items

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I believe that GRATITUDE is the single most attractive characteristic a person can exhibit. Think about doing something for someone else. Think about their reactions to your effort. Imagine them tearing up. Imagine a quick thank you. Imagine no thank you at all. When someone appreciates your time, effort, or skill it makes you want to do it again!

I am grateful for the educators and staff at Level Creek. At our core, we are here to make a difference in the lives of kids. If your role is to teach, or if your role is to support teachers in some way, we affect our kids lives each day. I AM GRATEFUL FOR YOU! You put kids and each other first! You tackle a great workload and overcome obstacles! You greet kids with a smile each morning! I appreciate you.

It has been great to be recognized this week as the hard working staff that you are. Know that parents are grateful for you. Take a moment to write a note or send a quick email to the parents who went out of their way to make your week a little more special. Your gratitude will endear you to them even more.

Most of all, know that you we are in a profession where we make a difference each and every day. I am proud to be among you.


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From our Mission, how do we view compassionate?

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Pick this Summer Staff Development!

Helen sent this out earlier in the week. I HIGHLY recommend attending the session for your grade level. This will help you understand the new Units of Study Writing Materials which all GCPS elementary teachers are fortunate to get. This is how we will teach writing. Understanding it before the year starts will make it more enjoyable for you and for your kids.


We are so fortunate to have Amanda Hartman and Mary Ehrenworth from Teachers College Reading and Writing Project coming to GCPS to provide one day staff development sessions to support the county-wide use of the new Units of Study for Writing.

Save the Dates:

May 31st for K

June 1st for 1st Grade

June 2nd for 2nd Grade

July 20th for 3rd Grade

July 21st for 4th Grade

July 22nd for 5th Grade

The sessions will be from 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM.

Registration will be open on March 28, 2016 in the PD&E tool on the portal.

"At the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, we have been working for three decades to develop, pilot, revise, and implement state-of-the art curriculum in writing. We have had a chance to do this work under the influence of Common Core for the past few years, and this series—this treasure chest of experiences, theories, techniques, tried-and-true methods, and questions—will bring the results of that work to you." - Lucy Calkins

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Double Entry Journals

Double Entry Journals being used by Cheryl Carnazzo's Book Study Groups. When students have tools to record their learning, engagement and achievement increase!

Milestones Prep (3rd-5th, Gifted, SpEd)

Teachers/Parents of Students in Grades 3, 4, and 5 -

The following link will take you to a very valuable Georgia Milestones Study Resource Guide for Students and Parents. Just select the grade level for your students/child.

During the month of March, we have been highlighting sections of the Resource Guide for you to be familiar with as your students/child prepare(s) for the Georgia Milestones. In previous weeks, we highlighted the Types of Items and Depth of Knowledge Levels on pp. 6-9, as well as specific English Language Arts and Mathematics sample questions. This week we are highlighting the Science subtest along with specific examples, key terms, and activities to practice with your students/child.

The Science assessment will measure the standards under these domains:

Earth Science

Physical Science

Life Science

The assessment consists of selected-response (multiple-choice) items only. There will be no constructed responses.

Note: Example assessment items along with key vocabulary terms and activities can be found on the following pages of the Guide:

Grade 3 - pp. 122-157

Grade 4 - pp. 117-154

Grade 5 - pp. 129-169

These example assessment items, key vocabulary terms, and activities are EXCELLENT to practice at school and at home!!

Next week we will highlight the Types of Items for the Social Studies subtest along with specific examples to practice with your students/child!!

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New Awesomeness at Level Creek!

We have some great new team members joining us this year! I was able to observe each of these teachers in their element and am certain they will make a fine addition to our teams. Most importantly they will build relationships with students, the community, and YOU!

Anita Pender - Joining us in K from Chesney ES

Janna McClung - Joining us in 1st from Riverside ES

Shanna Borders - Joining us in 3rd from Meadowcreek ES

Sheri Tolar - Joining us in 4th from Berkley Lake ES

Elizabeth McMillin - Joining us in 4th Patrick ES

Jennifer James - Joining us in 5th from Fort Daniel ES

Linley Bryan - Joining us in SpEd (IRR) from Mason ES

In House moves at Level Creek!

Emily Costine - Moving to Kindergarten!

Chris Gadd - Moving to 1st grade!

Andrea Sorrow - Moving to 2nd grade!

Jawana Kelson - Moving to our STEM class!

Shaila Khaki - Moving to FOCUS!

Megan Bell - Moving to Interventions!

We wish you well!

Hope Wooster - Returning to Roberts ES!

Diane Head - Retiring (we hope that we still see you)!

Maria Paxinos - Retiring (we hope that we still see you)!

Deena Nowicki - Moving out of state (to a horse farm)!

Karen Brazee - Transferring to Osborne MS as a 7LA teacher!

Donna McGinley - Retiring (we hope that we still see you)!

Sue Menhorn - Retiring (again) (we hope that we still see you)!

Kim Cagle - Taking a year's leave of convenience.

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Reflections State Winner!

A Big Congratulations to Jacob L for placing 3rd in the State in the category of Visual Arts for Special Artists! We are very proud of Jacob’s outstanding achievement and we thank him for entering the Reflections contest and letting his imagination fly!

Congratulations Jacob- well done!

Gradual Release of Responsibility

You are using components of it every day in your class- maybe the whole model. But what does the structure look like? See below. Is there a portion of the model that you do not use often? Try including it a little more. Do you use this structure well? Ask yourself why this feels right in your classroom.
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Online Registration for 2016-17 School Year

Kindergarten Registration will open up to rising Kindergartners on April 4th. Level Creek will have the Kindergarten Open House on May 5th from 9:30-3:00. Registration will be completed through the Online Registration (OLR) link. There is an accompanying training video to assist parents through the registration process.

April 4: OLR opens for 2016-17 school year registration (Grades K and 6-12)
May 26-July 5: OLR will shut down districtwide. No access for any parent or school staff.

Bring Your Own Device... But what device should students bring?

The county has asked us to send home this information to parents as they look for what technology to purchase for their students. The information below will be going home in the eBLAST.

In Gwinnett County Public Schools, more and more instructional activities can be

enhanced when students bring their own personal devices (cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) to class. As you consider the value of this experience and the

opportunity for your child to use a personal device at school, here are some

things to know:

  1. GCPS encourages students to take advantage of the school system’s BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, but participation is not required.
  2. Students should bring devices that they are comfortable using.
  3. With the variety of activities for which students might use a device in class, no single device is likely to do it all.
  4. Some devices are better suited to various instructional activities than others. You may want to look at options and limitations based on what your child’s class is doing.

  • A tablet is a good choice for elementary students and is great for online research, viewing videos, taking notes using apps, and even taking photos and making videos if it has a camera.
  • A Chromebook could be a good option for upper elementary and middle school students. It is designed to be used with an Internet connection. Most of Chromebook’s documents and apps exist in the cloud. For instance, students can use Google drive to produce papers and presentations, access Google and Chrome web apps, and more.
  • And many middle and high school students appreciate a laptop as it allows them to access software they use to complete assignments, as well as the Internet and other applications.
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School Goals to support our LSPI

Collaborative Planning Goals

  1. Collaboratively plan lessons
  2. Use data/student work to plan
  3. Deconstruct the standards

eCLASS Goals

  1. Class websites should be linked through eCLASS.
  2. Classwork/Homework assigned weekly through eCLASS (not 'extra' work).
  3. Use discussion boards at least 1x for Language Arts and 1x for Math each Semester.