Godzilla Gazette, 16

Week of December 7, 2015


  • From Grace
  • The Reflective Practitioner
  • Weekly Team Planning Link
  • Weekly Events
  • For Your Information

From Grace

Aloha, everyone! Congratulations on making it through the first week of December - as someone put it, it felt like we all spent the week getting back into the groove of school. And, while we're back on schedule now, these next two weeks are anything but ordinary - there's changes in the calendar and many, many special activities and events happening. So, I'm going to go back to the week in August where we committed to taking care of ourselves and each other. Eat right, stretch, breath, carve out time for you so you're able to make it through the semester with a smile.

This week is Coding Week! Super exciting stuff! Last week, the Reflective Practitioner articles inspired and challenged us to keep learning. I can't think of a better way to fire up our own dendrites than to incorporate coding into our work. This week's Reflective Practitioner focuses on just that - from the wee little ones all the way up, there are ways to use coding in all content areas. This is a critical skill for our students and complements our work with design thinking and innovation. :) The Website to Explore section has even more information on coding. Enjoy!

News of the Community:

  • I'm sad to share that Kristen's grandmother passed away this weekend - please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Important Announcements:

  • Maria will move into the bookkeeper/office manager when Susan moves to her new position in January! We are currently searching for our new registrar.
  • Brett will move into Anne Marie's spot tomorrow, taking over intensive support for our 3rd grade student before student teaching next semester!
  • Matt Brown, who subbed in the vacant SpEd position will be subbing for Brett during these next two weeks while we decide on a permanent replacement.

Important Reminders:

  • Our 2nd Annual Volunteer Thank You Breakfast is this Friday morning. Please bring a breakfast treat to share (homemade and store bought are welcome!) This is our way of showing our appreciation to all of our parents and volunteers for their amazing work on our behalf throughout the year.
  • Secret Santa is underway!

Here's to a happy and productive sixteenth week of school. Remember to keep as much structure in place as possible to provide stability for our students. Enjoy the festive nature of the next two weeks and remember that every day is another opportunity to learn something new!

The Reflective Pracitioner

Calling All Learners and Teachers for Hour of Code 2015

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December 1, 2015

Chances are high that computer-science literacy will be increasingly relevant for jobs of the future. Some theorists even suggest that the ability to read and write code is a fundamental 21st-century competency. Yet, according to an August 2015 Gallup survey, many students get little exposure to these concepts at school; opportunities are even more limited for low-income students. To address these realities, there are a variety of free resources that can help teachers of all grades and subjects give students exposure to computer science, as well as access to opportunities that develop the skills required to approach coding problems.

This December 7-13, 2015, the Hour of Code campaign during Computer Science Education Week is one such opportunity. Code.org is hosting this event for a third year to engage students, teachers, parents, and others (ages five and up, and of any experience level) in fun ways to experiment with programming and game creation. From structured lessons to more creative, exploratory activities, a variety of experiences make coding accessible to all kinds of learners. Activities can be done on computers, phones, and tablets, in pairs or together as a whole group. If access to devices is an issue, various unplugged activities such as "My Robotic Friends" don’t require them.

Hour of Code Tutorials can be accessed at any time by anyone. If you are a parent and your child is not participating at school, you might consider learning an hour of code together as a family. Although some schools may choose to conduct schoolwide or community events, it’s also feasible to participate as a single class. Teachers don’t need to know anything about coding in advance, though if introducing “programming” to your students fills your heart with dread, consider advice from Terri Eichholz in "Code Dread." (For elementary teachers, her simplified scope and sequence for grades K-5is also worth reviewing.)

Resources to Help You Run an Hour of Code Event

  1. Watch How to Run an Hour of Code (Video, 3:05)
  2. Download or Print the Participation Guide (PDF)
  3. Review Best Practices From Successful Educators (Slideshow)
  4. Explore the Hour of Code Tutorials
  5. Follow #HourofCode on Twitter

New for 2015

Hour of Code Across Grade Levels and Content Areas

Coding activities aren't just a fit for math and computer science; they can also be a part of lessons and projects in English, social studies, science, art, and beyond. Students at the elementary level, even in kindergarten, can benefit from opportunities to practice computational thinking. Check out the following resources to explore sample activities:

Holiday-Themed Activities

After Hour of Code

Explore the following resources for ideas on how to make opportunities to code and exercise computational-thinking skills an integral part of classroom activities throughout the year.

Short on time in December? Tutorials, resources, and extension activitiesfrom Code.org will continue to be available throughout the year.

Visit Edutopia’s Coding in the Classroom page for additional support and resources.

Are you participating in Hour of Code? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments.


Weekly Team Planning Template Link

Weekly Events

Monday, December 7, 2015 - A Day

  • Book Fair!
  • Parent Meeting - 7:30 am - Office - Grace, Robin
  • PDAS - 8:00 am - Classroom - Grace
  • Pre Meeting - 10:15 am - Office - Angela, Grace
  • 2nd Grade Field Trip - 11:15 am - Zach Scott Theater - Monica, Sicily, Angela
  • Parent Meeting - 12:00 pm - Office - Grace
  • Pre Meeting - 2:00 pm - Rm. 201 - Katherine, Janie, Grace
  • Homework Center - 2:50 pm - Library - Susan and Volunteers
  • After-school Classes - 3:00 pm - Various Locations
  • Fairy Tale Theater Dress Rehearsal - 3:00 pm - Cafeteria - Chad
  • CST Meeting - 3:30 pm - Office - Sicily, Elise, Grace

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - B Day

  • Book Fair!
  • MOY Math - 8:00 am - Classrooms - 4th Grade
  • MOY Science - 8:00 am - Classrooms - 5th Grade
  • PDAS - 8:50 am - Classroom - Grace
  • Construction Meeting - 9:00 am - Cafeteria - Andrew Miller
  • Kinder Field Trip - 9:30 am - Zach Scott Theater - Becky, Paula, Nicole
  • CST Meeting - 10:15 am - Office - Angela, Elise, Robin, Grace
  • 3rd Grade Nutcracker Trip - 10:00 am - Long Center - Amy, Claudia, Laruen, Stefanie
  • 1st Grade Field Trip - 11:15 am - Paramount Theater - Alma, Sharon, Suzie
  • Interview - 1:00 pm - Office - Maria, Grace
  • Homework Center - 2:50 pm - Library - Susan and Volunteers
  • After-school Classes - 3:00 pm - Various Locations
  • Fairy Tale Theater Dress Rehearsal - 3:00 pm - Cafeteria - Chad

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - C Day

  • Book Fair!
  • Elementary Principal Meeting - 8:00 am - Delco - Grace
  • MOY Reading - 8:00 am - Classrooms - 4th Grade
  • Parent Meeting - 3:15 pm - Office - Grace
  • Homework Center - 2:50 pm - Library - Susan and Volunteers
  • After-school Classes - 3:00 pm - Various Locations
  • Fairy Tale Theater Performance - 6:00 pm - Cafeteria - Chad, Grace
  • Orchestra Concert and Fundraiser - 6:00 pm - Austin High - Lisa

Thursday, December 10, 2015 - A Day

  • Book Fair! - Extended Hours
  • ARD - 9:00 am - Office - Kristen, Janie, Vivien, Grace
  • CST Meeting - 10:10 am - Office - Sicily, Robin, Elise, Grace
  • ARD - 2:00 pm - Learning Lab 1 - Katherine, Janie, Grace
  • Staff Meeting - 3:00 pm - Library - Nurse Training - All
  • Meeting - 3:00 pm - Central Office - Grace
  • After-school Classes - 3:00 pm - Various Locations
  • Winter Concert - 6:00 pm - Gym - Amy, Lisa, Jimmy, Grace - All invited!

Friday, December 11, 2015 - B Day

  • Book Fair!
  • School-wide Assembly - 7:45 am - Gym - Band/Orchestra/Choir Perform
  • Volunteer Thank You Breakfast - 8:00 am - Library - All welcome, Grace
  • Fairy Tale Theater School Performance - 9:00 am - Cafeteria - All Invited
  • 3rd Grade Learning Celebration - 10:00 am - Classrooms - Claudia, Lauren, Stefanie
  • After-school Classes - 3:00 pm - Various Locations
  • Staff Holiday Party! - 6:00-9:00 pm - M House - All Invited

For Your Information


  • If you need something, ask.
  • Follow Report Card Timelines! See Maria if you need help.
  • Make sure to utilize reading/writing workshop and small group instruction during core.
  • Remember to take attendance daily on TEAMS.
  • Arrive and pick up your class from special areas on time - respect each other's time.
  • Ensure 504, IEP, ELL, and Gifted Accommodations are being followed
  • Actively supervise your students - Spread out at recess to monitor each area.
  • Check our calendar for important events
  • Try something new and have fun!

Kudos: Do you know of something good? Share it with Grace to be included here or write it in the comments below!

  • To Thelma for taking on a fourth grade student during benchmark testing!
  • To Kristen, for jumping right in and getting started, navigating a new system, people, and expectations without complaint!
  • To Janie for baking delicious cakes for Anne Marie's celebration!
  • To Michelle for taking care of the fun and festive chimera for Anne Marie!
  • To Suzie for stepping in to help with students on Wednesday!
  • To Alma, Sharon, and Suzie for teaching us about Peace at our assembly on Friday!
  • To Diana McG for organizing Secret Santa for us!
  • To Corinda and Kellie for organizing a beautiful Winter Wonderland 6th Grade dance Friday evening!
  • To Diana McM and Claudia for working on garden clean up!

Upcoming Events:

  • Parent Maker Movement - Week of December 14th
  • Kinder Winter Holiday Program - December 16th
  • CAC Meeting - December 17th
  • Winter Break! - December 21st

Website to Explore: