JMQ Flash

January 11 - 14, 2016

The Weekly Scoop

It is important for you to know my schedule, but sometimes meetings get scheduled after the bulletin goes out. I am always available by cell phone. A couple of last minute meetings have been added to my calendar this week:

  • Monday - 1:30 ESC
  • Tuesday - I will not be back on campus until after lunch.

Also, the fire drills will not be announced this semester. You might want to review with students the fire drill procedures. The weather is turning colder, so I would suggest students take their coats to Specials this week.

Have you written your LISD Foundation Grant? It is not too late! It is never too late until a deadline has past, says the best of procrastinators! The deadline is January 15, 2016.

A huge "thank you" goes to David Harris, husband of Mesha, Pre-K IA, and father of Jonathan, JMQ Kindergarten student. Mr. Harris built our new anchor desk over the Christmas Break. What a wonderful example of sharing one's gifts! Mesha, too, has been instrumental in taking our announcements "to the next level." We are grateful for all their help!

Professional Development - IDEAS & TOOLS

I invite you to contribute to my Smore flyers. Please send me links you find beneficial such as blogs, lessons, or media which may be helpful to others.
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Long, but a must-read!

I think this is a fabulous post! Common sense combines with vision here!

Visual Media

There are so many ways we can use visual media at Johnston-McQueen. It is engaging as a teaching tool, and students can use it to communicate and create! It does take time, though, to learn about apps and other visual media tools.

YouTube is available to you at school (not to students), and there are tons of ways you can use videos as "hooks" for lessons. Use Pure View to take off the adds so that students see only the content you want them to see. Ruthie shared that wonderful tool with us in the fall.

The short montage of popular heroes would make a wonderful introduction to a literature circle with a heroism theme. The protagonists in the literature circle books might experience very different conflicts (internal or external) that propel them on different paths. I have added one real-life video that might give students a different perspective on heroism. I particularly loved the 7th grader's reference to a superhero book which spurred him to action to help the bus driver. Finally, I will share a video that my 5th graders loved when we studied the Declaration of Independence and the events that led up to it. There is another version with clips from movies about the Revolutionary War which might be suitable for older audiences.

Oscars 2014 Heroes Montage
7th Grader Hero Saves Bus Driver and Passengers! Milton, Washington Jeremy Wuitschick
Too Late To Apologize A Declaration With Lyrics

Lucy - Fashion Monster or Critical Thinker?

I went shopping with my daughter-in-law and growing granddaughter, Lucy, when we were in PA. My daughter-in-law showed me a routine I had never before seen with a child so young. Lucy's mom picked out 4 pairs of pajamas, and then she proceeded to hold up two pajamas at a time in front of Lucy who was sitting in the shopping cart. (We were at Target, not Neiman Marcus!) Lucy pointed her finger to the pajamas she liked best. My daughter-in-law would put two pairs of pajamas behind her back, pull them out in front of Lucy a second time, and say, "Choose again." Her little pointer finger would again target the pajamas she liked best. Lucy is a little girl who knows what she likes because her choices never changed in this two-step process. The "choosing" continued with the other 3 pairs of pajamas until Lucy had chosen four for mama to buy. At 12 months, Lucy does not have the language skills to defend why she likes a particular choice (reasons/evidence), but she is definitely developing the ability to compare and choose!

Mentoring Minds has listed some great strategies to use in the classroom to help teachers instill critical thinking routines in students. You will find those 10 critical thinking tips below.

For Principals & Teachers

Make sure you read this one, Capturing Kids' Hearts Champions! We are keeping our superhero theme one more year. Could we add that awesome quote to our walls and develop it further for our students?


I have seen one of our fifth grade teachers read to a Kinder student during late parent pick-up, even when it was not her duty. This little guy struggles, and she uses his interest (and hers) in reading, to capture his attention and keep him more appropriately engaged and out of trouble.

Instead of asking a student about his name tag as referenced in the post below, we would probably address a shirt that is not tucked in. The suggested five simple conversation starters below can be used by every staff member.


I love seeing efficiency in a classroom where all students are engaged in meaningful learning. Your classroom is your realm, and you are the manager of that realm. After a holiday, you may find it necessary to retrain your students regarding routines and procedures. Evaluate those routines and procedures and change them if they are not effective. Keep the pace moving and exciting.
Math Coach's Corner

I am putting this out there again for you. If you go to Donna's blog, there is a search box that will allow you to find all she has on the particular skill you are targeting.