Team Thomson News & Notes

February 6, 2017

Important Information for You!

Follow-up to Kindergarten PLC Day

I was very impressed by the work that you all did last Wednesday. Whether you were holding down the fort back at Thomson or participating in the district PLC out at the Williams Property, your work did not go unnoticed.

To the teachers, your thoughtful work 'Unpacking and Putting Into Practice' the Common Core Standards will be so useful as you continue to work on finishing these, put them into a learning map, and most important have a clear picture of where you need to take your students and how you will get them there. In reflecting on the day, I realized that in the afternoon when we were working on math some of the groups were going right to the curriculum materials to write learning targets. Remember, you need to first write the learning targets to meet the standard, second write the success criteria to match the learning target, and lastly review the materials to see what matches the learning that needs to be done. Remember, looking through the Everyday Math materials is the last step in this process. I look forward to seeing how much farther the kindergarten team gets on Wednesday.

Early Release Day

Don't forget that this Wednesday is a District Focused Early Release Day. Classroom and Specials Teachers will be meeting at Central Elementary from 2:15-5:15 p.m. and following the agenda sent out by Matt Lobban. Counselors will be meeting separately and following the agenda out by Holly Halabicky. Paraprofessionals and Challenge Coordinators will be meeting at the Middle School in the Community Room from 1:40-4:40 p.m. If you are unsure of where you will be headed, please see me right away.

5D+ Growth Plan & Mid-Year Meetings

This week I will continue meeting with teachers for mid-year reviews and Growth Plan meetings. Please bring any data that you would like to share. During my meetings with teachers, we will review your mid-year data and go through your Growth Plan and discuss if changes would be beneficial in moving your practice forward or if you will continue to work on the Areas of Focus identified at the beginning of the year. Please reflect on your student data, most recent Self-Assessment, current Areas of Focus, and the 5D rubric prior to coming to your meeting with me. Additionally, I have about five second round observations to complete this week. Despite my best efforts last week, student discipline/behavior, sub shortage planning, and parent phone calls kept me from finishing last week.

Thomson Mini QAR 2017 Presentation Requirements

Please remember that we will NOT hold our staff meeting this Wednesday morning. Instead, School Improvement Committee chairs should get with your fellow committee members to update the information for your slides at a time that works for you. Please just have this information to Melissa by this Thursday, February 9th so that she has adequate time to update the presentation. Melissa will work with committee chairs to determine how/who the information will be presented.

Again, the Thomson Mini QAR presentation will be February 15th from 4:15-5:15 p.m.

PTO Chuck E. Cheese Fundraiser

This Friday, February 10th, the Thomson PTO will be holding a fundraiser at the Flint Township Chuck E. Cheese. Our PTO will earn a percentage of all food and token sales on this date by those attending on behalf of the Thomson PTO. Any staff members that attend will be given a free personal pizza or salad bar dinner and be be able to go in the ticket tornado for free as well to see how many tickets they can collect for free...HOW FUN DOES THAT SOUND. There has been a change and Chuck E. Cheese will not be coming to Thomson. If you are planning to attend, please let me know. You never know, there may be additional incentives for staff members who are able to attend.

PD Reminders from Sharon Hazard

1) PD is being entered using staff employee ID numbers so please write clearly and don't guess. You can check you employee ID badge for the number located below your photo.

2) If you guess at your ID number someone else may receive your PD hours and there is no way to find that out.

3) Over 3,000 additional PD forms have been entered thus far this year along with all the names on the district PD sign-in forms. "That's a lot of PD!!"

4) Please do not sign more than one PD sign-in sheet. If you attend district PD in another location other than your home building, there should be a sign-in sheet available (i.e. Alt Ed. PD at the DHS, or specials teachers, etc.)

5) Make-up PD must be preapproved by Kevin Brown. Please email him your request, and his approval/denial will be forwarded to Sharon Hazard to prepare the appropriate form.

6) Additional PD must be preapproved by Kevin Brown.

7) Please send all original District PD sign-in sheets over to Sharon Hazard as soon as they are completed. Buildings may keep a copy.

8) Mentor PD logs must be received prior to being credited these hours. You should have received a mentor log at the beginning of the year. Please email Sharon Hazard if you need one.

READ and FIX Learning Targets: Unpacking a Target

How do we make a learning target usable? The Four-Step Framework is one approach that can be used. Let's use a Language Arts lesson on sequencing story events, an important step in retelling. The teacher thinks, "Students will learn how to sequence four main events of a story." The following is taken from pages 51-52 of Learning Targets by Moss & Brookhart (2012).

Step 1. Explain the learning target in student-friendly, developmentally appropriate terms: We are learning to put the most important events of a story in the correct order they happened to answer the question "What happened first, second, third, and last?"

Step 2. Describe the performance of understanding: We will show that we can do this by placing pictures of the four most important events from the story in the exact order they happened.

Step 3. Describe the student look-fors (success criteria): To know how well we are learning this, we will check to make sure the order of our pictures matches the sequence of events in the story as we reread it.

Step 4. Make it relevant: It is important for us to be able to put what happens in a story in the right order because it helps us retell a story.

You can see that the business of developing and communicating learning targets is explicit and direct, is understood by both teacher and student, and represents measurable learning. It is important to think through each of these steps as you plan so you are prepared to communicate each with your students!

Quotes Worth Reading

"I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me."

"The principle goal of education is to create men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done."

-Jean Piaget

Thomson Elementary

Home of the Thomson Teddies!


Where Kids Come First and Futures Begin!

Celebrations & Announcements

Birthdays: Happy Belated Birthday to Kim Laine, February 2nd and Rachel Wheaton, February 4th! Happy Birthday to Roy Hall, February 7th and Megan Kellie, February 11th

In case you haven't heard or missed my email...Staffing Announcement!

Melissa Barraco will be moving to Central Elementary as the Literacy Specialist there effective Monday, February 27th. Megan Campbell has been hired to replace Melissa. Megan was a teacher at Siple Elementary before leaving Michigan for a couple of years. For the past eight years, Megan has worked as a Title I Reading Intervention Teacher in Grand Blanc and is very excited to be returning to Davison and joining our Thomson Family. Megan is a Davison resident with three children, her oldest attended Thomson last year and is currently in first grade at Siple.

Also, Amy Chorley has been hired for our ECDD/Kindergarten Resource Room which will be vacated due to Laura Johnson accepting a position at the GISD. She will begin with us Monday, February 27th as well. Amy comes to us with 20 years of experience working with students with Special Needs, most recently working at the GISD as a ASD Specialist. Many of you already know Amy, as she has provided professional development for us and the district. She is extremely excited to be returning to the classroom and being a part of a school family! Amy's husband works for the district and all three of their children are currently Davison students.

Please join me in welcoming both of these lovely ladies to our team!

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, February 6th-100th Day of School!
  • Tuesday, February 7th-Photo Factory here to take candid class photos; Early Parent-Teacher Conferences 4:30-6:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 8th-Early Release Day
  • Friday, February 10th-Leadership Team Meeting, 7:30 a.m.; PTO/Chuck E. Cheese Fundraiser after school until close
  • Week of January 12th-PLC Week
  • Tuesday, February 14th-Happy Valentine's Day!
  • Wednesday, February 15th-Staff Meeting (Agenda: Unpacking 5D+, Mini QAR Review); Child Study Day, please send any new names to Maida and Natalie; Thomson Mini QAR 4:15-5:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 16th-Lockdown; District $5 Jean Day to support Project Graduation
  • Friday, February 17th-No School...Intersession resumes Monday, February 27th.
  • Monday, February 27th-Kindergarten Round-up Appointments will begin being taken; PTO 6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 28th-Playground Monitor Meeting, 10:30 a.m.; ELA Committee Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 2nd-Family Reading Night, 4:30-7:30 for staff (5-7 p.m. for the event)