Week of: September 24 - September 28
Full Moon Monday here we come! Crazy to think that we are already closing in on Fall Break and have completed nearly 1/4 of the school year! My hope is that you all will make the most of this week ahead. Please be sure to read through this memo thoroughly, there are quite a few items that need to be considered:
- October is Parent/Teacher conference month, be sure to begin scheduling those conferences - feel free to use time before school, during planning or after school. Our goal is to give all parents the opportunity to meet/connect. (If you share a room with ASP, please make sure to schedule conferences in an alternate location after school.)
- If students arrive to your class without a tardy pass please do not send them to the front office to get one as they are not tardy. Students that come in the front office after the 7:40 bell will be given the appropriate passes. If this becomes an issue with specific students please contact grade level administration so we can address appropriately.
- Be sure that grades are consistently updated in PS, grades are feedback to both our students/teachers. We will be sending home progress reports when we return from Fall Break.
Below I have listed a few updates and reminders to activities planned for the week ahead:
This week we prepare for our Guided Reading training for ALL grade levels, please come prepared and leave behind engaging opportunities for your sub to use with your students.
- Session Dates and assignments:
K: 9/25 Morning
1: 9/25 Afternoon
2: 9/26 Morning
3: 9/26 Afternoon
4: 9/27 Morning
5: 9/27 Afternoon
- Times: Morning- 7:30-10:30 Afternoon-11:30-2:30 PLEASE be prompt if you have coverage.
- Trainer: Tammy Seals
- Location: Professional Learning Room
What to Bring:
- Laptop if you’d like to enter your data into the Scholastic piece (optional)
- Guided Reading folder from last year’s training sessions if you have one. This has trainer notes and copies of important pieces.
- Assessments: Letter/Sound Checklists (pre-a only); Level a+ students= whole group comprehension assessments, word knowledge inventory, running records
- Jan Richardson’s Guided Reading book
What will be covered based on what you have asked for:
K: Testing, Grouping, and next steps
1:Lesson plans and modeling
2: lesson plans and modeling
3-5: Assessments, Grouping and Lesson plans
- September 25, 2018 – Faculty Meeting – (See Memo Below Regarding)
- September 28, 2018 – Kona Ice will be here serving delicious goodness during your recess times. Information will be passed out to teachers about a week in advance. As always, teachers are served for free!
- October 1, 2018 - Faculty/Staff Workday - Everyone is Required to work this day as it is a scheduled day for all positions. The following is the schedule for the day (7am-3pm)
- PK-2 - Amie Dean Behavior Queen Training - Media Center (8-11)
- 3-5 & Specials - Amie Dean Behavior Queen Training - Media Center (12-3)
- *Para's, ESS Teachers & Resource Teachers should plan to attend the training which you work most closely with that grade level.
- October 12, 2018 - "Science for Everyone" - This is an interactive presentation with some amazing standards based experiments and information presented in an incredible way. I have provided a link to more information here. Exact times will be shared in the coming weeks.
- November 16, 2018 - "Heroes Overcome" - This presentation will directly tie in with our 7 Mindsets and be a memorable reminder. My hope is that you all will enjoy this experience!
With an intentional focus of consistency on being curious & crazy for kids you will ALWAYS find a culture that is student focused!
Have a great week!
Have a WONDERful Week!
Faculty Meeting (Maybe Not) - Must Complete these first...
Lesson Plans & Gradebooks
Each week, the administrative team holds a weekly PLC. As the instructional leaders of the school, our PLC will always have an instructional focus. As you know, we have made a commitment this year to improve lesson planning. With this comes a commitment to review lesson plans and provide feedback. Moving forward, we will choose a grade level, resource area, or specials area each week to review and communicate this at least one week in advance. The week following Fall Break (10/8), 2nd Grade lesson plans will be reviewed by the full administrative team, including our ILT; the following week (10/15), we will review 5th Grade lesson plans. Lesson plans are submitted to the teacher specific Google folder. Nothing is hidden, nothing is secret. Clearly, this isn’t a “gotcha” since you are being told which plans are being reviewed. But, much like anything, if you aren’t regularly practicing the skill, that will become evident when it is intensely reviewed. The expectation is that every content/course is preparing, submitting, and using lesson plans weekly. Some of you write unit plans - GREAT! These still should be reviewed and put into a weekly plan. Much like a monthly budget, if you prepare it and look at it just once in a month, you will never be (financially) on the best track.
Gradebooks, first and foremost, are a form of communication. Communication is an area in which we should always strive for improvement. And, some of you are really needing to improve your use of PowerSchool gradebook as an effective form of communication. Every teacher should be in his/her gradebook EVERY week at least once, making sure grades that are recorded are up-to-date. If you stop and think about the gradebook being a form of communication, it makes sense that it could be considered as a tool to improve student achievement and progress. As the principal, and as the instructional leader here, I have a strong expectation that all gradebooks accurately and effectively communicate a student's progress.
Lesson Plans and Gradebooks – “The Connection”
You plan your instruction, and you plan your assessments. Assessment results are then recorded in the gradebook in PowerSchool. If your gradebook isn’t being updated regularly/properly, it is probably because you aren’t planning regularly/properly. If the PS gradebook is going to be an effective form of communication, then you must use it efficiently and effectively. This includes reporting grades in a timely manner. How, exactly, are stakeholders to use the grades (communication) to positively impact the student achievement? Right? How are stakeholders going to help us support the work in classrooms and our school if student achievement is either not being reported or being reported late? So, I am adding gradebook reviews to our weekly lesson plan reviews - when we review your lesson plans we will also review your gradebooks.
If there is something more about our expectations regarding lesson planning and grading that you believe should be better communicated by me, please let me know.
If you need help with lesson planning, your gradebook, or communication, ask me, please. Or, maybe you just want to talk about some point in this information- that is fine, too. If I am not a good go-to for you, how about your grade chair, ILT or supervising AP? Let's work together to make sure the foundational elements of our instruction are solid.
We do so much very well, and for that I am always thankful. I can truthfully say that there is not a day that I am not thankful that I am at MES with such talented educators. Thank you, all, for your commitment to excellence and success. And, for your commitment to being better.
Making Moves at McAllister
- From Ms. Stuckey: To the Fourth Grade Team: I just want to thank you guys for your teamwork, flexibility, and dedication! Special shout out to Gray for coming up with an engaging board game that the ELA teachers can use to review our content standards and to Janousek who has used Velcro to change my world for the better! I appreciate each of you!
- From Ms. Nobles: Mrs. Hursey spent last Friday afternoon and 8 hours on Monday installing iPad apps for our Project Lead the Way program. She is constantly going above and beyond to make sure that our tech needs are met.
In a school of over 135 it can be hard to know everyone's name...Have you had a chance to look at the staff directory where pictures of our staff members can be located?
Click this link to see all of the awesome things our teachers have posted on twitter this week. Always remember to use the #MESrocks when posting to keep these items united!