Team Thomson News & Notes

June 5, 2017

Important Information for You!

Stay the Course

With only 15 more days of school, it is even more necessary for us to keep our kiddos focused as the year winds down. All building level assessments (DIBELS & STAR ELN) are to be completed by June 9th, but remember we will be STAR testing Tuesday and Wednesday to allow for make-ups June 8th and 9th.

I want to give a big shout out to teachers who are working hard to continue to present lessons and "talk" with kids about expectations. I am always impressed at how the teachers acknowledge the challenges facing the class with end of year excitement but set parameters and outline the tasks while making plans for breaks (of celebration). Students respond well when they know what is going to happen and that the expectations for behavior remain constant. As the end of year activities start it is important that we maintain 'business as usual'.

While the focus is on using every bit of learning time until the last day of school, please know that I understand and appreciate the work teachers are doing with students. Continue to hold high standards for student behavior but expect that there will be some excitement and kids will be a little more chatty as excitement over the coming summer break increases. Some of that excitement may actually be anxiety because some kids will miss the school connection where adults may be more attentive to their individual needs. Stay the course regarding expectations, interaction, and relationships. Provide reminders, review and reteaching throughout the next few weeks. Take time to use class meeting to problem solve and keep your classroom team together. Students will remember you most for the feeling they have when they leave your classroom for the summer.

You are a professional educator and you do make a difference in the lives of children!

Challenge Coordinator Room Visits

Thank you all for the warm welcome you have given Christine G. In an effort to get to know each of you, your classrooms, and teaching styles, Christine sent an email last week wanting to come and visit each of your classrooms. This will not only help her get to know each of you better, but also help her learn the structures of our school. If you haven't already, please send Christine an email letting her know when a good time is to come in.


This week I will be finishing up the last observations and hope to have them completed by mid-week. Anna will be scheduling teachers for evaluation appointments beginning the week of June 12. It is my plan to have all end of year evaluations completed by June 21, but with this being a new process, it may extend into the last two days of school. In order to facilitate this process, I remind teachers to be sure to respond to noticings and wonderings withing 48 hours after I send them to you. Your input may serve to strengthen evidence of your practice and growth.

Learning Targets: Success Criteria

Many of you have had conversations with me regarding struggles with understanding success criteria. Basically, success criteria are point students will use to tell/show/demonstrate how well they are doing in making progress toward or reaching the learning target. Success criteria are used by students and the teacher as a part of formative assessment process. Below is a link to a short video featuring a kindergarten teacher from Illinois during her first year of using success criteria. I think you may find she has some of the same questions we have voiced. One of the points that stood out to me is her approach in assessing how her students were learning more due to deliberate and purposeful inclusion of success criteria with her learning targets. Note: Once you have accessed the link, click on the picture frame that looks like the frame in the frame in the link below.

Targeting Learning with Success Criteria

Why setting criteria for success for your students will help them achieve learning targets. Video also goes over how to implement criteria for success in lessons.

End of the Year Count Down

As we had decided as a staff, we will count down the last 10 days to SUMMERTIME!

  • Monday, June 12-S-Sports Day-Field Day
  • Tuesday, June 13-U-Up in the Air Day-Students will make paper airplanes, blow bubbles up in the air, make art that incorporates the air
  • Wednesday, June 14-M-Math Day-Students will participate in Math activities all day.
  • Thursday, June 15-M-Make a Shirt Day-Students will decorate their t-shirts for the Color Run to be held on Monday, June 19...t-shirts will remain at school
  • Friday, June 16-E-Experience Day-Students will participate in extra science experiments throughout the day
  • Monday, June 19-R-Run Day-Students will participate in the PTO sponsored Color Run
  • Tuesday, June 20-T-Teddy Bear Day-Students will be allowed to bring a Teddy Bear to school and wear their Teddy Thomson wear
  • Wednesday, June 21-I-Inside Out Day-Students can wear their clothes inside out
  • Thursday, June 22-M-Music Day-Students will participate in extra musically activities in their classrooms
  • Friday, June 23-E-Exit Day-Students will clean out their desks and exit school for summer vacation

August 2017 and the Start of the 2017/18 School Year

Summer break is almost here! During the summer I expect all of you will take time for yourself and family. While the building will not officially open until August 7 which is one week before teachers officially report (on August 14), like most people who are natural planners, teachers want to know their schedule well in advance. So in the spirit of satisfying your curiosity (so you can enjoy your break) I'd like to share the preliminary plans for the start of the next school year.

  • August 7...Building officially opens at 8 AM.
  • August 14...Teacher Report Day & Work Day...Opening staff meeting...more information will come in my "Welcome Back" staff letter the first week of August.
  • August 15...District PD Teachers/ Parapros ...Information will come from Superintendent Lieske in late July/ early August.
  • August 16...Building PD Day (all day) for Teachers and Parapros & Open House (Teachers and Secretaries from 4:00-5:30 PM).
  • August 21...First day of school for students.

As mentioned in the points above, look for more detailed information in letters sent from Superintendent Lieske and me in late July/ early August.

Also new for the 2017/18 school year, we will be switching one of our current kindergarten classrooms to a developmental kindergarten (DK/E5's) classroom. This will not change the totally number of classrooms for the building. We will maintain 15 classrooms, however, with a different make-up...11 Kindergarten, 3, DK, and 1 ECDD/Kindergarten Resource Room. I have spoken Brenda Pietras and she has agreed to move to the DK, a position she put in a transfer to prior to this decision being made.

Color Run T-shirt Orders

As like last year, the PTO will be purchasing white t-shirts for the students to wear for the Color Run on Monday, June 19th. However, instead of sending a form home to parents, we are asking each of you to fill out the form. Today you will receive a class list and the tally sheet in your mailbox. We also have two sets of sample t-shirts that you can have the students try on or hold up, you may even be able to peek at their tag. The sample sets will be in the lounge and if you borrow one, please just be sure to return them to the lounge as soon as possible so that another teacher can use them. We need to have all tally sheets in by Friday so that an order can get placed right away. Remember, when sizing these will go over their current clothes, so Bigger is Better and it may be better to size up. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Quotes Worth Reading

"You don't get what you wish for. You get what you work for.”


"I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that's how you grow. When there's that moment of "Wow, I'm not really sure I can do this." and you push through those moments, that's when you have a BREAKTHROUGH."

-Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo

Mindset change/challenge... What are you working for? What moment will you push through?

Thomson Elementary

Home of the Thomson Teddies!


Where Kids Come First and Futures Begin!

Celebrations & Announcements

Birthdays: Wendy Hogg, June 7th; Kelly Ward, June 10th...Happy, happy birthday to you!

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Week of June 5th-PLC Week
  • Monday, June 5th-DHS Graduation
  • Tuesday, June 6th-STAR Testing, ELA K-2 Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 7th-Staff Meeting (Agenda: Field Day, Room Closing/End of Year Procedures, Reading Now Network Follow-up); STAR Testing; DAE Graducation
  • Thursday, June 8th-General Admin. Meeting; Lauren's Wedding Shower, 4:00 p.m.
  • Friday, June 9th-Trading Post
  • Monday, June 12th-Sports Day/Field Day
  • Friday, June 16th-End of the Year Staff Luncheon, Table of Honor