Friday Focus

January 17th, 2014

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Welcome to Elizabeth M, who was Kathy's student teacher throughout the fall. Elizabeth also spent time here at Meadowview last spring. She will be a full-time teaching assistant. Welcome! We're glad to have you back!


  • Great job Kelly and Kevin for organizing and facilitating the geography bee. Boy, those questions were difficult!
  • Anne, the music program was wonderful. Kudos!
  • I have heard some amazing stories and anecdotes stemming from our meeting on our "One Word." Many of you even reflected and took time, which resulted in you changing your word. Thank you for being so invested! Check out our Wordle above!

Putting the O in F.O.C.U.S

"One consistent finding of academic research is that high expectations are the most

reliable driver of high student achievement, even in students who do not have a history of successful achievement." - Doug Lemov

Part of our transformation plan requires us to operate with high expectations and clear learning targets in place. We've addressed learning targets, but I'd like to touch upon operating with high expecations. What does that really mean, to operate with high expectations?

Marzano discusses the art and science of teaching and high expectations for all in this ASCD article. Visual learners may want to watch the brief video below.

ACSD article on high expectations

For visual learners:

In Teach Like a Champion, Doug Lemov offers specific ways in which to set and maintain high expectations. Outlined below is a brief summary of some of the ideas. You can also go here to learn more.

Technique #1 – No Opt Out – A sequence that begins with a student unable to answer a question should end with the student answering that question as often as possible.

Technique #2 – Right is Right – Set and defend a high standard of correctness in your classroom.

  1. Hold out for all the way
  2. Answer the question
  3. Right answer, right time
  4. Use technical vocabulary

Technique#3 – Stretch It - The sequence of learning does not end with the right answer; reward right answers with follow up questions that extend knowledge and test for reliability.

  • Ask how or why
  • Ask for another way to answer
  • Ask for a better word
  • Ask for evidence
  • Ask for integration of related skills
  • Ask for application of same skill in new setting

Technique #4 – Format Matters – It’s not just what students say that matters, but how they communicate it. To succeed, students must take their knowledge and express it in the language of opportunity.

  • Grammatical format
  • Complete sentence format
  • Audible format
  • Unit format

Technique #5 – Without Apology – Expressing the unshakable that content is engaging and essential.

  • Never apologize for the content
  • Never apologize for the students

Yearbook Information from Lisa Perkins

The LifeTouch photographer will be at Meadowview on January 30th to take some candid pictures (it's part of our contract). I'd like to schedule him for around 10a so I can get some shots during lunch.

Group pictures will be taken on February 20th around 1:00 for the following:

Geography Bee and Winners

Spelling Bee and Winners


1yr Band

2nd yr Band

5th grade Chorus

6th Grade Chorus

Student Council and Officers

Tech Club

Notes and Reminders

  • Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Grade Teachers - As a reminder, in the electronic grade book, any summative assessment score lower than a 65% should be manually moved up to a 65%. This score will then be averaged (weighing 45% of the final grade) with the Real World Experience (weighing 45%) and the checks of understanding (weighing 10%) to calculate an overall score and corresponding letter grade.
  • We will be having a brief assembly on Tuesday, January 21st from the American Heart Association. Primary grades will be in the gym at 1:15 with intermediate students to follow at 1:45. We'll call you to the gym.
  • The Meadowview spelling bee will take place on Friday, January 24th.
  • Please follow a Monday schedule on Wednesday, January 22nd.
  • The optional RtI Spring Mid Point Assessment week has been moved from the week of March 24th to the week of March 17th.
  • Due to PARCC field testing, we will be asking you not to use the internet from March 24th-28th, April 7th-11th, and May 5th-23rd. Please plan accordingly. If during the first week of testing we find that the internet ban is unnecessary, the district will let us know.

Message from Kelly Neylon...


Below is a link to a Google Form that will allow you to submit a proposal to lead a session for the District’s Young Author’s event. The proposal form is quick and easy, only 5 questions long! PLEASE lead a session for our students. The form is due on January 31st and if your proposal is approved, you will be notified by February 27th.

PLEASE consider earning $100 for leading two 45 minute sessions on April 26th.

The event is from 9:00-12:30 on Saturday April 26th. If you have questions about the form or about the event, please call or email Melissa or me!

Thanks so much for your consideration!

Myths and Realities

In an effort to promote some critical thinking and reflection, each week I am going to post one myth and one reality from Myths and Realities: Best Practices for English Language Learners by Katherine Davies Samway and Denise McKeon. Some may be obvious while others will surprise you. As teachers of English language learners, we must continually do our best to meet their unique needs.

Second Language Acquisition Myth: "Once second language learners are able to speak reasonably fluently, their problems are likely to be over in school."

Reality: "The ability to speak a second language (especially in conversational settings) does not guarantee that a student will be able to use the language effectively in academic settings." Page 30

Bucket Fillers

Here are this week's colleague to colleague bucket fillers...

  • Magdana, you worked really hard (first car here and still here when I leave) to transition from teaching pre-adolescents to teaching kinders and you did it beautifully! The look on their faces when they are with you says it all!
  • Erin, for always listening, encouraging, and coming up with great ideas! - Cheryl
  • Janet, thanks for stepping up to teach the bilingual 1/2 kiddos. They will benefit so much from your knowledge, skills, and kindness. - Barb M.
  • Janet, for positive attitude, perseverance, determination, and effort in undertaking a new role!
  • Lisa, for working on the 1st grade math curriculum and helping me think through the Real World problem. - Cheryl
  • Renee Legoretta, thanks for being there for our kids and for us as a staff. I always appreciate your words of wisdom. - Yeagle
  • Linzey, thanks for all your help this week and being so flexible. You're a class act with a great personality.
  • Rosemary, I have noticed you going out of your way to show colleagues what they need to know when facing brand new tasks. It's so nice to know that when one of us faces a challenge, others like you will step up to support us while we learn.
  • Janet, I want to fill your bucket with appreciation! You have done so much to help me over the last few weeks. I could not have managed without you, especially with ACCESS. - Donna
  • Stephanie, thanks for raising our professional conversations to another level! Reg

Coming Up...

Monday, January 20th - No School, MLK Jr. Day

Tuesday, January 21st - Reg out in AM for Admin Meeting

Tuesday, January 21st - AHA Assembly (PM)

Tuesday, January 21st - Doggie Diner Restaurant Fundraiser

Tuesday, January 21st - Rising Star Meeting (3 PM)

Wednesday, January 22nd - Reg out all day for training

Friday, January 24th - Spelling Bee (1 PM)

Friday, January 24th - End of 2nd Quarter

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Barbara J. (1/18), and Sonia (1/23)!

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