Sipley School Weekly Howl

Week of Monday, September 29, 2014

"If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine."

Ernesto Guevara

Individual Student Growth

Data Review is complete and we are settling into our Differentiated Engagement Blocks. Our DEB groupings are aimed and the most intensive support and enrichment that we can provide students. We have small groups for gifted learning, small groups for Fountas and Pinnell interventions, small groups for My Sidewalks, and we have larger groups who are on grade level and above grade level. Our students are in groups of like abilities. This affords us the opportunity to meet them where they are to help them in where they are going! Staff working with students receive information about individual rates of learning and names of students who need something different. Let's work hard to do all that we can to ensure that 100% of our students make individual student growth. I know this can be realized with great tier I instruction and targeted teaching in DEB.

Reluctant Readers

A reluctant reader is one who does not show an interest in reading. We have to determine the reason for this reluctance. Is this because of interest or is there a reading problem that needs to be addressed?

Because boys seem to be more likely than girls to become reluctant readers research has been conducted to determine what causes them to turn their backs on reading. Researchers have found that many boys stop reading because they do not see practical applications for reading. They look for immediate uses for what they learn. When they read texts where universal themes or highly fictionalized stories are presented they fail to see the purpose in reading. There is nothing “useful” in these texts. Therefore it has been suggested that those working with reluctant male readers offer them practical texts to engage their interest. These include manuals, non-fiction picture books, Internet sites and technology-based interactive texts. Such materials make reading useful to boys again. Then they are much more apt to continue reading in the future.

We have quite a dilemma when we are faced with reluctant readers who are low level readers. I think we are obligated to help them. Please work to find the problem and help them become readers. Please give extra time and attention to these students.

Online Parent-Teacher Conference Scheduling

Pete is going to host a 3:00 - 3:30 meeting on Monday. Pete will share knowledge related to online scheduling. Information is going to be sent home to parents soon.

Mid-Day Collaboration - Next Week

Our Mid-day Collaborations begin in the week ahead. The goal of our meetings have to align with our Academic Transformation Plan. Characteristics of a good meeting should include:

  1. Shared mission, vision, values, and goals. Is the collaboration aligned to student growth and our Academic Transformation Plan?
  2. The norms are clear. Do you have team norms (punctuality, purpose for meeting, goals, who talks, who inputs notes into Google Docs)? If you find your team moving off topic or dwelling on some negative item, how do you move from negativity to a position that is solution seeking?
  3. Collaborative teams focused on learning. Is new learning emerging? If not why not?
  4. Are you action oriented? Is new learning going to lead to application?
  5. Are you committed to continuous improvement? Don't be content with the status quo. What else can we do that we are not doing when data shows that student growth has stalled?

Make the most of this precious time that you have with your colleagues. Use this time in ways that support students growth.

Rising Star Leadership Team

Our Rising Star Leadership Team will consist of Maureen Schroeder, Bill Spear, Marcia Pyburn, Rachel Manjarres, and Rhonda Jackson. We need a secretary. Would anyone like to volunteer?

Our first meeting will take place on Monday at 11:20 - 12:20. I will introduce them to schoolwide goals related to student growth and seek input from them based on the goals presented.

STP Field Trips and All School Assembly/Field Trip

The STP is no longer paying for busses for school field trips. The reason for this is that the STP has stopped asking for $5 per student to support the STP. So, this decision is actually a wash in the way of money coming in and going out of the STP budget and the pockets of parents. The net impact is zero.

The STP is looking into all school field trips, which they will pay for. They have $6,325 budgeted. They already scheduled an all school assembly on January 14, 2015. This is a STEM Mobile Hands-On Museum. Each grade level will have 45 minutes in the museum, which will be located in our gymnasium. Stations include a 3D Printer, Building an Arch, Structure Building Station using K-Nex, a Humanoid Robot, A Programmable Robot, Newton's Cradle, Friction Raceway, Holograms, Gears, Geometric Shapes, Robotics Video, and a Bike Generator. For more information, click here.

Here is a Glance at the Week Ahead

Monday - Picture Day - Get your picture taken before school, if possible.

Monday - Rising Star Leadership Team Meeting - Conference Room 11:20 - 12:20

Monday - Online Conference Scheduling Meeting with Pete - 3:00 - 3:30

Monday - Board of Ed. Meeting.

Tuesday - Admin. Meeting - I will be out of the building in the morning.

Tuesday - After School Programming begins!

Tuesday - All certified staff must have their goals in Talent Ed.

Wednesday - Mary Ann Brinkman's Birthday!!!!

Wednesday - I will be out of the building to attend the 3rd grade norming session

Though this is an "A Week," all PLC meeting have been canceled due to the norming sessions.

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