Monday Memo November 16, 2015

Inspiring Passionate Learners

Important Dates

11/17- PTA General Meeting @ 7:00 p.m.

11/18- College Shirts and Jeans

11/18- 1st Grade Power PLC- 11:30-2:30

11/19- Thanksgiving Feast Potluck- Sign- Up in Workroom

11/23-11/27- Thanksgiving Break

11/30- Return from Thanksgiving Break

12/2- Picture Day Retakes

12/3- Kick off 12 Days of Christmas Treats for Staff

12/3- CLT & Team Leader Meeting

12/4- Tree Lighting on the Square of Denton & Pride Choir Performance

12/8- Progress Reports Go Home (Guidelines)

12/8- PCE Staff Kids Christmas Party @ 3:10-4:10 in the Library

12/9- BHS Spirit Day- Wear red and black

12/10- 4th Grade Fine Arts Field Trip

12/10- Staff Celebration & Assessment Literacy Staff Development

12/11- 3rd Grade Fine Arts Field Trip

12/14-12/16- PTA Peppermint Village Christmas Shop Open from 10:30-2:30

12/16- Promote College Day- Wear College Shirts

12/18- All School Sing Along & Faithful Falcon Awards Assemblies

12/18- End of 3rd Six-Weeks

1/4- Staff Development Day (Day off for those who attended June training at DHS)

Tip of the Week from the 2 Sisters

In Just 10 Minutes . . .

Allison Behne

I take the same route every morning when I drive my son, Nathan, to school. We take the same turns, halt at the same stop signs, pass the same cornfields, and often follow the same cars before arriving at school near the same time each morning. Even though it is a monotonous routine, I treasure this 10-minute drive because it gives us time to talk, allowing me to get to know my son a little better each day.

Just this week I learned the rules to a game he plays at recess, found out he gets to have lunch with his teacher on Friday, and that he had to redo a math problem because the only explanation he gave for his answer was "I just knew it." This led to him telling me he finds it hard to explain his mathematical thinking in writing but he loves to journal during Work on Writing, and most recently he is writing a narrative about our last camping trip. In this short week, I have also listened as he summarized a book his teacher read to the class, explained what he was studying during genius hour, and told me about an argument that happened on the playground. Over time, these 10-minute conversations add up, and I learn so much about a boy I thought I already knew almost everything about.

The same is true when we make time to confer with our students. When we listen to them read, we check their accuracy and fluency, which guides our instructional decision making. As we have a conversation about the text, we get an understanding of their comprehension and what strategies would help them gain an even deeper understanding. In this personal setting, we have the opportunity to model and teach strategies specific to their needs, giving students the necessary tools to become lifelong readers.

Conferring should be thought of as a conversation—one in which we listen, think, guide, and practice. Using the Coaching Toward a Target protocol, we can do just this and get to know our students a little better each day.