Week of: November 5 - November 9
Woo Hoo - You ALL made it out in once piece after a week of fun with Halloween smack dab in the middle! This time of year is so much fun, the various room transformations, dissections and just all around engaging instruction was evident as I made my way around the building this week. Please continue to make the learning fun, try new things, take risks and ask for help! At the end of the day, our goal is student growth and we are going to dominate in that capacity this year!
Just a reminder - Student information should always be kept confidential, please keep this in mind when sending IEP Information, 504 Information, RTI information or any student information for that matter around. Additionally, please ensure that students are not accessing teacher boxes as there is often time information pertaining to children in your boxes that students are not privy to - thank you for being diligent in making this happen.
If you noticed the recent project on the wall of the family photos, they were truly a BIG hit! The students loved seeing them on the wall! As you will notice, the entire collage had to be removed - The stuff I used to stick them up did not quite cooperate. If you want your picture added please print a (4x6) and I will added to the new and improved collage once it goes back up!
This weekend be sure to rest, relax and recharge. Monday will be here before we know it! You rock!
Below I have listed a few updates and reminders to activities planned for the week ahead:
- Monday, November 5 - Friday, November 9 - Book Fair Sales Underway
- Thursday, November, 8 - Veterans Day Program/PTSO - Look forward to seeing all staff in attendance.
- Friday, November 16 - "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!
***Traveling on a field trip soon? We recently purchased an ice machine for your convenience - it is located in the gymnasium - Coach Moon and Anderson can point you in the right direction if you need a hand.***
With an intentional focus of consistency on being curious & crazy for kids you will ALWAYS find a culture that is student focused!
Have a WONDERful Week!
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 and meeting the needs of ALL levels of learners through appropriate instructional strategies, planning and assessment. 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. This coming week (11/5), 4th Grade lesson plans will be reviewed by the full administrative team, including our ILT; the following week (11/12), we will review K 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. Habecker to Ms. Vasquez: I am so thankful for Rita's amazing positivity and willingness to help. She has truly taken on a huge task in creating the skeleton for our grade level newsletter! I love how eager she always is to lend a hand, and keep me laughing! You are WONDERful, Vasquez!!!!
- From Specials Teachers to Ms. Sharon Roberts: Mrs. Sharon always goes above and beyond but this week she picked up a lot of slack when she had team members out. Thanks for all of the work that you do to make our school shine!
- From Erin Shultz to Coach Anderson: Coach Anderson made a point to stop by the media center to help us hang the "Big Top" for two days in a row. We are so thankful for his willingness to jump in anytime we ask or he sees a need.
- PK-2 - Lesson 3.3 - Be Kind
- 3-5 - Lesson 3.3 - Build your Dream Team
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!