Trantwood Times

"Captivating Every Student, Every Day!"

Kudos - singing the praises of our staff :)

Thank you for a smooth first week of 2016! It was a fast one. On Wednesday, I found myself saying "I can't believe it's Wednesday." On Thursday, I said "Where is this week going - I can't believe it's Thursday." Today, well, I'm not really a TGIF kind of person because that means it's two days away from the "nest."

So kudos to you because I know our kids feel the same - the "nest" is the best! LA

January 11 - 15, 2016

Mon., Jan. 11:

Learning Walks all day with Ray Jones

Citizen of the Month, 2:00

Tues., Jan 12:

SOL Tutoring, 7:20 am

Mrs. M OTB 1/2 day pm

PAC Meeting, 3:00, collaboration room

Wed., Jan 13:

SOL Tutoring, 7:20 am

Mrs. M OTB all day

Thurs., Jan 14:

SOL Tutoring, 7:20 am

Nancy Kurz, OTB 1/2 day am

Mrs. M. OTB all day

Fri., Jan. 15:

Author Julia Cook visits Trantwood, Assembly grades K – 5, 1:30 – 2:30 pm

School Club Pictures, All day

Jan Roewer, OTB, all day

Mrs. M. OTB all day

SCA Spirit Week, Jan 11 – 15:

Monday – College and Career Day

Tuesday – Everyone Counts Day – wear your favorite jersey

Wednesday – Wacky Wednesday

Thursday – Everyone can be a hero, dress like a hero

Friday – Trantwood Spirit Day

January 18 - 22, 2016

Mon., Jan. 18:

Martin Luther King Day, Schools Closed

Tues., Jan. 19:

SOL Tutoring, 7:20 am

Faculty Meeting, 3:00 pm

Wed., Jan 20:

SOL Tutoring, 7:20 am

Art Club, 2:40 – 4:00 pm

STEM, 2:40 – 4:30 pm

Thurs., Jan 21:

SOL Tutoring, 7:20 am

Gifted Parent Workshop, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., Room 22

Fri., Jan 22:

SCA Pizza Party, 2:40 – 3:30 pm

Due Dates and Reminders

  • Jan. 4 - 22: Winter RI (formerly SRI) window for gr. 3, 4, 5

  • Jan. 4 - 22 Winter MI (formerly SMI) window for gr. 5

  • SchoolNet Q2 assessment window: Jan. 22 - Feb. 19

  • Jan. 25 – Feb 5: ESL Testing

  • Middle School Program Options: Applications for KL/ODC, Art, Dance, Plaza MYP due Jan. 29

  • Talent Ed Professional Goals due by Jan. 29

  • Talent Ed Formative Option #1 due by Feb. 5

  • Mark your calendar – Tuesday, April 26 @ 9:00 a.m., Kindergarten Registration

Happy Birthday

Jan. 13 - Butch Ellis

I Make A Difference & SCA Teacher of the Month

I Make a Difference:

Pam Jacobs/Gina Howes

Bernette Owens

Lisa Lee

Stephanie Piron

Becky McCallum

Karen Francis

Nancy Lambert

Tim Cassidy

SCA Teacher of the Month

Becky McCallum

Talent Ed Deadlines

Mid-Year Professional Goals: Jan. 29

Formative Option #1: Feb. 5

Please see Mrs. Z or Mrs. M if you have any questions. We highly recommend starting your assessments early so you have time to reflect on the data and to make plans to ensure every child is learning at high levels every day.

Tasks done already? Hit the "submit" button now! :)


Thanks for giving thought to what you would like to learn from your peers during our fist Ed Camp!

Please continue to check the site, add your questions, and vote with a thumbs up or down for the sessions you are interested in or not at all:

When you click on either thumb the question will either gain or lose a point. The questions with the most thumbs up will appear at the top of the list. Those with the least thumbs up will appear at the bottom of the list. This data will guide our session selections.

Jan. 15, 2016, is the deadline for entering your questions. This will then allow time for the questions to be sorted and a schedule to be developed.

Powerful Instructional Strategy - Economy of Words

From time to time, we come across strategies that are so powerful, I'm certain it will better help us fulfill Compass to 2020 if used wisely. Economy of Words is just one of those strategies.

Taken from Teach Like a Champion, Economy of Words means that the teacher uses the fewest yet most powerful amount of words to deliver the instruction and/or directions. To do this, the teacher intentionally plans the words she will say prior to the delivery of instruction/directions. After she teaches or gives directions, the teacher reflects upon her words to see if they need to be tweaked further.

Delivering instructions and directions using the fewest yet most powerful words is easier when one is knowledgeable about the curriculum. If the curriculum is new to you, then reviewing it and talking with your peers will help increase your ability to apply this strategy.

As a teacher, your job is not to say smart things but to get the kids to say the smart things. Economy of Words will help you speak only what's most important so that your students can use the maximum amount of time to practice using the language with a partner, within a small group, and/or on their own.

Dr. Ray Jones Instructional Coaching Visit

On Monday, January 11, 2015, a cadre of individuals will be visiting our building to learn more about how to become effective Instructional Coaches. This cadre will include other building principals, assistant principals, central office administrators and Dr. Jones.

Our goal is to learn from each other so that we can then help our own staff improve their ability to cause all students to learn at high levels. Throughout the day Monday, we will be conducting mini observations of various classrooms. These visits are random and based on the needs of the group. After visiting a classroom, the teacher will be invited to sit with us to talk about the lesson observed.

When visiting classrooms, while we ask ourselves a millions questions, here are the two that we all ask every time:

1. What is the lesson designed to achieve?

2. Can we tell for whom it's working and for whom it's not?

Here's the most important thing you need to know about Monday's visit. It is not about you. This time is about me. I am the learner here. You are not being evaluated in any sense. I am the one working to refine my skills. Working to refine my ability to help you be the best teacher you want to be.

Here's the other important thing to know. I am excited for this time. The discussion with you at the table (if invited) will greatly benefit all of us in the group and as well as other schools around the division.

One last important thing (there's always one more!). Please don't try anything new on Monday. Please do stick with your plan as written. This is not a good time to try a new technology application or digital device. If you do, I guarantee, Murphy's Law will rear it's ugly head! Lastly, no need to talk with us when we enter the room.

Do tell your students we may have some visitors. They are to act just like they do when Mrs. Z or I enter your room. We will not interrupt instruction. Your students should not either by calling attention to us. If appropriate, we will talk with the students. Really, when you think about it, there's nothing new here since this is exactly how Mrs. Z and I have conducted ourselves since the beginning of the year when entering your classrooms.

Ok, so much for economy of words. Monday is going to be great. Rest well this weekend. And oh, one more important thing - you are welcome to wear your jeans all next week only if you are participating in the Spirit Week activities. Showing Trantwood Spirit is part of who we are and your light is ready to shine!

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Instructional Technology Resources

This is a reminder that the Department of Teaching and Learning has purchased a variety of high quality technology resources to support the VBCPS curriculum in each elementary content area. We encourage you to use these where appropriate to differentiate instruction and to maximize student learning.

Integrated Cross Content Resources:

DefinedSTEM: provides online STEM performance task bank aligned to the SOLs and the VBCPS curriculum in grades k - 5.

Language Arts:

Achieve 3000: Provides digital nonfiction text aligned to the SOLs for language arts and content areas differentiated to the independent reading levels of all students (Every student should be assigned at least two articles per week) in grades 3 - 5.

CoreClicks: Provides students with a digital fiction and nonfiction text resource for independent reading time in grades k - 2.

Bookflix: Provides students with digital paired texts of fiction and nonfiction for whole group reading instruction or independent reading time in gr. k - 2.


Fastt Math: Helps students in grades 3 - 5 and grade 2 that have demonstrated efficient strategies, improve Fact Fluency during school hours.

Fraction Nation: Builds conceptual understanding of fractions during school hours in grades 3 - 5.

TenMarks: Provides a mathematical tutorial program to be used both at school and at home in grades 1 - 5. The program reassesses students and they work through lessons on their level.

ConnectEd: Provides an online textbook and various other resources to grades k - 5.

Science/Social Studies:

Five Ponds Digital Textbook: Allows students to access the course textbook at home and via multiple devices, hear text read aloud, and access textbooks from previous grade levels; also allows teachers to project textbook pages and access to teacher's annual in grades k - 2, 3, and 5.

ArcGIS (VBCPS Portal) : provides digital map-based resources in conjunction with science/social studies inquiry based lessons and is provided on the SharePoint for students and teachers to explore.

NBC Learn: provide video content based on current events and aligned to social studies content (alignment charts organized by both VBO and unit can be found under "General Information" on grade level SharePoint pages.) for grades k - 5.