Friday Focus

March 7, 2014


Thank you to all who came our for our Family Fun Fair! According to initial estimates, it was our highest grossing Fun Fair at Meadowview! If you happen to see a PTO board member, please thank them for all their support. The funds they raise provide a variety of educational opportunities to our students.

Great job promoting a calm, encouraging atmosphere throughout ISAT testing. Most students I talked to felt confident in taking the test, thanks to you and your unending efforts!

Give yourself a break! Come out with us for dinner on Monday after our Monday Meeting. We'll be meeting in the Bistro at Lemon Tree Grocer in downtown Downers Grove: Lemon Tree

Temperature Checks

Greg will be visiting Meadowview in the LRC during mid-day collaboration on Wednesday, March 12th. Please be ready to offer feedback regarding math implementation and future planning needs for ELA and Next Generation Science curriculum. Feel free to ask questions regarding future teaching and learning plans.

A Message From Amy Melinder Regarding the 5Essentials Survey

Beginning March 17, you will have the opportunity to participate in the Illinois 5Essentials Survey. This opportunity allows you to share your views on important elements of school effectiveness. The results from the survey will provide a rich picture of the inner workings of your school from an organizational perspective. The Illinois 5Essentials Teacher Survey is to be completed by certified teachers whose primary responsibility involves teaching students for the majority of the school day and year.

Individuals in the following positions, who also teach, are among those encouraged to participate:

· Media specialists

· Speech/language pathologists

· Counselors

· Social workers

The following positions are ineligible to participate in the survey:

· Teacher aides

· Substitute teachers

· Tutors

· Instructional coaches (who do not otherwise teach)

· Student teachers

This list of eligible participants is set by the state.

On behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education, UChicago Impact will administer the Illinois 5Essentials Survey online. This survey is based on the Five Essentials for School Success, an evidence-based framework developed by the University of Chicago. This framework identifies how school performance on five factors or “essentials” can lead to important student outcomes, including improved attendance and larger test score gains.

Prior research has shown that schools strong on three or more of the 5Essentials were 10 times more likely to improve student learning gains than schools weak on three or more of the Essentials. Those 5Essentials are:

  • Effective Leaders
  • Collaborative Teachers
  • Involved Families
  • Supportive Environment
  • Ambitious Instruction

School-level 5Essentials Reports will be generated from carefully analyzed survey data, and these Reports will be sent to schools and districts in June and will be included in each state school report card, released by ISBE at the end of October. 5Essentials Reports for our school will also then be publicly available via the Illinois 5Essentials website. The Reports will include the results of rigorous statistical analyses of raw data as well as detailed question response rates, such as the percent of teachers who find their schools’ professional development initiatives helpful. Student and teacher identities will be kept completely confidential and responses will not be linked to individual students or teachers.

Survey administration begins Monday, March 17. Beginning that day, please visit and find the survey button on the top of the page to take the survey.

For more information about the Illinois 5Essentials Survey, or to view sample school Reports, please visit If you have any questions about the survey, please contact 5Essentials Customer Support at 1-866-440-1874 or


Last week during our Institute Day, we discussed grading practices and retakes. Here are a few video clips that I strongly encourage you to watch:

Rick Wormeli: Redos, Retakes and Do Overs Part 1

Rick Wormeli: Redos, Retakes and Do Overs Part 2

PARCC Sample Test Questions

Please go here to try out some computer-based test questions from PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career). As you take the assessment, think about the instructional implications and what your students will need to know and be able to do in order to be on track for college and career readiness.

Also, as we move toward PARCC testing for all students (next year) and parents begin to ask questions, you'll need to have a firm understanding of the main tenants of PARCC. Please check out the PARCC website for comprehensive information.

Notes and Reminders

  • Per your request, Rachel Manjarres will be at our Monday Meeting on March 10th. The agenda will be driven by your questions. Please come prepared.
  • Please familiarize your class with the procedures for severe weather emergencies. We will be scheduling a severe weather drill shortly.
  • Don't forget to choose your attitude, play, make their day, and be there! Come out to play at Lemon Tree on Monday! :)
  • Click here to see the proposed calendar for the 2014-2015 school year.

Coming Up...

Monday, March 10th -Monday Meeting All Staff

Tuesday, March 11th -2nd Year Teachers Mentoring Meeting, 3:40 PM @ PDC

Wednesday, March 12th - Greg visits during daily collaboration

Thursday, March 13th - PTO Meeting - 3rd grade representing

Thursday, March 13th - 3rd and 6th grade take PARCC practice test 1:15-2:15 PM

Tuesday, March 18th -Reg @ District Administration Meeting - AM

Tuesday, March 18th - Science Fair Invention Convention - PM Meadowview

Wednesday, March 19th -GES Training, All Day @ PDC

Thursday, March 20th -Common Core Transition Team Meeting, 3:40 PM @ PDC

Friday, March 21st -Principal’s Meeting w/ Greg and Teaching and Learning Team

Wednesday, March 26th - Spring Pictures

Thursday, March 27th - Meadowview Battle of the Books (schedule to follow)

Thursday, March 27th - 4th grade to DGN Children's Concert (PM)

Monday, March 24th – Friday, April 11th -PARCC Testing Window for 3rd and 6th Grade

Monday, March 24th -Monday Meeting, Grade Level/Department Mtg.

Monday, March 24th - Board of Education Meeting, 7:30 PM

Wednesday, March 26th - Spring Pictures

Thursday, March 27th - Meadowview Battle of the Books

Thursday, March 27th -2nd Year Band Field Trip to DGN PM

Thursday, March 27th - Second Grade Field Trip

Friday, March 28th -End of 3rd Quarter

March 31st – April 4th -Spring Break, NO SCHOOL

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 Placement Myth: "The academic success of English language learners is determined primarily by their ability to learn English."

Reality: "Although learning English is essential for school success for all ELL students, the acquisition of English alone in no way guarantees that ELL students will succeed academically. The question of school achievement is not solely a linguistic one; the cultural messages received by students from both the school and the larger society may influence their feelings ab about school as well as their feelings about themselves in relation to school. In addition, the way in which students view themselves is connected to the way that schools (and the larger community) view them. All of these factors influence students' school/academic success." page 75

Bucket Fillers...

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

  • Cheryl, thank you for always having the materials that I need and all the right answers whenever I need them. You are my rock!
  • Thank you to everyone who helped make sure CogAT testing was completed by the deadline! I appreciate your flexibility and support! - Rebekah
  • Primary Buddies, thanks for helping me when I was down and out with the nasty bug. Cheryl, thanks for offering to drive me home. - Lisa T.
  • Michele, love the testing schedule. Thank you for working on it!
  • Lisa P, Michel B, Megan M, thank you to my tag-team. I love working with such a flexible, hard working group of people.
  • Thanks for the cupcakes, Kathy!
  • Thank you, Debbie, for taking care of all our maintenance needs - no matter what the issue!
  • Doug - One word - FUNNY! You make us laugh and we need that. Thank you!
  • Rosemary, feel better soon! I miss your smiling face. I'm forgetting what you look like!
  • Dear Stacy and Melody, you are two awesome women! I so appreciate all of the cheerful support you provide despite my seemingly never-ending questions. ('m still waiting for my desk, though!) - Donna
  • Renee and all our lunchroom staff - Thanks for all the extra attention you give our students with special needs.
  • Niki, keep up the great work! You are really making an impact here.
  • Diane, thanks so much for all the hard work around the school. The kids really love and trust you!
  • Karen, your work with T.G. is outstanding. You are such a dedicated and caring person.
  • ISATs have been running smoothly! Thanks Bonham for such a concise and well thought out schedule! LP (and Reg)
  • Thank you, Michele and Lisa for doing make-ups for ISATs! Thanks, Michele, for scheduling magic!
  • Thank you Megan and Lisa P. for your patience giving our students extended time on the ISATs - also for reading to them when necessary!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Sarah Beth (3/11)!