Black Bob Staff Memo

Week of January 18-22, 2016

Upcoming events

Monday Jan. 18

No School

Happy Birthday Amy P.

Tuesday Jan. 19 C Day

Wednesday Jan. 20 D Day

8:30-9:30 Future Kindergartner B.R.E.A.K.

9:30-11:00 Trisha at Administrative Staff

9:30 4th Grade PLC

12:30 2nd Grade PLC

2:30 1st Grade PLC

4:00 BLT meeting

Thursday Jan. 21 E Day

9:00-12:00 Trisha at Elementary Principals Meeting

12:30 5th Grade PLC

2:00 Major Savor Assembly

2:30 Kindergarten PLC

Friday Jan. 22 A Day

9:30-12:30 Trisha at New Principal School Visit

3:00 BRAG rewards

Next Week:

Monday Jan. 25 B Day

Collaboration Meeting Day (SIT)

10:30 3rd Grade ePLC

2:30 1st Grade ePLC

3:50 Battle of the Books Meeting in Library (Coaches and Students)

Tuesday Jan. 26 C Day

Happy birthday Tricia Paulson

6:00-8:00 Skate City

Advanced Teaching and Learning

Wednesday Jan. 27 D Day

Spring Pictures: Individual, Class and Groups

9:30 4th Grade PLC

10:00 District Building Data Walk

12:30 2nd Grade PLC

3:30 Student Council

Thursday Jan. 28 E Day

Happy Birthday Kaitlin

1:30 5th grade PLC

2:30 Kindergarten PLC

6:30 Kindergarten Hoedown

Friday Jan. 29 A Day

Happy Birthday Julia

4th grade Field Trip

9:00 Kansas Day Assembly (all grades)

Saturday Jan. 30

Happy Birthday Amy K.

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Staff Meeting Treats.

Parent Teacher Conferences

As stated during Staff Meeting, we will use the same days/times as October unless a parent ask for something different.

I will be sending out the information this week so you can send it to parents.

Are you planning on having Student Led Conferences? If so, SeaSaw would be a great tool for students to showcase their learning.

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Innovative Mindset

Image created by @SylviaDuckworth

One of the things that we have to really see is that innovation in school is not about a day, a week, or a class. Although creating those experiences are great, if you look at these characteristics above, how can we promote them through what we do everyday in school?

Empathetic – Have students write from the perspective of a character and understand how they would communicate within the modern time frame or in their community.

Problem Finders/Problem Solvers – Look at the work of Dan Meyer and others and have students start out by looking for problems in their world, as opposed to simply getting them to solve them from a textbook.

Risk-Takers – How do we get students to try different ways to share their learning through assessments, and as David Jakes would say, take “calculated risks“.

Networked – Have students look at collaboration as something that is both in and out of the classroom, and help them connect with experts locally and globally (and by the way, experts could be other students in the same classroom).

Observant – Taking time to be mindful and noticing what is in the room, helps students to become more aware and create connections to their own learning.

Creators – If students really want to go deep, it is what they create in their classroom where powerful learning really happens. Will kids learn more about coding if they watch a video about it, or watch a video and then create something because of it?

Resilient – Understanding that learning is about ups and downs, but having students share not only their learning, but the process of learning. Video has made this a lot easier for students to share this process.

Reflection – This is not something we do not do enough in our schools. Do we take the time to have our students (and ourselves) make connections to their own learning? We often give ideas and then have them collaborate immediately as opposed to gathering their own thoughts. If learning is truly personal, then we need time to internalize (this is why I blog so much). How do we have students make their own connections to learning through the explicit act of reflection?

If you look at these characteristics, and the examples that I have given you, these are things that can be done all of the time, not simply as an event. Being explicit about how we do this will help our students become the thinkers and innovators that our world needs not only for the future, but also today.

Google Apps for Education

Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is a core suite of productivity applications that Google offers to schools and educational institutions for FREE. As district teachers have requested accounts, these have been manually created and information has been provided to teachers regarding the format of their username and initial password. This process is now changing. With the increasing demand for this access throughout the district, we have automated the process to create the accounts – as well as to synch with Active Directory and users’ district network passwords.

Thus, the following is now the protocol for district GAFE accounts.

· All staff should now have GAFE accounts matching their district network logins (district network username and password).

o IMPORTANT: For any teacher wishing to begin to use the new Google (GAFE) account, they will first need to initiate a password change via a district windows computer (ctrl-alt-del) on a desktop/laptop computer or via

The password sync process cannot retrieve existing passwords unfortunately. It has to catch/synch the passwords when they change, so this step is necessary before being able to use the new GAFE account.

· What if a teacher already had a manually-created GAFE account, teachers may continue to use that account?

The automated GAFE account will still be thereand can remain unused.

These previously-created accounts will NOT synch with the district username or the district network password.

· Example:

o Previous manually-created GAFE account:

§ Can continue to be used with current login and current password

§ Will NOT synch with district password

o New automated GAFE account:

§ District Network username is used

§ District Network password is synched – after initial password change described above

Email the Help Desk with any questions or assistance.

Email Jacqueline Swab or Kristen Lester for training assistance with using Google Apps for Education.


KITE Needs to be on Every Computer / iPad Used for Testing – Check Now! If your iPad doesn't have the KITE version, please let Kari or Janee know. We will be sharing iPads during State Testing.

· A new version of KITE will be used this year.

· If KITE is currently on a computer, the application will automatically update itself to the latest version.

· If a computer does not have KITE on it, it may be installed from the Software Center. Directions for installing KITE are in the file titled “Installing Kite Client.docx.”

Kansas Assessment Reminders

· Test schedules will be completed by February 3rd. I will be working with Grades 3-5 on this.

· Science and HG tests are NOT adaptive. Both of these tests have two parts. Allow 45 minutes for each Science test part and 35 minutes for the total HG test.

· All state assessments may be administered via an iPad.

· CETE will score the mathematics performance task this year.

· Students will have to take a break of approximately 10 minutes between each test part on the ELA and Mathematics tests while CETE runs an algorithm to correctly select the student’s next test part.

· Test Windows

o ELPA21 – February 22 to April 1

o MDPT and Math Performance Task – February 16 to March 10

o ELA / Math / HG / Science – March 16 to May 12.