Monday Morning Motivation

Central Elementary Staff News----January 11-January 15

Great Things I Noticed Last Week!

Dear Staff,

As I walked the halls of Central Elementary School last week, I noticed some great things happening. You shared your top three at the faculty meeting, but it never hurts to be reminded of more.

  • While visiting a third grade classroom, I saw both boys and girls excited about poetry and wanting to share the poems they had written. Also, they told me about the poem Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening. They spent time sharing their different interpretations and wanted to know what I thought. Their teacher said they had been writing poetry all week.
  • In art class, students were engaged in a project where they were creating different designs for the yearbook. They were eager to show me what they had completed and why I should pick their design.
  • In a fifth grade math class, students were defining the different types of angles. Next they were up, out of their seats, using their arms to demonstrate acute, obtuse, right and straight angles. All this movement was making the information stick.
  • I saw several examples of teachers giving students brain breaks--some during recess and some during class. We are movers and Quakers. I mean shakers :)
  • In a fourth grade class both the teacher and the students taught me that a Rosetta Stone was more than a language program.
  • Kindergarten students were very excited about their new Clubhouse, which is an opportunity for students to participate in developmentally appropriate play. Parents are complimenting this important component of learning.
  • I witnessed a whole class of first grade students stop what they were doing and shout out with joy when a student returned to class after being absent for three days. They were overjoyed; it was heart-warming to see how much the children care about each other.
  • In a second grade class I observed students setting goals for this year. One student shared with me she was going to do better and work harder. They were busy working on writing and neatness.
  • I saw Mrs. Cavin take a student, who used to run away from class, into a kindergarten class to experience story time with friends. In his short time here, he has grown so much.
  • When a student was crying, not wanting to leave his mother, I saw a police officer kneel down to his level and talk with him. He gently introduced himself and asked the child if he wanted him to walk him to class. The child agreed. It was very sweet moment.

These are just a few things I observed. There are so many more examples because Central Elementary is a wonderful place to learn and grow!

Have a great week!


A Week at a Glance

Central Calendar

MONDAY, January 11

  • FYI Continuing this week:
  • Additional police presence in our building
  • Indoor recess
  • Mandatory production of ID by all adults entering the building
  • Parent volunteers will not begin their day with us until 9:00 a.m.
  • Lunch visitors must be "known" to us as people tied to students in PowerSchool (will continue all year)

TUESDAY, January 12

  • Grade level data meetings held in conference room
  • ELL Certified Teacher meeting at Central Office 4:00 p.m.
  • Body Safety Parent Meeting at Clarks Creek 6:30-7:30

WEDNESDAY, January 13

THURSDAY, January 14

  • Tentative Fire Drill 9:00 a.m. (subject to change based on weather)
  • School Board Meeting 7:00 p.m.

FRIDAY, January 15

  • Central Celebration 9:00 a.m.- 9:30 a.m.

Announcements and Reminders

  • January 11-15 indoor recess. Please note, as the situation continues to remain stable, we will return to our normal schedule of going outside for recess, following our usual weather guidelines.

  • Please remember to have your lesson plans out on your desk.

  • Have your students write their goals for the new year and choose the best one. Place the paragraph with the student's full name in my mailbox.

  • Please note we will not have a Big Idea Committee meeting this week. I want to give you time to work on updating Title One data, which will be discussed Tuesday at our grade-level meeting.

  • Tuesday grade-level data meetings are a time for you to bring student concerns. Please bring your purple folder for the student and the yellow data team referral form. We will discuss ISTEP results and the next Title One Spreadsheet data requirements.

  • January 19th Literacy Day (for two hours) to promote Read-A-Thon and a love of reading. Please see suggested literacy time activities for grade-levels, which will come out later this week. Courtney Carmichael has created a bookmark for parents to practice reading skills and to engage in their child's reading. On the back of the bookmark is recommended readings for parents. Thank you Courtney for taking the time to create this!

  • January 21st Central K, 2, and 4 body safety presentation during school. Each presentation is given in Individual classrooms and will last approximately 30 minutes.

  • Orientation for 5th graders will be held at the Middle School on February 5th at 9:00 a.m. Thanks for your flexibility 5th grade teachers!

  • Mouthpiece testing for 5th grade students is Thursday, February 11th

    1:40-2:05 p.m

    2:05-2:30 p.m.

    2:30-2:55 p.m.

    2:55-3:20 p.m.

  • February 16th and 18th there will be a parent band meeting at the Middle School.

  • New Copiers are setup and working through Follow-me printing. Let me know if you want additional training as it is part of the purchase package.

Curriculum and Instruction

Check It Out! gives teachers and students free access to hundreds of primary sources, artifacts and videos from the Newseum's collection. The website meets privacy and security standards and is already being used extensively by teachers in Virginia's largest public school district, Fairfax County.

Benefits to teachers and students:

  • Free access to curated, standards-aligned content, including Common Core.
  • More than 500 historic newspapers, videos and other artifacts.
  • More than 80 lesson plans, worksheets and galley guides.
  • In-depth EDCollections on the civil rights movement and woman suffrage, and coming soon "Freedom in the Balance" on individual rights vs. national security in the wake of 9/11.
  • Fully responsive design.

Spring Assessments!

Students are preparing now more than ever for upcoming assessments this semester. Please put the following assessments on your calendar. As always, make sure your children get a good night's sleep and eat a nutritional breakfast each morning. If you are running short on time, we serve breakfast each morning here at school.

  • WIDA English Language Learner Assessment January 25-29 (only for ELL students)
  • Cogat High Ability Assessment February (all students in kindergarten and second grade and those students new to the district)
  • STAR 360 Math and Reading February (all students grades k-5)
  • ISTEP Part 1 Window February 29- March 11, 2016
  • I-Read-3 Window March 14 - March 18, 2016 (all third grade students)
  • ISTEP Part 2 Window April 18-May 6, 2016 (all students grades 3-5)

Very Important ISTEP Information/Resources Grades 3-5

Please take some time to review the updated resources on the DOE. Additionally, I will send an email with all the information, including a PowerPoint. Look at the grade-level pdf resource guides.

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Professional Development!

  • Please mark your calendars for the following district-wide professional development:
  • January 26th for Literacy Stations #1: Using the Classroom Library to Build Stamina (K-5)
  • February 9 for Literacy Stations #2: Implementing Literacy Stations for Fluency (K-5)
  • February 23 for Literacy Stations #3: Implementing Literacy Stations for Word Work (K-5)
  • March 8 for Literacy Stations #4 and #5) Implementing Listening and Reading (K-5)
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Chaucie's Place

Central Elementary School along with other Plainfield Community Elementary Schools will be partnering this year with Chaucie’s Place, a child advocacy organization in Hamilton County, to bring Smart Steps: A Body Safety Program for Children to our Kindergarten, 2nd and 4th grade students.

Smart Steps is a child sexual abuse prevention and education program that empowers your child to say “NO!” to any unwanted touches that make them uncomfortable from anyone.

To learn more about the Smart Steps program, we invite you to attend a Chaucie’s Place Parent Night at Clarks Creek Elementary School on Tuesday, January 12th from 6:30pm – 7:30pm.

This meeting is open to all parents and/or guardians of Kindergarten, 2nd and 4th grade students. Please be advised that Parent Night is not open to children. To learn more about Chaucie’s Place visit:

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Celebrate Staff

  • Our Compass Recognition was given out at our last faculty meeting to those staff members who point us in the right direction. As a reminder, this award can be given to anyone, who continues to demonstrate through actions and words extra effort towards students and staff. This month the award was given to Curt Pickard and Shonda Meranda! Congratulations!
  • Attendance on Friday was up to 94.9 percent and week average was 90.90 percent.

5th Grade Body Angles

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Bloom's Taxonomy!