Monday Memo

November 10, 2014

TJ Updates

Thank you for the amazing welcome back. As you heard me say, running the NYC Marathon was the most amazing experience of my life. It was also one of the most anxiety-provoking experiences I've had in a long time. It required that I really step out of my comfort zone - I know how to run a marathon, but had no idea what to expect for running such a big event. As I was worrying about all the little details - did I have the right things with me and just exactly how everything was going to work out the morning of the race, I found myself thinking about all of you and your transition to Guided Reading and Balanced Literacy.

I know that for many of you the transition to a Balanced Reading program is taking you out of your comfort zone. While the use of small groups for reading instruction may not be new, the structure of the guided reading lesson plan might be. How to organize the rest of your class while your working with your group might be different than what you have done in the past. Having students whisper read all at the same time instead of "popcorn" or "round robin" reading might be a slight change. Some of you have started to implement Words Their Way. These changes can cause anxiety.

In the end, I didn't have everything right: I didn't have enough layers to stay warm while waiting, I forgot to take my sweatpants off at the right time, I forgot to get a pair of cheap gloves, etc. But in the end all that didn't matter once I started running. Once I was running, I remembered why I was running and thought about all the people who were supporting me as I ran. During this change, you won't get everything right the first time and that's OK. Please know that I am proud of how you have embraced this change. Also, know that I am here to support you. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you.

Here's some pictures from last week.


Yates, Giroud, Day
PM: Meyer, Gronemeyer, Bayer

Monday, November 10
  • Get Caught Reading Campaign
  • Veteran's Day Assembly - 9:30 will begin calling for classes - 9:45 start
  • Early Release starts at 11:20
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • Board of Ed Meeting, TJC Board Room, 7 pm

Tuesday, November 11

  • Veteran's Day - NO SCHOOL - Enjoy your time with your family

Wednesday, November 12
  • Get Caught Reading Campaign
  • App Sharing for the iPad (K-2), Teacher Center, 3:30 - 5:30
  • 60 Books in 60 Minutes, Library, 3:30 - 4:30

Thursday, November 13

  • Get Caught Reading Campaign ends
  • Staff Meeting - BEDS online, Library, 3:20
  • Teacher Center Policy Board Meeting, Teacher Center, 3:30
  • 2nd Grade PLTW training, Teacher Center all day
  • PTA Meeting, TJC Library, 6:30

    Friday, November 14

    • Storyteller's Firelight Performance, Johnson Park, 7 pm


    WEBSITES, Blogs or Twitter accounts worth checking out

    Below are some websites or blogs I have found that I thought might be of interest to some of you. I will also add some interesting people to follow on twitter.
    This is a video poem from Kid President in honor of the 25th anniversary (November 9) of the fall of the Berlin wall.
    A Tiny Poem to the World from Kid President

    Jerry Blumengarten a.k.a. "Cybrary Man"

    Cybraryman's website is a wealth of ideas/lists for just about everything from educational websites for planning the months ahead to list of Twitter chats. He maintains lists of websites by grade levels and subject areas. His page is separated into sections for Educators, Parents, Students and General. You can also follow him on Twitter.