Principal Weekly Notes

January 4 - 8, 2016

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Welcome Back!

Happy New Year!!


I hope that you all had a very restful and fun break! It was definitively needed and well deserved.


As we move forward, I hope that you are excited to be back and helping students to learn, to inspire and challenge them, and to ensure they are getting the best education only you can provide!


Although I enjoyed being with my family and the down time, I am excited to see you! Thank you for always putting forth your best efforts and thinking. You make Sandrock Elementary a GREAT place to work!

ACCESS PRACTICE FOR STUDENTS

Students that are identified as ELL need to be provided an opportunity to practice ACCESS testing this week. We had asked that you give them a chance to prepare for testing prior to Winter Break.


If you did not give these students in your classroom this chance, please make it a priority this week to give them at least two or more opportunities to practice.


Please place a sticky note on my door, by Wed. Jan. 6th, letting me know when you have done this or plan to do this and how many opportunities your ELL students have had or will have had to practice. Thank you!


The ACCESS testing schedule is on a Google Doc. Here is the ACCESS Testing Schedule link.

Sub for Art

Good News!


Kim Serio has agreed to come back and join us here at Sandrock for the duration of the school year as our Art Teacher! Please drop in and let her know how much we appreciate her willingness to help. :)


In the meantime, Lisa is working with other district counselors to figure out how we are going to message Misha's illness to both parents and students. Until we have a plan, Kim is just telling them that she is ill. Thank you for your patience, support, and understanding!

Weekly Meetings and Events

Mon. Jan. 4th:

* Duty - 2nd Grade, Peterson

* PAWS Assembly, 3:10 p.m.

* Building Leadership Team Mtg, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

* IBS Problem Solving Team Mtg, 4:00 p.m.


Tues. Jan. 5th:

* Duty - 3rd Grade, Turner, Ryan

* 5th Grade iPad Meeting @ Admin, 4:00 p.m.


Wed. Jan. 6th:

* Duty - 4th Grade, Hurst

* Elementary Principal Collab , 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

* UbD Team Mtg, 4:00 p.m.


Thurs. Jan. 7th:

* Duty - 5th Grade, Matheson, Willems

* Counselor's Collab - 9:00 a.m. - Amber will be attending

* CST Mtg, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

* Baby Shower, After School


Fri. Jan. 8th:

* Duty - 1st Grade, Kuberry, Forbes

* All PARCC Accommodations are due today!

* Deep Planning, Writing, All Grades

* PARCC Test Training for Administrators and Coordinators, 1:00 p.m.

* District Collab, 2:30 p.m., Admin Bldg

Tasks to Accomplish this week:

1. Deep Planning - Our data portions of Deep Planning have been pretty consistent and targeted for all grade levels. We will continue to combine our data conversations with our deep planning sessions. Nice Job! Let's keep up the GREAT work! Please be ready for Writing Deep Planning on Friday.


2. Grades 3-5 - We will be spending a small amount of time during Deep Planning on Friday to confirm accommodations for students for PARCC. Please be ready for this. If you have not already emailed me a list of your students who you are already making accommodations for, please do so by Tuesday, Jan. 5th.


3. Please complete the Learning Walks Survey by Friday, Jan. 8th. Jen Willems will be sending this survey out to you today, Monday, January 4th. The results of this will help the Leadership Team do some planning around future Learning Walks. Thank you!


4. Sticky note on my door about when and how many times your ELL students have had to practice ACCESS testing prior to next week. Please accomplish this by Wed. Jan 6th.

Events Happening Next Week (January 11-15)


Monday, Jan 11th

  • In-Service - (8:00 am - 4:00 pm) - Location TBA
  • Substitute Appreciation for all Substitute teachers - Admin Bldg, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan 12th
  • ACCESS Testing - Listening
  • Moffat County Global Mtg, Admin Bldg, 5:00 p.m.
  • MCEA Membership Meeting with State Representative - After school
Wednesday, Jan. 13th

  • ACCESS Testing - Reading
  • District Administrators Meeting - 8:00 a.m.
  • Benefit Committee Meeting - 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 14th
  • School Board Work Session - Jan 14th 7:00 a.m.
  • ACCESS Testing - Speaking/Writing
  • Counselor's Collab - Kamisha will be attending
Friday, Jan. 15th


  • Last day of MOY DIBELs Testing Window

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District Collab This Friday (Jan 8th)

This Friday (Jan 8) all elementary teachers will meet at the administration building for collab time at 2:30 pm. Below are room assignments and specific work to be accomplished. Please bring your laptop or iPad.


  • Teachers Grades 3-5, Lit Coordinators & Special Ed: Board Room - Skills Navigator Training/Webinar
  • Teachers Grades 1 & 2: Upstairs Room 202 - Early MAPS Skills Checklists
  • Kindergarten Teachers: Upstairs Room 201 - TS Gold Planning
  • Physical Education Teachers: Alternative School Lounge - Create plan for collaboration time on Jan 11th inservice
  • Music Teachers: Alternative School Classroom - Create plan for collaboration time on Jan 11th inservice
  • Art Teachers: Office on Landing -Create plan for collaboration time on Jan 11th inservice
  • Counselors: Conference Room - Create plan for collaboration time on Jan 11th inservice

Upcoming Jan. 11th In-Service

Below is a repeat of the email that Amy Ward sent out regarding priorities and work that will be conducted on Monday, January 11th In-service:


On Jan 11 certified elementary staff will be participating in an elementary in-service day. Most teachers will participate ½ day focused on ECAW: Deeper Understandings and ½ day of facilitated collaboration focused on priorities specific to their grade level or department.


SPED Teachers
  • ½ day Writing Instruction, and

  • 1.5 - 2 hours with SPED and Renae Dove

  • Approximately 2 hours to collaborate together on

    • IEP Audits

    • CO Alt DLM and Science/Social Studies

    • Possibility of SPIRE help/training


PE, Music, Art, Counselors

  • ½ day Facilitated Scope and Sequence Revision work, and

  • ½ day collaboration based on your prioritized agenda


Lit Coordinators

  • ½ day Writing Instruction, and

  • 1.5 - 2 hours with SPED and Renae Dove

  • Approximately 2 hours to collaborate together day based on your prioritized agenda

PARCC Practice Tests for teachers to help familiarize students for upcoming assessments

PARCC | Practice Tests


Portal for all of the resources required by states and districts to administer the PARCC Assessment.

MCSD 5 Non-Negotiables

1. Unwrapping the Standards - This is a stand alone in the 7 Best Practices because it is so critical. If you don't unpack the standards correctly and focus in on the nouns and verbs, your learning targets will not be focused on the right stuff!

2. Learning Targets - 5 Step Process (see below)

3. Non Fiction Writing - At the elementary level, we should always have high expectations for students in writing (including grammar, punctuation, etc). Non Fiction Writing means students should be writing more often, not just during writing time. Students should be writing in other subject areas and teachers should still holding students to the high standards of writing. The provisional writing is really for those teachers who teach outside of the "regular" classroom like PE, Music, Art, etc. These teachers should be having students reflect and write in journals about their learning. In this instance, it is really about getting the students to write at least once a week.

4. Assessment Matrices - In Reading, Writing, and Math. Other subject areas are optional this year.

5. Lesson Design - that includes these 4 components (See chart below):

What do we expect our students to learn? (Standards, Goals, Expectations)

How do we best teach? (7 Best Practices, Marzano's 9, Schlechty's 10 Engagement

Strategies, Non-Fiction Writing)

How do we know they learned it? (Formative assessment, Classroom assessment,

Summative assessment)

What if:

- We teach it and they already know it? (Using pre-assessment to determine)

- We teach it but they don't learn it? (Re-teach)


Don't forget that you must use the District Scope and Sequence! Most updated versions are on the district website.

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Learning Targets - 5 Step Process

1. Post it/Publish it - Daily Learning Target - Remember, this is primarily for the teacher. Get zeroed in on what you are going to teach and what you are going to assess.

2. State it and Unwrap it - Do this with the students. They need to understand why they are learning this.

3. Give it Relevancy - Students need to understand why they need to learn this.

4. Bring it back, Bring it back, Bring it back! - Bring students back to the learning target multiple times during the lesson. "Remember what our learning target is...."

5. Assess it - Each day, in some way, assess student learning connected to the learning target.


Learning targets are to be posted for each content area and correlated to the learning occurring at that time. They should be displayed in the following format:


"I can ________ (verb) ___________(content) by ___________________ (assessment or product)."

7 Best Standards Based Practices

1. Unit/Lesson Design

2. Learning Targets - 5 Step Process

3. Unwrapping the standards (nouns/verbs) for both teacher and students

4. Exemplars

5. Classroom Assessment

6. Assessment Matrix

7. Standards based Feedback, Grading, and Reporting

Weekly Video

Snow Cat - Simon's Cat (A Festive Special)