Slice of the Pi

September Edition

Warm Welcome

The start of this school year, like the sixteen prior, held excitement and hope- but this one had more than its share of nerves too! Stepping out of my own classroom, and starting this new adventure, was both energizing and terrifying! I felt blessed to have the opportunity to work with all of you, but as my friends texted pictures of their beautiful new classrooms and talked excitedly about student rosters, it was even more difficult than I had anticipated to not have my kids, my room, my GES home. But then something wonderful happened- colleagues across the region welcomed me into their classrooms. And in just a few weeks time you have helped me broaden the idea of 'my kids' to include all of our kids. Your interactions with me, small and large, have had such an impact on me. One of my favorite moments thus far was a teacher and her students adding my name to the list of people in their learning community. I know it can be intimidating to invite others into your space and I thank you so much for opening your classrooms to me!
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Dear Family,

Bridges includes a letter to families for every grade and every unit. The letter includes an overview of the learning objectives, sample problems and solutions, models and strategies, and frequently asked questions. It is a wonderful way to communicate with your #1 educational resource- families! All of the letters have been uploaded for you to the elementary curriculum folder.

This year math assessments can be SENT HOME to share with families; they do not need to be returned. Please keep track of the post test score in some manner (lunch list, etc.) until the district data collection format is shared with you by your administrator.

Fall Schedule

I am thrilled to have so many of you express interest in working with me! With one of me and eighty classroom teachers spread across two towns we had to make some decisions about a focus area to start. After consulting with Carrie and the principals, this fall I'll be working with the upper elementary classrooms, teachers who are teaching new content and continuing my work with teachers new to Bridges. Although they will be my primary focus, if you have questions, or something you'd like to connect on, reach out!

LMES & GES grades 3 & 5

PES & MES grades 4 & 5

I'll be connecting with you this coming week to decide how we'd like to plan our time together:)

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Instructional coaches partner with teachers to: analyze current reality, set goals, identify and explain teaching strategies to hit the goals, and provide support until goals are met.

Jim Knight

Professional Development Follow Up

I had the opportunity to spend time with grades 3-5 as part of the August PD. We explored a 3-Act Task through the lens of the Five Practices for Facilitating Discourse and took a look at the 'Where to Focus' documents and Coherence Map from Achieve the Core. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and these resources are valuable for K-2 as well. Explore the links and if you are interested in learning more let me know!

I've shared your ideas for future PD with administrators- thank you for taking the time to complete the survey. Teachers were curious to learn more about IAB's, differentiation, aligning Bridges assessments to the report card standards, and the mathematical practices. If you have additional ideas please share them with me.

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Tips & Tricks From Your Colleagues

  • The new Smart Exchange has great "bonds of 10" lessons
  • Laminate six copies of your Work Place student sheets and store in a binder. Have students use wipe off markers
  • Write on the back (white portion) of your number corner markers to use as a calendar without revealing future cards
  • Tab out the days of number corner for the week using Post-its so you don't have to flip around


The parent Smarter Balanced Summative Assessement Results will include a section that gives a Quantile range. It is similar to Lexile level, but for numeracy. Both use the same scale and a scientific approach to match students with ability appropriate resources. Teachers can use the Quantile Teacher Assistant to differentiate for students. The tool considers Connecticut Math Standards and organizes them by level into focus, prerequisite, supporting and impending math skills. Parents will have access to suggested activities matched to the child's math ability too. For more information check out

Questions? Comments? Curiosities?

I'd love to hear what's on your mind!