Blackhawk Bulletin

January 18, 2016

Long Weekend Fun!

I hope you are enjoying your long weekend! It is nice to get a chance to take a breath during this busy time of year!

  • If you are working on Tuesday, Clay and Paul invite you to help paint the poles at the bus riders/car riders area (weather depending). They hope to meet around 9 AM so bring some paint clothes! *Due to the weather forecast, we probably won't be able to paint, but bring some clothes just in case!
  • Don't forget to check out SarahAnn Taylor's Blog:

  • Make sure to spend your PTO allotment! Classroom teachers, specialists and support staff have an allotment. This was posted in a previous bulletin. Please make sure to spend your allotment by May 2nd or it will be used for school-wide purchases. If you typically spend your money for something at the end of the school year, please let me know so we will be expecting your request.

  • If you were awarded a PTO grant, please spend that money ASAP. PTO does require a report on how the money was spent and the impact it is having.

  • We will celebrate our progress on our Leader in Me journey this Friday, January 22 at 1:30 in the gym. Here are the notes about the program decided at the last Lighthouse Team meeting. Hopefully your Lighthouse representative shared this news with you.

    • Yes I Can song

    • 7 Habits dance/cheer

    • 6 students to talk about each habit

      • 2nd Grade - Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind

      • 3rd Grade - Put First Things First, Think

      • 4th Grade - Seek First to Understand, Synergize

    • Students will give a brief testimony about how they are living each habit (one liner)

    • Buckley - Sharpen the Saw

    • Allison - Find Your Voice

    • End with Red Hot - Allison can start the Red Hot Cheer and the Lighthouse Team will help lead the cheer, Carla to make signs for Red Hot

    • Grade levels need to pick students who will be presenting each habit and give a list to Mrs. Allison
  • Our school nurse, Renee Cornwell, is having to cover W.D. Williams on Thursdays so she will be with us on Wednesdays. Ms. Cornwell's time is stretched thin right now so anything we can do to help with communication is needed. Here are some recommendations from the school nurses. Kathy Griffee will be our point person. Proposed school to nurse communication process:
    • Any medical form or parent communication note that would ordinarily go into nurse’s box→direct to designated front office person (Kathy Griffee). Front office person contact nurse covering school via email or phone. ANY NOTE NEEDING NURSE REVIEW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE CAN BE FAXED TO THE NURSES SECURE FAX LINE. This will send the information directly to the nurse’s email. Fax number will be included in the contact information below.
    • Standard referrals (vision etc) will be place in nurses box for next school visit by nurse.
    • Emergent medical concerns impacting the student’s learning during the school day- contact nurse via phone or email.
Hawk Habit leader - Habit 1: Be Proactive!

Have students vote on the classmate that feel best demonstrates this habit. See your Lighthouse Team Rep for details on how you can slightly change your voting procedures to ensure that students are internalizing the habits.

2016-2017 School Calendars

The county has approved two different versions of the school calendar. One version is starting later in August due to the fact that we have lost the waiver to start school early. You will notice that several 'breaks' such as the Fall Break and Winter Break have been cut out or shortened. The other version is just in case we miss 8 days of school this year due to inclement weather and earn the waiver back. You can see both versions at this link: School Calendars:

10 Classroom Management Strategies That Really Work

I found this article linked on the MindShift Facebook page. This page is a great reference for educators! This is a good reminder of some tricks/games that you may have forgotten about. ;-)


The beginning of the year and the second half of the school year are great times to re-evaluate the effectiveness of your classroom management. Are you getting the results you want? If not, here are ten techniques that work for me — and they're all easy on the budget!

The "I'm Done!" Center

Set up an area in your classroom where your students can go when they're done with their work. Include things that allow for unstructured learning, such as books, writing supplies, magnetic letters, pointers, sight words, or anything else that keeps your students interested and occupied.

The Quiet Corner

Find a quiet area that's free from distractions to make into a Quiet Corner. Put a box under the table with some calming items that cover all five senses: stuffed animals, sunglasses, kaleidoscopes, sensory bottles, liquid motion toys, iPods and headphones, peppermints or candy canes, etc. For the sense of smell, keep a wax warmer plugged in (and out of reach) with a fragrance like Candy Dandy or Sugar Cookie, or add lavender roll-on essential oil to some crayons.

For an added benefit, keep a set of sand timers with different amounts of time (thirty seconds, one minute, two minutes, three minutes, five minutes, and ten minutes). This allows you to adjust the amount of time to the individual situation, and allows your students to visualize the time passing.

The Motivation Station

Provide variety in your centers to keep your students' interest and motivation high. This easy math game is made out of small boxes I got from a retiring teacher. Every box has a different type of manipulative inside representing the sum total of the addition problem on the top. The surprise keeps the students engaged.

The Tattle Box

Even when you explain why tattling is bad, sometimes kids just have to get something off their minds. When that happens, send them to the Tattle Box. It's really an empty decorated tissue box, but to them, it's a suggestion box where they can write to you about classmates who are goofing off or bothering them. For those who can't write, even drawing a picture brings relief. You can look over the notes on your own time, and if there's something that needs to be addressed, you can have a class meeting about it.

The Mystery Walker

Randomly choose one student each day whom you can monitor for good behavior while walking in line. Make sure the identity of the student is a mystery so that everyone is motivated to behave. If the student does well, give them something at the end of the day: a cheer, a compliment, a sticker, or some form of positive reinforcement.

The Morning Greeting

Set aside ten minutes when your class is doing morning work to greet each student individually. Ask a question, make a comment, or give words of encouragement, such as "How are you today?," "I like what you're wearing," "I like the way you listened yesterday," or "I know you're going to do well on your sight words today."

The Compliments Creation

Each season, hang up pieces to a seasonal symbol (e.g., a jack-o-lantern for fall, a snowman for winter, a flower for spring). Every time the whole class receives a compliment from a staff member or visitor, award them one piece, adding to the creation every time. When the symbol is fully formed, throw a party!

The "No Interruptions" Light

Keep a push light on your desk or table. When you're working one-on-one or with small groups and don't want the rest of your class to interrupt (unless it's an emergency), push the light on. This gives an immediate visual signal not to approach you.

The Grouping Game

Make a game out of grouping your students. Use specially-made grouping sticks, or anything else that has more than one attribute (buttons, toy cars, stickers, clothing, and so on) so you can mix it up and make it fair. Match by a combination of color, shape, number, size, character, or even clothing type.

The Silent Game

Play this game before dismissal to let your students unwind. Call one student to the front of the room to start. This student watches and picks the quietest student in the class to be the next one up, and so on. It's a game with no end. And with no point to it, either. But the kids love it and it keeps them quiet!

The Pacing of Leader in Me Habit instruction:

January 20 - 29 - Begin with the End in Mind

February 1 - 11 - Put First Things First

February 15 - 26 - Think Win-Win

February 29 - March 11 - Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

March 14 - 24 - Synergize

April 4 - 15 - Sharpen the Saw

Upcoming Events

  • January 19 - OTWD
  • January 20 - Principals Meeting
  • January 20 - SIT Meeting (send agenda items to Amanda Brookshire or Jennifer Shelton)
  • January 21 - WvES ACCESS Test/Proctor Training at 8:00 - 9:00 AM (Pinto-Houbrick, Harrison, Aubry, Benfield, English, P.Shelton)
  • January 22 - Celebrating the Habits Assembly at 1:30 PM in the gym!
  • January 25 - Math Team Meeting - Joint meeting with WPS
  • January 27 - NB District 1:1 PLN (Professional Learning Network) Meeting at NBES (4th grade, ESL, AIG, Title 1, EC and Media) @ 3:15
  • January 28 - District ACCESS Test Training for Test Administrators (more info coming about who needs to attend) - CANCELLED
  • January 28 - NB District 1:1 PLN (Professional Learning Network) Meeting at WvES (Art, Music, PE) @ 3:30
  • January 29 - Principals Meeting
  • January 29 - Literacy Team Members to observe phonics programs at Haw Creek Elementary
  • February 1 - No EC classes
  • February 1-5 - National Counseling Week - Thank you to Jayme Benfield for all you do!
  • February 2 - PTO meeting at WvES
  • February 2 - NB District Parent Meeting for 4th grade parents regarding devices; 6:30 PM at NBMS
  • February 4 - Staff Meeting
  • February 5 - Tie Dye Day for Box Tops for students and staff. Bring in 2 box tops to participate. Staff members may wear jeans if you bring in 2 box tops.
  • February 5 - Non-certified meeting at 10:30 in the Media Center
  • February 8 - 12 - Love the Bus Week! We love our bus drivers and bus substitutes!
  • February 9 and 10 - WvES Data Discussions
  • February 11 - Early Release Day
  • May 5 - Production of "The Imagination Case" by Drama Club and Chorus (6:30 PM)
  • August 15 - School Leader in Me Training
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