Staff Memo

April 9, 2016

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"The Best Day Ever!"

Our granddaughter, Amelie, spent the week before Spring Break with us and then we took her down to Nashville and on to Florida for Spring Break.

Amelie lives each day with the philosophy that it is "the BEST day ever!" When her dad texted to check on how she's doing and I asked her, she replied, "I played pirates with Noah and it was the BEST day ever." The next day I'd ask her again and she'd say, "I played dress-up with Mercy. It was the BEST day ever!" The next day? You've got it. "The BEST day ever!"

Each day at the beach, whether it was so windy we had to stay on the deck or she could be building sand castles near water's edge and bossing her Auntie Mercy around, she would often stop, throw her hands up in the air, and say, "This is the BEST day ever!"

I want to live my life like she does. I'm going to write her quote on a sticky note and put it on my computer monitor so I can be reminded, "This is the BEST day ever!"

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Problem Solving

The big focus of our School Improvement Plan and HSE21 is nurturing our learners to be creative problem solvers. Team Collaboration our first week back from Spring Break will allow us to come together and gather our thoughts around Problem Solving and how we embed problem solving into what readers, writers, mathematicians, and thinkers do.

As we have professional conversations around this topic, I invite you to ask questions, listen to others on your team, dig into your own thinking, and stretch yourself. Before we can expect our kids to grow and learn around HSE21, we need to continue to learn and grow around HSE21 ourselves.

It's been a privilege to listen to your conversations during collab these past months. I've noticed a shift in how you process with each other allowing for challenging each other's thinking, confirming your own, or even changing it a bit. These professional conversations encourage and nurture our own growth and I thank you for allowing me to be a part of them.

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Quotes from the book Amplify

"As learners, we are the chief learners in the room. We live curiously with our students, exploring books, artifacts and curriculum with a sense of wonder. We embrace inquiry as we investigate a snowflake, explore the solar system, or help a student research the answer to a question. We learn about our craft and constantly try new things in the classroom reflecting, talking, and ultimately adjusting our practice. When we want to know more about reading workshop, we read books, watch videos of teachers and students in action, talk with colleagues and go to conferences. We do the same with writing workshop, math, science, and social studies. We seek out experts and specialists as our mentors. Technology is just another layer of professional learning we need to embrace. "

~p. 22-23 from Amplify-Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom by Kate Muhtaris and Krstin Ziemke

Naomi and I are going to a conference the Monday back from Spring Break that features one of the authors of this book, Kristin Ziemke. I spent the day coming north from Florida immersed in this book. As I was reading the early pages of the books, the authors mentioned professional texts that have greatly influenced them. Reading their list felt like stumbling upon the list of old friends. I'll end with another quote from their book:

"No matter what devices or resources we have, we let our core believes and mindset guide how we use tools in the classroom. We focus on the overall goal of teaching kids how to think and then layer in the purposeful tools along the way. we--and our students--need to understand how the tools work and why we're using them. In order to do that, we need to remind ourselves what effective teaching looks like and fall back on the work of teacher-researchers and authors who have guided our teaching."

~p. 4 from Amplify

Upcoming PD Reminders and Revisions

  • April 28 @ 7:35 - Referendum info with Dr. Bourff and Mike Reutter
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For Your Calendar

  • Tuesday, April 12 4:30-7:00 - Elementary Learning Fair
  • Tuesday, April 12 7:00 PTO Open Forum - CRES Fest Update, Exec. Board voting, etc.
  • Thursday, April 14 5:00-7:00 PM - Kindergarten Round-up/Open House
  • Friday, April 15 3:40-5:30 - Fun Friday sponsored by our Fourth Grade
  • Friday, April 22 CRES Fest Balloon Man assemblies throughout the day
  • Friday, April 22 CRES Fest 5:30-8:00
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Looking Ahead

Monday, April 11 Day 3

  • 3:10 Collab Team 3 - SIP PD - Problem Solving

Tuesday, April 12 Day 4

  • 8:00/4:00 Tech Tuesday in Georgi's room
  • 8:15 STL - MH - Snyder
  • 9:30 Admin Meeting at FJH - Lisa gone
  • 11:30 RtI meeting
  • 1:30-2:30 Walk-through with Jan Combs
  • 3:10 Collab Team 2 - SIP PD - Problem Solving
  • 7:00 PTO Open Forum Meeting in the Art Room

Wednesday, April 13, Day 1

  • Fire Drill today
  • 2:00 Office meeting
  • 3:10 Collab Team 4 - SIP PD - Problem Solving

Thursday, April 14, Day 2

  • 7:35 CIT
  • 1:05 STL - KW - Hale
  • 3:10 Collab Team K - SIP PD - Problem Solving
  • 4:10 EC Collab
  • 5:00-7:00 Kindergarten Round-Up/Open House

Friday, April 15, Day 3

  • Mix Match Day - Wear your most mismatched outfit
  • 8:00 STL - TM - Cook
  • 8:15 STL - AG - Hicks
  • 1:00 RtI meeting
  • 3:10 Collab Team 1 - SIP PD - Problem Solving
  • 3:40-5:30 Fun Friday sponsored by Fourth Grade

Monday, April 18 Day 4

  • ISTEP starts this week
  • 3:10 Collab Team 2 - Math Problem Solving

Tuesday, April 19 Day 1

  • 3:10 Collab Team 3 - Math Problem Solving

Wednesday, April 20 Day 2

  • 2:00 Office meeting
  • 3:10 Collab Team 4 - Math Problem Solving

Thursday, April 21 Day 3

  • 8:00 Inside Information book study
  • 3:10 Collab Team K - Math Problem solving

Friday, April 22 Day 4

  • $1 Hat Day
  • 8:15 STL - TG - Omeish
  • 1:00 RtI meeting
  • 3:10 Collab Team 1 - Math Problem Solving
  • 5:00 Food Trucks for CRES Fest open
  • 5:30-8:00 CRES Fest