Team Thomson News & Notes

April 8, 2018

Important Information for You!

School Improvement PD Follow-up

I appreciated the thoughtfulness and collegiality during our School Improvement Day. We have a great start on our SIP for 2018-19. Thank you for the collaboration and hard work! Megan and I will be going over all the documents you submitted and if we have questions we will meet with the committee chairs.

Internal Review Follow-up

Overall the team was very impressed with their visit to Thomson! When Megan and I met with the visiting team we were also not surprised by some of the wondering or next steps and we were very proud of all the things they noticed in the 24 ten minute observations they completed. Below are the noticings, wonderings, and next steps the team shared with us.

Team Noticings

  • Lots and lots of formative assessment

  • Students were doing pair/share

  • Interactive math games were observed

  • Routines were in place

  • Learning targets were posted in classes

  • Teachers were using intentional movement with students

  • Manipulatives were being used by students

  • A student conference was observed and teacher used a rubric with the student

  • Students were given choices on the interventions they wanted to work on

  • Teachers were making connections to the learning

Team Wonderings

  • How is formative assessment being collected/recorded and intentionally being used? Especially during whole group instruction, how do teachers keep track of the information?

  • Do teachers meet with students one-on-one to record the formative assessment?

  • Do paraprofessionals collect data on the students they work with? How is that data used?

  • What does success criteria look and sound like in kindergarten? What is the expectation for use of success criteria in kindergarten?

Possible Next Steps

  • Develop a collection system/method for collecting and recording formative assessment during whole group instruction.

I know that we discussed this information at our SIP PD on March 29th, but I wanted to share the information with everyone and give teachers an opportunity to reflect on it again.

March is Reading Month Comes to a Close

As students return their reading calendars, please use the provided stickers to give to students to place their votes for 'pie in the face'. I am thinking that we will have the actual Pie in the Face assembly on Friday, April 27th. If there is a conflict, please let me know right away.

Cardinal Code Focus of the Week:

This week the Cardinal Code focus is ALL AREAS. Please review the appropriate behavior in various areas as students return to school this week from spring break.

Report Card Reminders

Remember that the report card publishing deadlines have changed for the 3rd marking period due to March 29 becoming a snow-day make-up day. The new schedule is as follows:

  • All Grades/comments for report cards will be entered and ready for publication by 9AM, Wednesday, April 11.
  • Anna will begin to print report cards after 9:00 AM on April 11.*
  • Teachers will have report cards to check, print additional non-custodial copies, etc., by 9:00 AM on Tuesday, April 12.
  • Parent/Teacher conferences will be held from 4:30PM - 6:30PM on Wednesday, April 11. Conferences will be on a walk-in basis.
  • Any Report Cards left will be sent home with students on Thursday, April 12.

Getting Back into Explicit Literacy Instruction and the Essentials for Literacy Instruction

We left off in previous staff newsletters by finishing up with Essential 3. Now lets move onto Essential 4: Activities that build phonological awareness . This essential literacy practice involves teachers promoting phonological awareness development particularly phonemic awareness development, through explicit explanation, demonstration, play with sounds in words, and engaged study of words, such as by:

• listening to and creating variations on books and songs with rhyming or alliteration

• sorting pictures, objects, and written words by a sound or sounds (e.g., words with a short e sound versus words with a long e sound)

• activities that involve segmenting sounds in words (e.g., Elkonin boxes, in which children move a token or letters into boxes, with one box for each sound in the word)

• activities that involve blending sounds in words (e.g., “robot talk” in which the teacher says the sounds “fffff ” “iiiii” “shhhh” and children say fish)

• daily opportunities to write meaningful texts in which they listen for the sounds in words to estimate their spellings

In essences, Essential number four is a key component to any solid Word Study block. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing additional information to help aid in your understanding of the research based practices that we should be implementing into our instruction. This week, please take time to watch the video on Rhyming and Blending in the link below.

Quotes Worth Reading

"Stay positive and happy. Work hard and don't give up hope. Be open to criticism and keep learning. Surround yourself with happy, warm and genuine people."

-Tena Desae

"Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success."

-Shiv Khera

Thomson Elementary

Home of the Thomson Teddies!


Where Kids Come First and Futures Begin!

Celebrations & Announcements

District Jean Day and Farm Day Friday!

Since Friday is Farm Day and many of you will be wearing jeans and overalls in for Farm Day, we will have honor the District $5 Jean Day on Thursday to support Project Graduation. Since the district instituted new guidelines for making deposits, it is important that any staff member who chooses to participate in $5 jean days has the money with them when they arrive at work. This will help Anna out tremendously. Thank you in advance for your pre-planning and help with this!

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Week of April 9th-PLC Week
  • Monday, April 9th-Parent Request Opens (parents must go to the office of the appropriate school to request a form, teachers SHOULD NOT give parents information on which teachers to request or not to request)
  • Tuesday, April 10th-Fire Drill; Kindergarten Round-up Training, 4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 11th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda: Internal Review Follow-up; Spring Conferences/Growth Year Conversations); Spring Conferences 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 11th-General Admin Meeting (Natalie); ELA Committee Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.; Jean Day, $5 for Project Graduation...if you choose to participate, you must pay on April 12th.
  • Friday, April 13th-FARM DAY!
  • Week of April 16th-KINDERGARTEN ROUND-UP!
  • Monday, April 16th-Board of Education Meeting, 7 p.m. Middle School Community Room (Megan Romanik class will lead the Pledge in Sign Language)
  • Wednesday, April 18th-State Wide Tornado Drill
  • Thursday, April 19th-Elementary Principals Meeting (Natalie); CMC 4-7 p.m.
  • Friday, April 20th-Leadership Team Meeting, 7:15 a.m.
  • Week of April 23rd-PLC WEEK
  • Monday, April 23rd-ACC 4:15-6:15 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 24th-Child Study Day; DI Meeting, 4:15-5:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 25th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda: Planning for the End of Year Testing, Evaluations, etc.); PTO will be in the rooms to complete a special project.
  • Thursday, April 26th-Tornado Drill