Sipley School Weekly Howl

Week of Monday, November 16, 2015

Inspiring Education and Innovation

In partnership with family and community, Woodridge School District 68 provides a comprehensive educational foundation for all children in a safe, caring environment, preparing them to be productive, responsible, and successful members of society.

Let's open with a thought provoking quote by Dylan Wiliam

"If pupils don’t know the answers to our questions, we can remedy this. If misconceptions are revealed, we have an opportunity to explore them. But if they answer our questions correctly, it means very little. Just because they know it now, it doesn’t mean they’ll know it next lesson or in an exam. A correct answer is, perhaps, the least useful response we can hope for."

The quote above challenges us to consider the questions that we ask, which helps us determine what students know and do not know, allowing us to make future teacher decisions. We can gain student understanding by asking quality questions that stimulate conversations (which all students participate in) where we learn of student misconceptions or misunderstandings, thus use of cooperative learning structures can increase participation and allow you, the observer of learning, to gain insights into what students know and do not know. It could involve a carefully created question that allows us to gain insights into the students thinking. Dylan suggests that if questions are not carefully planned that there may be real danger in concluding that students are on the right track when in reality, their understanding of the subject is different than what we intended.

As we work on formative assessments, we will dive deeper into some of Wiliam's work and we will collaboratively develop quality questions that will help us learn of our students' understanding.

Continued Thanks

I want to give our staff continued thanks on a few things. First, I appreciate the continued optimism as we have shifted our D.E.B. model to provide students with more time to understand tier I information. Second, during D.E.B. the focus has been on building mastery of main idea and key details, something that is essential to their comprehension. I appreciate the work that teachers are doing with their students to build student capacity in this area. Finally, the growth of our students is evident. As I peaked into the growth of students in other buildings, overall our growth appears to be at the high levels that we have seen from our students in the past.

Speaking of Thanks

A BIG thanks for our support staff who help our students and teachers in ensuring individual student growth and progress toward college and career readiness. You will be recognized with a wonderful lunch on Thursday.

All mid-day collaboration meetings will be cancelled on Thursday and I would like all certified staff to replace our support staff outside so that our support staff members can enjoy a longer lunch. Classroom teachers, please eat when your students eat and observe them during their recess time. Certified staff who are available during the lunch period should do the same. Cyndi, Liz, and Ryan can take the first recess and Maureen, Kim O., Nicole, and Damon can take the second recess (not sure if I am missing anyone that is scheduled for recess supervision on Thursday, but others can split themselves up).


Classroom teachers, you should be observing your parent-teacher conference times closely. If you have a parent who needs translations, please schedule this. Miguel and Rocio are available on Monday. Liz and Claire may have some time, but their priority will be their students. If you have families who speak another language (Wendy, you have one and Nicole and Kathy S. you also have one), please speak to Lynda to get translators for those meetings, if available. We may be able to ask Anna Hottman to serve as a Polish translator.

Here is a Glance at the Week Ahead

Monday - I will be attending an admin meeting in the morning

Monday - Rising Star meeting has been cancelled

Monday - Certified Staff Monday Meeting - Self Reflection

Tuesday - STP Meeting - 6:45

Wednesday - 6th Grade PLC - 8:25 - 9:15

Wednesday - 3rd Grade PLC - 9:20 - 10:10

Wednesday - 4th Grade PLC - 10:15 - 11:05

Wednesday - 1st Grade PLC - 2:05 - 2:55

Wednesday - Kindergarten PLC - 3:00 - 3:30

Wednesday - Octubafest - 5:30 - 8:00

Thursday - Pete Ceresa's Birthday!!!

Thursday - 5th Grade PLC - 8:25 - 9:15

Thursday - Staff Luncheon

Thursday - 2nd Grade PLC - 1:15 - 2:05

Thursday - Sipley Family Reading Night

Friday - Robert Crown Field Trip

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