Team Thomson News & Notes

February 26, 2017

Important Information for You!

Please join me in welcoming...Suzanne Binkley, Title I Parapro, Megan Campbell, Literacy Specialist, and Amy Chorly, new ECDD/Kindergarten Resource Room Teacher!

Welcome to the Thomson Family!

Thomson Mini QAR 2017 Follow-up

As I shared, I could not have been prouder of our Mini QAR presentation! Sincerest thank you to those of you who were able to attend and support those presenting. Please watch future staff newsletters and for information at upcoming staff meetings about the feedback we get from the visiting team and the possible implications on our School Improvement Plan.

Family Reading Night

Don't forget, this Thursday, March 2nd is Family Reading Night! All certified staff are required to attend as one of your five evening meetings and should plan to be in the building from 4:30-7:30 p.m. While the event will be open to families from 5-7 p.m., time is allotted for set-up (which will actually begin right after school for anyone who is willing to help additionally) and clean-up (which hopefully won't take as long as planned for). Thank you to everyone who has helped with the planning and organization! Melissa Barraco will be coming back to help with Family Reading Night. If you have any questions about where you will be 'working', please see Melissa. Also, staff members may wear jeans and their Thomson Staff t-shirts on Thursday.

Thank you for your time and dedication to these family events...our students and families appreciate them so much and they are just another great way for us to connect with those we serve.

Cardinal Code Relaunch

This week we kick-off our two week Cardinal Code Relaunch. We will have a special Cardinal Code Focus of the Day, be passing out special Red Cardinals to students following the CC, and each student will be given a Yellow Cardinal to recognize another student. Classroom teachers should be planning to spend time each day reteaching the areas of the Cardinal Code that your classroom needs most.

As shared at the staff meeting prior to Intersession by Jen W. and Sarah, please use the provided Cardinal Compliments and address labels to send Cardinal Compliments to your students. This will not only help your students feel more connected to you, but also the parents of your students. I know at the beginning of the year, we reach out to each family which is so powerful...but as the year goes on are there some parents you haven't talked to since fall parent-teacher conferences? Maybe now is also a great time to reach out and reconnect with some of them.

Teacher Grant Opportunity from the Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel (MARSP)

Each year MARSP—Southeast Genesee Chapter provides an opportunity for all staff to apply for SE-GARSP grant. The grants may be written for funds ranging in value from $50 to $500. Applications are available in the office and must be received by the association no later than May 7, 2017. If you are interested in submitting a grant proposal but need help please be sure to see me. I will do what I can to assist or refer you to someone who can be of assistance. Remember, no ideas or proposals are to far out there. If you have an idea I say “GO FOR IT!”

Playground Help/Reminders

As a reminder and since we are returning from intersession, please review and review with your students.

  • Hats & Gloves-Please be sure that you are checking students for hats and gloves. While we have gloves for them to borrow, we also don't have an unlimited amount. I will continue to put things in the Tidbits, but if you could remind parents in your newsletters to remember to send hats and gloves each day that would be helpful.
  • Rough Play-It seems that the rough play that we usually see in the spring is already beginning. Please remind your students that they need to keep their hands to themselves both in line and outside. Please be sure to review Cardinal Code on the Playground with your students.
  • Respect-The playground monitors are reporting that the students are not always being respectful in their responses to them. Additional teaching or reteaching on what it means to be respectful, should be done in each classroom as part of your morning or class meeting.
  • Sharing Food-There also seems to be more sharing of food. Due to health and food allergies, we do not allow students to share food. So while we encourage this in other areas, this is a no-no. Again, please review this with your students and the reasons why we don't share food in the lunchroom.

Learning Targets; Developing Assessment-Capable Students

Three questions guide the formative assessment process and focus what a teacher does, what students do, and what teachers and students do together. These three questions center the work of most researchers (Brookhart, 2010; Chappuis & Chappuis, 2008; Educational Testing Service, 2009; Hattie & Timperly, 2007; Heritage, 2010; Sadler, 1989). The questions are:

  • Where am I going?
  • Where am I now?
  • How can I close the gap between where I am now and where I want to go?

Students who become skilled at using this questioning process "learn how to learn" (James et al.' 2006).

Teachers must instill an understanding of the formative learning cycle in their students. Simply designing lessons where student get it or don't get it gives students little chance to develop mastery. Without the chance to self-assess their own work students have no motivation to value the learning process. A basic formative learning cycle begins when the teacher models and explains the learning target and success criteria for the lesson. Next students engage in guided practice with the teacher scaffolding students understanding of success criteria. Then students engage in the performance of understanding without teacher guidance in order to see where they are in relation to their learning as assessed through success criteria. Immediately following the students' independent performance , the teacher provides feedback to help students accurately assess their progress (what they did well and what they should do to improve). Lastly, students are given an opportunity to perform again. This process allows students to view themselves as assessment-capable. They begin to view mastery as a progressive learning process that is under their control and become optimistic about their ability to think and behave in increasingly intelligent ways (Cornoldi, 2010; Ormrod, 2011).

Quotes Worth Reading

The Power Of


"I don't get it."

"I can't do this."

"This doesn't work."

Take a deep breath. Go for a short stroll. Then add a 'yet' to the end of your sentence:

As in:

"I don't get it...yet."

I can't do it...yet."

This doesn't work...yet."

It may not be easy, but it doesn't mean you're never going to meet the challenge.


"I can and I will. Watch me."

-Carrie Green

Thomson Elementary

Home of the Thomson Teddies!


Where Kids Come First and Futures Begin!

Celebrations & Announcements

Birthdays: None this week...

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, February 27th-$5 Jean Day to Support Big Brothers/Big Sisters; Kindergarten Round-up Appointments will begin being taken; PTO 6:30 p.m. Leandra and Lauren are the teacher reps for the meeting.
  • Tuesday, February 28th-Playground Monitor Meeting, 10:30 a.m.; ELA Committee Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 2nd-Family Reading Night, 4:30-7:30 for staff (5-7 p.m. for the event)
  • Week of March 6th-PLC Week
  • Monday, March 6th-Math Curriculum Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 8th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 p.m. (Agenda; Mini QAR Follow-up/SIP; Quadrant Data); Tornado Drill
  • Friday, March 10th-Leadership Team Meeting, 7:30 a.m.; STAR Progress Monitoring Day