Curriculum Newsletter Sept. 2014

Flushing Community Schools

Happy New Year! 2014-15 has set the destination on Excellence in Education!

Hop on the Energy Bus 2014-15. Superintendent Stein started the year off by inspiring us in the Power of Pride. The video of Rita Pierson reminded us that every student needs a Champion. Tim focused on developing strong relationships with students. Finally, we learned that it is human nature to think in a negative way and it is much more difficult to stay positive. It takes work to stay positive! Make a commitment to help one another stay positive and on the Energy Bus!


How will you become a champion for students?

Do you show Raider Pride every day?

What relationships have you developed with your students?

Are you willingly on the Energy Bus or are you a Energy Vampire and thinking negatively?

What is your word for the year?

Wishing you an enjoyable ride down the road to excellence!

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Be A Risk Taker - You Learn More this Way!

You learn so much from taking chances, whether they work out or not. Either way, you can grow from the experience and become stronger and smarter.

John Legend
American singer and songwriter

Be sure to share this understanding with your students. We need to cultivate a growth mindset in them. Students must know that the key to learning in school and in life is hard work, failing, trying another way, and never giving up. Praise their effort as well as their achievement.

Inspirational Video on Reading

The video below tells a story of how Malcolm Mitchell is more proud of his reading skills, which he had to work hard to develop, than his football skills, which he explains comes naturally. Please watch the video and consider sharing it with a group of students!

Let me know how they react. Malcolm is a wonderful example of a growth mindset! We can all learn an important message from him...when you experience something difficult in life, you must stay positive, push through the difficulty and never give up.

Reach Out To Parents

Surprise parents and make "happy" phone calls home. You can also send positive notes home about their children. Every employee can do this! If you are a bus driver, be sure to let parents know how much you appreciate their child's friendliness. When parents are in the lunch room, Child Nutrition staff members can share with them how helpful or polite their child is. Teachers can make positive phone calls home when students master something they have failed at previously and continued to persevere. Principals can also send home positive notes, call home, or share good things with parents when they see them at activities. We are connected to all students and families in this community. Be sure to let them know Flushing staff cares for students!

The Positive Pledge - What the Best Do Better Than Everyone Else

Positive Team Pledge

  • I pledge to be a positive leader who sets the example for my teammates through my positive attitude and actions.
  • I promise to share positive energy and encouragement with my team.
  • I will not be an energy vampire nor will I sabotage myself and team with negativity, complaining and excuses.
  • When I make a mistake I will own it and seek to improve.
  • When I'm not playing well I will stay positive and strive to get better.
  • When I experience self-doubt I will remember a time when I succeeded.
  • When I feel fear I will choose faith.
  • When I face adversity I will find strength.
  • When my team experiences a defeat I will choose to stay positive and prepare to achieve another victory.
  • With hard work, determination and faith, I will never give up and will always help my team move forward towards our vision and goals.
  • Today and every day I will be positive and strive to make a positive impact on my team.

By Jon Gordon

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District Improvement Plan - Math Goal

I will focus on one goal in each Newsletter. We will start with math! I am only focusing on one strategy but have attached the Math goal from our District Improvement Plan.

The first strategy includes math vocabulary. Teachers are expected to review and instruct students on academic vocabulary. If you want to increase student understanding and math performance, focus on vocabulary instruction. All elementary teachers, grades K-6, received vocabulary cards to use with students.

One excellent strategy for teaching academic vocabulary is the Marzano model. Every building has this book as a resource. Please check with your building principal. I am also available to assist you in using this method.

Strategy 1:

Tier I - Building Mathematics Vocabulary - Teachers/Staff will build Mathematics Common Core standards academic vocabulary for every

student for the purpose of increasing student mathematical understanding.

Research Cited:

  • Building Academic Vocabulary: Teacher's Manual by Robert Marzano and Debra J. Pickering (Jan 1, 2005);
  • Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement: Research on What Works in Schools by Robert J. Marazano (Aug 1, 2004);
  • Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction by Isabel L. Beck PhD, Margaret G. McKeown
  • PhD, Linda Kucan PhD and Isabeel L. Beck (Mar 20, 2002);
  • Building Mathematical Comprehension by Laney Sammons (Apr 1, 2001)
  • Strategies for Building Academic Vocabulary in Mathematics by Christine Dugan (Feb 1, 2010)
  • Teaching Mathematics Vocabulary in Context: Windows, Doors, and Secret Passageways by Miki Murray (Jan 8, 2004)

Be Happy! We are Flushing Raider Pride!

Pharrell Williams - Happy (Official Music Video)