PVE Focus

Monday, December 7th, 2015

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Week in Review

The week after Thanksgiving is always a start to a quick wind up followed by a quick "wind down" into the Holiday break. It was a good fast week of school! Here's to another great 10 days of school before we get into the "wind down" for some good Bing Crosby movies!!!!

We had a good staff meeting on Thursday. As always, we have many things to celebrate. Please see me or drop a note if you did not attend. We covered many topics and need folks to follow through on several of these for both office efficiency and preparendess for such things as possible coming E Days. A few important needs:

*Dan shared on how to prepare for upcoming E Days. Please follow through on his suggestions. I would encourage you to take advantage of time with Kyle as you prepare for these important days.

*For any folks who did not attend the staff meeting, please see Hannah by Friday for a review of the information she shared from the health clinic.

*If you have any concerns with your room or cleaning, please send those directly to Dana and I and not to Tracy.

*We are preparing for a busy day next Friday with Jim McMillian from CLASSS. Dana or I may be reaching out to you on Monday as we were able to do some restructuring allowing for a few more opportunties for others.

Some Important News for you!!

Calkins Reading Units of Study Pilot


In conjunction with our Academic Services and Literacy Coaches, we have an exciting opportunity! The only downside is that for this maiden voyage, we are limited with the amount of participants. Grant dollars have given us the opportunity to purchase per elementary building, five sets of the NEWEST Units of Study for Teaching Reading, K-5, recently released from the Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project.

As quoted by Lucy Calkins: “This series builds on decades of teaching and research—in literally tens of thousands of schools. In states across the country, this curriculum has already given young people extraordinary power, not only as readers, but also as thinkers. When young people are explicitly taught the skills and strategies of proficient reading and are invited to live as richly literate people do, carrying books everywhere, bringing reading into every nook and corner of their lives, the results are dramatic.”

If you are interested in piloting this Unit of Study for your grade level, please carefully read below the details & light FAQ’s, and then email your principal on or before Thursday, December 10th. Your principal will take into consideration everyone’s interest and make his/her final selection of the five teachers. The ordering of 25 kits will be made on Friday, December 11th, so therefore, our timeline is tight and time-sensitive.

Will there be training?

  • Yes. In fact, in order to receive your kit, you must commit to attending the training session from our Literacy Coaches.
  • The date of the training will be on Wednesday, January 27th from 4:00 - 5:30pm @ ESC.
  • The title in PD express will be called: Making Units of Study Work for You!

What if I already have a Units of Study (UOS) Reading kit - can I still attend this training?

  • Yes! In fact, ANY elementary teacher can attend this training. However, please know if you were selected as the pilot teacher, only the pilot teachers will get the kits. But again - if you’re interested and/or have a kit of your own and would like to learn more, then please join us!

So does this mean I can “forget about” the National Geographic adoption materials as a pilot teacher and/or if I have this kit already?

  • No. As a friendly reminder, this is our school board-approved materials + our parents have paid for these materials to be implemented through their textbook adoption fees. As good stewards of these funds, please ensure you are still using the NatGeo materials.
  • Also, when you attend this training, you will need to bring your NatGeo materials so that the Literacy Coaches can train you on how BOTH resources will harmonize together.

I have received the training . . . now what?

  • You will get your kits at the end of the training. HOORAY! An early holiday gift for you! And YOU get a kit! . . . and YOU get a kit! . . .
  • Take time to digest everything you have learned and take small steps towards implementation.
  • Have a growth mindset! Lucy Calkins did not build these materials in a day!
  • Your literacy coach and principal(s) will be key resources for you as start this in January 2016.
  • Last but not least . . . remember that Units of Study works for YOU, you DON’T work for Units of Study! :)

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Sammy Safety Says...

Back in the day...when I was in school.....in shop class.....I remember a section in our book that was dedicated to safety. It was called Sammey Safety Says. It typically talked about such things as how to hold items when cutting, when to wear safety goggles, etc. For some reason, it stuck with me. So, in the realm of safety, please do me a few favors this week.

*If you have recess duty, review with your team each day this week on duty how a reverse evacuation would look? How would you quickly get students into the building? This could happen for such things as a notification from the police department that a bank had been robbed in our area. I will checking in with each recess this week and asking questions and expecting you to ask me any questions to help. Remember, a plan is never complete and a solid plan is organic and always growing

Hour of Code?

Thank you to the many who are constantly pushing to be as current as possible for your learners. I realize this is not an easy task and may at times you may feel like a hamster on the exercise wheel. I would encourage to keep growing--learning is fun!! The Hour of Code is something both current and fun. Please check it out and see if it fits for you.

From our Literacy Coach.....

On Wednesday you should have received an email that invited you to participate in the course, Miller Master Course. If you click on “Get Started” you will have access to my Canvas page. Here, I have posted resources for Writing Workshop, Reading Workshop, and Assessments. As the year progresses I will post other resources to my Canvas page to help keep you updated. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Thank you,


Upcoming Calendar

Mon Dec 7


Mikesell and Dawson's classes - Upper Computer Lab (Mrs. Mikesell and Mrs. Dawson)


CLIMBING WALL - Adventure Center (Laurie Wanser)


Smith's Fourth Grade Class - Rock Wall (Stacy Smith)


Climbing Wall - Adventure Center/Computer Lab (PreK, Miss Seymours Class)

Tue Dec 8


ACR Stratton - Stratton/Mazelin/Alt/Boudreau


First and Third Grade Team Meetings - Planning Room

Wed Dec 9


SLP Meeting (All SLPs)




Third Grade Field Trip - Eiteljorg (Pfiefer, Stillions, Devitt)


Lifeskills Swimming - ZHS Aquatics Center (Mary Jo Swenson)


PTO Board Meeting - Staff Lounge (Ellen Bailey)


4th Grade Eats at 11:40 - Switch lunch with 3rd grade becasue of field trip (4th grade)


3rd Grade Eats at 12:15 - Switch lunch times with fourth grade because of field trip (3rd Grade)


Stacy Smith's Class - Upper Computer Lab (Stacy Smith)


Climbing Wall (PreK, Mrs. Stedmans Class)

Thu Dec 10

All day

Smart Steps Program - Classrooms (Grades K,2 & 4)

All day

AIMSWeb Through January 29th - School-wide (Carly Miller)


Kindergarten shares student work, artifacts and data - Classroom (Kdg Team)


Third Grade Field Trip - Eiteljorg (Parks, Brandau, Wyatt)


1st Grade Zumba


4th Grade Eats at 11:40 - Switch lunch with 3rd grade becasue of field trip (4th grade)


Preschool Conference - PVE Offive Conference Room (Kristin Dawson:)


3rd Grade Eats at 12:15 - Switch lunch times with fourth grade because of field trip (3rd Grade)

Fri Dec 11

All day

AIMSWeb Through January 29th - School-wide (Carly Miller)

All day

Fourth Grade Indiana Celebration - Classrooms (Stacy Smith)


Mrs. Carney's Spelling - Upper Computer Lab (Mrs. Carney's Fourth Grade Class)


PTO Cookie Bar - Workroom (PTO)