The Toll Gate Tidings Tana

November 22, 2015 Edition

Important Dates to Note


11/23-24 - Early Dismissal - Parent Conferences

11/23-11/24 - TASK Pie Baking

11/25 - 3P to TASK

11/25 - Early Dismissal


12/2 - Signature Project Assembly

12/7-11 - "Hour of Code" week

12/10- 4th & 5th Grade Concert Rehearsal

12/10 - Evening Winter concert

12/14 - K-5 Grade Level Meetings

12/16 - Faculty Council

12/16 - Dr. Smith's monthly visit

12/18 - 1st Grade Holiday Stations

12/21 - "Faculty Meeting"

12/23 - Early Dismissal

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As conferences continue on Monday, please let me know if there are any "touchy" meetings you would like me to happen to be "around". Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Just let me know and I can be roaming your hallway at that time.

Also, feel free to keep your doors open so that you do not get stuck in a situation with no lifeline!

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TASK Pie Baking & Wednesday Schedules

See the link for the Pie Baking schedules in the cafeteria for Nov 23rd & 24th.

Here is the proposed snack/recess duty schedule for the half-days for Pie Baking. On Wednesday, Kindergarten will be using the cafeteria.

Monday -Wednesday Nov 23rd - 25th:

Period 3 (10:25 - 10:57am)

K & 1st Grade - Recess will be from 10:25 - 10:41am

Snack time will be from 10:42-10:57am

KC & 1C will go to Rm 101 with Finnegan

KSe & KSJ will go to Room 102 with Ray (Mon), Phillips (Tues & Wed)

1D & 1E will go to Room 103 with Harkins

5th Grade - Snack will be from 10:25 - 10:41am in the gym with Lambert

Recess will be from 10:42 - 10:57am with Davidson (Mon) and Vybiral (Tues & Wed)

Period 4 (11:00 - 11:32am)

4th Grade - Recess will be from 11:00-11:16am with Harkins, Phillips (Mon) and Beck (Tues) and Stein (Wed)

Snack time will be from 11:17 – 11:32am

4M & 4W will go to Room 201 with Finnegan and Phillips (Mon)

4S will go to Room 305 with Vybiral

2nd & 3rd Grade -Snack time will be from 11:00-11:16am

2B & 2C will go to Room 104 with Booz (Mon & Wed) and Ray (Tues)

3O’S will go to Room 105 with Finnegan

3P will go to Room 106 with Vybiral

Recess will be from 11:17-11:32am with Harkins, Booz (Mon & Wed) and Ray (Tues)

**Should we have inclement weather, students will remain in the classroom/snack space for the entire period.

Don't forget to complete our TASK Decorations form!

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Tech Bytes from Vikki

If you are anything like me, you’ve been worrying about life without Print Shop. Worry no more! Google Slides could very well be the answer to your prayers . . .

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Hour of Code - Week of December 7th

Check out the links below for ideas and our sign-up sheet for this year's Hour of Code. We will again be using our math class time, the goal is one hour during the week of Dec 7th. Feel free to do more if you want though! Vikki has created a page with links for each grade level.

When signing in with your students, you can also use our District website to get to the usable links. Go to the TG webpage -> Academics -> Technology. On the right side of the screen, there is also a link for "Coding" as well.


Please use this shared document to schedule your math period, using a particular device. This will help Vikki to support you in your efforts! Thanks!

Ideas for Each Grade Level

Check out this doc, which describes various links for each grade level.

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What are 100 ways to fill a bucket?

Bucket fillers are caring and kind. They treat people and property with respect. Today's lesson is a brain storming session in which your students discover simple ways to fill buckets. Here are the steps:

  1. Tell your students that you would like to compile a class-wide list of 100 different ways that they could fill buckets without spending money or taking much time.
  2. Give each student a lined sheet of paper. Ask them to number each line from 1 to 20 and begin to think of ways they can fill buckets. Suggest that they start by thinking of positive action verbs such as listen, help, share, etc. Have them write their ideas down.
  3. Ask them to raise their hands when they have 20 ideas written down. (Alternative: Have your students work with a classmate or in a small group to create a list.). As your students reach 20 ideas and begin to raise their hands, encourage them to keep writing while others finish.
  4. Once everyone has had a chance to complete their list, ask each student to contribute a different bucketfilling idea. Write these ideas on the board or other location where everyone can see them.
  5. When the class-wide list of 100 ideas is compiled, discuss what would happen if each person used the list to begin filling buckets. How many buckets would be filled? Would the people whose buckets they filled be happier? Would they be happier? Then, ask each student if they would like to be a bucket filler by filling at least one bucket a day.
  6. Transcribe the list, adding a box to check off each action. Make copies and ask your students to begin working their lists, paying close attention to what filled buckets, theirs and other peoples, the most.

TO FILL YOUR BUCKETS: Email your completed list of 100 ideas to us, along with your name and mailing address, and we will send your class one copy of our revised, 10th anniversary edition of Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

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A note from Dr. Smith - Google Profiles

Please remind your staff that if they choose to add a picture to their district Google profile (, they must use a professional looking picture (e.g. a Lifetouch school picture) that includes only themselves. Also, professional or college sports team logos or symbols should not be used instead of a picture.

Thank you!

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Tweet of the Week: There is "NO TOO HARD"

One teacher delves into here to read on!

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As a follow-up to our PLC conversation last week...

Asking the Right Questions in PLCs

(Originally titled “Getting to the Why and How”)

In this article in Educational Leadership, Jason Brasel, Brette Garner, Britnie Kane, and Ilana Horn (Vanderbilt University) say that ideally, teacher teams analyzing interim

assessment results should answer four questions:

- What do we need to re-teach?

- To whom do we need to re-teach it?

- Why did students struggle with this?

- How do we re-teach it?

The problem, say the authors, is that many PLCs focus only on the first two and don’t think carefully about why students did poorly in certain areas, what went wrong instructionally, problems with the assessment itself, and what strategies will improve results. Here are some of questions that effective lead teachers and instructional coaches ask to get their colleagues thinking deeply about assessment data:

- What do you think made some items difficult for students?

- What are some possible sources of confusion?

- What do students’ wrong answer choices tell us about their errors and misconceptions?

- How did we originally teach this concept? What worked? What didn’t work?

- What are the best strategies for addressing the misconceptions?

- What are the best curriculum resources?

- How do you think students will respond to an alternative instructional approach?

“Getting to the Why and How” by Jason Brasel, Brette Garner, Britnie Kane, and Ilana Horn in Educational Leadership, November 2015 (Vol. 73, #3),; Brasel can be reached at

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Governor's Educator of the Year Program

Now is the time to nominate a fellow educator! Please see the links to the nomination form and criteria. These are due to Tana by Friday, December 11th. Thank you!
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Signature Project Assembly

Our first PTO assembly this year will be on Wednesday, December 2nd. Our schedule will be as follows:

8:35 – 8:50am Homeroom

8:50 - 9:00am Call to Gym

9:00 – 10:00am Assembly

10:05 - 10:57am Period 1

10:59 - 11:51am Period 2

11:53 - 12:45pm Period 3 – Lunch K, 1st, & 5th

12:47 - 1:39pm Period 4 – Lunch 2nd, 3rd, & 4th

1:41 - 2:33pm Period 5

2:35 - 3:27pm Period 6

3:30pm Dismissal Call

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