Monday Memo

September 19, 2016

Happening This Week!

Announcements--Mrs. McNaughton's Class

Pledge--Mr. Higgin's Class

Bus Duty--Ms. Phou's Class (Head down when PPU is called.)



Important Dates to Note this Week...

  • Monday 9/19 - Pivot Practice with Carmen
  • Tuesday 9/20- CPI Refresher 4:00-8:00 @ Meadows; PTO Meeting 7:00 pm
  • Thursday 9/22- Staff Meeting 7:45; Fire Drill 9:00 am


Plans for Next Week...

  • Monday 9/26 Fire Drill 2:30
  • All Staff must complete the Diabetes Awareness video by September 30th. (Will be sent in separate email.)

Blended Learning

Tablets have been delivered to 10 classrooms (2 more sets are already on order)! Jason worked hard last week to get the charging/lock box stations assembled and the tablets connected. I look forward to seeing the tablets being used to engage students in learning opportunities. In many ways we will be learning along side the students. We will be working together to share learning opportunities using websites, apps, and other technologies (movie making, pod casting, blogging, student led conferencing via QRcode).


We will begin by supporting one another as we host Appy Hour the first Wednesday of the Month (except in October). During Appy Hour, bring a classroom tablet and let's share what we've discovered. Don't worry if you don't have a full set in your room yet. We can borrow and I have two personal tablets that I'm willing to share. So mark your calendars for the following dates from 3:45-4:30 :


October 4th (TUES)

November 2nd

December 7th

January 11th (2nd week)

February 1st

March 1st

April 12th (2nd week)

May 3rd


We will continue to fund-raise to get tablets in all classrooms. PTO and parents are hoping for another Parent Night Out this winter and we have the opportunity to work the Poker Tournament. Let me know if you are able to help at the Tournament over break.

Pre-Inquiry Conferences and Pivot

Support for Usage of Pivot - The web based portal that will record and track the observation and evaluation process. This online tool will be used to collect evidence, provide feedback and record responses.


Support Option #1: Earlier in September Carmen sent out the “2016-2017 Avondale Teacher Evaluation Program” document that contains “How To” guides for Pivot. These guides will help you with logging in, changing your password, completing the self-assessment and creating the growth plan.


Support Option #2: There is a sand box that you can use to experiment and explore Pivot. Visit this site: https://midemo.five-starpivot.com. You can practice your Pivot skills.


Support Option #3: Need assistance with navigating Pivot in person? The following volunteer professional learning sessions will be provided. You are invited to attend the session and location that works best for you. Come when you wish! Leave when you need to!

  • September 19th – PM – Woodland – 4:00 pm – Discovery Room

  • September 20th – AM – Graham – 7:45 am –School Lab

  • September 20th – PM – Deerfield – 4:00 pm – School Lab

  • September 21st – AM – Auburn – 7:45 am – School Lab


Today, Carmen will be here at Woodland to provide support for Pivot and the 5D+ Evaluation Tool. We will meet in the Discovery Room and I will have the laptops available. It will be helpful to have your Self-Assessment complete (either in Pivot or on the paper copy she sent earlier in September.)


By September 30th, you will input 3-5 indicators across 2-3 dimensions based on your reflections regarding your self-assessment and student learning needs. Within each area of focus you will explain why you have chosen to focus on that dimension and indicator and then list action steps to improving in that area. This process will be done 3-5 times (based on the number of indicators with which you choose to focus.


You will then complete a student growth goal based on your grade level trend data and 16-17 entry data. This process is very similar to what you've done in the past. You will include action steps here as well. Your action steps from the areas of focus will connect here as well since we are working to improve instruction.


Once your Areas of Focus and Goal are complete in draft form, we will meet for our pre-inquiry conference. At that meeting you will share with me your self-assessment and we will discuss your learning plan for this year. If we decide to make changes, they can be made at that meeting. After the meeting, the plan can be finalized.


I'd like to start meeting with staff the week of September 26th. I will create a sign up where I can meet with up to three or four staff members per day. I have a total of 21 meetings to hold by October 12th.

Professional Learning--ADHD

I found an interesting article on the connection between exercise and ADHD. Brain research identified how important exercise is to students who have ADHD. Physical movement improves mental focus, memory, and cognitive flexibility. It plays an integral part in affecting academic performance. Please take a moment to read this short article. It is making me reflect on how I take away recess or assign "bench time" as a consequence. How might we address consequences in another more productive way?

Illuminate Professional Learning

F & P scores need to be completed by October 7th. It may be helpful to collect the data on the F & P written sheet that you've used in the past. You will then enter the data into Illuminate by Friday, October 28th. You will be entering:


  1. Instructional Reading Level using the actual F & P letter
  2. Accuracy as a percent (minus the % sign)
  3. Comprehension points as earned on the comprehension rubric (not E, S, L)



Support in the use of Illuminate for F & P data can be found in three different forms.


  1. Use the Google Doc called "Final 9_15 Inputting F & P Scores Into Illuminate-Step-by-Step-Google Docs" This document contains how to guides.
  2. Volunteer Professional Learning Session-Woodland, Wednesday, October 5th @ 4:00.
  3. Connect with Kathie Stock (kathryn.stock@avondale.k12.mi.us). She will set up an appointment with you.

iReady and Training for 1st Grade Teachers

Our first iReady window will be opening shortly (September 26th). Teachers should use their normally scheduled time and then add a session to complete, if needed. The laptop cart will be placed in the 5th grade pod for 4th and 5th math teachers to use the first week during their regularly scheduled math sessions. This should help keep times open in the lab.


1st grade teachers will be administering the math portion of the iReady to meet new state requirements. They will be taking it in a separate window after the other one closes. Kathie Stock will be providing professional learning for 1st grade teachers and I will encourage Jill and Missy to observe part of a Math testing session. I will be working with the team to have extra sets of hands in the lab for our 1st graders through the use of me, non-1st grade parent volunteers, support staff, and/or upper elementary students who may be able to help students log in.

Kudos to You!

Tricia Kowalski--The book fair was fabulous! It's so exciting to see the kids chatting about the new books they just got!

Alexys Vertz & Raelynn Buczkowski--Great job on your IEP this week! You were fabulous listeners and communicators with the parent!

Kat Naish--You are a lifesaver! Thanks for running back and forth to support a student at recess.

Bridget and Maria--Thanks for being great teammates for Katie!

Jill and Bridget--Thanks for coming to the Family Picnic!