PreK-6 Newsletter

August/September 2016

Welcome Back! A message from our new Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Instruction and Technology, Dr. Smith!

I am so excited and honored to be working with the PreK-6 family. Whereas I have been in and around the Elementary and Intermediate schools for my tenure here, my new role is going to afford me the opportunity to be with you more. Each and every one of you play such a vital role in the development of our children! I cannot begin to tell you how blessed we are to have you all serve in the way you do! So THANK YOU for what you do and will continue to do each day! Mrs. Conley and I look forward to working with you all this year.
K-6 Curriculum Guides (click)

Our curriculum planners have worked VERY hard on creating the MGSD CORE Guides and we are so appreciative! These guides are crucial for the continued student success by ensuring consistency in every classroom and across the district.

As a reminder, during your PLCs, you should be utilizing the MGSD CORE Curriculum Guides when answering the essential questions for PLCs:

What do we want students to know?

How will we know when they have learned it?

What will we do when students don't demonstrate an understanding?

What will we do when students do demonstrate an understanding?

We want to provide opportunities for your SPECIFIC and CONSTRUCTIVE feedback. As you discuss the CORE guides at your PLC meetings, please use this form to provide feedback. The curriculum planners will use this feedback to make revisions to 1st quarter as well as use it to help plan out 2nd quarter. It can be completed weekly if you feel there is a need. Also, there are quite a few questions/reflections on the form, you only need to complete the questions that are applicable to your feedback. Thank you in advance for your feedback. We all know this is a working process and we can always improve!

MGSD 2016-17 Important Dates

This document is linked under the red tabs of the MGSD livebinder, but just in case you want a direct link to print out! :-)

MGSD Livebinder

Please make sure you bookmark the MGSD livebinder! It stores important information and dates for our PreK-6 team!!
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K-3 Reporting Documents (What to send home and when!)

K-3, please remember according to the Read to Achieve law, that the RtA Parent Notification needs to be sent home to ALL students that are NOT meeting reading grade level expectations for EVERY reporting period (interims and report cards).

September's M-Powerment Strategy M1 Collaborative Culture of Caring

Teachers collaborate to create a culture of caring where every child every day feels valued and nurtured.


Find some additional ways you can show kids you care below!!


Click here for more information about our other M-Powerment strategies!

6 Ways to Let Students Know You Care

Great strategies!


1- Greet Them

2- 2X10

3- George's Book

4- My Life in Six Words

5- Debrief with Students

6- Attend Extracurricular Events


Read all about them here.

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Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion

Top ten tool focus: blackboard learn and google apps for education

Blackboard Learn is our learning management system (LMS) that allows students and parents to access grades, assignments, homework, links, lesson plans and other content. It is a one stop shop for parents and students to gain insight on what is going on in the classroom. Learn is available for all grades K-12 and its a great way to keep all of those fantastic links, lessons, and documents in one place for your students to access. If you would like to learn more about how you can use BB Learn in your classroom, please schedule some time with your School ITF!


Your Google Account can change the way you collaborate with your team, other staff members, and your students. Your Google drive allows you to share docs, spreadsheets, slideshows, pictures and so much more. 2nd-6th grade students also have Google accounts and can collaborate with teachers as well as each other. Check this Beginner Google Tools Smore out!

Anchored Word Learning: Read Aloud & Vocabulary Strategy

Read alouds are the perfect venue for providing a model of fluent reading, talking about text, and building comprehension skills.

Additionally, read alouds provide an integrated way for introducing vocabulary in a meaningful context.Anchored Word Learning (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002) is one of my favorite strategies for introducing targeted words with young children. With early learners, picture books have a higher level vocabulary not typically found in leveled texts.

Anchored Word Learning is easy to incorporate into daily read alouds with the simple steps outlined here.

No Tears for Tiers: Common Core Tiered Vocabulary Made Simple

The Common Core State Standards place an importance on academic vocabulary. In addition to developing an advanced vocabulary, the CCSS calls for increasing the amount of nonfiction and informational text in classrooms. We know that vocabulary knowledge influences fluency, comprehension, and student achievement. And, vocabulary plays an even more important role in understanding nonfiction and informational text. It has been estimated that 80% of comprehension in nonfiction is dependent upon understanding the vocabulary.


Read the article here.

SSTaRS: A Strategy for Teaching Vocabulary in Preschool!

Children learn new words every day. How many words they learn and how well they understand and use these words will have a significant impact on the kind of readers they eventually become. Reading involves understanding printed words, and having a large vocabulary makes it easier to gain meaning from what is being read. Vocabulary is also a tool for thinking and learning about the world.


Read more about the SSTaRs Strategy here.

Progress Monitoring Calendar for mClass

Thanks to Desi for creating this PM calendar for mCLASS!
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Math Talk 101

Math Talk is a way for students to have meaningful student-to-student conversations about math while learning to respect and understand there is more than one way to correctly approach and solve a problem.


Please check this article out! There are videos, ideas of how to get started, role descriptors, anchor charts, and SO MUCH MORE!

Past MGSD PK-6 Newsletters (click)

Want to look at some of our past resources? Check out the orange tab in our MGSD Livebinder!