Head U Gator News

April 10, 2016

A grateful heart

My heart is grateful for...

...Cindy Felker, who has a student finishing his dyslexia training and immediately began looking for how she could fill his time spot with other students in need of assistance.

...Karen, who went to a DI tournament several weeks ago and spent her Saturday judging DI teams. We had an appeal that went out from our teams who had to supply a judge in order to compete and Karen volunteered. She had to spend a Saturday before that being trained, so many thanks for investing, Karen!

...Lynette, for sharing a story about her own growth that I'll share later in the newsletter.

...Michael, for helping with the Gator Gallop today!


We are going to need to start looking at scheduling summative conferences. Before we can do the final part of your appraisal, YOU have to do the year end reflection at least 2 weeks before we do the summative. Please start working on that ASAP!

Lynette's story

Several weeks ago, Lynette began talking with us about her class. She was frustrated because they were being unkind to each other and it was impacting their whole class culture. We suggested several things to try, including measuring the climate of the room each day and getting the students to set goals based on that data (guess whose idea that was?!) and talking with them in circle up to try and identify the issues.

Jeanette met with them about some learning she was doing, and they decided to start working on things they were thankful for. Lynette quickly realized that they needed a model, so she began writing things she was thankful for including her gratefulness for them and their uniqueness.

The climate has greatly improved, to the point that both Lynette and Jeanette feel like it has been a huge success for both of them, but the part I wanted to share was Lynette's own reflection. She said, "I realized I was part of the problem. I had gotten so sucked into the negative climate that I wasn't being positive and thankful for the good. I was only seeing the negative. When I began focusing on the positive and praising them for the good things they were doing, it made a HUGE difference in their behavior."

It takes a really big person, and a very mature educator, to recognize their own part in a situation and then work to improve upon it. I asked Lynette if I could share because I think we've probably all been there, and it's hard to point at ourselves as a possible cause in a bad situation. However, since the interactions we have with our students (or parents, or other colleagues) ARE impacted by our responses, we have to be willing to examine ourselves and then work on things that we can improve before we can expect others to do so. Thanks for being honest with yourself and with us, Lynette, and for allowing me to tell this story for the benefit of all of us.

small group minutes

We didn't have a lot of data for this week (I didn't send a reminder Friday) so I took the cumulative information from January and averaged that:

Reading: 87%

Math: 79%

That's since January of this year. I think we have reading down, but we probably still continue to work on making small group math instruction more effective.

Ian Byrd

Ian Byrd is a gifted "guru" who to GT folks is kind of a rock star. He presents all over the country, and has a very active website that is visited by thousands of people. He has 5000 followers on Twitter, and was a presenter at the GT conference in San Antonio in December. Our ASPIRE teachers wrote a grant for SAGE and it was funded recently, so Ian Byrd will be in our building on April 22. He will work with the ASPIRE teachers during the day and visit the ASPIRE classrooms. On Friday night, he'll talk with parents at the PDEC, and then on Saturday he will meet with anyone who would like to come here him talk. If you have an interest in gifted ed (or need some update hours) this is a GREAT opportunity. I think Saturday is 9-12 at the PDEC. You can go to Eduphoria to sign up. http://www.byrdseed.com/

Anniversary celebration

If you want to come but are worried about the time, here is the plan. We will introduce the guests, I'll have about 10-12 minutes of speaking, Mrs. Tidmore may have a few things to say, and then we'll invite guests to eat and walk around. We will have old yearbooks and pictures and shirts set up in the library for them to look at, but the actual "program" should be pretty short.


If you have something that you want to work on and haven't discussed it with Jeanette you need to do so tomorrow. Our next round of GTU starts Tuesday and she has several options that have been added to the board based on feedback from everyone. We will meet in the library first because Linda will be sharing her Action Research with us for a few minutes.

This week:

Monday, April 11

Art Club, 2:45

Tuesday, April 12

La Academia Spanish 2:45-3:45

GTU begins

Wednesday, April 13


Thursday, April 14

Marimba Band

Mad Science

Math Lab

7:00 Anniversary celebration

Friday, April 15

Bowman Sports and La Academia Spanish

Ranger's game for staff

Saturday, April 16

Rachel's Challenge Rally and 5K