Team Thomson News & Notes

March 13, 2017

Important Information for You!

Welcome Back Emily Williams!

And a huge 'thank you' to Stephanie Weidenhammer for a job well done in Emily's absence!

Classroom Learning Labs-Real Life Learning, Learning Targets, & Success Criteria

As part of her math coaching responsibilities, Julie Crocket has been working with teachers at every elementary grade level including instituting Classroom Learning Labs. This year, Lori, Sara H., and Leandra participating in two visits to Andrew Criswell's room to observe and discuss in a true learning lab model. Two weeks ago, the elementary principals and I participated so that we would have an opportunity to go experience what teachers do during this time. I spent some time in a kindergarten classroom in which the following was in play:

  • Learning Target: I am learning to add dots on a domino, and can match it to its number.
So what might be the success criteria?

  • Success Criteria 1  start at one and count up the dots on each side of a domino  give the total number of dots on a domino  match the number of dots to its number on the number line
  • Success Criteria 2  start at one and count up the dots on each side of a domino  give the total number of dots on a domino  name a number sentence that matches the dots on the domino  match the answer of the number sentence to the same number on the number line
  • Success Criteria 3  visually state the number on one side of the domino and count on while touching the dots on the other side of the domino  give the total number of dots on a domino  name a number sentence that matches the dots on the domino  match the number of dots to its number on the number line
Success criteria always needs to be identified, and shared, for grade level expectations however, all teachers need to know what expectations will take it up or down a level; when differentiation needs to take place and how to do that. There may be different success criteria for a learning target at different levels of instruction and as the classroom teacher you need to have a clear picture of what you expect your students to demonstrate in order to meet the learning target for a given day and lesson.

March is Reading Month

I heard from a few staff members last week that they hadn't weighed in on the 'Pie in the Face' because they didn't know, which is when I realized that the email only went out to classroom teachers. So, this week I will begin taking the pictures for 'Pie in the Face', but if you sincerely do not want to participate please let me know when it is time to take your picture. This was so much fun for the students last year and remember there will only be six staff members that actually have to take the 'pie in the face'. Thank you for your willingness to possibly get a 'pie in the face'. Classroom teachers, please continue to promote the reading calendars in your weekly newsletter.

Lesson Plan Follow-up

I had an opportunity to follow-up with the Leadership Team on Friday regarding lesson plan expectations outlined in the memo from Mr. Brown. Because lesson plans are personal in the sense of how each teacher works through them and actually writes them out, after discussion, we came to the conclusion that a work session would be most beneficial. We will spend time at the April 12th staff meeting working through what lesson plans may look like with the new requirements and teachers will have an opportunity to work through a lesson for themselves. As I have shared, while these are not required until fall of 2017-18, I encourage each of you to begin working to add CCSS to your lesson plans.

Quotes Worth Reading

"Teaching is painful, continual and difficult work to be done by kindness, by watching, by warning, by precept, and by praise, but above all by example."

-John Ruskin

"The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children show them that reading is a pleasurable activity and that means...finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them."

-Neil Gaiman

Thomson Elementary

Home of the Thomson Teddies!


Where Kids Come First and Futures Begin!

Celebrations & Announcements

Birthdays: None this week...

Monday-'Read a Shirt Day' in honor of March is Reading Month!

Staff Luncheon this Friday, March 17th, St. Patrick's Day! Sign up in the lounge, wear your green, and join your colleagues in for lunch.

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Tuesday, March 14th-District Improvement Meeting,4:15-5:15 p.m.
  • March 16th-Fire Drill
  • Friday, March 17th-St. Patrick's Day; $5 Pizza Lunch sponsored by Social Committee
  • Week of March 20th-PLC Week
  • Monday, March 20th-Electronic Black Out Day/Wear Black; PTO, 6:30 p.m. Lauren and Andrea are the teach reps for this meeting
  • Tuesday, March 21st-PTO Pals; Playground Monitor Meeting, 10:30 a.m.; ELA (K-2 only) Meeting, 4;15-6:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 22nd-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m (Agenda: Amy Chorley, Behavior Series); Child Study Day (Please send any new names to Maida and myself)
  • Thursday, March 23rd-Megan & Michael's Wedding Shower
  • Friday, March 24th-Table of Honor
  • Monday, March 27th-Read with a Stuffed Animal Day; PTO Yankee Candle Fundraiser Kick-off; Data Day
  • Tuesday, March 28th-Tornado Drill
  • Wednesday, March 29th-Data Day