Thursday's Thoughts

January 5, 2017

2017- Here we go!

We are entering the tough months of pushing to get our students ready for state tests and the next grade. Each of you are working hard as you are finishing your leveling to continue to move kids in their reading levels, help them become better writers, and progress them in their math knowledge. We have approximately 12 weeks to finish up with grade level standards prior to when the SCReady window opens. That will put you finishing up with your standards right before spring break, and then you will have four days when we return before the window opens for SCReady. Please make sure you sit as a grade level and map out the weeks ahead making sure you are on track to cover what you need to cover before spring break. We will do all that we can to protect instructional time as we know you have a lot to cover before then. Take the time to plan the next 12 weeks covering what you know your students need the most. We will be ready for SCReady! Teachers in grades K-2, keep pushing to stick to your grade level's writing plan, stay on track with reader's workshop, and keep trucking with math skills. Our students are lucky to have you all as their teachers. We will be ready!

TDA

Our CGE grade level writing plans are designed to prepare students in K-2 for the Text Dependent Analysis they will have to write in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. Students in the tested grades will write a rough draft in the lab after they read the passage, and then type their response. In order to make sure we are preparing our students in every way possible, we want them to have practice with this process. In your planning of writing, when you get to the point where your students will write, please take them into the lab, have them write their rough drafts at the computers, and then type their responses. This will give our students practice with this process before April. Last year, we found that the tab button did not work within the software. Some of our students sat and didn't know that they could tab five times if the tab button did not work. This is just an example of how practice will help them with issues such as this prior to the real testing day. Please make sure you sign up for the lab as much as you can prior to April to give your students this time to be very comfortable with this process. Also, Mrs. Shipman will be working every other week with the sample SCReady items during computer lap time to ensure our students know how to use all of the tools available to them. Our goal is to have our students extremely comfortable with the online testing process.

Leveling

Please make sure you are finishing up your leveling. Stacey is going to resend the F & P digital wall out so that you can update your reading levels on our digital wall.

Breach and Grit

Now that we have worked to instill the importance of respect and grit into our students, our hope is that this process has made a difference. Please use your classroom behavior system to ensure all of your students are respectful at all times and recognize those students who show grit. We purposefully did this before Christmas in the hopes that we would help with discipline which would in turn help you protect your instructional teaching time. Please call parents if students are respectful and call parents when students are showing grit. We spent a total of four weeks on each initiative, so students should clearly know our expectations. When you have a student show grit and would like us to recognize him or her, please email us. We will make sure we speak to these students!

LegACy Day

LegACy Day is January 27th. This is be our literacy, arts, and career day. Heather, Stacey, and Jennifer have worked hard to make this day a great day for our students and staff. Please mark your calendars. A schedule will be sent out soon.

The Science of Soil

Do not forget to vote for our school to win $10,000 for our reading garden! Go to thescienceofsoil.com and register to vote. We need you to vote every day! Thank you.

New Reading Interventionist

Many of you have already met Sandy Lesley who will be our new reading interventionist for 4th and 5th grades. She will be set up in the second computer lab. We chose that space because it puts her close to the grade levels she will be working with each day. She will be here Monday-Thursday from 8:00-10:30. As you begin to have your students practice in the lab for TDA, we can make arrangements for her to meet with her groups in another area on those days. Please stop by and speak to her if you have not already done so. She has been so complimentary of how nice everyone has been. :-)

End of the 2nd Nine Weeks

The end of the second nine weeks is January 13th. If you have a student failing your class, please make sure you have contacted parents and met with them trying to determine a plan of action. Grades will need to be wrapped up soon. We will send the timeline out soon.

Next Week

I have to attend the new teacher evaluation training next week for three days. I will be out of the building Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of next week. :-(

2nd Nine Weeks House Party

We will be having a snow themed house party here at school for this nine weeks. We are tentatively planning on this party being January 20th for about 1 1/2 hours. We will send out details soon.

Announcements

We are back on track with our morning announcements. I will you send you the link later this evening.

Upcoming Dates:

January 9th: Clemson fans were Clemson colors. We will take a selfie of all of our Clemson fans to send to Dabo in the hopes of a getting a donation for Jump Rope for Heart at 8:15 in the gym.

January 10th: Literacy Team Meeting with Stacey at 3:15 in her room. (Litz, Richards, Parks, Davis, Owens, Kirby, P. Cannon, Shaw, Wesolek, Hart, Vernon)

January 11th: Greenville Little Theatre here to present Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

January 13th: End of the 2nd Nine Weeks and deadline for leveling

January 16th: No School

January 17th: Comp Day. The district is providing training if you did not earn the comp day this summer.