Thomson Staff Newsletter

November 30, 2015

Important News & Notes

The Next Three Weeks

You don't need me to tell you that excitement will be mounting as we move closer to Christmas. It is important to stay as close to routines and clearly articulate expectations for academics and behavior as possible. This will not only ensure that you are able to continue to focus on student learning and success, but will also will help ensure that your stress level remains low.

Here are a few things to think about as we move through the next few weeks and beyond:

  • Learning Targets- Do I have learning targets posted? Am I using them throughout my lesson to ensure that students know where we are headed? Do I ever share the learning targets in my newsletter to help keep parents informed of the learning taking place in the classroom?
  • Student Engagement-Are the students actively involved in the learning and performance tasks that I am giving? Are students moving around the room throughout the day or are they at their seats or the carpet for long periods of time? Do I vary my instruction to ensure that I am meet the learning needs of all of my students?
  • Time on Task-Am I mindful of the daily structure ensuring that I maximize every possible instructional moment of the day? Am I clearly explaining/demonstrating what I want from students so that time is not wasted repeating directions?
  • Performance Tasks- Do I give students performance tasks that will effectively provide evidence of learning or am I giving them 'busy work'? Am I providing varied performance tasks outside of paper pencil tasks?
  • Student Data- Do I regularly look at data and give effective feedback to my students (think about our PD from November 7th)? Is my PLC discussing student data on an on-going basis?
  • Fun in Learning- Am I providing my students with activities that are just fun or activities that are fun with a purpose?
By keeping these things our main focus, we will not only keep our students learning and growing, but we will also be able to have fun with them!

Cool to Care

Again, I want to thank you for continuing to promote Cool to Care with your students and through your newsletters. We have about one week to go and have collected just over 2,000 items, not including the money that has been collected. This means we are just under 1,500 items short of our goal...I know we can reach our goal!

Teacher Evaluation & Student Learning Goals

At tomorrow's staff meeting, I will be sharing with you information on Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). As you are aware, the teacher evaluation law states that multiple data sources must be used when determining student learning growth. SLOs are a way to determine student learning growth over a unit and are an acceptable measure in addition to year long student growth measures.

Mark Your Calendars

Please mark your calendars for Monday, December 21st. This will be the date of the staff Christmas Luncheon put on by the office staff. Please look for more information to come. This will also be 'Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder' Christmas Sweater break out those beautiful or ugly sweaters.

Important Upcoming Dates

The week of November 30th-PLC Week

Tuesday, December 1st-Staff Meeting-7:35 a.m. (Agenda: Holiday Happenings, Child Study Process Review, SIP Update (Melissa B.), SLOs as a way to measure student growth)

Monday, December 7th- ACC Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.; Board of Education Meeting, 7 p.m. HS AMR

Wednesday, December 9th-Last day for Cool to Care; Social Studies Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.

Friday, December 11th-Leadership Team Meeting, 7:30 a.m.

Monday, December 14th-Handsome Harry visits; DIP Meeting, 4:15-5:15 p.m.; PTO Meeting-Lisa and Leandra will be the teacher reps, 6:30 pm.

Tuesday, December 15th- Handsome Harry visits; Outreach East will come in the afternoon to pick up the baby items; ELA Meeting 4:15-6:15 p.m. at Gates

Wednesday, December 16th- Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m.; Child Study Day

Quotes Worth Reading...

"It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things."

-Leonardo da Vinci

Birthdays and Celebrations

Here are our upcoming birthdays: Melissa Tersigni, December 1st; Jennifer Webster, December 3rd; Brenda Pietras, December 5th...Happy Birthday!

Also, don't forget to sign up for the Crock-Pot recipe exchange in the lounge if you plan on participating.

I want to again thank you all for making my 40th birthday so special. I sincerely appreciate all you did!