Team Thomson News & Notes

February 4, 2018

Important Information for You!

Literacy Essential #3

Literacy essential #3 is a great one to focus on following PLC Data Days and the intentional focus on giving students the intentional instruction they need. Remember, literacy essential #3 states: Small group and individual instruction, using a variety of grouping strategies, most often with flexible groups formed and instruction targeted to children’s observed and assessed needs in specific aspects of literacy development.

In order to do this the teacher:

• ensures that children use most of their time actually reading and writing (or working toward this goal in kindergarten and early first grade)

• coaches children as they engage in reading and writing, with reading prompts focusing primarily on (a) monitoring for meaning, (b) letters and groups of letters in words, (c) rereading

• employs practices for developing reading fluency, such as repeated reading, echo reading, paired and partner reading

• includes explicit instruction, as needed, in word recognition strategies, including multi-syllabic word decoding, text structure, comprehension strategies, and writing strategies • is deliberate in providing quality instruction to children in all groups, with meaning-making the ultimate goal of each group’s work

By focusing on intentional small group or individual instruction we ensure that all students regardless of reading ability make the most growth possible. Check out the video below for practical application.


Between days off, snow days, the 'splinter incident', Growth Plan meetings, and the daily happenings, getting back into a routine of observations has proved to be challenging. I have, however, enjoyed meeting with you for mid-year reviews/Growth Plan meetings. I appreciate the time that you are taking to think about your practice and making connections to the 5D+ rubric. I look forward to meeting with those of you I have not yet.

As for observations, my goal is to get into everyone's classroom for a minimum second observation prior to the Intersession break. Because our focus has been on Balanced Literacy this year and much of our PD and my newsletters have focused on this topic, I will be observing classroom teachers in the morning to see literacy instruction. This will help me gauge where we are as a building and the progress we are making in this area.

IRIP-Important Information

Don't forget that IRIPs are due this Friday, February 9th. This ensures that that are completed in time for Early Parent-Teacher Conferences February 13th. If a child is in need of an IRIP, you should review the IRIP with the parents at conferences. However, if a parent does not attend conferences, please be sure to have a phone conference and document that on the IRIP form. I want to thank you all for being so comprehensive in your writing of IRIPs for students. Many of you have written them for students even if the child did not meet all the criteria because you know the child and are worried about their progress. I sincerely appreciate your commitment to your students and their progress.

**Important note, early spring conference ARE NOT just for student who have an IRIP. Also, don't forget to turn in your schedule to the office. Thank you!

Cardinal Code Focus of the Week:

This week the Cardinal Code focus is PLAYGROUND. Please remind the students about rules for the snow. I know that the snow is fun, but it can not be thrown at this time. I will work with Jim to get our 'bull's eyes' put up for them, but until then...snow stays on the ground.

Quotes Worth Reading

"Whether you are shivering with cold or too hot, sleepy or wide not let it interfere with doing what is right."

Marcus Aurelius,

Emperor of Rome in the Second Century

Thomson Elementary

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Celebrations & Announcements

Birthdays... Kim Laine, February 2nd (sorry, I am a week late...I didn't turn to the February page when writing last week's newsletter); Rachel Wheaton, February 4th; Roy Hall, February 7th...Happy Birthday to you all!

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Week of February 4th-PLC Week
  • Monday, February 5th-Kindergarten ELA Lab Classroom; Board of Education Meeting, 7:00 p.m. in the HS AMR
  • Tuesday, February 6th-100th Day of School...Can you believe it?
  • Wednesday, February 7th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda: Success Criteria, bring lesson plans, Mid-year Data Review); Social Studies Curriculum Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.; CAP Parent Meeting, 6:30 p.m. in the Hahn Library...please include in your newsletters.
  • Thursday, February 8th-General Admin Meeting (Natalie); PEP & SEED Presentations for Parents
  • Tuesday, February 13th-Early Spring Conferences from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Please schedule these and turn in your schedule to the office.
  • Wednesday, February 14th-Happy Valentine's Day!
  • Thursday, February 15th-Elementary Principals Meeting (Natalie); CMC Meeting 4-7 p.m.
  • Friday, February 16th-Elementary PLC Day-All Thomson Certified Staff should report to Gates for grade level/department PLCs.
  • February 19th-23rd-Intersession II
  • Week of February 25th-PLC Week
  • Monday, February 26th-Cardinal Code Relaunch Week; PTO Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 28th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda: Family Reading Night/March is Reading Month, School Improvement); Family Reading Night, 4:45-7:15 p.m. for certified staff, 5-7 p.m. for families
  • Thursday, March 1st-Elementary Principals Meeting (Natalie)