Millbrook Elementary Staff Notes

Week of Oct. 12-16, 2015

Thought For the Week

The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand. ~Vince Lombardi

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Schedule of Events and Updates for the Week

Monday, 10/12: C Day; 2nd Grade PLT 1:30 -3; SIP Team, 3-4:15 (Media Center); PTA Board Meeting (Media Center), 4;30-5:30

Tuesday, 10/13 - D Day; 3rd Grade PLT 1:30 - 3:30; K Collaborative Planning Day; 5th Grade Science Planning (Science Lab), 2:30-4:30

Wednesday, 10/14 - E Day; 1st Grade PLT 1:30-3:30

Thursday, 10/15 - F Day; 5th Grade PLT 1:30 - 3:30; 3rd Grade Collaborative Planning Day

Friday, 10/16- Specialist Collaborative Planning (AM); Buddy Classrooms Meet (AM);

Early Release Day Schedule: 12:30-1:30, Team Building & Celebrations, 1:30-3:30 Math Essentials (K-5 teachers); 1:30-2:30 - Differentiated PD for Instructional Assistants-Supporting Literacy Instruction (Location TBD)

Buddy Classrooms Meet this Friday Morning

One of our action steps to build community across the school and a culture of literacy is to have buddy classrooms. This Friday morning, we are asking the buddies to meet and build relationships! The grade chairs should connect to determine how you'd like to meet your buddies. The possibilities are endless...but it may be easiest to start with pairing up students to read to each other. You will see some students truly shine as they read/listen to another student :). As a reminder, here are the pairings:

PreK/K is paired with 3rd:
Jones & Lancaster; Myers and Booth; West & Dove; Green & Thompson; Maher & Gaines; Lewis (split - 1/2 of the class with Smith's PreK and 1/2 of the class with Aronson's PreK)

1st is paired with 5th:

Ford & Kauffman; Eno & Thompson; Puryear & Swider; Dalton & Hughes; Ingersoll & Barham

2nd is paired with 4th:

Das & Liefer; Queen & Reed; Heyward & Anjum; Bartley & Fowler, Lawrenson & Kingsmore; Furr & Tyner

AU1 & AU2 are paired.

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  • Learning Rounds - Feedback! We completed our first learning rounds of the year, and very much look forward to expanding and involving staff in this process during the school year. Learning rounds focus on what students are doing, and used to help us continue to examine the student impact of our teaching practices. I challenge all of us to keep the lens on our work as we continue to build a shared vision of core instructional practices through PD and coaching cycles. During learning rounds, we look at school-wide trends, not at individual classrooms or teachers. We focused this learning round on student engagement/student talk, and the team compiled the following GLOWS and GROWS:
    GLOWS - We saw:
    *Students working with partners/established partners
    *Expanding/adding on to other students' statements
    *Describing that their partner work was to "help them be better readers"
    GROWS - Student engagement/talk could be enhanced by:
    *Challenging each other's thinking and defending their thinking by using evidence
    *Knowing and being able to articulate the purpose of their task(s) and how/why they are relevant to the learning outcome
    We look forward to continuing to examine the why/what/how of our work during this week's early release day, as well as during collaborative planning and PLTs!
  • Students Eating Breakfast: As we shared earlier this year, we have a very large number of students eating breakfast this year, and the line is LONG each day. Please ensure that if students need to eat breakfast, that they go directly to the cafeteria upon arrival. We've received feedback from staff on duty that some children are going to their classrooms first, then walking to the cafeteria to eat, which delays them in getting back on time (and sometimes results in hallway wandering). Those of us on morning duty are committed to keeping students moving with a sense of purpose :) - please help us by ensuring students who need to eat go straight to the cafeteria upon arrival.

Learning Corner

The WCPSS strategic plan includes a focus on the 4 C's - critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. This is a shift away from a narrow emphasis on test scores as the only means to assess student learning. It also challenges us to ask ourselves - what is the student impact of our teaching? Sir Ken Robinson was the keynote speaker at the Magnet Conference we hosted in Raleigh last spring, and he has some important challenges for us to reflect upon in this TED talk: