Monaghan's Minutes

Happy New Year 2019!

Happy Birthday, Rebecca! (January 3rd)

Happy Birthday, RJ! (January 4th)

Welcome Back!

I hope that you have had a restful break, full of friends, family, and fun. I have so enjoyed having time with my 4 Bees all under one roof (fighting and all), and finding time to do the things I love and don't have time to do during the school year (reading, binge watching Netflix shows, staying up late and sleeping past 4am!). But, I am ready to get back into the swing of things and mostly back into a routine. I find myself craving a routine after about a week of laziness. :)

Because I don't want to fill your Monday with endless meetings, and would prefer you just have time to do what YOU need to do, I created my Monaghan's Minutes. This newsletter is jam packed with information you need to know for 2nd semester. There are many things for you to sign up for, important dates to note, and events that are coming up. Please read through each part of the newsletter carefully and make note of anything needed. You don't want to miss out on a sign up and get stuck with whatever is left!

I hope you enjoy the next 3 days, find time to get just that last bit of recharging that your body needs, and are ready to get back at it on Monday!

Time to Freshen Up!

What a great way to welcome our kids back to school than some new, clean, bright bulletin boards! Many of our bulletin boards are looking a little shabby. Tis the season to brighten them and find new ways to inspire our students to work hard throughout the rest of the school year!

Who has time for that??? I'm sure you are thinking it to yourself right now! I have a couple of college kids who I would LOVE to volunteer to help. Just let me know if you need them, and I will sign them up for the task. We may be able to bring in a couple teachers kids, too, so just let me know if you'd like some help and we will see what we can pull together.

You can find many great ideas at the link below.

Upcoming Important Dates for Teachers

January 7: Teacher Work day - 8:30 - 2:30

January 8: Staff Meeting - 3:20

January 9: Grade cards are available on Sycamore; All School Mass - led by teachers; Northland Principal's meeting in staff lounge

January 15-25: Father Matthew is on vacation

January 16: Staff Meeting - Faith Formation - 3:20

January 21: No School - MLK Day

January 22: Give Winter Benchmark (more info to come)

January 23: Staff Meeting - prep for CSW - 3:20

January 27: All School mass @ 11:00 to kick off CSW (possible school family luncheon after)

January 27 - Feb. 1: CSW

Feb. 1: Grandparents Day; Noon Dismissal

Sign Up Below: Review Student Learning Plans (Kaci, Pamela, and 1-8 Teachers) on Monday, January 7

Mentor Meetings in January

Re-vamping Mentor Meetings

I know as first semester winded down, our mentor meetings got a little hard to schedule. Starting the new year, I'd like to revamp these meetings. 2nd semester is a tough one! You have a lot of standards to cover, while also preparing for the Iowa test. It's important that our newer teachers have the support they need.

Mentors, please schedule a meeting with your mentees within the first couple of weeks back and then plan for another one the week before CSW. You can find your January mentor sheets at the link below. Please print one off and use during your mentor meetings this month.

Add to Your Calendar!

2nd Semester Staff Meeting Dates

* I am giving you these meeting dates in advance so you will know not to schedule anything else on these days. Faculty meetings are a part of our yearly contracts and are a requirement for all teachers to attend. Please do not schedule appointments or meetings on these days.

Jan. 9: Info meeting

Jan 16: Faith Formation

Jan 23: CSW Planning

Feb. 6: Info Meeting

Feb. 13: Faith Formation

Feb. 15: PD - Local PD day

Feb. 20: Info Meeting

Feb. 27: Faith Formation

Mar. 6: Work on grades

Mar. 13: PD - EMF Day

Mar. 27: Faith Formation

Apr. 10: Info Meeting

Apr. 17: Faith Formation

Apr. 24: Mentor Meetings

May 1: Info Meetings

May 8: Faith Formation

Sign Up for a Time To Share at a Faculty Meeting

January 9th School Mass - Teacher Led

Please click the link below to sign up for a part in Wednesdays school mass. This mass is teacher led, so sign up today! I know no one loves reading at mass, but remember, we ask our students to do this every week. This is our opportunity to practice what we teach!

If there are available spots after Tuesday at 9:00am, I will fill in with those who haven't signed up and let you know what your part will be.

Click the link below to sign up today!

New Student

We will be welcoming a new 7th grader, Jason Hall, as we start our new semester. Jason comes to us from St. Andrew's, but has been a member of our FLL program, and knows many of our students through sports.

Middle School teachers, please add a desk for Jason and place him on your rosters.

Big picture

Catholic Schools Week - January 27 - February 1

Believe it or not, CSW is coming! This year, I'd like to focus on JOY and Saints during Catholic Schools Week. See the link below for the layout of our week last year. We can make any changes needed, but wanted to put some ideas out there to get us thinking.

A couple of possible new events for this year:

Jan. 27: All School Mass at 11:00. After - possible school families potluck where each grade level is asked to bring a different item. Or we can combine it with a diversity luncheon and ask families to bring a dish from their heritage.

January 30: Maybe host a STEM Night in the evening and invite surrounding neighborhoods, parishioners, incoming kindergarteners. We could have different stations set up where kids could come in and move around to complete activities. This would be a marketing event for us that is hosted by our staff and students.

Feb. 1: Grandparent's Day was awesome last year, but I think there were a couple of issues that we need to tweak.

Breakfast: Instead of pancakes (which were a headache), we do coffee/donuts.

Stations: Create more stations to have less people in each? Or just add more specific things to do in each station so that people aren't bored and start wandering.

Praise and Worship: Last year we ended with our "Big House" song in the gym before the 8th grade versus faculty volleyball game. This year, maybe we could sing several songs and have our cantors or choir kids lead? Also, we need to chose a new song for us to learn!

Other Weekly Activities:

Service: Last year we made the fleece blankets. What should our project be this year?

Living Rosary: This is always a favorite. I like the idea of doing it on Grandparent's Day, but it does take up a lot of time and this is a noon dismissal. Should we host this on a different day? Or change our stations to something different to accommodate the time needed?

Faithbook Sessions: Our middle school kids have hosted Faithbook sessions in the past and these have seemed to go over well. I talked to Dana about making these sessions focused on learning about different Saints, because I'd like to have a "Dress like your favorite saint" day as one of our dress up days. Thoughts? I an open to suggestions!

Faithflicks: In the past couple of years we have shown a faith based movie on one of the days. Do we want to keep this, change it, get rid of it? If so, do we have any movie suggestions?

Families Activity: We typically do a families activity during this week. Last year we focused on creating the blankets, so maybe this year we could focus on whatever service project we come up with.

Please see the attachment below to look at our schedule from last year.

2nd Semester Goal Setting

Please complete your 2nd semester Goal Setting. In your goal setting, I have asked you to list a specific new strategy you will try and the specific steps you intend to use to learn more about this strategy. I will ask you to share your learning at our staff meetings this semester, because the best learning comes from each other!

You can find the 2nd semester goal setting template at the link below.

2nd Semester Faith Formation

We will move Faith Formation sessions to our after school meeting times. I have listed the faith formation dates on the Staff Meeting Schedule above. Faith Formation sessions will look like this:

3:20 - 3:30: Whole group prayer and intro in the staff lounge.

3:30 - 4:10: Small group bible study and reflection.

4:10 - 4:20: Prayerful meditation/journaling (on your own)

4:20 - 4:30: Whole group wrap up.

Each week, I will ask a different person to lead their small group. The leader of the small group will be asked to:

- Plan ahead by reading the bible study before the meeting. Look over the questions that you will share with the group.

- Reach out to your group to give them the bible study reading for the week and ask that they read before coming to the meeting on Wednesday.

- Plan discussion questions for your group.

- Lead discussion.

You can sign up for which Faith Formation Session that you would like to lead at the link below. I will send out the information at least a week in advance.

2nd Semester Eleots - Classroom Teachers AND Specials Teachers

This semester, I will begin Eleots early. I plan to start visiting classrooms the week of the 14th of January. Please select a time on the link below. Fill in your name and what subject you will be teaching when I visit.

What is an Eleot? The eProveEffective Learning Environments Observation Tool® (eleot®) is a learner-centric classroom observation tool that comprises 28 items organized in seven environments aligned with the AdvancED Standards and Indicators and based on a review of widely used observation instruments and the most current research on effective learning. The Eleot provides useful, relevant, structured, and quantifiable data on the extent to which students are engaged in activities and/or demonstrate knowledge, attitudes, and/or dispositions that are conducive to effective learning.

In short, the Eleot focuses on what the STUDENTS are doing during the observation, not on what the teacher is doing. The Eleot looks for student engagement in hands on activities, cooperative group work, and use of technology. However, it is VERY specific regarding what the use of technology should look like.

Appropriate use of technology is: Students using a Google doc to collaborate and create an assignment; students using technology to share and communicate information; students using technology to research and share ideas.

Appropriate use of technology is NOT: Playing a math game on a laptop, typing an essay on a laptop, playing a game on the SmartBoard.

The Eleot can be a frustrating measurement tool for teachers, but it's important to remember that it's all about STUDENT ENGAGEMENT. When scheduling your Eleot, plan for a day when students will be working collaboratively or in stations, using technology as listed above, or completing a hands on activity. While the Eleot can seem frustrating, it truly focuses on what good teaching should look like in the classroom. The students are working, the teacher is meeting with individuals or small groups to monitor progress.

My best advice is to remember that when your classroom can function and learning can take place without you standing at the front of the room talking, you know you have succeeded!

Sign up for your Eleot on the link below.

Podcasts Every Educator Should Hear

Why podcasts???

Podcasts are a great way to get inspired, to feel connected, and to learn new ideas and tricks of the trade. I've found listening to a podcast while exercising or driving to and from work each day is a great way to unwind while learning great new ideas.

This year, I want to challenge you to listen to at least ONE podcast a week. Jot down a few great ideas or even just ONE great idea you plan to use in the classroom and be willing to share it with us at a staff meeting.

I've included some great podcasts below. Some are educational, some are just plain inspirational! I hope you find one in which you connect!

St. Patrick School

The mission of St. Patrick School is to develop young men and women with active and creative minds, a sense of understanding and compassion for others, and the courage to act on their beliefs. We stress the total development of each child: spiritual, moral, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical. Encouragement is given to students to bring their lives into conformity with God's will and plan, so that He is glorified.