Tiger Beat

Acton Weekly Update 1/25/19

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FTCSC Hedgehog Focus

The Hedgehog Concept is based on an ancient Greek parable that states, "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." ... Hedgehogs, however, simplify the world and focus on a single, overarching vision, which they then achieve.

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Coach's Corner

What a week! It has been great getting to meet each of you and getting to know the students and the school. Acton has such a welcoming, close-knit feeling. I am so excited to be here. I can't wait to get to know each and every one of you better.

I have almost everyone scheduled on my calendar for a classroom visit. If I don't have you on my calendar, I will be stopping by to schedule a time for me to come in and help you in any way you can think of. Feel free to pop into my office or email me with any questions/concerns. Feel free to use me to support you and make your life easier!

Guided Reading:

Have questions about the whole group assessments? The Assessment Teacher’s Guide (in your assessment kits) has Troubleshooting Tip Charts for each assessment given. These charts may come in handy when you see students struggling or exceeding expectations on the whole group assessments. See the following pages for the Troubleshooting Tip Charts:

  • Reading Interest Survey Tips

    • Page 28 in the K-2 Kit

    • Page 27 in the 3-5 Kit

  • Word Knowledge Inventory Tips

    • Page 33 in the K-2 Kit

    • Page 31 in the 3-5 Kit

  • Comprehension Assessment Tips

    • Page 41 in the K-2 Kit

    • Page 39 in the 3-5 Kit

Whole group assessments are to be completed, graded, and recorded on the classroom profile sheets by February 1st. Running records are to be completed by February 22nd. Let me know if you need help with any of this.

Running Record Tip

  • You may use the word lists in the small Conference Book located in each kit to help you figure out what level to start your running record with a student. If confused on how to use this helpful tool, give me a shout.

Curricular Updates:

On Wednesday afternoon I met with K,1,2 teachers to let them know we will be piloting a new assessment tool called WACS. On Tuesday morning at 7:45 we will meet with a trainer on how to conduct this assessment with our students. Kat, Megan, Lindsey, Trina and Renee please join us for the WACS training.

RA and 3,4,5 teachers can meet on their own in rooms.

Great job analyzing your Whole Group GR Assessments this week! I was impressed with your intentionality and excitement about the direction we are moving. I heard many expressing how they feel we will know the reading levels of our students better than before and will be able to make more informed decisions and instructional plans for students. YOU ARE RIGHT!

HEre's the link to the Next Steps Forward Guided Reading Online videos, downloads and many other resources: Next Steps Forward Password is Results. I suggest bookmarking this on your computer and using it regularly to plan and find support.

Here are two links you can share with parents about online assessments. They are from the DOE as an informative tool for families. Check it out!

  • How is Indiana integrating technology with assessment? Watch this 3-minute video to find out more about Assessing with Technology.

  • How is Indiana considering building a system of assessments? Watch this 3-minute video to find out more about how Indiana assessments work together.

Lastly, I want to share resources that Brandon shared with me this week. Below is a list of people and groups to follow on Instagram that are elementary school focused and offer insight into teaching. I hope you will find at least a few of these useful for your class.

Top Favorites:

Jen Jones, Literacy Specialist

@hellojenjones | all things literacy and guided reading

Hope King, Reading Teacher @ the Ron Clark Academy

@heyhopeking | all things student engagement and inspiration

Ashley Marquez, 3rd Grade Teacher

@teachcreatemotivate | classroom management and inspiration

Brooke Brown, K-2 GT/STEM Teacher

@teachoutsidethebox | all things STEM

Courtney Hinshaw, 5th Grade Teacher

@ramonarecommends | all things picture books (yes, even in 5th grade!)

Primary (K-2) Favorites:

Holly Hodges, K Teacher

@researchandplay | all things K

Katie Mense, K Teacher

@littlekinderwarriors | all things K

Christina DeCarbo, 1st Grade Teacher

@missdecarbo | all things 1st

Kelsey Nelon, 2nd Grade Teacher

@cutiepatwoziehq | all things 2nd

Intermediate (3-5) Favorites:

Laura Santos, 3rd Grade Teacher

@coreinspiration | all things 3rd

Bethany Humphrey, 4th Grade Teacher

@teachingandsofourth | all things 4th

Shaunda Wasik, 3/4 Multiage Teacher

@upperelementaryadventures | all things classroom community and 3rd/4th

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DOE Resources

The DOE has released items to practice with your students. Take a look at the way the questions are worded, the new formatting, new tools, and the rigor of the ILEARN test. Click on the link below to get started.

ILEARN Released Item Repository Grades 3 -5

Answer Keys: 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade

Planning Lessons by Standard ~ The DOE has provided many valuable resources

to help plan your mini-lessons and even questions your quick checks. Click on links.

Literacy Framework ~ (All Grades & all subjects) ~ Provides Learning outcomes, I Can

Statements, Question stems, vocabulary, & EL/SPED learning considerations

Item Specifications Database ~ (3rd - 5th Grade all subjects tested on ILEARN) ~ Provides clarity to how each standard could be accessed on ILEARN, a breakdown of the standard that gives insight into the DOK and specific skills needed, reading passage excerpts, sample questions and expected student responses to those questions.

Performance Level Descriptors ~ (3rd - 5th Grade all subjects test on ILEARN)

~Provide learning progressions for each standard from below, approaching, at & above proficiency.

Vertically Aligned Specifications: ELA & Math (All Grades) ~ This document allows the teacher to see the learning progression across grade levels for the same standard.

Writing Scoring Rubrics for ILEARN

~New Rubrics & Guidelines

  • Organization/Purpose (4 points) & Evidence/Elaboration (4 points) ~ These 2 scores are averaged.

  • Conventions Rubric (2 points)

  • Students read 2 sources in 3rd & 3 sources in 4th-5th to plan their writing.

Link to all Writing Rubrics

Link to Scoring Explanation

ILEARN ONline Practice Test Teacher Scripts

PAWS Binder Tips

Acton Tigers,

Thank you for implementing the PAWS Binder at Acton Elementary. The rationale is to give teachers a tool to deal with chronic Tier 1 behaviors in a systematic way so we can get parents and the office involved when needed. I want to encourage you as you continue this new program. Please remember to update the PAWS BINDER SPREADSHEET.


  1. The PAWS Binder is part of a comprehensive PBIS classroom management plan. This plan should encourage POSITIVE behavior and relationships.

  2. Don´t forget the 4:1 positive to negative ratio. We must have the positive to go along with the PAWS Binder. All things grow with love.

  3. ENCOURAGEMENT is the OXYGEN of your classroom. When students hear encouraging words from us often, it's easier for them to learn the lesson from a mark in the Binder.

  4. The Binder helps us drop ineffective strategies such as nagging or threatening to take away recess. Instead once you have communicated to your class that 3 marks is a reflection during recess, then no words are necessary. At recess remind them where to go for study hall. NO nagging or negative emotion needed.

  5. Remember that EMOTIONS are CONTAGIOUS. The reason we have a PAWS Binder is to help us as teachers stay calm when using discipline. No lecture is needed along with the mark.

  6. Use your PAWS Binder in conjunction with Brain Smart Start. Building the classroom family empowers the Binder because we give marks with empathy. And students begin to care about the classroom.

  7. Remember to think LONG TERM GOAL: We want the student to learn how to regulate. It may seem that giving marks won't work because they talk out too many times in a day. Talk to the student individually and remind them of how the binder works. Let them know with empathy that you are rooting for them, but then implement the system. After 3 marks, make the phone calls. The behavior will start to decrease and you are helping them learn to regulate.


Weekly PBIS Focus Expectations:

Jan. 28 Week 4 Act Responsibly across ALL areas

PBIS Central

Click here for anything and everything Acton PBIS.

Weekly Collaboration Schedule

Choose the tabs at the bottom to view each quarter

Ohana Calendar

WIDA Testing Window

DIBELS Progress Monitoring- Yellow/Green Students

Monday 1/28/19

  • Major Saver Winners- Pizza Hut Lunch
  • Skating Party
Tuesday 1/29/19
  • AM Collaboration- K12 SPED- WACS Assessments, RA and 3,4,5 meet as teams on your own.

  • Third Grade Field Trip

Wednesday 1/30/19
  • AM Collaboration- Kristi Eaton: Wellness and Self Care for Teachers
  • 9:30-11:00 Dr. Stevenson walk through

Thursday 1/31/19

  • Yearbook Activities Pictures

  • Academic Team Meeting

  • Elementary Principal's Meeting

Friday 2/1/19

  • Coaches Meeting

Coming Soon:


1 Kids Heart Challenge

5 PTO Meeting

5 5th grade Symphony trip

6 Robotics

7 Student Council

7 STEM Scouts

8 Mid term grades posted

13 Robotics

14 1st grade field trip

14 Friendship Celebrations

15 All Pro Dads

15 March field trips due

18 President’s Day -e-learning day

20 Robotics

21 Kdg field trip

21 4th grade field trip

21 STEM scouts

22 PBIS Convo

22 Father/Daughter Dance

25 Book Fair Week

25 Read Across America week

26 Children’s Museum outreach night

27 Hot Box Pizza fundraiser

27 Robotics

Brook Wessel-Burke

Cell: 317-331-1920

Twitter: @bwesselburke

Acton Facebook Page

Acton Website