Sipley School Weekly Howl

Week of Monday, November 17, 2014

Students receiving self-reflection training outperformed students in a control group on instructor-developed examinations and were better calibrated in their task-specific self-efficacy beliefs before solving problems and in their self-evaluative judgements after solving problems.

Zimmerman et al., 2011

American Education Week

Everyone of us have chosen to work at John L. Sipley School and Woodridge 68. We have dedicated ourselves to the profession of teaching. The work that each and everyone of you do to make our school great is applauded. You are dedicated individuals who want children to grow academically and socially. Our future is bright because of educators like you.

We are all faced with challenges that impact us. We bring so much to work each day that nobody sees. We come to work each day with a smile on our face while someone at home is ill, While we are selling our home and planning a move, while our spouse shifts jobs, while our marriage is being challenged, while our own parents age, or while other aspects of life challenge us to the core. Yet we come to work and leave all that behind. We are superhuman in that respect. Able to turn something difficult off so we can show our best side in the workplace. We do so many tremendous things.

I want you to know that what you do doesn't go unnoticed. The times when you pause to care for a child, use your own money to purchase something for your class or for a child, stay late to meet with a parent because that is the only time they can meet, the times when you run to the store during your plan time because a child forgot her or his lunch and a school lunch just won't do, the times when you walk and give compassion to a child on your way to the nurse's office after an injury or illness, the shoulder you share for a colleague who is going through a challenge, the countless hours you spend in mastering your craft, or the extra time you put in to support students.

You are superhero's! Let's pause in the week ahead to think about all that we have to be thankful for. Thanks to our WEA who has planned a wonderful week. Wednesday will be quite a treat as we recognize our Educational Support Personnel.

See President Obama's Proclamation below, recognizing American Education Week!

Dear Parent: About THAT kid

Please take a moment to read this. Nicole Dorsey sent it to me and I think it captures more of the superhuman side of our educators.

District 68 Goal Setting and Reflection Forms

The District requires us to send the goal setting and reflection form home. I sent the Unit 1 and 2 forms to grade level teachers on Friday morning. There is great value in working with students to complete these forms. First, it helps our students understand the expectations. Second, it helps to develop their meta-awareness of their mathematical thinking. We want this for our students. Here is a personal and related story. My son, Tyler was in 5th grade. He prepared all week for a math chapter test that was scheduled for Friday. On Friday, I asked him how he did. He responded by saying, "I don't know. I didn't get the test back." I said, "No, no, no. You don't have to wait for the results to know how you did. You practiced all week (and all chapter) for this test. You should know. Were you familiar with the questions asked? Do feel that you answered them successfully? Was there anything that confused you?" Now, when I ask him how we did after taking a test, he is decisive in his response. He isn't dependent on the teacher's grading to inform him of his learning. He will tell me about specific questions he got wrong and he already reflected on his mistake (to be honest, he finds mistakes in grading and has successfully challenged his teacher on two occasions). He developed that meta-awareness, which is now done internally. We want this for all our children, right? The District's goal setting and reflection form was purposefully created for this purpose. It is based on research (see Third, it gives students an opportunity to set personal goals. Finally, the Goal Setting and Reflection Form allows parents insights into what their child will learn and has learned. It is a great place for teachers to share pre-test and post-test growth. All math teachers are required to use this form. But don't just use it. Allow it to work to help build meta-awareness because it is good for our students.

Principal Coffee Update

We had six parents attend the principal coffee. I shared our School Report Card, talked about Parent-Teacher Conferences, shared our behavioral data, and answered questions parents have. Parents shared that they are not always aware of what their child is doing in school because textbooks are not going home. Let's continue to provide parents with the information that they want and need to help their children at home. Sending home a weekly newsletter with upcoming learning shared in a parent friendly manner with examples given is a great way to keep parents in the know.

Response to Intervention

Danielle, Kim, Maureen, Ryan, and I met with Chris Weber. Chris is from the Chicagoland area and he coauthored RTI: Is a Verb along with other books written with Tom Hierck. Chris is an expert on RtI. He has taught and worked in educational leadership capacities. He defines RtI as a framework for organizing schools in which systems exist to guarantee that every student receives the time and support they need to be successful. The meeting we had was very informative. We realized that our work in DEB is defined as tier III leveled supports, working in small groups using research based and targeted interventions. So, we have tier I and tier III happening, but we do not have tier II happening in our school. Tier II is directly aligned to what is taught in tier I and gives students who need more support, additional time to develop mastery of skills we deem as essential for our grade. Think of our buffer week in math as tier II support. There we give more time to reteach the skills not mastered during a recent math unit, directly tied to tier I learning. I will meet with our Rising Star Leadership Team on Monday to share additional information and introduce proposed changes that can give teachers more time to build mastery of key skills taught in tier I and continue to provide students who need it, with tier III supports. I am excited about our next steps. I think teachers and staff will be, too.

Items You Should Know

A Glance at the Week Ahead

Monday - Tarah Tesmer will be in the building. Stop by her to learn more about iPad mini's and how they can be used to help students create new learning!

Monday - Rising Star Leadership Team Meeting - 11:20 - 12:20 - Conference Room

Monday - Certified Staff 3:00 - 4:00 Meeting - Officer Hogan is facilitating a meeting on school safety.

Monday - Board of Ed. Meeting

Tuesday - Principal Teaching and Leadership Meeting - I will be out of the building in the afternoon

Wednesday - Pete Ceresa's Birthday!!!

Wednesday - Tarah Tesmer will be in the building. Stop by to see her to learn more about iPad minis.

Wednesday - 1st Grade PLC Meeting - 8:25 - 9:15

Wednesday - Navigating American Education System Meeting at JJHS - 6:00 - 7:30 (I will not be in attendance)

Wednesday - STP meeting at 6:45 - Sipley Gym

Thursday - Tarah Tesmer will be in the building. Stop by to see her to learn more about iPad minis.

Thursday - Grade Level Math Meetings - See your calendar for times. Grade levels will meet with Rachel for 45 minute sessions.

Thursday - All School Celebration in the gym. Grades K - 2 - 9:00 - 10:30 and Grades 3 - 6 - 1:00 - 2:30.

Thursday - Last Day of After School Session 1

Thursday - Family Reading Night

Friday - Happy Birthday Krystal Zavala!!!

Friday - 5th Grade Trip to Robert Crown

Friday - Certified Staff Meeting - Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences

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