The Blake Buzz

Week of August 17-21 (Week 2)

What's Happening This Week?

Monday, 8/17 Welcome Back for our first FULL WEEK!

Tuesday, 8/18

  • Faculty Meeting 4-5pm TPGES Student Growth Goals
  • 5th Day Count

Wednesday, 8/19 Collaborative Team Meetings w/PLCs begin--2nd-5th grade

Thursday, 8/20

  • Collaborative Team Meetings w/PLCs begin--Kindergarten & 1st grade
  • Bellarmine Literacy Project Kick-off, Durrett Auditorium, 6-8pm

Friday, 8/21

Items Needing Action

  1. Make sure to send your student enrollment forms and all other 1st day packet forms to the office as you receive them. Do not hold onto them until you have a full set. The office will organize these and we will send them to the cafeteria and library as needed.
  2. Be sure to send a copy of your classroom or team's weekly newsletter down to the office every Monday. A file folder with each teacher's name on it is kept to ensure all communications have been approved by Mrs. Glenn.
  3. Employee Information Sheets (salmon-colored) should be turned in to Jeanna no later than Tuesday, August 18.
  4. All students must be picked up from the library and gym no later than 9 a.m. so that instruction can begin by 9:05. As students are eating breakfast, they should have work on their desks, the telecast to watch, an instructional YouTube clip, etc. They cannot have down-time while they eat.
  5. We will have all remaining bus riders come to the gym at 4pm today

Staff Superhero of the Week

Has someone on our staff been extremely helpful to you this week? Have you noticed anyone going above and beyond the call of duty? Would you like to recognize them for being a SUPERHERO?

We are starting something new this year to recognize our employees for the extraordinary things they do here at Blake. Each week, you will have the opportunity to nominate one of your colleagues for our Superhero of the Week. A jar will be placed in the office today, along with nomination forms. Simply fill out the form and place it in the jar. Each Friday, one name will be drawn and that person will be recognized as our Superhero of the Week.

All staff members are asked to complete the staff questionnaire that will be placed in your mailboxes to let us know your favorite snack, drink, and other small things you like. The Superhero of the Week will receive a special treat along with the kind words from their colleague(s).

Priority Number One for the Start of a New Year

Creating an environment for learning is our most important beginning action, and it requires the most skill to sustain. Classroom climate and classroom culture are not the same. The climate is what you and your students feel. The culture is what gives you and the students that feeling. Culture is made up of the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of your classroom-such as how students feel about one another and treat one another, the extent to which students feel included and appreciated, and the rituals and traditions reflecting a collaborative learning environment.

Student learning is "hit and miss" without a high functioning climate and culture for learning in the classroom and in our school. To be highly successful, we need to create and nurture both.

For a classroom to have a healthy climate, four conditions are required:

  1. A physical environment that is welcoming, inclusive, and conducive to learning
  2. A social environment that promotes communication and interaction
  3. An environment that promotes a sense of belonging and self-esteem
  4. An environment that promotes learning and self-self-fulfillment

Research proves that these four aspects can increase student achievement levels and reduce behavior problems.

For a classroom to have a strong culture for learning, there are three major indicators:

  1. Collaboration- the students and faculty work together, share information and instructional strategies, and are encouraged to have constructive discussions and debates.
  2. Collegiality- includes a sense of belonging, emotional support, and inclusion as a valued member of the class and the school.
  3. Efficacy- How the students and faculty view themselves. Do they feel as if they have control of their destiny or view themselves as helpless victims of the system? Do teachers seek out and employ best practices and research-supported evidence of good teaching?

Having a climate and culture for learning doesn't just happen. It only happens if the teacher makes it a top priority for a great beginning and a highly productive and rewarding school year.