Mid-Monthly Memo - Nov. 2015

Harvest Elementary

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There is always something to be thankful for.......

During the Thanksgiving season, we are always reminded to reflect on what we are thankful for. As we sit and reflect we have so much to be thankful for at Harvest.

Even the name of our school "Harvest" resonates with great symbolism.

n. a season when ripened crops are gathered

v. to gather

v. to gain, win, acquire, or use

We are ripe and ready to make a difference in the lives of children each day - our continued professional development shows we are committed to continuous improvement. We are thankful to be able to get up each day to give our all to our students - even on our worst days, kids still think we are the best! We are thankful for being able to have co-workers who share smiles and hugs when we need them and knowledge to help us continuously grow in our practice. We are thankful for the available resources we have to use to make our jobs easier. We are thankful for the relationships we have built with one another and our students through grade level teams, faculty meetings, in the cafeteria, at duty spots, hallway talks, afterschool clubs, tutoring and in Professional Learning Teams. We are thankful for our seasoned, new co-workers, student interns and volunteers for ideas they offer to make Harvest a better place.

We are thankful to you! You are the #1 factor in students succeeding and without you, it can not be done. So.....

Always remember, you have a chance each day to #BeTheOne!

With love and continued support,

Jornea & Monica

PTO Night (ELA) - Tuesday Nov. 17th

The ELA team and grade levels have prepared information to share with parents regarding testing measures and other ELA awareness information for parents. Please come out to show your support. Mr. Chapman stated the class with the highest percentage of parents attending will receive resources for their classroom.

Mr. Chapman stated we can copy any materials you may need for that night.

Erwin will have DIBELS, ACT Aspire and Common Core documents for each grade level to hand out. Grade level will set up tables with tri-folds to allow parents to ask any questions or to share any grade level specific information.

Updates about the District Focus 2015-2016

Just as a reminder, our system has 4 areas of focus for the 2015-2016 school year. We will align our school focus with the district focus:

  1. Fluency (Reading & Math) - along with building Phonemic Awareness & Phonics (during the Feb. 12th staff development K-3 teachers will focus on Phonics)
  2. Depth of Knowledge (DOK) (our 1/2 day PD Nov. 10th focused on ACT Aspire and DOK levels; Cosby, Crutcher, Smith and Erwin attended a district Depth of Knowledge training at C.O. held Nov. 12-13)
  3. Understanding the CCRS/ Next Generation Standards (science) (Crutcher, Erwin and Cosby attended ACT Aspire training at C.O. - Oct. 15th - this presentation was modified for our 1/2 day PD) (Erwin attended an Achievement Series training Oct. 21st - which will help us create common assessments based on standards)
  4. Virtual Learning (Canvas) (Hamilton is our Technology Integration Mentor, she will be happy to answer any of our Canvas needs) - here is a link to videos to learn how to use this resource.

We will continue at our school to support teachers in Phonemic Awareness and Phonics instruction. ACTIVITIES TO BUILD PHONEMIC AWARENESS

Guide for Using DOK

Depth of Knowledge reflected in the ACT Aspire

located on p. 19 of the ACT Aspire Technical Bulletin

DOK Level 1 (Recall) - Math 7-15%, English 40-48%, Writing 0%, Reading 14-24%, Science 5-15%

DOK Level 2 (Skill/ Concept)- Math 30-38%, English 20-24%, Writing 0%, Reading 38-62%, Science 45-65%

DOK Level 3 (Strategic Thinking)- Math 48-58%, English 32-36%, Writing 100%, Reading 24-48%, Science 30-40%

So what does this mean..... students grade K-5 should be given opportunities daily to develop their written communication skills.

Math - engaged in problem-solving and explaining thinking/ justifying reasoning

Reading - providing text-based evidence for an answer, connecting two or more text/ graphic sources.

Grade 1 ELA: Describe a Character and Events in a Story RL1.3, RL 1.5

Training Info. & Follow-up

Participants from K-3 have attended two training sessions- (Aug. 17th & Aug. 18th and Sept. 28 & 29th) focused on Orton-Gillingham/ Dyslexia strategies. Teachers have been practicing the phonogram drills, S.O.S. and planning lessons to address learning needs.

Prior to the next meeting dates teachers should:

* review concepts discussed on rings

* practice the sounds: consonants, digraphs, and short vowels (Phonogram Drill- drill decks)

* practice the "What Spells?" and S.O.S. procedures

* develop a review lesson for students who has learned all consonant and short vowel sounds

* read chapters 1 & 2 of Basic Facts about Dyslexia & Other Reading Problems

Next meeting - Mon. Nov. 16th (K-1); Tues. Nov. 17th (2-3) at Greengate school.

Lunch will be provided.

Please bring the following:

  1. a copy of one of your Orten-Gillingham lesson plans (include sounds to focus, words to read, etc.)
  2. your text received at the last meeting Basic Facts about Dyslexia and Other Reading Problems and How to Teach Spelling.

To access training files/ materials click this Dropbox.

PST - Nov. 16th (grades 2-5) Nov. 17th (K-1)

The time has come to review the progress of our students needing additional intervention support. Please be ready to discuss your students' growth in PST by bringing the following:

  • Green PST folders with the SIPAD form (make sure to code the attendance codes located at the top of the page for each day beginning 10/20/15- to indicate intervention has taken place)
  • Any work samples that reflect the instruction given during that tier and student progress towards the targeted intervention.
  • Any progress monitoring data to show progress or lack of progress after targeted instruction (DIBELS/ STAR)

Math Corner - What does the "ideal" math classroom look like?

Check out the poster of the "ideal" math classroom. Thanks to Mrs. Vandiver and the student interns for creating this poster. Take time to reflect where you are in each of these practices. Please contact Mrs. Cosby by e-mail to set up any learning opportunities for you and your students to grow in any of the practices listed.

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Have you checked out the Mathematical Practice Standards?

Are you using and making students aware of the standards of mathematical practices daily?

The practices help to build sound mathematicians- check out this informational video regarding the importance of the mathematical practices.

This link also has resources to show the mathematical practices in action.

Check out the WIKISPACE resources with posters for the math practices.

2015-2016 Assessment Schedule

Data Meetings

Data meetings will take place between the 2nd and 3rd week in December. We will update you once a date has been confirmed.
Our 1 yr. ScootPad site license was processed on Friday. You now have Ultra Premium access to ScootPad. Teacher and student accounts will be fully set up by Tuesday, Nov. 17th. Check out some of the features below.

Also with our site liscence we will received 2 professional development webinar sessions provided by ScootPad. Since it is a webinar up to 25 log ins are available. I would like this to be in the most appropriate setting for you and your grade level. Therefore, I propose a few options.

Option 1: whole faculty - after school 1 hr. in the same room

Option 2: each grade level team will choose a room to meet and log in to attend together.

Option 3: ELA / Math teams meet in two rooms to log in. - if you are not on either of these teams, you can choose a team to join for this session.

* Option 4: If you are unable to be at school from 3:00-4:00 to attend the session you can log in on your personal devices.

This is not mandatory, but will definitely aid in our implementation of ScootPad and answer in questions you may have regarding the program.

Please fill out the Google Form to let me know your interest. We will go with the options with the most interest. https://docs.google.com/a/madison.k12.al.us/forms/d/1vn2S82dvhudR8_U_9obe4pxurAMdtgQoQr_QycYm7rw/viewform?usp=send_form

Also note you can always access In-Depth HOW TO VIDEOS for your convenience on ScootPad and you have access to 24/7 support with ScootPad.

INTRO to ScootPad - Teachers

Introduction to ScootPad: For Teachers

Intro to ScootPad for students

Introduction to ScootPad: For Students

Parents Intro to ScootPad

ScootPad offers live webinars every Monday for parents to see how they can help their child and use this resource on devices at home. Please share this link with your parents once your class is set up and ready to go.


Education Galaxy

Remember we are here to serve you. Check out the various services Mrs. Cosby and Mrs. Erwin can provide to you, serving as your instructional coaches.

A note from Mrs. Cosby.... Do you need.....

  • help with planning

  • assistance gathering resources

  • modeling of a lesson

  • observation of a strategy you are trying

  • Other: ________________....?

These are a few of the services I can provide to you this year :)

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Jornea A. Erwin & Monica Cosby, Harvest Instructional Coaches

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

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@Savvy_Educator and @CosbyCreations