Tiger Talk

Developing Lifelong Learners Who Grow, Lead and Inspire

December 14, 2015

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Half Full>Half Empty

Halves are created "equal", right? Yes, and no.. (Stay with me Bindu Sunil...I am going somewhere with this!) In terms of the lens through which we see our world and our work--half full or half empty, the half full lens is always greater because it is a productive and hopeful view.

As a fourth year focus school, our cup can sometime feel "half empty" as we work to analyze student data, fine-tune our teaching practice to match our student needs, attend to the pieces outside of "academics" for our students. rearrange core instruction to yield 80% effectiveness, etc. It's BIG and MEANINGFUL work, so viewed through a half full perspective it would look like a challenge that is worth figuring out, a place to invest your talent, and an investment in the future.

Another half-full thought is the amazing pieces of our work that FEW but educators get to experience: pajama days, Zumba in the gym before morning meeting with bunches of smiling children, free hugs all day long, total trust from children who know we care, colleagues who "get it" and so much more.

Staff Perfect Attendance

Congratulations to the following staff members on their PERFECT ATTENDANCE for the first semester of school.

Maretta Beach

Ryan Dierson

Kathy Jones

Karen McPherson

Kristine Stein

Library CLOSED Monday & Tuesday Morning

an important note from Santina Plottner

The library will be closed on Monday and Tuesday from 8-11am due to MAP. Please do not send students to the library. Mrs. Tamer will be traveling to classes who are scheduled. Mrs. Plottner will let everyone know if the library will need to be closed on Wednesday as well, depending on how many kindergarten and first grade students need to finish.

Staff Meeting Tuesday: Collaborative Scoring

a reminder from Robyn Marcum

Tuesday, December 15th, we will have a writing training focusing on scoring writing using the rubrics from Lucy Calkins. We will begin promptly at 2:45 pm and our training will last until 4:30 pm, so please make arrangements to attend. This will be a great opportunity for us to set norms for scoring writing, practice scoring a piece together, and to support each other as you begin scoring your own students’ work. It will be crucial for you to have student on-demand writing samples with you on Tuesday. If you have not ready done so, please give your students the Lucy Calkins on-demand prompt that goes along with the genre you are currently teaching. If you are ready to give a post-assessment, great! If not, you could go to the next genre that you plan to teach & give the on-demand as a pre-assessment that will help you with your unit planning process. Either way is fine, as long as you have current on-demand samples to bring with you to staff meeting. Pieces do not need to be scored before our meeting. That will be part of our time together.

Building Background Information Before Learning Begins

Thanks to Brandon Clark for sharing these strategies from his SIOP training.

These activities strongly support our English Language Learners as well as students with limited experiences. See Activating Prior Knowledge in the Lesson Plan Format link!

Activities that you can do to build background knowledge:

  • -4 corners vocabulary: This is the paper that I showed you that is folded into four sections with an illustration, definition, used in a sentence, and the vocabulary word.
  • -Backwards book walk
  • -KWHL: Just a modified KWL. The H stands for how we can learn it
  • -Personal Dictionaries--Can be illustrated
  • -Realia, photos, illustrations:Especially anything real and 3 dimensional that they can hold
  • -Giving them a way of coding their work to better understand what they are reading and what they still have questions about. An example would be to put a check on something they already know, a question mark for a confusing concept, an exclamation mark for new or unusual information, a + for an idea for the author, etc.
  • Read the entire passage/story to students as they follow along first. Make a list of words that either look or sound unfamiliar. Spend 2-3 minutes naming the words, talking about their meaning, and then Google a picture. Pre read before students see it and identify 4-5 words that they will get confused with prior to reading to prepare ahead of time.

The Little Mermaid--A Wonderful Show @MLCHS

3rd Annual Local Economics Walking Trip Downtown

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Shelbyville "Thank Yous" Needed

a message from Sara Fitzpatrick

We need everyone to write/draw thank you notes for the awesome businesses downtown.

You can write to the businesses that you visited or some of the other people who helped out in the process

  1. Police officers.
  2. Eileen Collins- Director of downtown- helped in the planning
  3. Security at the courthouse

Don’t forget our stores:


Operation Care

Shelby Community Theatre

Flowers by Sharon




Commonwealth Bank

And lastly the coffee houses: Harvest Café and Coffee and Sixth and Main Coffeehouse.

Teacher Leader Feature

Samantha Roberts supports learning at Southside in so many ways. She is willing to step up and fill in--with the heart of serving. You can tell this every morning when she is welcoming students in the car rider line or meeting with a reading group. Samantha seeks ways to grow and stay in touch with classroom best practice--attending Project Based Learning last summer and the follow up this month. She's "all in" at staff meetings no matter the topic. Thank you for being a great teammate, Samantha!

Holiday Spirit Week Agenda

Thanks to Amanda Atkins for this great idea to make our last week of 2015 full of fun!

Tuesday: Snow Storm White Out

Wear as much white as you can--BLIZZARD!

Wednesday: Baby, It's Cold Outside

Bundle up in your favorite scarf and toboggan!

Thursday: Silent Night

Cozy up in your favorite pajamas!

Friday: Deck the Halls

Show off your most gorgeous--or ugliest--Christmas sweater!

Encourage students participating to bring canned goods for the Backpack Program. Pop top or easy open containers are preferred.

This Week at Southside

Dec 14-18 PTO Holiday Shop for students in Room 119

Monday, December 14

Meet at the Tiger 7:10AM

December Staff POT LUCK

Choir Field Trip 8:00

Tuesday, December 15

Beth Cathcart OUT after 10:30 due to Community Christmas

Staff Meeting 2:45-4:30 (Bring student on demand writing pieces)

Wednesday, December 16

ABRI Team Meeting 3-4:00 (Conference Room)

Thursday, December 17

New Teacher Session 2:45-3:45 (Whitney House's room)

Friday, December 18

12:45 Annual Southside Holiday Sing-a-Long (Gym) (Alternate activity in library)

1:20 Classroom Winter Parties

December 19 - January 3: Winter Break

Coming Up

Week of January 4: Set New AR Goals with Students

January 5 Staff Micro Clinic Begins (WEEKLY-4:00-following staff meeting)

January 11 FRC Advisory Council Meeting

January 12 Dr. Neihof and Mrs. Smith Visit (8:30-10:00)

January 12 and 13 Charlene Ruble at Southside for embedded math PD

Middle School Chromebook Deployment

January 14 PTO Meeting (2:45 and 7:00PM)

Team Lead Meeting (3:00-Conference Room)

SBDM Meeting

January18 NO SCHOOL in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King

January 19-22 ACCESS Testing (Mrs. Strong will administer grades 1-5)

january 20 ABRI Team Meeting (3:00-Conference)

January 28 New Teacher Session (Meredith's Room)

February 3 Leader in Me On-Site Coaching Visit with Emily Reed

February 4 ABRI Coding Day

February 5 Father/Daughter Dance

February 8-February 18 Engineering Week(s)FLEX PD Feb 12/NO SCHOOL Feb. 15

February 11 Potential Date for Valentine's Day Parties

February 17 ABRI Team Meeting (3:00-Conference Room)

February 18 Engineering Showcase (6-7:00)