February 15, 2016 : : Teacher Workday Edition

No staff meeting Monday

You have the entire day to yourself Monday! Enjoy the time. Use it well! This At a Glance is a little longer since it will take care of some of the simple things that nee to be reviewed. A few expectations:

  • Spend time planning with your grade level. Create solid lesson plans through parent conferences with the time that you have today. That will decrease your stress in the upcoming weeks.
  • Please email Helen and Cindy when you will be planning with your grade level. If you spend a good deal of the day planning today, collaborative planning is not required Tuesday.
  • Prepare for your student led conferences. I will be popping in and out of those conferences. Dr. Anderson may be stopping by as well for those. I look forward to seeing what the students can discuss about themselves!
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From our Mission, what does inspire mean to us?

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Guess which grade level (above)?

Students in this classroom are building their mentor sentences. These students are learning the parts of the sentence. Students are completely engaged! If these students from Mrs. Ezell's kindergarten class can do this now, imagine what they can do when they get to you!


Reminder: Make sure that you are spread out and monitoring during recess.

Student Led Early Release Conferences

Things to Know

  • We sign up for conferences online.
  • Early release days are February 24 and 25
  • These will be student led conferences.
  • Dismissal begins at 12:50 both days.
  • Interventions and Special education teachers - Please communicate schedule changes to the grade levels you support.
  • Hallway displays should represent the work of each student. Parents spend a lot of time looking and enjoying the children’s work in the hallways. The displays should represent the quality and rigor of your instruction.
  • PTA will have a tasty lunch for you both days of early release

Please Do

  • Begin and end the conference on a positive note. The students in your class are someone’s beloved child. Parents are more apt to hear negative things if they feel that you are able to see their child in a positive light.
  • Use clear, parent friendly terms. Parents do not understand educational jargon, acronyms, etc. If you do use terms make sure students can explain them.
  • Post daily conference schedule outside your room with the child’s name and the time of their parent or guardian’s appointment.
  • Remember on early release days the doors are unlocked until 5:00. After that you will need to let the parent into the building for a conference.
  • Have students practice what they will be sharing at the conference.

Share (Students will be sharing most of the following information)

  • Reading and Writing Communication reports (located on the LOCC)
  • Specific work performance using authentic work samples (other than worksheets)
  • Most current writing samples (journal or portfolio; discuss growth and needs using the new GCPS writing rubrics)
  • Most current running record, F&P growth level and needs assessment from small group. It would be helpful to show parents the end-of-the-year expectation text level.
  • Share what you do for the child—reading workshop, writer’s workshop, math workshop
  • Communicate progress in other programs: Speech, ESOL, EIP, Gifted, Resource. Touch base with support staff to attend or update you regarding their progress.
  • GKIDS general information (K only)
  • Work habits (if needs improvement, focus on no more than 2 to discuss)
  • Social/Peer relations

Do Not Discuss

  • Be cautious about sharing the child’s performance, behavior, age in relation to rest of the class (Example: she is the lowest student in reading; he is the worst behavior problem in my room!)
  • Do not allow a parent to bring another student into the conversation.
  • Possible undiagnosed medical conditions (ex. ADD, ADHD) – Be careful to only give examples of behaviors you are seeing in the classroom (trouble focusing, staying on task, requires a lot of prompting and redirection to complete work, etc.).

Thank you! It is hard work conferencing with parents in 15-20 minute segments back-to-back. We appreciate all you do for our students and parents! If you have any great ideas to add, please let us know. Thank you!

Using Socrative for Quick Grading & Test Talks

Take a look at this 3:40 video! Students in several classes are using Socrative for quick grading. Why do this? Because it saves you grading time and gives you the opportunity for an immediate test talk.

  1. Students take a selected response assessment.
  2. Students use the computers in the class to copy their answer choices.
  3. The test grades are automatically populated on the teacher's computer.
  4. Students go right to their teacher to find their grade.
  5. The teacher can have a test talk with them right then, circling incorrect answers.
  6. Students go back and find the right answer (and explain why it is right).
Easy! Setup is a one time deal. If you want help, let Tracy know! Thanks Mary Taylor for the video.
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Easy Grading & Test Talk

Human Resources (HR) Timeline

The transfer process window will begin shortly. Below are some important dates to keep in mind.
  • February 29: Placement Preference (Transfer) Window Opens
  • March 11: Deadline to submit a Placement Preference (5:00 PM)
  • March 18: Deadline for schools to accept transfers (11:59 PM)
  • March 26: Open hiring opens (tentative)
  • May 2: Contract issued (tentative)

Upcoming this Week

  • Online Conference Sign Up closes Wednesday.
  • Vertical Cluster MA team is meeting at the Middle school Thursday.
  • The building will be open next Saturday 9-3.
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Bragging on...

Jennifer Vega & Paige Brandon

I just wanted to say what an AWESOME job Jennifer Vega did running the IEP today. I was amazed at how smoothly the meeting went explaining goals to the parents and the explanation of services provided from both Jennifer and Paige. Awesome job Jennifer and Paige!

-Kristina Schroeder

Michelle Stine

Michelle is such an advocate for our struggling students. She worked so hard gathering data and providing interventions to help this student be successful. And when those weren't working, she was such an integral part in helping to find out what was going on to find her eligible for the services that WILL make her successful. Thank you so much for all your hard work! I know it isn't easy, but you make a difference :)

-Kristina Schroeder

School Goals to support our LSPI

Collaborative Planning Goals

  1. Collaboratively plan lessons
  2. Use data/student work to plan
  3. Deconstruct the standards

eCLASS Goals

  1. Class websites should be linked through eCLASS.
  2. Classwork/Homework assigned weekly through eCLASS (not 'extra' work).
  3. Use discussion boards at least 1x for Language Arts and 1x for Math each Semester.