Waterville Primary School

Sharing Great News with our AWesome Staff!

Events for the week of September 19th-September 23rd

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Beginning the School Year by Building Relationships

We all know that building positive and strong relationships with our students-ALL of our students (not just the pleasant, well-behaved ones) is one of the most powerful predictors of student achievement there is (Hattie, 2009). There is tremendous importance in spending time to establish trust and develop feelings of safety, care, and high regard within your students at the start of the school year. This is not a waste of time, but an essential pathway to future success.


Below are some techniques to relationship build and continue to maintain rapport with your students throughout the year, that perhaps you haven't already tried:


(1) Sharing Weekly Reflections

Each week, we have students write about two positive events that occurred in their lives and one not-so-positive event (along with what they could have done to make it better or what they learned from it). Students then share what they wrote in small groups. Research has shown that this kind of sharing results in "capitalization" -- the building of social capital.


(2) "I Am" Project

There are many variations of the "I Am" activity. Students can create a poster, a poem, a slideshow, a "Top Ten" list, etc. to describe themselves. It can be helpful to give students sentence starters to spur their thinking and writing. There are endless possibilities, but a few examples include:

  • I love _____because___________
  • I wonder ___________________
  • I am happy when __________________
  • I am scared when _____________
  • I worry about _______ because________
  • I hope to ________________
  • I am sad when _____________________
  • In the future, I will _______________


(3) Four Squares

The Four Squares activity helps students get to know each other better, while getting both writing and speaking practice. The teacher models how to fold a piece of paper into four boxes and numbers them 1, 2, 3 and 4. Students then write a different category/topic next to the number at the top of each box. The categories could include: family, what I like about school, what I don't like about school, places I've lived, my favorite movie/why, etc. Students are given time to write about each category and then asked to stand up. The teacher then instructs students to share their "Box Ones" with a partner, then "Box Twos" with a different partner, and so on. This activity could be varied in multiple ways -- different topics to write about, number of boxes, how it is shared, etc. It could also be used at any point during the year. For example, it could be used at the end of the semester with a box for the student's biggest accomplishment, one for the biggest challenge, one for goals for the next semester, etc.


A student Cushman (2003) interviewed summarized how teachers can create a culture of success:

Remind us often you expect our best, encourage our efforts even if we are having trouble, give helpful feedback and expect us to review … don't compare us to other students, and stick with us. (pp. 64–67)

Dates to Remember

Wednesday, September 21st: 2-Hour Delayed Start

Monday, September 26th: K. Pedro OTES Pre-Conf @ 7:30am

Monday, September 26th: L.Radwan OTES obs @ 1:45pm

Tuesday, September 27th: B. Johnson OTES informal Obs @ 10am

Tuesday, September 27th: J. Smith & A. DeWeerdt Co-teaching Obs @ 11:30am

Tuesday, September 27th: T. Prayter & A. DeWeerdt Co-teaching Obs @ 1:00pm

Tuesday, September 27th: WPA meeting @ 7pm

Wednesday, September 28th: Walk to School Day

Wednesday, September 28th: Jim Basketball Jones Character Assembly @ 10:30 in Community Room from K-4

Wednesday, September 28th: Jim Basketball Jones Family Event @ Monclova Primary @ 6:30pm

Thursday, September 29th: K. Pedro OTES obs @ 9:15am

Friday, September 30th: L. Radwan OTES post conf @ 8am

Friday, September 30th: Fire Drill

Friday, September 30th: B. Johnson OTES post conf @ 12:30pm

Friday, September 30th: K. Pedro OTES post conf @ 2:15pm

General Information

SLO Approval and Revision Schedule


Monday, October 10th

All SLO’s are submitted to the building principal.


Tuesday, October 11th

SLO’s are collated and assigned to the six committees


Wednesday, October 12th

SLO committees 2, 3, & 6 meet at CAO to review SLO’s


Thursday, October 13th

SLO committees 1, 4, & 5 meet at CAO to review SLO’s


Friday, October 14

SLO’s needing revision are returned to teachers

All approved SLO’s returned to teachers


Monday, October 24th

Revised SLO’s re-submitted to building principal


Wednesday, October 26th

Revised SLO’s reviewed by respective committees (hopefully ½ day each committee)


  • We are beginning to brainstorm ideas for our building theme Halloween costumes for this year. Send Jamie suggestions you have!
  • All Third Grade Guarantee (RIMP) and RtI paperwork will be completed and sent home by October 14th. We will meet as grade levels again and determine which students to RIMP and which to tier once all of our benchmarking diagnostic assessments are complete. In the meantime, you may begin interventions with students once you have received parent permission. Please begin progress monitoring once interventions start.
  • Please remind parents about the 2-Hour Delayed Start coming up on Sept 21st
  • Nominate some of our gritty students and staff to display on our "Great Wall of Grit" in time for our Parent Informational Meeting
  • Please let Dean Williams know the date that your internet safety training has been completed.
  • Please have Professional Growth Plans completed and submitted to me by Monday, September 12th (eTPES or paper copy to me).