Friday Focus

JSE Staff January 8th


We made it through the first week back and enjoyed our first breakfast of 2016. Thanks for jumping right back in! Students are back in the routine and focused on reaching their New Year goals.

Next week we wrap-up the 2nd grading period and 2nd round of STAR testing. While analyzing the data, reviewing final grades, and most importantly your overall understanding of the progress of each child, please update your student watch-list and continue communication with parents. Here is a link to the student watch list: MOY Student Watch List Please indicate support/direct students.

Beginning of February we will have grade level meetings for a half-way point review of your RtI student progress, retention candidates, special ed. testing candidates, and IEP services.

Be sure to read the updates in our PD schedule for next week.

Thursday our JA volunteers will be trained and scheduling of the program will occur soon after that. Please welcome our visitors!

Stay warm this weekend, it's supposed to be a cold one!


Professional Development

  • Math Focus : Thank you K-2 and 3-5 teams for finishing the dissection of grade level vocabulary terms from the vocab glossary. At the upcoming PD we will address our plan for having discussions around the highlights of "Classroom Discussions in Math".
  • Ren Learn Data Meetings: 2nd rounds are on the g-calendar. These will focus on growth. For this 2nd meeting, 3-5 will meet together, 2-1 will meet together and K will be alone for Early Literacy. Scheduled them all for 8am.
  • Wednesday: Meeting in Diana's Room. Highlights will be presented from the HA conference attended and we will focus on our 14-15 Data to our 15-16 Plan.
  • Thursday: Mike will meet with 2nd grade and Diana for CogAT testing information.
  • Friday: Meeting with Mike: Grades 3-5

Teach Like a Champion refresher... Perfect timing to start the 2nd half of the year as skill rigor increases and new standards are introduced and mastered.

The pdf below provides an excellent and QUICK summary of Doug Lemov's, Teach Like a Champion. Purposeful and Intentional: Technique 1: NO OPT OUT,Technique 2: RIGHT IS RIGHT,Technique 3: STRETCH IT, Technique 4: FORMAT MATTERS, Technique 5: WITHOUT APOLOGY, Technique 6: BEGIN WITH THE END, Technique 7: 4 M's, Technique 8: POST IT, Technique 9: SHORTEST PATH,Technique 10: DOUBLE PLAN,Technique 11: DRAW THE MAP, Technique 12: THE HOOK, Technique 13: NAME THE STEPS, Technique 14: BOARD=PAPER, Technique 15: CIRCULATE, Technique 16: BREAK IT DOWN and This week take a look at Technique 17: RATIO and 18: CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING

*I have included the summary below:

Technique 17: RATIO – To help students do more of the cognitive work (instead of the teacher) use techniques such as feigned ignorance (“Wait, I can’t remember what’s next”), involving students when you are at the board (“6 plus 8 is what, Sarah?”), having students explain why and how, asking students to support answers with evidence, and asking students for more rigorous thinking by providing an additional example or a more precise and richer answer.

Technique 18: CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING – Good drivers check their mirrors every five seconds. It would be far too costly to wait for an accident to learn what they are doing wrong. Teachers also need to check for student understanding frequently while

they are teaching to avoid the costly result of waiting until a final assessment. First you need to gather the data, then you need to respond to that data to insure learning occurs.

Gathering Data – Traditionally, a teacher would ask students to name a cause of the Civil War and three students would get it wrong and the fourth one would get it right. The teacher would think, “Oh, good they finally got it.” However, the champion teacher thinks, “Only one of four students understands this, I need to circle back.” By sampling a smaller group of students who are representative of the larger group, teachers can learn about student understanding. It is important to ask several students at different ability levels for an answer to provide enough data. To insure your data is accurate, you should also check for reliability (do students get the answer correct several times in a row) and validity (is the question measuring the type of material you are ultimately responsible for). There are two ways to gather data – by asking questions, and through observation. To observe, circulate and look for the number and types of errors students are making. Consider tracking this data on a sheet of paper for later reference. Another way to observe is to use “slates” (paper or dry erase boards) for students to hold up their answers so you can check for understanding. You can also use

nonverbal methods to gather data as well, such as, “Hold up one finger if you got answer A and two fingers if you got B.”

Responding to Data – Teachers are usually better at checking for understanding than responding to the data. However, this is the crucial second part. There’s no sense in continuing on if students don’t understand. It’s vital to stop and correct the misunderstanding, and only then move on. A lack of understanding that continues for hours or days is only more difficult to correct. Instead, the champion teacher stops and reteaches the material in a different way, reteaches the problematic step (“I think we’re struggling when we get to remainders.”), identifies the challenging terms (“I think the term denominator is giving us some trouble.”), reteaches at a slower pace, or identifies struggling students (“Push ahead in your packets while I work with a few of you up front.”).


  • Report Cards 1/21
  • STAR reports send home in Thursday Folders
  • Teach/Model/Instill/Emphasize CSL: Think Reflectively and Bucket-filling Trait: Friendship
  • Review the techniques above!
  • Turn in 100% Effort Work.
  • Spirit Fridays, wear your orange and green!