January 22, 2016

In the coming weeks...

STAR Testing Window: January 25th - February 12th

Polar Plunge Jeans Week: January 25th - January 29th


Polar Plunge Jeans Week!

Ms. Vickie is collecting money in the office for next week's Polar Plunge Jeans Week. Thanks in advance for supporting this very worthy cause! If you are interested in plunging with me, I'd love to have friend physically prompt me. :-)

Learning Walk Feedback

Love It! Want to See More of It!

  • Conscious Discipline strategies and techniques
  • Reflective questioning to allow productive struggle (not giving students the answers)
  • Academic and behavioral goal setting

Something to Consider

  • How can we ensure the students are working harder than the teachers? How can we hold students accountable for critical thinking?

1:1 Sign Ups

This spring, I will meet with each staff member individually as I did in the fall. These will be informal, once again, and will likely happen in April. Keep an eye out for the sign up sheet!

Share Table Policy

In site team, there was a question regarding the share table policy. The share table is for packaged product only: milk, juice, and fresh fruit. Due to Health Department regulations food or drink that has been unwrapped or open is not to be placed on the share table. The items are to be kept on ice. After each lunch shift cafe staff ensure there is adequate ice to maintain appropriate temperatures.

Majors and Minors

The Gladden Elementary Majors and Minors can be found by following the link. Keep this in mind when addressing behavioral skill deficits with our students.


Students demonstrating a need for breaks in their day should only be accessing the focus room for a maximum of ten minutes unless the IEP or TAT/Tier 2 team deems it necessary to break for longer. Tosha and I will be working to create structured breaks for those students that teach them to self-regulate. SticKids (an occupational therapy program) and Conscious Discipline will be the primary focus of the breaks.

Focus Room Coverage

In order to ensure Mrs. Landrum gets a lunch break daily. Mrs. Webel will be covering the focus room. During PURPLE counseling weeks the break will be 11:45 - 12:15. On GOLD weeks the break will be 10:45-11:15.

Connections + I Love You Rituals

Brain research tells us that by building connections on the outside, we create new neural paths on the inside. Remember the first Conscious Discipline presentation at the beginning of the year? There was a video of a brain that showed exactly what building those new pathways looks like. Take a moment, watch the short video below, and reflect on how you might incorporate this into your classroom or setting.
Connection and I Love You Rituals™ - Conscious Discipline Skills

Positive Reinforcement Ratio

Positive reinforcement is a critical component of developing and maintaining positive classroom environments. A ratio of 4 positives to every 1 redirect is necessary to maintain relationships. Often times, especially during particularly high stress times or with students whom you'd like to improve your rapport with 4:1 will not suffice, thus the expectation is 5 positives to every 1 redirect. Research suggests that the ratio is 1:27 on average for behavior.

I'd strongly encourage you to reflect on the ratio you average in your setting. How can you monitor and improve upon this? If you find yourself saying, "No talking" shift your thinking to what the desired behavior is and reinforce it.

Foundation Grants

Belton Education Foundation Grants are due February 9th. I'd be happy to assist in writing a grant, should you have an interest! The original district email can be found below.

Once again, the Belton Educational Foundation is looking for innovative classroom and building projects that will have a lasting impact on our students. This year, we will be using Google forms as our application platform. Instructions are on the application form. You can access the form here:


The deadline is February 9, 2016, at 4:00 pm. Applications will not be accepted after that time.

Grants will be awarded on March 15, 2016.

Grant assistance will be provided at the Foundation office; click this link to a Google doc in order to sign up: https://goo.gl/MxzT6x If none of these times work with your schedule, please contact Heather McFarland via email to set up another time.

The list of past grantees can be found at http://beltonfoundation.org/programs/grants/.

Thank you!

Heather McFarland, MBA

Executive Director

Belton Educational Foundation

110 W. Walnut Belton, MO 64012

(816) 348-1151

Data Work Days

The following grade levels will meet for data work collaboration and instructional planning. More details are to come. Make sure to secure your sub ASAP.

4th grade - February 17th

3rd grade - March 2nd

Kindergarten (half day a.m.)/2nd grade (half day p.m.) - March 8th

1st grade (half day a.m.) - March 9th


This coming February second through fourth grade students will be going on an expedition, a Google Expedition: Pioneer Program. Students will wear Google Cardboard and enter the virtual reality domain to explore the world around us. At Gladden students will explore the continent of Africa! What an amazing tie to our service learning project for Uganda! All through the power of 3D technology and virtual reality. We are excited to partner with Google and Google Expeditions to give this opportunity to our students.

Gladden's Expeditions will occur on February 23rd in the morning. All second, third, and fourth grade teachers will meet for training at 7:30 on this morning. More details are to come. See Amanda, Kristin, or Michelle with any questions!


Staff whom do not have an assigned arrival or dismissal duty are expected to be at the door to assist in hallway supervision during these high traffic times. As a reminder, certified staff should be in the building at 8:10 and at their door greeting students at 8:20.

Open Books Parent Literacy Nights

The first Open Books Parent Literacy Night of the school year was an amazing event! Cathy and Lily did a phenomenal job organizing and implementing this program. We had a cafeteria full of K-4 families interested in learning how to support literacy at home. I'd encourage you to attend when your schedule allows. The families love seeing and speaking with staff in this setting! It's a great opportunity to build positive rapport, too! Open Books is the 3rd Thursday of every month. Next date is February 18th. :-)