Gator Weekly

With great power comes great responsibility....

The week ahead.....which is Week 4! Constitution Week

Look fors this week.................working in the power zone - in the middle of the action!

Monday, September 14

504 meetings throughout the day

Second Grade Parent Meeting - 5:30 @ Cafeteria

First Grade Parent Meeting - 6:30 @ Cafeteria

PTA Council Meeting - Bragg 7:00 @ HCTC

Tuesday, September 15

LEAD - Bragg 8:30 - 3:30 @ SHS

Fourth Grade Parent Meeting - 6:00 @ Classrooms

Fifth Grade Parent Meeting - 5:30 & 6:15 @ Classrooms

PTA Board Meeting - 6:30

Wednesday, September 16

Science Walk Thrus - J. Garcia - look for is curriculum alignment

Ruby Payne Training - Bragg, Spikes, Stegall 8:30 - 3:30 @ HDC

Senator Nelson Reception - Bragg 4:30 @ HCTC

Thursday, September 17

504 meetings throughout the day

PTA meeting - Ice Cream Social @ 6:30

Friday, September 18

504 meetings all day

Individual Pictures

Coming up.........

September 29 Social Studies Walk Thrus - D. Diffie - look for is curriculum alignment

September 30 Math Walk Thrus - C. Clower - look for is curriculum alignment


Tuesday, September 22 - Kinder 5:30 @ Cafeteria

Thursday, September 24 - 3rd 6:00 @ Cafeteria

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It's been another great week in the land of the Gators!

Congratulations to Jill Kite for getting 2 iPad Minis through DonorsChoose!

I appreciate those of you who have been completing the assignments in Canvas and participating in the discussions.

The kindergarten students are doing a great job of mastering the lunch routine!

Kudos to those of you who have been working on the Writer's Workshop training.

Congratulations to 3rd - 5th on last year's math scores!!

Thanks to Pam and Jeannine for covering my duty yesterday afternoon.

Exciting things I saw this week - Writer's Workshop, learning targets and closing products Woohoo!

Things to do....

Write your learning target and your I WILL closing on your boards!!

Turn in your card with your "blinged out" Twitter handle

Turn in individual and/or grade level SMART goals on the appropriate form

Tell your parents how to follow you on twitter and send out at least 1, just 1, tweet!

Focus on working in the "power zone"!

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Thinking Map of the week

This week’s THINIKING MAP is the TREE MAP.

The TREE MAP is a tool for classifying or sorting things and ideas into categories or groups. It is also a way to group main ideas and details. The top line is used for the category name or main idea of the topic. Connections lines come down from the category name and connect to individual sub-categories or supporting ideas.

Fundamental Five

"Power Zone"

Don't teach from your desk or podium

Proximity to students while they are working is vital (75%)

Helps to increase on task behavior and retention

Where you are speaking from is just as important as what you are saying.

Arrange your room to allow movement.

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Weekly academic vocabulary words


Imagine; think about


Tell about; explain

Weekly positive character trait

Considerate - concerned for others, caring, unselfish

5 Highly Effective Teaching Practices

I remember how, as a new teacher, I would attend a professional development and feel inundated with new strategies. (I wanted to get back to the classroom and try them all!) After the magic of that day wore off, I reflected on the many strategies and would often think, "Lots of great stuff, but I'm not sure it's worth the time it would take to implement it all."

We teachers are always looking to innovate, so, yes, it's essential that we try new things to add to our pedagogical bag of tricks. But it's important to focus on purpose and intentionality -- and not on quantity. So what really matters more than "always trying something new" is the reason behind why we do what we do.

What Research Says

This leads me to educational researcher John Hattie, who wrote Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning. Through his research, one of his goals is to aid teachers in seeing and better understanding learning through the eyes of their students.

Hattie has spent more than 15 years researching the influences on achievement of K-12 children. His findings linked student outcomes to several highly effective classroom practices. Here I'd like to highlight five of those practices:

1. Teacher Clarity

When a teacher begins a new unit of study or project with students, she clarifies the purpose and learning goals, and provides explicit criteria on how students can be successful. It's ideal to also present models or examples to students so they can see what the end product looks like.

2. Classroom Discussion

Teachers need to frequently step offstage and facilitate entire class discussion. This allows students to learn from each other. It's also a great opportunity for teachers to formatively assess (through observation) how well students are grasping new content and concepts.

3. Feedback

How do learners know they are moving forward without steady, consistent feedback? They often won't. Along with individual feedback (written or verbal), teachers need to provide whole-group feedback on patterns they see in the collective class' growth and areas of need. Students also need to be given opportunities to provide feedback to the teacher so that she can adjust the learning process, materials, and instruction accordingly.

4. Formative Assessments

In order to provide students with effective and accurate feedback, teachers need to assess frequently and routinely where students are in relation to the unit of study's learning goals or end product (summative assessment). Hattie recommends that teachers spend the same amount of time on formative evaluation as they do on summative assessment.

5. Metacognitive Strategies

Students are given opportunities to plan and organize, monitor their own work, direct their own learning, and to self-reflect along the way. When we provide students with time and space to be aware of their own knowledge and their own thinking, student ownership increases. And research shows that metacognition can be taught.

Collaborating with Colleagues

Great teachers are earnest learners. Spend some time with a colleague, or two or three, and talk about what each of these research-based, best classroom practices looks like in the classroom. Discuss each one in the context of your unique learning environment: who your students are, what they need, what they already know, etc.

What I'm reading......

"Classroom Habitudes" by Angela Maiers.

Campus Instructional Focus

After analysis of our campus data, our instructional focus will be to improve our students’ ability to clearly communicate their thinking through writing across all content areas.

We carry the torch for EMSISD!


The mission of Eagle Mountain Saginaw ISD and Greenfield Elementary is to foster a culture of excellence that instill a passion for a lifetime of continuous achievement in every student.


The vision of Greenfield Elementary is to create a physically and emotionally safe environment where every student can engage in challenging, integrated, and collaborative learning in order to become respectful, resourceful and responsible citizens in an ever-changing, diverse world.


Striving for the best, we rise above the rest.

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