Monday Mumblings

September 29th, 2014

"It's not that I'm smart. It's that I stay with problems longer." - Albert Einstein


Welcome to Carly Deubel, our new sixth-grade teacher! The official split will take place Thursday. Welcome, Carly!

Congratulations to Katie Yeagle! A baby BOY is on the way!

Congratulations to both Pat Murray and Rosemary on the recent birth of their grand babies!

Thank you to those that attended our pizza fundraiser! It was a huge success with close to 300 people attending. We will announce the winner of the class pizza party at the end of the day.

General Reminders about Common Core from the Marshall Memo

What an Excellent Shop Class Suggests for Teaching Common Core

In this AMLE Magazine article, Joanne Kelleher, an assistant principal in Long Island, New York, offers a succinct list of the key changes being introduced by the Common Core.

In Math:

- Favoring depth over breadth;

- Working toward automaticity of basic functions;

- Finding the balance between practice and understanding.


- Resetting the ratio of fiction and nonfiction;

- Incorporating close readings of complex texts;

- Including more academic vocabulary in lessons.

During a recent visit to an industrial arts/technology class in her middle school, Kelleher realized that it contained a number of lessons for Common Core ELA implementation:

Learning is messy. “In the technology education classroom,” she says, “there’s the cutting, the sanding, the sawing, the drilling, and the finishing. You can count on paint spills, sawdust, and mismeasurements… The ELA CCSS require that students engage in critical thinking: analyzing, interpreting, delineating, assessing, and evaluating. As students grapple with new ideas, they argue, explain, and justify, building support for their ideas from within the text. This idea development can get loud and messy.” It’s messy for teachers too, but in the end, “something wonderful starts taking shape.”

Learning is noisy. In the technology classroom, it’s hammers, saws, and power tools. In the ELA classroom, ideas are being expressed, explored, and argued, and sometimes it’s organized chaos – and noisy.

Learning is autonomous. “All around the technology classroom, students move about as if on a personal quest,” says Kelleher. They find the right tool and put it to work: “creating the product is an independent, hands-on/minds-on experience. And so it should be in the ELA classroom. Students need to increasingly read and write on their own, with real purpose.”

Mistakes happen. Technology education teachers routinely order enough materials to allow for 20-25 percent waste; for them, mistakes are an integral part of the learning process. In ELA classes, says Kelleher, “We should expect mistakes and welcome them, because mistakes are students’ way of showing us what they (and we) still need to learn.”

Craftsmanship matters. Skill and artistry are built into every successfully completed project, and the same is true when students read first-rate texts and write their own masterpieces. Kelleher points to Common Core Standard 4 (interpreting words and phrases), Standard 5 (analyzing text structure), and Standard 6 (point of view and purpose). “These elements are the craft,” she concludes. “Craft grabs your attention. Craft leaves you in awe. Craft invites you to imagine that your work can be better.”

“Common Core ELA: Lessons from Tech Ed Class” by Joanne Kelleher in AMLE Magazine, September 2014 (Vol. 2, #2, p. 21-24),; Kelleher can be reached at

S'more Smores...

Bus Evacuation Drill - Message from Stacy

On Monday, September 29th we will be having our practice bus evacuation. I put together the following schedule. Please look it over and let me know if all is ok. I tried to work around specials and DEB. I do know that 4th grade White will have to cut gym short by 5 minutes and 4th grade Soukup will have to cut music short by 5 minutes.






Thanks so much for all your help!


Emergency Drills - Mark Your Calendar!

We will be conducting the following safety drills as outlined below...

1 Shelter in place (Friday, October 3rd - Time TBD)

1 Bus Evacuation Drill (Monday, September 29th)

1 Supervised Law Enforcement Drill with Emphasis on an Active School Shooting (Table Top Discussion with Officer Hogan on Monday, October 6th from 3-4pm)

1 Lockdown (Date TBD)

1 Fire Drill (unannounced) and 1 with the Fire Department (October 16th - 1:30pm)

We will be passing out the red/green laminated cards this week.

Notes and Reminders

  • After school clubs will begin on Tuesday, September 30th. Vicki will be running a homework club. Melissa will be facilitating a Kinex club, and Zohaib will be running a math enrichment and geography club. Permission slips will go home next week. Please double check where your students are going at the end of each day of after-school clubs.
  • If you know you will be absent and it's for professional purposes, please send your parents an email or quick note letting them know. This is a request from district office. Providing them with a brief explanation of the PD would be beneficial as well.
  • Please respond to Liz's most recent email so that she can best support you.
  • I will be in classrooms a lot this week and beginning some informal observations. Please carry on and act as if I am not there. :)

Coming Up...

Monday, September 29th

Bus Evacuation Drill - See Schedule

Dessa Screening Window

School Board Meeting -7:30pm (Kindergartners present the Pledge of Allegiance)

Tuesday, September 30th

Admin Meeting - Reg out in AM

After School Clubs Begin

Dessa Screening Window

Picture Day

Wednesday, October 1st

Dessa Screening Window

4th-6th Grade Author Visit in Gym - 1pm-2pm

Thursday, October 2nd

Dessa Screening Window

Fifth grade music field trip in AM

6th Grade Officially Splits

Friday, October 3rd

Dessa Screening Window

Shelter in Place Drill - Time TBD

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