The Buzz 10/19/15

What you need to know to be in the know...

Our Mission:

Chandler Elementary will create a safe and positive environment where all students and adults work together using 21st century strategies to achieve high academic growth.

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Mirror Mirror in Our Halls...

Recently I had the opportunity to read about Mirror Neurons. Fascinating little boogers really. Theory is that we learn by observing, whether we realize we are or not. One journal puts it like this, "mirror-neurons - a special class of brain cells that fire not only when an individual performs an action, but also when the individual observes someone else making the same movement". For instance, have you ever looked at your signature and realize it looks familiar, looking like someone else wrote your name (I occasionally write mine like my mama writes it), or when playing a sport with someone better instinctively mimic something you see them do, oooo...what about looking at a spot on the wall and it jogs your memory about what used to hang here??? These are all products of mirror neurons.

What a powerful tool... So many applications... So many questions... What do people mirror from me... Yikes, there's a challenge! Maybe this is why I wake up so early, cause noone wants to mirror me until at least 7:30... Nor does anyone want to mirror my grammar (Specifically my overuse of elipses)...

What I do hope I radiate, for people to mirror, is a positive attitude in the midst of stressful times. Positive words of encouragement towards others. Working hard to benefit students. Setting and working towards goal. A growth mindset, where I learn from mistakes. Perseverance and patience. Collaboration and building up others. I know, that is tall order, hopefully at some time or other you have seen at least one of those! (and when I don't you have the right to call me on it :o) I know I see these attitudes daily in our building, from you. These are just a few of the reasons that together we are such a strong team. Thank you for letting me mirror you from time to time, and/or starting a domino effect.

So what do you hope others mirror from you? Can they mirror ideas, perspectives, and attitudes that help each other and ultimately our students succeed? One thing is for sure...with great modeling/mirroring power, comes great responsibility for all of us.

I hope you have a wonderfully relaxing Fall Break! Find some friends having a good time, sleeping in, or someone doing something you enjoy and mirror them :o)

GCS Technology Vision

The GCS Technology Vision was shared at the school board meeting last Monday, and it includes possibility of one technology cart per grade level beginning with next year. Eventually the goal is to be 1-to-1 corporation wide. We will send more information about this exciting vision as we progress through the year.

Here ( is a presentation about the SAMR model, that we will study in the future (way out there), but is complex and a good way to think about technology use in the classroom. Think of the SAMR model as the DOK levels of the technology world.


Well done Team Chandler!!! We had the state regional PLTW liasion, along with the midwest region PLTW liasion into our building on Thursday. They were very impressed with the work we were doing, the thinking and connections our teachers and students were making, were highly impressed by the level of reflection being done within the teacher reflection journals. There were many take aways that they would like to possibly implement in other places, and possibly present at a future state level PLTW conference. I appreciate the way you have taken up the PLTW banner, supported the work, applied the higher order thinking within other disciplines, and continue to grow in your PLTW implementation. This year has truly been a team effort! As always, know we truly are open to any ideas and feedback that you have.

As we progress with PLTW implementation, I hope you are finding the value in the work being done. I think everyone who has completed modules will agree that students are doing great thinking, creating, and enjoying the work!

As we move forward, we are looking to expand the number of leaders in our building. There are a couple PD opportunities coming up that could help build leadership capacity in this area, if you would like to learn more about these opportunities I would love to talk with you.

Chandler Fall Fundraiser

Due to last year’s success we are bringing back our Fall Lip Balm Fundraiser. For a new twist we have added a couple soaps and lotion bars. All products are made by The Soapy Gnome, a Goshen business that uses natural ingredients.

We know finances can be tight, especially at the end of the year. Buying or selling fundraiser items to neighbors, family, friends or co-workers is strictly voluntary. People choosing not to participate will not be penalized in any way.

Important Dates:

Monday, October 26th - Students will be sent home with an order form in their Green Folders

Monday, November 2nd - A fundraiser reminder will be included with the Green Folder

Monday, November 9th – Reminder in Green Folder for forms and money to come back in with the Green Folder

Tuesday, November 10th - Order forms and money (cash and/or checks) are due back

Tuesday morning, November 10th - Send all orders and money down with your lunch count. They are to be placed in the box marked PTO Fundraiser in the office.

P/T Conferences

Thanks again for all the time and energy that you put into fostering positive relationships with our families at conferences. I hope you had some parents who were pleasantly surprised, some who heard some important messages, and all who have a better idea of how they can help their students be more successful.

Please send the number and percent of parents you were able to have contact with to Beth. (Ex. 24/25, 96%)

Trivia Night

We need 9 members of Team Chandler who are willing to put their trivia skills to the test on October 27. Goshen Community Schools Foundation has graciously found sponsors for 2 Chandler Teams. Everyone who has participated in the past will agree that this is a low-key, fun, relaxing, bonding experience! If you haven't done it, I highly recommend it. Events run from 6:30-9:00, here in Goshen. If you are interested please let me know. The 9 spots will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.

Deanna Fecher

I wanted to make you all aware that, with students, we are not being specific about the reason for Deanna's leave, other than to say she is being treated for an illness. We do not have a specific time frame for her return, but that she hopes to rejoin her class as soon as possible.

We are continuing to collect items in the lounge to support her, and there is a site to use if you would like to provide meals. Cheryl Woodlee will provide dates as they are available. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

World's Largest K-5 Streaming Sing-Along Concert

I came across an article about this and was intrigued, so I thought I would share. I know some of you are always looking for a good brain break!

Entry Breezeway Maintainance

Time and space seem to be limited commodities these days, space is none more evident that during success times. We have groups working in every little space imaginable. I appreciate your flexibility and creativity in finding spaces that suit.

Occasionally the fire marshal will pop in and make sure we are up to code, and includes checking these hallway and breezeway spaces to ensure they are clear in case of an emergency evacuation. While it is ok to work there, please make sure they are clear and clean when you finish your lessons. This helps make sure the building is safe, and can be an added lesson on responsibility.

Central Office Listening Day

On November 2, Central Office personnel will be spending time in the building talking with staff. Their goal is to get feedback on how things are going, and have an open forum. To help make this time more meaningful. Attached you will find a list of questions they will be asking. Most sessions can occur during a normal prep period, and last 40 minutes. Support staff are encouraged to join a meeting time to provide feedback also.
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Growth Mindset

Huge Thank you to Leon Bauman for sending in these great reminders:

One of the most powerful ways we have discovered to encourage each other and our students to develop a growth mindset is to use the word “yet.” If we find ourselves saying, “I can’t do!” simply add the word “yet.” “I can’t do it yet!”

“The moment we believe that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability, we will be brittle in the face of adversity.” –Josh Waitzkin (chess champion featured in the book and movie Searching for Bobby Fisher)

Here’s another link to a 3:50 minute video to help define growth mindset:

From Central Office...

Today’s Focus: Teams

“Few of us will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”
– Robert Kennedy

From the GCS Foundation:

The GCS Foundation is currently accepting grants from GCS employees. The next deadline is December 4. The foundation especially likes to support innovative and enriching types of projects that teachers would like to do with their students, things that are beyond what the district is able to provide. They do not wish to support projects that just include acquiring more technology, as that is something the district is working towards. The application for grants can be found on the foundation website, which is a link from the GCS website.

GCS Foundation Trivia Night: Just a reminder that the GCS Foundation Trivia Night is Tuesday, October 27th at 6:30 p.m. There are many school teams participating, so it will be a fun night for all!

Passport: Global Education

Passport is a division of educational programming for K-12 teachers that includes a Global Study Tour of the British Isles scheduled for July 11-21, 2016. This is our 3rd year of leading a team of educators to visit schools in England, Scotland, and Ireland. We are also launching our first intercultural exchange for international students with participating schools in China and Taiwan (although the program is not restricted to these countries). The Summit Xchange is a two-week, Project-based Learning English Immersion Camp for international students. For more questions email

A Letter from CAPS for Kids:

I hope everyone is having a great start to their 2015 - 2016 school year!

I'd like to introduce you to Caps For Kids and our school based Cap Day program. Caps For Kids is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing hats autographed by athletes, entertainers, and other notable personalities to children, adolescents and young adults who have lost their hair due to their chemotherapy treatments. The money we raise through Cap Day helps us put more caps on the heads of children at our

130 hospital partners throughout the United States and in Canada, including 4 in Indiana!

Cap Day is a great way to rally for our pediatric cancer patients. You can help by scheduling a Cap Day at your school. On a specific day of your choice, your students are encouraged to wear their favorite cap to school in return for donating $1. Register your school today, to get your participation packet with everything you need to make your school's Cap Day as successful and as simple as possible. These materials and more are also available to download from our website:

As you can imagine, having cancer at any age is a traumatic experience, but having it as a child is even more anguishing. The caps we provide are symbols of hope for these children and help turn their struggles into triumphs.

Each year, over 13,000 children and adolescents 18 and younger are diagnosed with cancer - that's more than a classroom of kids per day. We have had many schools hold a Cap Day in honor or in memory of one of their students. We have sent out numerous caps to the schools, so they could present the autographed cap the same day as their Cap Day, which helps with our mission of reaching more kids.

Register today at




Tiffany Reites

National Program Manager

Caps For Kids

200 Henry Clay Ave.

New Orleans, La 70118

Phone: 504.891.4277

Fax: 504.894.5198


Mr. Mitch Rhodes - Sunday, October 18

Mrs. Vickie Brown - Monday, October 25

Mrs. Robina Sommers - Tuesday, October 26

Mrs. Alyssa Nichols - Wednesday, October 27

Ms. Randi Hampton - Saturday, October 31

Calendar Items


Real Men Read - Week 1


Wear Red Day!

Cluster (DATA MEETING) 7:15

Skyward Consultation (Mr. Hufford out PM)

Chess Club 3:00

School Bd. Mtg. 6:00 (MODEL ELEM)

PTO meeting 7-8:30 (cafe)

Discussables Meeting


Chandler TLT 3:15-4:15


1st Grade Healthy Heart - 8:00

Orchestra 3:45-4:45 (GMS)


Kdg Healthy Heart - 8:00

Orchestra 2:55-4:00 (Music Room)


Master Teacher Meeting (Smoot out AM)

Success/Support Staff Meeting 8:35

Just in case you forgot...

Bus Driver Shortage Hits Home

The Transportation Department has been having trouble locating field trip bus drivers, even with a 2 week notice. If you are planning a field trip, please send in the transportation notice as soon as you have a date. The earlier you get your request in the better the odds at getting a bus. There have been field trips that have ended up needing to be rescheduled, even with a 2 week notice, because of not being able to secure a driver. If you don't want this to happen to you, then you need to get notice in early!!!

Family Nights

This year we would like to continue each grade level hosting families one night during the year. These nights last year served many purposes: Building relationships with and within families, helping them understand different ways that they can support their child at home, and completing a fun activity! This week 4th and Kdg will kick off this year. As your grade level knows when they will host their night, please let Mrs. Romero, Mrs. Mast, Mrs Schwartz, Mr. Bauman and I know.

PBIS Update

There have been many issues in the student restrooms over the past couple of weeks. These issues include clogged toilets, defecation in inappropriate places and generally messy floors. Please review the PBIS procedures. Also, make sure students know the proper use of the urinal and toilet.

PBIS MATRIX -- Restrooms

Be Respectful

- Voice level 0 to 1
- Flush the toilet
- Place or drop paper towels in the trashcans
- Turn off water after washing hands
- Return to classroom or line up with class

Be Responsible

- Give others personal space and privacy
- Pick up after yourself
- Keep hands and feet to self
- Use one pump of soap and 2 paper towels
- Use the restroom for its intended purpose

Be Safe

- Report problems to an adult
- Leave student materials outside of the restrooms

against the wall

Voice Levels

0 - No talking
1 - Whisper
2 - Partner voice
3 - Classroom speaker voice
4 - Outside voice

TLT UPdate

TLT is working on creating our overall school goal. In years past this has been based on ISTEP+, mClass, and SRI data. This year our team has decided that NWEA is timely, frequent, and normed referenced, so we will be looking at building our school goal around this assessment.

This week we spent time creating preliminary goals with numbers. TLT members will be coming to your grade level to talk about any changes that you feel might be necessary based on your Teacher Knowledge of Students (TKS). You input is valuable. They can also explain how we chose our goal, and set cut scores.

Our specific cluster cycle strategy focus this year will be on non-fiction and text features/structure. More to come on what these may look like as we move through the process.

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