Thursday's Thoughts

August 31, 2017

Teacher and Staff Customs

The Teacher and Staff Customs we created a few years ago are goals for each of us as we serve here at CGE. In order to keep our focus on our goals, I will highlight one a week for us in Thursday's Thoughts. This will help us to keep our eye on our goals as a school staff.

#1 Uplift your fellow staff members.

Search for ways to uplift one another next week. It could be through a kind word, compliment, treat, shout out, RakAttack, etc. I look forward to uplifting others next week!

Colt Customs

I want our students to know our Colt Customs and recognize them hanging in the lobby. They are such a critical part of who we want our students to be, so they need to recognize them and know them. Please make sure you point these out as your classes move through the lobby. I will highlight one a week here, and we will also mention them on Friday's morning announcements. Please include a discussion in your classrooms as well as we work to make sure our students know our Colt Customs.

The first Colt Custom is the handshake. Many of you have already worked with your classes on your own personal greeting with some of them having their own unique handshakes. With this one, we just want to make sure students know how to properly greet others. This custom will be the basis for our Great Amazing Shake contest later in the year.

#1 Greet others with a firm handshake and make eye contact.

Interest Inventory

Dick Allington explains in his book What Really Matters for Struggling Readers that when he examined reading requirements of Title I and special education programs, he discovered that students in remedial settings read roughly 75 percent less than their peers in regular reading classes. No matter how much instruction students receive in how to decode vocabulary, improve comprehension, or increase fluency, if they seldom apply what they have learned in the context of real reading experiences, they will fail to improve as much as they could. For our higher readers, the same applies. Our task is to create a culture where they want to read.

The interest inventories you are working on with your children are a critical first step in creating this culture. Make sure you are spending time conferencing with students to determine their interests. We can then build our libraries with books that call to them based on what they like to read. As Donalyn Miller states in The Book Whisperer, "Their needs as readers, as people, call to me from the pages of those surveys, and I whisper back with books."

Homework and Homework Center

As we begin to settle into our year, remember our policy with homework. Homework's purpose is to practice what is being taught in the classroom and should not take more than 30-45 minutes each evening. Make sure students can complete what you are assigning in that time frame. Also, make sure that you are not assigning tests for Mondays and homework on Fridays.

We will begin a homework center Tuesday through Friday from 7:30-8:00 in the cafeteria. Please talk with your classes, especially the upper grades, and let them know about this opportunity. If students know that they did not do their homework, they can come in first thing and someone will be there to help them. Our goal with this is to provide a "no excuse" for no homework. For this to be successful, it is going to take work on our part to really talk this up and help kids to know to use it. As we move into the weeks, and you see students not completing rewinds, reviews, logs, etc., be sure to make sure they know to visit the homework center. It will begin Sept. 12th.

Upcoming Dates:

Sept. 4th: Labor Day Holiday

Sept. 6th: Rosetta Stone Training for Hannah and Donna S.

Sept. 7th: Grade Level Planning Meetings-Stacey will come for F & P Refresher

Sept. 11th: MAP Testing Begins

Sept. 12th: Fall Pictures, K4-2nd grade meeting at 3:20- assistants need to attend.

Sept. 13th: Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts meeting at 2:00

Sept. 14th: Grade Level Meetings, Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts Parent meeting at 6:00

Sept. 15th: Kindergarten House Reveal at 8:30

Sept. 18th: House meetings-We will meet with each house for the first meeting only. After this initial meeting, we will have house meetings at the same time in order to protect instructional time.

8:15: Amistad

8:45: Isibindi

9:15: Fidelis

9:45: Reveur

Sept. 19th: Faculty Meeting

Sept. 21st: Grade Level Meetings, SAFE T Meeting with Sam & Marley at 3:20

Sept. 22nd: House Council Nominations Due (We will tell students about this at house meetings. Please be on the lookout for leaders in grades 3-5 to participate.

Sept. 26th: Data Meetings during related times

Sept. 27th: 4K meeting

Sept. 28th: Grade Level meetings

Sept. 29th: Fire Drill


Please continue to stress hallway behavior and cafeteria behavior so that we are consistent among grade levels.

YMCA and GoalPost

The Y program has been running smoothly. We will begin with GoalPost next week. Students have been selected for GoalPost based on data. The GoalPost program will be targeted to academics and the Y is more for after school care.

Happy Friday!