Team Thomson News & Notes

May 8, 2017

Important Information for You!

Teacher & Staff Appreciation Week

I hope that you all enjoyed Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week last week. Our PTO did a wonderful job spoiling our staff last week and you definitely deserve it. While I am sad that the staff lunch for Tuesday isn't going to work out as planned, I am working on a different lunch plan. Please watch your email tomorrow, Monday, with details on a lunch for Tuesday, National Teacher Appreciation Day.


Well, we had hoped that the iPads would work out, but it appears that they will not. From this week forward, students will only be using the Chromebooks during their Technology special with Wendy Hogg. Additionally, Megan C. and I worked with Cheri Friday to identify some blocks of time that Chromebooks will be set up in the library and teachers can and should all sign up for a time to take their students to the library to spend additional time working on the Chromebook. Wendy has shared that the students are really doing a great job with them and navigating them very well. Please watch for a Google Doc identifying the times that Chromebooks will be set up in the library and choose a time that works best with your classroom schedule.

STAR Testing

Megan C and I also discussed and worked Friday to schedule June 6th and 7th as our building STAR Testing dates. Our plan is to have 1-2 adults per table to ensure that students are not struggling with the technology. We will be setting up a schedule with 40 minute blocks of time that, again, teachers will be able to choose from thinking about their students and classroom schedule.

Early Release Wednesday

Please don't forget that Early Release Day is scheduled for this Wednesday. Matt Lobban sent out the agenda last week. The agenda identifies where each certified staff member and parapros will be from 2:15-5:15 p.m. and the topic for PD.

As for the specials schedule, please refer to the memo sent out in November identifying the specials schedule for Wednesday. If you are unclear or do not still have access to it, please let me know and I can get you another copy.

Orders for 2017/18

Anna has placed all the ordering information in your mailboxes for the 2017/18 school year. As always, please check cupboards and drawers and use your classroom money intentionally. Teachers have $175 to spend on supplies. This does not include your classroom PTO (A-74) account money. Orders are due by June 2nd. If you have any questions, please see Anna or me.

Learning Targets: Organizing Success Criteria-5D+

The "big three" for defining purpose in a lesson include: Connecting Learning Targets to Standards; Communicating the Learning Target; and Success Criteria. This week I'd like to share five ways you can help students assess where they are in relation to the learning target by organizing the criteria for success. The following is not all inclusive but each strategy can serve as a tool to communicate success criteria.

Strategies for organizing success criteria might take the form of:

  1. An "I can" statement ---for grasping a new concept or term.
  2. A list of "I can" statements to describe mastery of a learning target that is a discrete skill.
  3. A rubric to organize criteria for mastering a learning target that is part of a complex product or process.
  4. A list of student look-fors to guide students' self-assessment as they plan their work and monitor their progress.
  5. A list of guiding questions for mastery of higher-order thinking skill learning targets.

Whatever strategy is chosen for a particular learning target there are three central questions to which we repeatedly return. They are:

  • Where am I going?
  • Where am I now?
  • How do I close the gap between where I am going and where I am now?

*From Moss & Brookhart's (2012) Learning Targets "Action Tool C"; page 178

Quotes Worth Reading

"A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms."


" Life's most persistent and urgent question is, "What are you doing for others?"

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thomson Elementary

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Where Kids Come First and Futures Begin!

Celebrations & Announcements

Birthdays: None this week...

'Ocho de Mayo' luncheon Monday, May 8th!

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, May 8th-Cinco de Mayo luncheon; Math Curriculum Meeting 4:15-6:15 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 9th-Lockdown
  • Wednesday, May 10th-Early Release Day
  • Thursday, May 11th-General Administration Meeting; Author, Denise Brennen-Nelson, visits Thomson
  • Friday, May 12th-Leadership Team Meeting, 7:15 a.m.
  • May 14th-19th-PLC Week
  • Monday, May 14th-PTO Meeting, 6:30 p.m.; Board of Education Meeting, 7 p.m. H.S. AMR
  • Tuesday, May 16th- Playground Monitor Meeting, 10:30 a.m.; Fire Drill; ELA Meeting 4:15-6:15 p.m.; District School Improvement Meeting, 4:15-5:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 17th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (School Improvement; Behavior Data Review)
  • Thursday, May 18th-Elementary Principals Meeting
  • Friday, May 19th-Senior Walk
  • May 22nd-26th-Intersession #3, Enjoy!