Monday Musings

Weekly Update for Douglas Staff - April 4, 2016

Staff Survey and Info Gatherer (Complete by Wed.)

There are quite a few questions and sign-ups in this week's Monday Musings. To capture all of the info in one place, I am trying this Surveygizmo tool. Thanks for completing! (Just click on this box)

Vision - Mission - Priorities

Vision - Excellence for All

Mission - The mission of Douglas Elementary School is to engage the Douglas community in learning and growing together, preparing children to pursue the dreams and opportunities of their future.

Priorities -

Learning and Growing Together

Driven by High Expectations and Goals

Fostering a Positive, Safe Learning Environment

Theme Proposal - 2016-2017

Last spring, our runner-up theme (to Douglas Rocks) was super heroes...

I would like to propose that our Douglas theme for 2016-2017 is...

SUPER HEROES - "Learning is Our Super Power!"

(I'm envisioning the big banners having both a tiger and a gosling in super hero outfits)

**I think this correlates well with our data-driven, student-focused PLC work. It also promotes the growth mindset - we can ALL learn! I'd love to have our monthly traits/meetings be linked to growth mindset next year...

**If you have any objections or other ideas, please let me know ASAP. Whenever we end up with a theme, you are, as always, welcome to coordinate classroom behavior management, locker decs, with the theme or not - up to you!

**Later this Spring I will put the word out to gather a team of people to lay out a year-long plan for "Learning is Our Super Power!"

PBL Institute - Looking to combat a lack of student well as plan for student mastery of essential standards?? Read more!

PBL (Project-Based Learning) Institute - June 16-17

Did you know??? Watertown is hosting the national PBL (Project-Based Learning) Institute this summer? Topics will include PBL and STEM/STEAM - with focus sessions on the elementary level. Interested?? Contact Emily! - This is a great opportunity!!

Edutopia - PBL Page

What to explore PBL? Here is a link to the Edutopia page for all things PBL. Videos - articles - explanations...

Upcoming Dates...

GRADES DUE by APRIL 5th at Midnight - All Assignments must be dated 4/1 or before!

Tuesday, April 12th - Staff Meeting

3:15-4:05 Unpack Standards in Grade-Level Teams

4:10-4:30 Meet in Media Center

Thursday, April 21st - Poem in your Pocket Day

Simple steps - students and staff copy down a favorite poem and put it in their pocket in the morning...coordinate sharing of poems throughout the day! Simple, fun, literacy love!

**Sharing ideas:

- Share with neighbor classroom

- Grade level as a whole group (cafeteria)

- Teacher's Lounge

- Reading Buddies

- Invite in parents??

Friday, April 22nd - Districtwide PD Day

**Teams should have unpacked Literature and Foundational Skills by 4/22

Tuesday, April 26th - Staff Meeting

Effectiveness Project (Updated - plus PD Log Info)

**NEW - Professional Development Log

As you know, there are a couple required items in the documentation log - PD Log and Communication Log. For the PD Log, you do NOT need to list every team can generalize (weekly team meetings) - then include details about what your team is working on, or you as an individual.

My Example PD Log - My PD Log will have 4 columns - COLUMN 1: Type of PD (District, Elementary Principals Meetings, Staff Meetings, Team Meetings, Individual), COLUMN 2: Frequency, COLUMN 3: Professional Learning/Topics, COLUMN 4: Notes - If Necessary (I may include growth in this column)

Questioning and Time on Task Forms:

These forms are showing up as submitted/finalized in your MLP, but you do not need to look at them. I may use them next year as needed, but not this year.

Documentation Log:

First, if you got notified of this being assigned this weekend - it just means that I "assigned it to you". This was not a step I had to do last year, so I did it as a precaution. I hope you were not alarmed by a notification!

If you would like an old doc log opened up so you can delete items, please send me an email (and specify which year you would like opened).

When uploading items, you will want to put your reflection directly on the artifact or as the next page of the the reflection is directly linked to the artifact itself (not held in the eval year document). At my PDP training, they made an interesting point - an artifact is not really an artifact without a reflection/explanation of it's connection to the standard. While the reflections do not have to be long, please do explain (briefly - few sentences max) how the artifact demonstrates the standard/indicator that you have linked it to.

**Remember - only 2 artifacts per standard (max of 12 total).

Please aim to have your doc log submitted no later than May 15th (earlier is preferred if possible), as I will need to view them all while completing summatives. Thank you!

National Poetry Month

Blog Share - Poll: What is your favorite poem?

Add your favorite poem and find a wealth of other teacher/kid favorite poems on the Nerdy Book Clubs blog. Did you know...Thursday, April 21st is national POEM IN YOUR POCKET DAY? See the link on this blog for more info! Easy way to celebrate poetry!

Candler - Free "Teaching Poetry" Webinar (Upper Grades)

Laura Candler has amazing resources online. She is offering a FREE webinar on Wednesday afternoon (4:00 Central) on teaching poetry to upper grades. Will likely be jam-packed with ideas and resources.

WOO HOO! Douglas has received 3 Kohl's Grants for next year - 5th Grade (Milwaukee Public Museum), 4th Grade (Discovery World), K/1st (Milwaukee County Zoo) - totaling $3000!!!!

Techy Formative Assessment

Check out this article for 5 easy, efficient examples for gathering formative assessment data. Definitely worth a look - my staff meeting brain is turning with ideas!

Staff Celebration - Brewers or Pub Crawl

Option 1: I spoke with a rep from the Brewers, and groups get a discount on any day - not just the Teacher Week. I'm wondering how many staff (including your family) would be interested in heading in to watch the Brewers! We could take a bus if people were interested in that as well.

Option 2: The other option would be an adults-only appetizer/pub crawl in Watertown (thinking 4 restaurant/bars - La Finca, Rock River Pizza, Bismarck's, Lyon's) with apps/food at each location. (Cost would likely be $20 per person)

Each of these events would take place in June...please provide feedback!


RMS is up for a large grant for a watering system for the school garden. You can vote daily to help them get to the top 50! Students can vote, too!! How awesome for our kids to vote for their future school's grant!

Field Day - June 7th

A creative parent committee is shaking things up for Field Day this year! The first thing I need from every classroom teacher is: your class list split into three "equal teams". Please email me your class split into three groups by Monday, April 11th. Thanks!

Emily's Schedule - 4/4-4/8

Announcements - Daily @ 8:05

3 Scheduled Formal Observations this week - plus informals throughout

FORWARD EXAMS - 8:15-9:15, 9:15-10:15, 1:35-2:35

Monday, 4/4

7:30 Parent Meeting (Berres/Rens/Dunn)

9:15 Meet with 3's (Lease, Thayer, DeRosier, Stark)

10:00 Office Meeting (Harris/McBride)

2:00 Read "Pink is for Blobfish" to 3L

2:00 Prospective Family Tour (Miller)

3:30 Going BLUE for Autism!

4:30 Interview Team Meeting (Conference Room)

4:45 Interviews (Conference Room)

Tuesday, 4/5

Classroom Announcements: Hankins

7:45-7:55 Pre-Obs. Meeting

8:30-11:30 Cabinet (ESC)

12:05-12:45 Formal Observation

1:50 Post-Observation Meeting

2:15 Read to 3H (Tentative)

3:15 Team Meeting Day (Emily to 5th)

4:30 Pre-Obs. Meeting

Wednesday, 4/6

Emily at Wake Up Watertown (7:30-8:30)

7:30 SIT - Franklin C./Chloe S. (Brunner)

8:50-9:30 Formal Observation

2:00 New Family Tour (4th in 2 weeks! - all for next year!)

3:00 Parent Meeting (Atkins)

Thursday, 4/7

Classroom Announcements: Flood

7:45 Pre-Obs. Meeting

9:00-11:30 Elementary Principals (@ Webster)

12:45 Formal Observation

3:15 4th Team Meeting

Friday, 4/8

4th Grade to Discovery World

Team Leader Meeting - 8:15 (Amy M.)

RMS Counselors Visit (AM)

For Next Week...

Happy Birthday, Beverly Cleary - Turns 100 Years Old!

5 minute video from the Today Show - GREAT! Her Birthday is April 12th! We will feature her books on announcements next week.