Mr. Ebeling's Updates

Learning...It's Personal

Spring Break Edition

It's been a while....

Lately, each time I have a newsletter ready to go out, I end up delivering the information at the staff to save on emails, I just delete the newsletter (I am sure you are very sad about that). This is your spring break edition as I know that you will be spending the majority of the time reading and re-reading this information. When we get back, its going to be APRIL....and then MAY....and then JUNE!!! It is going to fly! So, take time to map out the rest of the year. Categorize things into "I have to do", "I would like to do", "It would be AWESOME to do". Remember that you can't do it all and that kids won't retain it all anyway. So, in the words of kid president, "Just Be Awesome!"

Technology to enhance learning, et al.

It is amazing to think about the transition that has been made in the last years. We began by learning "technology" ourselves. Everything was just as new to us as it was to kids. We began to play and learn from others. From that, our capacity grew. We then decided on ways we could use it with kids. We set up some stations, plugged a few things in, and started doing. Then, the iPad explosion hit. Soon, we were one-to-one in and had plenty more in other classrooms. We again thought, now how am I going to do this with all of the students? When will I have time? Internet speeds began to move at astronomical speeds. If you don't connect quickly you think to yourself, "I don't have ALL second to wait for this!" Now, we are light years ahead of where we were. You have been tweaking ways you used to deliver information and finding all sorts of ways to use the technology to enhance learning. You are even realizing that it isn't just about the technology and that instead is about learning and providing students different ways to learn the content and show they know it. To make a long story short, you have been on an incredible journey in education (rollercoaster of sorts) and are better for it. Our learning environment is exciting! Kids don't want to leave it and can't wait to show up.

I have said many times that you leave me both humbled and proud. Thank you for keeping kids and learning as the priority and for being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Enjoy your well deserved "break".

Summer Literacy Assessments

Please CLICK HERE to do a survey to let me know your plans regarding the early literacy assessment days in August. Please complete this survey by April 15th. I am still trying to ponder the best way to go about this process. My initial feeling is to let it go...let it go...and see how it works. My other wonder is should we choose one consistent day/night for families and then open your calendar up from there to do with it what you want. A couple of district schools are having two consistent days and evenings, while another school is going to choose one consistent day and the other days random. Again, give me your thoughts and we will go from there. Email me any questions you may have. This is for classroom teachers only.

Golden Ticket Class Incentives

When your class hits 25 golden tickets, we will make an announcement and your class can vote on a class incentive. CLICK HERE for some ideas. Once you have hit 25 you will start back at the "beginning". When you hit the 5 that is actually 30. You will have blue, laminated cards to send to the office to let us know your accomplishment. At 30, you will get announced again. This helps to keep the momentum going. At 45, your class will be able to make a small poster to add to the "Wall of Fame" where the pictures will be hung. At 50, you will receive another full class incentive:) Again, the goal is to continue to promote awesome behaviors at Bay Harbor!

Child Study Team

We have met with both 1st and 2nd grade teams as part of an updated process to CST. The information share time has been a tremendous asset for our continued growth as a literacy crew and I hope you will all find it beneficial as well. The goal is to walk away from the meeting feeling validated on the great things you are doing and supported on any action you may have decided to re-focus on.

Below you will find the final CST schedule:

3rd grade- April 5th

4th grade- April 12th

Kindergarten- April 19

The following Tuesdays (*tentatively) will be dedicated to class placement conversations.

April 26- Kindergarten to 1st grade

May 3- 1st to 2nd

May 10- 2nd to 3rd

May 17- 3rd to 4th

*We may end up pushing this process back by 1 week??

Substitute Teacher Information

The HR department has continued to hire and process new substitute teachers into the system. I have taken the time to talk to the substitutes while they are in our building and thank them for what they do. Each substitute commented that walking into a "strangers" classroom and trying to figure out what they do is not easy, so they REALLY appreciate DETAILED LESSON plans (and so do I). Please continue to write your sub plans as detailed as you can, and have your materials out and organized, so that our guest teachers are prepared and wanting to come back to your room and our school. Grade levels, please continue to reach out and support our guest teachers when you know one of your colleagues is out. Thank you for your efforts and attention in this area. "All Hands on Deck!"

Staffing Updates

This is a follow up from the information I shared with you at our staff meeting. It is that time of year again where next year's numbers are analyzed and tentative staffing thoughts/conversations are had. Nothing is set in stone, but this is what I know as of now:

  • Kindergarten- we will not know if we need 3 or 4 teachers (this is not unusual for K, they usually base it on what we have the year prior). Early 4k #'s are low, but this changes with open enrollment and alternate building requests. There is a retirement (insert sad face here as well as a happy face for her) in K, so if we are allotted 4 teachers, we will be needing one in K.
  • 1st grade: There will only be 3 teachers needed here due to low K numbers so a teacher will need to change grade levels.
  • 2nd grade: 4 classrooms
  • 3rd grade: 3 classrooms will be needed as of now due to low #'s in 2nd grade (currently 17 or 18 in a room).
  • 4th grade: We will need 4 classrooms due to high 3rd grade #'s..

So, tentatively we may go down from 19 sections to 17 (for sure) or 16 (in the case we only get 3 Kindergartens...which I don't think will happen. If we stay at 17 sections, I will have to move 2 teachers for sure (but at least you would be in our building). If we go to 16, I would still have to move two teachers, but a third teacher would get displaced (possibly Forest Glen as of now).

Now that you know this information, I am open to discussions on this topic. I am also really analyzing grade level teams and trying to find the optimal mixture of teachers so other changes may be ahead, but I do not take that lightly. I understand this is not comfortable to think or talk about, but it is always our reality but also an opportunity.

Summer curriculum proposal

See the below email from Andrea...

If you are interested and available for curriculum work in the summer I would like to know about your ideas. I will have to plan carefully (I cannot approve all project ideas), but I can support some curriculum projects this summer. Please fill in your information on the linked "Summer Project Proposals" document: I WILL ONLY CONSIDER JUNE PROPOSALS AT THIS TIME. If you submit for a project to occur at another time (July or August), notification of approval will not be communicated until May 27. BE SURE TO LET ME KNOW IF you would like to work in June, July or August, and please be clear about that preference. Please also communicate with your potential team members.

PRIORITY will be given to projects that address advancement and improvement of Personalized Learning approaches and literacy skill development and enrichment.Sum

Literacy PD- Summer Opportunities

We have some awesome opportunities to dig deeper into literacy and learn. CLICK HERE to see how to sign up.


As part of our award menu for students who earn Sailor Pride Tickets, I would like to make a treasure chest of little trinkets (pencils, erasers, stickers, small toys, books, etc.) to fill the treasure chest. I will have a "treasure chest" in the office and fill as needed. I will also purchase some things to fill it up. Thank you.

Twitter...Let's do this!

Never tweeted before?

If you would like to participate, but have never used Twitter before, a set of complete and easy-to-follow instructions on setting up an account and getting started are available here. Twitter has it's own lingo and etiquette, but don't let it scare you. This blogpost covers the basics, or check out this post by an educator - 5 Tips for Teachers Getting Started on Twitter.

Please be sure to let me know you are on twitter by shooting out a tweet and tagging @EbelingHssd. This is the best and quickest PD and sharing of great news tool I have come across.

ALICE Information- Drill

On March 30th, we will be doing a Lockdown / ALICE drill. Please remember that ALICE does not follow a particular order and that it is all dependent on the situation. The goal is for you to make the best decision possible based on the information you have at the time. More information to follow regarding the drill.

Class Placement Procedure

This is early, but we will most likely continue the same process as last year where we met briefly with two grade levels, then the one grade level leaves after sharing information and we begin tentatively placing students with input from GT, Special Education, Lit. Spec., Speech, Principal, etc. We will print cards with winter data to help support the process as well.

Cool, quick and applicable reads

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