Cordata Weekly Bulletin


Happy Monday, Cordata!

Overall, I would say that we had a very successful start to 2019 in classrooms and all around Cordata! I could see the evidence that you all were taking time to reteach and reinforce expectations and reestablish the norms in our learning community. Let's keep that up this first full week back. In many ways, the first weeks of January are a lot like the first weeks of school, and the time we spend teaching and practicing clear expectations will pay off later in the year!

Below, a few pics from last week - reconnecting in our community with buddy classes, and secret handshakes between math partners.

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The week ahead - 1/7 - 1/11

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Thank you for reteaching and reinforcing hallway expectations! Are you noticing a difference with your students? This week, we'll be looking at office referral data and watching to see if we can identify an overall improvement in hallway behaviors.

In general, these first weeks are a good time to review the essentials of expected behavior, treating them almost like the beginning of the year in terms of establishing expectations. Below is the outline from the SEL calendar:

· All general ed teachers – Review cafeteria and playground expectations

· All specialists – practice at least two of the calming tools from Zones lessons on pp 115-120 in Zones – review the ways that kids may use these tools in your instructional setting.

· All general ed teachers – Teach Positive Discipline lessons in Encouragement section (OR continue with Caring School Community lessons)

o If you are not in the habit of having class meetings in a circle, start with the Forming a Circle: Quickly, Quietly, Safely lesson, p. 150 in Positive Discipline.

Use Encouragement Activities over several days, p. 81 in Positive Discipline. The Encouragement section of the Positive Discipline book is short, but activities lead to discussion, so there are plenty on p. 81 for multiple days.

Upcoming Dates

  • Jan 7 - Feb 8 - Assessment window opens - see winter column of district assessment schedule below
  • Jan. 15 - 2:45 - 4:00 - SECOND Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff
  • Jan. 17 - 1:00-3:00 - 2nd grade SGC
  • Jan. 21 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - no school for staff or students
  • Jan. 24 - 2:00-3:00 - Cert staff PD and collaboration time
  • Jan. 28 - 2:45-3:45 - Firm and Kind committee (this is a change from previously published Jan. 21)
  • Jan. 29 - Semester break, no-school day (I previously posted that this was a teacher work day, but that is not the case this year, it is a non-contract day. My apologies for the confusion!)
  • Jan. 31 - 1:00-3:00 - 1st grade SGC
  • Feb. 5 - 2:45-3:45 - Staff meeting in the library
  • Feb. 7 - 1:00-3:00 - Kinder SGC
  • FEb. 8 - 4:00 pm - report cards due for grades 1 through 5
  • Feb. 11 - NAEP testing for 4th graders
  • Feb. 11 - 2:45-3:45 - Firm and Kind committee meeting (This is a change from previously published Feb. 4)
  • Feb. 14 - 2:00-3:00 - Cert staff PD and collaboration time
  • Feb. 14 - report cards due for kindergarten
  • Feb. 21 - 1:00-3:00 - 4th grade SGC
  • Feb. 28 - 1:00-3:00 - 3rd grade SGC
  • March 7 - 1:00-3:00 - 5th grade SGC
  • March 19 - 2:45-4:00 - THIRD Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff
  • April 23 - 2:45-2:00 - FOURTH Tech Integration session for all Cordata cert staff
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Other News and Information

  • We are welcoming several student teachers to classrooms as the new year begins:
    Jim Eisenhart will be student teaching with Erin Eckley. You will recognize Jim, he was a paraeducator in our kindergarten classes this fall. Ghena Adams will be doing a part time internship with Adrya Dubel this winter, and full time student teaching in the spring. Stephanie Kosonen will be doing a part time internship with Danielle Eldridge this winter and spring, and anticipating full time student teaching next fall. And Leah Randolph is returning to Amanda Cramer's classroom for her full time student teaching this winter. Welcome to all of them!

  • I also want to introduce you to Kelly Eret, who will be joining us later this month as our Promise Kindergarten teacher. Rebecca Hurst, who worked in first grade as a paraeducator this fall, will be returning to Cordata as our Promise K paraeducator. Welcome to Kelly and welcome back to Rebecca!

  • In the upcoming dates above, you'll see that NAEP testing is happening for our 4th graders on Feb. 11. NAEP stands for National Assessment of Educational Progress, and is sometimes referred to as the Nation's report card. Schools are randomly selected for NAEP each year, and the scores are used to assess academic progress on a very large scale - individual student and school scores are not reported out from NAEP. This year, our school was chosen for the 4th grade assessment. Michelle is coordinating this for us, and on Feb. 11, we will have visitors here from NAEP to proctor assessments in literacy and math. Thank you to our fourth grade team for their flexibility in planning for this!

  • Teachers, how are you doing with your student growth goals? Remember, this is a part of your TPEP evaluation process. While Minh and I will review your goals as you recorded them in the staff OneNote notebook, it is up to you to be collecting data to share with us in the spring. If you have questions or need support, please reach out to let us know!

In closing . . .

Last week's learning link was related to culturally responsive teaching. This week, I'll share another; a brief quote from Zaretta Hammond. How are we tapping in to our students cultural knowledge and experience to help them learn to process information? What is one new strategy that you could try this week?

"The most common cultural tools for processing information utilize the brain's memory systems -- music, repetition, metaphor, recitation, physical manipulation of content, and ritual. The teacher is "responsive" when she is able to mirror these ways of learning in her instruction, using similar strategies to scaffold learning."

Remember that the Brown University website has some very practical ideas to try!