Bradley Buzz

What's Buzzin' at Tohickon Valley Elementary School

September 19-23, 2016

Sustained silent reading is dedicated time set aside for students to read what they choose. It is designed to build reading habits, background knowledge, and vocabulary. Sustained silent reading can contribute to students’ positive attitudes, interest and motivation toward reading. (Learning Words Inside and Out, Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher, 2009)

Working Together to be Our Best - Student Achievement for All - Whatever it Takes!

New News...

Parent Night 3-5– is Monday, 9/19 from 6:30-7:30. Parents of students in Grades 3-5 will meet me in the the MPR at 6:30 for a 15-minute presentation by Orathia.

Study Island for Students in Grades 3-5 - Please do not attempt to create log-ins for students. Student logins need to be generated at district office for any students not in the Study Island system. If any student is not in Study Island, please put a work order in and it will be done by Lisa Dunn.

Study Island Webinar (Grades 3-5) - Tony Carty will be hosting a webinar for grades 3-5 teachers on Tuesday, 9/20 from 8:00 - 9:00.

Conference Date Selection - Thank you for your quick response to determine our conference dates. It has been brought to my attention that there were some concerns regarding why the conference dates were changed. With the addition of Plus classes, it is challenging to reschedule a four-hour conference block for intermediate grades when there is a conflict. I used the survey data to pick another viable date, and that is how the dates were selected in the interest of partnering with families so that they could meet with all of their child's teachers since intermediate grades share students. The hours for conferences are 4:15-8:15 this year because dismissal often ends between 4:06-4:10. Since parents will not be Raptored when they come for conferences, I thought it prudent to ensure that the students were safely out of the building by the time parents start arriving. Thanks for your flexibility.

STARS Reading Initiative at TV - It is my goal to implement STARS break time with fidelity during teacher's 15 min. break time building-wide. To that end, I want to ensure that there is an understanding of the roles of all stakeholders involved in implementing this initiative. The plan is that five minutes prior to the start of the teacher's scheduled contractual break time, the classroom teacher will prompt the students to take out their self-select texts and select a space to read silently. The teacher may model reading a book of his/her choice to establish the expected atmosphere. At the start of the teacher's break time, the Instructional Aide will seamlessly enter the classroom quietly and the teacher will exit. The Instructional Aide will monitor the students' reading time and not conference with students. Each person's roles are described in the attached document. Click HERE if you would like to know why I believe this is a beneficial initiative at TV. This chart clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of the students and all adults during STARS time. An enlarged Student Responsibilities Chart will be distributed to classrooms for posting. Please see Orathia if you have questions or concerns regarding STARS implementation.

Now scheduling Goal/SLO Meetings!!! - Please use your google calendar to schedule your Goal/SLO meeting with me as soon as possible or ask Heidi to assist with scheduling it. You can expect that the meeting will last approximately 30 minutes. You will need to complete your goal and SLO form in time for our meeting. Please schedule your meeting today!

Supervision 3.0 - This year, I would like to implement a more collaborative coaching experience with professionals. I will soon be sending teachers a personal google doc that will be used as a repository of notes, reflection, feedback and dialogue between me and you. Collaborative dialogue is my desired outcome from the use of this google doc tool. You will use the google doc to input your professional goal and SLO goal, and we will then use your google doc to correspond accordingly for walkthroughs and reflection. As you know, the purpose of Supervision 3.0 is to effectively facilitate student success by supporting teachers in continuous improvement of instructional practices through continuous dialogue, setting high expectations, coaching for growth, encouraging risk taking, and providing meaningful, targeted feedback, effective professional development, and appropriate resources. Please ensure that you have an understanding of Supervision 3.0 by reviewing it here.

SLO - You will identify the math or reading SLO goal that you choose on the google form that I will send to you. This document will assist you in planning the selection of your SLO goal. Supervision Plan 3.0 explains that for 2016-17, the goal is to keep student Learning center stage in the sLo process:

  • Common assessments will continue to be defined for a course/grade level group

  • sLo criteria will be approved by the building principal

  • Teachers will collect data in whatever way(s) they need to in order to demonstrate student learning

  • Spreadsheets will not be maintained or emphasized at a building or central level. Teachers may copy the Google spreadsheets to use as a tool if desired.

It’s not about a bucket. It’s about students learning skills and mastering content.

EUREKA, we can do this! I have been hearing lots of feedback regarding the implementation of the Eureka Math program. I want to applaud you because I know you're working hard to learn and implement this new program! If you need help, please don't hesitate to reach out to Misty or one of the learning facilitators. We're all in this together, so know that you are not alone! Greg Lesher recently sent an email with some helpful pointers for your consideration as you continue to tackle this new program:

  • Remember, to give students a chance to reflect on the patterns in Sprint A, have them quickly share out, add in you own thoughts, and then give them some time (30 seconds to 1 minute to complete the remainder of the problems). This approach can be mimicked for Sprint B as well. Between Sprint A and Sprint B, don't forget to give kids a quick brain break by getting them up and skip counting in a kinesthetic manner (e.g. ceiling punches, knee bends; but probably not push ups:))
Fluency Activities Outside of Sprints
  • These are so fun, engaging and elicit a ton of participation that it's easy to get spend double the amount of time allotted here. That said, don't forget to time yourself with a timer on your cell phone, watch, stopwatch, etc.
  • Don't forget about those pacing considerations on the curriculum maps and found within the teacher's edition for Eureka! They are HUGE in helping your understand what to omit, combine, etc.
  • Remember, the planning expectations that were discussed at the workshops in the summer. Take the module assessments to understand the bar, take all the exit tickets within the Topic to identify the complexities between lessons, work on the problem sets for EVERY lesson, take notes on misconceptions and complexities within the problem set to help you create scaffolds to support students in the leap in complexities, identify student debrief questions and key pieces of the concept development that you want to drive home (including vocabulary) and then work on customizing the other components (application problem and fluency).
    • Please note that the flipcharts are not your plan. Teacher Editions should be highlighted and annotated, problems and exit tickets should be completed, and post-it notes can be used as well. Basically, your TE should be heavily marked up.

Safety Update - Bollards are coming soon - As a result of the recent suspicious car incident, we will be installing portable bollards marked with "DO NOT ENTER" on them at the entrance of the playground (near the pavilion) to deter vehicles from driving to the back of the building. Safety first!

Picture Day envelopes - will be sent home in Wednesday folders this week!

Teacher Schedules (with guided reading time, shared reading time, Word Work, etc. noted) were due to the office by Friday, September 16th. If you have not submitted your schedule, please do so immediately.

Your Voice Matters: Be sure to share your thoughts and feedback with your PAC leader and/or see Orathia directly. Our first PAC meeting is scheduled for this Thursday, 9/22.

Constitution Day was observed on Friday, September 16th. Teachers were required to teach a lesson regarding the US Constitution. I trust that all teachers included a lesson accordingly. However, only 5th grade listed what they did on the planning chart. Thank you, 5th grade team! Please take a moment to click here to share what you did in your classroom for Constitution day. Be sure to share any cool pics with Orathia!

Suggestions for Substitute were to be completed and turned to the office by Friday, September 16th. Please get it in if you haven't done so already!

Things to Remember to Do...

  • eTV News - If grade levels or departments have information that you would like posted on the digital newsletter on the website, please send it to me with what you want noted. I will copy and paste it into the newsletter. Thanks so much!
  • Our gracious PTO is planning to fund assemblies for each grade level this year. Be sure to talk to your PAC leader about what assemblies you would like considered.
  • Be sure to print out a class roster for all of your classes and place it in your green/red folder.
  • It is a professional responsibility and a legal requirement that teachers adhere to and implement IEP SDI and 504 accommodations with fidelity. You are encouraged to print out a hard copy and keep it out and accessible on your desk or on your computer desktop to review frequently because some of the plans are very detailed. If you have any questions, please be sure to see the case manager or Orathia.
  • You recently received an email from Erin Oleksa regarding a pilot for digital portfolios. Digital Portfolios afford students the opportunity to reflect on their writing and share their learning with a broader audience. As you know, it is Dr. Harner’s goal that by 2017-2018, all of our students will create a writing portfolio. As part of this process, we will be collecting data to determine areas of focus and need regarding writing and reflection. Remember that ALL teachers please take 5 minutes to complete this brief survey.
  • Be sure to complete a Personnel Directory Form so that we have your contact information in the event of an emergency.
  • Thank you for your timeliness and commitment to your assigned duties and responsibilities. The revised Duties and Responsibilities sheet is now on yellow paper. Teamwork makes the dream work!
  • All correspondence that teachers/staff send out must be sent to Orathia in advance. Please also copy Orathia on listserv emails to families.
  • Put any items that you want laminated in the office with your name on it. Please do not use the laminator to avoid breakdowns.
  • Write Learning Targets and success criteria on the board in your classroom daily.
  • Work with your colleagues to identify a time for monthly data team meetings with Orathia, OTL representative, Katie/Corey, Misty, & Sally.
  • Contact the office directly and take a walkie talkie if you plan to take your class outside during class-time.

Important Dates...

Monday, 9/19

6:30-7:30 – Parent Night (3-5)

Tuesday, 9/20

Dr. Bradley OUT at NISL Class

7:00 – PTO Room Parent Meeting

Wednesday, 9/21

Dr. Bradley OUT at NISL Class

Thursday, 9/22

PAC Meeting - 8:00 - Be sure to share your ideas with your PAC leader!

Friday, 9/23

STARS Lesson to be done

Dr. Bradley is OUT - my first official college (PITT) visit with my son, Jordan! :-)

Tuesday, 9/27

Faculty Meeting - 8:00

Click HERE for Cycle Day # Calendar

Morning Meetings: Creating a Safe Space for Learning

Responsive Classroom - Morning Meetings

One of the most powerful elements of the Responsive Classroom practices is the morning meeting. The morning meeting is usually on the carpet--building community and cultivating positive classroom interactions and intentional learning opportunities. This video demonstrates the possibilities of Responsive Classroom practices. It is my hope that the morning meetings will become a positive part of your instructional period. It is a great place to include an opportunity "Book Shares" for your STARS time by asking a few students to share the book/text they have been reading, the reading strategy they've been practicing, and whether they like or dislike the book and why. It's also a great place to begin the lesson with a kinesthetic Eureka math activity. The possibilities are endless!