Staff Weekly Update

For the Week of February 15th, 2016

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*UPDATE* - Barista for Amy Beverland

We are all set for this act of kindness! Here are the details:

  • Date: Friday, March 11th, 2016
  • EspressoToGo will be our vendor
  • 7:30 - 9:30 will be the beverage serving times
  • Fund amount to raise will be $360
  • Remember, all donations are optional but if you elect to donate, there is no set amount - just any amount that you would like to chip-in.
  • To help make this as much as a "win-win" situation, SGE will have TWO extra Jeans Days on the following Fridays: Feb. 19th & March 4th
  • If you elect to participate in these two non-payday Jeans Day, please give Jen Evans $5 for your participation!
  • As a way to keep track of our amount made, I will ask Jen to please post the amount earned each day by the mailboxes. This will help us to raise just the exact amount needed without going too much over.
  • IF we do go over our amount, I would like to donate it to ABE to purchase staff professional development books in honor of Susan Jordan for their PD Library. At this time, they have an incredible amount of books that have been donated to the library and for their students.


Main Office Changes: Guest Waiting Area

By now, you've all noticed the changes that we have started to make in our main office area, particularly for our guest waiting area. Here are the details we wanted to share out as we slowly get the items we have ordered in order to make this change:

  • Parents/guests will STILL sign in by Jen Evans' desk area. This allows for our guests to still get a "human face" greeting, as well as allows for Jen to make eye contact with our guest(s).
  • Once signed in and all ID's have been checked, our guests will be instructed to please wait in the tile area with the round tables and tall green chairs.
  • For their viewing pleasure, all guests will be able to watch our large TV as announcements and examples of student empowerment become a part of our SGE Slide Show.
  • You will also notice smaller student chairs outside the offices of Connie, Martha, and Lisa. When students are ready to visit us, this is now where they will wait.
  • The adult chairs that were in each corner of our office are now gone. We are still unsure of what we will put in the corners but please know we are open to any of your GREAT ideas!! :-)


  • The main reason is to preserve the dignity of our students and protect their privacy.
  • Our main office is very open no matter what we do. However, if we can get help to increase our level of privacy for our students by simply changing the waiting pattern of our guests, it will be well-worth this change!
  • Another reason (but VERY secondary) is that our new TV could not be wall-mounted in any spot of the main office so that it could be viewed from each corner. Simply having it in the tile area allows for an unobstructed view by ALL!

My Planning Session with Kyle Beimfohr By Deb Milam

With technology as one of our priorities, whispers echo in my head… I went to the lab today but several couldn’t get logged in, passwords didn’t work, programs were slow in loading, programs quit working…

Instruction time is so precious it is difficult to take the chance of investing time that may not pay off. To the rescue! Kyle Beimfohr!

On Friday 2/5, Kyle met me in the lab with my students. We brought the logins/passwords we had. Kyle helped ALL of us log onto Google with our district stumail accounts, but we didn’t stop there!

With that login, we were able to establish accounts on Newsela, a nonfiction, current event site, Khan Academy, a math instruction site, AND introduced my students to Google Keep, a great place to take notes that are shared with the teacher through

It did take the 50 minutes of my lab time, but now my students are ready to go! Thanks, Kyle!

Deb Milam, continuing to work on her technology skills!

Thank you, Deb, for this AWESOME testimony! Remember friends, if you simply ask Kyle to meet with you, you DON'T have to have a thing ready! Simply bring your lesson plans and growth mindset and he will guide you the rest of the way!

Common Vocabulary for Reading Units of Study

For those of you that attended that late January Units of Study for Reading Workshop training, hosted by our Literacy Coaches, you all received a copy of this handout.

However, I wanted to highlight this document once again for those of you that did not attend. WHY? As we continue to grow as a district, it's more important than ever that we start to use specific terminology with a specific common definition.

For example, if you tell me to observe you during your "Reading Workshop" time, I would expect to "see" the following definition of reading workshop: A simple and predictable structure centered on students reading. It includes mini-lessons, independent work time, conferring and small-group work, mid-workshop teaching, and shares during which partnerships or clubs work together.

Click here to view this document or you can also find on our SGE Canvas page by clicking the link, "SGE 15-16 Google Drive Files for Canvas."

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If you can believe it . . . it's time to start thinking about this event! Here are the details:

  • SGE KDG Round Up date is: Thursday, April 7th (it's much earlier this year)
  • Rooms used will be the gym + the music room
  • Music on this date will be held in room 127
  • NO staff meeting on this date . . . NEW date for staff meeting will be Thursday, April 28th. Please mark your calendars accordingly!
  • Also, our MAY staff meeting will be changed to Friday, May 27th - Teacher Record Day
  • Our format for this date will be the same as last year.
  • You will ALL get the full details once they have been finalized - just in case parents as you questions about it.
  • Soon, you will all get a blurb to copy/paste and also place in your parent communication newsletters. As soon as we get the information + sign-up link ready for the Friday Flyer, we will also send out to teachers, too. Thanks!

Tuesday Take-Away: READ ALOUDS

Why Read Alouds (RA) are a Good Thing

  • · RA's to children provides a consistent model of phrased, fluent reading.
  • · It develops a student’s interest in books and the desire to be a reader.
  • · RA's contribute to comprehension and vocabulary development.
  • · They help build children’s background knowledge and listening skills.
  • · Children can listen on a higher language level than they can independently read. Through RA's, children can be exposed to language patterns and vocabulary that are not part of their everyday speech or independent reading experiences.
  • · RA's provide a shared experience in the classroom. They provide a common experience that helps to build classroom history and culture.

Tips to Make the Most of Your Read Aloud Time

  • · Choose good books. This really goes without saying. One way to be intentional about the books you read aloud to your students is to ask these questions: Is this book worthy of my time and my students’ time? Will it spark conversation? Will it encourage students to explore other books on the same topic, in the same genre, or by the same author? A website I love that is a tremendous resource for teachers and parents is Read Kiddo Read. Author James Patterson is a champion of getting kids to love reading, and his website is full of goodies for teachers and families. Another place that is a good resource is Jim Trelease’s website. He really brought the importance of reading aloud to kids to the forefront decades ago.
  • · Think about your purpose for your read aloud. Is it to introduce a new theme or topic? Are you using it as a mentor text? Are you reading it purely for enjoyment? Are you introducing a new author?
  • · For beginning readers especially, make sure you note the text structure. For fiction books, talk about characters, setting, what happened first, next, and last. For nonfiction, show how the book incorporates things like compare and contrast, cause and effect, and problem and solution, and text features.
  • · Preview the book with your class ahead of time. Let your students know why you have chosen it and how it fits into what is happening in the classroom.
  • · Make connections. Help students make connections to their lives, to other books they have read, and to universal concepts like kindness or justice.
  • · Think aloud while you are reading, but not too much. This helps students to be able to hear all of those things that happen inside a reader’s mind while he is thinking as he reads.
  • · Don’t over-teach your read aloud. If you try to put too many lessons or connections into one book or chapter, the result can be a choppy string of pieces of the story, instead of a tale that flows together.
  • · Let your students see you enjoying the pleasure of reading. Some students have parents who read at home. Some don’t. You can be the model of an adult who finds a book to be something to treasure.

PTO Spring Silent Auction: Saturday, February 27th!

First of all, just another friendly reminder that if you have NOT YET donated an item to this event, please consider making one! PTO stands for parents and teachers - this is a team effort!

Sips, Bites & Bids: Silent Auction 2016

  • Date: Saturday, February 27th
  • Silent auction of over 100 items
  • Wine and spirits pull
  • Tickets are $40 per person, which includes two drinks & heavy appetizers
  • FREE ticket to every staff member that donates a silent auction item!
  • Click here to purchase your tickets

7-DAY FORECAST: Winter Has Returned! Not sure yet what Tuesday will bring regarding "another snow-maker possible," but since this is Indiana, we will prepare ourselves for just about anything! End of the week temperatures are looking good!

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Congratulations, Allison Albright! . . . We can't wait for the arrival of your beautiful baby GIRL!!! Thank you for sharing the good news on Saturday's email!

Random Acts of Kindness Week . . . For the week of Feb. 15th (just a 3-day week), Lisa has scheduled two events for SGE. Please mark your calendars accordingly:

  • Wed. Feb. 17th - All school convocation w/ Miss Indiana - 9:30, GYM. Lisa has NOT yet finalized the specials details w/ the 3rd grade team but I have asked that she please get this finalized quickly. IF we have to switch our Wednesday/Thursday related arts schedule, we will let you know ASAP for your lesson planning purposes.
  • Fri. Feb. 19th - Western Wear Day in honor of our Kindness Country Concert with the Hobbs Sisters!

ISTEP+ is just a few weeks away . . . The testing schedule got sent out by Martha on Friday! WOOHOO! I will be sure to email the schedule out to ALL teachers early this week. While it won't impact you directly, it will be nice for all staff to be in the know of this schedule. Thanks!

ABM - Spring Cleaning List . . . ABM staff will be working during spring break shampooing the cafe carpet, a few (not all) hallways, etc . . . Please let Alison Maxey know if there are any other areas that you see in your room or anywhere else at SGE that needs to be added to the spring cleaning list. We cannot promise it will get done, but they have requested your input in order to ensure they can get as much as possible. Thank you!

Intentional Teaching blog . . . by our very own, Allison Spillman! We all know how knowledgeable Allison is, but now thanks to her blog, the whole world can benefit from her professional insight. Click here to read her blog and to sign up to receive notifications of new posts.

Here are our beautiful birthday friends for February 2016!

*If you are NEW and we do not have your birthdate, please email Alison so we can recognize you on your special day! Thank you!*


6 - Allison Spillman

13 - Connie Largent

17 - Emily Clare

18 - Diane Herbst

21 - Abby Andries

22 - Jessica Luchenbill

2015-2016 Lifelines

August - Cooperation

September - Respect

October - Flexibility

November - Gratitude

December - Generosity

January - Responsibility

February - Friendship

March - Perseverance

April - Self-Control

May - Integrity

From the Kathy Collins Workshop: The Saddest Bookworm (Isn't this how we would want every child to react after the book has ended? Watch this 90 second video!)

The saddest bookworm