Tiger Beat

Acton Weekly Update: 9/23/16

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Brook Wessel-Burke

Cell: 317-331-1920

Curriculum and Instruction

FTCSC DIBELS GOALS: Accuracy 85% and Fluency 80%

Ways to Respond to Independent Reading, Read with A Buddy, or Read Aloud Time~

1.) Focused Free Writing: Write everything that comes to mind about your book-what is happening in it, how you feel about it, anything at all. Just keep writing until your teacher tells you to stop. The teacher could then have the students go back and circle or underline anything worth keeping. The students could then use some of the ideas they circled or underlined to write a paragraph.

2.) Cut Ups: Choose a paragraph or page from the book you’re reading and copy it onto a piece of paper. Cut it apart so that each sentence is on a separate slip of paper. Mix up the order of the slips and pass them to the person on your left to reorganize. Have that person tape your work into a new order. Talk about the differences between the original order and the one your group member devised. Are there ways in which the new order is better?

Way to rock the start of school!!!


Dear Fellow Educators,

Election Day is around the corner.

In order for students to comprehend the events of the election, they need a lot of background knowledge on elections, voting, and the presidency.

Bring these articles into your classroom: K-12 Articles—Countdown to the Election

Do you know any new teachers that should know about Digital.ReadWorks.org and ReadWorks.org? Please share!

Happy Teaching!

The Team at ReadWorks

Climate and Culture

Motivational and effort-building strategies build an inclusive, positive class climate and strengthen the class’s social glue.

Delegate tasks with classroom jobs.

Elementary~ Hire a Materials Handler to pass out and collect supplies; an Environmental Agent to manage lighting, temperature, and windows; and a Security Officer to be a line leader or line ender.

Secondary~ Illustrators write down student suggestions and create visual aids, graphic organizers, and posters for the class; a Special Effects manager acts as the class DJ, does drum rolls on his desk, or is in charge of a punctuating instrument such as a tambourine or drum; and Energy Directors lead the class in short dance moves and/or stretch breaks or simply signals the teacher when energy lags.

Share the power so that students feel some ownership of the class and its proceedings.

From: Engaging Students With Poverty In Mind

Nuts and Bolts

How is scheduling going for your PT Conferences? If you have a parent who has not signed up yet, please reach out to them this week to get a time scheduled. We want 100% participation. If you make multiple attempts to get a parent in and they can't a phone conference will do. PLEASE provide a copy of your schedule with the front office. We will have several parents calling to confirm time and it is very helpful to have your schedules.

As you hopefully saw on Friday, we will continue to take grades for SS/Sci but we will no longer post grades when it comes to report card time. Further communication will go out to parents from the FT curriculum department. Thank you for your feedback as we embark on more hands on explorations for students during these subjects vs the previous workbook driven lesson. Dr. Sherman will lead us along this journey.

There was discussion recently at the leadership meeting regarding chain of command. We want to ensure that all schools are following expectations for communication so that we can carefully monitor progress and protocol. If you have a concern or question that may require the curriculum, maintenance, operations or any other department please contact me first. I will either contact that department directly or direct you on next steps. This ensures that I am aware of all situations and can guide the progress.

Teacher Evaluation System Changes

Folks, I want to let you know that I found out on Thursday at the Leadership Meeting and Pivot Training that lesson plans uploaded within 48 hours of an observation are no longer required. Thank you to those of you who have done that for me. If I every have any questions I may ask for a copy of lesson plans, but it will no longer be an expectation.

Athlete Mentors

Starting this week we will be piloting a new initiative! I've partnered with Mr. Orr, the FC Athletic Director, to pilot an athlete mentor program. Athletes will be from an "on-season" team and will usually be varsity players. We are going to start small. Each Wednesday at 2:50 a few athletes will come over to the school to read a book and meet students in one class. This week will be Miss Reynold's class. I'll create a class schedule that will include every classroom. We hope to grow this program to tutoring, fluency practice, peer facilitating, etc.


Teachers in Grades 3-5, RA Teachers, IA's and a few other designated people are required to watch the Testing Security Video below along with read the documents on the Google Drive that is at the other link below. We are required to complete this before we leave for Fall Break. I am going to give you a couple of options.

1. If you've administered ISTEP before and are familiar with the process, you are still required to read and watch the provided material and sign off that you have done so, however you may do this on your own.

2. If you have administered or proctored ISTEP, you can read and view everything and then check in with me to answer any questions you may have, then sign off that you've completed everything.

3. If you are uncertain about the testing security process, new to the district, or want a refresher, you can read and view the documents on your own, but you will also need to meet with me to go over everything together. IA's we will meet after your time with Ronna on Wednesday. Teachers in this category, we will meet on Friday morning at 8:10 in the conference room.

Google Drive Testing Security

ISTEP Testing Security 2016-2017 VIDEO