Team Thomson News & Notes

January 29, 2018

Important Information for You!

Literacy Essentials

So last week, I shared a video on explicit teaching of vocabulary during a read aloud and shared a few other points from Tanya Wrights presentation at the Literacy Conference. Remember, in order for vocabulary to be truly taught, it must be planned, repeated, and revisited. Kids need multiple opportunities to hear and use new words across different context. Once new vocabulary is introduced it must be integrated into as much natural conversation as possible. Tanya shared that she has often heard that kids can't learn 'big, more complex words' because they don't know the meaning of 'simple words'...well, this is completely false. There is no trajectory for vocabulary development and just because a child comes to us with a limited vocabulary doesn't mean that they can not learn these new or complex words and their meanings. I ask each of you to begin to think and be intentional with the vocabulary you use with your students. Write down the words you want to teach students, read through text you will expose them to pick out new vocabulary to teach them, and find opportunities to revisit the new vocabulary as much as you can. Why is this important...because vocabulary measured at the early ages predicts comprehension in the long term and we have the chance to impact this in a very positive way just by being intentional in our vocabulary instruction.

Again, the link to the Essentials in Literacy website is: It has a wealth of practical and meaningful instructional tips. I encourage you to visit this site frequently as it is being updated and added to all the time.

Michigan Model Videos

I know their has been concern over the last few years, especially when we did away with classroom TV’s and VCRs, that we have not been able to show the Michigan Model Videos. During the course of a conversation at principals meeting on Michigan Model it came up that many of the Michigan Model videos are streamed and that’s how teachers can access them. (This was news to many of us in the room!) That said, I did a bit of research and I have found that most of our curriculum videos are streamed on Discovery Ed. ( and are free for Michigan teachers. The login and password are both mi_model. It is recommended that you download the video to your computer or other hard-drive device and play from there, rather than playing the video live to your class from the discovery site, as the quality of the video will be much better if you download it first.

IRIP Deadline Extended

Megan C. and I met last week and will be extending the IRIP Deadline until February 9th. This will allow us to hold all PLC Data Discussions and also give time for Megan to also meet with you in PLC groups if you'd like to write/revise the IRIP documents, but still have them completed in time for Early Parent-Teacher Conferences February 13th.

Cardinal Code Focus of the Week:

This week the Cardinal Code focus is CAFETERIA. This goes great with our Golden Lunch Box. After reviewing, talk with your class about ways they can improve and what goals they have for themselves.

Parent Dashboard

The Parent Dashboard (thank you J. Torok!) is filled with important school-level information that parents and others say they want to know about Michigan public schools, including charter schools. I encourage you to watch the video on the left side of the 'home' page from State Superintendent of Education, Brian Whiston, it can be found in the link below.

I've also included the link to the Dashboard that takes you directly to Davison Community Schools and you can then select Thomson Elementary. While there isn't a lot of information for our school because we don't take the state assessment, I encourage you to check out the site.

Report Card Enelvopes

Parents should return signed report card envelopes to their child's homeroom teacher by Monday, January 29.

Quotes Worth Reading

"A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every person makes a mark.“

Chinese Proverb

What mark will you leave this week, month, year?

Thomson Elementary

Home of the Thomson Teddies!


Where Kids Come First and Futures Begin!

Celebrations & Announcements

Birthdays... No Birthdays this Week!

Sign up for the Staff Potluck February 2nd.

If you did not turn in your Box Tops in the provided envelope Friday, please do so right away.

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Week of January 29th-Official PLC Week, but remember you will need to meet outside this week for PLC Data Day and to complete IRIPs.
  • Monday, January 29th-Math Curriculum Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 30th-PTO Pals; Table of Honor; DI Meeting, 4:15-5:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 1st-Photo Factory will be in the building to take 'candid' shots; Elementary Principals Meeting (Natalie); CPR Training for MERT Team 3:45-6:45 p.m.
  • Friday, February 2nd-IRIPs due to Megan; Staff Pot Luck...sign up in the lounge.
  • Week of February 4th-PLC Week
  • Monday, February 5th-Kindergarten ELA Lab Classroom; Board of Education Meeting, 7:00 p.m. in the HS AMR
  • Tuesday, February 6th-100th Day of School...Can you believe it?
  • Wednesday, February 7th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda: Success Criteria, bring lesson plans); Social Studies Curriculum Meeting, 4:15-6:15 p.m.; CAP Parent Meeting, 6:30 p.m. in the Hahn Library...please include in your newsletters.
  • Thursday, February 8th-General Admin Meeting (Natalie); PEP & SEED Presentations for Parents
  • Tuesday, February 13th-Early Spring Conferences from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Please schedule these and turn in your schedule to the office.
  • Wednesday, February 14th-Happy Valentine's Day!
  • Thursday, February 15th-Elementary Principals Meeting (Natalie); CMC Meeting 4-7 p.m.
  • Friday, February 16th-Elementary PLC Day-All Thomson Certified Staff should report to Gates for grade level/department PLCs.
  • February 19th-23rd-Intersession II