Busy Bee Leader Board

See the Good. See the Need. See the Whole. See the Possible.

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Let's Celebrate Learning!

As the middle of the year approaches, I would like to celebrate student learning. Similar to our end of year learning celebration, I would like to have a middle of the year growth celebration. Below you will find several links to articles about various ways to celebrate learning. Please look over these resources. We will be discussing this as PLC teams on January 8. We will be holding celebration assemblies in addition to the classrooms celebrations you will prepare. I would like to get some feedback from you regarding the design of these assemblies. The assemblies will celebrate growth, so please take some time to do some goal setting with your students so that they know what they are working towards. Their growth goal could be an academic goal, a social goal, a perseverance/grit goal or even an attendance goal. I look forward to celebrating learning with students!

Leaders of Learning

This week's nominees:

Faye Riggsbee: I would like to nominate Faye Riggsbee for her immediate response to a situation at the car duty line. Faye stepped up to help out when one of our dear IA's was sick and unable to come to school. Faye started her own AM duty and then rushed out to help get the students and parents safely in. This all took place on Tuesday, when the weather was so cold only a penguin would have volunteered!!! Faye put the "T" in TEAM!

Diann Fortune: I would like to nominate Diann Fortune as leader of the week. The book fair was “awesome” as my kids said. There were so many fun activities to do beside just being able to buy a book (crown making, story time, jousting, sword fighting). Not only did Diann do such a great job with the fair but also ran the library and all of her classes just as efficiently as she always does. She is such an asset to SPP!

Jevone Baldwin: I would like to nominate Jevone Baldwin because she always works so hard with our students to make sure they are reaching their fullest potential. I appreciate her so much and everything she does for each student in our class. She has a heart of gold.

Making our Hive Thrive

K - Teachers are looking at the unpacking documents and the NCDPI Wikispace to design math lessons. They are also using math workstations to engage students in standards based math tasks.

1st- Teachers are using technology during literacy assignments to actively engage students. Teachers are thinking outside of the box and designing literacy assignments that are fun and standards based.

2nd - Teachers are using anchor charts in math to show students that there are multiple ways to solve problems.

Thomas Tidbits

I would like to acknowledge Alvita and her heartfelt messages of the impact you each have as educators. Her leadership in presenting our #goodcallshome initiative was outstanding! I am certain that many of us were deeply touched by her story and the positive impact her teachers, assistants and coaches had on her. She knows first hand the power behind her favorite quote:

And remember, "Every kid needs a champion." --Rita Pierson

Counselor Corner

Christmas Trips

I had 112 kids on my list that teachers said needed help for Christmas or Thanksgiving. We were able to help 30 kids over Thanksgiving, thanks to the Southern Pines Rotary Club. Out of the 112 kids, 45 kids will be going on a Belk shopping trip, thanks to the Southern Pines United Methodist Church and the rest are being helped through Caring Hearts for Kids of Moore County. 30 of those kids will also be taking a trip to the Country Bookshop located in downtown Southern Pines. 4 of our families are being helped with private adoptions. All students who returned a permission slip for any trip, will also get a stocking with underwear, socks, toothbrushes, toothpaste and a book.

Belk Shopping Trip – Tuesday, December 9 at 8:30am

The Country Bookshop Trip – Monday, December 15 at 9:00am

Pick up dates for Belk clothing:
Thursday, Dec 11 and Friday, Dec 12. The clothes will be in my office. The parents need to have had a conference with you this year. If they have not, they were told to contact you asap. Please let me know who those parents are.

BackPack Pals Fundraiser

Thank you to all who donated to the BackPack Pals fundraiser!!! As a school we raised $173.

WOOOHOOO go us!!! Also, Nicki Bauer won a Christmas cd and 2 movie tickets from the BackPack Pals Fundraiser!!

Bee Bucks PJ’s/Dance Party
Tickets are in the bee buck store to purchase or I can put some in your mailbox. Everyone should have their date and time of when they are going.

If student’s need coats, hats or gloves, please let me know. We also had more snacks donated. Please take them for your classroom!!!!!

Hour of Code--The Largest Learning Event in History!!

As a reminder, we will be participating in Hour of Code December 8-14. Please visit the links above for more information.

I have been exploring the Hour of Code website and there are ready made courses for Elementary students! There is one 20 hour course designed for K-1

http://studio.code.org/s/course1 and a different one designed for 2-5 http://studio.code.org/s/course2. There is also a new Hour of Code tutorial based on the characters from Frozen. Our students would eat this up!


As we gear up for Hour of Code, I hope you will explore some of these options for students to access in the STEAM lab, in the classroom or even at home!

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Minecraft and Common Core Math

Clint Rogers is working on getting Minecraft for Education added to the computers in our STEAM lab. I am really excited about how this will invite creativity and collaboration in our students through problem solving and critical thinking! Here is a an article about a teacher who is doing just that!


STEAM planning aids

Walkthrough Focus

Now that we have celebrated the growth of our students so far this year, it is time to focus on goal-setting with our students. As most of you know, I am a big fan of Robert Marzano and his books on effective instruction. In his book The Art and Science of Teaching, Marzano articulates a model of 41 elements that describe classroom expertise and he chunks them into 9 design questions. The first design question is: What will I do to establish and communicate learning goals, track student progress, and celebrate success? Our walkthrough focus in December will be to look for the 3 elements that fall under this design question: providing clear learning goals & rubrics, tracking student progress, and celebrating success.

In case you were wondering...

In 1995, a joint statement was released that defined the Constitutional law regarding religion in public schools. Below you will find the definition of religious holidays in schools. I thought you might find it helpful should a question be posed by a parent. Here is the text of that statement:

Religious Holidays

14. Generally, public schools may teach about religious holidays, and may celebrate the secular aspects of the holiday and objectively teach about their religious aspects. They may not observe the holidays as religious events. Schools should generally excuse students who do not wish to participate in holiday events. Those interested in further details should see Religious Holidays in the Public Schools: Questions and Answers*, a pamphlet published by a broad spectrum of religious and civil liberties groups.

Upcoming Dates

December 8-14: Hour of Code week

December 10: Marci off campus for Principals Meeting

December 10: Duty Free Lunch with Dessert Bar (provided by PTA)

December 12: Kindergarten students to perform at Southern Pines Rotary

December 16: First Grade Celebration of the Arts

December 17: Southern Middle School Orchestra to perform @ 10:30 followed by School-wide Sing-a-long

December 18: YR Break begins

December 19: TR Break begins

January 2: Optional Workday

January 5: All students return from Break

January 5-16: SRI MOY (Important information to come from Jennifer Beck regarding a new preliminary test that our students must take prior to the actual SRI test.)

January 5-14: Teachers complete Mid-Year Review of PDP

January 7: Marci off campus for Principals Meeting

January 8: Alvita off campus for Skill Observation & Coaching--8:30-11:30

January 12-February 3: mClass MOY

January 12-23: Math Benchmark for TR

January 14: School Improvement Site Visit

January 14: Staff Meeting

January 15: Last day for Mid-Year PDPs to be signed by Marci & Alvita--No data PLC team meeting on this day as it is in the middle of the mClass MOY assessment. PLC teams can use this team meeting for whatever is needed. Marci & Alvita will be available in the multipurpose room to sign PDPs for anyone who has not completed theirs prior to the 15th. All teachers PDPs must be signed by the end of the day.

January 16: Early Release day--Vertical Teams--same teams as previously--Lisa Neal to present PD to Science and Math teams on assessement probes in K-2 classrooms. ELA and SS will be digging further into the standards and planning with support from district or school leaders.

  • SS: Culbertson, Michno, Bonner, Scales, Lee, Earhart
  • Science: Kolean, Meadows, Hively, Nocton, Futral, Crabtree
  • ELA: Blanchard: Davis, Myatt, O'Connor, Brown, Beadell, Osterman, Carrington
  • Math: Bauer, Crosby, Lovett, Mumper, Dunn

January 19: No School

January 21: 1st and 2nd graders to Pinecrest @ 12:30 for Encore Kids! performance of the Carolina Philharmonic

January 21: Marci working with Dr. Rutherford--8:30-11:30

January 21-22: Marci at Friday Institute in Raleigh

January 21: SIT meeting

January 23: Volunteer Breakfast

January 26: Required Teacher Workday--DreamBox Session 8:00-9:00

January 28: Marci at Teaching Fellows Commission Meeting

January 30: Assistants at PD on Supporting the Literacy Framework--10:30-12:30