Food for Thought
Principal's Weekly Communication -Week of November 16
Our fourth meeting was productive. We partnered up to review our current behavior matrix. Solidifying the matrix builds the foundation for our universal expectations school wide. When we are all speaking the same language and having the same expectations our students thrive and staff feels connected. We will have a review for staff to provide feedback on the matrix. We also plan to hold student sessions with students in grades 3-5 to gain a student perspective. More information on submitting names of student reps from your class and when review sessions will be held will be coming prior to Thanksgiving break.
Our work can be found in the:
Our next meeting will be on December 4th
School Improvement Planning Through Rising Star
Learning Environment: CL8 The school culture supports teachers in practicing effective and responsive instruction to meet individual student needs.
Educator Quality: ID13 Instructional teams meet for blocks of time sufficient to develop and refine units of instruction and review student learning data.
Teaching and Learning: IIB04 Teachers differentiate instruction based on assessment results to provide support for some students and enhance learning opportunities for others.
We have been doing a lot of talking lately about differentiated instruction. When we begin to discuss this topic, we usually jump to, “How does this look?” However, before we address how it can look, we must find out the needs of our students. The following link, Formative Assessment is the Cornerstone of Differentiated Instruction, gives us some insight into creating purposeful goals and checking in with students. Some examples of formative assessment are: checklists, entry/exit slips, UofS tasks, writing samples, math boxes, “whiteboard” checks, running records, etc. Once you know where your students are at, differentiation can begin.
Guided Math Resources
Visual Thinking Strategy (VTS)
“What is going on with this picture?” Using this question paired with an intriguing photograph or piece of art is a great springboard in getting students to close read text. An excerpt from Visual Thinking Strategies for Improved Comprehension (link) summarizes VTS as:
It is a very simple activity designed to build students' background knowledge and develop thinking skills that use detail to enhance understanding. Many educators have used this method as a precursor to working on a literary passage because the thinking skills used to analyze artwork can be transferred to literature as well. The Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) method was created by Abigail Housen, a cognitive psychologist in the Harvard Graduate School of Education. VTS is targeted at developing creativity and thinking skills. It also presents a very effective method for tapping into students' background knowledge.
Science Restock Forms
Please remember you can send in the Science Restock Forms any time after you finish the unit.
No need to hold until you are done with all units, sending in after you finish each one is easier on the brain!
Please remember to put you name on each form.
Synergy Progress Report Training
We are working with Core to determine dates the window to enter progress reports, the date they are due, and the date they will go live to parents. More info to come soon.
I am thankful for our custodians! They keep our building looking great and are always helpful! Thank you Luis, Mike and Richard! You are awesome!!DFTBA (Don't forget To Be Awesome)
- I am thankful for Katie Koss, whose gentle support is helping a very anxious student in my classroom make a smooth transition to our grade level and building.
- Mary Oberhart rocks for putting together little books that will be used as ABC books for some of our kindergarten friends! Thank you, Mary!-Jenni Atkinson
- Jenni Atkinson for all her continuing help in staying up on all the grade level ELA units and helping me align my PEP curriculum to it.
- Penny "Wendy" Beam rocks! She is always available to help not only myself but all of our team. She also has wonderful computer "hacking" skills! Thanks, Penny!
- Kristin Ziemba rocks! She is knowledgeable, organized, and keeps our office feeling light-hearted during demanding times. Thanks, Kristin!