Pow Wow Principals Press

Vero Beach Elementary 1-13-2017

Becoming EXPERTS!!!

The remainder of the year is devoted SOLELY to our initiative to improve tier-one instruction. The focus is on honing in on each others strengths and creating deeper unit plans that are aligned with standards and high-yield strategies. Essentially, becoming experts in our quality tier one instruction, which was our School Improvement Plan Goal.

Please remember that our UNITS are built to help every single Little Indian make meaningful vocabulary and concept connections throughout the day.

The units should include:

  • A writing assessment. Please use your time with your teams to assess the writing together. The inter-rater reliability will allow for a deep conversation of what each of our expectations are for our students. Consistency is key to progress!
  • Every single tribe member coming ready with materials, tasks, and activities
  • Team planning with extended time (Thank you special areas) is most beneficial if you model the small groups and expectations, prepare question stems, and create very detailed lesson plans.

With this comes our NEXT BIG COMPETITION!!! The RED POLO Shirts - Monogrammed for each member- are up for grabs!!! We would like each grade level to turn in their unit plans that their team has worked on for their UPCOMING UNIT by January 27th to Ms. Moree!!! The plans that are most detailed, specific, and standards-based will win for the school. (Please include the writing prompt and text that goes along with it)


Our school improvement plan goal is to build up our Tier One Instruction. We have some amazing opportunities coming in the near future. After Kate did her multiple response strategies training, several teachers reached out for more information about Kagan. WE HEARD YOU!!! We came upon a training for MATH KAGAN that is taking place in Port St Lucie and have been feverishly working on budget and planning so we can offer this up to our TRIBE. This is NOT something new, but just a set of tools to use to build more cooperative learning within your classroom based on high-yield strategies. YOUR Grade chairs were tasked with identifiying who would represent your grade level at the training. It will take place on FEB. 3rd. We can't wait until the teacher comes back and facilitates all the learning for ALL our grade levels.

Here is what the training states: Add zing to your daily math lessons! Boost attention and retention with highly-engaging structures for math instruction. Instead of working independently on drill and kill worksheets, your students will be totally engaged with structures such as Jigsaw Problem Solving. You don't have to change what you're teaching at all. You'll learn easy-to-use tools to boost engagement with your existing math curriculum. Come learn interactive structures you can use time and time again with any math lesson. Your students will love to work together on problem solving. While interacting over math, they'll learn more than ever before. Meet and exceed high math standards with math strategies that are anything but standard!

Becoming Experts in our Tier One Instruction!!!

Another AMAZING opportunity has presented itself (pending board approval). Additional funding for us to bring in a powerful consultant that will absolutely ROCK YOUR WORLD!!!


She will be working with our FULL school on Monday February 6th from 7:45-8:15.
Please eliminate one of your grade level planning days to ensure every single member of your team is able to attend.

Next- She will deliver deep training for two teachers per grade level (we will be providing subs). Her topics include lesson planning, formative assessments, and power strategies for working with students in poverty.

NEXT-- Monday Night will be an optional training from 4:00-6:00 for our entire staff. You will earn comp time and 10 Warrior Wampum for attending! She will be doing an in depth training on student self-assessments. She told me this one is absolutely unforgettable and one of the highest-yield strategies she has used to move help schools move their kiddos!

Finally- She will be meeting with EACH and EVERY grade level during planning on Feb 8th. (This will be in place of our monthly data meeting). She will take each grade level through a lesson planning boot camp. WOO HOO!!!

NOTHING NEW.. just strengthening what we are already doing. Becoming EXPERTS!!!

Below is a very quick video of Leann. She was highly recommended by a Title One Teacher in Broward who said she revolutionized her teaching. I'm PUMPED!!!
Cha Cha Chas with LeAnn Nickelsen

Survey Results - Thank you to everyone who completed it!!

Terrific Tuesday!

Swing by the teachers lounge during lunch on Tuesday. Sam's Club will be here giving away treats and has a special promotion for educators. :)

High Hopes

We have an awesome counseling opportunity available for students!

High Hopes is an evidence-based prevention program specifically designed to help children cope with challenging family changes caused by divorce, separation, incarceration, death, etc. It will teach them strategies to help them communicate their feelings and lessen the behaviors and anxieties caused by changes associated with loss.

We definitely have students who would benefit from this! See Ms. Riddick if you need more permission slips.

#VBEVIP = Ms. Craner! Woohoo! Enjoy that parking space! Keep nominating on Twitter!

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Faculty Meeting!!!

We will see you on January 18th for a school-wide faculty meeting.

Can't wait to see you there!

Data Chats!!!

I know every grade level has been going over the recent benchmarks and we have used that data to adjust our RTI and interventions. At the Faculty Meeting on the 18th we will go over a form to complete for the recent benchmarks to help us really hone in on grade level trends and standards of focus for the next few months.

Our official Data Chat Meeting will be on January 31st, during planning. This will be our monthly data meeting to triangulate the benchmark data and the iReady diagnostic.

Please plan to meet in the front conference room for our Data Chat!!! We have a lot of movement to make, so bring your glorious data folders with you, and please arrive promptly. We will have a super great time moving our kiddos!!!!

Tunnel of Hope!

Just a reminder the Tunnel will take place on January 30th at 9:00 am. Please spread the word! Don't forget, the community LOVES to see the student made posters!

Message from your Literacy Coach- Lunch and Learn

Lunch & Learn: One of the best ways to improve our pedagogy is to view other teachers in action and reflect on our current practices. Living in the digital age we have a great opportunity to do this! I would love to have lunch and learn with you by watching our IRC Fundations videos (K-2) or the DOE Model Lesson series (K-5) with anyone willing. I will bring dessert if you will bring your lunch and a readiness to learn. Let me know if you are interested :)

Celebrate Literacy Week!!!

Celebrate Literacy Week: Just a reminder about our schedule for Literacy Week. We have community leaders and a lot of district staff who will be visiting our school on Monday to read to our students. We also have VBHS students coming on Wednesday to read to our kiddos. If you are interested in having a guest reader, please let me know ASAP.

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PD Information!!!

Special Reminder

Many of our amazing staff members are already on a specific Pathway (UP, ICE, new teacher, etc). If you are not on a Pathway, please make sure you have registered for either an Individual Professional Development opportunity or a Collaborative Planning session for Wednesday, January 25th. I am more than happy to answer any questions or help anyone register. Please let me know if you need anything.

Register Here

For Those Interested in Reading Endorsement

The district is offering Reading Competency 5 (FOR COMPLETERS OF COMPETENCIES 1-4): Demonstration of Accomplishment (Culminating Practicum): This course is a supervised practicum to obtain practical experience in increasing the reading performance of a student(s) with the prescription and utilization of appropriate strategies and materials based upon scientifically based reading research to address the prevention, identification, and remediation of reading difficulties. (Spring 2017: (Jan-Apr) Dates to be determined by participants). Registration deadline is 1/18/16.

Register Here

Messages from our RtI/MTSS Guru, Sue Fred


Our schedule is filling up fast. Now is the time to consider any students that you feel may need to be referred. Review all current data to determine what your reasoning for the referral will be. This would be the focus to implement a Tier 3, which the Team will help determine and will also require a weekly progress-monitoring probe.

Please contact the coaches to review the data and then email me so that we can place the student on the schedule and begin the RFA. Third Grade students will have priority on the schedule due to FSA.

It is very important that the classroom teacher has communication with the Interventionist and collects all the data from the RtI Progress Monitoring piece.

After the MTSS meeting, the teacher receives an “End of Meeting” note. This includes an overview of the meeting and next steps. The Interventionist will also receive a copy of the notes for communication purposes.


Our new Groups in Grades 3-5 began this week. The Groups are being assessed with Running Records for appropriate reading level placement in the LLI Groups. Please remember that students should be on their Instructional Reading Level for the correct placement of lessons. It is important to consider all aspects of the results to determine success of the student. Look at Accuracy, Self-Corrections, Fluency and Comprehension. They should not be struggling through the text or just breezing through. Continue to use the Running Record Data Chart bi-weekly to monitor progress. You may want to indicate the reading level in the comments box indicating: Independent, Instructional or Frustration. I will be stopping in to check to see what support may be needed or please get with me if you have concerns. There will be some tweaks as we move forward.

We are in the process of updating Groups in K-2.

Let’s remember that RtI should be treated as a dedicated time for intervention and enrichment. If you will be out, please leave Sub Plans for your Groups so they do not miss this instruction.

Thanks for your flexibility. :)

Take a look at our walk-through data from December! Way to go!

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Meeting the needs of our students with extended learning opportunities.


Kindergarten - 2nd Grade
Students identified by teachers will have the opportunity to participate in our technology integrated Moonshot Academy from the end of February through May.

3rd Grade Proficiency Focus Boot Camp-
Ms. Castillo will be running a boot camp to help our students on the verge of proficiency. If you are interested in assisting on Tuesday and Thursdays please reach out.

Ms. Robinson and Ms. Zissel are in the process of organizing a 4th grade extended day focus group. Please reach out if you are interested.

5th Grade Science Extended Boot Camp will begin in mid-February on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please reach out to Ms. Ragley or Ms. Keeley if you are interested in assisting.