The Eagle’s Eye

King Elementary School Instructional Newsletter

Week of March 28th-April 1st, 2016

Principal's Message

We are at that time of the year when it is most important to re-emphasize with students...the importance of learning and refining our ways to measure how effectively this is being accomplished. As we approach, the MAP test, the MAP Readiness Test, and the Spring is important to help students to know that we believe in their abilities and express to them our expectations about high achievement. This focus will help your students to gain clarity and affirm their potential to do their best!

Further down in the Eagle's Eye, there is a piece by Alex Shevrin about reaching apathetic students. Often, I hear many teachers say that "students don't care"...and so we have to be explicit in providing students with the reason to care about their education. Many of them walk alone in this journey of embracing a successful education, so it is most important that we NOT GIVE UP on them!

In order to help students to be successful with the content, you must know (a) how well your students are learning, (b) ensure that your students know how well they are learning, and (c) use the data that you have gathered from assessments to modify your teaching to help students to reach mastery. The importance of displaying quality work and showing students the pathway to proficiency are key components to helping your students to reach higher levels of mastery.

This may be the only shot a student has at changing the trajectory of their success...please do not give up on them. A great quote used by Jim Knight that encapsulates this point is "You can't tell me that kids don't want to learn. Sometimes they don't want to learn the things that adults say they should...but once they begin to experience success, that target becomes a whole lot more attractive...we've got to find a way to turn them on to the possibilities."

Be Great,

Dr. Jermaine Wilson

Kudos and Care Corner

  • KUDOS to Mrs. Campos for taking on the task of planning and coordinating our monthly awards ceremonies. We appreciate all that you do!
  • KUDOS to Ms. Smith, Mrs. Kearney, and Nurse McRoy for handling an emergency situation in the building and extending care to a parent in need--job well done!
  • KUDOS to Mr. Beene, Nurse McRoy, Ms. Scott, Mrs. Cunningham, and Mrs. Gotschall for assisting to monitor exterior doors during our "No Entry" drill on Friday, March 11th!
  • KUDOS to Mrs. Abram for extending her own TEAM KUDOS to staff members that supported her when she needed to be out of the building to care for her daughter---Mrs. Haidara, Ms. Ramirez, Ms. Wendell, Ms. Hawkins, Ms. Yang, Ms. Jones, Mrs. Gotschall, Ms. Hill, Mr. Warren, and Nurse McRoy-great job team!
  • KUDOS to Mrs. Campos, Ms. Hawkins, Ms. Ramirez, Ms. Majors, and Ms. Powell for working the Spring Break Math and Science Camp at King their hard work is appreciated.

Deepest Condolences....

It is with great sadness that we discovered that one of our building foster grandmothers, Grandma Thomas who worked with Mrs. Madden's class passed away. She was a safe haven for the students and embraced them as her own. She was dedicated to doing whatever it took to help the classroom with any task. She will be missed dearly! Please keep the family of Grandma Thomas and Mrs. Madden in your prayers.

Services will be held on April 2, 2016

10:00am- Visitation

Noon- Funeral

10801 Ruskin Way, Kansas City, MO 64134

Attendance Counts at King

Below you will see the trajectory of our 90/90 attendance over our months of school:

August %- 91.5

September %- 90.7

October %- 87.2

November %- 84.8

December %- 81

January %- 74.1

February %- 72.2

We are currently below our mark and need to improve our attendance. We will be pushing for perfect attendance in classrooms and monitoring on our new Attendance Board. After 6 days of perfect attendance in your classroom, remind your students that they will receive a classroom party! Teachers of those classrooms will also receive an incentive of a 1/2 day workday. Please begin talking to your students about attendance goals and encourage students to come EVERYDAY! In order for us to reach our academic goals we will need to get students to be present to learn daily.

Thanks to all of those who are making consistent calls to parents and even hotlines for students with chronic absences. Make sure that you are updating your attendance charts and celebrating daily attendance. Those classrooms that have maintained consistently high attendance are those that make the expectation for attendance a priority,

Trauma Resilient Information and School Culture

Strategies for Reaching Apathetic Students

By: Alex Shevrin (Edutopia)

“I don’t care.” Those three words can cause the most experienced of teachers to grow frustrated: how do we reach students who give off the vibe that nothing matters? Use these questions to better understand and reach apathetic students.

Is it really apathy?

If your student has his head down, is nonresponsive, or won’t complete schoolwork, apathy is only one of many possibilities. Is the student having a hard time at home? Struggling with mental or physical health? Do they have an undiagnosed learning disability, making it feel impossible to complete any task at hand? Have they recently experienced a trauma, or might be experiencing impacts of a past trauma?

Often, what looks like a lack of motivation can be a way to hide the underlying story. It’s easier to say “I don’t care,” than “I need help.” Spend time getting to know your student, reaching out to his/her family and guidance counselor, and assessing whether a lack of motivation is truly the issue at hand.

Is the behavior localized to your class or across the board?

Touch base with the student’s other teachers. Is the seeming apathy something that’s just happening in your class, or is this the student’s presentation across all of their classes? Be sure to check in with extracurricular instructors as well: does your apathetic student come alive during basketball practice or chess club? Once you get a fuller picture of your student, you can then begin to refine your interventions.

What’s the big picture, and can the student connect it to the daily details?

It’s difficult to stay motivated when we can’t see the connection between what’s in front of us and what we want out of life. What does your students want for themselves in the long term? Is it a high school diploma? A college education? A career? A family?

When we know what students are working toward, we can help contextualize the daily work for them. If I know my student wants to become a chef, I can help them see how working on grammar skills will help them with menu-writing, or how chemistry will lay the foundations for expert baking. If my student wants a high school diploma, I can help them understand how each block of time in class or each completed project adds up toward their graduation requirements. When the little stuff clearly adds up to the big stuff, the little stuff becomes more important.

Where can you build bridges?

If an apathetic student is excited or passionate about even one thing, you have somewhere to start. Challenge yourself to build bridges between a student’s interests and the skills or content you wish to teach. Can a passion for video games turn into an exploration of the scientific method? Can a talent for BMX biking lead to a skillfully written narrative? Use problem-based learning, inquiry-driven methods, and real-world context to help your students create bridges, rather than feeling like they’re jumping off a cliff every time you ask them to do an impossible task in class.

Does your student know you care?

At the end of the day, you ultimately aren’t in control of whether your student succeeds or not. You can’t make them do work, you can’t make them learn, and you definitely can’t make them start to care. You can, however, influence all of those things through a caring relationship with your students. Let your students know you care about them, and then give them the safe space to take risks rather than shutting down. Finally, sometimes when a student says, “nothing matters,” what they really mean is “I don’t matter.” Be sure that your student knows they matter, no matter what.

PBS Updates and Tips

PBS Tip: Understand the Mistaken Goals of Misbehavior by Rudolph Dreikurs

The Mistaken Goals of Misbehavior identifies reasons or motivations for discipline problems. If you understand the reason for misbehavior, you can attempt strategies to manage that behavior. Think about the following 4 goals:

If the Student is looking to Get Attention

  • Focus on catching kids being GOOD!
  • Ignore negative behavior
  • Do not nag, coax, or scold!
  • Give attention to "good" kids

If the Student is looking for Power

  • "I can't continue without your cooperation"
  • Use the pregnant pause
  • "Do you think you could help by setting an example?"
  • Don't get into power struggles or win-lose situations. (You must withdraw and thwart the purpose of power-seeking behavior.)

If the Student is Causing Disruptions

  • Get another student to assist you with the perpetrator
  • Use class pressure on the perpetrator

If the student is Displaying Frustration

  • Encourage and support the student
  • Don't indicate defeat or frustration to the student
  • Provide success at the student's level and react positively

If you have any questions or need additional support please do not hesitate to contact our PBS team leaders: Mrs. Judy Reese or Ms. Dionne Culp. We will be looking for PBS team members for next school year...if you are interested please email myself or one of the current team leaders.

"The same behaviors that reduce classroom disruptions are associated with increased student learning" - Brophy and Good

MAP Updates

We are on the brink of MAP testing and it is of the utmost importance that you turn your attention to focusing your skills in reinforcing student knowledge to prepare for the assessment. We will have our MAP Rally on April 1st at 1:30pm. We are looking for classrooms or grade levels to develop a chant or cheer to HYPE up the crowd for your grade level. We will have a contest for students from each classroom to solve math relay problems as a team during the rally. During PLCs on Wednesday, we will be looking at test prep and practice assessments that you can utilize.

Online Tools Training

Remember to practice using the Online Tools with your classrooms daily until your first MAP testing day.

Formative Assessments

KUDOS to 4th, 5th, and Mrs. Abram for using the common formative assessment benchmarking processes to target specific skills for instruction. Remember to use the assessments to drive instruction in your classroom. You will need to target teach, re-teach, and check for understanding consistently to ensure that struggling students are experiencing success within the topics.

Interventions (Struggling Students)

Last week’s Imagine Learning Report showed out 192 students that used Imagine Learning only 10 students had 80 minutes or more per week. Imagine Learning should be used to help your students furthest away from the mark. We lose valuable time with student interventions if we do not use the tools given to assist you---this is counterproductive to the direction we want to go. Remember struggling students and some of your lower basic students should be on Imagine Learning at a minimum of 20 minutes per day in reading. I will be reviewing your data and lists with you this week to provide you with support in tracking and holding students accountable. Work smarter and not harder---USE the TOOLS to move these students!

Interventions (Struggling Students)

Last week’s Imagine Learning Report showed out 192 students that used Imagine Learning only 10 students had 80 minutes or more per week. Imagine Learning should be used to help your students furthest away from the mark. We lose valuable time with student interventions if we do not use the tools given to assist you---this is counterproductive to the direction we want to go. Remember struggling students and some of your lower basic students should be on Imagine Learning at a minimum of 20 minutes per day in reading. I will be reviewing your data and lists with you this week to provide you with support in tracking and holding students accountable. Work smarter and not harder---USE the TOOLS to move these students!

Interventions (Proficiency Push Students)

We will be working with the students that have been identified as Proficiency Push students to give them additional MAP Practice Assessments. As we are pulling these students out please make sure that you are flexible and still working strong on the core curriculum. We are helping to give the students a push of rigor and more exposure to the test-like questions. You are responsible for still teaching whole class and doing additional practice for everyone at their level. The following teachers will receive support from either myself, TMCs, or Interventionists. Remember it should be your goal to get 30-40% of your students at the proficient or above level. You will be provided an updated schedule by day from your intervention assistance.

· Nalls ELA- Rodenberg, Jones, Powell, Warren, and Walter

· Scott ELA- Abram, Collins, Davis, Majors, Wheeler, Reese, and Hawkins

· Wilson MATH- Collins, Abram, Warren, Davis, and Majors

· Campos MATH- All Grades (Math Club)

· Campos SCIENCE- Rodenberg, Jones, Powell

Staff and Student Attendance

Thank you for all of your hard work with encouraging student attendance. If students are absent from school they cannot learn. Adversely, your own attendance at work is key to helping students to reach mastery. Please be conscious and mindful of absences made from this point forward through the conclusion of MAP testing.

MAP Readiness Assessment

The second grade students will have their MAP Readiness Assessment in May in the areas of ELA and Math. You should be doing the same preparation for your students in order for them to be successful!

King Instructional Non-Negotiables

As we discussed in December, due to the high need of instructional foci to help student achievement to increase at King Elementary there are 6 non-negotiables that we will be implementing and monitoring:

1. Lesson Plans

2. “I CAN” Statements

3. Direct Instruction

4. Small Group Instruction

5. Vocabulary Acquisition

6. Student Engagement

Lesson Plans

  1. Teachers must use the approved King Elementary School Lesson Plan Template for ELA, Math, and Science (3-6) and submit electronically by Saturday on midnight.
  2. Post current lesson plans on or by the classroom door.
  3. Evidence of the lesson plan utilization to inform classroom instruction.

"I CAN" statements

  1. Based on Missouri Learning Standards/CCSS.
  2. Written on whiteboard so that students can see and refer to the “I CAN” statement.
  3. Should be explained to students and revisited at least three or four times during the lesson.
  4. The “I CAN” statement can be retold by the students.
  5. The “I CAN” statement should be aligned to Success Criteria (student work, assessments, and projects).

King Instructional Model

Do Now

  1. Each lesson should have a do now planned. This is any activity that you have at the very beginning of class that helps you set the tone for that day. Quickly, quietly, students get started right away. It should assess or review something previously learned by students.

Anticipatory Set

  1. Introduces a lesson through an activating strategy (e.g. KWL, Anticipation Guide, Think Pair Share, Video) and/or vocabulary instruction.


  1. The teacher restates the importance and relevance of I CAN statements.
  2. The teacher: (a) Demonstrates the skills correctly for students; (b)Presents a step-by-step sequence for problem-solving or using skills successfully; (c) Teacher talk should be limited to 8-10 minutes before a checking for understanding (CFU) or questioning strategy is utilized.
  3. The class: (a) Creates and refers to a visual reference (e.g. Anchor Charts, maps, graphic organizer) to support learning in the classroom and (b) students should have evidence to show that they are engaged with the lesson (e.g. math notebook, journals, interactive notebooks, graphic organizers, note structures).

Guided Practice

  1. The teacher addresses student misconceptions and errors.
  2. Completes work through teacher and student collaboration.
  3. The teacher includes the use of various Checking for Understanding strategies (e.g. 3-2-1, Thumbs Up, Quickwrites), which are planned and included in the lesson plan.

Small Group Instruction/Independent Practice

  1. The teacher distributes independent practice through small group stations and homework.
  2. Students are grouped using a data metric (STAR or NWEA Assessment Data)
  3. Protocols, Structures, Routines are evident in rotation structures
  4. There should be at least 3 mandatory ELA or Math Activities: Re-Teaching/Enrichment @ The Teacher Table; Technology (Reading Eggs/Study Island/Imagine Learning); Practice Activities aligned to the “I CAN” statement.


  1. The teacher closes the lesson through a summary activity (e.g. 3-2-1, Exit Tickets, Circle-Triangle-Square).

Vocabulary Acquisition

  1. Teacher should be using Assessment Power Words to emphasize during the content of the instructional lesson.
  2. Students should practice/interact with academic vocabulary in a variety of ways. (e.g. Frayer Models, vocabulary folders, vocabulary journals, Word Walls (authentic), Practice Stations for Vocabulary; and Vocabulary Games)
  3. A word wall that is interactive and evolving should be maintained and referenced by the teacher in the classroom.

Student Engagement

  1. Students are focused and committed to the lesson.
  2. Teachers and students are actively participating in the learning.
  3. Teachers maintain engagement by providing opportunities for students to read, write, and talk about the lesson.

Thoughtful and efficient lesson planning can help you to achieve all of these aspects. We will continue to get feedback on how you can support your team members in achieving success with these 6 areas. These will become additional areas of monitoring during our classroom observations this semester.

Upcoming Dates to Remember

March 30th- PLC Meetings

March 30th- MAP Training @ 3:25pm in Library

March 31st- PBS Staff vs. Student Basketball Game @ 1:45 pm

April 1st- MAP Rally (2nd-6th Grade) @ 1:30 pm

King Elementary School

“Ensuring Student Success through Quality Instruction and Culture”