Staff Memo

Nov. 22, 2013

Thoughts about Team/Data/PD Collaboration

Thanks to all of you for giving extra time, talent, and energy to making collaboration work. As I stroll around the building during Learning Clubs, many of you are in the midst of your students helping them learn. I know your work during collab bubbles into Learning Clubs, Reading, Writing, and Math Workshops. I recognize all of this has been new this year, so I want to express my gratitude.

To reiterate some expectations for collab, please send agendas and minutes to your team as well as Sheila, Melissa, Katherine, and me. Create an email group for your team and make it easy. Agendas should be sent about a day before collaboration so people can make plans about attending, etc.

What People Need is a Good Listening To

With Thanksgiving around the corner, many of us will be spending time with family and friends. This is a good time to continue to think about how we listen, really listen, to each other. The following comes from a book called One - How many people does it take to make a difference?

Henry David Thoreau mused that one of the greatest miracles would be if we could actually look through each other's eyes for an instant. Ironically, the best way to see the world through each other's eyes may be with our ears--by listening, really listening to each other.

Listening is not just etiquette; it's a way of loving, honoring and respecting. It's a way of bonding and connecting. It's a way of sharing ourselves and our humanity.

Ways to listen with compassion, understanding, and intention:

Be present and give the speaker your full attention.

Show interest, be generous, encourage the speaker.

Listen with your heart as well as your ears.

Make it safe for the speaker to share his or her thoughts and feelings.

Listen to every word without interrupting or wishing to speak yourself.

When the speaker has finished, acknowledge what you heard without judging or correcting.

"I felt it shelter to speak to you."

~Emily Dickinson

Grade level materials money

Beth is sending out info about grade level materials money. Please make sure you make group decisions about what you need second semester.

Also, last year we decided not to purchase Bare Books for the entire school. If you want Bare Books, please use your grade level money to purchase them. Thanks.

Home Learning vs Homework

Meg came back from a conference with a new way of talking about homework. Rather than calling it homework, what does the term "home learning" communicate? If you like it, give it a whirl.

Locking Office After Thanksgiving

In order to keep office items secure, the office will be locked each evening when Sondra leaves and opened in the AM when Beth arrives. We are locking so files, materials, and inventory in the office is secure. With basketball and evening activities, our office needs to be locked so "guests" do not help themselves.

Reminder: Your key opens your room, the door to the Teachers' Lounge from the gym lobby, and the computer lab.

Looking Ahead

Monday, Nov. 25 Day 1

  • Pledge - Coldren
  • 3:10 Team 2 Collab
  • 4:00 Math Study group in PD room or library

Tuesday, Nov. 26, Day 2

  • 9:30-11:00 Budget Committee mtg - Lisa gone
  • 2:00 Zachary's Trix Sticks Assembly in gym
  • 3:10 Team 3 Collab

Wednesday-Sunday - Thanksgiving Break

Monday, Dec. 2, Day 3

  • Pledge - Vadas
  • 3:10 Team 4 Collab

Tuesday, Dec. 3, Day 4

  • 7:30 Learning Leadership Team - PD room
  • 1:00-3:00 Elem principals' meeting - Lisa gone
  • 3:10 Data Collab - K
  • 7:00 PTO Open Forum

Wednesday, Dec. 4, Day 1

  • 9:30-2:00 Fourth Grade Choir field trip
  • 3:10 Data Collab - 1

Thursday, Dec. 5, Day 2

  • 8:00 Office meeting
  • 2:00 Fourth grade Choir Concert
  • 3:10 Data Collab - 2
  • 5:00 CRES Christmas dinner at Stone Creek Dining

Friday, Dec. 6, Day 3

  • CRES Spirit Day
  • 10:00 Principal Focus Group - Lisa
  • 3:10 Data Collab - 3
  • 6:00-8:30 Dad's Club Movie Night