Pow Wow Principals Press

Vero Beach Elementary 11/10


The Learning Alliance will be here on Monday, Nov 14th to spotlight VBE again. The founder of AOL along with MANY other board members will be here to witness our transformation in person. While we have scheduled classroom observations, they may want to pop into other classes as well along the way. Just want everyone aware.

Breakfast will be provided Monday morning from 7:45-8:15 for you by the learning alliance.

Thank you to those opening up your classrooms!

VBE Moonshot Spotlight

Here is the tentative schedule for walk-throughs:

8:50- Singewald- Brain Smart Start

9:00 Sitkowski- (Fundations)

9:10- Smith (Kindergarten ELA)

9:20- Berwick (RTI Enrichment)

9:30- Poplar (RTI LLI)

9:40- Williams (Digital devices)

9:50- Rochon (Math instruction )

10:00- Fiori (ELA RTI)


The DA will be here on Monday, November 21st to walk our school, look at our data, and give us feedback and support. This is the BIG one!!

Please do not schedule anything special for this day. We want them to see our everyday teaching and get valuable accountable feedback for areas for growth and areas we have already improved upon. The Superintendent, the Assistant Superintendent, and many other district employees will be here as well. They will direct us where they want to go, so please just be ready for visits throughout the day. Please don't stress. We have done SO much here and I'm confident they will see our efforts and improvement.

Finally, please make sure your teams continue to update your writing outside your classrooms. We want every visitor, parent, and community member to be able to see that writing is our focus at VBE.
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Important Upcoming Events!

Pride of the Tribe!
The November ceremony is Friday, November 18th!! Please send home the invitation that was placed in your mailbox on Tuesday evening, and personally contact the family of the student who earned this prestigious award from you. Please ensure that you have filled out the binder with the name of this student as soon as possible. It is by the sign-in sheets. The invitation can also be found in the awards folder in the Wigwam.

Progress Reports!

Progress Report time is here already! They will be sent home with students on Tuesday, November 22nd.

Testing, Testing, TESTING!
We have several important assessments coming up:

Reading Benchmarks: 3rd-5th
Math Benchmarks: K-5th
Science Benchmarks: 5th

i-Ready Reading and Math Diagnostics: K-5th

Please ensure that you review the schedule carefully and arrive at your assigned location on time. We have lots of students to rotate through the labs! For K-2, Ms. Larkin and Ms. Benson will be testing ESE students during their regular times with them, so their daily schedule will not change. For 3-5, the coaches will be testing them so that Ms. Wilson's and Ms. McMillan's groups can continue as scheduled. If you have questions or concerns, see Ms. Moree right away.

Messages from Ms. Van Brimmer

As we wrap up another round of collaborative planning, we have an opportunity to reflect on the "map" we are creating to guide our instruction.

This is perhaps the most critical element of any journey. Without a map to guide us to our summit of student achievement, we are risking working hard at the wrong things and ending up at another destination.

Here are a few questions to reflect on as you continue to plan for student learning with your teams:

* How are we tageting our students' needs?
*What items will be used as evidence of student mastery?
*What will monitoring for student learning look like?
*How are the assessment pieces meeting the rigor of the standard?
* What will monitoring for student learning look like?
* How will we incorporate academic vocabulary into our lessons?

November Reading Camp Out: Please join us on Tuesday, November 15th for our November Reading Camp Out. We would love to have you curl up with a good book or join us for some Camp Fire stories. A special shout out to Ms. Fox who has agreed to use her crafty skills to make us a faux camp fire. Tribe Work Makes the VIBE work!

iReady Usage: We have come a long way in our iReady implementation, but we still have a few areas to improve on. Everyone with 100% of their students getting 45 minutes/week in iReady Reading is earning Warrior Wampum with a special sign for the week and a Tribal Pass for the class. Shout out to this week's winners! Ms. McMillan, Ms. Blidgen, Ms. Beuten, Ms. Tuck-Henson, and Ms. Tobin. There are soooo many classes that are very close. Please encourage your students to achieve their usage goals by rewarding them with wampums, positive notes home, or any other incentive you have in your classroom.

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Science Fair Updates by Ms. Keeley

I am enjoying hearing about all the science fair projects that are going on in classrooms as well as being able to participate in those classrooms that I have been invited into to assist with projects. I know that science fair can be timely, however looking at just one of our nature of a scientist standards you can see the progression through each grade level. not only are you covering the nature of a scientist standards, but we have also been intentional in ensuring that your science fair project meets one of your previous or current grade level standards as well.

Last week I put in your mailboxes science fair board headers for you to use if you wish along with an example display board and the appropriate judging form that will be used for your project.

Next week I will send out more information about the judging date and times for your student representatives to be called down to present and discuss their project with the judges. You will want to have students practice answering questions about their project and being able to explain it.

Reminder that all science fair boards with logs are due on Friday, November 18th. Please bring them to the STEM lab. I will have tables designated for each grade level.

K-3 Please put the teachers name and grade level on the back of the board as well as on the science log.

4-5 Please write presenters names, grade level, and teacher's name on the back of the board as well as on the science log.

Thanks for all you do!

Why UNIT planning???

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Top 12 Tips for Teaching Math Facts- Article by Randi Saulter

Top 12 Tips for Teaching Math Facts

By: Randi Saulter

As teachers of all grade levels know very well, it is extremely difficult to teach students higher order math algorithms when they are not fluent with their basic facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). If students are not automatic in responding to math facts, their attention is necessarily taken away from the multiple steps necessary to solve more complex problems.

Think about long division. Students must be able to come up with the answers to multiplication, subtraction and division facts all in the context of the higher order algorithm. Less than automatic facility with math facts often results in either errors in the algorithm or fact errors. Both kinds of errors appear to be the result of carelessness when in fact it is the result of being distracted by having to figure out the answers to facts. Below are 12 principles necessary to successfully teaching math facts.

Teach a Limited Number of Math Facts at a Time

There is a big difference between figuring out the answer and memorizing facts. If students have too many facts to learn at one time, they necessarily fall back on figuring out the answer. Instead, we want students to REMEMBER the answers without having to figure them out.

Only add more facts to learn as the previous set has been mastered

Once students have learned a set a set of facts to mastery, it is now possible to add two or three more facts to be learned. Student success is greatest when they have only two or three things to learn in a sea of material they have already mastered.


Practice must be structured in a way that facts which have been previously deemed mastered continue to appear along with the two or three new facts that are being learned.

Students should memorize facts in a way that forms a verbal chain

Students should always practice by saying the whole problem and the answer aloud. In this way, students memorize a verbal chain. As a result of this kind of practice, students hear/see 8x7 and can’t stop from saying/writing 56.

Mastery = automaticity

Automaticity is the ability to say the answer to a problem immediately after reading the fact. There should be no hesitation.

Students should have realistic, individual fluency goals

Students write at different speeds. The speed at which students can write the answer to facts is limited by their writing skill. Automaticity means that students should write answers to math facts exactly as fast they can write.

A routine for daily practice sessions should be in place

Practice is most effective when it is distributed throughout the year. Learning math facts is just one part of a math program therefore efficient use of limited time is critical. A standard daily routine is necessary in order to accomplish this goal.

A routine for corrective feedback during practice should be in place

Whenever students hesitate or give an incorrect answer, a corrective procedure should give them the answer, ensure they know it and provide them with a delayed test. It is very important that the delayed test occur before the student has a chance to forget the correct response.

Practice sessions should be short

Students cannot maintain focus on drill for more than 2-4 minutes at a time. Practice sessions may occur more than one time during the day, but should remain short.

A process for progress monitoring should be in place

If students are really learning math facts, the number of facts they can answer within a set time period should gradually increase. Periodically, students should be given a timed test of all the facts in the operations they are learning to see if their fluency is improving.

If students are to keep up with their grade level math program, they must begin memorizing multiplication facts in Grade 4 at the latest

Because fractions demand instantaneous recognition of multiplication facts, these must be mastered before fractions can be successfully learned. Even those students who need their fingers to add and subtract in Grade 4 and above, should learn multiplication facts to mastery or their continued progress in math is in jeopardy.

VBE RTI- Feedback by Sue Fred

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Check out the links below from the GFLETCHY site for Math Instruction!

His Site also includes 3 ACT MATH!!!