Principal Weekly Notes

Oct. 19 - Oct. 23, 2015


Thank you for the amazing flowers, balloons, and card last Friday! They were a wonderful surprise and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED them! I really appreciate each and every one of you and feel blessed everyday that I have the privilege of working with you. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!
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Learning Walks with Ava

This week we will begin Learning Walks with Ava. For those of you who have been a part of our staff prior to this year, this is a lot like our "Pinterest Live"! She will be here on Wednesday, all day, to help us start this up. She has a few new things to add to our work, helping us to move to the next level. I'm really excited about getting this moving again for us! The purpose of this is to give you the opportunity to learn from each other. We want to limit the number of people in your classroom - so it will likely be Ava, myself, Jen, and maybe one other teacher.

I would like for people to volunteer to be observed and participate in the learning walks. We will have to do some juggling and shifting to cover the person observing with us and then to cover for the conversation afterwards with the person being observed. If you could please let me know today (preferably early on) if you are willing to be a part of this, I can create a plan. (Maybe partner teams but doesn't have to be).

We will have more conversations about the plan for tomorrow's walks during our staff meeting today.

Thank you!

Weekly Meetings and Events

Mon. Oct. 19th:

* FALL BREAK - No School!

Tues. Oct. 20th:

* Duty - 3rd Grade, Turner, Ryan

* Data Teams - All Grades

* Staff Meeting, All staff for the beginning presentation by United Way, 3:40-4:40 p.m.

* PAC Meeting, 4:40 p.m.

* DAC Meeting, 5:30 p.m. @ Admin

Wed. Oct. 21st:

* Duty - 4th Grade, Hurst

* SR Learning Walks with Ava - All Day

* Benefits Comm. Mtg @ Admin, 4-6 p.m.

Thurs. Oct. 22nd:

* Duty - 5th Grade, Matheson, Willems

* Fire Drill - 8:45 a.m.

* CST Mtg, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

* School Bd Mtg, 4-8:30 p.m.

Fri. Oct. 16th:

* Duty - 1st Grade, Kuberry, Forbes

* Kamisha Mtg w/Ava - 2:00-4:30 p.m.

* Elem District Collab @ RV, 2:30 p.m.

Tasks to Accomplish this week:

1. Please remember to post your link to your lessons on the Google Doc. If you aren't using Planbook, please share your document for lessons with me each week. This is not an optional activity. Thank you!

2. Now that most of you have your Professional Growth Plan completed, it is time to begin to schedule in formal observations. If you are in your first year here, we must have 2 formal observations done by November 15th. If you are in your first three years in the district, we must have 1 formal observation done by November 15th. If you are 4+ years, we need 1 formal this year. I would prefer we get this done prior to December 15th. Please begin to schedule these formal observations with me. We will need a pre-conference time, a observation time, and a post conference time. Thank you!

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MCSD 5 Non-Negotiables

1. Unwrapping the Standards - This is a stand alone in the 7 Best Practices because it is so critical. If you don't unpack the standards correctly and focus in on the nouns and verbs, your learning targets will not be focused on the right stuff!

2. Learning Targets - 5 Step Process (see below)

3. Non Fiction Writing - At the elementary level, we should always have high expectations for students in writing (including grammar, punctuation, etc). Non Fiction Writing means students should be writing more often, not just during writing time. Students should be writing in other subject areas and teachers should still holding students to the high standards of writing. The provisional writing is really for those teachers who teach outside of the "regular" classroom like PE, Music, Art, etc. These teachers should be having students reflect and write in journals about their learning. In this instance, it is really about getting the students to write at least once a week.

4. Assessment Matrices - In Reading, Writing, and Math. Other subject areas are optional this year.

5. Lesson Design - that includes these 4 components (See chart below):

What do we expect our students to learn? (Standards, Goals, Expectations)

How do we best teach? (7 Best Practices, Marzano's 9, Schlechty's 10 Engagement

Strategies, Non-Fiction Writing)

How do we know they learned it? (Formative assessment, Classroom assessment,

Summative assessment)

What if:

- We teach it and they already know it? (Using pre-assessment to determine)

- We teach it but they don't learn it? (Re-teach)

Don't forget that you must use the District Scope and Sequence! Most updated versions are on the district website.

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Learning Targets - 5 Step Process

1. Post it/Publish it - Daily Learning Target - Remember, this is primarily for the teacher. Get zeroed in on what you are going to teach and what you are going to assess.

2. State it and Unwrap it - Do this with the students. They need to understand why they are learning this.

3. Give it Relevancy - Students need to understand why they need to learn this.

4. Bring it back, Bring it back, Bring it back! - Bring students back to the learning target multiple times during the lesson. "Remember what our learning target is...."

5. Assess it - Each day, in some way, assess student learning connected to the learning target.

Learning targets are to be posted for each content area and correlated to the learning occurring at that time. They should be displayed in the following format:

"I can ________ (verb) ___________(content) by ___________________ (assessment or product)."

7 Best Standards Based Practices

1. Unit/Lesson Design

2. Learning Targets - 5 Step Process

3. Unwrapping the standards (nouns/verbs) for both teacher and students

4. Exemplars

5. Classroom Assessment

6. Assessment Matrix

7. Standards based Feedback, Grading, and Reporting

A little something to brighten your day....

Said No Teacher Ever