Beating the Odds

Lakeview Staff Newsletter - February 8

A book review ... Executive Function

You might remember that Peggy Black, our special ed consultant, visited Lakeview in December. She was very complimentary. One thing we talked about is the need to teach executive functioning skills. Executive function is the brain's "conductor" which orchestrates how we start work, organize, set goals, focus & persist, deal with change, etc. Many times, we think kids are lost in content, but they're really just lost in their brain (that's a quote from Peggy that has stuck with me). Here's an example of exactly that:

I was sitting in the hallway with a student working on math. This student could not figure out how to answer the question on the Chromebook correctly and move on to the next level. He had two problems: (1) he wasn't able to identify the math pattern which was the key to unlocking the rest of the problem, and (2) he couldn't figure out how to answer on the Chromebook. This combination of problems presented as extreme frustration on his part. After three minutes of working together to discover the pattern and solve his tech issues, he answered question after question correctly and efficiently. He wasn't lost in content - he completely understood the content. His brain couldn't identify the pattern, which led to click-happiness, wrong answers, and frustration.

The book Peggy suggested was The Impulsive, Disorganized Child (Forgan & Richey. Prufrock, 2015). My own daughters at home thought this was a hilarious title to have in the house. Here are the facets of executive function, which may need to be proactively taught to all students:

• Holding back impulses

• Keeping information in working memory

• Shifting/Being flexible

• Focus and self-monitoring

• Organizing things

• Managing time

• Initiating a task

• Sustaining effort

• Planning, problem solving, goal setting, and critical thinking

Some students come from homes where these are modeled. Some do not. As we have learned from Trauma Sensitive training, when we model and expect consistent positive behaviors, we eventually overcome inconsistent negative behaviors. There are four copies in the county library system, or feel free to seek out other resources and let me know what you find. I'd be especially interested if you have success stories like the one I mentioned above.

MAP Data

I mentioned MAP quadrant charts in our staff meeting on Wednesday. Beth spent time in grade level meetings this week talking about quadrant charts, and Janice plans to this coming week. I think quadrant charts will continue to take center stage for awhile. Take time to look at your quadrant charts for both math and reading. Compare Fall to Winter. Notice and wonder where students moved. Then go into the student profile report which has some great historical information on students. Are you wondering if his/her MAP score was an anomaly this time? Look at the student profile report - it will give you a nice line graph of all map scores back to 5K along with areas for focus and growth. Then, drive some instructional changes based on your data:

• Regroup students across quadrants

• Ask students in low growth quadrants to repeat or rephrase what other students said

• Closely monitor the engagement of low growth, high achievement kids

• Be sure your strategy groups match what students need

• Expect students in all quadrants to engage and answer questions - too often we let one high growth, high achievement quadrant kiddo answer our question and we move on. Don't do it.

• Praise, praise, praise growth

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, February 12

Cancelled: 3rd-5th grade to the HS PAC

Cancelled: District Character Ed team

Happening: Superintendent Search meeting 4-5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, February 13

Palentine's Pizza Party was supposed to be on 2/14. Due to meetings, we will have pizza delivered for lunch on the 13th instead.

Thursday, February 14

PTO Meeting - 7pm in the library.

Wednesday, February 20

Lakeview Staff Meeting 7:15-8:15 a.m.

Thursday, February 21

Lakeview Art Show 5-7 p.m.

Friday, February 22

Field trip - 1st grade to PAC

Thank You's

Raptor - Many thanks to Roxanne and Cortney for their work. This is a great system, but only as good as the people who implement it with fidelity. Thanks to everyone for your help as we reteach parents about entry into the building.

Kindness Week-and-a-Half - Thank you to Sarah and Heather for organizing all of the events. Pulling off a school-wide event is not easy. If it looks easy, it's because a lot of planning went into it to make it appear easy. That's what Sarah and Heather did - thank you!

Bookroom Committee - Thank you to Amy for agreeing to lead the bookroom committee. Further thanks to those who have already volunteered to be part of the team!

Movin' Out - Congrats and thank you to Michelle Amich for the music-inspired pizza lunch on Friday. We are excited for you and look forward to our last months together!

Structural Items

Family newsletter - Here is the link to this week's family newsletter.

Valentine's Day - It's the hardest day of the school year, in my opinion. The simpler, the better. Please keep it a normal day as much as possible. Keep celebrations at the end of your day. My biggest request is that you not send students all over the building to deliver treats. If students have extra treats, have them take the treats back home. Remember - no homemade treats. I did make a note in the family newsletter about treats on 2/14. Luv2all

Staff meeting minutes - Since our staff meeting this week was a different format, I did not send out the minutes. Here is a link to our running doc of staff meetings from this year, including the topics we discussed on Wednesday. Our next meeting on Feb 20 will have a literacy focus.

Elementary Blackout Dates - Here is a link to the calendar

Character Dares & Trauma Sensitive Schools

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