Friday Focus


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Finishing Strong

Yesterday, Todd Whitaker tweeted out a phrase I've heard him say many times before: "Best way to make sure students don't act like the school year's over- make sure teachers don't act like the school year's over." Kind of a Mr. Obvious statement. Really that is what Whitaker does best- he shares common sense advice with educators. What are some tangible ways to keep students engaged and involved in this home stretch?

Here are some tips from Marzano's well-known book, The Highly Engaged Classroom. One of my favorite pieces of advice from this book (and in these cliff notes):

The most general influence on a student’s emotional engagement is a teacher’s positive demeanor.

A teacher can communicate a positive demeanor through demonstrating enthusiasm and intensity, both of which have been associated with student engagement and achievement. Clearly, relationships students have with the teacher have a profound effect on their perceptions of being welcomed, accepted, and supported, which helps establish an affective tone that promotes student encouragement (pp. 5–7).

This is precisely why I don't do any sort of countdown to the end of the school year. Not that there aren't fun and engaging ways to do these as a celebration or culminating event (i.e. the kindergarten alphabet countdown), but I don't ever want students to think I'm counting the days until I'm finished with them. I don't want to send the message that I'm happier when I'm not in school and when they're not here. In fact, I tend to do the opposite via social media/parent emails, "One more week until we get to see your children again!". Would we want any less for our own children? Thank you for being the type of teachers who finish strong for our students. We love and appreciate you.

To all teachers from our secretary:

Due to a new corporation textbook clerk and me being new, we are going to try a new way to handle inventory of textbooks. My hope is that this will make getting you the correct number of books next year as smooth as possible. Please bear with me, as this may be a work in progress.

Please have all reading textbooks on a book cart labeled with your room number wheeled to room 6 to be checked in no later than Tuesday, May 24. Shaleen will check them in and we will store them on the carts for the summer. The plan is to place all consumables for next year on the cart and put them in your room for next school year. If you do not have a book cart, please let me know. If you still need your textbooks that week, please let me know that as well.

Since we will not be using the math textbooks next year, they can be stacked up against the wall in the receiving hall during the last week of school. Please make sure all math textbooks are in the receiving hall before you leave for the summer.

Tweet of the Week

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In The Know...

Upcoming Events:

  • 5/17: 8am, Leadership Team -NEW DATE
  • 5/18: 8am, Grade Level Leader meeting
  • 5/20: 5th grade Beautification Day
  • 5/24: Skipping Stars Show (1:30- K,1,2 and 2:30-3,4,5) in gym
  • 5/26: 9:30am, Talent Show
  • 5/26: 5:30pm, Branson's Rocket Dedication
  • 5/27: Star Olympics

Branson's Rocket Dedication

For any staff interested, we are hosting a dedication for the playground rocket (primary playground) in honor of Branson Buck on 5/26 at 5:30pm. His family will be there as we unveil the plaque in Branson's honor, and share the Shutterfly book that in which our staff contributed stories and pictures. Please join us if you feel moved to do so.

Happy birthday to...

Betsy (5/14)!
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A Big Superstar goes to...

  • 4th grade for another wonderful Pioneer Day!
  • Annie for jumping in a preschool case conference at the drop of a dime!
  • all of our teachers who were able to be here for the Welcome Ice Cream Social on Tuesday. I don't take for granted when you are using your personal time to do school business; I know that the students and families from CGES really appreciated the effort!
  • Our data team for another meaningful round of looking at our data and using it to make decisions for students. Thank you for being gracious on the morning of the 12th and allowing a team from Indian Creek to observe our process. They loved it!
  • Carly for all of the extra hours preparing for the Art Fair- I can't wait to see our students' work!
  • Melissa Maxwell for organizing the Superhero basket for our cafe staff! Thank you for your caring heart!
  • Don't forget, you can nominate a colleague for Superstar recognition in the Friday Focus, or you can share good news so that we can share in your joy as well!