Team Thomson News & Notes

#ThomsonRocks Week of: January 7, 2019

Important Information for You!

Restorative Practices Review

At our PD prior to the first Intersession, I shared with you information from a book study I had done with other administrators in our district. As we head into the end of the first semester and our behavior relaunch along with the launch of the Trading Post in a couple weeks, I thought now would be a good time to review key points from the PD for you to review and ensure we are putting to use: Affective Statements, Affective Questions, and Classroom Circles.

Affective Statements are just another way of saying ‘expressing your feelings’...this is a CRITICAL first step:

Typical Response /Affective Statement

Stop teasing Sandy. /It makes me uncomfortable when I hear you teasing Sandy.

Talking during class is inappropriate. /I am frustrated that you are not listening to me.

You shouldn’t do that. /I feel sad when you say something like that to John.

Sit down and be quiet. /I get angry when you talk and joke during my lectures.

I don’t want to see you fighting with him. /I was shocked to see you hurt Pete.

Affective Questions

Shift the responsibility from the teacher/administrator back to the student. These help the student with challenging behavior understand what they did and help those affected.

To Use Affective Questions Ask:

What happened?

What did you think when you realized what had happened?

What were you thinking at the time?

What impact has this incident had on you and others?

What have you thought about since?

What has been the hardest thing for you?

Who has been affected by what you have done? In what way have they been affected?

What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

What do you think you need to do to make things right?

Classroom Circles

Don't forget classroom circles should be done on a regular basis (minimum twice a week and built into lesson plans) to build community, address classroom needs/behaviors, review content. In addition to ‘getting to know you/about you type questions, there are several types of classroom circles:

  • Check-in

    • How are you feeling today?

    • What is one of your academic goals for the day?

    • Make a commitment about your behavior in school today.

    • Review something accomplished.

  • Check-out

    • How was your day today?

    • Say one thing you liked about this class today.

    • What is one thing you learned today?

    • What are you looking forward to for school tomorrow?

  • Classroom Norms

    • What helps you learn while you are in class?

    • What stops you from learning?

    • In order for us to have a successful year together what are some things we can agree on related to how we will all behave and treat each other?

    • How should we respond if someone fails to keep these agreements?

  • Classroom Content

    • Ask a question related to classroom content.

  • Academic Goals

    • What is your goal for class this week?

    • What is something you need in order to get your work done today?

    • What steps will you complete this week toward carrying out your projects?

    • What accomplishments have you make in class this past month/week?

    • Who is someone in this class who worked hard this week?

    • Who is someone who helped you?

    • What is something you know how to do that you didn’t know how to do last year?

    • Say something positive about a member of the class.

  • Behavior Problems

    • Used to bring class consciousness to the whole class about a classroom behavior issue, not to demean or belittle a student in front of the class...this should NEVER HAPPEN under any circumstance!

ALICE Roll-out

Don't forget that we will be watching the elementary video at our staff meeting this Wednesday, January 9th and I would invite and encourage ALL our staff members to attend. Additionally, we will go over how we will teach our students the new procedures in preparation for our drill on Wednesday, January 16th using very specific talking points that will be used district wide.

NWEA Assessment

In talking with a few of you, the feeling was that we stick with doing the math assessment in one session, the reading assessment in another session as we did in the fall and if we have students that need extra time or are disengaged, we will pause their test to finish at a different time. As I shared in the Smore last week, please use your PLC time this week to review how to create and set up your assessments. You will not want to do it right now because too much time will pass before you actually give the assessment, but it is important to review the procedure. In the Google Doc link below you will find the practice and testing schedule.

Data Days

Please mark your calendar for Data Days...These are scheduled for February 5th and 6th which will give us time to finish all the mid-year assessments, use all data points to discuss students, prepare for parent-teacher conferences, and Megan C. will be back!

Notes from Lunch Monitor Meeting

Last week, I met with our amazing lunch monitoring staff. While things are going pretty good, a few things came up that I wanted you all to be aware of and to enlist your help for discussion at class meetings or as part of your classroom circles.

  • The rough play is picking up...wrestling, play fighting, etc. Students may need a reminder about kind play.
  • We have some students pick up the stones or salt rocks and attempt to lick them. Students may need a reminder about leaving stones and salt ON THE GROUND.
  • Mittens and hats! While this has improved, please make sure that students that have these items remember to get them before going to lunch.

Cardinal Code Focus for the Week: General Behavior Expectations

This is the last week of General Review, please take some time to review those areas that you see are needs for your students. It is important to remember that we teach, not tell or yell...if a student is or isn't behaving a certain way, seek first to understand if possible 'why' and then teach and reteach the behavior you want! Thank you for intentionally teaching the Cardinal Code to your students.

Quotes Worth Reading

"Even when it's not pretty or perfect. Even when it's more real than you want it to be. Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something you own."

-Michelle Obama, Becoming

Here's to making your 'story', even during the hard or junky parts, something you are proud of, learn from, and are able to look back on and love for how it made you the person you are!

Thomson Elementary


Home of the Thomson Teddies!


Where Kids Come First and Futures Begin!

Celebrations & Announcements

Birthdays: Mickie Ybarra, January 12th...Happy Birthday to You!

Faculty Follies: As you read in an email earlier this week from Michelle Edwards...Faculty Follies are back! While I know that most of our staff were not around to have participated in any way with these, it is a great way to build team, have fun, and in this case raise a little money for the DEF. If you are interested in participating and have an 'act', please let me know. I would love to do 'something' with some staff members, but have no real ideas yet...will you join me? I can guarantee there will be lots of laughs.

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Week of January 6th-PLC Week

  • Tuesday, January 8th-PTO Pals

  • Wednesday, January 9th-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Agenda: ALICE Training for Students); Natalie at the GISD for ELA Leadership Meeting with other representatives from around the State.

  • Thursday, January 10th-DIBELS Assessment Window Opens; ELA Learning Lab day; General Admin Meeting (Natalie)

  • Monday, January 14th-NWEA Testing will begin

  • Tuesday, January 15th-Child Study Day (Please send any new students that need to be reviewed to Jason and Natalie)

  • Wednesday, January 16th-Lockdown, ALICE Drill; NWEA-MAP Practice Testing Begins; CAP Parent Meeting, 6:30 p.m. in the Hahn Library

  • Thursday, January 17th-Elementary Principals Meeting (Natalie); CMC 4-7 p.m.

  • Friday, January 18th-End of 2nd Marking Period & the First Semester; GISD Elementary Principals Meeting (Natalie)

  • Monday, January 21st-MLK Day, No School for Students, Records Day for Staff-Staff may do report cards from home.

  • Tuesday, January 22nd-Launch of the Trading Post; NWEA-MAP Testing Begins; PTO Meeting, 6:30 p.m.

  • Wednesday, January 23rd-Staff Meeting, 7:35 a.m. (Holly-SIDR Procedures); New Teacher Meeting @ Thomson

  • Thursday, January 24th-ELA Learning Lab

  • Friday, January 25th-Leadership Team Meeting, 7:15 a.m.; DIBELS Window Closes; PTO Movie Night, 6:00 p.m.