Staff Weekly Update

For the Week of: April 11th, 2016

KDG Round Up Was a Huge Success!

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Check out the beautiful faces of our soon-to-be KDG students! This just fills my soul. Check out the debonair young man in the bow tie! Love it. They were all so excited to be at SGE and many were ready to get started THAT DAY! Thanks to EVERYONE for helping make this day such a success! It was a team effort. However, our families were so appreciative of the warm welcome everywhere - from the Google Slides in the main office on the flatscreen to the opportunity to be able to meet the KDG team face to face after the assessments were done. Interestingly enough, this new K-crew is about 75% siblings and 25% brand new to SGE! Can't wait to get this great group!

Friendly Reminder: An Evening with Jacqueline Woodson . . .

On the heels of our Kindness Concert, I found out that Jacqueline Woodson (author of Each Kindness and many other beautiful books) will be speaking at Northview Middle School auditorium on Friday, April 15th @ 7:00PM. This is *FREE* event.

If anyone is interested in attending, please let me know! So far our RVSP list includes: Deb Milam, Lisa Cox, Martha Farley. If you'd like to attend, even last minute, please know we would welcome your company!

Three Big Events Happening This Week!

Edutopia: 5 Highly Effective Teaching Practices

What a great (& short!) article by Edutopia! Below are the highlights. Click here for the entire article.

1. Teacher Clarity

  • When a teacher begins a new unit of study or project with students, she clarifies the purpose and learning goals, and provides explicit criteria on how students can be successful. It's ideal to also present models or examples to students so they can see what the end product looks like.

2. Classroom Discussion

  • Teachers need to frequently step offstage and facilitate entire class discussion. This allows students to learn from each other. It's also a great opportunity for teachers to formatively assess (through observation) how well students are grasping new content and concepts.

3. Feedback

  • How do learners know they are moving forward without steady, consistent feedback? They often won't. Along with individual feedback (written or verbal), teachers need to provide whole-group feedback on patterns they see in the collective class' growth and areas of need. Students also need to be given opportunities to provide feedback to the teacher so that she can adjust the learning process, materials, and instruction accordingly.

4. Formative Assessments

  • In order to provide students with effective and accurate feedback, teachers need to assess frequently and routinely where students are in relation to the unit of study's learning goals or end product (summative assessment). Hattie recommends that teachers spend the same amount of time on formative evaluation as they do on summative assessment.

5. Metacognitive Strategies

  • Students are given opportunities to plan and organize, monitor their own work, direct their own learning, and to self-reflect along the way. When we provide students with time and space to be aware of their own knowledge and their own thinking, student ownership increases. And research shows that metacognition CAN be taught.
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Because the web is not a library and search engines are not librarians

Pretty amazing . . . I'm thinking back to when I was a classroom teacher and how I was trying to help our students navigate the internet. The internet continues to be to evolving and the question is - are you evolving right along with it?

Check out this site (free, but with limited options) that help your students! I love their explanation below:

The biggest information challenge for the 21st century school is not access to resources but curation of resource. With more than a billion web pages to read through, the task becomes impossible.

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Tuesday Take-Away: Autism Awareness & Acceptance Month

There are several things that we can do to help these children be happy and have success in school. Some of these tips include:

  • · Use concrete language, not abstract. Say specifically and concretely what you mean. For instance, instead of, “It’s time to get ready for math”, say “Get out your math book, paper, and pencil.”
  • · People with autism often have trouble reading facial expressions. Say what you mean, don’t rely on your expression to convey your message.
  • · Avoid verbal overload. Be clear. Use shorter sentences. He or she may have difficulty understanding your main point and identifying important information.
  • · Be consistent. Prepare your student for changes in routine.
  • · If your student is having trouble with a task, break it down into smaller parts.
  • · Don’t demand eye contact. People with autism can expend so much brain power maintaining eye contact that they cannot focus on what is being said. Even if your student is looking away, they are most likely still listening to what you say.
  • · Recognize your student’s strengths. Praise your student for success. Appreciate your student for the unique individual he or she is.

This video was made by a very articulate young man who has Asperger’s Syndrome, a previously identified form of high functioning autism. (Now, the diagnosis is just Autism Spectrum Disorder.) He does a wonderful job telling you 5 things people with autism wish you knew and 5 tips for caring for and working with someone who has ASD. In this video, he says something that I find very powerful: “We’re not broken…We need people to love and accept us. We need them to understand that this is who we are…We really just want to be understood, and I think that is what Autism Awareness is all about.” The video takes 5 minutes to watch and is worth your time. See below!

Autism "Awareness" - Ten Things You Should Know

7-Day Forecast: Spring Weather *FINALLY* Returns!

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Here are our beautiful birthday friends for April 2016!

*If you are NEW and we do not have your birthdate, please email Alison so we can recognize you on your special day! Thank you!*


2 - Pam Anyaebuman

7 - Muff Biber

14 - Leslie Frobig

19 - Carrie Williamson

20 - Rhonda Munz

23 - Joe Budd

25 - Paula Marine

2015-2016 Lifelines

August - Cooperation

September - Respect

October - Flexibility

November - Gratitude

December - Generosity

January - Responsibility

February - Friendship

March - Perseverance

April - Self-Control

May - Integrity

From Principal Gerry Brooks: Teacher Bumper Numbers

I couldn't pass this one up! What he states rings so comically true on so many levels! If you had to create your own Teacher Bumper Number, what would it be?
Teacher Bumper Numbers