Falcon Focus

January 4, 2016

20 Tips for a Positive New Year by John Gordon (updated for 2016)

1. Stay Positive. You can listen to the cynics and doubters and believe that success is impossible or you can trust that with faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible.

2. Take a morning walk of gratitude. I call it a "Thank You Walk." It will create a fertile mind ready for success.

3. Make your first meal the biggest and your last meal the smallest. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge car. :)

4. Remember that outside circumstances and events have no power over you. You create your world from the inside-out.

5. Talk to yourself instead of listen to yourself. Instead of listening to your complaints, fears and doubts, talk to yourself and feed your mind with words of truth and encouragement you need to keep moving forward.

6. Post a sign that says "No Energy Vampires Allowed." Gandhi said, "I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet."

7. Don't chase dollars or success. Decide to make a difference and build meaningful relationships and success will find you. {Tweet This}

8. Get more sleep. You can't replace sleep with a double latte.

9. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in your purpose, people and the positive present moment.

10. You don’t have to be great to serve but you have to serve to be great. Look for opportunities to Love, Serve and Care.

11. Live your purpose. Remember why you do what you do. We don't get burned out because of what we do. We get burned out because we forget why we do it.

12. There's no such thing as an overnight success. Anything worthwhile takes time to build.

13. Trust that everything happens for a reason and expect good things to come out of challenging experiences.

14. Implement the No Complaining Rule. If you are complaining, you're not leading.

15. Read more books than you did in 2015. I happen to know of a few good ones. : )

16. Don't seek happiness. Instead decide to live with passion and purpose and happiness will find you.

17. Focus on "Get to" vs "Have to." Each day focus on what you get to do, not what you have to do. Life is a gift not an obligation.

18. The next time you "fail" remember that you aren’t failing, you are becoming. You aren’t failing, you are growing.

19. Smile and laugh more. They are natural anti-depressants.

20. Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy it.

Download these tips as a Printable PDF Here >

How will you make 2016 more positive? Share on Facebook, or Twitter.


PBIS Update

Morning Meetings: Creating a Safe Space for Learning - Thanks for your commitment to making the morning meetings happen!!!!

Read Chapters 5 "Connection Before Correction" and Chapter 6 "Respectful Communication Skills" for the next book study on January 12th.

To Do's and Calendar Updates

  • January 4th - MOY AIMSweb window for third and fourth grade begins and I-SIPP for K-4.

  • January 8th: District Collaborative Walkthroughs at Florence. This is a team of admin from other campuses and district admin who conduct walkthroughs on different campuses throughout the year to learn and provide feedback. They will be at Florence on Friday.

  • Week of January 11th - Next Math CFA

  • January Individual Data Talks - We will schedule a mid-year data talk with each teacher in January. You will meet with your assigned appraiser. See the following list for what to have prepared and what we will discuss (we will come to you):

  1. SPED and 504 Accommodation Tracking for each appropriate student
  2. RtI Intervention Sheets for each child
  3. Universal Screening and Progress Monitoring Data Collection System
  4. Guided Reading Record Keeping System - data collected during guided reading (Kelly Leach shared different systems a couple of weeks ago - if you need her help, please email her for ideas)
  5. Examples of Reading, Writing, and Content Area Journals/Notebooks you have students utilizing.
  6. Review of your Word Wall and how you are utilizing it with students. Click the following for some examples if you need it. Personal Word Wall and Classroom Word Wall Strategies
  7. Math CFA student tracking
  8. Other Formative Assessment tracking that you have in place
  9. Share any system you have in place where students are tracking their own data.

We will also discuss progress on your T-TESS goals. Thanks!

Professional Development and Learning - Faculty Meetings, PLC's, and Kelly Leach Visits

  • January 4th: Morning Session - Close Reading Strategies and Guided Reading presented by Heather Varon - KISD Learning Coach.

  • January 4th: Afternoon Session - Plan with team implementation of Close Reading strategies and planning for the week.

  • January 5th: PLC meeting during co-curr - Canceled - we will move the internal Instructional Rounds to February at another PLC meeting.

  • January 7th: Kelly Leach finishing up first round of Guided Reading Observations and Coaching Sessions. (We will be scheduling round 2 of Guided Reading Walkthroughs soon.

  • January 12th: Faculty Meeting - PBIS book study - have your chapters read so that you can participate fully.

  • January 15th: Early Release - Luncheon - short PD Session and then Six Weeks Assessment development for the fourth six weeks.

I will also be working over the next few weeks to send your calendar appointments for all faculty meetings and PLC meetings, so you will have it on your calendar. Your attendance at the PLC and faculty meetings is so important to your team and to us moving forward. I hope that sending you the appointments will help you plan your time off so that you don't miss anything. Thanks so much!!!

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T-TESS Tid Bit

Standards and Alignment

The teacher must ensure that he or she establishes rigorous and measurable goals aligned to state content standards for all lessons. Both the student and the teacher should understand what is to be accomplished during each lesson and purpose for what takes place.

For this to occur, a teacher must first clearly define the learning objective for the lesson and then maintain the focus of the lesson on this objective.

Evidence includes:

* Communicating the standard/objectives to students

* Posting the standards each day for students and and disagragating the standard and referencing it throughout the lesson.

* Activities and materials reinforce the standard.

* Formative and On the Spot Assessments aligned to the standard(s) to measure and ensure that students are mastering the objective.

From the Mouths of Babes!

As you may remember, I attended the Principal Institute last year and it culminated with me bringing a Florence Student Panel to the final session. Our students answered questions from principals across the state of Texas. I have already shared a few of the questions and answers....here are some more answers to the question "What would make school better?"

  • Don’t do so many worksheets
  • more technology
  • more games
  • don’t forget recess - we need to blow off steam so we can reset.
  • If you are having fun you remember it more
  • It’s boring when the teacher just tells you.
  • We like to learn it in different ways

I loved that our students shared such important and innovative ideas! Many of these thoughts come straight out of the current research literature and your classrooms!!!

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