Chancellor News and Notes

November 30, 2015

Happy Almost December!

Tomorrow is December 1, and the beginning of DCA season, eek! Hopefully you had a restful and calm Thanksgiving break, and enjoyed time with family and friends. As we go into the very busy next three weeks, work on firm behavior expectations with your students. Feel free to come up with a grade level behavior incentive to encourage your students to stay focused. A fun food craft like building an waffle cone icing tree with all the trimmings earned for each day of good behavior, an ice cream party, a movie like Polar Express or Frozen, or extra game/go noodle/recess time in the classroom at the end of each week are examples of some fun incentives you could do as a classroom or as a grade level. Google or search Pinterest for ideas and examples! With testing, musicals, performances, and multicultural market learning and craft-making going on, you may need a little extra incentive to keep things on track! Plus, it's FUN for the kids!!
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Upcoming Dates to Remember!

There is a lot going on in December! This list does not include every event and meeting for December, or times- please refer to your calendars for more details!

12/1 Math DCA 2nd - 5th grade

12/2 Reading DCA 1st/2nd grade

12/2 Market Product form due

12/2 Craft Corner

12/3 Reading DCA 3rd/4th/5th grade

12/3-12/16 Holiday Toy Drive

12/4-12/11 5th Grade Girls Holiday Tea Parties

12/7 Progress Reports due 8 am, Market sample due in display case

12/8 Winter Musical

12/8 70th day of school

12/9 Ugly Sweater Day!

12/9 Science DCA 2nd-5th grade (CCA for K and 1st)

12/9 Staff Christmas Party

12/10 Social Studies DCA 3rd grade

12/10 4th Grade Field Trip

12/10 Progress Reports go home

12/10 Wonderland at Westchase

12/11 Santa Pictures

12/14 Winter Concert

12/14 Holiday Workshop

12/15 Coffee Bar for Staff

12/17 Multicultural Market (tickets for sale 12/10-12/15)

12/18 Christmas Sing-a-long, Holiday Parties

12/18 Early Dismissal at 2:05 pm

1/5 Back to School!

Winter DCA testing starts tomorrow!

A few reminders:

  • Hallways are a level 0 for students and staff. Please remind anyone who may forget during the day.
  • Computer labs may be in use for testing- please do not enter.
  • Cover your content areas for your DCA testing, as advised by your specialists, the day before the test
  • Separate desks in preparation (have your students do it before leaving!)
  • Have a large number of sharpened pencils ready for use (with erasers)
  • Talk to your students about expectations
  • Computers and electronic devices are off and put away (unless you are in a primary grade where you may have to read the test still via computer)
  • Tissues, snacks, peppermints, water bottles? Make sure your students are prepared, or have items available to help your students stay focused on the test!
  • Active monitoring- you are walking around the room the majority of the time, circulating between desks, encouraging off-task students to continue to work, and being a motivational force! It's okay to sit for a minute or two and take breaks, but you can't be an effective monitor without proximity.
  • Follow all testing guidelines in your testing booklets and that have been discussed by specialists. This is the time to practice, and help your students practice, on what to do in testing situations.
  • Do not leave your testing area- students cannot be left unsupervised. If there is an emergency situation, alert a monitor walking through (there are many!) or alert your partner teacher if no one is walking through at that moment. A monitor will be in the vicinity and can be alerted to come to you.
  • Keep your students relaxed and calm. Motivate always. Testing is not the only determination of success, and is definitely not a determination of intelligence!
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Holidays around the World!

Many of our students do not come from cultures that celebrate Christmas, and that's okay! This is a wonderful time to celebrate the many holidays that take place around the world at this time. As teachers, it is our duty to include and uplift our students, whether their beliefs are the same or different. This also goes for our staff members, friends, family, Starbucks employees, or anyone else for that matter. This time of year is to be joyous and giving, and punishing or insulting anyone for different beliefs is never the way. This is one reason why our Multicultural Market is a fantastic opportunity for learning! Holidays around the World, how fun is that?! Enjoy this time of learning with your students, about your chosen country, and all the holidays that may be celebrated in that region of the world. You can compare to what is celebrated here as well!
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Holiday Toy Drive is Here!

Our Annual Toy Drive starts on December 3! Please consider donating new and unwrapped games, toys, books, or stuffed animals for children in need. We have donated to Texas Children's Hospital and to House of Amos in the past, and I'm not sure who the donation is going to this year, but it will go somewhere good! When I have confirmation I will let you know! But regardless, many families would love to give their children gifts during the holidays, but the rent, electricity, water, and food are already a struggle to keep up with- gifts are a luxury not afforded to everyone. So please find it in your heart to donate!

HAVE A FANTASTIC WEEK!