Monday Morning Motivation

Central Elementary Staff News----February 8-February 12

The Big Game

Dear Staff,

I was so excited to learn yesterday that Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The men are known, not only for their talent, but for the quality of character they brought to the game.

According to Tony Dungy, when Jim Irsay called me five years ago, he told me, 'I want you to be our coach and help us win the Super Bowl.' He told me, 'We are going win it the right way. We are going to win it with great guys; win it with class and dignity. We are going to win it in a way that will make Indianapolis proud.'

Both Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy did make the people of Indianapolis proud, demonstrating hard work and dedication. They had a vision and a plan.

It was said about Marvin, while other players would rest, "Marvin Harrison had his own set of rules on Mondays. He was routinely on the practice field, too, running routes as if he was facing some of the NFL's premier cornerbacks, not a defensive back who likely got the majority of his snaps on special teams during game day.

That was Marvin Harrison, and that dedication and preparation are two of the reasons he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Hard work, dedication and planning applies to us as educators every day. You have a vision, you plan and often our students don't understand the content. You refocus and plan again, continuing to practice your daily math and reading drills, preparing for the "big game." You explain it another way and your students "get it."

Although we will not get inducted into a Pro Education Hall of Fame, our joy comes in seeing a student master a concept or reach a goal. Or seeing Central Elementary earning an "A" rating. There is nothing like it.

Regardless of what comes our way as we enter the testing season, we will be prepared and our students will be as well.

Have a great week!


A Week at a Glance

Central Calendar

MONDAY, February 8

  • Kindergarten and Second grade Cogat testing continues

TUESDAY, February 9

  • Smekens Professional Development at Clarks Creek

  • Cogat testing

WEDNESDAY, February 10

  • Cogat testing
  • Cabinet Meeting and ISTEP meeting--My goal is to have schedule to you by the end of the week.
  • New Teacher meeting at Central Office

THURSDAY, February 11

  • Cogat testing
  • School Board Meeting 7pm

FRIDAY, February 12

  • Cogat testing
  • Valentine's Day Parties

Announcements and Reminders

  • Sometime this week, I plan to share our school improvement plan with you to review. We have talked about this data in our grade level meetings, but it is in a more formalized document. I am asking that you look over it and give input.
  • Copy machine training. So far I have the names of 7 parents. If you have not given me the names please do so. I would like a list of your main grade-level parent volunteers who make copies, so we can train them as well. Please continue to let Kathy and Shonda know upstairs if you have problems with copiers. They will keep me in the loop.

  • Cogat testing information. This has gone very well.

  • Unplanned Classroom Observations are underway. Please remember to have your lesson plans out on your desk.

  • If you are interested in using the display cases next to the gym, please let Karen or Margaret know as we are looking for student works displays.

  • Mouthpiece testing for 5th grade students is Thursday, February 11th

    1:40-2:05 p.m

    2:05-2:30 p.m.

    2:30-2:55 p.m.

    2:55-3:20 p.m.

  • February 16th and 18th there will be a parent band meeting at the Middle School.

  • February 16th Our School-wide grade level data team meetings. Begin thinking about students who you want to bring to the committee

  • The Central Elementary Art Show will be on Thursday, February 18th from 5-7 pm.

Valentine's Parties

February 12

This message went out to parents regarding party volunteers:

We are in need of a few parents (2-3) to volunteer for each classroom to help with our Valentine’s Day Parties. Please respond to your room parent if you can commit to helping by Monday, February 8th. The room parents will send the list of volunteers to the PTO and then the list will be shared with Mrs. Thacker and Mrs. McLaughlin to ensure that each parent has a background check on file. They will create a list and ONLY those parents on the pre-approved list will be allowed to help with Valentine’s parties. This is being done in order to safely and effectively manage the adults entering the building.

-Central PTO

  • The parties will run for 30 minutes and include 1 game, a snack, and rest of the time for the students to look at Valentine cards.
  • In an effort to control the number of people in our building due to a heightened sense of security, we are staggering the parties.
  • Remember parents wanting to leave early with their children need to understand that they have to leave at 3:35 or later in order for this to not hurt their child's attendance.
  • Party TImes
  • 1:10--1:40 4nd and 5th Grade (This cuts into 5 minutes of 5th grade recess. We will coordinate Cogat so students will not miss parties.)

    1:55--2:25 2nd and 3rd Grade (This cuts into 10 minutes of 3rd grade team time)

    2:30-3:00 Kindergarten and 1st Grade

  • Jen Nanny and Rene Hauck will put the game together

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Professional Development!

For our sessions on Tuesday, February 9th, here are the locations at Clarks Creek:

  • Literacy Stations #2: Implementing Literacy Stations for Fluency (K-5) - Brian Nelson's Room
  • Introducing Comprehension Strategies to Students (K-12) - Pat Ward's Room
  • Delivering Dynamic Comprehension Lessons (K-12) - Library
  • Creating and Conducting Differentiated Small Groups (K-5) - LGI
  • 18 Power Strategies to Boost Reading and Writing Achievement on Standardized Tests (3-12) Teachers from Central will present strategies. - Cafeteria

Curriculum and Instruction

From Teachers' Toolbox February 2016

Tips for meeting the needs of high ability learners in ALL classrooms. Think about using an upside down version of Bloom's Taxonomy for high ability learners. The majority of the instructional time should be spent on the higher levels of Bloom's taxonomy rather than knowledge (remembering) and comprehension (understanding).

Spring Assessments!

Students are preparing now more than ever for upcoming assessments this semester.

  • Cogat High Ability Assessment February (all students in kindergarten and second grade and those students new to the district)
  • STAR 360 Math and Reading February (all students grades k-5)
  • ISTEP Part 1 Window February 29- March 11, 2016
  • I-Read-3 Window March 14 - March 18, 2016 (all third grade students)
  • ISTEP Part 2 Window April 18-May 6, 2016 (all students grades 3-5)

Very Important ISTEP Information/Resources Grades 3-5

17 Days Until ISTEP+ 2016 Window opens!

Please take some time to review the updated resources on the DOE. Additionally, I will sent an email with all the information, including a PowerPoint. At the end of last week, I put printed materials in your mailbox. Students should be exposed to ISTEP sample problems once a day!

Look at the grade-level pdf resource guides.

The IDOE is pleased to announce the ISTEP+ “Experience” opportunity is now available through Pearson. Experience is presented via the Pearson online platform (TestNav 8) that will be used for ISTEP+ online testing, as well as IREAD-3 online testing. The purpose of Experience is for students, educators, parents, and community members to see how test items similar to those on the ISTEP+ Part 2 assessment are presented in the online system. Experience makes a great classroom-based activity!

Overview: Experience (ePATs)

Pearson provides Electronic Practice Assessment Tests (referred to as “ePATs”) for Indiana’s Experience opportunity. ePATs make it possible for students, educators, parents, and community members to experience various technology-enhanced item types that will appear on the ISTEP+ Part 2 assessment as often as they like from home, at school, or on mobile devices. ePATs use the same TestNav 8 tools, navigation, interface, and infrastructure as the online ISTEP+ assessments, providing students with a more authentic, low-stakes way to practice and become familiar with online testing and technology-enhanced items. Practice opportunities such as these enable students to become comfortable with the technology used for online testing before they take ISTEP+, allowing them to better demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have gained in the classroom.

Accessing Experience

To access the Experience TestNav 8 forms, Pearson recommends that students only use officially supported devices, browsers, and operating systems. Other devices and hardware/software combinations could result in students experiencing incorrect formatting, functionality, or other unanticipated issues. For a list of currently supported platforms, please refer to the TestNav 8 System Requirements page at

Guidance Regarding English/Language Arts and Math Experience Online Items

· English/Language Arts Experience Online Guidance Video (link is external)

· Math Experience Online Guidance Video

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Celebrate Staff

  • Compass recognition this month goes to Kathy Crum and Nicole Thompson. Thank you for all you do in putting students first each and every day!!
  • Celebrate Diana White for National School Counselor Week. Nothing means more to us than a kind word or a handwritten note. Please shower Diana with appreciation this week. Thanks for all you to support staff, students, and parents.
  • To all the teachers and students who made Valentine's for the Plainfield Lion's Club, we celebrate you! This gesture will mean so much to people in nursing homes and/or rehab facilities.
  • Celebrate Shonda, Alyssa and Randi as well as "the assistants" Patty, Diana H, Heidi, Linda! Cogat has gone so well. I don't want to jinx us because we still have several days to go, but you all ROCK! Thank you.