Monday Morning Motivation

February 8, 2016

Focus Walks - They Help Us Keep the Main Thing, the Main Thing!

Last week was a GREAT week at CES! Minimal discipline problems (even on the day we had 11 subs!), great teaching observed, good food and Fab Friday! Thank you for doing your part in making it a super week of teaching and learning!

Last week's Focus Walks were a success. Our goal for this round was to perfect the tool. The form, we quickly discovered, does not meet our needs and we will be working on this in our next Leadership Team meeting. We are looking forward to adjusting the form and getting ALL team members assigned to periodic Focus Walks. These walks help us keep our eye on the ball and provide important data about teaching and learning. Remember there are NO identifying responses on the form. We will be looking at data by categories, not teachers or even grade levels. This will help us focus on trends, practices and habits that are happening throughout our building. At the end of the day, it will help us get better and that is the point of these Focus Walks.

Some terrific things we saw last week during these walks include:

  • Vertical alignment in some classrooms
  • Teachers up teaching and monitoring students
  • Technology used throughout the building and in multiple grade levels
  • Good questioning techniques
  • Modeling
  • High expectations of ALL students
  • Positive culture/atmosphere in classrooms across the building
  • Solid procedures in place as evidenced by NO out of line behavior from students

Some things to think about:

  • Few classrooms have student work displayed inside the room (is this important?)
  • How do we structure the learning so that when students finish early there is a plan in place and they now what to do next?
  • These walks are NOT about evaluations. Why do they make you uncomfortable? (if they do)
  • What benefit do you see coming from these walks about your own teaching and learning (once data is shared)?
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Are You Engaged?

We talk a lot about student engagement, but what about adult engagement? The research is sobering at best. In the U.S., K-12 schoolteachers who are "not engaged" or are "actively disengaged" at work miss an estimated 2.3 million more workdays than teachers who are "engaged" in their jobs. We all know that the biggest impact on student achievement is the classroom teacher. You can imagine the impact this high level of disengagement can have on students. As you reflect this week, I encourage you to think about your own level of engagement both as a teacher and a learner. Do you encourage your team when they are disengaged or do you jump on the disengagement bandwagon with them? We are all leaders when it comes to building each other up and we are all responsible for holding one another accountable. How can we increase our adult engagement on the CES campus? I have included a link below to the article where the statistics above were pulled. Please take time to read the article. I promise it will have an impact.

#WhyWeTeach Video

Why We Teach

NEW Post by Ben Smith to the CES Family Blog Site

Fab Fridays in February

I hope you enjoyed Fab Friday's ice cream treat!! Don't forget this Friday will be our "goofy and fun" gift exchange. I hope that everyone will take advantage of this opportunity to laugh together! Calendar can be found here.

Important Dates for the week of February 8-12

Monday 2/8

#celebratemonday - Be sure to post to @CarlisleElem AND #ceslearners

Honor Assemblies K-2 - 9:30 am 3-6 1:30 pm details found here.

Tuesday 2/9

Mr. Head will be here at 10:50 in the gym to speak to 5th and 6th grade about band. (Hanks, Scroggins, Caviness please report to the gym at 11:00. Sixth grade students will go to activity as soon as Mr. Head is finished .. approximately 11:15). 6th grade teachers may leave at 11:00.

Thursday 2/11

Parent/Teacher Conferences 2:30-7:30

Friday 2/12

Valentine Parties (2:00 pm or after) - Please let the office know exact time and location.

Upcoming Events -

2/11 Parent Teacher Conferences

2/12 Valentine Parties

2/17 ACT Aspire Infrastructure (5th/6th only)

Fundraising Events -

PTS Cookie Dough Fundraiser March 1-15

Ocean Camp Artwork Fundraiser March 17-24