Friday Focus

January 8, 2016

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The Journey Ahead

Waking up this Monday morning was not the easiest task for me. My body and mind wanted to sleep in, like it had been doing for the past week and a half. The shorter days and the cold outside were certainly factors in my mindset. Nevertheless, I dragged myself out of bed, got ready for the day. and showed up to school.

What motivates me? First, the people. This means the students, the staff, and the families. I enjoy coming to Howe and seeing everyone I work and learn with. Second, our school's past and continued success. I feel the pride when I walk through the doors, as many of our visitors have also noticed. The student work on the walls and high expectations are just a few of the contributing factors to our quality learning environment.

Finally, and this is specific to this school year, I have looked forward to exploring my driving question through the action research course, "How might questioning and discussion affect student literacy engagement?"

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This inquiry is also our School Learning Objective (worded as a statement).

The question alone has been a source of engagement with me. I feel more involved in the process of learning at Howe. For example, when I come into a classroom for an instructional walk, I'm observing through the lens of what's possible, instead of just the current reality. There is a focus on the future in addition to honoring the past and present. This positive approach helps me assume the best in others and their efforts.

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In addition to a more positive outlook, our collective energies our moving toward getting better every day. This can be a challenge considering the success we've experienced. But with any group, the drive to keep innovating is what makes these organizations so special. Thank you for joining me on this journey toward excellence.


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Woodlands Spring Into Action Requests

A reminder to enter your ideas for projects and improvements at Howe in this Google Form. Ideas for what is possible can be found by clicking on this spreadsheet. Both the Google Form and our idea requests can be found on Coordinating Council's Google Site page.
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Student Supervision

A regular reminder that wherever students are at Howe, there should also be an adult. This is for the obvious, such as recess and common areas, as well as the classroom. If we need to catch a copy or use the restroom, we have one aide at every grade level. An ounce of prevention...

New Year, New Faces!

Recommended Resource: Management in the Active Classroom

Expeditionary Learning has a series of online videos available for free. These videos of classrooms in action are related to their resource of the same name. Each clip offers one strategy for managing a classroom that engages students in active learning. Below is one of those clips ("First Five Minutes/Last Five Minutes").
First Five Minutes/Last Five Minutes: Management in the Active Classroom

All Faculty Meeting

Friday, Jan. 15th, 8-8:30am

221 8th Street North

Wisconsin Rapids, WI


  • Engage in a brief mid-year check of student writing. More information coming...