Week of: October 29 - November 2
Another great week in the books! There is most certainly something that occurs within the bodies/minds of school-aged kiddos on a full moon week - to say the week was full of excitement would be an understatement! The Red Ribbon Week Activities & Career Fair to cap off a successful week would not have been possible without the wonderful volunteers, speakers and most importantly Ms. McNeely and Miss Poole's amazing coordination/execution efforts!
Being in and around the school all week it was great to see the level of engagement within the classroom, students engaged in the activities at hand and the reading groups through guided reading that many of our teachers have plunged into head first even with it being new to so many! Additionally, please know that the time/commitment that you pour into this institution does not go unnoticed - the parent conferences that you all have held have allowed parents a window into your classroom to see ALL the great things that are occurring - Thank you for making the extra effort to make these happen!
This weekend be sure to rest, relax and recharge. Monday will be here before we know it and Wednesday is Halloween! You rock!
Below I have listed a few updates and reminders to activities planned for the week ahead:
- Tuesday, October 30 - Professional Learning - Media Center - 3PM
- Wednesday, October 31- United Way Fundraiser - Students/Staff Dress up and support United Way through a donation.
- Thursday, November 1-Friday, November 2 - Book Fair Sales Preview
- Monday, November 5 - Friday, November 9 - Book Fair Sales Underway
- Thursday, November, 8 - Veterans Day Program/PTSO - Look forward to seeing all staff in attendance.
- Friday, November 16 - "Heroes Overcome" - This presentation will directly tie in with our 7 Mindsets and be a memorable reminder. My hope is that you all will enjoy this experience!
***Traveling on a field trip soon? We recently purchased an ice machine for your convenience - it is located in the gymnasium - Coach Moon and Anderson can point you in the right direction if you need a hand.***
With an intentional focus of consistency on being curious & crazy for kids you will ALWAYS find a culture that is student focused!
Have a WONDERful Week!
This time of year can make you feel this way! We are in this together, one child at a time!
7 Mindsets Read-Aloud
As an admin. Team we decided that in order to help further develop the mindsets while tying in a reading component – we would all embark on a school-wide read aloud with your class/classes. I mean who doesn’t like a good read-aloud – Sign up for a time that is most convenient for you and your students below.
If you decide that as a grade level you would like us to schedule a grade wide read aloud we can certainly do that as well and just pull you into the lunchroom or media center for ample space.
Our hope is to be in line with the mindsets as they are being taught – as of now we are on the last week of Passion First so we would likely be starting with the next mindset.
Thanks in advance!
Lesson Plans & Gradebooks
Each week, the administrative team holds a weekly PLC. As the instructional leaders of the school, our PLC will always have an instructional focus. As you know, we have made a commitment this year to improve lesson planning and meeting the needs of ALL levels of learners through appropriate instructional strategies, planning and assessment. With this comes a commitment to review lesson plans and provide feedback. Moving forward, we will choose a grade level, resource area, or specials area each week to review and communicate this at least one week in advance. This coming week (10/29), 1st Grade lesson plans will be reviewed by the full administrative team, including our ILT; the following week (11/5), we will review 4th Grade lesson plans. Lesson plans are submitted to the teacher specific Google folder. Nothing is hidden, nothing is secret. Clearly, this isn’t a “gotcha” since you are being told which plans are being reviewed. But, much like anything, if you aren’t regularly practicing the skill, that will become evident when it is intensely reviewed. The expectation is that every content/course is preparing, submitting, and using lesson plans weekly. Some of you write unit plans - GREAT! These still should be reviewed and put into a weekly plan. Much like a monthly budget, if you prepare it and look at it just once in a month, you will never be (financially) on the best track.
Gradebooks, first and foremost, are a form of communication. Communication is an area in which we should always strive for improvement. And, some of you are really needing to improve your use of PowerSchool gradebook as an effective form of communication. Every teacher should be in his/her gradebook EVERY week at least once, making sure grades that are recorded are up-to-date. If you stop and think about the gradebook being a form of communication, it makes sense that it could be considered as a tool to improve student achievement and progress. As the principal, and as the instructional leader here, I have a strong expectation that all gradebooks accurately and effectively communicate a student's progress.
Lesson Plans and Gradebooks – “The Connection”
You plan your instruction, and you plan your assessments. Assessment results are then recorded in the gradebook in PowerSchool. If your gradebook isn’t being updated regularly/properly, it is probably because you aren’t planning regularly/properly. If the PS gradebook is going to be an effective form of communication, then you must use it efficiently and effectively. This includes reporting grades in a timely manner. How, exactly, are stakeholders to use the grades (communication) to positively impact the student achievement? Right? How are stakeholders going to help us support the work in classrooms and our school if student achievement is either not being reported or being reported late? So, I am adding gradebook reviews to our weekly lesson plan reviews - when we review your lesson plans we will also review your gradebooks.
If there is something more about our expectations regarding lesson planning and grading that you believe should be better communicated by me, please let me know.
If you need help with lesson planning, your gradebook, or communication, ask me, please. Or, maybe you just want to talk about some point in this information- that is fine, too. If I am not a good go-to for you, how about your grade chair, ILT or supervising AP? Let's work together to make sure the foundational elements of our instruction are solid.
We do so much very well, and for that I am always thankful. I can truthfully say that there is not a day that I am not thankful that I am at MES with such talented educators. Thank you, all, for your commitment to excellence and success. And, for your commitment to being better.
Making Moves at McAllister
- From Mrs. Nelly to Mrs. Reynolds: Mrs. Reynolds is an absolute rockstar! She’s happy. She’s positive. She’s always willing to lend a helping hand. She was a tremendous help to my sub while I was out, and she continued to help me rest my knee when I finally returned. So lucky to have her at McAllister!!
- From Mrs. Klinger to ESS Staff: The entire ESS staff has been working extremely hard to ensure our students are receiving everything they need and more. I want to shout out to the team for helping cover during Resource time while I was out last week with my sick kiddos, without such a supportive team, I would not have felt at ease being home taking care of my babies. Thank you all!
- PK-2 - Lesson 3.2 - Working Together
- 3-5 - Lesson 3.2 - Maximize Positive Relationships
In a school of over 135 it can be hard to know everyone's name...Have you had a chance to look at the staff directory where pictures of our staff members can be located?
Click this link to see all of the awesome things our teachers have posted on twitter this week. Always remember to use the #MESrocks when posting to keep these items united!