St. Anthony MS

One Team. One Family.

Week Ahead for Jan. 4th - 8th

On the first days of schools, our students discussed their classroom and community expectations. Now is the time to refresh these expectations, especially because our kids have changed a lot since August. Think about how you will ask students to decide/talk about how our classrooms should look, sound, and feel like. This is also a great time to reestablish rapport and relationships with your students.

Have a wonderful week!

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Our School Goals

  1. 100% of our students will grow in the areas of Math and Reading
  2. 10% increase in advanced and proficient rating on state testing
  3. 90% of classroom students will reach their end of the year STAR target goal
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This Week's Team Meeting Focus = Reading with Ms. Deutsch

To Do: Consider bringing an upcoming article, book or other text that your students will read with you to this week's meeting.

Team Meetings for the rest of January:

2nd Week = Discipline with Mr. Garvey

3rd Week = Curriculum with Ms. Ziarnik

4th Week = Team Choice

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Thursday Schedule (starts this week)

Please note that breakfast is after Mass. Also, blocks three and four are swapped because students cannot concurrently eat lunch and participate in gym class.

7:25 Homeroom and DEAR (no bell between)

8:00 Mass

9:00 Breakfast in Homeroom

9:13 Block 1A

9:43 Block 1B

10:13 Block 2A

10:43 Block 2B

11:13 Block 4A

11:43 Block 4B

6th Grade: 12:13-12:40 Lunch, 12:43-1:40 Block 3

7th Grade: 12:13-12:40 Block 3A, 12:43-1:10 Lunch, 1:13-1:40 Block 3B

8th Grade: 12:13-1:10 Block 3, 1:13-1:40 Lunch

1:43-2:00 Homeroom

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Schedule for the Week of Jan. 4th

Monday, January 4th (Black B Day)

  • 8:00am Deutsch, Garvey, Petersen Meeting
  • 9:00am 7th Grade Team Meeting
  • 11:10am Specials Team Meeting
  • 1:00pm Confession

Tuesday, January 5th (Maroon A Day)

  • Potential new start date for new students (between 0-3 students/grade, will receive specific information from admissions on Monday the 4th and Petersen will work to give these students schedules ASAP - will email these schedules out to teachers)
  • [No Mass and Schedule is the same as everyday Mon./Wed./Fri. schedule]
  • 9:00am Petersen, Deutsch at Francis Hall
  • 1:00pm Confession
  • 3:45pm Discipline Meeting in Ms. Wavro's Room
  • 5:00pm Parish Council Meeting and Middle School Tour

Wednesday, January 6th (Gold B Day)

  • 7:45-12:00 Petersen at the Arch
  • 1:10pm Upward Bound Workshop
  • 2:00pm 8th Grade Team Meeting
  • Wednesday student folders go home.

Thursday, January 7th (Black A Day)

  • Mass on Thursday and New Thursday Schedule (see above) starts today
  • 8:00am Parent Meeting at Keyser Hall
  • Father Cliff PD at the Middle School

Friday, January 8th (Maroon B Day)

  • Jeans Day for students and staff (count day for enrollment, no need to collect $)
  • 7:45am 6th Grade Team Meeting
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Article for the Week - 10 Ways to Sabotage Your Classroom Management - Jennifer Gonzalez

You know the basics: Establish clear rules and consequences, be consistent, keep students engaged. But even with all that in place, the small things you do could be wrecking havoc on your whole system.

Here are some habits you might have developed that are messing with your classroom management, along with more effective alternatives.

1. Smiling at the Wrong Times

This was a big problem for me. I thought my students were pretty funny people, so when a kid took those first steps to get us off-track, I couldn't help but smile. And that just encouraged him to continue. The irony was that five minutes later, I would be yelling at the whole class for getting too wild. Duh.

Alternative: Make a conscious effort to hold a neutral, "on-task" facial expression when you need your class to be focused. I still think it's important to show students you have a sense of humor and appreciate theirs, but everyone needs to learn that there's a time and place for it. Have a private conservation with your class clowns, letting them know that there will be times when you won't react to their jokes - that will be your signal that it's a "serious" time.

2. Handling Problems Publicly

Addressing student misbehavior in a public way risks embarrassing the student, and if she is prone to being oppositional, she's likely to talk back and dig herself into a deeper hold. You retaliate, and before you know it, a full-scale war has erupted.

Alternative: Whenever possible, address off-task behavior in private. Some teachers silently place a post-it note on the student's desk to signal that a problem has occurred, then [go from there]. Others just speak in a quiet voice by the student's desk or call the student up to their own. The method isn't terribly important; just aim for a bare minimum of spectacle.

3. All Sound, No Sight

So many behavior problems start with students simply not understanding what they are supposed to do. This is especially true when teachers only give verbal directions instead of making them visual.

Alternative: Provide visual cues for what students are expected to do. If you want them to do steps 1-4 of today's lab, then clean up their materials, then read silently for the rest of the period, go to the board and make a quick list: step 1-4, clean up, read. Simply writing those steps on the board will save you from having to remind students or reprimand them for not following the plan [at least as often].

4. Not Waiting for Quiet

When I observe teachers, I see this mistake more often than any other: They start talking to the class before everyone has completely stopped talking. To be fair, they often wait until almost everyone is quiet, but allowing that last bit of chatter to linger causes problems: Students who don't hear what you say will either (a) turn to a neighbor to ask, or (b) follow instructions incorrectly. It's easy to blame kids for being poor listeners, but the problem could actually be the teacher's timing.

Alternative: Before addressing your class, force yourself to wait a few extra seconds (about five) until everyone - everyone - is completely quiet.

5. Making Students Choose Between Listening and Reading

When you distribute a handout to students, do you give them quiet time to actually read it? Or do you keep talking, "going over it" and constantly interrupting them to the point where they can't process any of it? When you do this, you guarantee that students will either skip over something important on the document, or miss a vital bit of information you gave verbally. The brain can't do both at once.

Alternative: If you have preliminary remarks to make before giving students written material, do your talking first, then pass out the papers. Once students have the document in hand, tell them you're going to give them a few minutes to read it. Then... BE QUIET. If you must interrupt, have students turn this papers face-down and look at you, then give the announcement.

6. Only Speaking in "Don'ts"

If I tell you not to think about a hot fudge sundae, what do you think about? Yep, a hot fudge sundae. Similarly, if you tell a seventh grade boy not to tap his pencil, he still has pencil tapping on the brain.

Alternative: Tell students what to do. These directives can address the problem at hand (Jake, put your pencil under your textbook until I tell you to use it) or distract the student with another activity altogether (Jake, read number 4 for me, please).

7. Taking Too Long

When a student gets off-task, an ineffective teacher will waste five minutes lecturing her about it. This not only makes you lose valuable instructional time, it also annoys the heck out of the other students who are forced to sit and watch.

Alternative: Just becoming aware of this problem will help you improve it. Remember, you don't have to settle every issue right away; when an interaction drags on, tell the student you'll finish talking after class.

8. Staying Up Front

Proximity is a huge key to stopping misbehavior before it gets going. If you're always at the front of your classroom, you can't pick up on trouble in the early stages. By the time you notice a problem, it's already gained momentum, making it much harder to stop.

Alternative: Move around while you teach. Do it so casually and so regularly that students just expect it.

9. Focusing on the Problems

It's natural to give your energy to misbehaviors, to only comment when something goes wrong, but you'll get more cooperation if you give equal (or more) attention to the good behaviors, especially when it comes to students who have trouble with self-control.

Alternative: You've probably heard of "catch them being good," but actually doing it takes concentration. For some students, you have to wait a while before the desirable behavior happens! Watch Daniel, the pencil-tapper: After you tell them to set his pencil down, does it stay there for a few minutes? Before he grabs it again, go over and say, "Thanks for keeping that pencil down." Nine times out of ten, that will lengthen the time it takes for him to pick it up again.

10. Taking Things Personally

No matter what's going on, taking student misbehavior as a personal affront can only make things worse. But not taking it personally is a lot easier said than done.

Alternative: A mental trick I used to help me step away from those hurt feelings was to think of myself as a service provide - like a dentist - and my students as patients. If my patient got a cavity, I would treat it as best I could, but I wouldn't take it personally. If things don't always go well, it doesn't have to be about me.

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Thursday PD for the Month

Week One = Father Cliff at the MS

Week Two = Discipline Focus

Week Three = Vertical PLCs Resume

Week Four = Math Parent Event/Connecting with Parents

Video for the Week - Mia Birdsong: The Story We Tell About Poverty Isn't True

Have a wonderful week!