January 19, 2016


I have a lot to say. I hope you're listening.
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I sure hope you had a relaxing & restful holiday! Today marks the beginning of our second semester, & I know it will be a positive & productive one! Your mini-Rise presentations begin this week, & Kelli & I are genuinely excited to hear you talk about your kids, & we are looking forward to the time with you.

We continue to receive a lot of interest & press coverage from our Liink project participation – The story/segment aired on NBC Nightly News on Sunday & then on the Today Show Monday morning – hope you were able to see it – I will include the links in today’s Bulletin. The segments have generated interest from all over which is exciting, & I hope you’re as proud as I am to be a part of something so worthwhile which is truly making a difference for kids!



The group that attended Lee Elementary last Thursday had a great time & walked away with the confirmation that we are doing many of the “Best practices” that their campus uses also which was validating to see. I also hope it will propel us to have deeper conversations about where we want to continue to take EME. Thanks very much to those of you who went on Thursday, & I will take one more group in Feb. or March. GOOD STUFF!!!

Finally, I hope you enjoyed Deli Moussavi-Bock on Friday as much as I did! I thought her presentation was incredibly powerful with so MANY thought-provoking points; I know it was a lot to process. I felt it was deep “Quad D” stuff & hope you got a lot out of it as well. I’m including some of her “AMEN” statements in this week's Bulletin & appreciate you revisiting them as they are truly significant!

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Important Information this week!

· Thank you so much for the creative posters & banners, cards, etc. you had your learners make for our school board & for Liz Hatley! I delivered them this morning & know the board members will greatly appreciate them when they get them tonight. THANK YOU!

· Sandra needs all of your Eagles of Character names today please if you haven’t already turned those in! I will celebrate with those students on Friday.

· I really appreciate our team leaders & grade level teams being willing to change when their PLC’s meet! By doing so, Kelli & I will have a better opportunity to sit in on more of these which is one of our New Year’s Resolutions!

· PDAS evaluations continue this week – all third, fourth, & fifth grade teachers have been observed.

· We welcome two student teachers to our building today – Walter Scott who will start with Debbie Roest in third grade & then be with Janet Dickerson in second & Autumn Pryor in fifth grade with Chase Pettit.

· Please use the following link to input your students’ club selections. If you notice that a student has picked a club twice or an inappropriate club for their grade level, please ask them to choose another club. Angela & Drew will be working on setting up club rosters Wednesday at 9:00.


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Here are some excerpts from Deli’s talk on Friday:

· The most important conversation is the one we’re having with ourselves!

· Every single one of us is a leader with a huge sphere of influence.

· What we focus on expands.

· How can I put my hands on the steering wheel & drive?

· Ground Truth – No Spin

· Authentic ground – what’s REAL

· Unreal conversations really expensive!

· We have our REAL selves & our IDEAL selves.

· Why are our Ideal selves so seductive?

· It is not a good idea to live in your Ideal self.

· We often create plans based on Fantasy & then are surprised when they fail.

· Our freedom & power lies in our CHOICES – but sometimes those choices work against us.


· We each have our own sunglasses - & I see it completely in my own color.

· Take charge of your choices – what mountain do you want to scale?

· We get to choose what we believe, but we are answerable to what we choose.

· How many of you like to be right? What if I showed up with curiosity?

· Am I willing to be open to other perspectives or am I married to my own?!

· Your BELIEF is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

· The first person we have to start with is ourselves.

· Our Inner Dialogue with ourselves drives all relationships.

· Every single human being has a need to be seen & heard.

· How can I make MYSELF better?

· Certainty is an Innovation killer!

· We are responsible for the mindset we bring to a conversation.

· Identify what you feel. If you stuff it down, it will leak out & one day you will blow up!

· EMOTIONAL CAPITAL is either building or depleting.

· It’s hard to write a check on an empty account!

· EMOTIONAL CAPITAL is built one conversation at a time!


· Relationships are the most important currency we have!

· Without a clear vision you’re not going to get where you are going!

· Do you want to end up somewhere else by default?

· Given this new understanding, what can I do to move forward?

· We’re much more than we think we are!

· A VISION without action is a daydream!

· Our EMOTIONS drive our actions.

· Is what you believe working for you?

· The more loaded the conversation, the more silent you need to be.

· What is talked about & how it is talked about determines what happens or doesn’t happen.

· Conversations are essential to what we want to achieve. Conversations are the way through.

· While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship, or a life, any single conversation CAN! (From Fierce)


· If you don’t get invited back to the table, find another table!! J

· Ask yourself how close you are to SUDDENLY – The Importance of GRADUALLY…

· Our careers, our personal relationships, our schools, & our very lives succeed or fail gradually, then suddenly, one conversation at a time!

· Be conscious during the gradually so you won’t wake up to the pain of suddenly!

· How did you go bankrupt? Gradually – then suddenly!

· How close am I to suddenly?

· The CONVERSATION IS the relationship!

· Let silence do the heavy lifting.

· Have positive presuppositions about others.

· It’s none of my business why you believe what you believe.

· Are your beliefs getting you what you want?

· Be conscious of your own context & how you are contributing. One shift in our context can change everything.

· “I love you, but…” “BUT” is like an eraser – it discounts what you said.

· Hold me as able to handle your message.

· Hold people as ABLE!

· All confrontation is a search for the truth. Find out what is really going on.

· We all own a piece of the truth.



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By Katie Martin Ph.D

It’s easy to place blame on others when something doesn’t go the way that you expect. Think about how many times you may have heard or even said yourself something along the lines of “If only theywould have…”

Chances are you have heard of felt the frustration of many teachers that, “If they would have taught them the correct (fill in the blank) skills in (fill in the blank) grade, I wouldn’t have to spend time reteaching them. This happens too often to be the fault of individual teachers –we have created a system where we keep adding more and expecting them to implement, learn or do. This results in a lot of surface learning and covering content but is still far from the deeper learning required to retain and apply the new knowledge in far too many instances.

If you think about it, this same mentality is prevalent throughout educational institutions. This is modeled when principals lament telling teachers about the new initiative, program or whatever it is they were supposed to do yet it hasn’t quite taken hold in classrooms or isn’t making the desired impact. Or the district office’s new initiative that doesn’t live up to the hype or even get off the ground. It’s devastating to have students lacking the necessary skills needed to build on year after year. However, instead of investigating and addressing the root cause, in most cases the tendency is to reteach in the same way that didn’t work the first time. Likewise, it’s costly and wasteful to have programs and resources that we spend a great deal of money on that sit largely unused. But then, time and time again, when they don’t work we move to the next program that repeats the same cycle.

It reminds me of this quote from Einstein–

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results– Albert Einstein

This is the time to stop the insanity. If we continue to perpetuate the “I taught them but they didn’t learn it” mentality throughout education and place blame on others, how will we make the changes that our kids deserve. If we want innovative institutions that are going to develop the skills, knowledge and mindsets that our students need to be successful, we need to rethink our traditional systems and structures. Powerful learning will not happen by continuing to creating new expectations for others or adding on to what already exists– it’s will require individuals who are willing to forsake existing procedures and policies that don’t work.

Once we (in all roles) are willing to make changes in on our own practice, we can then work together to figure out how we can create better systems to improve learning and positively impact outcomes for our students. Change begins with individual actions and since we can’t change others (no matter how much we might try), we must begin with ourselves. Just think, how might we impact learning if instead of statements like, “If they would have… ” we started asking, “How might I…?”

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Jan 22nd - 3rd grade

Jan 27th - 1st grade

Jan 28th - Kinder & 4th grade

Jan 29th - 5th grade

Feb 3rd - 2nd grade

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What Teachers That Use Technology Believe:

  1. That students should connect with experts outside of the classroom.
  2. That artifacts and products of projects should be published where relevant audiences can access them.
  3. That research begins with search, and that search begins with a question.
  4. That student thinking should be visible.
  5. That students use technology in their lives, and to create a classroom without it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
  6. That a classroom, a teacher, and a book or worksheet aren’t enough for students.
  7. That learning can start with a book and end up in a digital space. Or vice-versa. Or neither. Or something else.
  8. That learning through technology or not learning through technology
  9. That technology is a strategy for learning. (It’s not an end, but a means.)
  10. That if you’re going to stand between a student and the future (of which technology will be a huge part of), that there had better be a very good reason.
  11. That digital citizenship is probably misunderstood and underestimated by most school and district policies, academic standards, literacy plans, etc., and that someone should do something about it. (And that they are someone.)
  12. That students are creative and even visionary, and technology affords endless opportunities to create and produce.
  13. That smartphones aren’t distractions, but powerful tools for learning.
  14. That technology can free them to lead learning in new ways as teachers.
  15. That students should publish their writing.
  16. That technology can make learning progress more visible for students.
  17. That technology allows students to learn more from others than they do you.
  18. That at one time, a pencil, piece of paper, book binding, electricity, and more were all considered ‘new technologies.’
  19. That adaptive learning apps are only the beginning of how technology will eventually be able to personalize adaptive learning for students.
  20. That sometimes technology fails, obscures, distracts, costs too much, or otherwise mars an otherwise soundly designed learning experience–just like textbooks, bad lectures, confusing group work, novels well beyond a students reading level, hastily-designed projects, and more have done for decades.
  21. That students are mobile, and learning should be too.
  22. That the fact that some teachers think carefully about teaching with technology makes sense, but that some refuse to do so is indefensible.
  23. That a student’s body of work should be accessible and revisited inside and outside of the classroom.
  24. That learning is non-linear.
  25. That digital literacy is as important as ‘textual’ literacy.
  26. That they (as teachers) can’t do it all.
  27. That Google changes how we think about information.
  28. That today’s technology–an iPad or iPhone or Chromebook–will be the worst they ever use.
  29. That it’s not about the teaching, the technology, the strategies, or the design, but rather the long-term influence of knowledge and skills on a student’s inclinations and behavior.
  30. That students will likely be more motivated by peer groups or authentic audiences than you.
  31. That digital footprints are important, and so we’d better get ahead of this thing while we can.
  32. That learning through networks is, at least in part, the future of formal and informal learning.

by Terry Heick

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Our library will see many changes over the next 18 weeks. We've begun with a new set up that I believe students will find much more friendly and fun. Sheryl & The Design Team are doing their best to bring our library up to 21st century standards.


Monday – Martin Luther King holiday

Tuesday – Grades due, PLC’s meet, Liz Hatley here to read to first grade, Jennifer Villines here for brief PBIS walk, Book Club meets with Kelli at 3PM

Wednesday – Kelli to AP meeting, Faculty meeting – 3PM – you will be given time to work on your RISE presentations

Thursday – Bryan out today for Principal’s meeting

Friday – Kinder Rodeo, 3rd grade RISE presentation – Eagles of Character Celebration – 1PM, I will have an aspiring administrator here to shadow me on Friday


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  • Kudos to Donna McBride & Amy Longspaugh for their willingness to be interviewed again for another publication about Liink. They both did a tremendous job & I can hardly wait to see the piece when it comes out next month. Thank you Donna & Amy for being such great representatives of our school & for all of your support for Liink!

· A colossal shout out to Hope Howell for the fantastic job she did with our Author’s Celebration on Friday! It couldn’t have been any better, & it was so exciting to see how excited our kids are about writing - as well as to see the improvements they have made since the first go round! Deli was also really impressed. Hope’s passion for Writing is evident, so Take a Bow Hope! You are to be commended for the job you are doing with writing instruction!

* Thanks to Tammie Willingham for the VERY NICE care package she coordinated for one of our students who is having MAJOR surgery today. Thanks also to all who contributed to the care packages - we sent a lot which will mean a great deal to the family.

* Special Thanks to Jami Alford for her valiant efforts in trying to recover my hard-drive that crashed. Lesson learned - BACK UP YOUR STUFF! I really appreciate you Jami!

* Thank you to Sophia Navarro for her help in translating an ARD last week...MUCHO GRACIAS!

· Congratulations to Bethany Miller whose son was born Friday. He arrived weighing 6 pounds & 9 ounces & was 19 inches long. Congrats to the Miller family!

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