Tiger Beat

Acton Weekly Update: 11/28/16

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Brook Wessel-Burke

Cell: 317-331-1920

Twitter: @bwesselburke

Acton Facebook Page

Acton Website

Nuts and Bolts

1. I will be out on Monday- all day.

2. I've had several people talk to me here or there about having a pajama day or watching a "winter" movie in the near future. Sooooo, here is my thought. It sounds like fun to me, but I'd like some organization with it. I'm proposing that December 16th (last student day, All School Sing A Long Day, Party Day) be a pajama day and IF your grade level wants to watch a movie that day, that's fine with me. Along with this, we do have a few students who do not celebrate holidays so we do want to aware of their needs. However, most kids love PJ day and PJ's don't really have anything to do with Christmas or Hanukkah.

Please let me know by Monday afternoon your preference on pajama day or not ( the movie part I will leave up to you-must be G rated)

3. PLEASE watch where you are walking with students when on the sidewalk near the special education buses. The driver has mentioned that she is concerned about students and adults being too close. We want everyone safe. Please keep students on the side of the sidewalk closest to the building.

4. We will need to do some make-up testing for CoGat next week which will require I use the Chromebooks for extended times. I'm having Krissy reserve the cart for me on Wednesday morning (until NWEA time) and all day Thursday. Please let me know if this will interfere with any special projects that MUST be completed those days.

5. On Wednesday, December 7th, the FUN Committee invites you to wear your most "FESTIVE" holiday attire. We want to see the most sparkly, outrageous, 3-D, ugly, beautiful or simply silly sweater/outfit.

Let's have fun with this and show off our best holiday spirit.

This is for ALL staff members! Since most certified and classified staff are at school by 8:00 on Wednesday mornings, we will have the judging for "Most Festive" at 8:20 in the LGI.

If you do not have any holiday sweaters, please let me know. I know where I can get about over 20 in different sizes.

6.Teachers, Please follow the link to the FTCSC Teacher Perception Survey Link. While I have not seen the teacher survey, I did complete the administrative and parent survey and felt there were several questions that will be useful to see feedback so that we can use that data to make decisions to improve our township. I will send out the links to the parent and student survey to families so that those will be completed at home and will not take instructional time from your classes. At this time there is no classified staff survey. If one is developed I will be sure to pass that along so our amazing support staff can share their input also.

Teacher Survey:


Support the sales of the Major Saver card however you can, classroom newsletters, FB pages, etc.

Curriculum and Instruction

I've scheduled a Data Dig Day for December 9th. I'd like to meet with each grade level to go over your most recent data. For K-2 this will be DIBELS progress monitoring. For 3-5 this will include DIBELS PMing data along with Acuity or NWEA. We will meet in the conference room during your grade level prep time. We are almost 1/2 way through the year and we need to start looking at our progress and creating plans for further instruction where needed.

I will be putting updated Roster Reports and your most recent DIBELS PMing data in mailboxes on Monday.- Please bring these items with your to our meeting. I will provide everything else.

FTCSC DIBELS GOALS: Accuracy 85% and Fluency 80%

Ways to Respond to Independent Reading, Read with A Buddy, or Read Aloud Time~

1.) Like/Dislike: Using two columns, list what you like in your book so far and what you don’t like.

2.) Three Tricks, One Truth: Write or discuss four things about your book, three of them tricks and one telling the truth about what happens in your book. Have your partner or group vote to indicate which one they think is true.

Literacy Activities That Engage the Brain~

High Frequency Words: Have students spell out high-frequency words in shaving cream spread on their desks and/or in a salt or sand tray. Have students write high-frequency words in the air.

As administrators we will begin having conversations regarding our curricular needs. I want to be YOUR voice. PLEASE send me any particular items that you feel is crucial be discussed and or revisited. I have my thoughts but I want to hear yours. Nothing is off limits.

PD/ PLC schedule for December.

6th Building PD-PBIS and SOS review

7th PLC- Grade Level Team Focus

13th PLC- (PLC/PD Swap this week) Grade Level Team Focus

14th PD- Ronna: SMEKINS!!! Staff Team Building

Reaching ALL Learners

Strategies to increase focus and energy create a positive, fun class climate and forge a strong bond among class members.

Gallery Walk Critiques: This strategy not only gets students moving and interacting but also builds observational skills. Have students post their ungraded work on the walls. While half of the students stand next to their work, the other half walk around to look at everyone’s work; then the two groups switch roles. Each student must ask a question about each work and offer one compliment and one suggestion. You can also vary the format-for example, have students form pairs or small teams and display their work at a team table. Half of the teams get up and walk around to look at the seated teams’ work, then the teams switch.

From: Engaging Students With Poverty In Mind


From our Co-teaching feedback:

1. Which strategy do you use the most?

- station teaching/ alternative teaching

- station teaching/ alternative teaching

- station teaching/ alternative teaching

- station teaching

-station teaching/ one teachers and one assists

-station teaching and alternative teaching

-parallel teaching and station teaching

2. Which strategy would you like to try out?

-parallel teaching

-parallel teaching

-parallel teaching

-parallel teaching

-more alternative teaching

3. What challenges do you have to make a new strategy work?

-having enough time to collaborate with other teacher

-communication- expectations

-consistency of support

-consistent support

-planning time with other professionals

-time to plan with others

-subject knowledge

comfort level (building trusting relationship with one another)

-being pulled for students, subbing, not knowing if they will be there or not

-parallel teaching- kids or teachers distracted, IA not available!!!, planning and teaching the same.

4. What is your plan for trying a new strategy?

If/when the consistency happens we can plan to parallel teach.

Work with other professionals in the building to parallel teach. (IA's, Spec. Ed, ENL, Specials teachers) by sharing curriculum resources and goals)

-Pick a lesson and plan out the skills together.

-find time to plan

Figure out WHEN they are available

-pick one grade level and start with them. then build up to other grade levels.

From what I gather from this DATA is that You are doing station and alternative teaching the most! You want to parallel teach more! Conistency of schedules (IA's and personnel being pulled) and TIME to plan together are your biggest challenges. This is great information for me to know. I will start brainstorming with you on HOW we can make this happen. THANK YOU!

Athlete Mentors

I've created a Google Sheet with dates and classrooms for student athlete mentors to visit. Please review the dates and find yours. They are listed below and are in a folder in Google Drive for you. If you have any concerns with the date assigned, please let me know. The agenda and schedule that the athletes are given is below.


From Todd Riker


As we start wrapping up the first semester in the next few weeks, the focus shifts to 2017. We in IT have some wonderful plans for our classrooms and I wanted to make sure everyone had a shared understanding of those rollouts. Please feel free to forward this to your staff as well so they are aware. We have shared these plans with our district technology integration team already, so you may have already heard from them on these plans. I do not have specific dates for arrivals due to availability and purchase timelines, so I have listed the steps of our 2017 device rollouts and (if applicable) an approximate timeframe you can expect devices in your buildings:

· Six Chromebook carts per middle school and one Chromebook cart per elementary school (late February/early March)

· Replacement of K-2, instructional coach, and K-12 SPED iPads (March-April)

· Addition of one iPad cart per elementary school (April-May)

In addition, we will be utilizing federal dollars (E-Rate program funds) to finish network switch replacement the summer of 2017. You will not notice any devices in classrooms from this replacement, however this hardware will help bolster our network’s capabilities to ensure we’re ready to meet the needs of students coming into our buildings now and into the future.

As we purchase devices and have receipt dates and configuration timelines, we will be emailing everyone to determine schedules and specific arrival dates. I would expect to start hearing about our first device rollout, the Chromebook carts, in the middle of January.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me!


If you have a classroom FB page, try out the new Facebook Live feature. This will allow families to see exactly what you are doing in class AS IT IS HAPPENING! Show off a new strategy your class has learned, fun literacy stations, readers theater, art projects, PE activities, choir practice, a student reading a book or practicing High Frequency Words.

Upcoming Events



1-16th NWEA 4th Grade

1 Choir Concert 6:00-7:00 PM

1 Third Grade Music Program 7:15-8:15 PM

3 Breakfast with Santa 9:00-11:00 AM

6 PTO Meeting 6:30-8:00 PM

7 Monkey Joe’s PTO Fundraiser Night 6:00-8:00 PM

16 Last Student Day

16 Winter Celebration Parties 3:00-3:45 PM

16- Jan 3 Winter Break

19- Teacher Work Day