Monday Minutes

October 29, 2018

Happy Monday! Thanks for an awesome Red Ribbon week last week. I know our students had fun dressing up on each theme day. I hope you did too! I'm looking forward to Wednesday's book character dress up day.

One of the things I notice when I'm doing classroom walk throughs is the classroom environment - what's on the walls (Anchor charts? Decorations made by students? Decor?), how seating is organized, even lighting. Creating a welcoming classroom where students want to learn and thrive while doing it is the ultimate goal. I read an interesting article yesterday about how classroom decorating impacts student performance. The article suggested that a balance between too little and too much is needed. Too many decorations and the classroom is over stimulating for students. Too little and the classrooom is dull. Researchers suggest that 20 to 50 percent of the walls should be kept clear.

So, what should be on the walls? Anchor charts that help students problem solve and lead their own learning are essential to independent thinking. Displaying student work fills students with a sense of pride and makes the classroom their "home away from home." And where does decor come in? Your personality needs to be in there too - you spend a lot of time in your classroom and it should also reflect your personality to your students.

In thinking about seating, I'll leave you with these thoughts - how does organizing seating in your classroom enhance the learnng environment you have created? What does your seating communicate to your students?

Finally, I'll suggest that you keep it fresh. Rotate out the anchor charts that are no longer relevant and put up new ones that are. Swap out the student work and display what's recently been learned. Move seating around to give students an opportunity to work with someone new or in a new place.

Have an amazing week! Thank you for all that you do!

Instructional Minute

This week's thought is brought to you by Edugence.

Thank you, teachers, for documenting interventions in Edugence for students receiving tiered interventions. By taking a quick glance in the system, I can see the interventions that students are receiving in various content areas.

Here are a couple of thoughts to consider when moving forward in documenting the RtI in Edugence.

1. When writing the goal, incorporate the language of the TEKS. Example:

4.8(a) The student is expected to: infer basic themes supported by text evidence.

2. In the comments section, record anecdotal evidence to document what the student is doing and what intervention strategy is being used. Example:

Created a chart to track character changes throughout the story (Serravallo Reading Strategies

7.18). Jenny was able to complete the chart with teacher assistance.

This information will be so helpful in the future to help you communicate with parents and other teachers about the different strategies you are using and how they are working.

Upcoming Events

October 31 - Book character dress up day

October 31 - Principal meeting (Bryan and Wendy out AM)

November 1 - 2nd grade program 6:30 PM

November 5-7 - 5th Grade Camp

November 7 - Team Leader Meeting 3:00 PM

November 9 - PTA General Assembly Meeting/Science Night 6:00 PM

November 13 - Extended planning for teachers

November 14 - Principal Meeting (Bryan and Wendy out AM)

November 14 - Staff Meeting

November 15 - Progress Notes go home

November 15 - Baby shower for Mrs. Mann 3:00 PM

November 16 - 4th Grade field trip to OLC