Creasy Connection

September 7, 2015

Principal Passage...

Colleagues,


Season changes are surely on the horizon as we finish up Labor Day weekend and school testing begins! Dibels, TRC, BOG and CogAT are in the works. It is key to the process that we plan, pace and exercise patience as we get underway. Thanks Beth and Bobby for getting things all lined up for us.


Also, on the horizon, our annual coupon book sale, running 9/16 thru 9/30 with a short kick-off assembly on the 16th before we leave for the early release day. We have identified a coupon book with some great savings that fits well with our families. Reminder that this is a school fundraiser creating school-decision funding. More details to follow in next week's Tuesday packet.


Remember deadline to complete self-assessment, orientation and PDP in the NCEES evaluation system. See section below and email sent previously.


Our first early release day is next week, look for more specific information on this later in the week including a folder with materials in your mailboxes.


Last week's CC had 91 visits - I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond. This edition is chock full of must do's for safety, planning and reminders.


There are two calendars this year. A staff calendar on the Haiku site - the Whitaker Staff Calendar go to the calendar tab to see the full calendar. This calendar will have both staff only and school events. The second School Wires Calendar is for families on our school website. The calendars are as always a work in progress.


And the beat goes on, daily routine, relationship building and inspiring instruction.


Sharon

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Lesson Plan Planning

Our conversations on the process for lesson plan submission have been productive from my perspective - with us all in a deep thinking place about planning our instruction.


While each of us approaches our planning in our own personal fashion, thinking together we are able to enhance our individual process and be more in-sync as we plan together. Models of teaching from constructivist to flipped to mastery learning combine both the art and science of teaching, offering us countless avenues to teaching and planning instruction. Our on-going mission is to seek the right fit, the puzzle piece, that fits snugly and creates ever-growing understanding for students.


Here are the big four areas honed with your input this past week. Include in your planning documentation:


  • State clear goals that identify state standards. Goals can be in the form of essential questions, "I can" statements, purpose of the lesson.
  • Explore, model and demonstrate - teacher role, student engagement, activating strategies, key vocabulary, teaching strategies, etc.
  • Provide guided practice - what will they be doing, individual, paired, group, problem-based activities, skill questions, standardized testing questions, etc. How will they grow their developing pathways for acquiring this goal?
  • Check for understanding. How will you know they have acquiring the goal? Formative - pattern of teach / assess a little / repeat. Summative - summarizing strategies, reflection, testing, etc.


In the process of considering what our accountability for lesson plans might look like, I have come across some good resources that I share:



Our timeline and submission format(s):


  • Let me know what your format of submission will be - paper copies, dropbox on Haiku (I will set it up), online sharing from link you send me with access.
  • Thursday, October 1st - the record of your September plans.
  • Friday, October 2nd - your next week's plan for the week of October 5th. You can offer plans beyond this date if you choose.
  • Submit weekly on Thursdays. While I know you have planning outlines beyond weekly details, if you are submitting by paper, a weekly review is the optimal interval to see details and adjustments made. Online users' adjustments and refinements will be reviewed weekly as well.


Lastly, as I have shared, this is a work in progress. We will, as you do in class everyday, assess for what is working and what needs refinement. You are dedicated professionals and I appreciate your ownership of this calibration of our work process.

Whitaker Circle of Commitment (WCofC)

The Whitaker Circle of Commitment fundraising (replacing the Eagle Fund) was designed to support and enhance instructional opportunities that benefit the students of Whitaker Elementary. The campaign officially ended last week but like the Eagle Fund we anticipate that gifts for this effort will continue throughout the year. It was a good beginning for this new funding structure. We appreciate all your support.


The student coin drive was designed to raise money, awareness and student engagement. Results for winning classes will be announced this week. If your class wins extra recess, please offer that additional time at some point this week.

Professional Learning Teams

We have a new district-level PLT coach, Lisa Jensen to support you and Bobby in the PLT work. Lisa is a very talented educator with years of classroom experience. Welcome Lisa!

  • Begin meeting week of 8/31
  • Library conference room
  • During special time
  • Will not meet the weeks of Early Release days
  • Grade-Level Schedule
Tuesdays
  • 3rd
  • 4th
  • 5th

Thursdays

  • Kindergarten
  • 1st
  • 2nd

September

  • 9/8 BOY Dibels/TRC window opens
  • 9/9 BOG test - 3rd Grade
  • 9/9 Staff Meeting
  • 9/15 Puppet Show - 3rd Grade
  • 9/15 Curriculum Night / PTA General Meeting
  • 9/16 Early Release Day #1
  • 9/16 Coupon book sale begins / short assembly kick-off
  • 9/18 SOAR to YMCA 3,4,5
  • 9/23 SIT Meeting 2:30 Library
  • 9/25 SOAR to YMCA K,1,2
  • 9/28 CogAT testing
  • 9/29 BOY Dibels/TRC window closes
  • 9/30 Early Release Day #2

A few more items...

  • Please copy me on your classroom newsletters either via email or on paper
  • Planning Days - hoping our budget will allow for a few days this year - please submit a couple of options each for 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters. Only have one grade-level's submission to date.
  • Planning a Transportation Day 10/29 for K-2 and a Career Day 11/10 for 3-5 - more info to come. Dates are on the calendar.