Pow Wow Principal's Press

October 14, 2016

Tier One Math Instruction

Mathematics is Exercise for your Left Brain

Using Guided Math to Strengthen Students’ Math Learning provides a structure for teachers to differentiate instruction so they can reachand teach every child by:

creating flexible small groups that allow students to work in their ZPD (zone of proximal development)

create activities that meet students individual learning styles

provide immediate feedback

accountable talk

time to re-teach, reinforce and enrich

teaching lessons through CRA (concrete, representational, abstract)

provide students with self confidence to become a successful mathematician

Resources for Guided Math:


Planning Smarter not Harder

The finalization of 2nd Quarter Curriculum Maps and Pacing will occur next week. If you are interested in working on this, please notify your Grade Chair or Elaine.

Productive Struggle

In the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice, the first standard states students should “make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.” Allowing students to persevere, or struggle, is an essential part of problem solving. The students first or second approach or strategy many not result in a correct response or reasonable solution.

“Great works are performed not be strength, but perseverance.” – Samuel Johnson

Please contact Elaine if you are interested in Professional Development about the Mathematical Practices and/or Productive Struggle.


Benchmark Assessments begin next week.

Please make certain to review the schedule and your grade levelBLUEPRINT. This document includes:

percentage of test dedicated to measuring the student learning objectives

number of questions for each item type and item weight

indicate level of cognition


The Unit Plan Templates shared at today's meeting have been added to the Wigwam. Previous Principal's Presses are also being added TODAY.

If you don't have access to the Wigwam on your desktop, see Ms. Kalin ASAP.

How to IPDP!

The Individual Professional Development Plan, or IPDP, is a tool that promotes continuous personal growth, strengthens instructional practices, and increases student achievement. Research shows that in order for professional development to be effective, it should be a deliberate process that occurs within the context of teachers’ daily activities in the classroom environment and connects back to student learning.

Student Performance Data – Analyze student data and determine the areas of need. Use this data to help you determine which deliberate practices will have the greatest influence on student achievement.

Goal and Expected Student Outcomes – After or during your baseline conference, set your student outcome goal. Be specific in your choice of data and percentage of achievement gains.

Feedback and Reflection- Talk with your administrator, use feedback from peer observations and evaluations to help you identify instructional strategies you need to strengthen. In addition, take time for personal reflection based on your previous goals and outcomes.

Deliberate Practice - After analyzing student data, reviewing feedback, and reflecting on personal practice, choose one or two areas of deliberate practice. These are instructional strategies you will focus on with the intent of improving student achievement.

Baseline Conference/Professional Development Activities – During your baseline conference with your administrator/evaluator, list any workshops, district or school-wide trainings, or professional learning communities that you plan to attend to assist you with improving your deliberate practice. Be specific! Be sure to record the times, dates, and activities that you participated in. Keep a running log of these activities to review at your next conference.

Interim Update Conference – During this conference, you will review student data and describe your implementation efforts. How did it go? How has student performance improved? Any additional activities that you participated in can be recorded and shared at this time.

Final Plan Review Conference – Reflect on your student data and your professional development plan. Did your plan help you meet your goal? Did you meet your expected student outcome? What can you revise or do differently?

For an example of a completed IPDP, click here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FNij49lUu9SdpmoCPKj46taEbLcBuj8YPGBz4Qj6xlo/edit?usp=sharing

For a downloaded IPDP blank template, click here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KI4NArEtNlRYe46O5ZL1yYglAEKxlgupqQXEAYqMZE0/edit?usp=sharing

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Champions and Digging Deep, by Sarah Van Brimmer

Although I am not a sports enthusiast, I do love the inspiration that athletes can provide. Lately, I've been reflecting a lot on what makes a good educator, leader, and school. I've come to one conclusion: Good educators, leaders, and schools have the ability to do one thing: Dig deep. When they are discouraged, overwhelmed, or tired they do not give up. They persevere through fatigue, aches and pains, and frustrations.

The job of an educator is just as difficult as a professional athlete but often comes with a lot more emotional work than other professions. Caring for 18 to 22 little people while teaching them to read, write, and solve problems is deeply personal. That's what makes the job of an educator so challenging. I have had times in my career when I thought maybe I should just try to find an easier job -- one that was better paying and maybe not so consuming or tiring or demanding. It was during these times that I had special people who were the light for me. My mentors planned with me, encouraged me to reflect on and refine my instruction, and listened to my success and failures.

So I am asking you this week to reflect on your own personal motivation and role models that help you dig deep in times of frustration or exhaustion. Snap a photo, write a sentence, or leave a quote next to your computer or phone so that during those tough times you are encouraged to dig deep. And lastly I hope you celebrate those hard times because that is when you are on your way to new heights.

Benchmark Testing

We are getting ready to take another benchmark this week. A few reminders:

  • Keep a positive attitude! I love how Ms. Patterson refers to her assessments as "quests" and encourages her students to be curious about the questions and puzzle out the correct answer. If you are excited, your students will be excited to show what they know!
  • Testing conditions should be as close as possible to FSA testing. Please keep a quiet classroom and circulate around the room to monitor students working. If they finish early, please encourage them to go back and review their work to check for mistakes.

Storybook Parade

We are planning a storybook parade for Halloween this year. Please choose a favorite book and wear a character or vocabulary costume on Monday, October 31st.


We have two contests going on through Twitter right now. We've had some great participation with our Brain Smart Start and would love to see how you are incorporating standards-based resources into your daily instruction. Winners could receive anchor charts, quiet critters, extra planning time, or breakfast! Winners will be chosen on Friday, October 21st!

Brain Smart Start: Share a picture or video of your Brain Smart Start routine that gets kids #calm, #connected and #ready to learn. The most likes win!

Curriculum: How are you incorporating the resources from ELA K-8 Formative Assessments {ELFAS} into your lessons? Show us! Use the hashtag #onourwaytoanA. Visit the web site: https://fsla.fldoe.org/access/home.do and use your single sign on credentials! You can search by grade level or standard.

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Safety Management Team Update

The October 26th Code Yellow date is changing to OCT 25th!!!

Please advise.

Social Committee

This committee takes care of YOU! We want to be able to recognize our staff members for their personal and professional achievements and celebrations over the year, and to do that, we need everyone to be a dues-paying member of Social Committee. It's only $25 for instructional and $15 for non-instructional for the whole year, and the money goes to showers, special recognitions, sympathy gifts, socializing opportunities (luncheons, etc.), and so much more. Please consider it (today's pay day!) and turn your dues in to Ms. Segroves. If you turn dues in by 10/31, you're part of the drawing for the awesome gift basket pictured below!
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Moonshot SPOTLIGHT October 18th.

First- Don't forget, everyone is invited to breakfast Tuesday morning from 7:45-8:15.

This is to acknowledge all the hard work and dedication each of you has shown to improving instruction and increasing student achievement towards the moonshot moment goal.

Thank you so much to those of you who are OPENING YOUR DOORS to spotlight the excellence taking place at Vero Beach Elementary.

Here is the tentative schedule for walk-throughs.

8:50- Ms. Singewald- Brain Smart Start

9:00 Sitkowski- Fundations

9:10- Ms. Smith

9:20- Segroves

9:30- Berwick

9:40- Poplar

9:50- Williams

10:00- Castillo

10:10- Zissel

10:20- Fiori

10:30- Robinson

10:35-10:45- 2nd Grade Read Alouds in the Cafeteria and Courtyard,

A message from Sue Fred, MTSS Guru

A running records training will be offered THIS TUESDAY from 4-5:30. Please email me if you're interested so I know how many materials to prepare.

To all 1st and 2nd Grade Teachers. Please send me the times that are available for your Big Brother's students to be tutored so that I am able to develop a schedule. Please email those to me by the end of the day on Monday.

Science Fair Update

To relieve a little stress, we are extending the due date for Science Fair Projects. You should have turned in research plan form 1. Shout out to fourth grade who have all turned in their forms for science fair projects. If you need any assistance please contact me and I will be happy to assist you as needed. All projects will now be due Friday, November 18th and the Judging will take place on Monday, November 28th. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, November 30th. If you know of a community member that would like to come and judge the science fair, please have them contact Ms. Keeley at 564-4549.
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