Friday Focus

JSE Staff January 29th


Have a great Friday!

Reflection: “It's like Forrest Gump said, 'Life is like a box of chocolates.' Your career is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get. But everything you get is going to teach you something along the way and make you the person you are today. That's the exciting part - it's an adventure in itself.”--Nick Carter **Chocolates to come:)

Collaboration: 2nd Semester HA and Title I changes. Thank you for examining student lists closely and thoroughly with Diana and Sharon. Have a skill you need reinforced...let them know! This picture is what we do everyday...we are pretty darn amazing people!

Check the calendar: We begin our 1/2 way mark grade level meetings during plan time. Just stop by my office. We can reschedule if the day doesn't work.

Soups On: SOUPER Barb is at it again for SOUPER you!

Have a nice weekend,


Professional Development

  • Wednesday: PL221 Committees
  • Math Focus : Classroom Discussions in Math
  • Ren Learn Data Meetings: Meetings are underway, check to make sure you know your morning with the Data Coach.

Reminders and Important Dates

  • The Ned Show Friday
  • Grades 3-5 Money Matters-25 students signed up!! Chris will send you a list, please send students to 105 at first bell.
  • Reading and Math Goals for main hallway bulletin boards.
  • Update MOY Student Watch
  • Teach/Model/Instill/Emphasize CSL: Act Responsibly and Bucket-filling Trait: Random Acts of Kindness
  • Review the techniques above!
  • Turn in 100% Effort Work.
  • Spirit Fridays, wear your orange and green!

Teach Like a Champion refresher... "Creating a Strong Classroom Culture"

We continue to work together to create and keep a strong culture building-wide. What area below could you fine-tune, tighten-up, and strengthen in your classroom culture to increase a students sense of belonging!

1. Discipline – People often think of this as punishments and consequences. Lemov prefers to think of it as teaching students the right and successful way to do something. Teachers often set up a system of rewards and consequences, but forget to teach their students, step-by-step, how to perform the successful learning behavior such as how to line up, enter the classroom, take notes, etc.

2. Management – Management is using consequences and rewards to reinforce behavior. What we usually refer to as “disciplining” is really management. Because management is the most visible part of classroom culture, we often miss the importance of using it in concert with the four other areas. Teachers often over-rely on management and dole out consequences until students are desensitized to them. Management will fail on its own. It must be implemented together with the four other areas.

3. Control – Teachers with strong control use language and relationships to get students to do what they want even without consequences. They do this firmly and confidently, but also respectfully and with civility. With clear commands (“Please return to your seat and begin writing in your journal.”) teachers can exert control and save consequences for when they most need them.

4. Influence – Inspiring students to believe, to want to work, and to want to succeed for intrinsic reasons is influencing. This is less visible than getting students to behave, instead it involves getting kids to believe – the biggest driver of student success.

5. Engagement – Champion teachers provide plenty of opportunities for students to get involved and lose themselves in productive, positive work. This leaves them little time to engage in counterproductive behaviors. Once they start behaving as contributing members of the class, they also start thinking of themselves as positively engaged and enthusiastic students as well.

Technique 28: ENTRY ROUTINE – The routine for entering the room sets the tone for the class. Students should know where to sit, what to do with homework, have a Do Now in the same location, and pick up any packet of activities from a table, not from you.

Technique 29: DO NOW – A short activity on the board or waiting at students’ desks gets students to be productive right away if it is quick, can be done independently, includes writing to hold students accountable, and previews the lesson or reviews a recent lesson.

Technique 30: TIGHT TRANSITIONS* – Students spend a tremendous amount of time on transitions – moving from place to place or activity to activity -- and this is time that they are not learning. If you cut one minute from ten transitions a day, at the end of a year you would gain 35 hours of instructional time! Teachers should make sure that students learn, practice, and master procedures – like how to line up or pass out papers – in under 30 seconds during the first week of school. To do this, teachers must break down procedures and map out the one right way to do them. One effective way to scaffold the teaching of procedures is to number them. “When I say one, please stand and push in your chairs. When I say two, please turn to face the door. When I say three, please follow your line leader to the place to line up.” Then you just call the number and students know exactly what to do. Eventually you can dispense with the number calling, “Please line up.” Practice with a stopwatch to improve speed, “Now let’s try this in 12 seconds.”

Technique 31: BINDER CONTROL – By requiring a binder your students will have an organized system to store, organize, and recall what they’ve learned.

Technique 32: SLANT – If students are not sitting up, alert, and actively listening, it doesn’t matter how wonderful the lesson is. SLANT is an acronym to remind students to focus: Sit up, Listen, Ask and answer questions, Nod your head, Track the speaker. It’s shorthand to remind students either about the “S” in SLANT or about the whole thing (“Make sure you are SLANTing.”) It helps to use nonverbal signals (pointing to your eyes with your two fingers to remind a student to track) to avoid interrupting your instruction.

Technique 33: ON YOUR MARK – A coach would never start practice by asking kids to get their shoes; they know to show up with their shoes on. Kids need to start class with the materials they need, too. This means the teacher needs to be clear about what students need, how long they have to get it, and regularly use a small consequence (loss of some privilege) for not having the materials.

Technique 34: SEAT SIGNALS – To avoid disrupting your teaching, have students use nonverbal SEAT SIGNALS for certain requests. Students can raise a hand with two fingers crossed to use the bathroom, pinch their nose to signal a need for a tissue, or hold up a broken pencil to exchange it for a sharpened one (keep sharpened pencils ready rather than have students sharpen them.)

Technique 35: PROPS – Also called “shout-outs” and “ups” – is a way to give students public praise for excellent work or virtues. It’s a way to root for a student who has shown perseverance, found his own mistake, or tried a tough problem. For it to work, it should be short (a few seconds), universal (everyone must give the praise), and enthusiastic (fun, lively, perhaps using movement and sound). One example is “Hot Pepper” --- You say, “That answer deserves a Hot Pepper.” You kids hold up an imaginary hot pepper, dangling it above their mouths, take a bite, and make sizzle sounds “tssss” for exactly one second.