Pow Wow Principals Press

April 13, 2017

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The Project Based Learning Academy at VBE is going to be a HUGE asset to our school. It's beginning this year as a pilot for 2nd and 5th grade in a co-teach environment.


Please make sure you are able to explain to parents, even if you aren't teaching PBL, what it is. There has been some misinformation that it is purely computer based, which couldn't be further from the reality of PBL.


Here is a quick video that explains what it is so we can all become experts to help parents make decisions for what path they would like for their child that best suits their needs.


Two teachers will be sent to training on PBL from the Buck Institute this summer.


Hope this helps clarify. Please come see me if you have any questions or concerns.

Introduction to Project Based Learning (PBL) Process

Meditation for Kids: 4 Ways to Start Kids Meditating, by Sarah Herrington

In a world of sensory overload and school, family and internal pressures, kids need meditation as much as adults. Meditation helps kids develop focus, regulate their own emotions and learn how to pay attention inside and out. It gives them a sense of center and, therefore, resilience.

But while adult meditation is all about turning the senses inward, with kids, often the first step in meditation practice is consciously, and with focus, exploring the senses before they can be turned inside. Try the following kid meditation exercises to help yogis create calm, focus and build self-awareness:

1. Listen! Bell Meditation - Invite kids to sit up tall in “criss-cross applesauce” and let their eyes close. Ring a bell or singing bowl, and ask kids to use their sense of hearing to explore the sound. Ask them to listen very carefully, and as soon as they hear it stop, raise their hand. They can then practice attentive listening without the bell. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds in your space. Which are closest to you? Which are far away? Which to the left, or right? You can also try this meditation while walking down the street or lying in bed before falling asleep. (Thanks to Little Flower Yoga for the bell tip!)

2. Sing! Relaxation Song - This meditation combines song with touch and brings even the youngest of kids to a place of peace. Invite kids to sit up tall. Sometimes we sing the syllables Sa Ta Na Ma, or sometimes an English affirmation like “I Am Strong.” With each syllable, touch a different finger to your thumb, starting with the pointer finger and moving to the pinky. We practice singing, whispering, and singing quietly to ourselves in our minds. This is a self-soothing exercise and can be done discretely anywhere kids want to calm down, from the train to the classroom desk to the dinner table.

3. Breathe! Take Five Breath - Your breath is always with you. Learning to check in to it from an early age is a major tool. Try "take 5 breath" where you inhale for five, and exhale for five. Use your fingers to count as you breathe. Slowing your breath will slow down your mind. Can you feel your heart rise and fall as you breathe? Can you feel the breath enter and leave your nose?

4. Watch! Cloud Gazing -
Sitting quietly, pay attention to your inhale and exhale. When thoughts or feelings come up, think of them like clouds passing through your mind, which is like the sky. You can watch the clouds come and go just like you can watch clouds in the sky move and shift in their shapes. Kids may not sit too long, but just introducing this concept is a great preparation for adult meditation. And the awareness that things are always changing and things do pass is important to share and practice observing with kids.

Important and urgent message from Vicki Zita and the cafeteria

Field trip lunches

In order to prepare field trip lunches, we need at least two weeks’ notice to order the bag lunch items. We do not need a head count at this time, just an email letting us know that one is coming up. We will need a head count at least 2 days prior to the field trip. We always make extra lunches in case someone forgets theirs at home, so please do not add extra to your counts as this results in too many lunches being prepared.

I have been getting less than a weeks’ notice, and in some cases, less than 24 hours. I have also been receiving head counts after 5 PM the night before the trips. I am here from 5:30 AM to 1:45 PM. If I am not here that morning, the staff does not have access to my email, and the lunches wouldn’t be prepared in time.

End of year

I will be placing my last 2 food orders in the next couple of weeks. If you have any field trips coming up (with the exception of the 3rd grade trip next Monday) I will need to know as soon as possible. I do not need to know how many will be going, just that one is coming up so I can order the products. If you know of any end of year parties that you will not be coming for lunch, please let me know so I can cut back on the order.

Afterschool clubs

If you know when your group will be ending please let us know. This way we can avoid ordering product that is no longer needed. I am also required to do a second audit before you end. If you know that you will not be having your club on your scheduled day please let us know as soon as possible so we don’t prepare your snack and juice that day.

Thank you,

Vicki Zita
Cafeteria Manager

Student Spotlight Alex Giannelli

Assessment Calendar for Next Week - Please be mindful of this as you transition around Building 3!

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School Supply List for 2017-2018

Schools are creating their own school supply lists for the 2017-2018 school year. Please work with your team to create a school supply list that is considerate of the economic backgrounds within our school and focusing on the essentials. Please submit a draft your grade level's to Rachel Moree by April 28.

RtI and LLI Updates from Ms. Fredrickson

Interventionist: Please remember that while you are administer your Running Records to your students, if they are scoring at an Independent Reading Level in accuracy, fluency, 2 or higher, minimal self-corrections and satisfactory or above in comprehension then please move them up several lessons or possibly a full level. Use your professional judgment with your students. If you are not sure, please ask me.


End of the Year Checklist: In addition to LLI materials being returned to me, please include all RtI curriculum and binders including data. I will be sending more specific information on where to store LLI materials in a future Principal’s Press.

Our #VBEVIP is Mrs. Smith! Enjoy your parking spot, and keep making those nominations on Twitter!

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Updates from Ms. Keeley and Ms. Ragley

As we are in the midst of testing season with FSA, state science assessment and the upcoming iReady Spring diagnostic, it is time to look ahead at mapping out the rest of the year. Once all standards have been taught, this is a time to look at the end of the math practice books that have lessons for stepping up to the next grade level. Also this is a great time to work on building fluency with math facts.


K-2 on addition and subtraction facts with a focus on doubles, doubles plus one and making ten.

2nd grade - basic understanding of multiplication including groups of and repeated addition.

3-5 grade focusing on mastery of multiplication facts and then division facts.


This is also a great time to work on those math and science lab activities, project enrichment, or performance assessments that you were not able to fit in during the year due to time constraints. Examples of these might include measurement Olympics, project based learning, students extending on a standard/unit that they really enjoyed this year as a review.


Please bring ideas to share to the next planning so that we can map out the remainder of the year with some high engagement and rigorous activities as we know that discipline issues can increase towards the end of the year.


Please bring ideas to your next planning so that we can map out to the end of the year.

JDO Foundation - Providing 1:1 Devices in 3rd - 6th grade Classrooms!

Check out this link to apply for 1:1 devices for your classroom! What an incredible opportunity to make our Little Indians global learners! The deadline for submission is April 21st!!

Next Week At A Glance

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Relay for Life Updates from Ms. Segroves

There will be many opportunities for you to participate in the 2017 Relay For Life Friday, April 21- Saturday, April 22.


* Luminaria forms are in the teacher mailroom and if you would like to honor someone or remember someone at Relay For Life this year, you can fill out the luminaria form and a luminaria bag and turn them in to me by Wedneasday, April 19.


* We will be selling candy and drinks at our booth for the Relay. If you would like to donate a box of candy(blow pops, skittles, ring pops, peppermint, coke, Diet Coke, sprite, water) you can give that to me by Friday, April 21. Please let me know by Wednesday, April 19 if you are donating anything to sell at our booth so I can get the rest of the items at Sams.


* We will be raffling off a cooler filled with beach items and camping items at our booth for the Relay. We could use your support with filling the cooler with these items. If you would like to donate a new item, please let me know and put in the cooler in Mrs. Marine's room by Thursday, April 20.


* Sign up to either walk for an hour and/or help sell items at our booth the night of the relay- Friday, April 21. We are supposed to have at least 1 person walking each hour and we will need 1 person helping sell items each hour from 6:00-12:00.


* Join our team and ask others to support team VBE on the website

www.RelayForLife.org/IndianRiverFL


I will put a sign up sheet in the teacher's mail room for people to walk and help sell items at our booth. If you have any questions about Relay For Life and/or helping out in another way, please email me or see me this up coming week. Thank you to all who have participated so far this year!

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