Big Walnut Elementary

We are BWE! Staff Update 12.4.15


  • This Week- General Update/Comments
  • Talent Development Program
  • Important Dates
  • Mid-Year Assessments
  • Weather Update/Recess
  • Clark's Corner
  • Office Notes
  • Keating's Crew (Leadership for November)
  • Substitutes (repeat)
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Back to business this week...

This week started with great PD sessions personalized to your grade-level and individual needs. My hope is that you continue to learn and grow as professionals...and risk takers! I love that 1st grade is starting a PBL with the design thinking process-kudos! Also, 4th grade is reassessing the students' learning style inventories, themed, "What kind of SMART are you?" Great work everyone!

Substitutes are hard to come by...If you will be absent , please let the office know by way of text, email, or call. Especially, if it is last minute. It is very difficult to find a substitute right now - especially with short notice.

Also, to focus on safety, if you have students being serviced by support staff, please keep them in your classrooms until the staff member(s) comes to pick them up. Sometimes we get caught up and are occasionally late for pick up and we don't want to ever leave students unattended.

Congratulations to 3rd grade! Testing was a huge success! I look forward to chatting with you during your PLC - Wednesday morning to discuss what went well, and what can be improved upon as we look towards future testing. Overall, I would be remiss if I didn't mention how grateful I am for Wayne and Kami working behind the scenes! Annie did a fantastic job facilitating testing procedures/trouble shooting in an easy step-by-step doc.

Don't forget to update your numbers on our CIP, quarterly progress. I will re-send the doc.

Looking for good reads? thinking, maker spaces, and all things innovations?...Check these out.

Happy Weekend,


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Talent Development Program with Becky Johnson, Gifted Tutor

@BWE from Jan. 4th through Feb. 12th (12:30 - 2:00pm)


The purpose of this program is to discover and develop talents in all students. This means that over the course of six weeks the "push-in" focus will be on problem solving (with a STEM slant) and creative thinking activities for all students.

Please continue to talk in your {K-2} PLC's about how you see BWE utilizing Becky best. Each grade level, please send me a follow-up email regarding your discussion.

Important Dates:

December 14th: Assembly (9:30 pm)

December 14th: Winter Musical (6:30 pm)

December 14th - 16th: Candy Cane Shop (Open during recess)

December 17th: Winter Celebrations (2:30)

December 17th: End of 2nd Quarter

December 18th: NO STUDENTS

December 18th: Staff Meeting - holiday themed. More to come from the social committee! Get your ugly sweaters ready!

December 19th - January 3rd: Winter Break

Mid-Year Assessments

AIMSWeb screening is coming up! Just a reminder that all other assessments (Reading A to Z, Sight Words, etc.) need to be completed. All of this data is due to Annie by Thursday 12/17 at 3pm.

Document will be coming from Annie soon!

*As you complete grading your assessments, feel free to reach out to Annie or the Tutors if you need a little assistance.

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Baby it's cold out there....

Just a friendly reminder that if the temperature is 25 degrees or higher, we will be heading outside. Please dress appropriately! Remind your little ones to put on their coats, gloves, and scarves!

We have had many items pile up in the lost and found. Please check! I saw a lot of coats! If we need to borrow...please have them return.

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"Something Old"

PBIS- This week I made it my goal to give out 10 gemstones. I feel like our PBIS momentum is dying down. If you have any suggestions on how to hype things up again, please let me know. Please let me know who your leaders of the month are...the end of the month is approaching us quickly!!

Third grade AIR testing is over (for now). Robin and I felt that it went really well, despite a few network kinks here and there! THANK YOU so much for having your students remain quiet in the hallways, and also THANK YOU for being so flexible. We had a few kiddos who tested up to the last second and because everyone was so flexible everyone was able to get their specials, lunch, etc.

Thank you for coming to our Personalization PD on 11/30. I have taken all of the great ideas from all of the elementary schools and compiled a document with ideas for hands on learning materials. The document is titled; Personalization PD follow up.

"Something New":

Testing News:

Monday, December 7th- AIMS web testing will begin on MONDAY! I have shared the schedule via Google Docs with you. I it works out where you can have your class waiting in the library during your time please do so, as it makes it easier and quicker for us to assess kids. If library is happening during your testing time, no worries, we will come and grab your kiddos from your room. Please turn in all Mcomp, Mcap and Maze assessments as soon as possible to Nici, but no later than Thursday, December 10th. It makes grading a lot easier if they are put in ABC order. These assessments will be put in your mailboxes by the end of the day Friday! All groups will be canceled this week as well for testing.

Shout Outs: This week’s shout out goes to Susan Monfort! Eagle Explorer's was such a success thank you for putting all that extra in!

Upcoming PD:

  • None due to the short month--however please let me know if you are in need of something and I will arrange for some personalized PD:-)

Resource of the Week:

20 things to do with Google Classroom

  1. Sharing Resources: Google Classroom allows you to take a document, video or link and push it out to your students.

  2. Create a Lesson: More than simply assigning work to students, Google Classroom allows you to build an assignment. Include a description and attach multiple documents, links and videos. This puts the entire lesson in one place.

  3. Make Class Announcements: Google Classroom gives you a place to post your announcements. Unlike a website with one way communication, students can comment back on the announcement.

  4. Go Paperless: Using Google Docs you no longer need to collect and pass out paper. You can assign students a blank Google Doc or use a template that your students will fill out. Google Classroom creates a copy for each student and gives them a turn in button for when they are done.

  5. Simplify the Turn In Process: When using Google Documents, notoriously students forget to change the sharing settings or to turn in their work. Google Classroom eliminates this issue by placing the document in the teacher and the students Google Drive immediately. Students simply need to “turn in” within Google Classroom to signal the teacher they are ready to have their work assessed.

  6. Protect Privacy: Rather than creating a global folder shared with all of the students in the class, Google Classroom restricts access to the documents to the teacher and the individual student.

  7. Reduce Cheating: Since the entire classes documents are not in a shared folder the temptation to copy another students work is eliminated.

  8. Classroom Collaboration: When sharing a document the teacher is able to choose if the students can view the document or can edit it. Creating a document and giving all the students in the class editing access to that same document allows every student to contribute their piece to a class project.

  9. Create a Discussion: A spreadsheet can be utilized to collect student opinions on a discussion topic. The ability to have multiple tabs allows for multiple discussion questions. Sharing a single Google spreadsheet with student editing access gets everyone on the same page quickly and gives every student a voice in the discussion.

  10. Organize Assignments with Due Dates: In creating an assignment in Google Classroom you are able to assign a due date that is clear for both you and the students.

  11. Capture the Middle of the Process: An important shift in the teacher student relationship is to get away from evaluator and focus on being a coach to your students. Google Classroom places all of the students work into a folder that is easily accessible from your Google Drive. While students are in the middle of working on their assignment you are able to go in and insert comments and guide them through the process.

  12. Email Students: No longer do you need to create a group of student email addresses, Google Classroom allows you to email everyone at once.

  13. Notify Students Who May Need Help: Google Classroom show you who has and has not completed an assignment. Send an email notification providing tips for success and encouraging the student to work on the assignment.

  14. Assignment Q&A: When an assignment is posted to Google Classroom the students have the ability to comment on it. No longer do students have to wait to be called on to ask a question. This transcends the walls of the classroom to allow students to ask questions outside of class. When the teacher posts the response it is available to all of the students.

  15. Create an Ad Hoc Playlist: Google Classroom allows you to attach multiple YouTube videos to an announcement or assignment.

  16. Email Feedback: When returning work to students you can provide a global note to all the students or individually provide feedback. Google Classroom provides the ability to post a note to the assignment from the teacher, and allow the student to comment back. This replaces the one sided note in the margin of the students paper, providing a more dynamic experience.

  17. Create Folders: What was once a cumbersome process in Google Drive is now done automatically. The teacher has a folder in Google Drive that contains a folder for each assignment. This makes locating student work a snap!

  18. Link Directly: While Google Classroom places the student work into a folder for the teacher to find, a student list with a link to the students work is easily accessible directly from Google Classroom. This reduces the need of the teacher to dig through their Google Drive to find the work a student has completed.

  19. Multiple Files in an Assignment: Google Classroom allows you to assign more than a single document. This means students can create a multi-stage project and submit all of their pieces in one place.

  20. Easily View Student Submission: Google Classroom clearly counts how many students have and have not submitted an assignment.

Click here for a link on how to use Google Classroom and more ideas.

Office Notes

The powers that be in the Office would like to pass along the following:

If children you are sending to the office are not accompanied by a note OR chocolate, they will be returning to class.

Keating's Crew

Congratulations to the following students who have demonstrated great leadership skills throughout November:

  • Austin Adams
  • Parker Lynn
  • Aiden Yetzer
  • Copeland Diol
  • Sloane Longshore
  • Ava Valenzuela
  • Nate Frankel
  • Seth Tluchowski
  • Guss Kerr
  • Levi Currier
  • Emma Ferguson
  • Hunter Calkins
  • Kylie Brandt
  • Will Acree
  • Garrett Stover

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We always need good substitutes! Know anyone; parents, community members, etc...? Please share.


Baby It's Cold Outside - Mac Miller & Ariana Grande by UniversityHypeTheDean