Sunday, November 16, 2014

ENews 11.17.2014

Thank you
I wanted to say thank you everyone for you words of encouragement, text message, notes, cards, gifts, and visits to the hospital regarding Karoline... it's truly appreciated. Saying thank you doesn't seem to truly express what your support means the last several weeks, but that's all I can do at this point... so thank you. Karoline got home yesterday so the whole family is under the same roof again... I'm very excited!

Remind Update
Those of you using the Remind system to send text messages to your parents... here's a system announcement from the organization. Be sure to view this video if you use this service.

Technology Survey
We have partnered with BrightBytes to provide an online questionnaire to collect anonymous responses from parents, teachers, principals, and students on the current use of technology as it impacts student learning. We desperately want to hear from you on this survey to help us address our current needs as well as plan for the future. Please take 15-minutes to complete the survey by phone, tablet, computer or other web-enabled device.

College Week
As you know, College Week is next week... so here's the link for the activities. You may wear jeans for each day you participate in the College Week theme. Be sure to share with your class the college you attended.

PLC Notes
Here are some notes from our most recent PLC time. Next week we'll work on getting moving forward with the questions/concerns each group had. I'm sharing them with you all so you can see what other groups share about from the various grade levels. You all have great ideas and others could benefit from your ideas.

Guided Reading
Books have been organized in the 4th Grade pod by reading level. Teachers will develop groups based on student's instructional reading level. Reading groups will meet daily. Lower level readers will meet every day while higher level readers will meet at least 2x per week.

Kristen Weichel is working with ELAR teachers in 3rd & 4th Grades. She studies the unit IFDs and Assessments to bring materials and ideas for teachers to use during ELAR instructional time. She will also provide support for Guided Reading and is available to conduct demonstration lessons.

Guided Reading training is coming to Royse City on December 5th with Vicki Reynolds. 2nd, 3rd & 4th Grade ELAR teachers needing Guiding Reading training will be attending this day.

AR Update
I know you're working diligently on utilizing Accelerated Reader to promote independence reading and tracking student reading levels. AR levels have been determined for each student and the goal is to maintain an 85% comprehension level for each kid. Students will work toward their goal with a weekly target as follows:
  • 1st Week - 17%
  • 2nd Week - 33%
  • 3rd Week - 50%
  • 4th Week - 67%
  • 5th Week - 83%
  • 6th Week - 100%
Teachers, be sure to closely monitor those students who are not at grade level. As Julia Robinson has stated to all of us before... the best way to improve reading is to read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, and read! Please ensure these kiddos all have books going home with them DAILY. Nita Green is meeting with our targeted 3rd and 4th grade student to ensure they have a book on their reading level each day. Students should be asked to take home a book every night and read for 20 minutes.

Unit Assessments
We just completed our unit assessments in Reading and Math. Data cards been all been copied and will be maintained by homeroom teachers. Also, our grade data charts need to be updated with the most recent unit assessment scores. Homeroom teachers are responsible for adding the scores of the unit assessment and changing the color to reflect growth or meeting standards. Below are the charts (you'll need to have rights to view). Be sure your homeroom data has been entered ASAP.

2nd Grade 
3rd Grade
4th Grade

I have enjoyed seeing everyone work with Valerie James and using many of the strategies in your classrooms. Remember Valerie is available for demonstration lessons so be sure to ask her to visit your classroom for additional support as needed.

Each week, you're working with Valerie to determine words students must know to be successful. These words are colored by strand and should be posted on the word wall. Be sure to review them frequently with your students. Dr. Bright and I will be looking for these during our classroom observations and walkthroughs.

1st & 2nd Grade - Lone Star Daily Rigor is being used with students each week.
3rd & 4th Grade - Math GPS is being used to help students weekly. Teachers should be on week 11-15 this coming week. We must maintain this pace in order to finished by testing time.

Texas Early Math Inventory (TEMI) for Grades K-1 - students must be assessed with this instrument BOY, MOY, and EOY. Once students are screened, teachers should implement the recommend lessons from the program.

iStation Math for Grades 2-4 - students must be assessed with this instrument BOY, MOY, and EOY. Once students are screened, teachers should implement the recommend lessons from the program.

Think Through Math (TTM) for Grade 3-4 - Teachers please ensure that all students have been assessed for TTM. Letters have been sent home during the first report card to parents. Remember that there's an app for TTM and it can be used on the iPad.

Gobble Gobble Update
A special message from Mrs. Ortega:
1st Jenkins with $ 78.00
2nd Garcia with $ 52.50
3rd McElroy with $32.00
4th Tayor (3rd) with $30.50

It looks like 2nd Grade is very thankful this year. 4 more days for the Turkey Contest. We have raised $411.00 so far. Only 589 to go for Mr. Jacobs to dress as a turkey.

Teachers - Here's a link to the Google spreadsheet that has been shared with you if you would to check your numbers.

Video Homework from Kenny Kaye Hudson
At our last meeting, Kenny Kaye shared with us a video implementing and monitoring school improvement plans. Here's is the link from the website... be sure to watch this video before the next staff meeting on Monday, December 8th @ 3:30pm.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

5 second survey and training!

Hey friends, lots of people have been asking about getting more Google Drive training. I learned several cool new things at training last week, and I can't wait to pass these tools along! So please join me this Wednesday (November 5th) after school in the library to learn about some cool Google Drive features! We'll meet at 3:30 and should wrap up around 4. No worries if you can't stay the whole time. Bring your questions and your chromebook :)

Also, please take 5 seconds to fill out this (fun) tech survey. It will help guide our tech trainings for the remainder of this semester: 5 second survey!

Also, don't hesitate to let me know if you need any help or have any questions!