Friday, September 25, 2015

ENews 09.25.2015




Weekly Schedule

Monday
  • PLC Meetings Today w/ Christiana Finch
  • 3:30pm - STAAR4ward Meeting (Grades 3 & 4)
Tuesday
  • 9:30am - Asst Principal Mtg @ Administration Building
  • 2:00pm - STAAR4ward Webinar #3
Wednesday
  • Judy Caskey on campus (AM only)
  • 3:15pm - STAT Meeting
  • 3:30pm - New Teacher Meeting
Thursday
  • ELAR Curriculum Mtg w/ Kristen Weichel
  • School Day Pictures Re-Takes
  • First Steps Training 
Friday - NO SCHOOL (See you NEXT Tuesday - Enjoy the break!)

Important Reminders

T-TESS Update - We're still working on scheduling your Goal Setting Conferences. Be sure you've completed the worksheet and have contacted your appraiser by now.

Student Attendance taken @ 9:30am

Moving PLC Day to Mondays

Digital Fluency Academy Application - Click this link for the application

Other Important Documents:

NEW Information

Congratulations to our Teacher of the Month

Bethany Bunnell,
 2nd Grade Teacher


Staff Meeting Next Monday, September 28th (Grades 3/4 ONLY)
The focus on this meeting will be on STAAR4ward information. The meeting will be for Grades 3 & 4 and include the Interventionists. K-2 & Specials teachers, I will be getting you guys at another time. Be sure to have a 3-ringed binder for this meeting ... your curriculum binder will do nicely.

Campus Handbook
I placed a copy of the campus handbook is several mailboxes this week. Be sure to sign the "Acknowledgement of Receipt" and return to back to me ASAP.

Teacher Lesson Plans
Be sure to upload your lessons into Google Drive in the folder I shared with you at the beginning of the year. If you have any questions, please let me know so I can help you. Also, please make sure your file names include the date for lesson plans so that we can easily read them and locate the correct plans for the week.

Attendance @ Scott Elementary
On Monday our Campus Improvement Team met at the administration building and spent the day creating 3 targeted goals for our campus this year. The goals for focused on student attendance, reading instruction & writing instruction.

We're currently working on some procedures for attendance which include student incentives (details coming soon). We also need to post our attendance rates regularly so teachers, students, and parents can all work together to improve score.

Be sure you are accurately recording student attendance in the gradebook and in a timely manner. Also, please contact parents about student who are absent. Explain they were missed in school and hope they will return soon. Please let the office know how we can support you all and keeping our attendance rate high.

iStation Results

I am so proud of the iStation results for our Beginning of the Year data. Our groups are looking very good across the board this year! Last year our data for each Tier has equal numbers in each group, but now it's very appropriate. Great work team!!

Thank you Mrs. McElroy, Mrs. Green, Mrs. Garcia, and Mrs. Gowen for helping all our students log into iStation and complete their testing.

Goal Setting Conferences
I've been having a lot of great conversations with teachers about their goals for this school year. Please don't hesitate to ask Dr. Bright or myself if you have any questions or need help with getting your goals completed. Remember to link your goals back to the T-TESS rubric and that we're working to create student-centered classrooms. Here's one resource that could help you determine how student-centered is your classroom.


WHY we teach (#kidsdeserveit | #YouMatter | #TeamKid)
Last week I challenged you with reading this blog post titled: Why Are You Still Not on Twitter?  (yep... I still love that title!) and ask you to print the poster from the website and write one statement how using social media can/has impacted your practice as a teacher. I have a few smarties TWEET their responses to the challenge too:

I've got to love that out-of-the-box thinking! Go Scott Teachers!!

This time we need to focus on the WHY we teach. We all know WHAT our jobs are as we teach kids... we even know HOW we do it... looking at the TEKS, selecting appropriate materials, deliver instruction, monitor & adjust, provide feedback, assess knowledge and skills, etc. But let's not start with the WHAT we do but instead with the WHY we teach.

WHY do you come to work each day? WHY do we design lessons to challenge kids daily? WHY do we talk to those hard to reach parents about their kids progress? WHY?

Focusing on the WHY helps to change the way we see our positions. This isn't simply a job... but a calling. Our kids must know they deserve it, that they matter, and that we cheering for them daily. These ideas are NOT simply fun little hashtags we use in social media ... but instead it's constant reminder of WHY we're here.

When I use one of these hashtags to share pictures or messages of students learning, teachers teaching, parents supporting our campus... my message joins a huge collection of similar messages from other educators. It reminds me of the privilege I have in working with kids and teachers.

So my challenge for you this week is to get onto Twitter/Facebook/Instagram. Look the hashtags #kidsdeserveit or #YouMatter or #TeamKid & to add your own message to this collection! Educators are powerful, creative, passionate people and I love seeing the work they do with kids daily. They share their passions for our practice and experiences online. Each time I see a teacher get excited about their work... I get excited too! So I challenge you to add your voice to messages being shared about our practice.

Take a picture... write a message... share a special moment with a kid or group of kids and use one of these hashtags in that posting! Share it with me too because I love to brag about Scott teachers!


Sunday, September 20, 2015

ENews 9.20.2015




Weekly Schedule

Monday
  • 9:00am - Campus Improvement Team @ Administration Building
Tuesday
Wednesday
  • PLC Meetings Today (next week on Monday)
  • 11:30 - Superintendent Advisory Committee Meeting
Thursday
  • Math Curriculum Mtg w/ Valerie James
Friday
  • 12:00pm - Early Release (Communicate with Parents)
  • Staff Development @ Fort Elementary in the afternoon

Important Reminders

T-TESS Update - We're still working on scheduling your Goal Setting Conferences. Be sure you've completed the worksheet and have contacted your appraiser by now.

Student Attendance taken @ 9:30am

Remind - Scott Staff - join here with this link: www.remind.com/join/scottst 

Share the Principal Newsletter - https://www.smore.com/fmba3

Other Important Documents:

NEW Information

I really enjoyed seeing the pictures from the homecoming parade. Thank you so much to everyone that helped with organizing, communicating, decorating, and riding on the float during the parade. I heard lots of positive feedback from Dr. Bright, Mrs. Gilliland & Mrs. Ortega. Below are some of the pictures that were shared with me directly or posted online for our parents to see about our #BulldogPride Week:


Moving PLC Day
We've had to move around our SpEd ARDs to Wednesdays which either Dr. Bright or I will be attending... therefore we're moving PLCs to Mondays so we can attend them and support classroom instruction beginning next week.

Digital Fluency Academy Application
Zach Snow sent an email with an application for the Digital Fluency Academy. If you're interested about what you learn there, be sure to visit with Christian Finch or Robin Gowen who both attended last year. Kasey Bell (@shakeuplearning) was the presenter for this academy and she created a blog with lots of resources she shares with teachers called: Shake Up LearningClick this link for the application & also email Zach Snow if you're interested.

Technology Integration Specialist & Digital Media Showcase
Christiana Finch will be visiting your PLCs next week to help you all with technology integration ideas. One of the topics we'll be sharing will be a Digital Media Showcase. The general idea of the showcase is like a Science Fair but the focus will be on digital products created by students. Mrs. Finch and I will be around next Monday to give you additional information. Here's Wes Fryer (@wfryer) sharing his thoughts about developing student work digitally:

Staff Meeting Next Monday, September 28th
The focus on this meeting will be on STAAR4ward information. We'll have two different groups for this meeting... K-2 teachers & 3-4 teachers. Specials and Interventionists we'll have you assigned to a specific grade level next week. Be sure to have a 3-ringed binder for this meeting ... your curriculum binder will do nicely.

Teacher of the Month
We have a lot of hard working individuals on this campus who truly deserves an award everyday. So let's acknowledge each other's excellent work and dedication to education by honoring them through Teacher of the Month.
The Teacher of the Month is a monthly award that recognizes a teacher who exemplifies excellence in education. The Teacher of the Month will be given a parking space in the staff parking lot for that month and a special treat.

Social Media @ Scott Elementary (#kidsdeserveit | #YouMatter | #TeamKid)
Last week I shared with you a blog called "Kids Deserve It" created by two good friends Todd Nesloney (@TechNinjaTodd) & Adam Welcome (@awelcome). These are folks I collaborate with frequently. When I mean collaborate... I mean we share ideas about teaching/learning, things we're doing with our students, how we're supporting teachers, etc.

Twitter continues to be my FAVORITE way to connect with others and share ideas & my friends think so too. In fact they wrote a blog post about this Social Media platform titled: Why Are You Still Not on Twitter?  (gosh I love that title!) You're got to take the time to read this blog post.

In the post, they list WHY they use Twitter & HOW they use it in their schools. They don't stop there either... they share stories how people have tweeted to connect with others and improve their situations in life. There's a couple of videos too (my favorite is the one about the bookstore).

I have LIST of Royse City ISD employees I follow on Twitter which helps me to notice what's going on here in our community. Click on this link to see what's currently happening with our district folks right now: https://twitter.com/Don_Jacobs/lists/royse-city-isd

Angela Maiers spoke at our district convocation to us about using Twitter and using the hashtag #YouMatter throughout the school year. If she's using and talking about teachers using Twitter, are you one of them? Click on the #YouMatter hyperlink and you can see all the photos people are sharing with this hashtag from around the world... I love that Royse City ISD teachers are included in that.

If you're not connected ... then there's a whole conversation you missing out on... tons of resources you don't have access to... lots of missed opportunities to improve your educational practice.

"I don't have the time" seems to be one the number one reason educators give to not be connected. I completely understand that because our time is valuable. However being connected has helped saved me lots of time... lots of energy ... and lots headaches creating something that someone else has done and posted for me to use. This is a FREE tool that has helped improve my educational skills & my practice. Why not use it?

Ok... Homework time....
1) Read the blog post on Kids Deserve It! - Why Are You Still Not on Twitter? 
2) Print the PDF poster located in that blog post!
3) Write your name of the poster & write one statement how using social media can/has impacted your practice as a teacher.
4) Submit your name into Mr. Jacobs' mailbox and you will  be entered into drawing for a Sonic Drink this Friday (my treat). FIVE teachers will win... will you be one of those teachers???


Thursday, September 10, 2015

ENews 09.10.2015




Next Week's Schedule

Monday - Homecoming Hat Hilarity (Wear your hat!)
  • 3:30pm - Staff Meeting in Library 
  • 6:00pm - Campus Improvement Meeting 
  • 6:30pm - PTO Board Meeting 
Tuesday - Bulldogs Through History (Wear your best 50's, 60's, or 70's clothes)
  • 9:30am - Bright to Asst. Principal Mtg 
  • 5:30pm - GT Parent Meeting 
  • 6:00pm - DI Parent Meeting 
Wednesday - Bulldogs in the Future! (What are you going to be when you grow up? Wear that outfit!)
  • PLC Meetings Today 
  • First-Steps Training @ Admin Building (McElory, Green, Worley attending) 
  • 3:30pm - Eduphoria Training (Blaine, Bunnell, Lancaster, Martin, C. Jones, Chick attending)
Thursday - Sock it to Forney! (Crazy Sock Day)
  • ELAR Curriculum Mtg w/ Kristen Weichel 
  • Fall Pictures 
  • 7:00am - All-Pro Dads 
  • 5:00pm - Chick-fil-a Spirit Night (3rd Grade Team) 
Friday - Bulldog Day! (Go all out! Cheer outfits, football jerseys, spirit shirts all look great!)
  • 12:00pm - Early Release 
  • 3:00pm - Homecoming Parade

Important Reminders

T-TESS Update
You should now be able to go online into the Eduphoria system to complete the T-TESS Teacher Self-Assessment and Goal Setting paperwork. Below are some documents that should be helpful for you including the campus appraiser plan. This includes your appraiser's name & the approximate month your observation will scheduled for the school year:
Remember you must setup a conference with your appraiser and this must be completed by Monday, September 21st. Please don't hesitate to let us know if you have any questions about this process.


Student Attendance
Please do not take attendance before 9:30am. If they student is not on campus at 9:30, they are marked absent. If they leave before 9:30 to go to an appointment and say they are coming back, mark them absent. Proper documentation must be received in order to mark the student present for the day. Please visit with Judy if you have any questions about this process.

Remind
Be sure to JOIN and subscribe to messages from me about campus news and events. If can sign-up with a phone number OR email address: www.remind.com/join/scottst 

Share the Newsletter
Please take the time to share the link to digital newsletter from the principal in your newsletters and social media accounts: https://www.smore.com/fmba3 (also read the information too)

Social Media
Below is a link to a form about our social media accounts at Scott Elementary. If you're using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Remind or other tools to share/collaborate, please complete this form: Social Media Questionnarie

Other Important Documents:

NEW Information

Next week is our Homecoming Week (#bulldogpride | #teamkid)! Be sure to take pictures/videos of students and your team members all celebrating this exciting and fun set of days! Post your pics/vids to social media and tag with #bulldogpride and/or #teamkid so we can easily locate them.


Social Media @ Scott Elementary
Below are the results from the latest survey about social media usage at Scott Elementary (click on the pictures to see larger views):




If you haven't completed the survey yet, click on the link at this time: Social Media Questionnarie

Staff Meeting Next Monday, September 14th
Be sure to watch the video below BEFORE the staff meeting and be prepared to discuss this topic:



Kids Deserve It (#kidsdeserveit | #TeamKid)
Many of you have heard me talk about Todd Nesloney (@TechNinjaTodd). Recently he and another friend of mine Adam Welcome (@awelcome) have started a new blog called "Kids Deserve It": http://www.kidsdeserveit.com/

It's primary focus is about kids... determining what kids need, listening to student voice, and changing up adult behavior to serve our kids better. The most recent blog post was focused on slowing down & taking the time to be with kids... why? Because #kidsdeserveit!

Take a look at the most recent blog post and ask yourselves what are you doing to slow down, take a look around, and notice the small things we could be missing: Slow Down - Take Your Time #KidsDeserveIt

Monday, September 7, 2015

ENews 09.07.2015




Next Week's Schedule

Monday
  • Labor Day - No School 
    Tuesday 
    • Jacobs & Bright training @ Administration Building
    Wednesday
    • PLC Meetings Today
    • Jacobs & Bright training @ Administration Building
    Thursday
    • Math Curriculum Mtg w/ Valerie James 
    • 8:30am - Leveled Literacy Training @ Administration Building (Green, C. Jones, Knauth, Martinez attending)
    Friday
    • Homecoming Next Week! If you're participating for the theme each day ... you may wear jeans for those particular days.

    Important Reminders

    Energy Management
    Just a reminder that refrigerators & microwaves will no longer be allowed in the individual classrooms. The only exception will be if there is a specific medical need and we will approve any issues of that nature through our office.
    Additionally, floor lamps, desk lamps, Scentsy's, plug-ins, fans, space heaters, etc. will no longer be allowed in classrooms. Classroom doors are to be kept closed at all time & exterior doors must NOT be propped open at any time.

    Use the Scott Elementary Energy Management Form request the use of an appliance in your classroom OR report any temperature concerns in your classroom. Even if I have previously approved your request to use an appliance, I would like a record of your request on this form.

    Student Attendance
    Please do not take attendance before 9:30am. If they student is not on campus at 9:30, they are marked absent. 

    If they leave before 9:30 to go to an appointment and say they are coming back, mark them absent. Proper documentation must be received in order to mark the student present for the day. Please visit with Judy if you have any questions about this process.


    NEW Information

    Thank you for everyone for participating in the #BackTheBlue campaign. It was great seeing all the pictures of teachers and students wearing their T-Shirts throughout the building. A picture of our 4th Graders was even included in a news story on Fox 4 Friday evening! Below are just a few of the pictures shared online with our community. Go #TeamKid!

    Remind
    Be sure to JOIN and subscribe to messages from me about campus news and events. If can sign-up with a phone number OR email address: www.remind.com/join/scottst 

    Valerie James Visiting - She will be visiting our campus next week. Please bring TEKS Math snapshot (Lead4Ward) for your grade and the Unit 1 IFD. Below is a schedule of dates for all our curriculum meetings for the school year:


    Staff Meetings
    This school year our campus is participating in implementing the strategies and activities from Lead4ward. We'll be using the learning from the STAAR4ward website to lead of conversations around student learning and best practices. Some of our staff meetings will be focused on this information. We'll be breaking up the grade levels to address this information and meeting in the classrooms. More information will be shared at our first staff meeting on Monday, September 14th @ 3:30pm in the library. Click on the link below to see the schedule for all our staff meetings.


    Share the Newsletter
    Please take the time to share the link to digital newsletter from the principal in your newsletters and social media accounts: https://www.smore.com/fmba3 (also read the information too)

    Social Media
    This is becoming an increasing vital way for us to communicate with our community and get out information quickly and accurately. Often these tools are used to highlight the amazing work teachers are doing with students.

    Starting next week, I'll be positing some tutorials (or PD) about best practices with social media. The tutorials will be digital so you access them anywhere at anytime. Included with these best practices will be shortcuts I've learned over the last several years to manage my social media accounts and keep it SIMPLE. As educators, we must continue to strive to engage our parents, students, and the learning community.

    Below is a link to a form about our social media accounts at Scott Elementary. If you're using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Remind or other tools to share/collaborate, please complete the form below. I will post the results in next week's blog post:


    Shoes for Teachers
    Now that we've been back to school for two weeks, perhaps you're experiencing some problems with your shoes. If so, I believe I have an answer for you. Below are some of the most comfortable shoes for teachers... a timely posting I believe.


    The Colorful Principal (#TeamKid)
    I spend a lot of time reading about educational news, updates, best practices, and stories about other people. Yes I do subscribe and read some conventional types of materials (i.e. books, newsletters, emails, and other printed sources). However I do consume most of my information digitally (i.e. blogs, websites, videos, photos).

    One particular blog I read often is one called "The Colorful Principal". It's written by Ben Gilpin (@benjamingilpin) who's an administrator in Michigan. He always includes a weekly schedule, articles worth reading, and videos worth watching in his blog post to his community. His most recent posting was especially interesting because it showcases teacher classrooms and how they create learning spaces for their students. Take the time to look at the 18 different classrooms - perhaps you can steal an idea or two for your learning spaces.


    Also, explore his blog and pay attention to the blogs and videos his shares. Perhaps you can recognize a few of them: http://colorfulprincipal.blogspot.com/

    Tuesday, September 1, 2015

    T-TESS Goal Setting Form Directions

    Check out the short video tutorial about using the Goal Setting Form in T-TESS.

    Techie Tuesday!

    Excellent set of resources via +Christiana Finch today!


    Thanks for sharing!