Friday, February 20, 2015

The Week of Feb. 16-20, 2015

Hi Everyone,

Oh no! No three day weekend this weekend. What are we going to do? And a 5 day week next week? I know this may sound crazy, but I am looking forward to the five day week and getting back into a routine. It’s been too hard to fit all we have to fit into four days. I really did have a fun week. I hope you did as well.

Please feel free to email me, text me, or just let me know about the exciting things happening in your class. I want to not only know about them as I don’t get to see your classes as much as I would like, and I also want to share what you do with the rest of the staff. So send them on!



This past week...
  • Superintendent and Asst. Superintendent Visit:
    • Both the super and the asst. super, Sid Haro, visited our campus on Tuesday. They wanted to see our recess and also get into a few classes. Here is their feedback:
      • Recess looks ok, but we are going to look into some possible options for activities next year.
      • They visited our 4th grade classes and noticed the engagement and commented on the positive environment as well as the great opportunities the students had to work collaboratively.
  • Next Generation Science Standards presentation:
  • Math textbook adoption:
    • Also for the common minimum day other staff went to meet about the math adoption. Here are a few things they found out and I learned at principal's forum:
      • We are going to look at 4-5 different texts
      • It will be a fairly quick process so make sure you are aware of all the opportunities to participate and give feedback
      • There are rumors that one text is the district's preference. This is not true- your voice and opinion matter so please get involved.
  • Lock down drill:
    • The lock down drill went really well. Students were extremely quick and quiet. I was impressed. There was one breach however. Please make sure that anytime you leave your class you close AND lock your door.
  • STEM in Kinder:
    • I know this isn't the only example, but I was really excited to see science and inquiry being used in Ms. Silver's class. The students in her class were talking about how the Statue of Liberty used to be bronze, but has turned green. The students wondered why and so they did an experiment with pennies. They wanted to figure out how to clean them best and they came up, themselves, with ideas of how to clean them and hypothesized about which solution would work best and then experimented. So cool!
  • Front Row for Math (Mrs. Knapp & Mrs. Grossi use this)
    • From Mrs. Grossi: Mrs. Grossi's math class has been using Math Facts Practice, a free website, to practice basic facts for 10 minutes at the start of class for about 10 days. This practice includes long division, multi-digit multiplication, addition, and subtraction and the students only have 10 minutes to correctly complete as many problems as possible. The majority of the class started out posting scores in the single digits or low teens, such as 9 problems correct or 12 problems correct. In less than 10 days of use, every student is now posting scores in the twenties or higher, and yesterday Tytus Conklin had a record 40 problems correct in 10 minutes. Mrs. Grossi's math class also started using Front Row. The students are sooooooo excited and motivated to do well and earn coins. They have even reported using it at home, on their own. Teachers, if you haven't checked out Front Row yet, it is a must do next week! www.frontrowed.com
  • Other things I noticed in classes:
    • I didn't get to stay in too many classes, but Here are a few things I saw that were really cool:
      • graphing a survey of favorite fruits in Ms. Robinson's class
      • GREAT program in 5th grade
      • Close reading being modeled in 6th grade
      • 3rd graders studying area and perimeter
      • reading buddies with 2nd grade and SPED
      • Ms. Krebs' class made brochures and learned all sorts of formatting skils
      • Ms. Castaneda’s students have been providing evidence as to how people felt about President Lincoln both, during his lifetime and today.
      • There's more, but this is getting long...
  • Garden
    • Our garden is doing great! The students are helping it get really trim and neat and spread all the new mulch that Shelby got M & O to deliver. I'm really proud of the effort our students and staff put into it. It is a real anchor for the campus.


Coming up:
  • Benchmark Assessment- #2
    • Next week is our 2nd benchmark assessment. It was an optional assessment, but will affect some f your lab times. So, please make sure you refer to the schedule that I will send out today as a reminder.
  • PLC
    • Next week PLC will be focused on data gathering and entry. I am going to share a Google Doc with each grade level that has data that I would like each teacher to enter for their students. It will be shared with you at some point before the end of school Monday. Make sure you know how to access it and know how to enter the data requested.
  • 4th Grade and Chromebooks
    • Next week the 4th grade team will be diving into using the Chromebooks. I am so proud of all the hard work that the 4th grade team is doing to prepare. 
  • Support Programs
    • At the Principal's Forum there was a big discussion about our support programs for next year. There will be more information coming out about our various assessments and how they will be delivered as well as how support programs will be used. The biggest discussion was about Lexia and Imagine. We need to decide which program we want next year as a school- we can't have both. So, start thinking about which you want and why.
  • Awards
    • There are a bunch of awards ceremonies next week- always fun!
  • SBAC
    • The SBAC is coming. Mr. Latimer and I will sit down next week and work on a testing schedule. The window for testing is March 10 to May 29. We are hoping to test as late as possible, and hoping to have a schedule ready for you by early March.
  • Grant
    • The Central Coast Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association (AFCEA) is excited to be able to offer a $500 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Teacher's Grant to be awarded at our luncheon on 25 March 2015
    •  The luncheon will be held at the Vandenberg AFB Pacific Coast Club:  http://www.30fss.com/pcc.html.
    • If you cannot make it to the luncheon we will present the Grant at your school.
    • The grant submission form is located at the following link: http://www.ccafcea.org/portal/scholarships-grants/
That's it! Enjoy your weekend- we might get rain Sunday?

Michael



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