Saturday, October 3, 2015

The week of Sept. 28-Oct 2, 2015

On Friday, while driving to work, I saw a rainbow and even some water droplets falling from the sky. Hard to believe we got rain, even a little. It was a beautiful morning. When I got to school I was given the opportunity to sub for Mrs. Kirsch. Although it's hard to do as the work I do doesn't go away, it just piles up, it is good for me in so many ways: I get to connect with students in a sustained academic setting, I get to see what life is really like in your classrooms, and it allows me to be reminded of what it was like to be in the classroom. I am truly grateful for all you do- it is not easy.

If you didn't see the announcements, here's a link: Mustang News, Oct. 2, 2015

Also, check out the Fillmore Twitter feed and my Twitter feed to see all the exciting things you have been doing.

Also this week there was some really cool stuff going on that you need to know about...

For our Wednesday PLC time there was a lot going on:

  • Professor John Chen from Cal Poly came to our site to deliver a sample science lesson that not only incorporated the new NGSS, but also engineering. Teachers from around the district came and built windmills. It was really cool and really fun.
  • Professor Chen also let the participants know about an exciting grant that we (teachers) may be able to participate in. The grant would not only be about building cross curricular units, but would involve Cal Poly students to help our students design and engineer something and bring a Mobile Maker Space to each site. I can't wait!
  • Some teachers went to a training at Manzanita about environmental education.
  • Other teams worked on conferences and did some vertical alignment.
  • We were all over the map, but it was really good stuff.

The Innovators Club is really really rolling. Last Monday they were building motorcycles, bridges, scissors, water powered turbines, roller coasters, and more. We have pretty smart kids. I am really thankful for Mr. Figueroa, Ms. Lara and the parent volunteers who help. Thank you!

Applications for the Genius Club are due next week. Thank you Mrs. Denton for getting that rolling.

Be on the lookout for information about the News Casting Club. We are going to try to start setting it up so we are ready to go after parent-teacher conference week.

Thank you for all your hard work prepping for parent-teacher conferences. I've spoken to some of you about this, but for spring conferences and next year, think about student led conferences. I did them when I was a 5th grade teacher and thought they were really powerful and worthwhile. Here's an article with some information about them: Student-Led Conferences: Empowerment and Ownership

The 3rd grade went on a great field trip to the Cabrillo Aquarium. Students saw jellyfish and all sorts of cool sea life! Thanks to 3rd grade for not only giving our students a great opportunity, but supporting our local schools.

I got to observe Ms. Silver doing the Daily 5. I was really impressed with how she has created a true balanced literacy time in her class.

Ms. Culmer is piloting Microsoft apps which give our students knowledge of a different type of platform to use other than Google.
I've been really impressed with how our news teams have been doing and how we have "flipped" the announcements so students and staff can watch them at anytime and any place through Google Classroom. I'm thinking of doing some lessons as well. Any ideas of what I can do?

Mrs. Knapp is having her 2nd graders get started with a Genuis Hour. What a great way to tap into their creative desires.

Mrs. Torres and Mrs. Asmussen's classes are creating a button business. Can't wait to see what happens with that.

Mrs. Denton has been out into classes and you teachers are taking advantage of her- which is great! She shares so many exciting things that you are doing. let's keep it going and keep pushing further.

Here's what's coming up...

Parent-teacher conferences are all next week. If you need me to be at a conference, please let me know.

I will be at another training in Santa Barbara on Thursday- this time about the interim SBAC assessments. I hope to have some good info for you.

I am working on "flipping" the SST training so I can start getting information out to you and not take up your time during a staff meeting. This way you can participate on your own time and at your own pace. Mrs. Grossi, Mrs. Denton, and I will be putting it together.

There will be no PLC next week due to parent-teacher conferences.

Have a great weekend and a terrific week working with our families.


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