Friday Newsletter: May 18, 2018

NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS (May 21 – May 25)

  • Monday, May 21: Grade 4 Class Trip (at TBD)
  • Monday, May 21: Grade 1 Team Meeting, 9:20-10:05
  • Monday, May 21: Faculty Meeting. Click here for the agenda.
  • Tuesday, May 22: Grade 4 PLC, 8:10-9:10
  • Tuesday, May 22: Grade 3 Demo Assembly, 9:30
  • Tuesday, May 22: Kindergarten Team Meeting, 10:50-11:35
  • Wednesday, May 23: Grade 4 Class Trip (away from TBD)
  • Wednesday, May 23: Grade 2 PLC, 8:10-9:10
  • Wednesday, May 23: Gang Awareness Training – Ross out of the building
  • Wednesday, May 23: Grade 2 Team Meeting, 2:05-2:50
  • Thursday, May 24: Kindergarten Class Trip
  • Thursday, May 24: Book Fair
  • Thursday, May 24: Grade 4 Team Meeting, 10:50-11:30
  • Thursday, May 24: Spring Concert
  • Friday, May 25: TBD Luau
  • Friday, May 25: Bomb Threat Drill, time TBD
  • Friday, May 25: Grade 3 Team Meeting, 1:20-2:05

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Feel free to submit your team’s consumable order for next year. The new form is here.
  • If you have yet to submit your paperwork to meet the dyslexia mandate, please do so by May 31. The most current documentation is here.
  • Senior Service Students will be joining the following teachers, May 21-June 19: Ms. Botterman, Ms. Janowski, Mr. Kuizema, Ms. Turci, Ms. Wrynn.
  • Second grade will be having their Magic School Bus activity in the Big Gym, May 29-May 31. During this time:
    • Students from Grades 2-4 will line up by their classrooms in the morning. (May 30-31)
    • The Big Gym cannot be used for gym class.
    • The Big Gym cannot be used for indoor recess.
    • No after school activities can be held in the Big Gym.
  • Kindergarten Roundup is Friday, June 1. On this day, all students should eat lunch in their classrooms.
  • For next year, we’ll be having a new Child Care program, in partnership with the YMCA. Click here for the flyer, and more information is upcoming. If you are interested in working for the program, please click here.

UPCOMING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

  • Paramus Summer Institutes on the Teaching of Reading and Writing: July 2018
    • These four-day institutes offer great alternatives to Teachers College. Each institute has a beginners track and an advanced track.
  • The LAUNCH Academy: A Design Thinking Institute: July 26-27, 2018
    • This institute is based on the LAUNCH book, and it’s facilitated by its authors, John Spencer & A.J. Juliani. (I will be attending this event.)
    • During the two days, attendees will get a variety of design thinking opportunities, including: in-person work sessions with both A.J. and John; taking part in new design thinking activities and challenges; creating personalized activities, challenges, lessons, and units for your role; diving into the research around design thinking and the practical applications for all areas of education; collaborative round tables breaking down the biggest problems you are facing and coming up with creative solutions; a private online community to extend the learning beyond these two-days and connect with this cohort for a long time to come.
  • What Great Educators Do Differently – New Jersey: October 13, 2018
    • This is a New Jersey version of the conference at which I recently presented in Houston. Presenters include A.J. Juliani, Bob Dillon (who video chatted with us about learning spaces), Pernille Ripp (creator of the Global Read Aloud), Todd Whitaker, and more! (I will be attending this event.)

Of course, if you’d like to attend any of these events, please let me know!

CURRICULUM RESOURCES: Project Based Learning

  • This past week we wrapped up the 3-part PBL course (2 hours per session) that was facilitated for educators in the area. The course agenda is here. The entire course was built around five activities, and each activity is accompanied by a few resources (which I think you’ll find useful).

“If we want student buy-in we need to start with student ownership.” – John Spencer

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Friday Newsletter: May 11, 2018

NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS (May 14 – May 18)

  • Monday, May 14: Phonics First professional development – Ross out of the building
  • Monday, May 14: Mini Relay for Life, 1:20-2:30
  • Tuesday, May 15 – Thursday, May 17: Kindergarten Screening
  • Tuesday, May 15: Kindergarten Team Meeting, 10:50-11:35
  • Wednesday, May 16: A-Team Meeting in the afternoon – Ross out of the building
  • Wednesday, May 16: Grade 2 Team Meeting, 2:05-2:50
  • Thursday, May 17: Select Wellness will be here for their annual, free massages. Early next week, the sign-up sheet will be place by the mailboxes.
  • Thursday, May 17: Grade 4 Team Meeting, 10:50-11:30
  • Friday, May 18: Fire Drill, 10:30
  • Friday, May 18: Grade 3 Team Meeting, 1:20-2:05

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Senior Service Students will be joining the following teachers, May 21-June 19: Ms. Botterman, Ms. Janowski, Mr. Kuizema, Ms. Turci, Ms. Wrynn.
  • Second grade will be having their Magic School Bus activity in the Big Gym, May 29-May 31. During this time:
    • Students from Grades 2-4 will line up by their classrooms in the morning. (May 30-31)
    • The Big Gym cannot be used for gym class.
    • The Big Gym cannot be used for indoor recess.
    • No after school activities can be held in the Big Gym.
  • Kindergarten Roundup is Friday, June 1. On this day, all students should eat lunch in their classrooms.
  • If you’re looking to do some Summer R&D, I’d be happy to brainstorm ideas with you and/or help out with the work. I believe there are benefits to aligning this work to what we’ll be focusing on as a school during the 2018-2019 school year. (Submissions are due May 11.)
  • For next year, we’ll be having a new Child Care program, in partnership with the YMCA. Click here for the flyer, and more information is upcoming. If you are interested in working for the program, please click here.

UPCOMING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

  • Project Based Learning @ TBD
    • As part of this year’s local professional learning options that have been put together by Tom Marshall (Elementary Principal in Paramus), I’m offering a 3-part PBL course at TBD from 4:15-6:15 on the following dates: March 27, April 24, May 15. For those who attend these sessions, I believe you’ll start to see how project based learning can help us to satisfy the Next Generation Science Standards (among other subject areas) while meeting the needs of our students. You can attend as few or as many sessions as you’d like.
  • Paramus Summer Institutes on the Teaching of Reading and Writing: July 2018
    • These four-day institutes offer great alternatives to Teachers College. Each institute has a beginners track and an advanced track.
  • The LAUNCH Academy: A Design Thinking Institute: July 26-27, 2018
    • This institute is based on the LAUNCH book, and it’s facilitated by its authors, John Spencer & A.J. Juliani. (I will be attending this event.)
    • During the two days, attendees will get a variety of design thinking opportunities, including: in-person work sessions with both A.J. and John; taking part in new design thinking activities and challenges; creating personalized activities, challenges, lessons, and units for your role; diving into the research around design thinking and the practical applications for all areas of education; collaborative round tables breaking down the biggest problems you are facing and coming up with creative solutions; a private online community to extend the learning beyond these two-days and connect with this cohort for a long time to come.
  • What Great Educators Do Differently – New Jersey: October 13, 2018
    • This is a New Jersey version of the conference at which I recently presented in Houston. Presenters include A.J. Juliani, Bob Dillon (who video chatted with us about learning spaces), Pernille Ripp (creator of the Global Read Aloud), Todd Whitaker, and more! (I will be attending this event.)

Of course, if you’d like to attend any of these events, please let me know!

CURRICULUM RESOURCES: Genius Hour

All of the Genius Hour resources, in one place…

“Genius Hour is a time for teachers to explore the beauty and change that occurs when the learning reins are handed over to their students.” – Denise Krebs & Gallit Zvi

Friday Newsletter: May 4, 2018

NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS (May 7 – May 11)

  • Monday, May 7 – Friday, May 11: Teacher Appreciation Week
  • Tuesday, May 1 – Wednesday, May 9: PARCC testing
  • Monday, May 7: Faculty Meeting. Click here for the agenda.
  • Monday, May 7: Grade 1 Team Meeting, 9:20-10:05
  • Tuesday, May 8: Kindergarten Team Meeting, 10:50-11:35
  • Wednesday, May 9: A-Team Meeting in the afternoon – Ross out of the building
  • Wednesday, May 9: Grade 2 Team Meeting, 2:05-2:50
  • Thursday, May 10: Grade 4 Team Meeting, 10:50-11:30
  • Friday, May 11: Grade 3 Team Meeting, 1:20-2:05

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Senior Service Students will be joining the following teachers, May 21-June 19: Ms. Botterman, Ms. Janowski, Mr. Kuizema, Ms. Turci, Ms. Wrynn.
  • Second grade will be having their Magic School Bus activity in the Big Gym, May 29-May 31. During this time:
    • Students from Grades 2-4 will line up by their classrooms in the morning. (May 30-31)
    • The Big Gym cannot be used for gym class.
    • The Big Gym cannot be used for indoor recess.
    • No after school activities can be held in the Big Gym.
  • Kindergarten Roundup is Friday, June 1. On this day, all students should eat lunch in their classrooms.
  • For next year, we’ll be having a new Child Care program, in partnership with the YMCA. Click here for the flyer, and more information is upcoming. If you are interested in working for the program, please click here.

UPCOMING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

  • Project Based Learning @ TBD
    • As part of this year’s local professional learning options that have been put together by Tom Marshall (Elementary Principal in Paramus), I’m offering a 3-part PBL course at TBD from 4:15-6:15 on the following dates: March 27, April 24, May 15. For those who attend these sessions, I believe you’ll start to see how project based learning can help us to satisfy the Next Generation Science Standards (among other subject areas) while meeting the needs of our students. You can attend as few or as many sessions as you’d like.
  • Paramus Summer Institutes on the Teaching of Reading and Writing: July 2018
    • These four-day institutes offer great alternatives to Teachers College. Each institute has a beginners track and an advanced track.
  • The LAUNCH Academy: A Design Thinking Institute: July 26-27, 2018
    • This institute is based on the LAUNCH book, and it’s facilitated by its authors, John Spencer & A.J. Juliani. (I will be attending this event.)
    • During the two days, attendees will get a variety of design thinking opportunities, including: in-person work sessions with both A.J. and John; taking part in new design thinking activities and challenges; creating personalized activities, challenges, lessons, and units for your role; diving into the research around design thinking and the practical applications for all areas of education; collaborative round tables breaking down the biggest problems you are facing and coming up with creative solutions; a private online community to extend the learning beyond these two-days and connect with this cohort for a long time to come.
  • What Great Educators Do Differently – New Jersey: October 13, 2018
    • This is a New Jersey version of the conference at which I recently presented in Houston. Presenters include A.J. Juliani, Bob Dillon (who video chatted with us about learning spaces), Pernille Ripp (creator of the Global Read Aloud), Todd Whitaker, and more! (I will be attending this event.)

Of course, if you’d like to attend any of these events, please let me know!

CURRICULUM RESOURCES: Genius Hour

Since 30 copies of a Genius Hour book were recently purchased/distributed…

  • TED Talk: The Puzzle of Motivation – by Daniel Pink
    • Pink’s work on motivation served as the impetus for many school movements that have focused on student choice (including Genius Hour). This could be a great video to show your students when kicking off Genius Hour! (And yes, this video was already included in an earlier newsletter.)
  • Genius Hour Resources from Jerry Blumengarten
    • Jerry is a former librarian who has put together pages of resources based on education’s hottest topics. This is his page on Genius Hour.
  • Genius Hour on Twitter
    • I did a search on Twitter using the hashtag #geniushour, and this is what came up. (FYI, Twitter is a tremendous way to get ideas while connecting with other classrooms and educators from around the world.)

“Genius Hour is a time for teachers to explore the beauty and change that occurs when the learning reins are handed over to their students.” – Denise Krebs & Gallit Zvi

Friday Newsletter: April 28, 2018

NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS (April 30 – May 4)

  • Tuesday, May 1 – Wednesday, May 9: PARCC testing
  • Monday, April 30: Grade 1 Team Meeting, 9:20-10:05
  • Tuesday, May 1: Happy Birthday to Susan Wrynn!
  • Tuesday, May 1: Kindergarten Team Meeting, 10:50-11:35
  • Wednesday, May 2: A-Team Meeting in the afternoon – Ross out of the building
  • Wednesday, May 2: Grade 2 Team Meeting, 2:05-2:50
  • Thursday, May 3: Grade 4 Team Meeting, 10:50-11:30
  • Friday, May 4: Grade 2 Class Trip
  • Friday, May 4: Grade 3 Team Meeting, 1:20-2:05

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • If you’re looking to do some Summer R&D, I’d be happy to brainstorm ideas with you and/or help out with the work. I believe there are benefits to aligning this work to what we’ll be focusing on as a school during the 2018-2019 school year. (Submissions are due May 11.)
  • Kindergarten Roundup is Friday, June 1. On this day, all students should eat lunch in their classrooms.
  • For next year, we’ll be having a new Child Care program, in partnership with the YMCA. Click here for the flyer, and more information is upcoming.

UPCOMING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

  • Project Based Learning @ TBD
    • As part of this year’s local professional learning options that have been put together by Tom Marshall (Elementary Principal in Paramus), I’m offering a 3-part PBL course at TBD from 4:15-6:15 on the following dates: March 27, April 24, May 15. For those who attend these sessions, I believe you’ll start to see how project based learning can help us to satisfy the Next Generation Science Standards (among other subject areas) while meeting the needs of our students. You can attend as few or as many sessions as you’d like.
  • Global Day of Design: May 4, 2018
    • “Students need to make, build, and tinker. The Global Day of Design is one-day that focuses on using the Design Thinking process in school. Our goal for the Global Day of Design is to inspire a transformation in schools around the world to incorporate design into an every day practice with our students.”
  • Paramus Summer Institutes on the Teaching of Reading and Writing: July 2018
    • These four-day institutes offer great alternatives to Teachers College. Each institute has a beginners track and an advanced track.

Of course, if you’d like to attend any of these events, please let me know!

CURRICULUM RESOURCES: Active Monitoring

With PARCC testing upon us, here are a few resources that emphasize the significance of active monitoring!

“Standardized testing has swelled and mutated, like a creature in one of those old horror movies, to the point that it now threatens to swallow our schools whole.” – Alfie Kohn

Friday Newsletter: April 20, 2018

NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS (April 23 – April 27)

  • Monday, April 23: Grade 1 Team Meeting, 9:20-10:05
  • Monday, April 23: Lockdown Drill, 10:30
  • Monday, April 23: Faculty Meeting. Information upcoming.
  • Tuesday, April 24: Happy Birthday to Corinna McPartland!
  • Tuesday, April 24: Bus Evacuation Drills
  • Tuesday, April 24: Grade 4 PLC, 8:10-9:10
  • Tuesday, April 24: PARCC Training, Grade 4
  • Tuesday, April 24: Kindergarten Team Meeting, 10:50-11:35
  • Wednesday, April 25: Administrative Assistants’ Day
  • Wednesday, April 25: Grade 3 Class Trip
  • Wednesday, April 25: Kindergarten PLC, 8:10-9:10
  • Wednesday, April 25: A-Team Meeting in the afternoon – Ross out of the building
  • Wednesday, April 25: Grade 2 Team Meeting, 2:05-2:50
  • Thursday, April 26: Grade 4 Team Meeting, 10:50-11:30
  • Thursday, April 26: Casino Night Fundraiser
  • Friday, April 27: Fire Drill, 10:30
  • Friday, April 27: Grade 3 Team Meeting, 1:20-2:05

UPCOMING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

  • #TheEdCollab Gathering: April 21 (I know this is last minute. Recordings are made available.)
    • A free day of presentations from some of the best minds in literacy. Many of these presenters specialize in the workshop framework. The Educator Collaborative was started by Chris Lehman.
  • Project Based Learning @ TBD
    • As part of this year’s local professional learning options that have been put together by Tom Marshall (Elementary Principal in Paramus), I’m offering a 3-part PBL course at TBD from 4:15-6:15 on the following dates: March 27, April 24, May 15. For those who attend these sessions, I believe you’ll start to see how project based learning can help us to satisfy the Next Generation Science Standards (among other subject areas) while meeting the needs of our students. You can attend as few or as many sessions as you’d like.
  • Global Day of Design: May 4, 2018
    • “Students need to make, build, and tinker. The Global Day of Design is one-day that focuses on using the Design Thinking process in school. Our goal for the Global Day of Design is to inspire a transformation in schools around the world to incorporate design into an every day practice with our students.”
  • Paramus Summer Institutes on the Teaching of Reading and Writing: July 2018
    • These four-day institutes offer great alternatives to Teachers College. Each institute has a beginners track and an advanced track.

Of course, if you’d like to attend any of these events, please let me know!

CURRICULUM RESOURCES: Difficult Students (featuring Brian Mendler)

This past week I had the opportunity to meet Brian, and I have become a huge fan of his work. Here are two short clips of his for you to check out. And, of course, you can always look into more of his videos and work.

“You can’t talk your way into trust.” – Michael Fullan

Friday Newsletter: April 6, 2018

NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS (April 16 – April 20)

  • Saturday, April 7: Happy Birthday to Michele Kaldrovics!
  • Sunday, April 8: Happy Birthday to Nicole Henry!
  • Wednesday, April 11: Happy Birthday to Trish Madera!
  • Saturday, April 14: Happy Birthday to Diana Ferebee!
  • Saturday, April 14: Happy Birthday to Lisa Straubinger!
  • Saturday, April 14: Happy Birthday to Danielle Michaels!
  • Monday, April 16: Grade 1 Team Meeting, 9:20-10:05
  • Monday, April 16: Ross out of the building
  • Tuesday, April 17: PARCC Training, Grade 3
  • Tuesday, April 17: Kindergarten Team Meeting, 10:50-11:35
  • Tuesday, April 17: Ross out of the building
  • Wednesday, April 18: Grade 1 PLC, 8:10-9:10
  • Wednesday, April 18: Grade 2 Team Meeting, 2:05-2:50
  • Wednesday, April 18: A-Team Meeting in the afternoon – Ross out of the building
  • Thursday, April 19: OLSAT Makeups in the Conference Room, 9:00-10:00
  • Thursday, April 19: Grade 4 Team Meeting, 10:50-11:30
  • Friday, April 20: Happy Birthday to Tara Corbett!
  • Friday, April 20: Fire Drill, time TBD
  • Friday, April 20: Grade 3 PARCC Infrastructure Trials, 8:35-9:05
  • Friday, April 20: NVPA Meeting, 9:30-11:30 – Ross out of the building
  • Friday, April 20: International Dance, 1:15-2:15
  • Friday, April 20: Grade 3 Team Meeting, 1:20-2:05

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Keeping everyone in the loop, this morning we made the decision for next year to roll out Phonics First K-1, with the possibility of Grade 2 starting with the program the following year. Also, we would like to continue with the Handwriting Without Tears program, as is.

UPCOMING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

  • Project Based Learning @ TBD
    • As part of this year’s local professional learning options that have been put together by Tom Marshall (Elementary Principal in Paramus), I’m offering a 3-part PBL course at TBD from 4:15-6:15 on the following dates: March 27, April 24, May 15. For those who attend these sessions, I believe you’ll start to see how project based learning can help us to satisfy the Next Generation Science Standards (among other subject areas) while meeting the needs of our students. You can attend as few or as many sessions as you’d like.
  • Global Day of Design: May 4, 2018
    • “Students need to make, build, and tinker. The Global Day of Design is one-day that focuses on using the Design Thinking process in school. Our goal for the Global Day of Design is to inspire a transformation in schools around the world to incorporate design into an every day practice with our students.”
  • Paramus Summer Institutes on the Teaching of Reading and Writing: July 2018
    • These four-day institutes offer great alternatives to Teachers College. Each institute has a beginners track and an advanced track.

Of course, if you’d like to attend any of these events, please let me know!

CURRICULUM RESOURCES: Pizza

Because it’s the time of year when everyone (most likely) needs a break. (And yes, this isn’t the last time I’ll be posting about pizza.)

“You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.” – Yogi Berra

Friday Newsletter: March 30, 2018

NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS (April 2 – April 6)

  • Monday, April 2: Autism Awareness Day. Wear your shirt, and click here for information to share out during homeroom. Students who wish to donate to Autism Speaks can bring in their money any time during the week.
  • Monday, April 2: Lauren Petro’s Birthday!
  • Monday, April 2: Grade 1 Team Meeting, 9:20-10:05
  • Monday, April 2: Faculty Meeting. Click here for the agenda.
  • Tuesday, April 3: Grade 4 PLC, 8:10-9:10
  • Tuesday, April 3: Kindergarten Team Meeting, 10:50-11:35
  • Wednesday, April 4: Grade 2 PLC, 8:10-9:10
  • Wednesday, April 4: PARCC Infrastructure Trials, Grade 3, 8:35
  • Wednesday, April 4: Fundations Demo, 11:40-12:30
  • Wednesday, April 4: PARCC Infrastructure Trials, Grade 4, 12:45
  • Wednesday, April 4: Grade 2 Team Meeting, 2:05-2:50
  • Thursday, April 5: Senior SLE Meeting, 8:10-8:25
  • Thursday, April 5: Assembly: Thoughtful Thursday, 10:30
  • Thursday, April 5: Grade 4 Team Meeting, 10:50-11:30
  • Friday, April 6: Flexible Learning Spaces deadline
  • Friday, April 6: Grade 3 Team Meeting, 1:20-2:05

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • This month’s district newsletter is here.
  • 30 copies of LAUNCH have been placed in the Faculty Room. There should be enough copies for everyone, and these are yours to keep. If you’d like to jump straight to familiarizing yourself with the LAUNCH Cycle, flip to Chapter 3, page 49.
  • PARRC Infrastructure Trials will be taking place Wednesday, April 4 at 8:35 for Grade 3 and 12:45 for Grade 4. This necessitates having all Chromebooks, including Grade 2, available at all times.
  • OLSAT makeups will be Thursday, April 19 at 9:00 in the Conference Room. Please do not plan to use this space during this time.
  • If anyone is planning on doing anything special for Earth day – Sunday, April 22 – please let me know.
  • On the morning of Friday, May 25, Old Tappan First Aid Corps will be visiting us for EMS Week. They will be stopping into each classroom for about 10 minutes to talk about safety and their jobs.

UPCOMING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

  • Project Based Learning @ TBD
    • As part of this year’s local professional learning options that have been put together by Tom Marshall (Elementary Principal in Paramus), I’m offering a 3-part PBL course at TBD from 4:15-6:15 on the following dates: March 27, April 24, May 15. For those who attend these sessions, I believe you’ll start to see how project based learning can help us to satisfy the Next Generation Science Standards (among other subject areas) while meeting the needs of our students. You can attend as few or as many sessions as you’d like.
  • Global Day of Design: May 4, 2018
    • “Students need to make, build, and tinker. The Global Day of Design is one-day that focuses on using the Design Thinking process in school. Our goal for the Global Day of Design is to inspire a transformation in schools around the world to incorporate design into an every day practice with our students.”
  • Paramus Summer Institutes on the Teaching of Reading and Writing: July 2018
    • These four-day institutes offer great alternatives to Teachers College. Each institute has a beginners track and an advanced track.

Of course, if you’d like to attend any of these events, please let me know!

CURRICULUM RESOURCES: Reading Logs

In many instances, reading logs are one of those things we do because “that’s the way it’s always been done.” Here are three brief, easy to read posts that may challenge your thinking…

“When you take a forklift and shovel off the programs, underneath it all is a child reading a book.” – Donalyn Miller