Weekend Newsletter: September 21, 2018

NEXT WEEK’S BIRTHDAYS

  • No birthdays!

NEXT WEEK’S TEAM MEETINGS

  • Tuesday, September 25, 12:35 pm: Grade 1
  • Tuesday, September 25, 1:05 pm: Grade 4
  • Wednesday, September 26, 10:50 am: Grade 2
  • Thursday, September 27, 10:05 am: Kindergarten
  • Thursday, September 27, 1:20 pm: Grade 3

NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS

  • Monday, September 24: ScIP Meeting, 8:10 am
  • Monday, September 24: Lockdown Drill, 10:00 am
  • Tuesday, September 25: Principal Orientation in the morning – Ross out of the building
  • Wednesday, September 26: Boxtops Collection
  • Wednesday, September 26: Ross out of the building
  • Thursday, September 27: Safety Committee Meeting, 8:10 am
  • Thursday, September 27: Back to School Night
  • Friday, September 28: Worlds of Making Conference – Ross out of the building

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Tuesday’s Lockdown Drill had been moved to Monday, same time.
  • Entering into the faculty room, various items (old dictionaries, old textbooks, etc.) are located on the two sets of shelves, straight ahead and to the right. I plan on clearing out these shelves and donating or throwing away these items. If anything should be saved, please let me know by Friday.
  • The PTO reached out to me to see if we’d like to add on more local restaurants as approved vendors. If you have any restaurant suggestions, please let me know.

UPCOMING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

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

CURRICULUM RESOURCES: Back to School Night 

Heading into Back to School Night, you’ll want to read this…

“Behind every student success story is a staff member who championed for that student.” – Jimmy Casas

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Weekend Newsletter: September 14, 2018

NEXT WEEK’S BIRTHDAYS

  • Sunday, September 16: Happy Birthday to Kate Lowenfels!
  • Friday, September 21: Happy Birthday to Sharyn DeGregory!

NEXT WEEK’S TEAM MEETINGS

  • Monday, September 17, 2:05 pm: Grade 4
  • Tuesday, September 18, 12:35 pm: Grade 1
  • Thursday, September 20, 10:05 am: Kindergarten
  • Thursday, September 20, 1:20 pm: Grade 3

NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS

  • Monday, September 17: Fire Drill, 9:30 am
  • Monday, September 17: Faculty Meeting
  • Tuesday, September 18: Day of Gold
  • Wednesday, September 19: No School
  • Thursday, September 20: Assignment-Free Time Frame
  • Friday, September 21: International Day of Peace
  • Friday, September 21: Assembly, 10:30 am

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Take a look at our tentative dates for PLCs and Conferences. If there are any issues, please let me know by the end of the week. After that, once everything is finalized, I will add the dates to the calendar and follow up with additional information.
  • Now that we’ve all lived the new schedule for a few weeks, please let me know if any changes need to be made. (So far, I haven’t heard anything, so I’m assuming we’re good.)
  • On October 11, Dr. Sullivan will be pushing into the Grade 3 team meeting to review PARCC scores. She will be doing the same thing for Grade 4 on October 15.
  • If you’ve yet to complete your SafeSchools training, please make sure to do so.
  • The PTO reached out to me to see if we’d like to add on more local restaurants as approved vendors. If you have any restaurant suggestions, please let me know.

UPCOMING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

CoffeeEDU 2018-09-23

  • Worlds of Making: September 28, 2018
    • This full day learning experience will provide participants with the skills needed to plan and implement a makerspace that is unique and meaningful for the classroom. During this session, you will gain hands-on experience that showcases the power of making, tinkering, design and engineering. You will learn how to use effective prompting strategies to challenge students to higher-level thinking. All participants will walk away with a Makerspace Action Plan! (I will be attending this event.)
  • What Great Educators Do Differently – New Jersey: October 13, 2018

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

CURRICULUM RESOURCES: Miscellaneous 

One resource on design thinking, one on flexible learning spaces, one on classroom culture…

“You can borrow or steal a technique, but never a philosophy or culture.” – Michael Fullan, The Six Secrets of Change

Weekend Newsletter: September 7, 2018

NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS (September 10 – September 14)

  • Sunday, September 9: Happy Birthday to Deb Janowski!
  • Monday, September 10: No School
  • Tuesday, September 11: Happy Birthday to Michele Ortiz!
  • Tuesday, September 11 – Wednesday, September 12: Assignment-Free Time Frame
  • Wednesday, September 12: A-Team Meeting in the afternoon – Ross out of the building
  • Friday, September 14: SDGPs & PDPs, due date

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • PARCC scores were mailed home today.
  • The September 17 fire drill has been moved from 9:00 am to 9:30 am.

UPCOMING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

CoffeeEDU 2018-09-23

  • Worlds of Making: September 28, 2018
    • This full day learning experience will provide participants with the skills needed to plan and implement a makerspace that is unique and meaningful for the classroom. During this session, you will gain hands-on experience that showcases the power of making, tinkering, design and engineering. You will learn how to use effective prompting strategies to challenge students to higher-level thinking. All participants will walk away with a Makerspace Action Plan! (I will be attending this event.)
  • What Great Educators Do Differently – New Jersey: October 13, 2018

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

CURRICULUM RESOURCES

I’m almost done reading What Really Matters for Struggling Readers by Richard Allington, which is one of the most heavily cited sources on quality reading instruction. Here’s a link to Allington’s most famous article, If They Don’t Read Much, How They Ever Gonna Get Good?.

“A good first rule of thumb at creating a conversational classroom is this: Never ask a question you already know the answer to…A second rule is this: Never ask questions that can be answered in one word.” – Richard Allington

Friday Newsletter: June 15, 2018

NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS (June 18 – June 22)

  • Monday, June 18: Grade 1 Team Meeting, 9:20-10:05
  • Monday, June 18: Fire Drill, 10:30
  • Monday, June 18: Faculty Meeting. Please spend your time working on rosters, year-end tasks, etc. No blue sheets will be distributed. Unique student behaviors/misbehaviors should be written on the back of the index cards.
  • Tuesday, June 19: Kindergarten Team Meeting, 10:50-11:35
  • Wednesday, June 20: Lockdown Drill, 9:00
  • Wednesday, June 20: Kindergarten PLC, 8:10-9:10
  • Wednesday, June 20: Character Education Assembly, 10:15-11:30
  • Wednesday, June 20: Grade 2 Team Meeting, 2:05-2:50
  • Thursday, June 21: Crossing Over
  • Thursday, June 21: 12:30 pm Dismissal
  • Friday, June 22: Last Day of School
  • Friday, June 22: 12:30 pm Dismissal

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • I am still looking for someone to serve as an Instructional Aid for our SKIP programming during the weeks of August 6 and August 13.
  • If you’re changing grade levels and you need new grade-specific supplies, such as textbooks, please let me know.
  • The shades used for lockdown drills should only be used during lockdown drills. In other words, please make sure the window in your classroom door remains uncovered.

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.
  • Worlds of Making: September 28, 2018
    • This full day learning experience will provide participants with the skills needed to plan and implement a makerspace that is unique and meaningful for the classroom. During this session, you will gain hands-on experience that showcases the power of making, tinkering, design and engineering. You will learn how to use effective prompting strategies to challenge students to higher-level thinking. All participants will walk away with a Makerspace Action Plan! (I will be attending this event.)
  • 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: Rest

The title says it all! Please give this a read…

Blog post – Making Rest a Priority in the Summer – by John Spencer

Friday Newsletter: June 8, 2018

NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS (June 11 – June 15)

  • Monday, June 11: River Vale students visit TBD and our LEAP program
  • Monday, June 11: Grade 1 Team Meeting, 9:20-10:05
  • Monday, June 11: Roster Meeting in the Conference Room, Lunch/Recess
  • Monday, June 11: Students from Grade 2 and Grade 4 present at the Board Meeting
  • Tuesday, June 12: Happy Birthday to Jennifer Bara!
  • Tuesday, June 12: Grades 3/4 PLC, 8:10-9:10
  • Tuesday, June 12: Kindergarten Team Meeting, 10:50-11:35
  • Wednesday, June 13: Grades 1/2 PLC, 8:10-9:10
  • Wednesday, June 13: One School, One Book, Meeting, 11:35-12:35
  • Wednesday, June 13: A-Team Meeting in the afternoon – Ross out of the building
  • Wednesday, June 13: Grade 2 Team Meeting, 2:05-2:50
  • Wednesday, June 13: Grade 4 Band Concert, 7 pm
  • Thursday, June 14: Collaborative Teaching Professional Development, 8:40-11:30
  • Thursday, June 14: Grade 4 Team Meeting, 10:50-11:30
  • Friday, June 15: Grade 3 Team Meeting, 1:20-2:05

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Grades can now be entered for Marking Period 3.
  • Here is an image of our new letterhead, in case anyone needs to use it.
  • As you post district-related content (photographs, videos, etc.) on social media, please remember to include our district hashtag, #OldTappanProud.
  • Feel free to submit your team’s consumable order for next year. The new form is 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.
  • Worlds of Making: September 28, 2018
    • This full day learning experience will provide participants with the skills needed to plan and implement a makerspace that is unique and meaningful for the classroom. During this session, you will gain hands-on experience that showcases the power of making, tinkering, design and engineering. You will learn how to use effective prompting strategies to challenge students to higher-level thinking. All participants will walk away with a Makerspace Action Plan! (I will be attending this event.)
  • 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: Student Behavior

The first resource is a thought-provoking article that focuses on student behavior and how it has been impacted by the ways in which childhood – and parenting – have changed in the past few decades. The second resource is one educator’s response to the article.

While reading the article and thinking about how its findings and ideas may impact my practice, I tend to focus on what we can control – students’ time at school – as opposed to what we mostly cannot control – students’ time at home with their families.

“Twice now I’ve put a student with severe behaviors into advanced courses as a solution & twice now it’s worked. The implications are numerous.” – Amy Fast, Assistant Principal

Friday Newsletter: June 1, 2018

NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS (June 4 – June 8)

  • Monday, June 4: Happy Birthday to Denise Allen!
  • Monday, June 4: Ms. Huff returns
  • Monday, June 4: Grade 1 Team Meeting, 9:20-10:05
  • Monday, June 4: Fire Drill, 10:30
  • Monday, June 4: Faculty Meeting. Information upcoming.
  • Tuesday, June 5: Ross out of the building, morning
  • Tuesday, June 5: Kindergarten Team Meeting, 10:50-11:35
  • Tuesday, June 5: Fourth Grade Transition, afternoon
  • Wednesday, June 6: Ms. Caruso’s last day
  • Wednesday, June 6: Kindergarten PLC, 8:10-9:10
  • Wednesday, June 6: A-Team Meeting in the afternoon – Ross out of the building
  • Wednesday, June 6: Singing for Seniors, 1:20
  • Wednesday, June 6: Grade 2 Team Meeting, 2:05-2:50
  • Thursday, June 7: Grade 4 Team Meeting, 10:50-11:30
  • Friday, June 8: Field Day
  • Friday, June 8: Author & Illustrator visit, afternoon
  • Friday, June 8: Ross out of the building, morning
  • Friday, June 8: Grade 3 Team Meeting, 1:20-2:05

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Here is an image of our new letterhead, in case anyone needs to use it.
  • As you post district-related content (photographs, videos, etc.) on social media, please remember to include our district hashtag, #OldTappanProud.
  • Feel free to submit your team’s consumable order for next year. The new form is here.
  • 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: Thinking Routines

Thinking routines are a great way to get students thinking on a deeper level, and an example of such a routine was used at our last Faculty Meeting. Here are some resources:

“When thinking becomes visible – it is clear to students that school is not about memorizing facts but about exploring ideas.” – Rosemaria Díaz-Vélez

Friday Newsletter: May 25, 2018

NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS (May 28 – June 1)

  • Monday, May 28: School Closed
  • Tuesday, May 29: Grade 2 Magic School Bus Adventure – activity setup
  • Tuesday, May 29: Grade 3 PLC, 8:10-9:10
  • Tuesday, May 29: Kindergarten Team Meeting, 10:50-11:35
  • Wednesday, May 30: Grade 2 Magic School Bus Adventure
  • Wednesday, May 30: Grade 1 PLC, 8:10-9:10
  • Wednesday, May 30: A-Team Meeting in the afternoon – Ross out of the building
  • Wednesday, May 30: Grade 2 Team Meeting, 2:05-2:50
  • Thursday, May 31: Grade 2 Magic School Bus Adventure
  • Thursday, May 31: Grade 1 Class Trip
  • Thursday, May 31: Grade 4 Team Meeting, 10:50-11:30
  • Friday, June 1: Happy Birthday to Hanh Quach!
  • Friday, June 1: Kindergarten Roundup, 12:45-2:45 – Students eat lunch in their classrooms
  • Friday, June 1: Kindergarten Dismissal, 12:15
  • Friday, June 1: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: Miscellaneous 

Here are three interesting/thought-provoking pieces I’ve recently read:

“It’s not the labeling that matters. It’s what we do with and about those labels that matters.” – Tom Guskey