Weekend Newsletter: May 19, 2019

BIRTHDAYS

  • No birthdays!

TEAM MEETINGS

  • Tuesday, May 21, 12:35 pm: Grade 1
  • Tuesday, May 21, 2:05 pm: Grade 4
  • Wednesday, May 22, 10:50 am: Grade 2
  • Thursday, May 23, 10:05 am: Kindergarten
  • Thursday, May 23, 1:20 pm: Grade 3

EVENTS

  • Monday, May 20: EMS Visit
  • Monday, May 20, 3:15 pm: Faculty Meeting. We will not gather as a group. Work on rosters for next year. If you are not a grade level teach but this work applies to you, please push in.
  • Monday, May 20 – Friday, May 24: Grade 4 Conferences
  • Tuesday, May 21: Grade 4 5K Fun Run
  • Wednesday, May 22: Book Fair. To make sure everyone is on the same page, please review this document prior to Wednesday.
  • Wednesday, May 22, 7 pm: Spring Concert
  • Thursday, May 23, 1 pm: Fire Drill

SHOUTOUTS

  • Shoutout to Team Kindergarten and Lauren Catellier for working hard to facilitate Kindergarten Screening. All three days were fun, well-run, and it was a pleasure to welcome new, smiling faces to TBD!
  • Shoutout to Allison Collucci for attending Wednesday’s after-school literacy session. It was a pleasure learning with you!
  • Shoutout to Nancy Gambuti for everything that went into Thursday night’s Adventure Venture! And, mad props to Kristen Acheson, Tara Corbett, and Jessica Vangelas for going out of their way to help set up for the event.

CURRICULUM CORNER

“Traditional language arts instruction…is merely a test, a test that privileged children, who grow up with books, pass and that less fortunate children fail.” – Stephen Krashen, The Power of Reading

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Weekend Newsletter: May 12, 2019

BIRTHDAYS

  • No birthdays!

TEAM MEETINGS

  • Tuesday, May 14, 12:35 pm: Grade 1
  • Tuesday, May 14, 2:05 pm: Grade 4
  • Wednesday, May 15, 10:50 am: Grade 2
  • Thursday, May 16, 10:05 am: Kindergarten
  • Thursday, May 16, 1:20 pm: Grade 3

EVENTS

  • Monday, May 13, 8:45 am: Grade 3 Demo Assembly
  • Monday, May 13 – Friday, May 17: Grade 3 Conferences
  • Monday, May 13, 1:00 pm: Bomb Threat Drill
  • Tuesday, May 14 – Thursday, May 15: Kindergarten Screening
  • Wednesday, May 15: Grade 4 “Field Trip” @ TBD, Journeys into American Indian Territory
  • Wednesday, May 15, 4:15 pm: Literacy Leaders Meet Up (Gravity Goldberg)
  • Thursday, May 16, 5:30 – 7:30 pm: Adventure Venture
  • Friday, May 17: Power Plays

SHOUTOUTS

  • A special shoutout to all of our students from grades 3-4 for persevering and working hard during this week’s state testing! And, another shoutout to our teachers (and parents) who supported these students along the way!

CURRICULUM CORNER

  • Here’s another graphic/quote – one of my favorite quotes and one I often try to keep in mind. From my experiences, the best educators with whom I’ve worked are those who regularly think about and discuss ideas for moving themselves and their students forward (which is in contrast to management-likes ideas that help to maintain the status quo). We can all benefit from thinking about how the majority of our “education talk” is spent…

Eleanor Roosevelt

Weekend Newsletter: May 5, 2019

BIRTHDAYS

  • Wednesday, May 8: Happy Birthday to Laura Herdling!
  • Thursday, May 9: Happy Birthday to Janet Carbajal!

TEAM MEETINGS

  • Tuesday, May 7 12:35 pm: Grade 1
  • Wednesday, May 8, 10:50 am: Grade 2
  • Thursday, May 9, 10:05 am: Kindergarten

Due to lack of common prep times, there will be no official team meetings for grades 3-4.

EVENTS

  • Monday, May 6: Due to (1) Teacher Appreciation Week, (2) NJSLA Testing, and (3) me being out of the building, let’s go ahead and cancel Monday’s Faculty Meeting.
  • Monday, May 6, Afternoon: Ross out of the building
  • Monday, May 6 – Friday, May 10: Teacher Appreciation Week!
  • Monday, May 6 – Friday, May 10: NJSLA Testing, grades 3-4
  • Tuesday, May 7: Special Lunch – Cinco de Mayo (Choices)

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  • Wednesday, May 22: Spring Book Fair. During the school day, students will be able to visit the book fair to complete their wish lists. (A sign-up sheet will be sent out.) After school, our goal is to have the book fair open until 6:30 pm for purchases to take place.
  • Wednesday, May 22, 7 pm: Spring Concert

SHOUTOUTS

  • Shoutout to Amy Brown for facilitating Monday’s LLI training! Shoutout to Dottie Goodman, Diana Ferebee, and Diane Rosini for attending the training!
  • Shoutout to Karen Sterinsky and Allison Collucci for teaching Phonics First for our visitors from Chappaqua!
  • Shoutout to Doris Clark for Tuesday night’s Art Show, which was a smashing success!
  • Shoutout to everyone who facilitated conferences on Thursday night! Conferences can be draining, but of course we know how important they are.

CURRICULUM CORNER

One of my favorite books on assessment and grading is A Repair Kit for Grading: Fifteen Fixes for Broken Grades by Ken O’Connor (copies available in the faculty room). It’s a quick read that included just the necessary, nitty gritty information. As a teacher, because I never received formal training on assessment/grading, I simply assessed and graded in the ways it had been done to me as a student. It wasn’t until after I left the classroom (and read up on assessment and grading) that I realized many of my practices were unjust and potentially harmful.

That being said, here’s a one-pager from the book that outlines O’Connor’s 15 fixes. (The now famous NGSS cohort looked at this one-pager as part of our work together.)

“We must acknowledge and not apologize for the subjective nature of grading. What we must strive for are defensible and credible decisions throughout the assessment process.” – Ken O’Connor, How to Grade for Learning

Weekend Newsletter: April 28, 2019

BIRTHDAYS

  • Wednesday, May 1: Happy Birthday to Susan Wrynn!

TEAM MEETINGS

  • Tuesday, April 30, 12:35 pm: Grade 1
  • Tuesday, April 30, 2:05 pm: Grade 4
  • Wednesday, May 1, 10:50 am: Grade 2
  • Thursday, May 2, 10:05 am: Kindergarten
  • Thursday, May 2, 1:20 pm: Grade 3

EVENTS

  • Monday, April 29: Dorney Poetry Festival, submissions due
  • Monday, April 29, 8:45 am: Kindergarten CAP, Parent Meeting
  • Monday, April 29 – Friday, May 3: Grade 1 Conferences
  • Tuesday, April 30, 12:30-2:00 pm: Educators from Chappaqua Central School District will be at TBD to observe Phonics First in action. Participating teachers from TBD have been directly notified.
  • Tuesday, April 30, 3-7 pm: Art Show
  • Wednesday, May 2, Afternoon: A-Team Meeting – Ross out of the building
  • Wednesday, May 1 – Thursday, May 2: Kindergarten CAP
  • Thursday, May 2: Night Conferences
  • Friday, May 3: Grade 2 Field Trip to the Meadowlands Environment Center

CURRICULUM CORNER

Here’s a graphic from Fountas and Pinnell’s latest Guided Reading book. Some food for thought…

What Is a Text Gradient?

Weekend Newsletter: April 21, 2019

BIRTHDAYS

  • Friday, April 19: Happy Birthday to Alyssa Ellner!
  • Friday, April 19: Happy Birthday to Amy Milo!
  • Saturday, April 20: Happy Birthday to Tara Corbett!
  • Sunday, April 21: Happy Birthday to Victoria Roem!
  • Wednesday, April 24: Happy Birthday to Cori McPartland!

TEAM MEETINGS

  • Tuesday, April 23, 12:35 pm: Grade 1
  • Tuesday, April 23, 2:05 pm: Grade 4 (NJSLA Training)
  • Wednesday, April 24, 10:50 am: Grade 2
  • Thursday, April 11, 10:05 am: Kindergarten
  • Thursday, April 11, 1:20 pm: Grade 3 (NJSLA Training)

EVENTS

  • Monday, April 22: Assignment-Free Time Frame
  • Monday, April 22, 11:00 am: Fire Drill
  • Monday, April 22, 3:15 pm: Faculty Meeting. We will not gather as a group. Use this time how you best see fit.
  • Monday, April 22 – Friday, April 26: Grade 2 Conferences
  • Tuesday, April 23: Bus Evacuation Drill
  • Tuesday, April 24: Boxtops Collection
  • Tuesday, April 24, 8:10 am: NJSLA, Optional Training Session
  • Wednesday, April 24, Afternoon: A-Team Meeting – Ross out of the building
  • Thursday, April 25: Poem in Your Pocket Day
  • Thursday, April 25, 12:35 pm: NJSLA, Grade 4 Infrastructure Trials. 1:1 Chromebooks should be made available.
  • Friday, April 26, 12:35 pm: NJSLA, Grade 3 Infrastructure Trials. 1:1 Chromebooks should be made available.
  • Friday, April 26, Afternoon: Arbor Day Assemblies
  • Friday, April 26, Afternoon: Ross out of the building
  • Friday, April 26: Avengers: Endgame debuts in theaters

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Allergy season is upon us. For 11:40 am recess, we will use the music room, supervised by Shary Paparazzo, for students who wish to stay inside. For 12:05 pm recess, will will use the art room, supervised by Debbie Neustein, for students who wish to stay inside.

SHOUTOUTS

  • Shoutout to Jessica Swerdloff for working with LEAP students to engineer a Rube Goldberg machine, for having her students present it to gifted-and-talented students throughout the Northern Valley!
  • Shoutout to Kristen Acheson and Jessica Vangelas on their graduation from the Professional Learning Academy, and for presenting on their action research: inspiring a love of reading by replacing reading logs with authentic reading opportunities!
  • Shoutout to Lisa Straubinger for arranging for the author visit from Katey Howes!

CURRICULUM CORNER

Our math website has now been populated with resources to support…math. Once again, I did my best to take a less is more approach, by only including the best resources I could find and then putting them all in one place. If I missed something, please let me know.

“It is hard to think of allowing—much less planning for— the children in your classroom to struggle. Not showing them a solution when they are experiencing difficulty seems almost counterintuitive. If our goal is relational understanding, however, the struggle is part of the learning, and teaching becomes less about the teacher and more about what the children are doing and thinking.” – John Van de Walle, Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics

Weekend Newsletter: April 7, 2019

BIRTHDAYS

  • Sunday, April 7: Happy Birthday to Michele Kaldrovics!
  • Monday, April 8: Happy Birthday to Nicole Henry!
  • Thursday, April 11: Happy Birthday to Trish Madera!
  • Sunday, April 14: Happy Birthday to Diana Ferebee!
  • Sunday, April 14: Happy Birthday to Danielle Michaels!
  • Sunday, April 14: Happy Birthday to Lisa Straubinger!

TEAM MEETINGS

  • Tuesday, April 9, 12:35 pm: Grade 1
  • Tuesday, April 9, 2:05 pm: Grade 4
  • Wednesday, April 10, 10:50 am: Grade 2
  • Thursday, April 11, 10:05 am: Kindergarten
  • Thursday, April 11, 1:20 pm: Grade 3

EVENTS

  • Sunday, April 7: Wrestlemania
  • Monday, April 8: Art Appreciation Program
  • Monday, April 8: LEAP Field Trip
  • Monday, April 8, 3:15 pm: Faculty Meeting. Click here for the agenda.
  • Tuesday, April 9, 1:00 pm: Professional Learning Academy Graduation. Congratulations to Kristen Acheson and Jess Vangelas! – Ross out of the building
  • Wednesday, April 10, 1:00 pm: Evacuation Drill (more information upcoming)
  • Thursday, April 11: Special Lunch – Pizza Bagels (Butterworths)
  • Thursday, April 11, Afternoon: Ross out of the building
  • Friday, April 12: Grades 3 & 4 Author Visit – Katey Howes
    • 10:30-11:00: 4A/4V
    • 11:00-11:30: 4O/4M
    • 12:35-1:05: 3R/3B
    • 1:20-2:05 (1:50): 3H/3W (until 1:50)
    • 2:05: 4D

—————

  • Wednesday, April 24, 8:10 am: NJSLA, Optional Training Session facilitated by Dr. Sullivan

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Please click here for our official letter/information regarding this year’s state testing, New Jersey Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA). This is the letter that went out to parents on Friday, April 5.
  • Grades 3 & 4 poetry contest submissions should be handed in before 11:30 am on Monday, April 29.
  • For next year, here are our items on our PTO Wish List: Author Visits; Assemblies; One School, One Book Program; Kindergarten CAP Program; Grade 3 Bullying Prevention Program; air conditioners (estimate, 3); agenda planners, Media Center Remodeling. Unless it’s for an item on this list, please do not approach the PTO for funds. If there’s something you want/need, we can do our best to take care of it internally.

SHOUTOUTS

  • Shoutout to Amy Brown and Lisa Straubinger for going above and beyond for Read to Make a Difference and United Through Reading!
  • Shoutout to our NGSS cohort: Karen Sterinsky, Allison Collucci, Susan Wrynn, Christina Wortmann, Kristen Acheson, and Nancy Gambuti. Thank you for the work you put into three days of professional learning on the NGSS, backward design, and curriculum writing!
  • Shoutout to our grade 1 team for making valuable use of Thursday’s PLC time!
  • Now that all of our half-day PLC sessions are complete, shoutout to Deb Janowski and Doug Kuizema for facilitating several half-day Health & Wellness sessions for our students!
  • Shoutout to Nicole Henry for leading our students through a jaw-dropping performance during International Day of Dance!

CURRICULUM CORNER

Our reading comprehension website has now been populated with resources to support…reading comprehension. I did my best to take a less is more approach, by only including the best resources I could find and then putting them all in one place. If I missed something, please let me know.

“Asking questions for which you already know the answer is inauthentic, yet that’s the type of questioning that goes on in most classrooms.” – Kylene Beers & Robert Probst, Notice & Note

Weekend Newsletter: March 31, 2019

BIRTHDAYS

  • Sunday, April 7: Happy Birthday to Michele Kaldrovics!

TEAM MEETINGS

  • Tuesday, April 2, 12:35 pm: Grade 1
  • Tuesday, April 2, 2:05 pm: Grade 4 (NJSLA follow-up)
  • Wednesday, April 3, 10:50 am: Grade 2
  • Thursday, April 4, 10:05 am: Kindergarten
  • Thursday, April 4, 1:20 pm: Grade 3 (NJSLA follow-up)

EVENTS

  • Monday, April 1: Welcome Back, Bonnie!
  • Monday, April 1: Read to Make a Difference – Logs and Donations Due Back
  • Monday, April 1: Ross out of the building (NGSS Professional Learning)
  • Monday, April 1, 8:40-9:40 am: Kindergarten CAP – Parent Meeting
  • Tuesday, April 2: Family Reading Night: Since it’s poetry month, why not read a poem?
  • Tuesday, April 2 – Wednesday, April 3: Kindergarten CAP
  • Wednesday, April 3, Afternoon: A-Team Meeting – Ross out of the building
  • Thursday, April 4: Grade 1 PLC in the morning
  • Friday, April 5, 9:20 am: United Through Reading, Grade 1
  • Friday, April 5, 1:15 pm: International Day of Dance

—————

  • Monday, May 20: EMS Visit (About a week before the event, a sign-up will be sent out.)

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • The Fire Drill previously scheduled for April 23 will now take place April 22 at 11:00 am (to not conflict with the Bus Evacuation Drill).
  • The Bomb Threat Drill previously scheduled for May 9 will now take place May 13 at 1:00 pm (to not conflict with NJSLA Testing and Spring Conferences).
  • For next year, here are our items on our PTO Wish List: Author Visits; Assemblies; One School, One Book Program; Kindergarten CAP Program; Grade 3 Bullying Prevention Program; air conditioners (estimate, 3); agenda planners, Media Center Remodeling. Unless it’s for an item on this list, please do not approach the PTO for funds. If there’s something you want/need, we can do our best to take care of it internally.

SHOUTOUTS

  • Shoutout to Tara Corbett, Allyson Dunn, and Michele Kaldrovics for attending Thursday’s Literacy Literacy Leaders’ Network and for actively participating/learning throughout the day. It was a pleasure spending the day with you!

CURRICULUM CORNER

  • I’m in the process of finishing up Creating Cultures of Thinking by Ron Ritchhart (highly recommended). At the end of each chapter, he provides action steps to help to implement the chapter’s ideas. At the end of the chapter – Analyzing and Creating Opportunities for Learning – I found one of the action steps to be particularly interesting. As we engage our students in tasks/projects, I believe this action step can be a litmus test for whether or not these assignments aren’t just hands-on, but also minds-on (as in, they promote critical thinking).

Analyze a task/project from the perspective of the students’ “doing.” Read through the task/project and make a list of the verbs that best describe what students will be required to do as they complete the task. Next, rank those verbs in order according to the amount of time students are likely to spend on each. What does this reveal about the task/project in terms of its learning potential?

“For classrooms to be cultures of thinking for students, schools must be cultures of thinking for adults.” – Ron Ritchhart, Creating Cultures of Thinking