Week of March 21

Hurt people hurt people.

That’s a pretty powerful thought.  Hurt people hurt people.  Here is a very brief video clip that is rife with food for thought.  For me, Todd Whitaker is one of those educators who always gets me to stop and think.  Please take a couple of moments to watch and reflect.

I think it’s safe to say that Spring Fever has descended upon us.  The longer days and warmer weather have a funny way of bringing out the best (and worst) in all of us.  This is the time of year when we are run down and drained, and if we’re being honest, we’re all most likely counting down the days until Spring Break.   It is in our more fragile moments when I think a few solid reminders serve us well, myself included.  So please take a moment to read this short article.  It’s called, “Assuming the Best.”  After you’ve read this article and viewed Whitaker’s video, I hope you’ll take a few moment to ponder the kind of teacher you want to be.

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept08/vol66/num01/Assuming-the-Best.aspx

A few things I asked myself included:

Am I working towards prevention or am I playing “gotcha?”
Am I making a conscious effort to connect with my most challenging students consistently on a personal level?
Am I putting ‘the relationship’ at the forefront of my priorities?
Am I being a positive force in our community by making positive connections with students, peers, administrators, and parents?
Is there anything I could do differently to set my students up for success? (visuals, clearer communication, more positive interactions, etc…)

In closing, please remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel!  In only four more school days, we can all unplug and take break that is very richly deserved.  We don’t say it nearly enough, but we want you to know how deeply you are valued for your service to the students of CSD.  You work tirelessly to ensure the growth and success of those under your care, and there is no amount of money or no combination of words that can adequately express our gratitude for your relentless devotion to the mission and vision of CSD.  In the upcoming days when your students test you – and you can be certain this will happen – try to dig deep and remember the importance of that “invisible contract” we all are responsible for each.  Remember, they want us to pass the test!   They are on our side even though it doesn’t always feel like it.  So it’s up to us, the adults in their lives, to stay positive and focus on finding solutions rather than casting blame.  They are counting on us to pull though, and they are soooooo worth it.

Okay…4 more days…we got this!

Love,

Juli

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The Week at a Glance

Monday, March 21st:
Whitley to Huntersville Oaks
Juli registering Carr and rising 7th for Arts Electives
Tuesday, March 22nd:
Carr Opera
Juli registering Randolph class for Arts Electives
Wednesday, March 23rd: 
Dorothy Pagan – Teacher Leader
Thursday, March 24th: 
Randolph opera
Friday, March 25th: 
NO SCHOOL; Spring Break Begins!
Looking Ahead….
March 25-April 3 – SPRING BREAK
April 4 – Classes resume; *EOG Test Prep Window Begins
April 5 – Parent Advisory 8:30 a.m. at HS
April 8 – 4th Grade to Children’s Theater
April 8 – MS Pep Rally at 1:30 in MS Gym & CSD SPIRIT DAY!
April 12 – 2nd Rescue Ranch Field Trip (2 classes)
April 14 – 3rd Grade Davidson Walking Tour
April 14 – Drama EOY at lower school K/1
April 15 – 8th Practicum Dance Party for K5
April 18-April 22 – Earth Days K-5
April 19 – 2nd Rescue Ranch Field Trip (2 classes)
April 20 – 6th/7th Dance Class Sharing
April 22 – 6th UNCC Botanical Gardens
April 22 – CSD Golf Tournament
April 25 – K7 Teacher Appreciation Cinco De Mayo Luncheon
April 28 – SNOW MAKE UP DAY
April 29 – Teacher Workday
May 6 – 6th UNCC Botanical Gardens
May 7 – Spartan 5K & Half Marathon
May 10 – 1st Rainforest/Endangered Species Science Fair
May 12 – Kindergarten Oceans Play
May 13 – May 14 – CSD Staff Retreat
May 17 – 4th Stone Mountain
May 17 – 5th Grade Science EOG
May 18 – 3-8 Reading EOG
May 19 – 3-8 Math EOG
May 24 – 25 – 7th Grade Ropes Course
May 25 – 6th Holocaust Museum–Parents & Family
May 26 – 1st Hiddenite Mine Field Trip
May 26 – 4th Economic Fair
May 26 – 6th Holocaust Museum–Open to Public
May 27 – Kindergarten Screening
May 27 – Teacher Workday; Optional Parent Conferences
May 30 – Memorial Day HOLIDAY – No school
May 31 – 3rd Kool Kats Cafe
May 31 – 7th Change Project
May 31 – Kindergarten Water Day
May 31 – State of the School Address
June 1 – Last Day of School
June 2 – Graduation
June 2 & 3 – Teacher Workdays

NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey

From Joy:

The NC Teacher Working Conditions survey that is done in NC every two years went out last week.  The state asks that only lead teachers do the survey but at CSD, I hope you know that we value input from everyone so never hesitate to ask questions and share observations.  This makes us better!!  We ask that you try very hard to do the survey immediately so that it does not get lost.  It is critical that we have 100 participation.  These codes give you admission to the survey BUT they do not identify you  in any way.  This survey is completely anonymous..  However, if it makes you feel better, you are welcome to trade your code with another person.  I believe in my heart that you know we have an open door and that you always  know you can come to an admin or a teacher leader with questions and concerns.  Our collaborative leadership model is designed so that you have a  voice as staff members as we value your input.  Pease make this a high priority for all lead teachers.  CSD always has 100% participation and this is an important part of the feedback we get as a school and as a state. If you are a lead teacher and did not get a survey code, please email me so we can see that you get one! Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful feedback!

EOG Test Prep

Believe it or not, EOG Test Prep time will be here before you know it.  Please keep the following timeframe in mind as you prepare lessons in the weeks to come.
-Week of May 16th is 3-8 EOG Testing.
-Spring Break  is March 25-April 3; Classes resume April 4.  *The week of April 4th is the beginning of the 6 week test prep window.
-EOG pre-test/diagnostic testing should be done prior to Spring Break.  Admin will be sitting down with all teams to discuss results and formulate plans for differentiated instruction once pre-testing and data analysis are complete.  Please let us know if you need any assistance prior to that time.  We are always happy to help!

No Homework Over Spring Break

Remember….please don’t assign homework over Holiday break.  We want to respect family time for both students AND staff, so please give yourself a much-deserved break as well!

Teaching Tips with Marianne

Don’t criticize yourself, get down, or lose hope.  Instead, pat yourself on the back for doing everything within your power to help.


https://www.loveandlogic.com/documents/how-to-create-a-love-and-logic-classroom.pdf

I also wanted to remind us of the basic needs students need for academic success and life.

Children need:
  • Limits
  • Physical and Emotional Saftey
  • Love and Affection
  • Healthy Control
  • Feeling and Being an Important, Valued Member of a Family/Community

 

 

Week of March 14

The week ahead…

Dear Staff,

Happy Sunday!  We hope you all are enjoying the extra bit of daylight that today brings as we spring forward!  The Choice Literacy article this week was just what I needed!  The past few weeks I have often found myself questioning the work that I do!  I am betting that this happens for many of you this time of year.  The true madness that March brings can bring us all to our knees. 🙂  This beautiful article is a great reminder about finding the passion and never settling.  This life journey that we are all on together is truly an amazing one and I am honored to be on it with all of you!  Have a wonderful week and know that spring break is just around the corner!

Leslie, Marianne and Juli

PS~ Break a leg to the 5th graders who perform their opera this week!  Huge congratulations to the 5th grade team, specials teachers and all the 5th grade students for the countless hours they have put into bringing this story to life.  I can not wait to see the magic happen! 🙂

 

Don’t Settle

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.

Steve Jobs
Recently, I stumbled across a quote that instantly resonated with me as a parent, teacher, and school leader. It comes from the late great Steve Jobs:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

I am lucky enough to live the truth of these words every day. I truly love the work that I do, and I’m grateful every day that I get to do it. Of course, like many people, my journey was not a linear one, by any stretch; in fact, I seemed committed to making my path about as crooked as it could possibly be. In finding my way, I worked in prep kitchens, strawberry fields, retail gift shops, and even the silent, cold, lonely world of the corporate office of a large fast-food chain.
But a series of stops, starts, and serendipitous decisions led me to work teaching and leading literacy initiatives as a principal. It’s perfect for me—I relish all the joys and difficulties, challenges and celebrations.

I like what Mr. Jobs says so much because he’s not just recommending that we find something we love to do. Most of us understand why that is important. Instead, he takes it one step further by urging us to keep looking until we find what we love.

Don’t settle.

What wonderful words of advice. They can apply to anything—relationships, hobbies, where we live, how we spend our time. And they can apply, too, to our work as teachers of literacy. We can use those words when guiding students in their reading and writing work. We can tell them, don’t settle when you are searching for books and authors that you love. Don’t settle when trying to write something that encapsulates what you really want to say in the best possible way. Don’t settle for a vague understanding and mastery of your reading and writing. Keep looking, keep reading, and keep writing.

Don’t settle.

Because, as with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
Jennifer Schwanke
Contributor, Choice Literacy

The Week at a Glance

Monday, March 14th:

Tuesday, March 15th:
Garren Opera
Teckenbrock to Huntersville Oaks
Wednesday, March 16th: 
Beth Knight Teacher Leader
K7 Teacher Appreciation St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon
K-7 Staff Meeting – Movement in the Classroom
Thursday, March 17th: 
3rd Grade Charlotte Walking Tour
Whitley Opera
Garren Student Arts Registration – 8:30 a.m.
MS Musical Lion King Jr (7pm)
Friday, March 18th: 
MS Musical Lion King Jr (4:30/7:30)
Whitley Student Arts Registration – 8:30 a.m.

Looking Ahead….
March 19 – MS Musical Lion King Jr (2:00/4:30/7:30)
March 22 – Carr Opera
March 24 – Randolph Opera
March 25-April 3 – SPRING BREAK
April 4 – Classes resume; *EOG Test Prep Window Begins
April 5 – Parent Advisory 8:30 a.m. at HS
April 8 – 4th Grade to Children’s Theater
April 8 – MS Pep Rally at 1:30 in MS Gym & CSD SPIRIT DAY!
April 12 – 2nd Rescue Ranch Field Trip (2 classes)
April 14 – 3rd Grade Davidson Walking Tour
April 14 – Drama EOY at lower school K/1
April 15 – 8th Practicum Dance Party for K5
April 18-April 22 – Earth Days K-5
April 19 – 2nd Rescue Ranch Field Trip (2 classes)
April 20 – 6th/7th Dance Class Sharing
April 22 – 6th UNCC Botanical Gardens
April 22 – CSD Golf Tournament
April 25 – K7 Teacher Appreciation Cinco De Mayo Luncheon
April 28 – SNOW MAKE UP DAY
April 29 – Teacher Workday
May 6 – 6th UNCC Botanical Gardens
May 7 – Spartan 5K & Half Marathon
May 10 – 1st Rainforest/Endangered Species Science Fair
May 12 – Kindergarten Oceans Play
May 13 – May 14 – CSD Staff Retreat
May 17 – 4th Stone Mountain
May 17 – 5th Grade Science EOG
May 18 – 3-8 Reading EOG
May 19 – 3-8 Math EOG
May 24 – 25 – 7th Grade Ropes Course
May 25 – 6th Holocaust Museum–Parents & Family
May 26 – 1st Hiddenite Mine Field Trip
May 26 – 4th Economic Fair
May 26 – 6th Holocaust Museum–Open to Public
May 27 – Kindergarten Screening
May 27 – Teacher Workday; Optional Parent Conferences
May 30 – Memorial Day HOLIDAY – No school
May 31 – 3rd Kool Kats Cafe
May 31 – 7th Change Project
May 31 – Kindergarten Water Day
May 31 – State of the School Address
June 1 – Last Day of School
June 2 – Graduation
June 2 & 3 – Teacher Workdays

NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey

The NC Teacher Working Conditions survey that is done in NC every two years will go out March 1.  Please make this a high priority for all lead teachers.  CSD always has 100% participation and this is an important part of the feedback we get as a school and as a state.  Admin will deliver your codes sometime this week, so be on the lookout…. Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful feedback!

EOG Test Prep

Believe it or not, EOG Test Prep time will be here before you know it.  Please keep the following timeframe in mind as you prepare lessons in the weeks to come.
-Week of May 16th is 3-8 EOG Testing.
-Spring Break  is March 25-April 3; Classes resume April 4.  *The week of April 4th is the beginning of the 6 week test prep window.
-EOG pre-test/diagnostic testing should be done prior to Spring Break.  Admin will be sitting down with all teams to discuss results and formulate plans for differentiated instruction once pre-testing and data analysis are complete.  Please let us know if you need any assistance prior to that time.  We are always happy to help!

Teaching Tips with Marianne

I found this link and blog and found it quite resourceful for spelling:

TRT Videos ~ Intro to Spelling

Here is a blog post of misspelled words:

Conquering the “Dirty 30” Misspelled Words #1

In this post, I’m going to talk about spelling but for more difficult words or working with weaker students, you’d do them as puzzles.Contact me for the puzzle pieces pdf.

Your students may prefer another way to split the syllables but I’m doing it the way I prefer. There’s more on syllables in the TRT for Teachers, the little book of strategies for classroom teachers. (cheap & short!)

You can also go here for links to posts and videos about this spelling method.

Straightforward Words – This means each word can be spelt by saying it clearly and focusing on remembering double letters and the individual bits of code rather than trying to recall the entire word by sight. “Saying it clearly” means slightly over-pronouncing to hear the individual sounds. So accommodation would sound like “a” “kom” “oh” “day” “shun” – with the short a at the beginning and the o over-pronounced as a long sound. In begin you’d over-pronounce the “ee” in be.

Where the letters are in bold, they spell a single sound or an ending. When the letter is also underlined, it’s part of a split digraph.

Counting syllables should only every be done by lightly tapping on the table. I like to use a separate finger for each sound so I can count them.

Here’s the script:

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 10.38.33 AM

 

accommodation    5 syllables    a /ccomm/o/da/tion

because    2 syllables   be cause  – The au is the same as in August and/or Australia, depending on accent, and se is a very common way to spell “s” & “z” at the end of a word: cheese, house. There is no reason at all to resort to elephant themed mnemonics.

beginning    3 syllables  be/ginn/ing  cf be/gin Let the English department explain doubling. You just need to point out that it’s one n in begin and 2 in beginning.

believe  2 syllables  be/lieve   ie for the “ee” sound requires memory but ve is very common for “v” at the end of words: have, give, glove Standard English words don’t end in v alone but some informal words do, (luv, guv), so it’s a tendency rather than a rule.

ceiling  2 syllables  cei/ling   The only thing to remember in this word is the ei and there’s no magic trick to make it happen. Some people like the “i before e rhyme” but it’s not a trustworthy rule so I avoid it.

(decided)  decide 2 syllables  de/cide  Most of your students will know what a “split digraph” is. In this word, the ie is split around the d.

I prefer to deal with the -ed and -ly words by removing the endings and spelling the roots. Even the busiest science teacher has time to explain that you’ll never see an extra e before the -ed (decideed) and that -ly goes on quite happily without changing anything.

(definitely)   definite 3 syllables This word demonstrates why you should have your students saying the words clearly out loud before they spell them. The spelling pronunciation has been over-corrected to “dee fine ate” and so it gets spelled wrong all the time. To get it right, they can either say de/fin/ite  (with all short vowels) or you can bundle it up with fi/nite and get them to say both de/fin/ite and in/fin/ite with long /i/ sounds in the 2nd and last syllables. Ask your students which way will help them get it right.

disappear 3 syllables dis/app/ear

(disappointed)    disappoint   3 syllables  dis/app/oint

(extremely)      extreme  2 syllables ex/treme

friend 1 syllable  friend   Without the r it’s fiend Learn the two at once.

(immediately)    immediate   4 syllables imm/e/di/ate. I like ate as an ending so it can be grouped with separate, climate, accurate, etc. Again, ask you students what will help them more?

necessary    4 syllables ne/ce/ssa/ry People think this is tough to spell but there are only two things to remember: the first “s” is spelt with a c and the second “s” is spelt ss.

neighbour   2 syllables neigh/bour This is only tricky if you’re trying to reel off 9 letter names. Instead, 2 syllables:  neigh – eigh like in weigh and weight then bour our like in colour (Or, or like in color if you’re reading this from the U.S.A.) So that’s 4 sounds to remember rather than 9 letter names and, really, only 2 of the sounds require concentration.

nervous   2 syllables nerv/ous  –ous as in fam/ous,  gener/ous, adventur/ous

When there’s a meaningful ending, I’ll force the syllable splitting. i.e. I prefer to say ner/vous, but nerv/ous preserves the meaning.

opportunity   5 syllables opp/or/tun/i/ty There’s nothing difficult about this word if you take it syllable by syllable. This is a good time to point out that I don’t advise saying “look for words within words” unless it’s a root like finite. That’s because a student might hear “tune” in opportunity and add an e. It’s best to concentrate on hearing the sounds and remembering the symbols.

quiet   2 syllables qui/et

quite   1 syllable quite

The act of counting syllables will ensure students will never again mix up the visually similar quiet and quite. Get them to say the word clearly, counting the syllables, and they can’t get it wrong.

receive   2 syllables re/ceive  See ceiling and believe

(surprised)   surprise   2 syllables sur/prise or sur/prise Again, let your students decide which they like best. Is it easier to remember the split vowel and s as “z” or i by itself and se as “z”? They also have to remember that the “er” sounds is ur in this word. Feel free to leave it to the English teachers to explain the meaning of -sur.

until  2 syllables  un/til  I don’t know why this word is on the list. It’s like writing in and cat. I imagine the misspelling comes by adding an extra l at the end. The simple answer is that *usually* it’s ll at the end of a single syllable word but one l when the word has 2 or more syllables: till but until, full but mindful (any ful), wall but narwal, bell but decibel.

So that’s 21 of the 30 most misspelled words at GCSE. They are all conquerable with consistent strategies – using ears first, then eyes to make best use of limited memory.

 

 

Week of March 7, 2016

FullSizeRender (5)

The week ahead…

Happy Sunday!  We hope you all have had a wonderful weekend!  Warmer weather is on the way this week, and I for one couldn’t be happier for a little sunshine!  The Choice Literacy article this week really struck home with me, and I am betting some of you may be feeling the same way too.  The past few weeks Marianne, Juli and I have spent a lot of time “staring at outlets” over some kiddos that we just can’t seem to figure out.  What works one day does not work the next, in fact, what works one minute before does not work the next!  It can be quite frustrating, and when you are dealing with kids, as with electrical wiring, you don’t want to “mess up”!  Quite frankly, we have had a few friends visit us lately that have frozen us in our tracks, because we don’t always know what to do.  At one point, Marianne looked at me laughing and said how many degrees do we have between the three of us, and why is it that this five year old is outsmarting all of us???  The good news is that we are thankfully not frozen, and have tried and will continue to try things that work and don’t work with our students.  We will figure them out, but not without lots of trial and error for sure!  I share this with you, because I think it is important that you all know we share the same struggles that many of you face on a daily basis.  We don’t have all the answers, I sure wish we did!  However, I believe that the answer lies in the age old adage of, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!”  Just as the new electrician in the story works to figure out how to change his first electrical outlets, we continue to try to figure out our students.  Some days you will see a trail behind us in the hall, just like the packaging he left behind in the story.  We make trips back and forth to our “tool belts of tricks” to find what works and what doesn’t.    We talk to our colleagues and one another to get new ideas and check to see if we are doing it “right.”  We have learned that laughter is sometimes the best medicine, and of course snacks! 🙂  We keep on keeping on, because these children are worth it, all of them, even on their hardest days!  Thank you all for hanging in there with us, and for never giving up on our students.  Yes, March has rolled in like a LION!!  However, I feel confident that it will go out like a lamb!:)  Enjoy your week and know that we are all in this together!

 

Lessons from the Electrician
The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.

Mark Twain
Recently we replaced the electrical outlets in our home. The electrician came and looked through the house. His son, an apprentice, followed along. The job was expected to take less than a day. The next morning the young apprentice arrived at our home with his tool belt slung around his hips. He crouched in front of the first outlet and looked. The kids and I were getting ready to leave for a library trip. The electrician went to the truck for more tools. When all of the books were gathered, the electrician was still staring down the outlet.

“You okay?” my ten-year-old son asked.

“Yeah, I’m just thinking,” the electrician said.

“Must take a long time to swap all these outlets if you’ve gotta think that long for the first one,” Jay said, walking out the door. The electrician went to the truck for more tools.

When we returned from the library, the electrician was staring at an outlet. “Man, I could never be an electrician, because I can’t look at outlets for that long,” Jay said.

The electrician chuckled. “I don’t want to do it wrong.”

“Then I really couldn’t be an electrician,” Jay said. “You gotta do things wrong to figure out how to do ‘em right. At least that’s how it is with Legos.” The electrician smiled.

Jay walked away and the electrician pulled the outlet from the wall and snipped a few wires. He stopped staring and started working. Some of the outlets he had to rewire more than once in order to get them right. There was a trail of packaging from new outlets and remnants from old outlets that followed him like Hansel and Gretel’s bread trail. He made more trips to his truck, looked up information on his phone, called his dad, ate some snacks, and kept swapping outlets. Finally he had only one room left. In the end, he replaced all of the outlets in this room in less time than it took him to replace the first outlet.

This is the nature of learning. We make mistakes to figure out how to make things work. We have a choice when faced with changes in education. We can freeze and stare. Or we can keep working, trying again, talking with others, and working through the mess to find what works.

Ruth Ayres
Contributor, Choice Literacy
Ruth Ayres is a full-time writing coach for Wawasee School District in northern Indiana. She blogs at Ruth Ayres Writes and is the coauthor of Day by Day, available through Stenhouse Publishers.

 

The Week at a Glance

Monday, March 7th:
4th Grade to JA Biztown
Parent Advisory: Future Athletics Facility Opportunity – 7:30 HS BB
Tuesday, March 8th:
Wednesday, March 9th: 
Juli at HS doing post-ob conferences and teacher observations
Proof of Concept – 5th Grade
MS Info Session for Rising 6th Grade Parents 7:00 p.m. in MS Gym
Keys – Teacher Leader
Thursday, March 10th: 
MS Info Session for Rising 6th Grade Parents 8:30 a.m. in MS Gym
3rd Grade Wax Museum
2nd Grade Art Gallery
Friday, March 11th: 
3rd Grade Wax Museum
5th Grade Opera Load In

Looking Ahead….

March 13 – Daylight Savings Time Begins
March 15 – Garren Opera
March 17 – Whitley Opera
March 17-19 – MS Musical – The Lion King
March 17 – 3rd Grade Walking Tour of Charlotte
March 18 – 7th Grade Asia Day
March 22 – Carr Opera
March 24 – Randolph Opera
March 25-April 3 – SPRING BREAK
April 4 – Classes resume; *EOG Test Prep Window Begins
April 5 – Parent Advisory 8:30 a.m. at HS
April 8 – 4th Grade to Children’s Theater
April 8 – MS Pep Rally at 1:30 in MS Gym & CSD SPIRIT DAY!
April 12 – 2nd Rescue Ranch Field Trip (2 classes)
April 14 – 3rd Grade Davidson Walking Tour
April 14 – Drama EOY at lower school K/1
April 15 – 8th Practicum Dance Party for K5
April 18-April 22 – Earth Days K-5
April 19 – 2nd Rescue Ranch Field Trip (2 classes)
April 20 – 6th/7th Dance Class Sharing
April 22 – 6th UNCC Botanical Gardens
April 22 – CSD Golf Tournament
April 25 – K7 Teacher Appreciation Cinco De Mayo Luncheon
April 28 – SNOW MAKE UP DAY
April 29 – Teacher Workday
May 6 – 6th UNCC Botanical Gardens
May 7 – Spartan 5K & Half Marathon
May 10 – 1st Rainforest/Endangered Species Science Fair
May 12 – Kindergarten Oceans Play
May 13 – May 14 – CSD Staff Retreat
May 17 – 4th Stone Mountain
May 17 – 5th Grade Science EOG
May 18 – 3-8 Reading EOG
May 19 – 3-8 Math EOG
May 24 – 25 – 7th Grade Ropes Course
May 25 – 6th Holocaust Museum–Parents & Family
May 26 – 1st Hiddenite Mine Field Trip
May 26 – 4th Economic Fair
May 26 – 6th Holocaust Museum–Open to Public
May 27 – Kindergarten Screening
May 27 – Teacher Workday; Optional Parent Conferences
May 30 – Memorial Day HOLIDAY – No school
May 31 – 3rd Kool Kats Cafe
May 31 – 7th Change Project
May 31 – Kindergarten Water Day
May 31 – State of the School Address
June 1 – Last Day of School
June 2 – Graduation
June 2 & 3 – Teacher Workdays

NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey

The NC Teacher Working Conditions survey that is done in NC every two years will go out March 1.  Please make this a high priority for all lead teachers.  CSD always has 100% participation and this is an important part of the feedback we get as a school and as a state.  Admin will deliver your codes sometime this week, so be on the lookout…. Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful feedback!

EOG Test Prep

Believe it or not, EOG Test Prep time will be here before you know it.  Please keep the following timeframe in mind as you prepare lessons in the weeks to come.
-Week of May 16th is 3-8 EOG Testing.
-Spring Break  is March 25-April 3; Classes resume April 4.  *The week of April 4th is the beginning of the 6 week test prep window.
-EOG pre-test/diagnostic testing should be done prior to Spring Break.  Admin will be sitting down with all teams to discuss results and formulate plans for differentiated instruction once pre-testing and data analysis are complete.  Please let us know if you need any assistance prior to that time.  We are always happy to help!

Teaching Tips with Marianne

TpT Cut and Paste Activity taken from Total Participation Techniques: Making Every Student an Active Listener by Persida Himmele and William Himmele

Who said Cut-and-Pastes were just for kindergarten? In our opinion, they can effectively be used from preschool to adulthood. This hands-on activity of manipulating concepts, analyzing them, and moving them around would work whenever students are being asked to understand characteristics of a specific number of concepts with distinct principles that apply to each. For example, with younger children they might be used to match synonyms or antonyms, or to paste on prefixes or suffixes. With adults, for example, we use Cut-and-Pastes to better understand things like Bloom’s taxonomy, assessment concepts, and linguistic concepts.

Keely Potter and Meghan Babcock combined the Ranking TPT with the Cut-and-Paste. They selected excerpts from the text and asked students to rank them from the one that best described the developing relationship between the two main characters, to the one that least described the developing relationship (see Figure 4.5 in Chapter 4).

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How you structure a Cut-and-Paste depends largely on what you’re teaching. But in the case of, for example, prefixes and suffixes, a specific number of prefixes and suffixes could be prepared for attaching to root words. Suffixes like able or ful and prefixes like un and anti could be pasted onto root words to change the meanings. You can add a challenge for students to use as many prefixes and suffixes as they can, using the fewest root words. This will challenge them to add both suffixes and prefixes to single root words: dis-agree-able, un-friend-ly. These activities are even more fun to do in small groups, where students can put their brains together to meet the challenge set for them. When we assign Cut-and-Paste activities in class, we usually hear a hum of activity, as students cut their pieces and manipulate them back and forth, justifying why their placement in a specific spot might be the best alternative. Circulating and catching a comment here and there as we listen to students learning from each other is a wonderful experience. When you have Cut-and-Pastes that include specific options that describe distinct concepts, toss in options that might fit into more than one category. This approach will ensure that your students are using higher-order thinking as they interact. It will encourage students to talk and to develop a rationale for why their choice makes sense to them. Ask students to justify. This requirement also establishes the notion that things are not always black and white. The example in Figure 6.4 is a Cut-and-Paste sorting activity that requires students to analyze who would most likely have made specific statements (Patriots, Those Who Were Neutral, or Loyalists). It contains options that could fit in several columns. Note the student’s justifications for selecting the placements she chose.”

Figure 6.4. Gabriela’s Cut-and-Paste Will you be teaching anything soon that might lend itself to a Cut-and-Paste? Sometimes the simple novelty of adding glue and scissors to concept development offers a much needed break from the mundane and allows you an opportunity to quickly gauge student understandings. Consider adding this TPT as a way to enhance student understandings of any set of concepts with distinct features.

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