Week of November 4th

Terrific LS Team,
         Thank you for a great Halloween and for the extra effort needed to navigate the day after Halloween.  Job well done!
SSTs this week.
       We will talk about students on your radar, and please bring your laptop again.  We will continue to explore resources and talk about teacher pages and progress reports,

*We are accomplishing a great deal!  The classrooms and bulletin boards look so thoroughly PYP – good work, everyone!

Heads Up

*Daylight Savings Time has begun.

* Please carefully read Susan’s emails regarding Monday trainings 10/28 and 11/4 and mine regarding upcoming issues.  Depending on your emergency team assignment, one Monday you will be doing emergency training and the other teacher page creation.  Thank you for your attention to these important meetings. We are working hard to be well-prepared, and that makes a significant difference in the quality of the community’s safety. Another important area-communication – the teacher pages will support our community’s connection to the amazing teaching and learning going on at AWS.

*Please be exceptionally vigilant about strangers due to the concerns expressed recently.


Coming Attractions
         **Monday 11/4
                  *All-School Chapel -10:00
                  *Play to Learn in Small Gym

*All-School Meetings (Emergency training / teacher pages) 3:30-5:00

** Tuesday 11/5

* LS Only Teacher web page training – Sarah’s room 3:30-4:30 (Optional)

         **Wednesday 11/6

* LS Chapel 2:00pm

                      *Benefits Fair 3:00-5:00pm

* Report Card Committee 3:30-4:30 Co-Lab

* AWSPA Parent Topic: Parenting to Grow Responsibility and Respect 7:00-9:00pm in Great Hall

         **Thursday 11/7

*MS Play – The Pink Panther Strikes Again

7:30 in Kemper

         **Friday 11/8

* MS Play – The Pink Panther Strikes Again –  7:30 in Kemper

         **Monday 11/11

*Morning Visit Day and Parent Preview – expect student visitors

*Veterans’ Day Chapel

10:00 am

*Play to Learn

10-11:30am small gym

*Curriculum Committee Meeting


 Professional Links:
Quote of the Week
Metacognition – so important, and I think many of us are working hard to accomplish student focus on their own learning through modeling and conversation: “We can train students to be better observers of their own learning so that they can take ownership of their learning…” Dylan William
Let’s have a super week!



Week of October 28th

Dear LS Team,

Thank you for all your good work on conferences.  I appreciate the feedback from you and from parents – a little tweaking on time and content and we should land with a good format for future fall conferences.


SSTs this week.

Please bring your laptop!



*Conferences are complete – nice job, team!

*A great Scholar Search Educational Forum –well, done Joy.  And thanks to LS presenters Laura Barnes, Steve Parrot, Keliko Adams, and Jennifer Bills.  Four 5th grade students – Maya, Lauren, Dutch and Parker- also represented the school and talked about their learning journey with great knowledge and passion.


Heads Up

** Please carefully read Susan’s emails regarding Monday trainings 10/28 and 11/4.  Depending on your emergency team assignment, one Monday you will be doing emergency training and the other teacher page  creation.  Thank you for your attention to these important meetings. We are working hard to be well-prepared, and that makes a significant difference in the quality of the community’s safety. Another important area-communication – the teacher pages will support our community’s connection to the amazing teaching and learning going on at AWS.


Coming Attractions

**Monday 10/28

*All-School Chapel -10:00

*Play to Learn in Small Gym


*All-School Meetings (Emergency training / teacher pages) 3:30-5:00

** Tuesday 10/29

Quiet day??!!

**Wednesday 10/30

* Kindergarten to Pioneer Farms 8:45-12:30

* LS Chapel 2:00pm

* Oktoberfest community event 6:00-9:00pm Great Hall

**Thursday 10/31 – HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

*Civvies Day

PS/PK – wear costumes to school and parade at 8:30

K-5 – change into costumes around 1:30, parade in the Gym from 1:45 pm – 2:10

Class parties from 2:15 pm – 2:55 pm, clean up and dismiss.

Teachers may wear costumes for the day, or change at a convenient time into a costume.

**Friday 11/1

*5th Grade to Fort Nisqually – back by lunchtime (12:30)

**Saturday / Sunday 11/2-3

*Tacoma Studio Arts Tour 11:00am-5:00pm

**Monday 11/4

*All School Meetings 3:30-5:00pm

Professional Links:

Here’s a short blog that gives three tips for continuing conversations with parents beyond the conference – some good reminders.  https://www.teachingchannel.org/blog/2013/10/23/beyond-parent-teacher-conferences/?utm_source=Teaching+Channel+Newsletter&utm_campaign=0763a35f6a-Newsletter_October_26_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_23c3feb22a-0763a35f6a-290618781


Quote of the Week

This feels so true and sums up one of the goals in PYP –

“The meaning of ‘knowing’ has shifted from being able to remember and repeat information to being able to find and use it.” (National Research Council, 2007)

From Introduction to Inquiry Based Learning by Neil Stephenson at http://teachinquiry.com/index/Introduction.html

Thank you for your energy, enthusiasm and spirit!  Here’s to making a good week and a Happy Halloween!



November into December Deadlines

Dear LS Team,
November is going to be busy, and I want to give you an overview so you clearly understand expectations and opportunities.  As you know, we are deep in work on implementing the PYP, launching a new website, and completing Progress reports for the first trimester.  Before you start (or continue!) hyperventilating, there is a plan to help you accomplish what’s ahead ideally without losing too much sleep. So here’s the outline for your planning purposes:
Website:Due end of the day 12/2
Times to work on your teacher web page:
Monday, November 4 (unless you have emergency training)
Tuesday, November 5 (Jenn will work with just LS faculty in Sarah’s room –3:30-4:30 – (Optional)
Wednesday November, 20  LS Divisional Meeting (Required, Jenn will work with folks during this meeting time)
In addition, Jenn has office hours Tues. 11-12 (Jenn’s office), Wed. 12-1 and 3:30-4:30 (Lisa’s office), Thursdays 3:30-4:30 (Jenn’s office)
Monday, December 2, which is also a day that can be devoted to your progress reports, if your web page is done.
1. All teachers need a teacher web page, though expectations are different for specialists.
2.  The minimum for teacher web pages is:
Bulletin Board
News – what has happened
Announcements – upcoming activities, investigations
Events – specific dates important to your class or grade level
Links to Angela’s webpage, Math in Focus, Khan Academy (Grades 3-5)
Fifth grade only is posting assignments
Topic Board
A “button” for the titles of your 4 units (Early Childhood) or 6 units (K-5)
Behind which should be:
Central idea, Lines of inquiry, Driving questions for each unit
A PYP “button” which will include: (This will be loaded for you)
Learner Profile
3. Grade level pages should be able to share most of this information, so you work together to “populate” your webpages.
4. You are welcome to develop  your page even more, but the above is the baseline.  Specialists, Jenn will be working with you on the layout of your pages, but expect to have a “stream” for each grade level.
PYP Our current goal for PYP is to complete the reflection portion of the bubble planner for the first unit.  Since first units should be completed by November 13, the 2 hours for the delayed start (7:30-9:30) are set aside to finish this task.  Ideally memories will be fresh, you will be fresh at             the beginning of the day, and this can be accomplished or nearly accomplished in this time frame.
Progress Reports:  Due December 4
Times to work on progress reports: Deliberately, there are few LS meetings scheduled in November as a means of giving you a little additional  time to work on your reports.  Then, December 2 is  a work day during which, if your web page is complete, you may devote that day to writing progress reports.   Completed reports are due for review on December 4, so you have a little wiggle room.  Specialists reports go to Ann, the core classroom teachers’ reports to me. 
    1. Bulk edits- the description of what has happened during the trimester- should be minimal. 
    2. Narratives should be individualized; reference should be made to progress made on the goals set at conferences; and  narratives should include comments on language arts (reading, writing, word study), math, social studies,  and social skills/ study habits. The skills lists for PYP are a great reference point as are the  writing rubric, the guided reading skills at each level, and the results of the SMI in grades 3-5 (Jennifer and Laura can help with interpretation of the SMI).  Use specific assessments – a project, paper, skit – to highlight growth and development.
    3. Comparative data should be available for those students taking the SRI and reference should be made to these results.
    4. You may load into Whipple Hill and then email Ann or me, or you may send narratives in a Word document.
    5. Please remember to check ready to review in Whipple Hill, if you want us to preview your reports there.
    6. Please feel free to liberally consult with Ann or me, if you have questions!  Sarah is your best contact for help in loading narratives or filling in checklists.
I hope this helps.  I realize this is a demanding schedule, and that we all have a life outside of school, too.  I do believe that you will find doing the teacher web page not too onerous and there are lots of people who can help.  We work in a very demanding profession and it is challenging to balance all that it demands, but you are doing an amazing job because of your expertise,  your dedication to the craft and to the children, and your commitment to be the best you can be.  I appreciate each of you for the tremendous job that you do, and I am grateful on a daily basis to work with and support you.
Please let me know if I can help in any way,

Week of October 14th

Dear LS Team,

I hope you enjoyed a lovely long weekend – the weather certainly provided us with reasons to enjoy the great outdoors.  It’s supposed to continue through the week – how delightful!


Thank you for your positive engagement on Friday and for sharing your thoughts about the PYP journey with our MS colleagues.  We have a challenge ahead of us as we become a World IB School that offers the PYP, MYP and DP – but how very exciting!


SSTs this week.

Student check-in and after in-service PYP check-in.

(Due to the short week and being gone on Thursday and Friday, we may miss one another this week.  Please let me know if you have a pressing issue.)



**Stunning fall weather!

**An excellent faculty meeting last Wednesday to review the writing rubric in cross-over teams.

** A very helpful and productive in-service this past Friday.

**It’s time for a little Halloween fun with Didactic Demons / Pumpkin Pixies – thanks, Jean!  Don’t forget to sign up, if you’d like to participate.


Heads Up

** This week we will have quite a few people out for professional development opportunities on Thursday and/or Friday.  If you’re on campus, please help substitutes and kids enjoy positive and productive days.  If you’re participating in PD, please be thinking of how you can share your new knowledge and experience with your colleagues – thanks!


Coming Attractions

** Tuesday 10/15

*5th Grade field trip to Ft. Nisqually

**Wednesday 10/16

*MS Experience Days

*LS Chapel


**Thursday 10/17

*MS Experience Days

*Vicki away for PD

*LS Report Card Committee

3:30 in the CoLab

**Friday 10/18

*MS Experience Days

* Vicki away for PD

**LS Family Dance Night

Please help if you can!

**Monday 10/21

**NO SCHOOL – Conferences


Professional Links:

If you haven’t already established a good list for preparing for your absence, here’s a helpful checklist that can guide you in making effective sub plans.  Hope it helps!



Quote of the Week

Choice is a powerful motivator in the learning process. In her blog, Ed Said : “My choice was limited by what I was offered and what I knew.”  Read her full analogy about the need for choice in schools and in teaching at http://whatedsaid.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/the-need-for-choice/     It’s compelling!




Hang in there this week.  While I’m away on Thursday and Friday, Ann will hold the reins for daily events, but I am available by email.  Here’s to a good week with delightful weather and engaging teaching and learning!



October In Service

Good Morning Terrific LS Team,
We will start today at 8:30 in Malcolm’s room. Attached is the In-Service Menu, and enclosed in this email are a few details that just wouldn’t fit in the menu format.  Specialists will move as a group through 4 teams during the morning and here is that schedule:
Meet with Early Childhood teachers in Amy’s room – 9:15-9:45
Meet with K teachers in Laura’s room  – 9:45 – 10:15
Meet with 1st grade teachers in Jamie’s room – 10:30-11:00
Meet with 2nd grade teachers in Jean’s room – 11:00-11:30
Specialists: If individual specialists would like to touch base with other teams in remaining time, feel free to reach out. If aspects of the “Menu” don’t fit your needs, please use common sense and determine the best way to use your time at school. An example might be: Specialists need to be sure to make PYP visible in their rooms, and today might provide you some time to reflect on or act on that responsibility. If you have any questions, please ask!
Other Important Info
***Jennifer will provide the checklists at our “Starters” meeting.  They will also be in the Teacher Toolbox.
***Here is the link for the video on what a PYP classroom looks like.  It was shown to the Board and is being used in Previews so please take a look at some point, even if you  don’t get to it today.  It’s also in the Teacher Toolbox.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPyZpOVZYhU&list=PLB2D2B41C815F1842
***Eat lunch as it fits your schedule.
***Everyone Please be sure to return to Malcolm’s room at 2:20.  We will join MS at the end of the day (2:30) and we will be done no later than 3:30.
Have a super day!

Week of October 6th

Dear LS Team,
What a lovely weekend!  I hope you enjoyed some time in the sun and some time doing whatever helps you relax and rejuvenate.  It’s going to be a busy and fast week – hold on to your hats!
SSTs this week.
         Student check-in and schedule for conferences

**The pool has re-opened!!

**Kudos to Taralynn and the PE Department for their teamwork and excellent communication during the pool’s closure and while Taralynn was sick – way to go, team!.

**Many thanks to Maggie and the Recess Committee for their dedication and work.  We look forward to the bulletin board with the Essential Agreements for Recess.  Good work, team!

         **Congratulations to John, who led an amazing inquiry-based meeting with truly effective use of the Co-Lab, and the other members of the Report Card Committee for a great kick-off meeting.  Stay-tuned – the ideas and thoughts were flowing.  And don’t worry if you couldn’t be there – John will keep us posted on next steps and meetings.
         **It’s time for a little Halloween fun with Didactic Demons / Pumpkin Pixies – thanks, Jean!
 Heads Up

** Some students in First Grade seem particularly focused on kissing and talking about who loves whom.  Please, should you encounter or overhear such talk, remind the students that kissing is done at home in families or by family members at school such as when mom or dad says good-bye or hello.  And, there is certainly no kissing among students. It’s been causing quite the stir at recess! Thanks for your help.

**Please be sure you have writing samples from your students – ideally in response to a narrative prompt – on Wednesday for our meeting devoted to the writing rubric review.

** Preview this week on Thursday – please make sure boards are spruced and rooms are tidy – thank you!

**Angela will be connecting with teams on the form and procedure for the Conference Feedback exchange.

Coming Attractions

**Monday 10/7

                  **Play to Learn in the Small Gym 9:30-11:30
                  **All-School Chapel 10:00 am

**Departmental Meetings

         **Wednesday 10/9

**Photo Retakes (Students needing a retake may bring or wear their dress uniform for the photo and then change.)

**LS Divisional Meeting – Bring writing samples!

3:30-4:30 Malcolm’s room

         **Thursday 10/10
                  **Preschool / Prekindergarten Field Trip to Spooner Farm
                  **Day School Preview
         **Friday 10/11
                  **NO SCHOOL-LS Faculty/Staff In-Service 8:30-3:30

**Faculty / Staff Daycare provided for AWS enrolled students- contact Missy.

**Monday 10/14

**NO SCHOOL – Columbus Day

Professional Links:
         I like Rick Wormeli’s work on assessment, and though this article is directed primarily to MS teachers, I think there’s lots packed in it  that we can consider.  It’s about normalizing and capitalizing on failure and the role we can play to help students build understanding and comfort with failure.
Quote of the Week
         This is a good quote to contemplate from the Wormeli article:  Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky, once said, —  “I have learned throughout my life as a composer chiefly through my mistakes and pursuits of false assumptions, not by my exposure to founts of wisdom and knowledge.”
Let’s continue the amazing teaching and learning journey we have created and are creating daily for our students.  Thank you for your excellent work!