Follow by Email

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Teacher Appreciation Week: May 1-5

Hey Winfield, Thank a Teacher
During this “Teacher Appreciation Week”


What would John Wooden do?

The greatest UCLA basketball coach, serving from 1965 - 1975, had the best record, with 620 WINS and only 147 LOSSES, with only two loses at home over that 10 year span! His focus was on the fundamentals, sportsmanship, the basics, learning the game, how to execute plays, and what followed was a win. By stressing the people, procedures, and processes, the product was often positive.

Later, talking with a coach here in the middle school, I was reminded of how a lesser coach might focus on wins and losses over fundamentals, building skills, learning the basics, and ground laying foundation work. Similarly, we may have pulled us off the mark by focusing too much energy on the ENDS and not enough focus on the MEANS. As we wrap up, let’s not be overcome or distracted from our highest and best work. Lets re-center as we wind down and not quit or give up, but remember these things about our students…

The struggle is real.
Students are filled with the uncertainty, doubt and ambiguity about the future.
 1.jpg
Love them!
2.png
Is their behavior a cry for help?
3.jpg
They are especially susceptible to the changes and transitions happening at the beginning and end of a school year.



So the question becomes,
“How  much do academics matter?”
.

Mathematics
ELA
Keep it up!
2016-17 in Green
2015-16 in Red

Is our focus on the scores or on the excellence achieved in the preparation?
Maybe this is what the first quote is trying to address?
Summer Academy
Summer Academy will meet daily. The AM will be an academic focus and the PM will use the kinesthetic adventures to build relational connections to the high school. Students will be able to use transportation, and meals are provided as well.

May 1st - May 12th

Monday - May 1
  • BLACK/ LAST DAY OF BLOCK SCHEDULING
Tuesday - May 2
  • Spring Choir Concert - Middle School Gym at 7:00 PM
Wednesday - May 3
  • 6th MAP Testing tomorrow - get good sleep!
Thursday - May 4
  • MAP TESTING BEGINS
    • 6th grade ELA in the AM and Math in the PM
Friday - Cinco de Mayo
    • MAP - 8th Grade ELA

Monday - May 8
  • MAP TESTING CONTINUES
    • 8th Grade Science in the AM
    • 6th & 8th grade Make-ups in the PM
Tuesday - May 9
  • MAP TESTING CONTINUES
    • 7th grade ELA in the AM and Math in the PM
Wednesday - May 10
  • MAP TESTING CONTINUES
    • 8th grade Math
Thursday - May 11
  • MAP TESTING Make-ups
Friday - May 12
    • Six Flags

THE NEXT WEEK, IT BEGINS!
Middle School MAP Testing - May 4th - 11th
Please follow Test Taking Suggestions
Get plenty of rest, exercise and stress-free activities

Upcoming/Ongoing
  • Step Up Days for the 5th Graders
    • We have worked these days into a different type of event this year. We are working on a plan to maximize our learning as well as set the minds at ease of the incoming 5th graders.
      • TBD:  May 15th or 16th (Not the Field Day)
      • All 5th grade students will visit the building together
      • They will travel, tour, explore lockers and eat lunch in small groups
      • Details will follow
  • Spring Choir Concert - May 2nd
  • Middle School MAP Testing - May 4th - 11th
    • Please follow Test Taking Suggestions
      • Get plenty of rest, exercise- and stress-free activities
  • SIX FLAGS TRIP - May 12
  • Senior Clap Out - May 12th
  • Field Day - May 15th - The Consummate Ac Lab Challenge
  • Spring Band Concert - May 16th
  • Chris’ Cakes - May 17th
  • Last Day of School - May 17th
  • High School Graduation - May 21st at 2:00 PM
  • 2017-18 6th Grade Back to School Night - Thursday, August 10, 2017

Where is the focus?
On the grade or on the learning?


As I contemplate our efforts, what we have done so far and where we have come from, I see what that looks like from my perspective. As a coach, I should worry more about the process and less about the actual outcome. Although it is still valuable, the journey deserves more attention. The process as well as the product has value!! For instance, I should make sure they know how to turn a double play, bunt at the right time and swing for the fences as well!

Tom McCracken

Monday, April 24, 2017

Don't count the days, but make the days count!


The SEMI?

Yep. It was fun!
Everyone seemed to enjoy the Western Theme!

Combat that Summer Slide

Grades for the last Progress Report
of the year are due to be emailed home April 24th!
Keep it up!
2016-17 in Green
2015-16 in Red
The formative feedback, adjusting instruction to students know what the question is asking, how the question is framed and how the negative is really the positive.


The week of April 24th - 28th
BLOCK SCHEDULING Continues, with adjustments
Our block schedule will need midstream adjusting as we align every day to have the same bell schedule!

PLEASE: NOTE THE NEW TIMES ABOVE ON BLACK DAYS!

Monday - April 24
  • RED/Odd Day
  • BOGO Book Fair - April 24 - 28 (Buy One, Get One)
Tuesday - April 25
  • BLACK/Even Day
  • BOGO Book Fair
  • Books due to the Library this week
  • NJHS Induction - April 25 at 6:30 pm in Middle School Gym
  • BestChoicestl.org for 6th graders*
Wednesday - April 26
  • BOGO Book Fair
  • LAST DAY FOR SUMMER JOURNEY REGISTRATION
  • RED/Odd Day
  • BestChoicestl.org for 6th graders*
Thursday - April 27
  • BOGO Book Fair
  • BLACK/Even Day
  • Chess Club - Mr. Utlaut’s room
  • BestChoicestl.org for 6th graders*
Friday - April 28
  • BOGO Book Fair
  • BestChoicestl.org for 6th graders*
  • RED/Odd Day
  • Special Olympics
  • Monday, May 1st will be a BLACK (Even) day!
  • Regular Bell Schedule resumes on Tuesday, May 2nd.

THE NEXT WEEK, IT BEGINS!
Middle School MAP Testing - May 4th - 11th
Please follow Test Taking Suggestions
Plenty of rest, exercise and stress-free activities

Upcoming/Ongoing
  • Block Scheduling in operation April 18th through May 1st
  • Step Up Days for the 5th Graders
    • We have worked these days into a different type of event this year. We are working on a plan to maximize our learning as well as set the minds at ease of the incoming 5th graders.
      • TBD:  May 15th or 16th (Not the Field Day)
      • All 5th grade students will visit the building together
      • They will travel, tour, explore lockers and eat lunch in small groups
      • Details will follow
  • Summer School Registration until Wednesday, April 26th - ALL STUDENTS WELCOME
  • Bestchoicestl.org gives #thattalk to our 6th graders April 24th -28th*
  • Spring Choir Concert - May 2nd
  • Middle School MAP Testing - May 4th - 11th
    • Please follow Test Taking Suggestions
      • Plenty of rest, exercise and stress-free activities
  • SIX FLAGS TRIP - MAY 12th - 250 + students and staff will take 5 buses to the Park for a concrete celebration of abstract mathematical and scientific principles!
  • Senior Clap Out - May 12th
  • Field Day - May 15th - The Consummate Ac Lab Challenge
  • Spring Band Concert - May 16th
  • Last Day of School - May 17th
  • High School Graduation - May 21st at 2:00 PM
  • 2017-18 6th Grade Back to School Night - Thursday, August 10, 2017

Six Flags
We have had over 250 students sign up for the Six Flags Trip. It is great to have such a huge response. We will be shuttling 5 buses throughout the day.


#ThatTalk might be embarrassing but it is vital for our future! *
Here's the outline of the 6th grade BESTCHOICESTL.ORG talks and an opt-out form for ANY parents who would rather give #ThatTalk themselves. These forms are also ON FACEBOOK too. The 6th graders this week (April 24-28) get their age appropriate version. Students or families wishing to opt out will received an alternative book assignment covering the same content.



Opt out here:
Print and send this in or call the school to opt out.
An alternate assignment also aligning with DESE curriculum will be assigned for the student to complete from a text book.

Attendance Comparison:  Making the turn!
Inching back higher!
We can do this!

Don’t count the days, but make the days count!

We really hear it now that school is winding down. Kids start asking “How many days do we have left?”  Interestingly, we hear a tinge of remorse or regret in their voices. They seem sad to know they will be gone for an entire summer. Gone will be the days of lunch, one-way hall walking, laps, and homework. In fact, some students might not read at all over the summer. To overcome this challenge, try some of these ways below to make the days count!

To combat that summer learning loss, try making the DAYS COUNT by organizing these things:
  1. Sign 6th and 7th graders up for Summer Journey.
  2. Sign up the 8th graders for SUMMER ACADEMY. This research-based program is designed to strengthen the connection between students and school, develop relationships with peer mentors from the high school and increase the likelihood that students find success in their quest for a high school diploma!
    1. It is also a blast, working in the AM and playing in the afternoon!
    2. We WILL be using the same buses as the Summer Journey for all students
    3. Meals will be served at the Primary, Intermediate and the High School.
  3. Take lots of trips to the library to check out books for them to read. Is it worth it? Some research says students with 25 books in the home will complete two more years of education than students lacking the printed material! Even a few dollars at the thrift store will glean great adventures, in the mind's eye following the characters in the books from one adventure to another!
  4. Take in a local tourist trap and read about why everybody thinks it is so interesting! For example, The Gateway Arch did not fit together on the last day. Lemp Mansion has an intriguing history. Route 66 used to go all the way to Santa Monica California, from Chicago!
But whatever you do, don’t count days! Make the days COUNT!

Sincerely,

Mr McCracken