Sunday, December 10, 2017

Finding Peace Within

This week, rather than start this post with something I've written, I was reminded of a simple truth this morning and wanted to share it with you...

Finding Peace Within


BY MADISYN TAYLOR

If we are to have true peace in the world, we must first find it within ourselves.
Most people agree that a more peaceful world would be an ideal situation for all living creatures. However, we often seem stumped as to how to bring this ideal situation into being. If we are to have true peace in this world, each one of us must find it in ourselves first. If we don't like ourselves, for example, we probably won't like those around us. If we are in a constant state of inner conflict, then we will probably manifest conflict in the world. If we have fighting within our families, there can be no peace in the world. We must shine the light of inquiry on our internal struggles, because this is the only place we can really create change. 
When we initiate the process of looking inside ourselves for the meaning of peace, we will begin to understand why it has always been so difficult to come by. This in itself will enable us to be compassionate toward the many people in the world who find themselves caught up in conflicts both personal and universal. We may have an experience of peace that we can call up in ourselves to remind us of what we want to create, but if we are human we will also feel the pull in the opposite direction--the desire to defend ourselves, to keep what we feel belongs to us, to protect our loved ones and our cherished ideals, and the anger we feel when threatened. This awareness is important because we cannot truly know peace until we understand the many tendencies and passions that threaten our ability to find it. Peace necessarily includes, even as it transcends, all of our primal energy, much of which has been expressed in ways that contradict peace. 
Being at peace with ourselves is not about denying or rejecting any part of ourselves. On the contrary, in order to be at peace we must be willing and able to hold ourselves, in all our complexity, in a full embrace that excludes nothing. This is perhaps the most difficult part for many of us, because we want so much to disown the negative aspects of our humanity. Ironically, though, true peace begins with a willingness to take responsibility for our humanity so that we might ultimately transform it in the light of our love
.

Week at a Glance
Monday - 9 Weeks Assessment Window BeginsF&P Testing Begins/Continues
Tuesday - Classroom Champions Call - 11:00am - Sign Up HERE
Wednesday - Picture ReTakes
Friday - Face Painting 
House Games

9 Weeks Assessment Window Opens

3rd-5th Grade teachers, please make sure over the next two weeks that you plan ample time to get your 9 weeks assessments taken AND scanned in before we leave for Christmas break.

Instructional Rounds

Thank you so much for doing our first round of Instructional Rounds last week.  I hope you gained a little insight into some more great ideas and practices. We will be doing these once a month.  Please during your team meeting this week, create a Google Doc (as a team) and have each person submit what they learned in that singular google doc.

TP Time

Team Planning time this week will be a look at lesson plans.  I need all Kinder and 3rd Grade teachers to bring their lesson plans (and 10 copies).  We will dive into lesson plans, see what's happening, and how we can make the process easier.

Staff Christmas Party

Right now our plan is to have our Staff Christmas Party on Wednesday, December 20 at the Western Club.  We will get more info out this week!

Morning Car Duty

Monday - 1st Grade
Tuesday - 4th Grade
Wednesday - 1st Grade
Thursday - 4th Grade
Friday - 5th Grade

Kids Deserve It

Don't forget to get your KDI shirt if you want it this month, HERE.


Blogs/Articles





In Closing...

This week I challenge you to find your inner peace. To take time to share your struggles with others.  We have sooooo many staff members who are struggle with loss, or sickness, or heartache right now.  We are in a season like no other.  My hope is that we all reach out and show a little more compassion this month.

My friend Adam Dovico and I, got with a couple of our principal friends and tried to create a little lighthearted video of what principals really do during Christmas break! A few Webb students even make a brief cameo! Hope it brings a smile to your face!



Saturday, December 2, 2017

December? Already?

It's hard for me to believe we're already in December! It seems like a lifetime ago that the Hurricane hit and we were starting late.

As the holiday gets closer and closer we're going to begin to see more and more kids act out in different ways.  It's important for us to remember to keep our expectations high, instruction active and engaging, and that we forgive often.

Week at a Glance

Monday - Short out at Region 6
Tuesday - Short out at Region 6
Wednesday - Instructional Rounds (info below)
Team Leader Meeting - 7am
PTO Meeting - 5:30pm
Thursday - Delic on Campus
Friday - Kona Ice
End of Progress Reports

Instructional Rounds

Since Wednesday are Team Meeting days, this Wednesday will look a little different. We're going to start doing instructional rounds once a month. Some of you may remember this from a year or two ago.

I will email you who will go into what rooms, and for the first 15 minutes of your conference time you will observe 3 classrooms for 5 minutes each. You will take sticky notes and leave one piece of positive feedback for each class you go into and leave it on their door as you leave. Then you will all get back as a team, have your team meeting, and debrief from what you saw in those instructional rounds!

We have so many great things going on that we can learn from each other!

Delic on Campus

Delic will be on campus on Thursday. Please have your newest data, be ready to talk individual students, and have your bulletin boards outside your rooms updated.

T-TESS

T-TESS Evaluations are in full swing.  What that also means is that your admin team may not be able to come when they're immediately called as we may be busy in observations!

TP Time

This week in TP time we will be looking at the most recent data from 2nd Grade Reading/Math Unit Assessments and from 4th Grade Reading/Writing/Math Unit Assessments.  Teachers need to come prepared with their data and at least 10 copies of their data.

Morning Car Duty

Monday - Kinder
Tuesday - 3rd Grade
Wednesday - Kinder
Thursday - 3rd Grade
Friday - Any who can help

Friday

This Friday we will be keeping no students.  So all students will come down at 7:35am. If you're free, and could help with morning duty that would be great!

Birthdays

Tamera Boyd - December 4

Kids Deserve It

Shirts are back up for sale HERE. You can see all the different kinds!


Blogs/Articles





In Closing...

With our challenge for houses this month being the Random Acts of Kindness, how can YOU should kindness to someone on your team, in your classroom, and on our campus?

My good friend Nicholas Ferroni, is heading up a new series with SoulPancake to celebrate teachers! Here's their amazing first clip





Sunday, November 26, 2017

Rested and Ready

Well tomorrow we're back at it!!  I don't know about you, but even though I enjoyed the break, I am ready to see the kids again!

I hope you are feeling rested, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle the rest of 2017!  It's gonna be amazing!

Week at a Glance

Tuesday - Kinder Field Trip
Frito Pie Family Night - 5:00-6:30pm behind school
Wednesday - Nesloney out a Region 6 Principal Training
Bilingual Vertical Meeting - 3:30pm - TP Room
Thursday - Short of Campus (to RCA)
Friday - Short off Campus (to RCA)
PTO Spirit Store - 7:15am-7:45am - Gym

Frito Pie Family Night

This is a night (like our hotdog cookout) organized just to get families up here and spending time together on campus. It will take place behind the school on the playground.  We will have a few blow up bounce houses, free frito pies, a DJ, and every team is asked to bring individually wrapped desserts. Enough to feed at least 30 people (like 30 cookies, 30 brownies, etc).

RCA

This Thursday and Friday we have 4 teachers and Ms. Short heading to RCA! Wishing them safe travels and learning a lot!

T-TESS

T-TESS observations begin this week. If you have not scheduled one with your evaluator, you need to do so ASAP. Calendars are quickly filling up.

TP Time

This week in TP Time we will be going over a lesson you have planned for this week. Please come prepared to show your lesson, talk about the planning that took place, be prepared to discuss the TEKS, be prepared to show how you're going to gauge mastery of the content, and how your lessons is culturally diverse.

Morning Car Duty

Monday - 2nd
Tuesday - 5th
Wednesday - 2nd
Thursday - 5th
Friday - Kinder

Friday Morning

Friday Morning is house meetings. All teams need to be on morning duty.

Birthdays

Andrea Day - Nov 28
Mary Vogt - Dec 2

Blogs/Articles






In Closing....

We talk a lot about reading and how as adults it's so important for us to be making time to read too!!  My good buddy Michael Bonner recently challenged educators to read 5-6 books this December! I hope you join us!





Sunday, November 12, 2017

Giving Thanks

We're in our final week before a much-needed Thanksgiving Break.  This is the time of the year where we tend to really stop identify all those things of which we're thankful for.  It's a time of family, food, and more.  It's also one of those times of the year that discipline starts to increase.

As we enter in this final week before a break, let's find ways this week to let our fellow colleagues and our students know why we're thankful for them.  Write a note, send a card home with your kids, call some families, surprise a colleague with lunch, whatever!  Take the time to make sure those around you know how much you are thankful for, and appreciate, them.

Week at a Glance

Monday - Book Fair Begins
Veteran's Day Program - 8:30-9:30am - Cafeteria
Dietert Wedding Shower - 3:45pm - Marsh's Room
Tuesday - 50th Day of School
Fire Drill
Moreland on Campus during Conference Time
Final Book Discussion - All Teachers - 3:45pm - Cafeteria
Education Foundation Dinner - 6pm-9pm
Wednesday - Western Day
Social Studies Vertical - 3:30pm - TP room
Family Literacy Night - 5-7pm - Foyer and Library
Thursday - First Grade Field Trip - Short is Admin attending
Friday - Nesloney Out
House Games - Bradford MCing
4th Grade Morning Field Trip

Veteran's Day Program

Our Veteran's Day Program is tomorrow at 8:30am in the Cafeteria.  Please wear red, white, and blue tomorrow! We will start calling for kids about 8:15am.  Choir students will be staying with Mr. Haliburton to practice.

Moreland on Campus

Please note that Jo Anna Moreland will be on campus on Tuesday to meet with all teams during their conferences to share some new tools with you all!

Final Book Talk

We will have our final book talk on Tuesday at 3:45pm in the Cafeteria.  Please bring your books and be ready to talk final takeaways and what we can do as a campus to keep moving forward with what we've learned.

Absences

This is a reminder that all personal days must be approved by Nesloney before they are to be put into WillSub.

Education Foundation Dinner

I still have a ticket or two left for the Education Foundation Dinner if anyone else would like to attend free of charge.  Let me know!

Book Fair/Western Day/Family Literacy Night

This week is Book Fair!!  We want to do a big push for our book fair this fall, so please talk it up with your students. Wednesday is our big day.  We will have Western Day that day and encourage all to dress western.  We will also host our first ever Family Literacy Night for the Book Fair.

This event is by no means mandatory.  As a campus one of our Campus Improvement Goals is family engagement opportunities and it's also part of your T-TESS Evaluation to be present at educational events put on by the school.  We hope you can be there for some or even all of the time, to really encourage our kiddos to show up!  Each grade level has a rep who has been given any information you may need to relay to your teams how we need help.

Admin Out

Short will be out on Thursday as she will be the admin attending the 1st grade field trip.

One of my T-PESS goals was educating myself more on quality reading and writing instruction.  I will be out on Friday attending the National Conference for Teachers of English (NCTE) to grow myself.  I will be attending that Friday-Sunday in hopes of bringing back some great resources for our campus.

House Games

House Games will take place on Friday! Students will start being called down at 2:10pm.  Bradford will be MCing the games.

TP Time

As a "We are Thankful for You" gift, you will have TP time this week to get any extra work done that you need to.  You will still need to be present for Morning Duty though.

Since Friday are House Games, 5th Grade will also have duty Friday morning since we'll be keeping their kids.

PreK will have their TP time on Monday.  IAs will need to stay in with PreK students in the Gym.

Morning Car Duty

Monday - 1st Grade
Tuesday - 4th Grade
Wednesday - 1st Grade
Thursday - 4th Grade
Friday - 1/2 of 5th Grade

Birthdays

Cassie Reynolds - November 17
KVon Lambert - November 23
Dorothy Sargent - November 24

RCA

Congrats to the following teachers who were selected to attend the Ron Clark Academy this year!!!

Cariann Zeitman
Courtney Moore
Jeannie Robertson
Anna Wilkerson
Kelsey Kuehler
Allison Thomas
Lauren Mulgrew
Jessica Schutzenhofer

Kids Deserve It

This week was Jessica Gomez!


Blogs/Articles








In Closing...

We all have had those difficult children.  Those ones who push all our buttons, and those buttons we didn't even know we had.  Are some past the point of saving? I love Trevor Muir and this video below is a fantastic reminder.



Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Words We Speak

It's always been so interesting to me how much children hear us say when we're trying to speak without them hearing.  But yet, when we're talking directly to a group of students some totally ignore us!
It's nice to be at once school for three years now.  I feel like I've really built a relationship with so many of our kiddos, and I now find kids coming into my office, stopping me in the hall, or coming over to me at lunch to tell me all kinds of things, whether I want to hear them or not!
Over the last two weeks, I'e been reminded of something. I've been reminded that we have to be careful of the words the speak around our children.  They hear everything.

This week alone I heard this from children...
- Why does my teacher hate our house? I heard her tell another teacher that our house is so boring and she wishes she could be in another house. Can she really just leave us like that?
- Mr. N did you know that my teacher does NOT like the teacher next door to her? I heard her tell the teacher across the hall that.  She said she that teacher better watch out if something happened again. I couldn't tell what happened though.
- Can I move to a new class?  I forgot something in class when we went to camp, and when I went back I heard my teacher tell my switch teacher that we were her bad class and that she wishes she didn't have to teach us....and she used some bad words Mr. Nesloney.

But I've also heard this from children this week....
- Did you know Mr Nesloney that my teacher loves me? She called my house last night and my mom had her on speaker phone and I heard her say it!
- I was so excited Mr Nesloney because I heard my intervention teacher tell my main teacher how much better I was doing.
- I love my teachers Mr Nesloney.  They are really hard on us, but they also listen to us, and the brag to each other about who had the better group that day. I always feel special when they're both bragging about our groups.

We have to be careful of the words we speak, especially in front of children.  I have been guilty of it too.  When we're frustrated and we want to vent, we sometimes do it without thinking.  But we need to remember that little ears are always listening and little eyes are always watching.

Week at a Glance

Monday - Argueta Out
Penny Wars Begins
Cowden Wedding Shower - 3:45pm - Library
Literacy Committee Meeting - 4:15pm - Library
Tuesday - Argueta and Nesloney Out
Guided Math Training - 3:45pm - Gym
Wednesday - Argueta Out
Delic on Campus
Fall Photos
Science Vertical Meeting - 3:30pm - Library
Reading Vertical Meeting - 3:30pm - TP Room
Thursday - Fundraiser Items Arrive
Friday - End of Progress Reports
RCA Application Due

Amin Out This Week

Argueta will be off campus Monday-Wednesday at the annual Assessment Conference.  Nesloney will be out on Tuesday as well.

Delic on Campus

Delic will be on campus this Wednesday. Please make sure you have your bulletin boards updated and are ready to talk DATA.

PLC this Week

This week for PLC we will continue to be talking all things data and instruction.  This week you will need to bring your data binders, computers, and anything you may need to begin some planning.  We will be splitting off into groups and using our data to plan some lessons.

Morning Car Duty
Monday - Kinder
Tuesday - 3rd Grade
Wednesday - Kinder
Thursday - 3rd Grade
Friday - Some PreK (rest of PreK in Caft/Gym)

Friday

This Friday will be a normal day. We will keep NO students in the morning from 7:45-8:30am.  We will need PreK teachers on morning duty.

Guided Math Training

Jennifer Short will be conducting a Guided Math training on Tuesday after school. I sent an email previously about this to math teachers. I am recommending all math teachers in K-5 attend, but it is not mandatory.  We are moving this way as a campus and so to have this hands on experience will help. Jennifer will have a mock classroom set up and will walk you through the steps.

RCA Applications

RCA applications are due in my box by FRIDAY. Please make sure you turn them in complete and on time.

Look for...

This week we are looking for will be T-TESS Dimension 3.1: The teacher organizes a safe, accessible, and efficient classroom.  If you need to find the rubric for that dimension you can find it HERE.

Grades

Please make sure you are inputting grades WEEKLY.  Progress Reports close this week.

Book Discussion

My K/2/4 and other areas teachers, your final book discussion is this week. Instead of meeting face to face you are being asked to record a FlipGrid video.  HERE is the link. Just click the "+" sign, record your reflection, and you're done! Each teacher must record their own reflection by FRIDAY. If you need any support let me know!

Kids Deserve It

New KDI Gear is for sale HERE. You can also watch the last episode below.


Articles/Blogs





In Closing...

Our kids need to see we all struggle and we can all overcome. Here's a great video from World Series Champion, George Springer.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Giving Thanks

Can you believe that this week already begins the month of November? Time has just flown by.

This month, with our students and staff, we really want to focus on the message of giving thanks.  Of even in the midst of pain, struggles, overwhelming deadlines, stress, and more, that we find ways to give thanks for what we do have.

I will always remember hearing that a weak minded person only complains and find faults because it is easy to to.  But a strong minded person sees the mistakes and still seeks to find the good however small it may be, and bring about change.

Week at a Glance

Monday - Thomas and Jackson Out
Tuesday - Dress Up as Your Favorite Book Character Day
Mix it Up at Lunch Day
PreK Field Trip
Book Study Meeting - 3:45pm
Wednesday - Math Vertical Meeting - 3:30pm - Library
PTO Meeting - 5:30pm
Thursday - Community Outreach Committee Meeting - 3:45pm - Library
Friday - House Meetings in PLC time
Saturday - November Staff Outing - Escape Room

Look For...

This week in our walkthroughs, we're going to be focusing on Dimension 1.4 Planning; Activities.

• Questions that encourage all students to engage in complex, higher-order thinking. • Instructional groups based on the needs of all students. • All students understanding their individual roles within instructional groups. • Activities, resources, technology and instructional materials that are all aligned to instructional purposes.

Mix It Up at Lunch Day

This is a Nationally celebrated event that we will be taking part in.  Jennifer will be sending out more information tonight or tomorrow.  It's an opportunity for students to sit with people they may not have normally sat with and make new friends!

Halloween

Remind your students that they may dress up for Halloween at school, BUT it must be based after a book character and they need to bring the book with them. We'd also love to see as many staff dressed up as possible too!

Book Study Meeting

This Tuesday we will have TWO book study meetings going on.  Ms. Short and Ms. Argueta will be leading the PreK/1/3/5 Group over the rest of the book.

I will be leading the K/2/4/Others group over pages 88-137.

Remember that the K/2/4/Other group was rescheduled from our staff meeting day. So that group will also meet again next week to get to the end of the book before our final meeting as a whole staff.

Birthdays

Jeanette Enriquez - October 30
Kevin Bradford - October 31
Carolyn Hafley - November 3

House Meetings

This Friday during PLCs we will have House Meetings.  I will be getting you information early this week about what that time will look like.  We will be focusing on a different character trait each month we have these meetings,.

PLCs This Week

Be ready to talk DATA!! How you're tracking kids, where are we losing them, how are we helping all students, etc.  3rd-5th needs to bring their 9 weeks assessment data ready to discuss. If you need help on pulling data from Eduphoria let me know.

Morning Car Duty

Monday - 2nd Grade
Tuesday - 5th Grade
Wednesday - 2nd Grade
Thursday - 5th Grade
Friday - 1st Grade

Kids Deserve It

Here is this week's episode with Derek McCoy


Blogs/Articles




In Closing....

As educators, one of the worst things we can say is "no one taught me that".  We live in a world now where everything is available to us to learn at a moments notice.  Whether we reach out to someone to help, or we watch a YouTube video, or we read an article.  There is so much information now!  And our kids are watching.  If we're going to ask them to show up and work hard to learn something new every day, we must be doing the same! Yes, even when the learning is hard and complicated and frustrating and we feel like we need our own IEP!  Let's keep all learning together!




Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Time To Share

Parent/Teacher Conference week is always in my top 3 weeks of the year! I love the opportunity to not only see so many parents on campus, but also the chance we all get to share the success (and struggles) of our kiddos!

As we enter this week I hope you remember a few things...

1.  Always share the great things about their child.  You're discussing their whole world.  It is crushing as a parent to come in and hear nothing except that their child is a dormant learner.

2.  Use the vocabulary we've been taught.  Dormant, awakening, growing, things like that.

3.  Invite the child to the conferences.  Allow the child to share their thoughts and feelings and struggles and successes.

4.  MAKE HOME VISITS.  I have talked about this time and time and time again.  Yet I still always have teachers who have told me "I can't get a hold of someone." or "They won't come in".  Let's not be a team that settles. Let's go above and beyond to do what's best for our kids.  And face to face convos are always best.

5.  Uncomfortable? Nervous? That's ok! Invite one of us admin to sit in.

6.  Smile. Always be polite.  Speak kindly.

7. And most of all, hear them out.

Week at a Glance

Monday - Staff Inservice
8:00am-12:00pm - P/T Conferences and Work Around Campus
12:00-1:00pm - Lunch
1:00-4:00pm - Staff PD at NHS
Tuesday - Red Ribbon Week Starts
Student Council Officer Field Trip
Aladdin Musical Review - 5pm
Wednesday - Fire Drill
Unity Day - National Anti-Bullying Day
Thursday - Nesloney Off Campus from 9:30-12:30
Hot Dog Cookout - 5:30pm - Laredo Heights
Friday - House Games - Red Out

Look For....

This week's walkthrough look-fors is for good questioning and students standing to answer in complete sentences.

Staff PD

On Monday, if you're a certified teacher, you will be at the High School attending sessions.  I have emailed you what you're assigned to attend. If you did not receive an email, you have full choice.  Please be on time and make sure you sign in.

Aladdin

We hope you can help us talk up, and attend, the Aladdin Musical Review on Tuesday night at 5pm in the Webb Cafeteria!

Hot Dogs

Thursday we'll do our bi-annual Hot Dog cookout at Laredo Heights! We hope to see you there! And yes, you can bring your own personal families!

House Games

With this being Red Ribbon Week, and with Friday being "Red Out" day and also House Games, we thought it'd be pretty neat to tell all our kids to wear RED and NOT their house colors to show unity as one school.  So, tell your kiddos!

Birthdays

Lauren Neutzler - Oct 24

PLCs this week

This week for PLCs you will have that time for P/T Conferences.

Tuesday - Third Grade
Kinder
Wednesday - 2nd and 4th and 5th
Thursday - PreK, 1st

Morning Car Duty

Tuesday - 3rd
Wednesday - 4th
Thursday - PreK
Friday - 5th

Kids Deserve It

This weeks chat is with Barbara Bray.


Blogger/Article





In Closing...

I want to leave you with one video that has gone viral this week.  It deals with the idea of not standing up when we know better.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.