Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Road Less Traveled

Well Team, we did it.  We officially survived Week 1 of school.  One of the most hectic and exhausting weeks of the year!

As I sat and reflected over the week, the Robert Frost poem came to my mind.  You know the one, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled, and it has made all the difference."

I think about the job we have before us here in Navasota.  There are so many factors that are working against these kiddos.  And working here isn't easy, by any means.  It's hard work, it's frustrating, it's heart-breaking work.  But you took the leap with us.

I think about our kids here.  Working in Navasota is more than a choice I believe.  It's a calling.  These kids NEED strong teachers.  They need love, compassion, forgiveness, examples to look up to.  By working in Navasota you are doing so much more than providing these kids with an education. You are changing lives.  I see it every single day.

My favorite part of the week this week, was Friday afternoon when I sent a Remind text asking you to send up a child to my office for me to call home and celebrate.  Aaron and I split the duties (and language barriers of course).  It was a powerful reminder to me, of why celebrating kids is so important.  I had two different parents cry over the phone. Why?  Because no one had ever taken the time to tell them their kid was doing a great job.  How have we missed that?  We can't.  It's too important.

But my favorite was a voicemail I had on my phone when I came back from car rider duty.  One parent was unavailable when I called and so I left a voicemail.  When she called back she left me a message that said (through tears), "Mr. Nesloney I just wanted to call you back and let you know how much that message meant to me to hear about my daughter.  My heart sank at first when you started because I just figured she was in trouble!  I have 4 children in Navasota schools, and I have never received a positive phone call about any of them.  You don't know the difference you made today".

We must find ways to celebrate.  We must.

I loved the story Cassie Reynolds (a 4th grade teacher on our campus) also shared with me on Friday about a student she was already having trouble with in class.  She said she called home on Thursday and left a wonderful message with his mother but she didn't tell the student that.  She asked the student to talk to his mom that night about why she called home.  The student was terrified!  He never got good calls of course.  The next day he came back with a big smile on his face and quite the different attitude because someone said something wonderful about him to his mother, who I can assure you only received negative phone calls in the past.  Every time we reach out to a parent we make a difference.


Sept 3 - Sue Meisel

Book Talk

This Wednesday we have our third book talk!  It'll be right after car/bus duty on Wednesday in the Cafeteria over Chapter 3!

Team Planning

Team Planning times start this week!  On your assigned day, your students will stay in the cafeteria at 7:45am and you will meet in the Team Planning room with Kathy French.  Please remember to be on time to these meetings.

Monday - 5th Grade
Tuesday - 4th Grade
Wednesday - 3rd Grade
Thursday - 2nd Grade
Friday - 1st Grade


EduHero is due TOMORROW!

Student Forms

Please make sure you are collecting all those student handbook forms.  I will be getting you one more tomorrow that is technology usage form that was left out of the original packet.


This week we start Walkers! Students must have a note to be a walker.  PreK-2nd grade walkers will go to the First Grade hall where Ms. Gonzales, Ms. Longabaugh, and Ms. Robles will be.

3rd-5th Grade walkers will go to the 4/5th Grade Hall where Mr. Haliburton, Ms. Salazar, and Ms. Sanders will be.

As far as car and bus riders, please make sure you switch duties with your team mates between car and bus duty.

We will continue two lanes of cars on Monday and it is IMPERATIVE that all teachers are watching, helping, and walking students to cars.

We will release PreK & Kinder & All Walkers at 3:00pm, then we will release Car Riders at 3:05, Bus Group 1 at 3:10 and Bus group 2 at 3:15pm.


Please remember that we should not be taking entire class bathroom breaks.  That's a huge loss of time.  Students should be allowed in class to go to the bathroom when needed.  If it becomes an overuse issue be creative and come up with solutions for that particular student.  Specials usually doesn't allow students to go to the bathroom since they see them for such a limited time.

PD Opportunities

There are two AWESOME PD opportunities coming up that you'll definitely want to consider attending.  Both are FREE!

One is EdCamp Katy coming up on Saturday, October 24th in Katy, Texas.  I LOVE EdCamps and will for sure be attending.  If we get enough people to go, we could even try and get a Navasota suburban if you guys are interested.  Please let me know if you sign up for this.

The other is TCCA.  TCCA is in Aldine, and I have loved attending it every year.  They give lots of great prizes, have awesome sessions, and give you a FREE lunch!!  Again, if we get enough people to go, we could even try to get a Navasota suburban if you guys are interested.  Please let me know if you sing up for this.


I hope you've found some value in a few of the people I've suggested you follow.  Remember to reach out to these people too!  Share ideas, ask questions, have a voice!  That's when Twitter begins to TRULY make a difference.  I have LOVED watching what so many of you are sharing online!  Those things don't go unnoticed!  And if you haven't checked out the #WebbElem hashtag you should!

Ben Gilpin - Administrator in Michigan
Jon Harper - Incredible Blogger and Asst. Principal in Maryland
Felix Jacomino - Director of Educational Technology in Florida
Sarah Thomas - HS Teacher in DC
Nathan Lang - Educator in Tennessee

Rockstar Educators

A new section of the blog that's starting this week is Rockstar Educators!  People on campus who myself, or another staff member, have noticed being AMAZING!

These two people will get to park their cars up front (if they wish), they'll get their name and picture put up on our "Rockstar Educators" Wall that I'm working on, and they'll get a FREE lunch one day this week!

So without further ado, our two rockstar educators are....

T.J. Longabaugh - T.J. is a PreK Instructional Aide.  I have been impressed with T.J. from the moment I met her.  She is full of kindness and joy.  She has an ability to notice the little things and step up in places unexpected and without anyone asking.  T.J. took time to clean the outside trashcans by hand and wiped down all of the school windows out front because our school had to look great.  She is a joy to be around and one definitely deserving of this honor!

Angela Calkins - Angela is a first year teacher.  She is quiet and humble.  But when I observed her class this week, I saw one HECK of a killer teacher.  She was animated, active, engaging, and dead on with the material.  Angela teaches in 3rd grade and is definitely one to watch.

Congrats you two!  When you see these two on campus this week, let's find time to continually celebrate them and find creative ways to make them feel appreciated!  Let's work together to do this!

Blog Posts

Here are a few blog posts you can check out this week!

A Letter to Teachers from, "That Kid"

Math Activities for 5th and 6th Grade

The Power of Home Visits

A Walk to Remember

Give Out Lots of High Fives

Upcoming Important Dates this Week

Team Planning Starts this Week

Team meetings are during your conference on Wednesdays

Team Leader meeting Wednesday morning at 7:00am in Team Planning Room

And a video to end on (the one at 5 min and 30 seconds is my favorite)....

Better to give
My buddy called and asked if I'd like to go help him pay for people's groceries. What happened next was amazing...
Posted by JesusPainter on Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Well the time is here!  At this time tomorrow our hallways will be filled with children, adults, laughter, conversation, and probably a few tears!

The first day of school always felt sort of like Christmas for me. I always had trouble sleeping the night before.  I know that each and every one of you are ready to greet our kiddos tomorrow. And I can guarantee you, from conversations I've had with many parents, that they kids are READY to spend a day with you!

The biggest thing we can do tomorrow is love on kids and give them a glimpse at what this school year can be like for them.  They all come with clean slates, fresh starts, and more.  Let's welcome them with smiling faces, open arms, high fives, and fist bumps.

And as moments creep up on us that begin to stress us out or cause anxiety, remember that the kids deserve a calm and collected teacher.  Let's be patient through trials, forgive often, and always speak with love.

Birthdays this Week:

Today, Sunday, Doris Banks
Tuesday, Sarah Martin
Thursday, Olivia Aguinaga
Friday, Gloria Wilkinson

Here are some things for this week....

HERE is our "First Week Reminders" document with times and things throughout this week.

Our biggest goal day one is to greet kids warmly, feed them breakfast and lunch, and make sure they get home!  We will put class rosters in your boxes tomorrow morning.

Please make sure that you have split your kids up for specials, and put them into THIS document.

Don't forget to sign in and out every day in the front office!

We will have a Staff Meeting on Monday (tomorrow) as soon as all students are on their way home!

Fire Drill will happen Wednesday and Lock Down drill will happen Friday!

We will also have a Crash Course book talk over Chapter 2 on Wednesday after dismissal


You Only Get One First Day of School

Genuine Connections

35 Cheap and Ingenious Ways to Have the Best Classroom Ever

17 Ways to Help Students with ADHD


Using Games to ReDefine the Learning Experience

Science, You, and Young Children

20 Awesome Digital Tools and Apps to Kick Off the New Year


My goal is to every week introduce you to a few more amazing people to connect with and learn from online through Twitter! 

Hope King - Teacher at Ron Clark Academy; and check out her AWESOME site
Chris Pombonyo - 1st Grade Teacher in Florida; and check out his awesome site
Brad Gustafson - administrator in Minnesota
Shannon Miller - Teacher Librarian
Tony Sinanis - Administrator in New York

Final Notes:

Each one of you were brought to this place because you bring something exceptional to the table.  You are important.  You hold worth.  You have value. 

Tomorrow we get the opportunity to show our kids the same thing.  Your administrative team is here to support you at a moments notice.  Please don't ever hesitate to reach out!!  We're a team, a family, and we are here to help carry each other's loads.

This week is the week we start everything.  You only get one chance to make a great first impression, so let's do it right!

Here's a little video to start you out on the right foot...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Patience, Positivity, and Passion

I can't tell you enough how exciting it was for me to finally be able to bring this new Webb Elementary family together!  I just know, after many of the interactions this past week, that we are going to accomplish some incredible things together!

I have loved so much already getting to know each of you.  I have much appreciated your patience, loved seeing your positivity, and most of all enjoyed watching your come alive when talking about your students, this school, or kids in general!  You guys are passionate and that is just what we need!

I think about when I was working in my former school when I was a classroom teacher.  So many things are thrown your way and so many different unexpected things pop up.  As an educator, I always have the ability to choose to sit and pout or complain, or I had the ability to find a solution to make things better and find a bright side to every situation.  As we continue to stretch and grow and push ourselves this year, I hope each and every one of us can work TOGETHER to find the best solutions to problems that arise so we can be our best for kids.  No kid wants a sour, negative, pouty teacher.  They want life, fun, and love!  Our kids deserve it.

We've got another busy week ahead of us, and most importantly, we have Meet the Teacher this Thursday!!!  I can't wait to bring all our new students onto campus this week.

In case you needed a refresher, HERE is a link to our always changing schedule for this week.

A few things to note:


If you have NOT joined our Remind group you need to TODAY.  This is our emergency phone tree, and is not an option.

You can join one of two ways.  You can download the Remind app, click "join a class" and type in "@15webb"

Or you can text like below

This Year
If you have NOT shared a Google Doc with Aaron Marvel, please do so by the end of the day Monday.  These were due this past Friday.  If you need a refresher, here are the sentence starters.....

This year, I want...
My biggest hope for 15-16...
I wonder...
What if...
My students....
I commit to...
I’m going to work on....

EduHero and Insurance

Finish your EduHero trainings by August 31st!!  Don't wait until the last minute!

Make sure you have completed your online insurance sign up/denial.  Remember you will have time to meet with someone F2F at the Symposium if you wish.


I would highly suggest you attend the symposium sessions over grant writing so that you can submit grants this year for things you may want!!  I will also be doing a Twitter 101 session Tuesday morning if you wanna learn more about Twitter!  HERE is a link to the entire schedule. And join the Symposium Remind group for reminders and door prizes! Join using "@nisd2015"

Crash Course

Most importantly, don't forget to read the introduction and Chapter one of "Crash Course" that you were given!  We will have a book talk Wednesday morning about it!

Your Genius

Make sure you submit your genius title by Monday afternoon so we can turn them into Cindy!  HERE Is where you can do that.


In order for Cindy and me to update laptops and get the right technology into your classrooms, this is a reminder to fill this out for us as well.  HERE is the form.


Here are a few of my favorite blogs/articles from this past week

Never Slam the Door

What Happened When Our School Stopped Assigning Nightly Homework?


What's Your One Wish For Education?

14 Things Teachers Should Never Do on the First Day of School

A Few Ideas for Parent Engagement


Research Based Literacy Strategies for All Young Children

Transforming Your School into a School of Excellence


My goal is to every week introduce you to a few more amazing people to connect with and learn from online through Twitter!  I will also be doing a Twitter 101 Session at the Symposium on Tuesday morning if you want to come!  Here are a few more of my favorites and feel free to tweet them, meet them, ask for ideas, opinions, advice. That's why we get on twitter to share our story, connect, get help:

Adam Welcome - Elementary Principal in California
Jennifer LaGarde - Digital Literacy Specialist (and Librarian) in North Carolina
Jed Dearbury - Educator in North Carolina
Amber Teamann - Elementary Principal in Texas
Kim Bearden - Author and Educator in Georgia

Upcoming Important Things!

Convocation is at 9am at Brosig Auditorium on Monday

Meet the Teacher is Thursday from 5:00-7:00pm.  You don't have to arrive at work until 11am that day!  Dress code is Webb Elementary Shirt

Finally,  we are working diligently to get you your class rosters.  As of now, we will NOT be sending home letters that tell parents who their teacher will be.  They will have to find out the night of Meet The Teacher.  We apologize for this, but there are many unforeseen issues with Skyward and the redistricting.  I will send a letter out on Monday to parents explaining.  We would rather not inform them yet of their teacher and then have to change it again later.  Please do not go into Skyward.  There are many changes taking place.

We expect to have lists out to you on Wednesday and will ask you to call families, inviting them to Meet the Teacher.

We will provide more insight into meet the teacher night on Wednesday with all staff.

Thank you guys so much for your hard work, patience, and more as we get this year started out!  I truly believe incredible things are going to happen this year and with all of us working together there really isn't anything we can't accomplish.

Here's to another week!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Here We Go!

Can you believe it?  We're already at that time of starting another school year!  I don't know about you, but my summer flew by incredibly fast.

I can't wait to see what we're going to do as a campus.  These next two weeks are going to be a fire hydrant stream worth of information.  Don't stress or worry if you can't take it all in, that's why we're here!  To help each other every step of the way.

I am so thrilled to finally be bringing this team together.  I know that this year, lives will be changed.  That we'll not only be able to academically educate kids, but that we'll be able to touch their hearts and leave lasting emotional memories that truly do make an impact.  It won't be easy, and it will take all of us working together, but together we can do this!

This blog is the place where I'll post our weekly reminders, blog links, videos, etc.  That way you don't always have to go searching out for an email for reminders!

I've shared with you all our tentative (and can still change) schedule for the next two weeks.  You can find a copy of it HERE.  The dress code as well as any free lunch opportunities are all listed on there!


My goal is to find blog posts that encourage you, challenge you, and hopefully make you think!  Here are a few great blog posts I've come across the last week or so.....

"Technology Ideas for the First Day of School"

"Ditching the Teacher Desk"

"Reading Log Revolt"

and my most recent favorite, "The 2x10 Strategy"


EdWeb also does some great webinars!  Here are a few you can either watch the recording of, or register for!  Don't worry if you can't make the time of the webinar. By registering they put you on an email list to receive the recording afterwards!

"My Class is Out of Control, HELP!"

"Games and Apps for Supporting Young Students with Math Difficulties"

"Create and Share, Calling Young Authors Everywhere"

"Teaching with Paired Text: Solutions for Modern Classrooms"

The worst thing we can do as an educator is stop learning.  I always tell teachers as I travel and present, how dare we as educators walk into a classroom every day and tell our students to learn if we ourselves are not learning!!


I'll also share a few people each week that I learn A LOT from on Twitter so you can have a great place to start from on who to follow (some of whom may actually come visit Webb this year.....)

Donalyn Miller - Educator and Author of The Book Whisperer
Erin Klein - Educator (2nd Grade), Scholastic Teacher, Educational Trainer
Angela Maiers - Educator, Author of "The Passion Driven Classroom", founder of #YouMatter
Dave Burgess - Educator, Author of "Teach Like a Pirate"
Greg Smedley-Warren - Educator (Kindergarten), Kindergarten Smorgasbord, A Teachers Pay Teachers top earning teacher

Still confused about Twitter? Don't worry, I'm here to help!! And HERE is a great post to get you started!

As you come across exceptional blog post, articles, webinars, tweets, whatever, please share!  I'd love to include them in our weekly blog post!  Here's to a great week!!

Upcoming Events this Week:

8/10 - Monday - All staff returns!  Meet in Webb Cafeteria at 8am.

8/11 - Fountas & Pinnell Training for K-2 - Webb Cafeteria
           3-5 Grade Level Mtgs with Admin Throughout Day

8/12 - Fountas & Pinnell Training for 3-5 - Webb Cafeteria
          Specials and PK-2 Grade Level Mtgs with Admin Throughout Day

8/13 - CHAMPS, Forethought, and Campus Meeting - Webb Cafeteria - 8am

8/14 - Kagan Training - High School Cafeteria - 8am