October 27, 2014

By Allan  


Hi Everyone,

Right now the forecast for our Halloween Parade is cloudy with a chance of showers, so keep your fingers crossed we won’t need to go with our rainy day plan.

Eleven items of note this week:

• Leadership Plan Ideas – It’s a few more weeks until our staff meeting to discuss leadership plan proposals, but it was proposed at IPBS last week that we add Jennifer to our leadership plan for her work as de facto co-leader of the IPBS Team with Mellissa; writing BSPs, conducting FBAs and setting up and participating in behavior related meetings for IPBS students. The other ideas proposed earlier were for current leaders to write up their duties to get a sense of which positions require more time, and the other proposal was to simply evenly divide the 20 days among the identified leadership positions. If you have other ideas, please let me know.

• Track Update – The track is now officially open for business. However, I still haven’t gotten an answer as to when the fence is going to move. One other note, I was originally thinking we could let kids play in the long jump pits like a sandbox, but facilities is apparently installing covers on them. :(

• Old Textbooks, Workbooks and Teacher Guides – If any staff members have old teacher guides, student textbooks or workbooks that you no longer use, please let me know. This Thursday I’m going to do some Curriculum Library culling of materials from previous adoptions (nothing from the currently adopted materials) and will be contacting the Follett book buyer rep to see if we can get a little money for these materials. Also, if there are items in the Curriculum Library from old adoptions you want kept. let me know by the end of the week.

• 3 Guys and a Ball Assembly October 29th, 8:30-9:15 – I emailed this out last week, but attached are the map and direction for this Wednesday’s anti-bullying assembly, 3 Guys and a Ball. The assembly presenter, Les “Pee-Wee” Harrison of the Harlem All-Stars (an off-shoot of the Harlem Globetrotters), requested that students sit in a horseshoe shape. He said he doesn’t require a hoop for his presentation, but if he does want to orient the horseshoe to face a hoop, be ready for a last minute shift in which direction the horseshoe will face. He also said there will be lots of great photo opportunities throughout the assembly, so have your cameras ready. Attached is a brochure for the assembly and a couple links (About Pee-Wee and 3 Guys and a Ball) if you’d like to read up on the assembly content and/or Pee-Wee before Wednesday.

• Halloween Parade October 29th, 12:30-1:00 – Another repeat from last week, attached are the parade directions and map for the Halloween Parade and Thrill the World! performance. We will follow our usual parade route and will perform the Thriller Dance (6 minutes) on the playground. We will then resume the parade route for as long as time allows, with teachers ending the parade early and taking students back to class if time appears to be running short. In case we get news media coverage again, not on my blog, but attached in the announcements email is a list of students who are not to be filmed by the media, so please be aware of these students we if cameras do come out for our event.

• Conferences Information – A few items about conferences this week:

• eScrip Sign-Up Tables – I’ll be setting up tables outside of classrooms equipped with a laptop and posted information (Spanish : English) and direction for how to sign-up for eScrip. If you haven’t done it yourself, it’s a pretty easy way to support Howard by simply registering your credit and/or debit cards and then when you make purchases at certain businesses, Howard get’s a percentage of your purchase, ranging from 1.2% at Amazon or 4% at Safeway and Market of Choice to 5% at Sam’s Place Tavern or Sizzle Pie or Cornucopia.
• PTO Provided Dinner – The PTO will be providing meals both evenings for conferences. I didn’t get the official word from them what it would be, but I was told one night would be catered and the other night would be a family made pot luck.
• Free/Reduced Meals Forms at Conferences – Be sure to have free/reduced meal forms on hand during conferences and please highlight this program for families. We’ll have extra copies available in the mailroom and outside the front office.
• Friday, October 31st Classified Staff Expectations – One final repeat item, Friday, Oct. 31st is a regular work day for Classified Staff, but is not a work day for licensed staff who worked extended hours for conferences. Since this is a non-student day, I would encourage classified staff who have comp time coming to use it this day. If you are planning to work on Friday, please connect with your primary cooperating teacher on how best to help out this day.

• Allan to Apple Event in Next Week – Not this week, but next week, I’ll be out of the building Wednesday and Thursday with a district team attending an Apple event in Salem. While I’m out, Charlie Jett, Kelly’s Assistant Principal, will be filling in for me. He’s excited to get some elementary experience and also get to know kids who will be heading over to Kelly in the years to come.

• Teaching Tolerance Lesson on Stopping Halloween Stereotypes – Teachers are in a great position to show students that costume fun shouldn’t supersede respect. The Teaching Tolerance lesson “What Do Halloween Costumes Say?” is a good, simple activity if this is a topic you’re interesting in doing with your class.

• Survey: Students favor smartphones, tablets over other tech – Among 4 to 14-year-olds, smartphones and tablets are the most commonly used electronic devices, according to a recent survey from The NPD Group. This trend has sparked changes in schools, where officials increasingly looking to integrating these types of devices and are adopting bring-your-own-device policies that welcome students’ devices into the classroom.

• iOS Apps of Note
– Here are a smattering of interesting apps I’ve come across from various sources:

• Free app teaches lessons about digital citizenship – A new app aims to help students become responsible digital citizens. DigitalCitizen, by Learning.com, teaches students about online safety, the proper use of digital tools and how to handle cyberbullying through the use of games, videos and quizzes. The app is available at no charge from the Google Play and Apple store.
• Classroom Management Apps – In the School Library Journal article, “Classroom Management Tricks” by Richard Byrne, he recommends three apps that help with classroom management:

Random student name selector
Countdown timer
Noise regulator

• Flocabulary AppFlocabulary is a collection of content-based songs and videos using hip-hop themes and catchy phrases and mnemonic devices to help students remember basic content.

• Schedule of Events for the Week – See the Google Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

October 27 (M)
Reading Progress Monitoring Week 3
10:15, 2nd Grade Fire Prevention Presentation
2:30, Site Council (Staff Room)

October 28 (T)
Weekly Flouride Rinse Starts
2:30, PBIS Meeting (Room 21)

October 29 (W)
No Beep, Beep Drawing this Week
8:30-9:15, 3 Guys and a Ball Assembly (Gym)
10:10, Allan Reading Spooky Book to Class
12:20/30-1:00, Halloween Parade/Thrill the World!
4:00-8:00 Conferences (PTO provide dinner starting at 5:00)

October 30 (H)
8:00AM-8:00PM Conferences (PTO provide dinner starting at 5:00)
1:30-3:00, Allan to Principal Goals Conference (Ed Center)

October 31 (F)
No School – Teacher Comp Day

November 3 (M)
1:30-2:30, Robin and Allan to Title 1 Coordinator and Principal’s Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30-5:00, Allan to Elementary Principal’s Meeting (Ed Center)

November 4 (T)
Allison and Allan to Learning About Learning Network Meeting (Edison)
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Room 7)

November 5 (W)
Wacky Wednesday-Sports/Team Day
Allan to Apple Event in Salem (Charlie Jett to substitute)

November 6 (H)
Allan to Apple Event in Salem (Charlie Jett to substitute)
2:30-3:30, Taking it Up Meeting (Staff Room)

November 7 (F)
Regular Day

Have a great week and enjoy the clip below from the best Halloween movie of all-time! And if you need scary movie recommendations, the video store clerk in me has plenty of recommendations!