October 9, 2017

By Allan  


Hello Roadrunners!

It’s a short week with kids coming Monday through Wednesdays, with a Howard PD Day Thursday and State In-Service Day Friday.

Twenty-one items of note for this week:

• AESOP Job Note for Classified Subs – Classified staff, please enter your job title into the “Notes to Substitute” section of AESOP when you put in for a sub. AESOP is not good at giving subs a clear idea of what jobs they are picking up and this helps clarify.

• Licensed Staff Sub Folders – Most all classified staff have tuned in their sub folders to the office, but we’re still waiting on a number of licensed staff member sub folders. If you haven’t completed and turned yours in to Lori, please do so by the end of this week. Linked here is HR’s recommended list of Guest Teacher Folder Content.

• Classified Comp Time – Overtime and Compensatory “Comp” Time must have prior, written approval from a supervisor, which is most easily done by emailing me before to the date(s) you’re planning to accumulate comp time. Some additional notes regarding comp time:

• Overtime or Compensatory (comp) time (time and a half) for any time worked in excess of 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week.
• Comp time requests must be submitted in writing (or email) prior to being accumulated.
• Only for occasional and irregular overtime work.
• Maximum of 240 hours may be accumulated.
• Must be used or paid within 26 months of earning.

Let me know if you have any questions.

• Number Talks Tips/Reminders – I wanted to highlight the Number Talks Cheat Sheet on page 1 of the Number Talks Packet (the green spiral) teachers were given at last week’s training. These are the golden rules for number talks, which everyone should try between now and our next Number Talks training on Tuesday, October 17th:

What does Number Talks look like?

o Students are near each other so they can communicate with each other (central meeting place)
o Students are mentally solving problems
o Students are given thinking time
o Thumbs up show when they are ready
o Teacher is recording students’ thinking


o Having to talk out loud about a problem helps students clarify their own thinking .
o Allow students to listen to other’s strategies and value other’s thinking
o Gives the teacher the opportunity to hear student’s thinking

Mental Math

o When you are solving a problem mentally you must rely on what you know and understand about the numbers
instead of memorized procedures
o You must be efficient when computing mentally because you can hold a lot of quantities in your head

Thumbs Up

o This is just a signal to let you know that you have given your students enough timq to think about the problem
o If will give you a picture of who is able to compute mentally and who is struggling
o It isn’t as distracting as a waving hand

Teacher as Recorder

o Allows you to record students’ thinking in the correct notation
o Provides a visual to look at and refer back to
o Allows you to keep a record of the problems posed and which students offered specific strategies

Purposeful Problems

o Start with small numbers so the students can learn to focus on the strategies instead of getting lost in the
o Use a number string [a string of problems that are related to and scaffold each other)

Starting Number Talks in your Classroom

o Start with specific problems in mind
o Be prepared to offer a strategy from a previous student
o It is ok to put a student’s strategy on the backburner
o Limit your number talks to about 15 minutes
o Ask a question, don’t tell!

The teacher asks questions:

o Who would like to share their thinking?
o Who did it another way?
o How many people solved it the same way as Billy?
o Does anyone have any questions for Billy?
o Billy, can you tell us where you got that 5?
o How did you figure that out?
o What was the first thing your eyes saw, or your brain did?
o What are Number Talks and Why are they

Additionally, linked here is an electronic version of the complete Number Talks Packet given to folks at the Number Talks training last Wednesday. And linked here is a Number Talks Lesson Planning Template, which is certainly not required to be used, but may be useful. All of the above documents are also on the Howard Google Team Drive under Curriculum/Instruction > Math > Number Talks.

• Math Updates – Linked here is an email update sent to Math Teacher Leaders, but the short version for math teachers is:

• Rekenreks – For K-2 teachers, you DO NOT have to use these but may. If you won’t be using them, please put them in your plastic tub.

• Printing Assessments – Assessments are on the grade-level pages of the 4J LearnZillion website and Jaimee will add them to the LZ Assessment Page as well.

• Optional TalentEd Goals Assistance Meeting Tuesday at 2:30 – Mentioned at last week’s Number Talks Training and in Gretta’s email, Gretta and I will be available on Tuesday at 2:30 to assist teachers with your TalentEd goals. Linked here are Shared Building Staff Goals that teachers are welcome to cut-and-paste into TalentEd. The math goal pre and post assessment are the main part teachers may want to come by for clarification/assistance with, but linked here are some K-2 examples and 3-5 examples of the types of questions grade level teams might want to use for your pre and post tests. Teachers are also welcome to develop your own goals, but all goals are to be entered by the end of this week, October 15th.

• Wacky Wednesday, Rainbow Day – This Wednesdays the first school spirit day of the year, know around Howard as a Wacky Wednesday. This time it’s Rainbow Day, so remind kids Monday & Tuesday to wear their most fabulous rainbow colors or rainbow duds on Wednesday. Personally, I ordered an excellent Rainbow Dash t-shirt I plan to wear. Future Wacky Wednesdays are:

• Nov. 8th — Favorite Sports Day
• Dec. 13th — Mismatch Clothes Day
• Jan. 10th School Color Day
• Feb. 7th — Favorite Character Day
• March 14th — Funky Sock Day
• April 11th — Favorite Animal Day
• May 9th — Extreme Hair Day
• June 6th — Day at the Beach


• PRIDE Awards, Perseverance, Oct 25th– The popular choice on the PRIDE Awards Survey is for awards to happen at lunchtime with family members invited to join their child for lunch. Dates for the awards will be:

Perseverance “Never Quit” – Wednesday, Oct. 25
Respect “Honor Yourself and Others” – Wednesday, Nov. 29
Integrity “Be Honest” – Wednesday, Jan. 17
Discipline “Work Hard at Everything” – Wednesday, Mar. 21
Excellence – “Do Your Personal Best” Wednesday, May 23

December, February, April, and June will be our big tail feather reward events. For new staff, linked here are copies of the PRIDE Award Certificates (Thank-you, Erin!). We’ll have hard copies run off ahead of time and available in the office before each assembly, but teachers should start talking to their class about PRIDE and thinking about 2-4 students who have been been demonstrating Perseverance and a “Never Quit” attitude and behavior.

• New Level 3 Form – Linked here is the new 4J Major Behavior Referral Form (i.e. Level 3) we’ll begin using once they are delivered sometime this week. The content of the form is pretty much the same as what’s on our current Level 3 form, but the format is fairly different.

These will be printed in triplicate, white on top (parent), pink in the middle (homeroom teacher) and yellow on bottom (office). As you can see on the form, there is a section of information that gets filled out on the second page, which does not go to the parent on the first page. Downtown is in the process of having the form translated into Spanish.

• Stop, Walk, Talk Review – I shared this last year, but below is a good video teachers can use for a class review of Stop, Walk, Talk at a Caring School Curriculum class meeting. Also, linked here is a Stop, Walk, Talk step-by-step Stop, Walk, Talk Lesson on teaching this strategy, which I believe was created by Brianna Stiller.

• Equity, Instruction and Partnerships Website – The 4J Office of Equity, Instruction and Partnership has a new website! The purpose of the website is to provide teachers, staff and administrators with community and district events, family resources, free/low cost professional growth opportunities in our area, and links to interpretation services and an application form (to a very small pot of money from the Equity, Instruction and Partnerships’) for student enrichment opportunities in our area (for bus, materials…). Dr. Karen Pérez-Da Silva said to let her know if there are articles, video, film, event, etc. that you recommend for the website, so feel free to email me anything you think should be posted to the website and I will forward it on. The website will be updated bi-monthly so please bookmark it for future reference.

• Commingled Recycling – In light of recent local news stories (one and two) about recycling, here’s a quick reminder of what can an cannot be placed in the blue commingled recycling containers. See the image below and click to enlarge for a printable poster. YES to paper, cardboard, foil, cans, tin cans, plastic bottles, tubs & jars, but NO to napkins, waxed cardboard, plastic pouches, styrofoam, plastic lids/caps, or plastic wrap. If you’d like to review this with your class, SaniPac has a Recycling Slide Show of what can be recycled, which is who 4J contracts with.

• Track Work Postponed – The rubber installation I mentioned last week has been deferred to later due to disagreement on the price for installation. There’s timeline for when it will be done at this point.

• UO The International Cultural Service Program Presentations – The International Cultural Service Program (ICSP) is now open for 2017-18. ICSP provides free presentations and classroom visits by specially trained international UO students. They can give cultural presentations, participate in panel discussions, and introduce activities from cooking, song, dance, and crafts, to martial arts, yoga, traditional sports, and storytelling. An updated ICSP Brochure is coming soon, but for an up to date list of available ICSP students, please visit the International Cultural Service Program website (or this link to request visits) or watch is video to see them in action.

• REPEAT: Open House (formerly Curriculum Night) Wednesday, Oct. 11th– Linked here is a English/Spanish flyer for the 2017 Howard Open House. Classrooms and specialist areas will be open 5:45-6:45, pizza will be served in the cafeteria 6:00-7:00, and a Title 1 Presentation in the library at 6:00. Classroom teachers will get Pizza Tickets (Thank you, Angela!) in your mailboxes this week.

• UPDATED: Howard PD Day, Thursday, Oct 12th – Linked here is the agenda for Thursday’s Google Classroom PD. We’ll have our usual breakfast goodies and drinks, and will start at 8:00 in the cafeteria and will go until 11:30. Charge up your devices the night before and bring them to the meeting along with a charger. Classified staff are invited, but not required to attend.

• REPEAT: State In-Service Day, Friday, Oct 13th – Friday, October 13th is State In-Service day. This is a regular work day for administrators and 192 & 196-day classified staff. This is a non-contract day for licensed staff. For classified staff, you are requited to attend the ALICE training below if you have not already been trained. If you are ever wondering about work year dates, most all of your questions can be answered on the 4J Employee Work Year Calendars webpage.

• REPEAT: District ALICE Training for New Staff, Oct. 13 – 4J is holding an ALICE training October 13th, 8:30- 11:30 at Churchill High School for staff new to the district who have not previously received ALICE training. This is a required training for any untrained classified staff, but this is a non-contract day for licensed staff, so it is an optional training for licensed staff members. Registration is required, so to do so, just click this ALICE Training Registration link.

• Classroomscreen.com – A teacher from the Netherlands made a simple tool with all their favorite digiboard widgets. They couldn’t find such a thing, so they made it it themselves. classroomscreen.com Just project the website on your board full-screen and you can:

• choose a background
• type your instructions in the textbox
• choose a work symbol
• set a timer or show the clock
• use the traffic light
• pick a random name
• do some simple math
• draw in-screen or full-screen
• generate a qr-code
• drag and drop the icons in the right place

It’s a pretty cool simple tool for interactive white boards!

• How positive language improves student learning – Positive language can help empower students and boost academic success, asserts teacher Alyssa Nucaro. In this Edutopia blog post, she outlines her strategy, which includes eliminating the word “don’t,” being honest and direct, choosing your words wisely, practicing positive vocabulary, and conveying faith in student abilities.

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

October 9 (M)
Indigenous Peoples’ Day
7:50-11:45, Data Team Meetings (Title 1 Room, Room 30)
9:25-11:05, 5th Grade Natives Presentations (STEAM Room)

October 10 (T)
Bianca Out Until Oct. 18
8:15-11:15, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
2:30-3:30 IPBS Meeting (Mellissa’s Room, Room 23)
2:30-3:30, Optional Teacher Goal Assistance Meeting (Conference Room)
4:00-8:00, District First Aid/CPR Class (Library)

October 11 (W)
Wacky Wednesday -Rainbow Day
2:30-3:30 PBIS Meeting (Rae’s Room, Room 1)
4:00-5:00. Allan to North Region Principals Meeting SKIPPING
5:45-7:00, Open House

• 5:45 Classrooms Open
• 6:00 Title 1 Presentation (Library)
• 6:00 Pizza Served in Cafeteria
• 6:45 Classrooms Close
• 7:00 Pizza Dinner in Cafeteria Closes

October 12 (H)
No School – Howard PD Day
8:00-11:30, Howard PD w/Kelly MS Staff (Cafeteria)
12:00-3:00, Allan to ILT Meeting (Ed Center)

October 13 (F)
No School — State In-Service Day
Regular Workday for Classified Staff
Non-Contract Day for Licensed Staff
8:30-11:30, ALICE Training for New Staff (Churchill HS)

October 16 (M)
First Day of BEST
9:00-1:00, Swift (2nd grade) to Mt. Pisgah
4:00-5:30, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Ed Center)
5:00-8:00, PTO Wayback Burger Night Fundraiser

October 17 (T)
2:30-3:30 Staff Meeting (Ashley’s Room, Room 25)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Community Room)

October 18 (W)
Title 1 Progress Monitoring Day – No Groups
School Pictures
8:30-11:30, Charis McGaughy, Assistant Superintendent, Visiting Howard

October 19 (H)
Cookie Dough Fundraiser Order Pick-Up
9:00-1:00, Larsen/Pond (2nd grade) to Mt. Pisgah
2:30-3:30, TLT Meeting (Angela’s Room, Room 24

October 20 (F)
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting
10:00-12:15, KG/Life Skills Field Trip to Deterings

October 22 (SU)
2:00, Howard Staff Social – A Nightmare on Elm Street, 1984 (Cinemark 17)

October 28 (SA)
9:30, Howard Staff Social – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 1974 (Cinemark 17)

Have a good short week, everyone!