Weekly Message #4-5

images-1This Friday is our Walkathon for Kids with Cancer.  Congratulations to Paula who has raised over $400 with her popcorn sales.  We are hoping to surpass our previous collection of $3000.  Please do your best to encourage students to bring in their money.  It’s probably a good idea for us to announce our totals each day this week leading up to Friday’s walk.  Paula and I would welcome some volunteers to count money each day.  Please let us know if you are able to help out.

We are all looking forward to a great Pro-d day on Monday.  Thanks to our pro-d committee for planning the speakers and organizing our day.  Thanks also to our social committee for organizing a delicious Thai lunch for us.  Sessions will be from 9-11:30 and 12:30 – 3:00.  We want to make the most of having two such excellent presenters available to us so we will not be taking any breaks during our sessions.

I forwarded the application and information for the Collaborative Inquiry money available this year.  We did not apply last year and misses out on a big chunk of funding.  Let’s make sure we take advantage of this opportunity this year.  Please think it over and we’ll discuss at Tuesday’s Staff Committee meeting.

Two of our three positions have been filled.  Congratulations to Maggie who is the successful candidate for the Kindergarten position.  Maggie will move into her new position in September 2014.  In the meantime, the position has been posted as temporary position which will run until June 2014.  The .2 Resource position has been filled by Mary Skarsgard.  Mary currently works as a resource teacher two days a week at Kitchener.  Her first day at Moberly will on Thursday.  Welcome, Mary!  The Gr. 3 job share / resource position is still in the process of being filled so Shannon will be staying with us for a little while longer.

Speaking of resource support, I know that many people are finding our organization and the very limited flexibility of time slots challenging.  Here are some of the reasons why we have struggled with the schedule this year:

  • Early primary (K/1) should note that staffing for that level was decreased by .2 this year (That’s seven fewer periods a week). Last year we had .6 of LIF money to fund early intervention.  This year we have .4 LIF for early intervention and .4 LIF for low incidence support.
  • We are very focused on providing intensive support for reading this year including:Corrective Reading for Gr. 4-7, Reading A-Z in ability groups for Grades 2/3, and for K/1 – Reading recovery, and Leveled literacy.
  • In addition we are providing 10 periods a week of ELL reception support.
  •  All of these programs were slotted into the timetable first leaving little flexibility for the remainder of our scheduling.

Please bring any questions or concerns that you have about our resource schedule to Tuesday’s staff committee meeting.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

  1. Pro -D day on Monday – Adrienne Gear (Power Reading with Fiction and Non Fiction) and Lori Sherritt-Fleming (Writing and Vocabulary Development)
  2. Staff Committee Meeting Tuesday at lunch.  Agenda items to the clipboard in the staff room by noon on Monday so that agendas can be distributed on Monday afternoon.
  3. Walkathon for Kids with Cancer Friday at 1:00.  We will start with a very short assembly in the gym before heading out for out walk (rain or shine).  The amount of time and distance of your walk is up to you.  Keep those coins coming!

Weekly Message #4-4

Go Moberly Mustangs!

Go Moberly Mustangs!

This year is all about reading and it seems that this week is all about BOOKS!  Five intermediate divisions will be attending the Wonder of Books at John Oliver this Wednesday.  This promises to be a big media event so tune in to the news that night for highlights!  We will be proud to see Kirat Dhesi from Div. 2 as one of the student emcees for the event.  Moberly students will also represent us in the Battle of the Books.  Thanks to Gwen and the classroom teachers who supported the students in practising and preparing for the big event.  If you are interested in seeing what the Battle of the Books looks like, please drop into the common session (6:30 – 7:00) on Wednesday where the students will give a short demo.

Also, this week, volunteers from “Books for Me” will be here all day Thursday to give out a free book to every Moberly student.  I will work on a schedule on Monday and put it in your boxes.  The book give-away will be in Henry and Maggie’s resource classroom next to the office.

Finally, on Friday, a group of grade 1 teachers will spend the day working together to refine their reading instruction.  Thanks to many of our resource team members who have agreed to cover the Grade 1 classes to allow the teachers to take advantage of this opportunity.

I came across a great teacher’s blog with a wonderful inspiring message.  Check it out at: http://thereisabookforthat.com/2013/09/15/20-years-20-things/

This blog is written by someone who has been teaching for 20 years, telling 20 things that inspire her teaching.  The blog itself is also a great resource for good books to use with kids.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

  1. Interviews for Gr.3 / Resource position Monday after school.
  2. Interviews for K position Tuesday.
  3. Meeting for resource team and Gr. 2/3 teachers 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
  4. Interviews for .2 Resource Wednesday.
  5. Wonder of Books event at John Oliver.
  6. Meet the Teacher night 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  Please promote this event with your students this week.  Do your best to make sure that they understand the schedule and can share it with their parents.
  7. Books for Me give away on Thursday.

Have a great week everyone.

Weekly Message #4-3

imagesIt seems that the summer weather is over.  I am looking out the window as I write this message and it is pouring rain – particularly sad as our annual block party and barbecue are scheduled to start in an hour!  Oh well, we’ll see what happens.

A couple of urgent things to take care of this week – 1) planning for our “Meet the Teacher” event on Wed. Sept 25th.  2) planning for our pro-d day on Sept. 30th.

First of all, you had indicated that you wanted to do something different this year for Meet the Teacher that would draw in more parents.  Anyone who is interested in brainstorming some ideas is welcome to join me in the staffroom at recess on Monday.  We should get our plan in place asap so we can get ready and inform our community

Secondly, we have Adrienne Gear (reading) and Lori Sherritt-Fleming (writing) booked for Sept 30th for our pro-d day.  The general format is set with the intermediates and primaries spending half a day each with our presenters.  Both presenters have asked for some guidance about how to focus their presentations / workshops.  I’d like to meet with the pro-d committee on Tuesday at recess to discuss some specifics that we can share with Adrienne and Lori.

Hard to believe we are already 2 weeks in but we have accomplished a lot in that time.  It promises to be a fast paced and exciting year.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

  1. Meet the teacher brainstorming at recess on Monday in the staffroom – all are welcome.
  2. Former staff member, Dianne Guild, will be here at lunch on Monday to share goodies and conversation.  Please join us in the staffroom.
  3. Barb, Peggy, Henry and I will be interviewing 3 candidates for our Gr. 3 / Resource position after school on Wednesday. Our other two postings (Kindergarten and .2 Resource) will close at 4:30 on Monday.  If you are interested in serving on the shortlisting / interview committee, please let me know.
  4. Resource team meeting to finalize class assignments 11 – 12 on Tuesday.
  5. Information for staff on resource team assignments will be provided at lunch on Tuesday in the staffroom.  Please join us.
  6. Patti & Henry will be at the Superintendent’s meeting on Wednesday morning.  Paul is in charge in our absence.
  7. Gwen will attend the final organization meeting for the “Wonder of Reading” at John Oliver on Wednesday morning.  Five divisions have been selected to attend the event. (Classes of the students who are competing in the Battle of the Books)

Have a great week everyone!

Weekly Message #4-2

The Eagles at Rogers Arena - September 2013

The Eagles at Rogers Arena – September 2013

Another busy weekend flies by and we will soon be back at work.  A highlight for David and I this weekend was the Eagles concert on Saturday night at Rogers Arena.  After a wonderful dinner at the Hamilton St. Grill, we walked over to the venue ( with all the other 50+ age audience members – not too many under that age for sure).  The concert was amazing – crystal clear sound, excellent seats and a packed house to hear such old favourites as: Hotel California, Desperado, Best of my Love and countless more.  A beautiful evening!

We have survived the first week and class lists are almost ready to go – just a few last minute adjustments and they will be in your boxes on Monday morning along with the sheets you need to disperse your week one students.  Please move students to their new classes asap on Monday morning.  Due to the increase in our staffing, the new K’s who were with Cynthia this week will be moving to Room 019 to be with a teacher on call until the position is filled.  A million thanks to Henry, Narinder and anyone else who helped to set up the room for the new teacher while I laboured away with class numbers.  This week, we will be focusing on firming up our ESL identification, special needs counting and aboriginal student identification.  The office will be working closely with the resource team to count as accurately as possible.  Since we have so many new students, we have to make sure that they are all identified for funding.

Thanks to Paula for putting up the Walkathon bulletin board in the front hall.  We are hoping to beat our total from two years ago for this important cause.  Thanks in advance for encouraging your students to give generously.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

Resource Teacher meeting Monday morning in Jen’s room – check your staff meeting agenda for the time.

Student Assembly at 9:00 on Tuesday morning – Code of Conduct, Focus on Reading and introduction to the Walkathon for Kids with Cancer.

 

Weekly Message #4-1

From our garden...

From our garden…

Welcome back everyone!  I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday with lots of time for fun and relaxation.  I am looking forward to working with you all again this year.  Please join me in wishing Lily Woo well, as she has accepted a position at Tecumseh Elementary.  Shannon Woron will be here for the next few weeks while the job is posted (.5 Resource / . 5 Gr. 3 Job share).  We welcome Maria MacMaster and Theresa Lopetrone who have joined our teaching staff this year.  We wish Paula Muscardin and Suzanne Shepherd well as they move on to new SSSA assignments.  We welcome back Phil Stephen, Gigi Prudente and are pleased to also welcome new SSSAs – Agnes Coelho and Leesa Borbely (.5).

Our numbers are strong and just about every class is at max.  We currently have 7 students (mostly primary) on our waitlist.  There is still a possibility that we may go up a division so I haven’t changed your door signs yet!  We will keep you informed daily of our numbers situation and appreciate your support in handing in your attendance asap every day.  Any information that you can provide about “no show” students is always appreciated.

As requested by a number of staff, new students have been placed in last year’s classes as room allows.  You will be provided with attendance sheets on Tuesday morning that list any new students for whom you will be responsible during the first week.  Please let us know if we have miscalculated!  No one should have over regular class sizes.  Also, please read over your packages carefully to see what you will be doing on day one and two.  If you are not assigned a class on day one, your help in taking new students from the office to their classes would be welcomed.

Please join us for our staff meeting on Tuesday morning where delicious, freshly waffles and coffee will be provided for your enjoyment (Thank you Chef Plottel)

This year “It’s all about READING!” and I am excited about the many new initiatives that we will participating in (tech pilot, multiple literacies, and inquiry project).  We will be talking more about this at our first week staff meetings.  It’s going to be great.

I have received a request to place 3 CORE French student teachers from UBC.  Anyone interested?  Let me know.

Here we are at the lake this summer:

DSC_0312

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

  1. Staff meeting on Tuesday – 10 or 10:30 (not sure which – check your packages)
  2. Staff meeting on Thursday at lunch
  3. Class tweeking based on new numbers – Friday.  time TBA