MS Weekly Staff Memo – November 8, 2014

Great Things I Noticed This Week

I don’t know who was responsible for all of these INCREDIBLE quotes covering the walls of the middle school, but I just want to say thank you.  I stopped and read each and every one of them, and as I did, I was reminded of how blessed we are to be called into this wonderful profession of teaching.  Taking the time to read these words and think these thoughts changed the trajectory of my entire day.  What a gift.  My cup runneth over with gratitude for the opportunity to spend my days with such inspirational people.   Thank you for ALL you do to give these children such amazing experiences.  You all truly exemplify the educator I strive to be.   #blessedbeyondbelief

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Upcoming Events
Monday, November 10th

Tuesday, November 11th
NO SCHOOL; Veteran’s Day Holiday

Wednesday, November 12th
11:00-12:00 – 7th grade team meeting with Juli and Dana

Thursday, November 13th

Friday, November 14th
6th Grade Greek Day

Looking Ahead….
11/19 – Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
11/19 – MS Drama One Acts
11/19-11/20 – Finance Park (8th Grade)
11/19 – MS Staff Meeting
11/21 – 7th Grade Africa Day
11/26 – 11/30 – NO SCHOOL; THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
12/1 – MS Principal/Parent Coffee Talk 8:30-9:30
12/1 – NO Parent Advisory in December
12/2 – Regional Charter School Meeting at HS 10-12
12/3 – MS Staff Meeting
12/8 – School Spelling Bee
12/10 – Band Concert 9:30-10:30
12/10 – Understudy Dance Performance 5:30-8:30
12/11 – MS Dance Dress Rehearsal (during school day)
12/13 – MS Dance Performance
12/17 – MS Show Choir Performance
12/22 – 1/4 – Winter Break

Nuts/Bolts/Reminders/Tips

Be thinking about presentation topics for our Fresh Take Conference (January 23, 2015)!  We need you! Proposals are due and we have minimal offerings.  Please begin thinking or if you are willing but not sure what to do, see an admin or team member for brainstorming.  It is super important that we offer a variety of presentations.  I think we may have high numbers this year!  Proposals can be submitted through the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FreshTake2015Presenters

Be sure to check out the latest admin blog posts on the CSD Power of We Parent Blog. http://csdpowerofwe.org/  The information about “grades” (Entitled – When All Is Said and Done) is super important as it is a major philosophical cornerstone of our mission and vision.  Please be sure to read this information carefully to make sure we are “practicing what we preach.”

As we approach the Holiday Season, please be mindful of not giving homework assignments over the breaks.  We really want students to be able to unplug and enjoy their family time without the pressures of having pending assignments hanging over their heads.  We also want YOU to be able to take a break from the demands of collecting and grading as you greatly deserve it!

Professional Development
Staff Meeting Recap:  Adolescent Brain Development and Brain-Based Teaching and Learning

The article below goes right along with the information discussed at Wednesday’s staff meeting.  I like this article because it includes even a little more science about the physiology of the brain.
The Mind of a Middle Schooler – How Brains Learn:
http://www.edutopia.org/blog/middle-schooler-mind-how-brains-learn-heather-wolpert-gawron

Here are the video excerpts from the PBS Frontline Special: Inside the Teenage Brain
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/teenbrain/view/  (Note the different chapters)

At our next staff meeting, we will explore the latest research out there on brain-based teaching and learning.  I am extremely passionate about this topic and I can hardly wait to watch you all put these ideas into practice.  Many of you are already doing this and have much to celebrate!  Great stuff!!!

Thought-Provoking:
Although this is written from a high school student’s perspective, I thought this article had interesting concepts and take-aways that apply to all teachers of all areas.  Great things to consider as we plan instruction for our students.  Enjoy!
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/10/24/teacher-spends-two-days-as-a-student-and-is-shocked-at-what-she-learned/?hpid=z7

Inspiration:

live with intention

And be sure to laugh this week!  It truly is the best medicine. ~Juli

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