Week of September 5th

Question to ponder… What can we do to start instruction EVERY day by 8:10 A.M.????  7:30-7:50 Breakfast and POD/ DOL?    7:55-8:10 SEL?  (Students who come in late…have a student to leave a fruit or pastry on their table..they can eat and work at the same time???  Morning restroom break???? What can we do?  Think about it…. Enter your thoughts on the link below or simply email me.






HAPPY Tuesday!!!!   Thank you so much for another solid week of teaching and learning! 24 days down…..156 to go!

I thank you for another week of teaching and learning at the best Elementary School in the city of Atlanta. Thank you for those of you who received visits from our outside supporters and most importantly I thank you for giving your students your very very best! During one of our visits, students were able to explain what they were doing through the language of the standard; One class, in particular, the students were so thorough they continued to expound and expound… eventually, we had to direct them back to the task! lol!

 Again, thank you for your well-planned lessons, your positive interactions with your students, and (because of you) their positive interactions with their peers.

I wish everyone a smooth and short 6th week of school!

You are absolutely terrific!

George R.R. Martin“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”
― George R.R. Martin


  • Kudos to Dr. Greer’s class for circling up to conduct SEL! I was able to join the group and I had a fantastic time getting to know the students.


  • Kudos to Ms. Krystle Scott for planning and organizing the fifth grade Woodruff Art’s exposure field trips for the year. Fifth-grade teachers were trained and will be given the opportunity to expose their students to the ARTS, free of charge!
  • Kudos to all of our classes in grades kindergarten through fifth grade for taking time out to put together their data notebooks. It was so interesting to see students discussing their data and really strategizing how and what they can do this year to make it better. I heard one student say he was going to talk to his mom about making sure that he did not miss any more days in school. I heard another student say they could not wait until they took their next assessment to get a better score.


  • Kudos to Dr. Blount for successfully organizing our first Go Team meeting of the year.
  • Kudos to the following teachers for having the best attendance on their grade level for this past week!!  Blue Jean Passes are awarded  to…..(I will have to verify the names, I left the sheet at school)
  • Kudos to the following homerooms for continuing to have their students to take AR tests, here is a summary of each class wordcount.

    (Based on feedback we received from grades 1 and 2, it is feasible for our students in those grades to read 3 books per week and take AR test three times per week. Grades 3, 4, and 5 are still the expected to read one book per night on their Lexile Level or slightly above and take daily tests. However, due to our technology issues, I am lowering that requirement to four books per week; however, students who read five will be rewarded. The requirements for the Pitt passes will remain the same. Remember all books have to be on the students’ readability level or slightly above in order for us to make the greatest impact with Lexile levels. This can no longer be a best practice, this has to be a requirement for all students in order for us to fill the impact in ELA.  Based on our literacy scores this year, we cannot afford to not do this. Please note, Ms. Leverett has made access to the Chromebook card assessable.) We will start contacting parents this week for those students who are not reading the required number of books.  Again, thank you , thank you, thank you, thank you for pushing AR!!!!!


Quote for the week:



curriuculum.jpgCurriculum and Instruction:

Lessons at a glance–  Please make sure that your lessons at a glance are uploaded to our google docs folder by Fridays of each week.  Please note, we are noticing that some team members need more assistance with the Lesson at a Glance and therefore they will be asked to turn in their Lessons at a Glance on Thursdays of each week after Labor Day just so we can provide the necessary support needed before the start of the new week. We will contact those teachers individually. (We will contact those individuals this week 9-4-17) 

  • Homework – Homework should be meaningful. Students may practice current standards or review standards.  This is an opportunity for independent practice.
  • Assessment: All assessments have been uploaded to Mastery Connect…Dr. Blunt and Mr. Doby will administer unit 1 mid checks this week. 
  • Math Drills – Begin giving students addition or multiplication fact drills through song, timed quizzes, etc. Teacher’s in grades K, 1, and 2…please begin to convey (with Mr. Doby) the strategies you are using with your students in math so that we can create our math fact fluency drills centered around the strategies you are using in the classroom. We want our drills to be fair! ( I am waiting on the strategies 9-4) 
  • Instructional Practices – Standards must be posted, as well as annotated objectives with IOTs In addition students must be able to explain using the language of the standard. Example: Students are identifying key details in a story… Students should be able to explain when asked what they are doing by using the language of the standard and relate it back to the task or activity. Students are not expected to verbally restate the entire standard, however, they are expected to know some the language and relate it to what they are doing. ” I am trying to find the theme in this text” 
  • Please follow the ELA Literacy Block provided by Dr. Blunt. (New 9-4-17)
  • Our instructional coaches are currently working on a catalog for professional development based on the feedback you have been given so that we can further support you. The catalog will be available on Monday. Every team member will have to attend a professional development on the days given and keep track using a professional development passport that will be turned in at the end of the year for the summative review. Our professional development will be differentiated based on the needs of all team members. Not everyone needs a professional development on annotating standards and using the language of the standard throughout the lesson.  Again, we will make sure that there is a professional development that will suit all of our needs. (New 9-4-17)
  • Behavior Referrals– If you have concerns with student’s behavior please complete the behavior referral form found in the “Important Links” at the bottom of this blog.

Classroom Walk-Throughs: This will be our focus for this week: tenor

  1.  Evidence and solid implementation of the Week at a Glance. We will begin to use the units of study for our focus walks. Be sure to follow your Lessons at Glance to ensure your approach is balanced regarding our units of study
  2. (NEW) Please make sure that your lessons at a glance reflect true instructional planning. Your focus lesson cannot be anything other than you explicitly teaching the standard and modeling what the task will look like when students are guided,  collaborating with their peers, working in small groups, and when appropriate independent practice.  Also, please be careful about using Journeys for your literacy block as a whole group. Journeys is designed for on grade level instruction, many of our students are not on grade level and therefore they should be instructed using leveled books/texts on their readability level (using the grade level standard), this is the only way our struggling readers will become better readers, which occurs during Guided Reading. We are continuing to monitor the literacy block and will have an update that will follow that will reflect our observations. If you are not sure how the literacy black should look, please reach out to Dr. Blunt for more support.
  3.  Use of IB Language, ” Kelli, thank you for being a risk-taker by taking a shot at answering this question!”
  4. Annotated objectives for all subjects (The coaches will support you this during your PLC time)/ Students are expected to be able to explain what they are doing as it related to the language of the standard.  (Look at the example above under curriculum and Instruction)
  5.  We are an IB school so Essential Agreements (Be sure the words “Essential Agreements are written” )should be visibly posted in your classrooms.
  6.  Instructional Strategies relevant to the standards must be used daily. Here is a circle map (Thinking Map) showing visually all the ways to show 7,542. Also, here is a flow map comparing decimals…just examples…



Math Strategies that work: https://tinyurl.com/yaug9pt8

Reading Strategies that work: These are only examples…


School Culture:

School culture.gif

Behavioral expectations: Please continue to enforce the behavior expectations throughout the day. Also, please make sure that your students have hallway passes when they are traveling in the hallway. Too many students are in the hallway without passes, please help us to decipher the kids who are genuinely doing what they are asked to do and the students who are not.  Please do not send your students out of the room without an official pass (not hand written).  Please.

Parent Involvement: Grab 10– Grab 10 is a  program geared to get more parents involved. Each team member will be challenged to grab (sign-up) 10 parents.  You can ask for their D.O.B, their favorite snack, etc. in an effort to totally engage them.

Spread a positive word – Teachers should make one call that’s all (at least every other week) to share a positive word or update parents. (This will be a practice for all adults in the building…I made three positive calls last week)

Game Room– The game room is open for business. I am excited to c53e86120e9e85a38435b488df48da1dannounce that the instructional  team will be rolling through your neighborhood in the mornings (7:30 A.M. -7:50 A.M)  to offer students a chance to  take multiplication fluency test, addition and subtraction fluency test, and sight word test for a chance enter the game room and most importantly to beef up those practices that will assist them in your classrooms. We have several students who have mastered their multiplication facts…I AM SO PROUD OF THEM!!!

90% Attendance Rule

Please ensure that you are maintaining accurate attendance records. As many of you know, the “90% Attendance Rule” is starting this year, which means that attendance will determine whether a student’s performance will affect a teacher’s Student Growth rating.  The attendance team will continue to do our part by making sure our parents understand the importance of coming to school.

Discipline Referral Google Link- Team, please complete the behavior referral form when there is a need. Once you submit the form we are immediately notified via email.



Events, Announcements, and Reminders:

upcoming events.gif

Please make sure you pick your students up on time from lunch and specials! Please note, the kindergarten teachers are not able to use their support due to students who remain in the cafeteria after their time is up. Please pick up your students on time. Also, please make sure you take your students to the restroom before going to specials. 

  • Progress Reports go home-9/6/17
  • Trojan talk -9/5/17 @ 8:30 A.M.
  • Sock Hop K-2- 9/8/17 @ noon
  • Sock Hop 3-5- 9/8/17 @ 1:20
  • Tutorial will start on Thursday, September 7, 2017
  • Leadership Team meeting –9/8/17 PLC Room…
  • A-Team Meeting– 9/9/17 @ 9:00 A.M.
  • Faculty  (Entire team)  Meeting – 9/13/17
  • Professional Development offering: TBA
  • Data Team Meeting/Leadership Meeting  (Members of the team) – 9/15/17
  • Friday Atten-Dance party (K-4 ONLY) – 2:10 – 2:20P.M.
  • A.R. parent meeting (We will have another meeting next week…Ms. Reid will send out the flyers)
  • Quality Student Work Bulletin Boards– Due September 22 (Instructional Coaches will talk to you regarding the requirements)
  • Did you know the game room is available for after-school team building activities for your grade level team? Email me and I will communicate to our game room monitor, Mr. Perrino.  He will make sure the room is setup; he will show you how to use the gaming systems and the karaoke machine.



When we leave feedback for you via our phone message pads, we use the information to create professional developments, school wide and individually, to support you!  If you are not receiving the feedback you would like regarding our past focus observations, please contact the following team members to assist you.  In addition, the coaches will also reach out to you individually based on the feedback collected.

Need support using data and flexible grouping?

Contact Ms. Woods

This professional development will cover the following:

  • Data notebooks
  • Data wall
  • Using your data to plan for small groups
  • Interpreting data

Need support using writing and using your annotated objective throughout your lesson?

Contact Mr. Doby

Professional Development offering: “How to Annotate your Objective to help your students understand what you are really asking them to do?”

This professional development will cover the following:

  • Using synonyms to define language of the standard
  • Getting your students to effectively communicate the standard and relate the standard to the task or activity they are working on
  • How to use your objective throughout the lesson

Need support leveling your classroom library?

Contact Dr. Blunt



A Message from our Instructional Coaches:


Dr. Varnado-


SEL Tidbits

Please adhere to the SEL schedule.

Second Step Unit 1 will start this week

Essential Agreements should be posted

IB Focus of the Month

School-wide implementation of IB Language (Learner Profile Attributes and Attitudes)

Looking for IB Team Members!!!

Please see or email Dr. Varnado if you are interested in becoming a member of the IB Team.

Dr. Blunt- ELA PLC Tuesday

Mr. Doby- Math PLC- Monday



September Birthdays!!!!!



Lockett Amey- 7th

Alicia Njie- 12th

Jamaal Beazer- 15th

Yolanda Day- 17th

Important web links for reference: (These will be included every week)

Advanced Leave Request Form:


APS Curriculum and Instruction Home Page:


TKES Georgia TLE site:


Tiers 1-3 interventions:


Discipline Referral Google Link


Need Support from our Educational Technology Specialist? Click below to request Gina Wilson’s services.

Request Me: http://tinyAPS.com/?ETS_RequestForm

Feedback:  http://tinyAPS.com/?ETS_FeedbackForm

Preferred Substitute List:

Ms. Middlebrooks Grades K-2 ONLY   # 404-696-0317

Ms. Gloria Hodges (She is AWESOME with 5th grade)

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