Weekly Round Up 2/28/2016

This next month will go by very fast because we have so many things going on — the ACT, parent conferences, Junior Awards and Ring Dance, March Madness, Student Voice and Comprehensive Schools Surveys, and much more.  Remember to stay connected to your students and help them stay focused in the midst of all of the emotions and distractions that come with spring.  If we stay positive and collaborative, our students will be able to do the same — they take their cues from us!


  • As we continue to focus on increasing and improving questioning and discussion in our classrooms, check out this link to a podcast episode explaining how to get students asking more and better questions.  There are many interesting podcasts out there about teaching and schools, in case you are looking for something to listen to on the way to work or on the treadmill!
  • This article offers innovative ideas about ways to set up a classroom or learning space to foster student work and creative thinking.  
  • Here is a link to a site to create rubrics to help students understand how their work will be evaluated.
  • Close Reading tipThe Practice of Rereading — As part of a close reading, students must read and reread the selected text several times. This requires students to expand their purposes for each repeated reading. Subsequent readings can be completed independently, with peers, with teacher read-alouds, or any combination of those approaches.  (Here is the entire article by Fisher and Frey about Close Reading.)


Domain 4 Professional Responsibilities; Component C – Communicating with Families

  • Information About the Instructional Program
  • Information About Individual Students
  • Engagement of Families in the Instructional Program

Although the ability of families to participate in their child’s learning varies widely due to other family or job obligations, it is the responsibility of teachers to provide opportunities for them to both understand the instructional program and their child’s progress. Teachers establish relationships with families by communicating to them about both the instructional program and about individual students, and they invite families to be part of the educational process itself. The level of family participation and involvement tends to be greater at the elementary level when young children are just beginning school. However, the importance of regular communication with families of adolescence cannot be overstated. A teacher’s effort to communicate with families conveys an essential caring on the part on the part of the teacher, a quality valued by families of students of all ages.

The indicators of instruction considered Accomplished are:

  • Teacher communicates frequently with families about the instructional program and conveys information about individual student progress.
  • Teacher makes some attempts to engage families in the instructional program.
  • Information to families is conveyed in a culturally appropriate manner.

Some critical attributes seen in an Accomplished classroom are:

  • Information about the instructional program is available on a regular basis.
  • The teacher sends information about student progress home on a regular basis.
  • Teacher develops activities designed to successfully engage families in their children’s learning, as appropriate.

Question for Reflection:  Communicating with parents is very important, and our parents want to know the expectations for their student and how their student is progressing. Identify at least 3 different ways in which you communicate with the parents of all of your students.



PBIS Tip: “Working the Crowd – The Inner Loop”

“Either you work the crowd or the crowd works you,” so says Fred Jones. Use the proximity of your body as an instrument of management. Move! The best room arrangement allows the teacher to get from any student to any other student in the fewest possible steps. Create walkways by making an interior loop. Bring students forward and pack them sideways.


starI got this e-mail from Ronda Fields this weekend and had to share because it shows the kind of students we have the great fortune to work with everyday:

Ballard had 6 of the 28 semi finalists at the KY Junior Science and Humanities Symposium held at UofL Friday night and Saturday. We did not qualify any for the top 5 positions but these students presented their original work and represented us well. 2 things you should know:

1. There was a young man from northern KY present without anyone else from his school. Our students made a point to invite him to join them at the meals Friday night and Saturday lunch. I was told-“he was all alone, no one should be all alone”.

2.  Even though none of Ballard made the final 5, not a one of them left before the finalists presented. They stayed until the very end. A judge commented on this show of good sportsmanship. There was another school who had most of their students leave when they did not make the finals.

Photo 2

starBig congratulations to the Ballard Bruinettes Dance Team on being finalists at the NDA national championship for their pom routine!


√ Parent conferences start this week on Thursday, 3:00-6:00 PM.

√ Progress reports will go home this week.  Parents should have those in hand when they come for conferences.

√ Our boys basketball team plays Central this Tuesday at 7:00 at Central in the 1st round of the 7th Region Tournament.  Come on out and cheer for the Bruins!


Happy Birthday in March to: Jana Cummings (7th), Jesse Whitt (7th), Belinda Hafell (10th), Tami Slaughter (10th), Mike Jackson (11th), Tyrome Neal (11th), Adam Hartigan (15th), Ray Yaksic (19th), Laura Younkin (19th), Eva Rouse (24th), Yvonne Riggs (25th), Sandy Ramsey (29th), Scott McDonald (30th)!




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