June 2021

Resources to help you develop your ability to persevere - Jenny Garrett Global

Coming soon to Arno…

June 3

Staff Meeting 8:00

June 10

5th Grade Celebration 9:00 on the playground

Class breakdown (schedule below)

Early Release 11:30

fireworks gif | Fireworks gif, Fireworks, Fireworks animation

June 11

Early Release 11:30

Last day for students and teachers!!

June 14

Report Cards Released

June 18

Office closes


Back to School: The Questions Every Family Should Ask

August 23

Office reopens

August 25

New Family Orientation


Monroe Local Schools | News Post


We will meet in the conf room on June 10 to discuss classlists:

12:30-12:45 Jensen

12:45-1:05 Kindergarten

1:10-1:30 1st grade

1:35-1:55 2nd grade

2:00-2:20 3rd grade

2:25-2:45 4th grade


We made it!

It’s hard to believe, with all the challenges we have been through, the varying modes, and the pandemic- we have arrived at the end of the year.  It certainly goes without saying that our hope is driving the 21-22 school year-that the pandemic will be on its way out, the year will start normal, and we can start to rebuild our programs.

GoLocalProv | RIDE Releases 2nd Annual Teacher Evaluations: West Warwick Tops for Highly Effective Teachers


Final eval meeting will take place on June 9 all day via Zoom. If your time is in the morning, please place the students on asynchronous until we are finished. Schedule is below:

Topic: Eval meetings
Time: Jun 9, 2021 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 770 9561 9655
Passcode: LpbR8P

9:30-9:40 Lisa

9:40-9:50 Carrie

9:50-10:00 Colleen

10:00-10:10 Michele

10:10-10:20 Beth

10:20-10:30 Brian

10:30-10:40 Megan

10:40-10:50 Emilie

10:50-11:00 Erin

11:00-11:10 Ciara

11:10-11:20 Lindsay

1:00-1:10 Jeanine

1:10-1:20 Nickie

1:20-1:30 Cassie

1:30-1:40 Barb

1:40-1:50 Dawn

1:50-2:00 Julie

2:00-2:10 Megan

2:10-2:20 Nicole

2:20-2:30 Alex

2:30-2:40 Sarah

2:40-2:50 Rachel

2:50-3:00 Renee


Arno PTA

Wow, it’s summertime already; what a year we have had! We are looking for people that are interested and learning more about being a PTA board member. All positions will be open for the 2022-2023 school year, as all current board members will be stepping down from our positions. If you’re interested in learning more about any of the positions, please let us know. We are more than happy to give any information. Email us at arnopta@gmail.com.

The PTA is having an end of the school year Arno Spirit Wear sale. All T-shirts only $5 and all hoodies only $10! Limited designs and quantities left. Grab yours before they sell out.

Spirit Wear link:

Snow Cone Paper Cones 6 Oz. from American Carnival Mart

We will host a fundraiser on the last day of school, Friday, June 11th. Sno Biz Delight will be at Bocabella Memorial Park on Regina from 11:30pm – 1:30pm. We have limited the flavors to blue raspberry, strawberry and orange to keep the line down. Cups are $3 each.


Concordia University - 50 Best Small Colleges for an Affordable Online MBA - Best Colleges Online

Optional Summer PD Opportunity

As you may know, we are a partner district with Concordia University Ann Arbor.  They are hosting PD opportunities on various topics throughout the summer if you are interested- they are usually good sessions!





HP 14" Touch-Screen Chromebook Intel Celeron 4GB Memory 32GB eMMC Flash Memory Grey 14-CA061DX - Best Buy


Adam will out with information soon on Chromebook collection that will take place the final week of school.  As soon as we get details, we will get info out to parents.



Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) / Information

PBIS Stations

Stations will be returning for the fall.  Stay tuned for a date and schedule once we have definitive plans from the district.



Please be sure to check out with me or Cathy with your checklist verified completed



10 Back to School Items That Might Not Be On Your List | Childtime


If you have special requests for supplies, please get them to Cathy by Friday, June 14

OSHA No Backpacks Allowed Sign With Symbol ONE-35794


Please note that students may continue to carry backpacks through Tuesday, June 8.  They will no longer be allowed for the next 2 half days leading up to the last day.

12++ Inspirational Quotes For Teachers At The End Of The Year - Brian Quote

May 2021

Coming soon to Arno…

May 1

Bond Volunteer day at APHS 9-11

May 3

Virtual Kindergarten Roundup

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!!

Teacher Appreciation Week GIFs | Tenor

May 4

Bond VOTE – Please vote in the AP bond election!

Fire Drill 10:30

May 6

PTA Appreciation Lunch (during your lunch period)

PTA Meeting 6:30

May 10 

Fire Drill 10:30

May 13

Staff Meeting 8:00

May 14

ALICE EVAC Drill 2:00

May 21

APMS Scheduling 9:00 cafeteria

May 28

Report Card Window opens


Image result for we appreciate our teachers







I want to wish you all a Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!  This year is one for the record books, so many twists and turns and through it all you weathered the storm and kept our kids learning.  Despite all of the emotional rollercoasters, the core of who we are here at Arno never wavered- you always looked straight ahead and kept the needs of our students at the forefront.

We don’t yet know what next year brings, but I believe it will bring a sunrise on a new day- that will see us come back together, a sense of normalcy returning, and a new chapter.  Until then, please know that you are appreciated for everything you bring- your skills and knowledge, caring and compassion for each other as well as our students, and  your HOPE!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

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Lunch invite

As part of celebrating you, the PTA will be having a special sub lunch for you on May 6 (In the gym).  In addition, will also be providing a staff lunch on May 4 during your regular lunch time- Pizza and chips. We may just have to use the spaces you normally use for lunch if the gym is still being used for mstep at the time- I will let you know that day where we will set up.  Enjoy your week!


Bond Information

Please remember to vote if you are an Allen Park resident in the upcoming election!

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District Bond Updates

Complete Bond FAQs: https://4.files.edl.io/ade5/02/12/21/133952-371d47cf-1d0d-4f7a-a871-02cf0d3b0e1b.pdf

Building Project List: https://4.files.edl.io/7206/02/04/21/220257-5f3d4404-bd86-41c5-ad7c-5b4763a3dc30.pdf

All Bond information: https://www.allenparkschools.com/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=2084750&type=d&pREC_ID=2134527

What is Research? - Purpose of Research

Thoughts on retention…

As you know retention has been found to not be an effective method of intervention.  Even in our own building, we have numerous students who were retained, that have not resulted in gains as evidenced by our benchmark assessments.  Even the MSTEP in 2019, when analyzed, shows the students who were retained in our building did not result in passing grade level results.

The process moving forward will be to bring any student you are concerned about to the mtss committee early enough that we can start discussing interventions to put them on a different track.  If the student has not gone through the MTSS process, retention will not be considered. While retention has not shown to be effective for many, it will still be considered through the team process, and of course we will consider the effects of the pandemic- but we also can’t let that be a final determining  factor.    Please check out the graph below- it is from John Hattie, it shows everything to the most highly effective strategies to actual negative side effects- retention is at the bottom- please click the link to see the whole list- starting the MTSS process early on with kids of concern, will hopefully get the more highly effective strategies in place early to make a bigger difference by spring.


6 Tips On Writing a Code Of Conduct For a Business - The Compliance and Ethics Blog

Looking for Feedback

Allen Park Schools is looking for feedback from all community members regarding the Code of Conduct for any future revisions to the document.  Please use the survey link below to provide us your insight by May 14.



Ed Prep Matters | AACTE Blog Did You Know? More Fun Facts about Atlanta - Ed Prep Matters | AACTE Blog

Cool tips from Sarah Kalis on grouping tabs

Please watch the motivational virtual assembly with your class before the NWEA. Below are the links and a few helpful notes from Mr. Peace.
Let me know if you have any questions,
Here are the links:
A few things to note…

1) You can watch the presentations directly through these links or you can download them before showing by right clicking on the video, choosing “Save video as…” & then “Save” to whatever folder location you prefer for the file.  Or you can left click the 3 dots in the bottom right corner & select “Download” too.

2) As a follow up to the assembly & to help keep the conversation going, a reflection handout with discussion questions & key themes review is here on Page 3.

MDE - M-STEP Summative

M-STEP Is Underway in May

MSTEP kicks off on May 4 for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade for all students who have not opted out.  I will be posting something in all GC that will be for the asynchronous part for those students who will remain home on the day of testing (opt-outs).  We will be taking care of any students who are remote and virtual that choose to come in for testing.  Snacks will be provided.  I will be around the morning of test day to pass out the tickets and any last minute issues.

**Virtual and Remote students will have their own separate testing area, they will not be placed in the classroom with a grade level teacher.

ALL testing starts at 9:15.  


Grade Level Content Area Assessed Testing 
Grades 3  Mathematics


May 4 

May 11 

Grade 4 ELA


May 4 

May 11

Grade 5 Social Studies




May 4

May 6

May 10

May 13


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Tech Time

Zoom Now Offers a Cool Immersive View

Are you tired of looking at the same old view in your Zoom meetings? You’re not alone! It appears that even the people who work at Zoom are tired of the same old views. To remedy that problem, on Monday Zoom introduced a new immersive view option for Mac and Windows users.Zoom’s immersive view will show your meeting participants on same screen in background of your choosing. Zoom has a bunch of pre-made immersive view backgrounds that you can pick from including an art gallery view, a fireside chat view, board rooms, and even an outdoor setting. You can also upload your own image to use as part of an immersive view.

When you enable immersive view for a Zoom meeting all participants will be placed into position in the immersive view scene. The default setting is for Zoom to automatically place participants in the scene, but you can choose to manually place people in the scene.

Three Steps to Enable Zoom’s Immersive View

First, you need to be aware that immersive view is available by default to those who are using personal or pro (single license) accounts and have updated to the latest version of Zoom for Windows or Mac. If you are using a school license or other group license for Zoom, your account administrator (usually your IT department) will need to enable immersive view for your account.

Second, make sure you are using the latest version of Zoom for Mac or Windows. You can do this by launching Zoom on your desktop, signing into your account, then selecting “check for updates” in the drop-down menu under your account profile picture.

Third, launch a Zoom meeting. With the meeting running click on the “view” button in the upper-right corner of your Zoom window. The view button should now have three options. Those options are “speaker,” “gallery,” and “immersive” view. Click on the immersive view option and you’ll be asked to pick a background for your immersive view.

Three Common Questions

Zoom has an extensive set of immersive view directions and FAQs on their website. The ones that I think teachers and students will ask about are whether or not immersive view works on Chromebooks, if virtual backgrounds are required, and how many people can be in an immersive view.

1. It doesn’t work on a Chromebook or iPad.

2. If your computer doesn’t currently support virtual backgrounds/ green screen in Zoom, the immersive view option won’t work for you either.

3. You can have up to 25 people in an immersive view.


How to Add Voice Recordings to Google Forms

Earlier this year I shared a series of videos about how to add voice comments to Google Documents, Google Slides, and Google Classroom. All of those videos featured the use of a free Chrome extension called Mote. Over the weekend Mote added support for use in Google Forms.With the Mote Chrome extension installed you can now record voice notes directly in Google Forms. Those notes can be played back in Google Forms even if students don’t have the Mote extension installed. Of course, if they do have the extension installed students can record audio responses to questions in Google Forms.

In this new video I demonstrate how to add voice recordings to Google Forms. The video shows teacher and student perspectives of using Mote to add voice recordings to Google Forms.

Applications for Education
My first thought when I saw that Mote would work with Google Forms was to use it in world languages courses. Teachers can now record prompts for students to listen to and speak replies to directly in Google Forms.

As I demonstrated in the video above, adding voice notes to Google Forms could be a good way to provide audio support for students who need it when taking an assessment in Google Forms.

Shelley Ann Vernon on Twitter: "All teachers make a difference to their students' lives each day. It's truly wonderful when you can see that positive change taking place. #ESLGames… https://t.co/kgLs6H6PJZ"

April 2021

Staff Togetherness…

Coming soon to Arno…

April 4

Hoppy Easter!!

Miscellaneous Easter Animations Bunny Clip Art - LowGif

April 5

Class Resumes

April 6

Instructional Committee 8:00

April 7

MTSS Meetings 12:30

April 8

Staff Meeting 8:00

PTA Meeting 6:00- Special Bond Presentation with Mike Darga

April 13

MTSS 8:00

April 14

PBIS 8:00

MTSS meetings 12:30

April 15

ALICE Drill 10:00

April 20

Fire Drill 10:00

April 21

SIP 8:00

MTSS meetings 12:30

April 28

MTSS Meetings 12:30

Fire Drill 2:00

Coming Soon…


Easter Osternest Sticker by Mamamal3 for iOS & Android | GIPHY






Data Hub

This month I want to re-highlight the NWEA report the Learning Continuum.

The Continuum can assist classroom instructional decisions and grouping students by showing the skills and concepts to develop with those groups, based on 10-point RIT score bands that are appropriate for their readiness level. Learning Statements that define learning objectives can also help guide instruction.

About Learning Statements

Learning statements found throughout the Learning Continuum are instruction-oriented statements that describe the concepts and skills assessed by MAP Growth.

Note: The appearance of a learning statement in a given 10-point RIT band does not necessarily mean that students who fall in that RIT band received questions about that skill or concept. However, statistically a student’s RIT score within an instructional area does predict the applicability of learning statements in a given RIT band.

In the Test View, you can see learning statements organized in a continuum:

  • Reinforce — For learning statements in the RIT band just below where a student scored, you could reinforce their learning, but they probably already know these skills and concepts.

  • Develop — The learning statements in the RIT band where a student scored are likely in their Zone of Proximal Development and may be helpful in planning current instruction.

  • Introduce — The learning statements in the RIT band just above where a student scored are skills and concepts you could potentially introduce when the student is ready for more challenge.

Need some assistance? 

  1. Beth is our resident reading expert and coach, she can help you in data mining and, resources, and guided reading in our current situation

  2. If I have advanced notice, I can contact the district if you are in need of getting a table back in your room so that guided reading and small group work can begin again.

  3. Refer to our last blog update for SIP information on the strategies you should be using in your rooms.  I have been in several rooms lately that have started using turn and talk again in a safe way- which is so awesome!

  4. Let me know if you need additional barriers, etc to implement small group work.  You may also consider the arrangement of your room- small groups of students in the same pod are an acceptable way of setup according to CDC, keeping in mind the Michigan minimum is 3ft between kids.

Bond Information

Allen Park Principals note

Image result for allen park public schools

District Bond Updates

Complete Bond FAQs: https://4.files.edl.io/ade5/02/12/21/133952-371d47cf-1d0d-4f7a-a871-02cf0d3b0e1b.pdf

Building Project List: https://4.files.edl.io/7206/02/04/21/220257-5f3d4404-bd86-41c5-ad7c-5b4763a3dc30.pdf

All Bond information: https://www.allenparkschools.com/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=2084750&type=d&pREC_ID=2134527


Tutoring - Resources | Homewood Flossmoor High School

Tutoring Programs

There are still spots open if you are interested in doing some before/after school tutoring, we have about 7 staff that have signed up.  Remember you would work with students in your class only, and design your sessions with your data in mind.  Please let me know if you are interested.


School Choice in Texas - Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities

Allen Park Public Schools- SOC Program Information

Allen Park Public Schools
Limited Schools of Choice (SOC) Program for
Kindergarten – 8th Grade for 2021-22 School Year

Welcome to Allen Park Public Schools, a district with a tradition of an uncompromising
commitment to excellence. APPS has established a successful Schools of Choice Program for
the past several years and the Board of Education has approved continuation of the program for the 2021-22 School Year.

Frequently Asked Questions:
□ What is the timeline for applications?
▪ Online applications, for Kindergarten through 8th grade, will be available starting
Monday, April 5, 2021 through April 23, 2021 on the district’s website –
https://www.allenparkschools.com/. Please complete a separate application for
each student.
▪ Completed applications must be submitted to schoolofchoice@appublicschools.com on
or before April 23, 2021. No late applications can be accepted.
▪ NOTE: If any information is found to be inaccurate or false, the application will no
longer be considered for acceptance.

Current School of Choice Siblings – “Sibling Preference”
By law, the siblings of Schools of Choice students (already attending APPS) have first
priority if an opening exists. However, parents must complete the necessary application
paperwork during the open application period. After the application window closes, we will
assess our enrollment numbers. If we have enough openings in the grade level for each
applicant, we will contact you to let you know you can complete the enrollment process. If
we have more sibling applicants in a grade level than we have openings, there will be a
lottery held for just those siblings. Parents will be contacted with their student’s wait list
number at that time. As openings are determined, we will pull from the sibling wait list
before the new family wait list.

When will I know if my child has been accepted as a SOC student?
A random lottery will be held on April 30, 2021. A wait list will be generated for each grade
level. You will be contacted by email and/or phone call by May 4, 2021, as to your student’s
position (number) on the waitlist. As enrollment numbers are assessed throughout the
summer we will fill openings from the waitlist in numerical order. The state allows districts
to offer a school of choice opening up until the end of the first week of the 2021-22 school
year. There will be a minimum of one opening per grade level, K-8.

□ Important Deadline: If notified of acceptance in the Schools of Choice Program,
applicants must complete the online pre-enrollment within 8 calendar days of notification. If the enrollment is not completed within this timeframe the student’s slot will be forfeited.
Specific elementary buildings are not guaranteed.

Do students, who have attended APPS but have moved out of the district, receive preference in the SOC application process?
No, the state does not allow us to give preference to students who have moved out of the
district. You will be considered a “new” SOC family thus being placed on the waitlist for new

What happens if one of my students gets accepted but the others do not?
The student who has been offered a SOC opening can enroll in the district. Your other
student(s) would need to attend your school of residence. However, you can apply for SOC
in the next school year and your student(s) would be given preference, if openings exist,
over new SOC families. This is not a guarantee of enrollment for the following year for

Should I enroll my student in my district of residence?
Yes, we suggest that you do enroll your student in your district of residence in the event
that you are not offered a SOC position with APPS. This way you are sure to get all the
correspondence from that district.

Is there an orientation for School of Choice Families?
Please contact your student’s school for student orientation dates and times.

Will SOC guarantee my child’s path through all levels in APPS?
Yes. After completion of any grade level (i.e., elementary or middle) the student will advance to
subsequent level as appropriate.

If I am participating in APPS SOC and I move within Wayne County, can my
child continue to attend APPS?
Yes. Please report any changes of address within Wayne County to the Pupil Accounting Office.

If I am participating in the APPS SOC and I move out of Wayne County, can my
child continue to attend APPS?
No. At the end of the current school year, the student must register in his/her home district.

Will my child receive transportation?
Transportation is not provided to SOC students and is the responsibility of the parent.
Students are expected to arrive and depart from school on time.

Please send additional questions via email to schoolofchoice@appublicschools.com or call
313.827.1154 for assistance.

The Allen Park Community School is an alternative high school geared toward students ages 14-19 that have experienced a lack of success in the traditional high school setting. This school is open to all Wayne County residents. The purpose of the Allen Park Community School Family is to introduce, increase and enhance the social skills, academic ability, civic responsibility and creative expression of the individual in an atmosphere that promotes and supports a sense of community, belonging and the development of a positive
For more information and an application for the Allen Park Community School, please call 313.827.2660.

It is the policy of the Allen Park Public Schools not to unlawfully discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, religion, height, weight,marital status, handicap or disability. The District reaffirms its long-standing policy of compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination including, but not limited to, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC SS2000d et seq. and 42 USC SS2000e et seq.; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 USC SS1681 et seq.; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC S794; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 USC SS12101 et seq.; Michigan’s Handicappers’ Civil Rights Act, MCL SS37.1101 etseq.; and, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, MCL SS37.2101 et seq.

SOC FAQ 21-22

MDE - M-STEP Summative

5th Grade M-STEP Will Be Underway

The M-STEP starts in April for all of our 5th graders, although the window is open until May3, please make every effort for your child to be school and on time on testing dates.  Be sure they also get enough rest the night before, and eat a good breakfast.  We are very excited to the scores from our shining stars!

M-STEP Coming up…

4/13                   Social Studies

4/15                   Science

4/20 & 4/22     ELA

4/27 & 4/29     Math


Tech Time

New Seesaw Feature – Add Your Voice to Objects

Seesaw recently added a helpful new feature that enables you to add your voice to objects in Seesaw activities. It is different from the previous, and still available, voice recording tool. The new voice recording feature allows you to record explanations of shapes, images, and objects in a Seesaw activity and have those explanations directly connected to the shapes, images, and objects. Your students will see a little audio icon right next to any object to which you’ve add your voice explanation. Watch my short video to see how the new voice recording feature works.


Applications for Education
This new voice recording feature in Seesaw could be great for adding explanations of objects and images in Seesaw activities. For example, it could be a great way for an art teacher to explain elements of lighting in photograph. The new voice feature could also be useful for creating audio prompts that your students respond to. For example, I might add my voice to a historical photograph of Main Street in my town and ask students to respond with what they notice what’s the same and what’s different from how Main Street looks today.

Kahoot Now Displays Questions and Answers on the Same Screen – Finally!

For years teachers and students have wanted to be able to see Kahoot questions and answer choices on the same screen. This week Kahoot finally made that possible!Now when you launch a live Kahoot game for in-person or online play you can choose to enable an option to show questions and answer choices on the same screen. This means that students no longer have to look up at a screen in your room or a screen in Zoom then down at their phones or laptops to answer a question. They’ll see the question and the answer choices on the same screen.

All that you need to do in order to enable questions and answer choices on the same screen is to start a Kahoot game as you normally would and then navigate to the game settings to choose “show questions and answers on players’ devices.”

Applications for Education
Putting the questions and answer choices on the same screen should make it easier for all students to participate in a Kahoot quiz game. No longer will seating in the classroom be an issue whether or not a student sees a question. This should also make it easier for students who are playing Kahoot in Zoom or Google Meet to play along without having to toggle between screens to play the game.


Happy Easter GIFs 2021 Free Download | Funny Easter Animated Images

March 2021

Congratulations GIFs | Tenor

Congratulations to this year’s Founder’s Day Awards!

We are so proud of you!!

Katie Jensen, Outstanding Educator

Cathy Anderson. Outstanding Support Personnel

Coming soon to Arno…

March 1

Tornado Drill 2:00

March 2

Dr. Seuss’s Birthday

March 3

Arno MTSS meetings 12:30

March 4

PTA Virtual Meeting 6:30

March 5

Report card window opens until March 18

March 8

PBIS District Leadership 1:00

March 10

Arno MTSS meetings 1@:30

March 11

Staff Meeting 8:00

District Safety Committee Meeting 9:30

March 12

End of Second Semester

March 16

Tornado Drill 2:30

March 17

SIP Meeting 8:00

Arno MTSS meetings 12:30

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

March 19

No School- Teacher PD

Report Card Released

March 23

Fire Drill 2:00

March 24

Arno MTSS meetings 12:30

March 27-April 4

Spring Break!!


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Arno Vision

Arno Elementary will provide a system of support to empower

and inspire students to become collaborative learners

that strive for academic excellence


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Title I/SIP Surveys

It is that time of year… we are in need of your opinion of how things are going at Arno for school improvement planning.  Please take a moment and complete this year’s survey that has taken our remote status into consideration.  Student survey information for grades 3-5 will be emailed to you.  Since we have a sub for tech right now, please administer the survey to your students within the first week of March.



Data Dive

Now that we have a valid NWEA winter data set (sample quadrant report above), please consider some of the following questions on your data and when you are able to meet as a grade Wed. afternoons.

  • Based on what we are seeing, what specific best practices and effective teaching strategies will we emphasize during the next 6 weeks?  (SIP strategies)

  • Do we need any resources to learn more about those strategies?

  • What specific concepts/content/skills/processes do we need to focus on in the next 6 weeks? Whole group vs Small group?

We are hopefully entering a time when we will have the kids in front of us more consistently that we have had in a year.  This needs to be a highly focused spring run to help recover some of the learning loss, especially in our bottom 30%.  Please let me know what you need:

  • Do you need anything other barriers or space to start small group work?

  • Beth will be available to do coaching- or co-taught lessons

  • Any resources you need, let me know

SIP Information


SIP Teacher Responsibilities

  • Complete Visible Thinking Chart Monthly (Digital)

  • Editing and Revising weekly Journeys essential question

  • Trimester Writing- use common graphic organizers in the planning process and assess using Journeys Multipurpose rubric.  

    • 1st Trimester- Narrative

    • 2nd Trimester- Informative

    • 3rd Trimester- Opinion

  • Edmentum Exact Path (Reading or Math) 30 minutes twice a week

  • Optional– We did purchase for this year. 3-5 Teachers use Khan Academy Mappers weekly to focus on Measurement and Data (ask Brian for help)

  • Cold call, no opt out, and turn and talk- now possible with a reconfigured set up

  • Practice math fact fluency at least 30 minutes a week (can be XtraMath, mad minutes, flash cards, etc.)

Additional Technology Resources:
Khan Academy (Grades 2-5)

Khan Kids (Kindergarten and 1st grade)


Reflex Math


Get Epic

Our staff has always been about making that difference in kids lives and I know this time will be even greater!  

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How to use everyday data in new ways

Schools and classrooms are overflowing with information about students and their learning, and teachers continually collect and respond to evidence of student learning in a variety of ways (Tarasawa, Gotwals, and Jackson 2018). [There’s] evidence that supports the use of everyday data as a source of information about where students are in relation to learning targets and how that data can be used to help teachers and students themselves identify next steps.

Research base for using everyday data in new ways

While test scores are one form of data, and perhaps the first type of data that comes to mind, everyday data can be gathered from the questions students ask, the dialogue between students as they collaborate, students’ responses to questions, and written student work. This type of data can be invaluable in supporting students’ day-to-day learning.

Holistic information about students such as extracurricular activities, interests outside of school, and attendance patterns also constitute data that educators can use to get to know their students. Students may be more likely to invest the effort needed to improve when their teacher has gotten to know them and has built trust (Wiliam and Leahy 2015, 108). The following sections describe how educators use dialogue, student work, and student self-assessment as data to improve learning and how to create contexts to support use of everyday data.

Dialogue as data

Verbal and written responses are rich sources of information regarding where students are in relation to the learning target. Black and Wiliam (2018, 560) advocate for teachers to “steer a learning dialogue” to elicit student thinking; they view oral classroom dialogue as the core of formative assessment. Drawing on the principles of Rosenshine (2010, 12), Sherrington (2019, 28–30) identifies a number of questioning strategies intended to solicit information regarding how well students have absorbed the content taught.

Similarly, the concepts of noticing in mathematics and ambitious teaching in science focus on eliciting students’ ideas and using those ideas to frame instruction (Tarasawa, Gotwals, and Jackson 2018). Researchers van Es and Sherin (2002, 573) describe three key aspects of noticing:

  • identifying what is important or noteworthy about a classroom situation
  • making connections between the specifics of classroom interactions and the broader principles of teaching and learning they represent
  • using what one knows about the context to reason about classroom interactions

The term ambitious teaching is used to convey an approach that elicits and supports all students’ thinking for the purpose of ongoing sensemaking while students participate in learning activities (Ball and Forzani 2011, 19Lampert and Graziani 2009, 492Stroupe and Gotwals 2018, 296Windschitl, Thompson, and Braaten 2012, 879). Noticing and eliciting students’ thinking are ways of gathering everyday data that can be used to improve instruction.

In an article that addresses the tensions between misconceptions research and constructivist views of learning, Smith, diSessa, and Roschelle (1994, 150) describe the role of eliciting students’ thinking in the learning process as follows: “We still need to have students’ knowledge—much of which may be inarticulate and therefore invisible to them accessed, articulated, and considered…. Instruction should help students reflect on their present commitments, find new productive contexts for existing knowledge, and refine parts of their knowledge for specific scientific and mathematical purposes. The instructional goal is to provide a classroom context that is maximally supportive of the processes of knowledge refinement.”

School leaders can encourage the use of data by framing the process as supporting continuous improvement, rather than by emphasizing accountability, and can use their own data literacy skills to monitor, model, scaffold, guide, and encourage the use of data.

Eliciting student thinking is a way for teachers to gather information, enabling them to respond in ways that enhance ongoing learning (Klenowski 2009, 264).

Student work

Student work is another piece of everyday data that can serve multiple purposes in the classroom. In the process of planning lessons, teachers can identify key moments when learning should be noticeable and plan ways to collect evidence of that learning from each student (Hiebert et al. 2007, 52). For example, short writing tasks let teachers gather responses from all students (Sherrington 2019, 33). Compared to calling on a few individual students, collecting student work from every student provides teachers with more accurate information regarding whether students learned what was taught.

Wiliam and Leahy (2015, 42) advocate for the use of samples of student work to communicate quality to the class, noting that when students notice mistakes in other students’ work, they will be less likely to make those mistakes in their own work. They recommend starting with just two pieces of work, one strong and one weak. Once students gain experience comparing the quality of work, teachers can introduce more samples as the basis for constructing success criteria for student work.

Black et al. (2004, 13) advise providing opportunities for students to respond to comments as part of the overall learning process. Such opportunities are intended to communicate that assessment is for learning and not just of learning. As they state, by providing students with opportunities to respond to comments, “the assessment of students’ work will be seen less as a competitive and summative judgment and more as a distinctive step in the process of learning” (Black et al. 2004, 13).

[R]esearchers found that in classrooms where teachers implemented self-assessment strategies along with other formative assessment activities, students achieved greater gains on standardized tests.

Steele and King (2006, 139) note that students’ classwork and homework provide teachers with access to “a constant stream of data.” As they observe, such data can be used to inform instruction. Steele and King encourage teachers to systematically gather evidence from this data, such as by identifying specific yes-or-no questions that they can use student work to answer. For example, if students are asked to show their inferences by marking up a text, teachers might look to see whether the inferences that the students made are plausible. The answers to these questions, in turn, can inform instructional steps: What topics need to be retaught? How might students be grouped to best address learning needs?

Self-assessment to build ownership of learning

Engaging students in ongoing self-assessment can help students see themselves grow and foster a sense of agency over their own success (National Task Force on Assessment Education). To self-assess their performance on a task, students must have an understanding of what “good work” looks like; in this way, self-assessment helps students internalize the success criteria. In one study, researchers found that in classrooms where teachers implemented self-assessment strategies along with other formative assessment activities, students achieved greater gains on standardized tests (Wiliam et al. 2004, 60).

Create contexts to support use of everyday data

Teachers need support to use everyday data to inform instruction. Based on a review of research on data use, Schildkamp (2019, 12) argues that the school leader plays a critical role in supporting data use. School leaders can encourage the use of data by framing the process as supporting continuous improvement, rather than by emphasizing accountability, and can use their own data literacy skills to monitor, model, scaffold, guide, and encourage the use of data. Schildkamp (2019, 12) recommends that school leaders distribute leadership so teachers are empowered in the data-use process and believe they can take action based on data.

While test scores are one form of data, and perhaps the first type of data that comes to mind, everyday data can be gathered from the questions students ask, the dialogue between students as they collaborate, students’ responses to questions, and written student work.

Additionally, instructional coaches play a critical role in providing support to teachers as they analyze student data to guide instruction. A statewide reading program in Florida middle schools paired instructional coaches with teachers. A mixed-methods evaluation of the program revealed that it is associated with both perceived improvements in teaching and higher student achievement (Marsh, McCombs, and Martorell, 2010). [S]chool leadership and instructional coaching are key supports that enable educators to use everyday data in new ways.

Reflection questions

  1. What types of everyday data do you have in your district or school that you can incorporate into your continuous improvement processes?
  2. How can you build or articulate the coherence across multiple types of data in your district or school?

This post is an excerpt from chapter 1 of Assessment Education: Bridging Research, Theory, and Practice to Promote Equity and Student Learning. You can read case studies on the power of everyday data in action in the book.


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March is Reading Month

Another fun immersion in reading awaits our Cougars this month! Find out about all of March is Reading Month plans below!

Below is the schedule of books each week. We ask that you try to have the books read by Thursday so you can have students vote on Thursday, as we will announce the winner on Friday each week. If you have any of these books in your classroom, feel free to read them aloud to your class, but links have been provided for students to “watch” the books.

March 1-March 5

March 8-12

March 15-March 19

Things Lou Couldn’t Do (SEL)


Just Ask (SEL)

The Most Magnificent Thing (SEL)

I Need My Monster


Mother Bruce

The Giving Tree

Hair Love

(Thursday) Vote in Pm

Rosie, Revere Engineer

The Day the Crayons Quit

Paper basketball outlines are in your mailbox. Please have students decorate these in any way you choose. Some ideas are: decorate it with the book they think will win the tournament, decorate it with their favorite book, or any other way you see fit to celebrate March is Reading Month. We just ask that these be hung in the hall or on your door.
K-2 Teachers- One paper Book Tournament Bracket will be placed in each of your mailboxes. You can fill out the bracket before with the books students think will win or you can use it to keep track of the winners in your own classroom (however you decide to use it in your own classroom)
3-5 Teachers- A class set of brackets will be placed in each of your mailboxes for students to fill out their predicted winners or for students to keep track of the winners each week (however you decide to use it in your own classroom)

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SEL- Celebrating Women’s History Month in March

The SEL Committee has done an excellent job in tying March’s theme in with Women’s History.  There are slides that you can use in your morning meetings, as well as other resources to celebrate all month long.


Every March, people in the United States celebrate the achievements and history of women as part of Women’s History Month. Each year, there is a theme – the theme for 2021 is “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced” to continue the celebration of the 2020 centennial year of Women’s Suffrage, the right for women to vote! 

It is also the best opportunity for Arno Elementary students to have a deeper look at women in history, and how important gender equality is in our changing world.

How to complete your SEL responsibilities:

-Review this month’s SEL newsletter on Women’s History.

-Incorporate learning about 2 influential women in history/important vocabulary word each week (see included slides – copy and paste into your own documents) by playing video

 Women’s History Month Slides

-Review the important vocabulary included in the Women’s History slides, be thoughtful about classroom discussion, see included resources for help

-Choose books from the booklist to use in your daily or weekly instruction, be thoughtful about movies, videos and shows — choose strong female characters! (PDF of SEL newsletter at the bottom)

-Use the coloring pages added to your mailbox for students to read/

color information about each featured female. This is also a fantastic opportunity for writing about strong females! PDF of coloring pages also included below.

Friendly Reminders:

-It takes COURAGE to talk about things like gender/feminism/inequity and COMPASSION to talk about them. Be sensitive to students’ feelings and allow them space if needed.

-Remember the four SEL themes: courage, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion

-SEL can be integrated within your day. It does not have to be an additional activity.

-Booklist and Books are available within the library for check out. Many of the books are also available on Youtube.

Helpful Resources for Thoughtful Teaching of Women’s History

Thank you all and have a great month exploring women’s history! Please let us know how we can be of support to you.

Choose Love Always,

Your SEL Committee

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Bond Information

Complete Bond FAQs: https://4.files.edl.io/ade5/02/12/21/133952-371d47cf-1d0d-4f7a-a871-02cf0d3b0e1b.pdf

Building Project List: https://4.files.edl.io/7206/02/04/21/220257-5f3d4404-bd86-41c5-ad7c-5b4763a3dc30.pdf

All Bond information: https://www.allenparkschools.com/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=2084750&type=d&pREC_ID=2134527



“Is the pool at Allen Park Middle School being renovated in this bond”

Yes, a complete renovation is included in the proposal for the APMS pool/pool area; the architectural work also includes upgraded lighting in the pool area.  $970,195 has been allocated within the bond proposal for the pool renovation project.

The additional space for the STEM/robotics at APMS is separate from the pool space.

“How about replacing the football, soccer field and track at Allen Park High School?”

Yes, the bond proposal includes athletic facilities upgrades at APMS and APHS as follows from the FAQ document:


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Kindergarten Fall 2021

Believe it or not even with all of the snow on the ground, the fall will be her before we know it!  If you have a child that will entering kindergarten this fall, please take a look at the information and links below to register and get ready for the big day.

K Registration 21 22

21 22 Kinder instruct.

young 5 21 22


**Please watch for 2021-22 School of Choice Information coming soon


Dr. Griffin Zoom Recording

I hope that your day is going well. A few folks asked me if I could share the elementary professional development zoom link from 2/5/2021. If you could share this link with the elementary staff, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks man!

P.S. The link will say that it cannot open for some reason but all people have to do is hit the “download anyway” link. It will take a few minutes to download and then shortly afterwards the link will open.



Mr. Peace Assembly Links

We were so happy to be ale to provide another assembly by Mr. Peace related to kindness and Black History Month!  If you still need the links, I have placed them below:

Grades K-2 https://photos.app.goo.gl/t59HPxkDPz1Gagnp9

Grades 3-5 https://photos.app.goo.gl/nqKJUsfGc8XFogu69

Black History Month https://photos.app.goo.gl/nqTzk3m9gEi9tkrq6

Awesome discussion follow-up questions: Mr.-Peace-Program-Summaries-Key-Themes-Discussion-Questions


Tech Time

In the video that is embedded below it is demonstrated how to use Google Drawings to create a labeling activity and then distribute it to students through Google Classroom. In the video, there is an example of creating an activity in which students drag state names onto a blank map of New England. A variation on that activity would be to have students using the arrow tools in Google Drawings to draw connections between the labels and the states. Watch the video below to see how the whole process works including how students complete the activity in Google Classroom.



Knowt is a free service for turning documents into flashcards, quizzes, and other review activities. When it was initially launched it was created for individual use. Since then Knowt developed a teacher platform that you can use to develop activities to directly share with your students.

Here is a short video overview of how Knowt’s teacher platform works. Here are some highlights of the Knowt platform to note before watching my video.

  • You can create online classrooms for your students to join. It is possible to import Google Classroom rosters.
  • Knowt will generate flashcards based on the documents that you create or import (I just copied and pasted a Google Doc into Knowt).
  • Knowt will generate quizzes based on your documents.
    • Quiz question formats include multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, matching, true/false, and sequencing.
  • Quizzes can be graded or ungraded activities.
Here’s my short video overview of Knowt’s free teacher platform.



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February 2021

Free Valentine Gifs - Valentine Graphics

Coming soon to Arno…

Feb. 4

PTA Virtual Meeting 6:30

Feb. 5

No School- Teacher PD

Feb. 14

Happy Valentines Moving Heart Gifs Pictures, Photos, and Images for Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Twitter

Feb. 15 & 16

No School- Winter Break

Feb. 18

Picture Day


Happy Valentine's day baboo!! Have a great day xoxoxoxo | Snoopy love, Snoopy valentine's day, Snoopy pictures

Arno Vision

Arno Elementary will provide a system of support to empower

and inspire students to become collaborative learners

that strive for academic excellence



As we return:

  • Arrival/Dismissal
    • 8:40-8:50 soft arrival
    • 9:00 students are marked tardy
    • 3:10 starts staggered dismissal (3:20 end time)
    • The aides will be in around 8:15 to help with the doors
  • Wednesday remains remote morning with Zoom, PLC/Prep in the PM
  • Lunch- remains the same (in the classroom) with hot lunch coming to the room, and breakfast being sent home at the end of the day
  • Teacher lunch- we can have a batch of tables available to you in the cafeteria
  • Recess- Per established schedule, no quadrants, with mask
  • Specials
    • in special classrooms as we get the barriers in
    • keeping with the two week rotation for the remainder of the year
  • Latchkey- will be open as normal
  • Min. 3ft between students (nose to nose)
  • NWEA testing to start upon return
  • Kidney table barriers should be in place by next week for small group work to resume


Submit a Proposal Not a Resume | Executive Job Search, Corporate & CEO Jobs

From the PTA

I’m super excited to announce that we have funding in our budget to support proposals again this year! I have listed below when the times and dates that they will be accepted.

We will be accepting proposals the following days:

Subject needs to have 2020-2021 proposals written in it
We will be going over these proposals at the March PTA meeting which is Thursday March 4th @6:30pm (this will probably be on google meet as zoom doesn’t allow us to have over 40 mins) 
you will need to be present at the zoom meeting to explain your proposal. I will be sending the link out a couple days before the meeting.
Is MTSS the new RTI? | Edmentum Blog

New MTSS Forms

Why did the process change?

Allen Park Public Schools has adopted a new intervention tracking system that will allow all data and information to follow students from Kindergarten through 12th grade!  This is a phenomenal move and a great addition to benefit students.  As part of this transition, the referral forms have been moved to EduClimber.  Please follow the instructions below when bringing a student up for review. If you want to start a form but not submit it, do not notify subscribers until you are ready to submit.  This form does not lead specifically to any intervention, for example testing, but will lead to the next intervention planning step.  If there is a parent referral for testing, please use a different form.  Contact your building representative for that process.


Steps for completing MTSS form

  1. Sign into MiStar
  2. Got to Menu on the top left
  3. Go to Analysis
  4. Go to MiStar DNA
  5. Click the “ec” circle in the top right (If prompted District login message, click ok AFTER reading)
  6. Enter a password to connect to google- use your email password
  7. Click the three lines to the right of your email address in the top right corner.
  8. Go to EduClimber early access tab then click yes when prompted.  When asked to leave site, click leave
  9. Click okay after reading the district login message
  10. Click student profile tab on the left – first one underneath the “+” sign
  11. In the search bar, type the last name first and search for the student
  12. Click the purple tab at the top that says “forms”
  13. Click “create” on the top right and then click “smartform”
  14. Create Smart form tabs: 
    1. Form template- select APPS Elementary MTSS meeting form
    2. Form Name (Type the following): student’s first initial and last name_month year_grade_building
      1. Example: AJones_Jan2021_gr4_Arno
    3. Folder- leave blank
  15. Form should show up on the site; double click on the form
  16. Begin filling out form and stop after completing “any additional information you would like to share”– the next portion of the form will be completed at the MTSS meeting
  17. Identify subscribers: When all expected parts are completed, scroll back to the top and on the right choose “notify subscribers” and choose the appropriate personnel as listed below:
    1. Arno: Steve Zielinski, Dana Brown, Beth Wesley & Deb Green
    2. Bennie: Sara Metzger & Erica Saville
    3. Lindemann: Kathy Lott, Kendra Payette-Linn, Deb Green & Dianne Addonizio

There is NO button to submit or complete the form.  Once subscribers are notified, you can close out of the form and it should show in the student’s purple forms section as being in there!  

Committee Updates | Waterleaf Falls

January Committee Information

Black History Month

Very exciting work by our SEL committee on creating a google slide to present daily during your morning meeting that will have information you can use to spark discussions



SEL Committee

Review the chart below to compare your SEL Responsiblities from remote to in person learning.

Remote Learning (current) Face to Face Learning
  • View Monthly Newsletter (staff only.)
  • SEL included in the monthly parent blog.
  • Unit packet used in weekly instruction.
    • Designate time in week to incorporate. 
  • Choose one book from the booklist to discuss weekly
  • Concept videos shown every Friday.
  • Monthly Newsletter (staff and parents.)
  • SEL included in the monthly parent blog.
  • Unit packet used in daily instruction.
    • Designate time in day to incorporate.
  • Choose one book from the booklist to discuss weekly.
  • Concept video shown every Friday.
  • SEL included in the announcements daily.
Resources to Use Weekly
  • Choose Love Concept Calendar.
  • Integrated Leveled Unit Lessons within the Choose Love Platform (chooselove.org.)
  • Booklist for books within each category of study.
  • Books located on the display shelves in the  library (when you walk in to the left)
    • If you choose a book from the shelf, fill out the “sign out” book located near the display shelves.
    • Need help? Ask Mrs.Byrne for your specified book desire


As you know, the state is converting to a new platform- MICIP.  As we wait for access to explore the site, you can use the link below to explore the MICIP site to see what is coming soon


The team also sent out a new digital version of the Visible Thinking Chart n order to make a return to documenting our school improvement initiatives being done in the classroom.  Be sure to visit it every month for your grade level


GradeLevel  Reading:

Compare an anchor text to a paired text using a graphic organizer.

SEL Support:

Which book from the SEL library did you read/discuss with your class?

Writing: Informative writing about Science. Math: 

How did your students practice their math facts this month?


What is your class working on in Mystery or Phenomenal Science?

Social Studies:

What is your big idea?

Example Students compared Henry and Mudge to Bush Dogs using a Venn Diagram. How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham The class wrote about force and motion. Reflex, Flashcards, Manipulatives, etc. Phenomenal  Science-Why is the sky blue? French Fur Traders
Young 5s 


Instructional Committee:

We reviewed and discussed the strategies we have used in the past to prepare our students for the standardized testing that occurs in the spring. We discussed if each strategy could be used this year, given our COVID situation.

*Vocabulary tests – not this year

*Readworks – this is being used by grades 3-5 currently. In the past we had requirements of this use that increased as the test grew closer. It was discussed that requiring the program frequency would be too stressful at this time. Its use continues to be encouraged as much as the teacher sees possible.

*Journey’s comprehension quizzes – third-fifth use the quizzes. Second has been phasing in their use from teacher read to student read. This aligns with the past procedures.

*Standards Based Assessments – these are run off from last year and currently stored in classrooms. They were not used to due the switch to  remote learning in March. When we return in the spring if the MSTEP will be given, these may be used. This will be determined later when more information is available.

*Perfection Learning Homework Packets – may use in the spring depending on mode of learning used and testing requirements 

*Charm incentives – not this year 

*T-shirts – yes

*Reward Assemblies – modified to videos and possibly including the entire school

*Motivational parades – not this year

The state has not announced assessment requirements in Michigan yet for the spring 2021.

Extra Edmentum time for tier 2 students will be discussed at a later date when we have more information.



Our committee summary:

**We looked at a new linking study that links NWEA scores with MSTEP scores.
**Discussed the multiple programs that we use to support students with math.
**Discussed NWEA Map Skills-more info to follow.
**More will be determined after the 2nd round, winter, NWEA scores are available.

In addition, the new MTSS meetings are now being held weekly from 12:30-1:30. Be sure to sign up: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jpdvVPFY88NA1NnB7Zmq3ROoXfywYtAGTEsekuAhX04/edit?usp=sharing

  1. Arno PBIS Goals

    1. Positive reinforcement in both virtual and in person settings (monthly rewards, Cougar Cash/Dojo/etc, incentive ideas, 

    2. Tier 2–develop the data sheet for staff to identify; continue utilizing the monthly missed reward

  1. Super Cougars

    1. Cassie/Steve

    2. confirm virtual system is working

    3. Steve continues with virtual lunches and students have been enjoying it.  There is follow up if there are tech issues and missed lunches.

    4. In-person idea: continue virtual lunch on Wednesdays

    5. need Zoom link for teachers

  1. Cougar Cash Store

    1. order in

    2. update prize form (re-send out with meeting minutes)

    3. See virtual prizes below

    4. Begin again in person with orders delivered on Friday

  1. Card Flips/Movement virtually

    1. Dojo–upper vs. lower–skill sets vs. behavior

    2. Up to individual teachers at this time

    3. Nickie can provide example, if needed

  1. Postcards

    1. placed in mailboxes week before break

    2. continue monthly

    3. always extras in PBIS mailbox

  1. Virtual Positive Reinforcement Survey

    1. discuss if virtual is still occurring

  1. New Initiatives

    1. virtual and in person

    2. Ideas:

      1. https://www.pbisrewards.com/blog/pbis-incentives-distance-learning/

      2. homework pass

      3. theme day

      4. spotlight

      5. Zoom/Google Meet after hours

    3. Virtual clubs on Wednesdays?

  1. Tier 2

    1. discuss if in person

    2. Revolving Tier 2

    3. Steady Tier 3 identified

    4. Look at data

      1. MTSS for interventions identified by teachers

    5. Dana form or past Tier 2 form?

      1. Dana and teacher to discuss creative solutions

    6. Teachers do reach out to Dana to reach out to students

      1. Maybe include in a survey

      2. If needed, monthly student reach outs are available

New State Guidance

The State of Michigan came out with new guidelines for a safe return to in-person learning in January. Please take some time to review the information:


Tech Time

ReadWorks Adds an Offline Mode for Students

ReadWorks is a non-profit service that I’ve been recommending for years. It is a free service that provides high-quality fiction and non-fiction articles and lesson plans for K-12 ELA teachers. Every article on ReadWorks is accompanied by a Lexile score and a suggested grade level. Any article that you select will also be accompanied by a list of key vocabulary terms and suggested questions to give to your students.This week ReadWorks announced a new offline mode for students. This allows students to download articles and assignments while connected to Wi-Fi at school and then use those materials on their laptops, phones, or tablets at places where they don’t have Internet access. Here’s the official announcement and tutorial that ReadWorks published earlier this week.

It’s important to note that the offline mode in ReadWorks doesn’t support the audio or paired videos features that are available in the online mode in ReadWorks.

7 ways to bring YT into your classroom

YouTube is a great place to find ready-made content for your classroom.

Unfortunately, YouTube is also full of content you probably don’t want your students to interact with.

❗The secret to using YouTube safely is to avoid sending students to YouTube.com.

Instead of sending your students OUT to YouTube, bring your favorite videos INTO your classroom!

1. Use video to start a discussion in Google Classroom

The question feature of Google Classroom is great because it gives every student a voice.

Add a video as a discussion prompt to your next discussion assignment. Videos play directly in Google classroom eliminating many of the distracting aspects of YouTube.

Google Classroom video discussion💡 Tip: video story problems are a fun way to incorporate real-world math concepts into Google Classroom. 2. Insert a video into a presentationThis is my favorite way to use video in the classroom.Adding a video to Google Slides gives your students a clean, focused video experience.Google Slides also provides a flexible canvas that you can use to design a learning activity.▶️ This slide deck contains four examples for designing a video activity with Google Slides. 💡 Tip: right click on a video and select “format options” to customize your video. My favorite feature is the ability to change the start and end times for a video. 3. Add a video to a Google FormUpgrade your next quiz by adding video questions!You can turn any video into an assessment by adding it into a Google Form.▶️ Here is an example of a video quiz that I created to make sure my students knew how to navigate Google Classroom.

Each section begins with a video followed by a few simple comprehension questions.

It’s tough to find videos on YouTube that work in this format. I usually create my own short videos using Screencastify.

💡Tip: This idea works really well for spelling and language comprehension tests!

4. Track watch time with EdPuzzle

Each of the options I have shared with you so far have one common problem: they won’t track if a student has actually watched the assigned video. 😟

If you need more accountability, consider using EdPuzzle to turn a YouTube video into an assignment!

EdPuzzle will allow you to add discussion prompts and quiz questions at strategic times during your video.

Connect EdPuzzle to Google Classroom and you will be able to track which student has watched the assigned video and see their responses.

The basic version of EdPuzzle is free or you can upgrade to access even more data.

▶️ Here’s an example of an EdPuzzle assignment that I created.

5. Take notes while watching a video

ReClipped is a free Chrome Extension that students can use to take notes while watching a longer video. Notes are synced to the video timeline making it easy to review a specific portion of a longer video.

ReClipped a great tool for older students who are taking AP courses with lots of technical information.

Students can share the notes with one another or add notes to the same document.

You can install ReClipped here.

▶️ Click here to view the notes I took on diagramming a sentence.

Reclipped Chrome Extension6. Add video to a Google SiteGoogle Sites is a great platform for class projects. Students can fill their site with images, text, and video to demonstrate their understanding of a topic.Adding YouTube video to Google Site is easy and eliminates comments, related videos, and advertisements that appear on the YouTube website.This fall, my own kids created Google Sites on the ocean. They had a great time and learned a lot about web design in the process.▶️ You can view their finished sites here: Jonelle (6th grade), Johnny (5th grade), Lillian (3rd Grade).7. Play a video through Google MeetActually, trying to share a YouTube video over Google Meet or Zoom doesn’t work very well.To play a video through Google Meet you must use the “share tab” option. It kind of works, but it’s not great.Instead, ask students to watch the video before your meeting and use your time together to discuss it as a group.▶️ You might consider using my “brain dump” Jamboard template to organize your class discussion.

BONUS Teacher Tip:

I just shared 7 different ways to incorporate video into your lessons…but how are you going to keep track of these videos and remember to use them?

You need a YouTube playlist!

When I taught HS biology, I created a playlist for each of my major units. Every time I discovered a good video, I would add it to the appropriate playlist for future use.

At the start of a new unit, I would review the videos in my collection and turn them into assignments using the different methods I described above.

▶️ This video will walk you through the process of creating a YouTube channel so that you can organize your videos into playlists.



snoopy inspirational pics and quotes - Yahoo Search Results | Charlie brown quotes, Snoopy funny, Snoopy quotes


Sept. 1

Back To School GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY


Welcome back Arno staff!  

I know that this is going to be a different year, and we will have our hills and valleys- but the one constant is that we still have each other to fall back on, gather ideas, or just be there to listen.  This will be a one of kind year- but you are a one of a kind staff who has always stepped up to the challenge in the name of kids.

Although I am not going to fill this post up with calendar dates and upcoming events, I will try to put some resources on that may be of benefit to you- at your choice to read.  These coming days we will be welcoming virtually (and a short in person) our students, who just  like us wish they could be here and have things as normal.  I am here to help you out with your needs- any questions, resource needs, help with a student, any and all.  It will be a challenge, but we will all move hand in hand together into this year.  Please let me know how I can help- looking forward to a great year together!!

back to school animated gifs - Google Search | Funny minion pictures, Back to school, Minion pictures

Coming soon to Arno…

Sept. 1

Teacher PD Full day

Sept. 2

1st Day- morning “Wave In” 9-12


Get to know you virtual afternoon

Sept. 3

First full day- Build relationships, SEL

Sept 4

Labor Day weekend- no school

Sept. 7

Labor Day- No school

Sept. 8-Oct. 2

Virtual Learning per your schedule


First Day

September 2 (First Day of School): We will be holding a drive by “meet the teacher” event from 9 am-12 pm on September 2. Students will be able to drive up, say hi to their teacher and you will be handing out workbooks or any items that students will need to start the year.  As we did in the spring, times to visit will be determined by last name.  Students whose last name starting with:

  • A-H will drive by between 9-10am, 

  • I-Q can drive by between 10-11am, 

  • R-Z can visit between 11am-12pm. 


Meet the Teacher

This year we be doing a short introduction and some information on Google Classroom via video. The staff links will be out by Sept 2 via eblast.   Please be sure to upload your video to the following Google Doc by evening Sept. 1



Online Attendance

Attendance will taken daily, in most cases, students will be recorded as present through appearing on the classroom Zoom. There maybe some instances where a student is unable to do a Zoom that day- they can then be counted present by:

  • Have a two-way conversation through email, phone, or communication app

  • Turn in an assignment, exit ticket or question that day by 3:00

Link to the Attendance Flow chart: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-8yE6QOjnBayDOTq3gBCmeYozCwLJCtMrS4RL0khFsA/edit?usp=sharing


Per the State of Michigan guidelines, Allen Park Schools will be required to have all students have an assessment that give us information on where our students are performing, so that we may better meet their individual needs.  Kindergarten and First grade will be taking a developmentally appropriate assessment, while grades 2-3 will be taking an online version of the NWEA they normally take in the fall.  Details, dates, and directions will come out in the coming weeks.


Welcome to Arno…

Kristi Kruger- Music (Thursdays)

“Kristi Kruger comes to us from Allen park High School where she served as vocal and instrumental music director for 22 years.  Kristi received her Bachelor and Masters degrees from Eastern Michigan University with a focus on Music education as well as Music theory and Literature.  Kristi’s career started teaching general music, spanning ages 18 months to 8 in the private sector before taking a position at Hamtramck High School for 2 years.  After that time she was recruited by Allen Park,
where her first assignments were teaching High School vocal, instrumental and music history, as well as teaching “Sing and Swing” Kindergarten music at all three elementary schools.   Kristi looks forward to sharing her passion for music with our students”

Dana Brown- Social Work (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday)

This is my 12th year working in the AP district as a school social worker. I earned my BSW from Western Michigan University and my MSW from Wayne State University.  I have worked at the high school, middle school, and at Lindemann in past years. I took last year off after having a baby boy, Bryce (named after Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah- exquisite views)! In my free time, I enjoy traveling, running with my 7 year old lab, Reese and exploring new restaurants with my husband, Ben. Fun fact- Ben’s grandma (Audrey Tillen) taught at Arno for many years before retiring.  I am excited to join the Cougar family and serve alongside you as your school social worker.

ED Puzzle Update

Upgrade Information:

-Teachers already on Edpuzzle: Those who have verified their email address and used the district’s email domain @appublicschools.com are already upgraded. They will see their “Pro-School” status when they click the circular user icon in the top right corner because the drop down menu will say “Pro-School”.

-Teachers new to Edpuzzle: For those who have not joined Edpuzzle, or were not upgraded for any reason, can use the Launch URL to upgrade their account:


Asynchronous vs. Synchronous

A great article to sort out the differences and activities

Asynchronous vs. Synchronous: How to Design for Each Type of Learning

Asynchronous Learning Synchronous Learning
Occurring at different times and in different places (e.g., students working at home). Occurring at the same time and in the
same place (e.g., students working in the classroom or meeting online for a video conference session.
Students can access content, resources, activities at any time, and from anywhere. Students can access content, resources, and activities at a specific time and location.
Students can control the time, place, and pace of their learning. Students may have some control over the pace of their learning, but they do not control the time or the place.
Students work independently to complete assignments and tasks. Students have access to teacher and peer support while completing assignments
and tasks.


Tech skills to Teach Online

12 Habits to Build Resilience

12 Ways Teachers Can Build their Own Resilience


In the book, Aguilar explains how developing each of these habits contributes to resilience. She recommends focusing on a different habit each month, taking the whole month to learn about, reflect on, and develop practices that strengthen that habit. Below each habit is the month Aguilar suggests as an ideal time to focus on it: This is based on a typical American school calendar, where the school year starts around August/September and ends around May/June. If your calendar is different, you may want to make adjustments accordingly.



Taking the time to reflect on and get clear about your values, your preferences, your skills and aptitudes, and your sociopolitical identity can help you develop a strong sense of purpose. This makes you more likely to respond to difficult situations in ways that are consistent with that purpose. “Being really anchored in your purpose,” Aguilar explains, “being really clear about what you want to be doing in life, helps you deal with challenges and setbacks.”



Emotions “can be tremendous resources and sources of energy,” Aguilar says. They key is figuring out “how to have healthier relationships with them, how to understand them, name them, accept them, and then work with them.” During this month, Aguilar has teachers examine the way emotions influence our thinking (and vice-versa) and how to work with them, instead of against them.

She’s especially interested in how we deal with anger. “There have been times when I’ve acted from anger, and it hasn’t been productive,” she says. “And there are other times when I figured out how to use my anger as a fuel and as energy, how to act from a place of kindness and compassion, but not suppress my anger.”



“The space where we can have the greatest impact on our resilience is between a thing that happens and how we interpret and make sense of that thing,” Aguilar says. That interpretation takes the form of a story we tell ourselves.

“So for example, a student rolls her eyes at you. That’s the thing that happens,” she says. “How you make sense of and interpret that event is precisely the point where either your resilience can be drained or filled, because you could interpret her eye rolling as This student doesn’t respect me, or you can interpret that event as, This is very typical behavior from 12-year-olds, and I’m going to move on to the next part of the lesson. In that moment, if we can hone our ability to expand that space between what happens and how we respond and how we interpret it, we have so much more power then to cultivate our resilience.”



If we develop habits that nurture relationships with our colleagues, students, parents, and administrators, we strengthen our resilience. “There’s actually medical research saying that isolation is more dangerous to your physical health than smoking,” Aguilar says. “Teaching can be such a lonely experience, and I think anything that we can do to begin cementing those connections will just help us so much when things get rough.” The beginning of a school year is an ideal time to start, and by putting relationship-building habits in place early, that community can be a source of strength all year long.



“Learning how to be in the present moment without judging it can help us to experience acceptance. It helps us to have clear-headedness so that we can make choices in our responses.” Developing habits of mindfulness, where we focus on what is happening right now without judgment, can help us to circumvent a “triggered” reaction to daily challenges and instead respond calmly and thoughtfully. Daily meditation or even brief moments of focusing on our breath can help us hit that “pause button” and bring ourselves to that place of calm.



“It’s really hard to build community or to cultivate compassion or be a learner—some of the other habits—when you’re just sick, when you’re worn out,” Aguilar says. So this month, she recommends focusing on the habits of physical self-care, digging into the reasons why teachers so often fall short in this area. “I think people know what to do,” she says. “We know we should be eating more leafy greens and exercising more and so on, but why is it so hard?” Uncovering those reasons can help with developing habits that work.



During this month, Aguilar guides teachers to practice giving more attention to what is working, rather than what’s not. “Our brains have a negativity bias,” she explains, “so everything that is challenging, that is potentially a threat, appears really vividly and clearly to us, because of the way our brains are wired, and so one of the skills that we need to hone is the ability to see all the things that are going well or even just okay.”

In the classroom, for example, we can prompt ourselves to regularly notice students who are paying attention and on-task, rather than giving all our attention to the few students who aren’t. By developing this habit, we increase our sense of empowerment, which in turn builds greater resilience.




When we practice compassionate thinking for others and ourselves, we become better equipped to handle difficult situations. “Cultivating compassion, broadening our perspective on how we see a situation, helps us to empathize with others, to see the long view, to take ourselves out of the drama of the moment,” Aguilar says. So when students misbehave, a colleague is short with us, or a parent challenges one of our decisions, being in the habit of viewing these situations through the lens of compassion can help you not take that behavior personally, which leads to smarter, less reactive decision-making.



“Resilient people are curious,” Aguilar says. “Resilient people experience a challenge and turn around and say, Wow. That was really hard. That pushed me to my limits. What can I learn from that? Just that question alone immediately propels you into a place of being able to build your resilience.” So this month, teachers are encouraged to reflect on who they are as learners, to better understand the stages of the learning process, and to practice seeing challenges as invitations to curiosity.



One tool for building resilience that is easy to overlook is the habit of play. “I think it’s a human right to be creative, to create, enjoy, and appreciate art,” Aguilar says. “Playing and creating can unlock inner resources for dealing with stress, for solving problems…it can help us see different things and find different approaches to tackle challenges.” This month—which may hit right around spring break—teachers are encouraged to build regular periods of play and creation into their daily lives.



The end of the school year inevitably brings all kinds of changes; some of these can completely throw us off track if we’re not prepared for them. Aguilar recommends teachers spend this month looking at “how we can harness our energies to manage those changes and also direct our energy to the places that we can make the biggest difference.” This practice includes slowing down, facing and dealing with fear, and mindfully evaluating situations to determine which responses will have the most impact.



As the school year winds down, we have lots of opportunities to celebrate our own accomplishments and those of our students and colleagues. This month, teachers are encouraged to develop daily habits of gratitude and to carry those habits throughout the year. “Even in the hardest moments,” she says, “if we can shift into a stance of appreciation, we can build our resilience.”


The Arno 2020-21 Staff


Young fives Jeanine Haskin
Kindergarten Cassie Harrison
Kindergarten Nickie Roller
Kindergarten Cristina Mercer
First Grade Julie Martinchick
First Grade Barb Pushman 
First Grade Dawn Watson
Second Grade Nicole Amonette
Second Grade Alexandra Cervantes
Second Grade Megan Schultz
Third Grade Sarah Kalis
Third Grade Renee Guyot
Third Grade Rachel Warneck
Fourth Grade Megan Johnson
Fourth Grade Emilie Talamonti
Fourth Grade Brian Trionfi
Fifth Grade Ciara Zuke
Fifth Grade Lindsay Garza
Fifth Grade Erin Higgins
Cross Categorical Classroom Katie Jensen
ECP Program Sara Bleau
Life Skills Stella Boyer
Media Lit Arno/Bennie Colleen Byrne
Media Tech Arno/Bennie Carrie Solak
Art Arno/Bennie Elisabeth Cunningham
Art Arno/Lindemann Rachel Trapani
Speech-Language Pathologist Andrea Alvarez
Vocal Music Kristi Kruger
Instrumental/Vocal  Music Jeff Skebo
Physical Education Arno/Bennie Lisa Smalley
Social Work Arno

School Psychologist

Dana Brown T W Th

Deb Green M F

Resource Room Michele Sbonek
ECP Speech Taylor Cuddy
Reading Coach/Title I Beth Wesley

Stephen Zielinski, Principal

Cathy Anderson, Secretary

Kim Dowd, Student Advocate


Custodial Staff:

Tim Tanksley

Joe Marcoux 

Tiffani Harper

Mike Matey

Lunch Staff/Para Professionals

Debbie Burgess-LatchKey Supervisor

Stevie Brandly

Colleen Harris

Stephanie Hauck

Kristen Melidosian

Katelyn Tourangeau

Penelope Beri

Sarah Tarmoom

Shelby Ivey

Cathy Bartholomew-Food service

Luciana Tucci-Cashier

Para Professional

Linda Mantua- Media Center

Angela Joarder- Instruct Support

Mikela Wilson- Instructional Support

Sandy Bove- Instruct Support

Kem Sheridan- Instruct Support

Carrie Vaughn- Instruct. Support

Amanda Madrigal- Instruct. Support

Missy Moore, instructional support

Diane Peyton- Special Ed.

Melissa McGrath- Special Ed. 

Antwanette Bills- Special Ed.

Kim Harrison, Special Ed. 

Stephanie Leavitt, ECP

Patty Messer, ECP

30 inspirational quotes to lift you up - Kids Help Phone

March 16

Day 1

Coming soon to Arno…


March 17

Happy St. Patty’s Day

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April 3- April 12- NO School- Spring Break

Class resumes April 13


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Referring back to my original email- if you would like to be a part of sending me a video of you reading a story- please let me know.  You can do one or more- let me know if you have any tech issues.  This will be a great way for our kids to stay connected to us, and hopefully comforting.



Please be sure you are filling in the google doc reporting the communications you are having with parents.  I am hoping that we can some tighter direction and resources for parents this week.  Specials- as you get ideas that can be communicated and done at home, please update the doc.  I can assist in eblasting links, activities, videos, etc.



Current List of Resources for engagement

Online Learning Resources

Google Classroom
Big list of educational resources
Link to the AP library tools (Overdrive, Libby, and Hoopla allow free downloads of ebooks, audiobooks, and Hoopla has videos, too.)  Note: Hoopla is available to library patrons who have an AP library card.  If patrons have a library card from a neighboring city (Trenton, Taylor, or Southgate, for instance) they can still access Libby (iphone users) or Overdrive (android users) when they input their library card info.  Other neighboring libraries do not offer Hoopla.  This link will also has an option on the left side toolbar for free access to online magazines with some minor registration and password info.
To take advantage of this offer, simply enter the code: VSCFree90

SEL Conference

The district principals and social workers recently attended a conference at RESA about the topic of social/emotional learning.  This was a great fit as we start to think about how the new school improvement plan is going to change in moving to focusing on the whole child.  We discussed the 5 basic tenants that include Identity and Agency, Emotional Regulation, Cognitive Regulation, Social Skills, and Public Spirit.  We will be discussing some of these things at our PD on March 27 in preparation to see where we stand in resources as we prepare for next year.


When I initiate an intervention for a student, am I progress monitoring that intervention, and reviewing its effectiveness after 6 weeks?


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Delivering Supportive Fluency Instruction



Peer Editing Resources

edit worksheet



2020-21 KindRegInfo (1)

5 Topics for Student Podcasts

Podcasting can be a great way to get students to record their own thoughts and to record conversations with other people like classmates or community members. Just like a writing assignment it can be hard for students to decide what to podcast about. Here’s a handful of suggestions to get started.

  • Book review. Rather than writing a book report, have students record their thoughts about books they’ve recently read.
  • DIY or Q&A podcast. Students are knowledgeable about lots of things. Ask them to share their knowledge about a favorite topic.
  • Conversations in a second language. This can be a good way for students to practice a second language with a partner.
  • School news. Students can record school announcements. Let them add to it with commentary about neat things happening in your school community.
  • Conversations about community. Instead of the traditional “interview your parents about their lives” journalism assignment, have students talk to a few people about important moments in the history of their local communities.

If you want to learn how to start a podcast and get more ideas for using podcasts in your classroom, join me on Tuesday at 7pm ET for Classroom Podcasting 101.

Ugh! It’s Time to Spring Forward – Here’s Why We Do It

As I Tweeted earlier today, it’s a deflating feeling when you realize that you have to move your clocks forward this weekend. That’s especially true of you’re the parent of toddlers who have been on a sleep strike for a few weeks.

If you or your students are wondering why we (most of us in North America) have to change our clocks this weekend, here are few short explanations.

Even though it is not about daylight saving time, this TED-Ed lesson about the standardization of timezones is worth watching.

Sweet Lessons on the Making of Maple Syrup

This week we had a couple of relatively warm days here in Maine. In fact it was so warm (40F) that I rode my bike outside on Thursday. It was on that ride that I noticed sap buckets and hoses on some maple trees. That reminded me of some videos about making maple syrup that I shared last year and prompted me to look for some new ones too.

Ever Wonder How Maple Syrup is Made? is a new video from Highlights. The succinct video shows a mix of the old way of using buckets to collect sap and the modern method of using hoses.

My friend Gardner Waldeier AKA Bus Huxley on YouTube collects maple sap to make maple syrup. He does it the old fashioned way and he made a video about the process. Gardner’s video shows viewers how he collects maple sap and turns it into maple syrup. In the video he explains why maple sap is collected at this time of year, how much sap he’ll collect from a large tree, and just how much sap it takes to make a gallon of maple syrup. You also get a nice tour of Gardner’s woodlot.

Maple Syrup the Modern Way is a three minute video about the process commercial producers use to make syrup.

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March 2

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Coming soon to Arno…

March 2

MIRM Penny Wars Day 1

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Dr. Seuss’s Birthday!

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3rd Grade SAP trip

March 3

Unplugged Night

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3rd Grade SAP trip

March 4

Wear it Wednesdays- Book Character

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3rd Grade SAP trip

March 5

PTA Meeting 6:30- MOVED TO Lindemann to hear about the millage

Readers are Leaders Assembly 9:00

Steve @conf.

March 6

End of 2nd Trimester

Early Release 11:30

March 9

MIRM Penny Wars

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Book Exchange Week

Ad Council 9:00

March 10

Unplugged Night

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Author’s Visit

March 11

Wear it Wednesdays- T-shirt with words

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Cookie Dough Fundraiser Game truck

PBIS Meeting 7:50

March 12

Spring Pictures

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March 13

2nd grade/Jensen to DYPAC

Report Cards Go Home


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We need your help!

Our Priority – To ensure that the students of Allen Park Public Schools receive the maximum funding authorized!

Things to Consider

  • This will not increase property taxes for primary residents.

  • The loss in funding will only grow as taxable values increase on all non-homestead properties.

  • We are just asking for business taxes to return to where they were in the past.

  • Our schools have lost $189,000 due to the Headlee Rollback over the last two years.

Important Voting Information

  • February 24: Last day for online/mail voter registration

  • February 25 – March 10: In-person voter registration

  • For your polling location, visit https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/

PLEASE join us at Lindemann Elementary for our next PTA meeting on March 5 at 6:30.  The district will be at the meeting presenting information on this vote to all three AP elementary PTAs.

          Headlee headlee

Reading Fluency and The Magic of Song

At the NWEA conference this week, I was fortunate to see Dr. Tim Rasinski speaking about fluency in the key note- this is an excellent article to consider in your literacy teaching.



Data Question to Reflect on this Week

In what ways am I challenging students who are clearly being successful in my classroom?


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March is Reading Month News!

March is Reading Month
One Book, One School

This year to celebrate March is Reading Month, our entire school
will be reading Spring According to Humphrey. That is why our
celebration is called One Book, One School. Spring According to
Humphrey is just one book in a series about Humphrey, the class
hamster at Longfellow School.
Each student will get a book this year! Our goal is that you would
read this book together at home. The book is for your family to keep!
We hope you enjoy reading together as a family. The included pacing
guide outlines the chapters to be read each week. Your child’s teacher
will also be given a book to read and discuss the book in class.
Throughout the month of March we will have a wide variety of
reading themed activities to participate in at home and at school. Also,
attached is a calendar of all of the fun activities we have planned!
Books will be distributed on Thursday, February 27, 2020.

Pacing Guide
To celebrate March is Reading Month at home, we ask that you read Spring
According to Humphrey at home each night. To finish the book by the end of the
month please follow this suggested pacing guide.
March 2-6: Chapters 1-4
March 9-13 : Chapters 5-8
March 16-20: Chapters 9-12
March 23-27: Chapters 13-14

Book Exchange
During the week of March 3 -9, students will be participating in a book exchange on
their library day. Students can bring in up to three books to exchange with gently
used books. Students will be able to exchange the same number of books that
they bring from home, so if a student brings in one book, they will be able to pick
out one book. Look for a flyer coming home with more information.

Unplugged Night
Every Tuesday in March, we ask that you “unplug” from your electronic devices.
While you are unplugged, do fun activities together with your family like: play a
board game, read together, make dinner together, or any other unplugged activity
you can think of.

Wear it Wednesdays
Each Wednesday dress up to celebrate March is Reading Month!
March 4: Dress up as your favorite book character
March 11: Wear a t-shirt with words on it
March 18: Wear a hat with words
March 25: Dress up as Humphrey

On Tuesdays and Thursdays each classroom will participate in D.E.A.R, which stands
for Drop Everything And Read! Students can read books from their classroom
libraries or they can bring a book from home.

Guest Readers
Throughout the month of March, Mrs. Byrne, our media specialist, will be arranging
guest readers to come into different classrooms to read. If you would like to be a
guest reader in your child’s class, contact your child’s teacher to schedule a time.

Penny Wars
Save your spare change to bring to school every Monday in March, March 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30. Give your pennies to your class and your nickels, dimes, and quarters to other classes. Pennies add to your classes total, but other coins count against your total. The class with the highest total wins! All proceeds will go to future March is Reading Month Activities.

Bingo for Books
On March 19, students are invited to play bingo in Arno’s cafeteria. Get a bingo and
win a book! There will be two different times available. Look for more information
about Bingo for Books coming home soon.

Culminating Activity
Friday, March 27, is a half day. Help us celebrate the end of March is Reading Month
by wearing your pajamas and bringing your favorite book to school.

mirm 20







2020-21 KindRegInfo (1)


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We had a big discussion on our School Improvement team about revision and edit becoming more mainstream into what we do, while looking at how we can manage Journeys at the same time.  This is just one of many resources that you can take a look at for revision.


Revising is a way to learn about the craft of writing. Phyllis Whitney famously wrote, “Good stories are not written. They are rewritten.” Learning to revise teaches students about the characteristics of good writing, which will carry over into their future writing. Revision skills complement reading skills; revision requires that writers distance themselves from the writing and critically evaluate a text.

When to use:  Before reading  During reading  After reading
How to use:  Individually  With small groups  Whole class setting

Why teach revising?

  • It’s an important part of the writing process.
  • Revising gives students an opportunity to reflect on what they’ve written.
  • Revising is a way to learn about the craft of writing.
  • Revision is closely tied to critical reading; in order to revise a piece conceptually, students must be able to reflect on whether their message matches their writing goal.

How to teach revising

Research on revision and the quality of writing shows that strategy instruction is very powerful. When using strategy instruction, teachers should do the following:

  1. Explain the revising process explicitly: provide specific, meaningful goals for the revision and/or clearly identify the audience.
    One way to make the criteria very specific is to focus on genre. For example, when teaching narratives, develop a simple checklist that aligns with good narrative writing. For example, ask students “Are all the story elements included? Are the characters clearly described? Does your story show how characters feel?”Another approach focuses not on genre, but rather overall qualities such as clarity and detail. For example, “Is there anything that is difficult to understand?” “What vocabulary words could you add to make the story more interesting?”
  2. Model the strategy with think-alouds. This can be achieved by displaying one writing sample on a chart or ELMO, and using that sample to model and discuss how to revise the paper in a way that would improve it.
  3. Provide guided practice with feedback. This can be done through peer editing and through meaningful teacher–student dialogue. These collaborative efforts reinforce the understanding that writing is a social process in which a message is created for an audience.
  4. Gradually work toward independent mastery by students.

Peer editing is a very successful way to help students develop revision skills. This is particularly true when the peer groups have explicit goals for the revision. For example, find one place in the writing where the message is unclear, or one place where a different vocabulary word could be used.

Many teachers use checklists and mnemonic devices to help students revise their writing. Here are a few examples:

It’s important to help students focus on more than sentence-level revisions. The 6 + 1 Trait writing program encourages a bigger-picture revision process through attention to ideas, organization, voice, word choice, and more. Their revision checklist includes items such as:

Although it’s rarely considered this way, revisions include any changes a writer makes to a draft, including decisions made both before the writing begins and as drafting is taking place. Strategies that engage students before writing begins — for example RAFT and the story sequence strategy — can help students develop a strong first draft.

These steps for revision can be used across content areas. The types of writing that could take place include writing the steps to a word problem (math), reporting results from an experiment (science), and summarizing an important historical event or figure (social studies).

Watch: Starring Details

Aid students in understanding the various interacting stages of the writing process, including revising, and provide students with a strategy for adding detail to their writing. See the lesson plan.

This video is published with permission from the Balanced Literacy Diet. See related how-to videos with lesson plans in the Writing Processes and Strategies section.

Watch: Writing Self-Assessment

Charts and checklists help students self-assess. These students and their teacher use a familiar chart to evaluate other students’ writing as a first step toward evaluating their own. (Excerpted from Stenhouse Publishers’ “Inside Notebooks” video)

Differentiated instruction

for second language learners, students of varying reading skill, and for younger learners

New writers and ELL students may initially have difficulty revising their work. Revising to them often means painstaking recopying, and revisions are often done only at the sentence level rather than to the piece as a whole.

  • Make judicious use of peer editors. Provide a supportive peer with whom your student can work constructively.
  • Provide very clear goals for the revision process, for example give simple directions to add ideas to make their papers more interesting.
  • Allow students to use word processors for writing. They can ease the physical process of writing, enable students to produce error-free final copies, and make revision possible without needing to recopy.

See the research that supports this strategy

Graham, S. & Harris K. (2007). Best practices in teaching planning. In S. Graham, C. MacArthur, & J. Fitzgerald (Eds.) Best practices in writing instruction. New York: Guilford.

MacArthur, C. (2007). Best practices in teaching evaluation and revision. In S. Graham, C. MacArthur, & J. Fitzgerald (Eds.) Best practices in writing instruction. New York: Guilford.

Children’s books to use with this strategy

Questions, Questions

By: Marcus Pfister
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A series of rhyming questions about the natural world accompanied by open illustrations are sure to inspire research in various content areas as well as presentation of the information (or inspiration) in a clear sequence.

Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School

Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ike, a likeable mutt, is sent to obedience school from which he writes letters that don’t match the actions depicted in the illustration. Rewrite Ike’s letters but from a neutral point of view such as that of an unbiased reporter. Ike LaRue returns in LaRue Across America: Postcards From the Vacation (Scholastic) among others, each of which involves writing from different points of view.

Boy Wonders

By: Calef Brown
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A boy wonders aloud about many things challenging readers to think about not only language and its uses and possible about specific content areas (e.g., the genesis of proverbs and adages, traditional lore, and entomology). Each statement of wonder could be a story prompt to use with RAFT.

Interrupting Chicken

By: David Ezra Stein
Genre: Fiction, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Though she promises she won’t interrupt, a little red chicken inserts herself into the fairy tales her father reads to save the fairy tale characters from familiar bad endings. When her father tires of the interruptions, she shares an original story in which the dad is put to bed. Cartoon illustrations depict the likeable characters and humorous actions.

Clementine’s Letter

By: Sara Pennypacker
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Impetuous Clementine is concerned that she’ll lose her much loved 3rd grade teacher, Mr. D’Matz, when he’s recommended to study in Egypt for a year. Clementine cooks up a letter to assure that Mr. D’Matz doesn’t get the fellowship. Humor abounds in this third book about spontaneous, likeable, and ultimately honorable Clementine.

The Bunnicula Collection: Books 1 to 3

By: Deborah Howe, James Howe
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Family

Harold the family dog narrates three stories of life with supernatural suspicions which begins with Bunnicula, the bunny with fangs. In the Howliday Inn while boarding at the Chateau Bow-Wow, Harold and Chester (the Monroe cat) encounter a werewolf, perhaps. Chester and Harold must stop zombie vegetables when the Celery Stalks at Midnight. Over-the-top humor is very appealing to a broad range of listeners (including adults!).



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Feb 17


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Coming soon to Arno…

Feb 17

No school- winter break

Feb 18

No school- winter break

Feb 19

SIP 7:45

Founders Banquet 6:00

Feb 20

Staff meeting 7:50

SIP all day meeting

Feb 21

District Proficiency reports go home

Feb 24

No events

Feb 25

Instruct committee 7:50

Steve @NWEA Waterford

Feb 26

MTSS Committee 7:50

Feb 27

March is Reading Month Assembly 9:30

Safety Committee 9:30

Feb 28

PBIS Reward

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We need your help!

Our Priority – To ensure that the students of Allen Park Public Schools receive the maximum funding authorized!

Things to Consider

  • This will not increase property taxes for primary residents.

  • The loss in funding will only grow as taxable values increase on all non-homestead properties.

  • We are just asking for business taxes to return to where they were in the past.

  • Our schools have lost $189,000 due to the Headlee Rollback over the last two years.

Important Voting Information

  • February 24: Last day for online/mail voter registration

  • February 25 – March 10: In-person voter registration

  • For your polling location, visit https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/

          Headlee headlee

Clevertouch Training Information!

Hello elementary teachers!
This is a follow-up email to Mr. Darga’s communication dated January 16, in which he discussed the exciting new developments in instructional technology (his letter is attached in case you would like to refresh your memory).


Now that the “Clever Champions” have received their training, we are ready to offer training to all K-5 teachers. Upon completion of the 8 hours of training, a board will be ordered and installed in your classroom over the summer for use in the 2020-2021 school year!
  • There are 4 evening sessions offered for part 1 from 4-8 p.m. on different days in March and April and 4 evening sessions offered for part 2 from 4-8 p.m. on different days in April and May.
If you choose to participate, you need to pick 1 session from part 1 and 1 session from part 2. There is also the option to complete the full training on a Saturday for a full 8 hour session in April or May.
Again, the sessions in each part repeat, so you only need to attend 1 session in part 1 and 1 session in part 2 for a total of 8 hours. You may attend any session even if it is in a different building.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me, or feel free to reach out to a Clever Champion in your building. Below is the link (same as above) and a list of Clever Champions across the district. This is just the beginning of our new initiative. In the years to come we will be integrating Clevertouch training in our ongoing professional development for those who have boards installed.
Lesley Bartnick
Chelsey Bianchi
Colleen Byrne
Chelsea Darin
Katie Jensen
Maureen Klein
Julie Martinchick
Aubrey Peschke
Adrianna Soranno
Carrie Solak
Brian Trionfi
Erin Woods


We are excited to introduce this Social-Emotional & Academic link to parents and staff members. This webpage has been updated and can be found on the District website under the Resources, District, and Department tabs.



What do you do for self-care- do you reflect on what can help keep you charged everyday?

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New Blog Alert

Welcome to the new APPS ELL Website and blog!

A new blog for teachers and families as a resource for our English Language Learners.





There have been a few questions/comments from parents on the importance of the NWEA test as it relates to the importance of that score vs “My child already has an “A” on their report card”.  The instructional committee will be putting together a one-pager on the NWEA. why it is important, and what does it do for the student when they take it.



Thank you all for a great data dive! Our conversations were productive and we have a firm pulse on the building, and where we can build more into interventions that will help kids. 




What is a sample of an ideal/proficient response? Do we know what we consider proficient? Do we agree on what proficiency looks like?

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2020-21 KindRegInfo (1)

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Thank you

On behalf of the of school improvement team, thank you for taking the staff survey.  We will have the survey results to you soon and will be using the information from the staff in our planning.



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February 3 – February  21         Fundraiser Sale

February 21                                       All money and orders due (online payment option available)

Game Truck Prize for qualifying sales: March 11

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**Turnover time is about 2-3 weeks, we will contact everyone when the items will be in (before Easter)



How to Audit Your Classroom Library for Diversity

A bingo card can tell teachers a lot about the people and genres that are represented in their class library—and the ones that are missing.

December 3, 2019
Illustration concept showing bridging the gap in bookshelf equity
Aron Vellekoop León / Ikon Images

We know that representation matters, that in order for our classrooms to be spaces where everyone is affirmed and included, young people must see themselves and their lived experiences in our curricula. Do our classroom libraries reflect this knowledge? Bookshelves offer a powerful litmus test of the experiences and identities we honor and include in our classrooms.


What happens to students’ self-efficacy and self-concept when they see their lives positively reflected in the curriculum? Even very young children recognize the importance and delight in finding themselves in a book:

  • “She’s from Pakistan, just like me.”
  • “He has dark skin like mine.”
  • “I’m adopted, too.”
  • “Look, that main character uses a wheelchair like mine.”

How often do students from diverse or marginalized backgrounds find affirming mirror books in our classrooms?

Books become transformative when they shift our perspectives, alter our worldviews, and deepen our relationships with others. Let’s implement practices that make reading from many different experiences, worldviews, and cultures part of the social fabric of our schools.

To build on this idea, I created a simple bingo card that educators complete with book titles. I hoped it would challenge teacher groups to think more critically about representation and diversity in their classroom libraries and foster new conversations about reading. It did that and more.


A key objective of this exercise is to foster school conversations about the books we read and teach. I have used this activity in professional development workshops. I think it also has the potential to be used as a faculty or school-wide reading challenge.

Rules of the exercise: Everyone needs their own bingo card (there’s a downloadable pdf below). While you may be tempted to start with the books you teach, resist that and start instead with the books you read. Like friendship, literature is a powerful entry point for exposure to diverse experiences. What and whom we read matters.

bookshelf bingo

What does your bookshelf equity audit reveal?

Round 1: Using a black pen, fill out the bingo card with books you have recently read, putting one title in each box. You can start with classic bingo, looking for five in a row, but consider eventually challenging yourself to complete the whole card. Filling it out will likely be more difficult than you expected.

Round 2: Using blue ink, continue filling out the bingo card with books you have recently taught. This means you could have two titles in each box: one for a book you have recently read and another for a book you have recently taught. It’s very rare that someone can fill out the bingo card so completely.

Teachers often have one or two books in their curricula that fit several of the categories on the card, but each title can appear only once.

Card for the Bookshelf Equity Audit
PDF 79.35 KB

Round 3: Once we start listing titles, we can see more clearly what we’re missing. Get up and talk to your peers about books. Write down new recommendations for the empty squares on your card in red ink, and make sure to read them.

The bingo exercise reveals some gaps in our reading and teaching, but it also shows us that collectively we have the resources and knowledge to start addressing these gaps. What if a copy of the book that might change your teaching practice is already waiting for you in the classroom down the hall?

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Teachers have frequently told me that this activity taught them to pay attention to the lived experiences of the authors they read and teach. Considering background information and author positionality is a valuable close reading strategy that supports us in our work of showing students that their stories matter.

Many teachers have found that until they took a true audit of what they were reading and teaching, they tended to overestimate the number of books by and about people of color on their shelves.

As expected, the exercise reveals our reading preferences, as well as the fact that many of us don’t read as much as we would like. While it’s OK to have preferences, it’s important to be aware of the gaps in our understanding and to actively try to address them. This requires reading outside of our cultural or genre comfort zone, which is why the third round is essential—it requires us to talk about books, to seek suggestions from our peers, to ask young children and folks two generations older than us for book recommendations. It affirms that reading can be a social journey, and I’ve found these conversations to be incredibly helpful.

The bingo card is a call to pay attention to who we are reading, who we are teaching, who is represented, who is missing, and why.

As we read more broadly and talk about books more intentionally, we’re able to shine light on more experiences. We can begin to increase representation in our classrooms in ways that tell young people that many experiences matter, representation matters, and most importantly, they matter.

Here are four book lists to start expanding representation on your classroom bookshelf:


In education, feedback gains power when it’s delivered throughout the learning process. Assessments are typically administered at the end of the process to see how well a student has learned compared to a benchmark. Giving feedback in learning may also be referred to as “formative assessment.”

Formative assessment means ongoing monitoring, and commentary, of the student on a continual basis. Instructors use formative assessment to adjust and improve their approach. Summative assessment, by contrast, is a one-time evaluation at the end of a teaching unit. It may also refer to mandated standardized testing.

The formative assessment usually qualifies as feedback during learning. Summative assessment almost always does not. Educators can use info from summative assessments in a formative way, to guide their future efforts. The promise of education technology is to create a formative assessment classroom, providing effective feedback to the student.

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How to Improve Feedback with Educational Technology

Providing appropriate, frequent, actionable feedback is no small challenge for educators. Studies suggest it’s not happening enough. In fact, a review of literature on feedback for learning in higher education revealed that current feedback practices aren’t working.

Fortunately, the review also highlighted a growing number of studies that demonstrate technology’s ability to boost student engagement with feedback. This suggests that changing the process by which feedback is made available to students can increase their attention, engagement, and follow-through.


Many instructors seek creative ways to use technology to enrich their communication with students. This trend is escalating as evidence for the positive impact of tech on feedback for learning grows. It will continue to increase as younger, tech-savvy educators enter the classroom. Seasoned educators will push this trend forward as they receive professional development, gain tech experience and become more comfortable with today’s teaching tools.

Tech Tools & Techniques for Feedback Learning


Some of the most-used and most-effective ways to leverage technology to deliver feedback learning include:

  • Electronic Publishing
  • Audio Capture
  • Image + Audio
  • Computer Assisted Assessment
  • Live Polling
  • Blogs/Other Peer Activities

Electronic Publishing

Several studies have shown increased learning impact when teachers give feedback electronically. This may be due to the greater flexibility provided. With electronic feedback, students can focus on and digest comments at a time of their choosing, in the absence of their peers.

Typed responses are also often more legible than written comments. They are also often less ambiguous than feedback delivered verbally, face to face. With electronic feedback, students can refer repeatedly to cumulative comments as they move through the curriculum. Student affinity for electronic interaction may also engender greater engagement with this type of feedback.

Audio Feedback

No time to meet one-on-one to discuss student progress? Digitally recording audio feedback lets instructors provide detailed feedback that’s especially engaging for auditory learners. Short on time for typing detailed responses? Verbal feedback can be faster and more thorough.

Digital audio files can expand simple written feedback. With audio, “incorrect sentence structuring” can easily become a detailed explanation of what was wrong and how to correct it. Plus, struggling students can listen to recorded comments as many times as needed to boost their understanding.

Teaching tip: For quick, easy recording, try apps like Evernote, Desire2Learn, and Vocaroo to record and send audio feedback. Your interactive whiteboard may also be able to help – some IWBs include integrated audio-capture along with screen saving abilities.

Visual + Audio

Video screen capture combines visual data and audio narration. Commonly known as screencasting, with this tool, instructors can deliver a powerful dose of engaging feedback that students can save and refer to as needed. Screencasts capture the content on your computer screen while you narrate. They’re great tools for providing feedback, creating tutorials or showcasing student mastery. Creating YouTube videos for feedback and using Skype to conduct interviews further leverage the visual and verbal for greater learning.

Computer-assisted Assessment

Feedback provided during computer-based formative assessment activities can be highly engaging. This is because students are receiving instant feedback throughout the learning activity. This approach has become increasingly popular at all grade levels and within virtual learning environments. Many cloud-based formative feedback tools have been developed up to support these efforts. (See Formative Feedback & Technology below.)

Formative, Socrative, and the other teacher-recommended tools noted below deliver powerful real-time feedback. They are useful both as whole-class tools used on your interactive whiteboard and used on 1:1 devices.

Live Polling

Research has shown that classroom response systems – also known as “clickers” – create a more dynamic, interactive classroom experience. This results in increased attendance, participation, and learning. Clickers are hand-held transmission devices similar to TV remote controls. They enable each student to submit real-time responses during instruction. These responses give teachers instant insight into how well students are grasping the lesson. This then enables teachers to adjust the lesson and to provide relevant feedback.

Blogs & Other Peer Activities

Educators have found that receiving feedback from peers improves student performance. Technology provides an ideal tool for expanding this approach. Blogs are a great way to encourage writing practice and facilitate peer feedback opportunities.

Teaching tip: Try letting students choose their own blog topics to boost enthusiasm. See here for more insight into how to begin the process that improved writing skills and enthusiasm in this instructor’s class.

Feedback and Technology

Classroom technology, including apps and cloud services, are designed to deliver feedback and shorten the feedback loop. The sooner feedback is delivered, the more meaningful it is to students. Formative, a favorite among ViewSonic educator partners, is one such tool. A free cloud-based service, it’s available for download at goformative.com.

Formative lets teachers create assignments, deliver them to students, receive results, and provide individualized feedback for learning in real-time. Formative gives you great flexibility. You can create different types of questions, add text blocks, images, YouTube videos – then students fill in answers and can even draw an answer, which is great for math and science. Teachers can upload pre-existing documents or use the platform to create paperless assignments from scratch.

Easy to set up and use, Formative runs on any internet-connected device. Matt Miller, author of Ditch That Textbook, is a big fan of Formative. He recommends it for its ability to give students meaningful feedback while they’re still in the moment when they’re more likely to engage with the feedback and put it to good use:



Other popular formative assessment tools include SocrativeKahoot, and Backchannel Chat Tools. Classrooms without 1:1, BYOD or clickers can accomplish polling for feedback with Plickers and QuickKey.

Feedback: Knowing What They Don’t Know

Teaching a challenging computer science concept, educator Vicki Davis dramatically experienced the teacher-student feedback perception gap. It forever changed her thinking about formative assessment. After reviewing how to count in binary numbers, two students exclaimed, “We’ve got this! Let’s move on.”

Davis queried the classmates, who nodded and agreed that they understood the concept. Although her instincts told her the class was ready to move on, Davis decided to test her gut using the formative assessment tool Socrative, which is similar to Formative discussed above. Davis wrote a problem on her IWB and student answers appeared alongside their names. Only two students provided the correct answers.

Davis was then able to execute on the idea of formative assessment – keeping it ongoing and in the moment. She taught for a bit longer, retested, and continued the process until everyone had mastered the problems. While this may sound time consuming and laborious, it was far from it. In keeping with her practice of sticking with the subject until all students score 90% or higher on the test, Davis was able to complete the binary number instructional unit two days faster than usual.

Plus, not a single student needed to come in for after-school tutoring. Said Davis, “I’m sold,” adding in her blog that “Test scores should never be a surprise. You don’t need to be a mind reader. You just need a formative assessment toolbox, and you need to use it every day.”

Using Interactive Whiteboards for Learning-Focused Feedback

Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) empower instructors to address two of the most critical components of feedback for learning: keeping it timely and consistent. When used with interactive learning apps, students working at the board receive immediate responses that tell them how they’re doing. (The options are virtually endless; think MathPlayground, PBS KIDS apps, DuoLingo, and Tiny Cards.)

Quick action and repetition allow students to keep trying until they get it right. This delivers the consistent, ongoing input critical to turning feedback into learning – exactly what’s needed. As stated by one formative assessment expert:


This is how all highly successful computer games work. If you play Angry Birds, Halo, Guitar Hero, or Tetris, you know that the key to substantial improvement is that the feedback is both timely and ongoing. When you fail, you can immediately start over—sometimes even right where you left off—to get another opportunity to receive and learn from the feedback.”

Adding polling devices your IWB lets you gather individual, real-time responses. These responses can then be addressed with individualized or group feedback addressing the various categories of misunderstanding revealed by the polled responses.

The most helpful interactive boards can record on-screen content. This provides another easy way to deliver ongoing feedback for learning. This feature lets instructors save files that include feedback written on the board during a lesson. ViewSonic® ViewBoard’s™ exclusive audio-record function captures on-screen info plus verbal comments made by the instructor and students. With either function, instructors can later send the file to students for review and reference.

ViewSonic exclusive Direct-to-Google-Drive Save makes it even easier to share ViewBoard feedback files in Google-based classrooms. IWBs with the ability to import online learning tools and apps let teachers further customize feedback to meet their classroom needs.

Effective Feedback Counts

Providing students with the right type of feedback, at the right times and with an optimal degree of frequency is one of the most important things educators can do to ensure that their instructive efforts take root. Crafting feedback that is goal-referenced, tangible, actionable and accessible, then delivering it in a timely, consistent manner will maximize its impact on learning outcomes.

Technology offers many options for enhancing the delivery of truly effective feedback for learning. Interactive whiteboards, formative feedback apps, classroom response systems, electronic publishing, and audio capture are among the tools educators can leverage to more fully engage students. Education technology, like the ViewSonic ViewBoard, empowers teachers to help students succeed by enhancing their ability to deliver effective feedback.

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Feb. 3

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Coming soon to Arno…

Feb. 3

Otis Spunkmeyer Cookie Dough Fundraiser Kickoff

Community Conversation with Mike Darga- 6:30 Arno Media Center (see below)

Feb. 4

No events

Feb. 5

District PBIS 1:00

Feb. 6

No events

Feb. 7

No events

Feb. 10

Ad Council 9:00

ICC 4:00

Feb. 11

Data Dive

Feb. 12

Data Dive

Crisis Team sub committee 9:00

Skating Party 6:00

Feb. 13

K-2 Instruct Rounds

PTA Meeting 6:30

African American Artists Assembly per schedule

Feb. 14

Happy Valentines Day!

Early Dismissal 11:30- Teacher PD

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Staff SIP Survey Now Open

The data we receive from the Staff SIP survey helps us to better identify items that we may need to look at in our school climate and culture.  Please take a few moments to complete this year’s survey so that we may have good data for our plan.  The survey will be open from now until



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Arno will be once again doing the Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough fundraiser starting  Feb. 3 to help supplement the many requests we get from staff during the school year such as Spelling City, research-based activities, special project supplies, literacy materials, tech, etc.  Last year’s fundraiser helped us purchase many extra classroom supply requests, Playworks training for teachers and lunch staff, Zoo Phonics materials for kindergarten, Super Cougar pizza lunch supplies, an ipad for our Broadcast team, and professional development for teachers.  

The PTA has been a tremendous resource for our building with all they have given, however, the many teacher requests received throughout the school year to give our students the very best experiences create a need to seek additional support.  Therefore, we have partnered with this company to offer you a choice of items should you choose to purchase any, that would support providing more resources for our teachers. The large envelope coming home on Feb. 3 and will contain all of the information needed (and there is an online order method).    

 Fundraiser Timeline

February 3 – February  18         Fundraiser Sale 

February 18                                       All money and orders due (online payment option available)

Game Truck Prize for qualifying sales: March 11

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**Turnover time is about 2-3 weeks, we will contact everyone when the items will be in (before Easter)

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3-5- please remember to review student goals with them to set their path for the next next trimester.  Ongoing feedback, in addition to a high effect size, is a critical part of maintaining and reaching their goal.  I will be sitting down with all partially proficient students, as well as those who were ID as rushing,  and checking in throughout as part of the process.

The dates are below, please send any student with their goals who landed in the partially proficient zone (NWEA predictor), and/or got the “sloth” on their test.  Please start the time frame with sending 2 students down- then as one comes back, send the next.  The goal is to have another sit down, other than their teacher, to help them focus more on the importance of making their goals and how they can attain them.  

3rd grade- Feb. 3  9:-10:00

4th Grade- Feb. 3 10:15-11:15

5th Grade- Feb. 3  1:00-2:00



5 Research-Based Tips for Providing Students with Meaningful Feedback

Feedback is an essential part of learning, but not all of it is productive. We’ve collected five best practices for giving students feedback.

August 6, 2014

In recent years, research has confirmed what most teachers already knew: Providing students with meaningful feedback can greatly enhance their learning and achievement.

Professor James Pennebaker from the University of Texas at Austin has been researching the benefits of frequent testing and the feedback it leads to. He explains that in the history of the study of learning, the role of feedback has always been central: “When people are trying to learn new skills, they must get some information that tells them whether or not they are doing the right thing. Learning in the classroom is no exception. Both the mastery of content and, more importantly, the mastery of how to think require trial-and-error learning.”

The downside, of course, is that not all feedback is equally effective, and it can even be counterproductive, especially if it’s presented in a solely negative or corrective way.

So what exactly are the most effective ways to use feedback in educational settings?

Although there is no quick or easy answer to this question, here are five research-based tips for providing students with the kind of feedback that will increase motivation, build on existing knowledge, and help them reflect on what they’ve learned.

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In a review of the available research titled “The Power of Feedback,” University of Auckland professors Helen Timperley and John Hattie highlight the importance of supplying learners with specific information about what they are doing right or wrong.

For example, feedback like “Great job!” doesn’t tell the learner what he did right, and likewise, a statement such as “Not quite there yet” doesn’t give her any insight into what she did wrong and how she can do better the next time around.

Instead, researchers suggest taking the time to provide learners with information on what exactly they did well, and what may still need improvement. They also note that it can be helpful to tell the learner what he is doing differently than before.

Has a student’s performance changed or improved since the last time you assessed her? Let her know about it, even if she still has a long way to go.


Numerous studies indicate that feedback is most effective when it is given immediately, rather than a few days, weeks, or months down the line.

In one study that looked at delayed versus immediate feedback, the researchers found that participants who were given immediate feedback showed a significantly larger increase in performance than those who received delayed feedback.

Another research project, from the University of Minnesota, showed that students who received lots of immediate feedback were better able to comprehend the material they had just read.

Of course, it’s not always possible to provide students with feedback right on the spot, but sooner is definitely better than later.


Timperley and Hattie note that effective feedback is most often oriented around a specific achievement that students are (or should be) working toward. When giving feedback, it should be clear to students how the information they are receiving will help them progress toward their final goal.


The way feedback is presented can have an impact on how it is received, which means that sometimes even the most well-meaning feedback can come across the wrong way and reduce a learner’s motivation.

Psychologist and author Edward Deci has identified three situations in which feedback could be counterproductive:

When learners feel too strictly monitored: If learners feel that they are being too closely monitored, they might become nervous or self-conscious, and as a result, disengaged from learning.

When learners interpret feedback as an attempt to control them: Learners may sometimes interpret feedback as an attempt to control them or tell them how they should be doing something rather than guidance on how to improve.

When learners feel an uncomfortable sense of competition: Feedback shared in a group setting could cause learners to feel like they have to compete with their peers. This can be another source of disengagement in learning.

To avoid these situations, Deci suggests fully explaining the purpose of any monitoring, and ensuring that learners understand how the feedback is meant to help them compete against their own personal bests rather than each other.


The importance of involving learners in the process of collecting and analyzing performance-based data cannot be understated. Pennebaker says, “Students must be given access to information about their performance…. At the broadest level, students need to know if they actually have mastered the material or not. Giving them information about the ways they are studying, reading, searching for information, or answering questions can be invaluable.”

When students have access to this information, they develop an awareness of their learning, and are more easily able to recognize mistakes and eventually develop strategies for tackling weak points themselves.


Data Question to Reflect on This Week:

What strategies will we implement for those students who lack the foundation necessary to be successful on the new material we will present?

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A BIG Thank you to Brian for guiding our upper grade teachers in the process for MAP skills to help drill down to that actual skills that our kids need to improve on.  Please be sure to share any questions as we have a great source at NWEA for all the answers!

Formative Assessment Tech

Interactive Lessons and Video


Powerful formative assessment tool tracks achievement of standards

Bottom line: Efficient platform supports teachers who are expected to assess and track student progress on meeting standards.


Interactive slideshow tool engages students, promotes collaboration

Bottom line: This effective tool leverages the capabilities of 1-to-1 environments and offers both teacher- and student-paced learning.


Simple design makes it easy to jump into interactive video

Bottom line: With features that are both basic and useful, it’s an easy tool to learn; adding interactivity to video is a snap.


Crop, customize, and remix online video content with interactive tool

Bottom line: As a flipped classroom or student creation tool, there are lots of opportunities for use, but teachers will need to be creative if they want students to engage.


Pose questions, spark thoughtful video responses with stellar tool

Bottom line: A simple way for students and teachers to create online discussion, as long as your classroom culture is mature enough to use it wisely.


Flexible interactive presentation tool engages kids at school and home

Bottom line: LessonUp is for teachers who like designing unique lessons to reach every learner.


Provide instant feedback with collaborative, multimedia assessment tool

Bottom line: Engaging, easy-to-use tool that supports both formative and summative assessment while allowing for student collaboration.


Robust lesson-creation, presentation tool offers built-in assessment

Bottom line: This powerful tool supports connected and blended learning from instruction to assessment, though it’s best used to enhance already great instruction.

Pear Deck

Interactive slideshows offer a variety of ways to engage and assess

Bottom line: While it has some limits, the useful presentation features provide terrific options for formative assessment from any device.


Deliver interactive lessons right to kids’ mobile devices and tablets

Bottom line: Support learning in and out of the classroom with this multi-faceted content-delivery tool.


Quizzing, Polling, and Student Response


Easy-to-use, real-time monitoring, feedback, and assessment for 1-to-1

Bottom line: It’s a great option for teachers who want to go paperless, provide specific feedback, and encourage collaboration among students in 1-to-1 classrooms.


Call on everybody at once with flexible, interactive presentation tool

Bottom line: This flexible tool supports the creation of dynamic presentations and can help teachers strike a balance between information and interaction.


Superb real-time assessment tool a fit for 1-to-1, BYOD classrooms

Bottom line: Cleverly designed for teachers, Formative offers a flexible and attractive solution for gathering a variety of student response types and offering individualized feedback.


Game-like student-response tool can spark competitive fun

Bottom line: Effortlessly fun quizzing that can lead to productive formative assessment and student reflection if implemented effectively.


Useful, low-tech rapid-response tool promotes formative assessment

Bottom line: This can be a useful tool for teachers looking to get quick feedback or snapshots of understanding in technology-limited classrooms.


Fresh approach to assessment through concept maps shows promise

Bottom line: This unique formative assessment platform’s success will largely depend on teachers to keep content meaningful and relevant.


Increase student buy-in with interactive polls and Q&A sessions

Bottom line: Engaging classroom response platform offers teachers and students real-time feedback opportunities.


Formative and summative assessment merge in snapshot polls and quizzes

Bottom line: Powerful and easy-to-use student-response system has the potential to support responsive teaching.


Game-show group fun and independent study in one engaging tool

Bottom line: Put students in the driver’s seat with collaborative setup and gameplay features.


Familiar game show-like quizzes with a few new features

Bottom line: Easy-to-set-up and mostly free way to assign quizzes and check for understanding with a handy but paid option for progress tracking.


Audience response tool gives instant feedback despite dated design

Bottom line: It’s an easy-to-learn, practical tool for online formative assessment and limited student interaction.

The Answer Pad

Simple, multipurpose assessment tool for the BYOD classroom

Bottom line: A simple but flexible tool for paperless testing and engaging student-response activities in the classroom.

Poll Everywhere

Straightforward student-response tool engages kids with minimal setup

Bottom line: Quick setup and interactive features allow students to engage and teachers to receive and provide immediate feedback.




Nifty add-on enables audio and text feedback in Google Docs

Bottom line: If your classroom relies a lot on Google Docs, this might just be the feedback tool you’re looking for.

Microsoft Teams

Collaborative platform helps manage multiple groups and projects

Bottom line: It offers a ton of options for integrating learning; the lack of some typical LMS features may make it a better fit for small groups or nontraditional group configurations.

YO Teach!

Backchannel tool offers interactive polls, drawing, messages, and more

Bottom line: Quick setup and multimodal features make this a great fit for a variety of carefully monitored classroom discussions.

Backchannel Chat

Real-time, moderated online discussions can engage and encourage

Bottom line: Backchannel Chat offers a fun and safe way to hold real-time online discussions that might just increase engagement, interest, and even learning.


Comprehensive discussion platform develops critical-thinking skills

Bottom line: A great tool in any subject or topic for teachers looking to make discussion a central part of their classroom.


Advanced Q&A tool compels collaboration, higher-order thinking

Bottom line: Encourage collaborative, student-centered learning with this useful platform, but make sure it’s the right fit for your students.

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