To: Pre K-3 Principals, Pre School Directors, Facilitators



To: Pre K-3 Principals, Pre School Directors, Facilitators
Pre K-3 Principals, Pre School Directors, Facilitators
From: Dr. Jan La Torre-Derby, Pre K-3 Coordinator
April 4, 2014
“I feel my heart break to see a nation ripped apart by its own greatest strength, its diversity.”
Melissa Etheridge
Cross School and District Sharing to Enhance Learning for Students - Best Practice
One of the goals of the P3 Promoting Early School Success Initiative is to share expertise across schools
and districts. Although the Annual Best Practice Dinner has traditionally been designed for that purpose,
what occurs on an ongoing basis with collaboration among schools, is really the best forum to enhance
already excellent practice.
This week we saw examples of cross district sharing with a visit from a Tomales Elementary team
visiting Bayside/MLK Academy and also at the Teaching Pyramid training where collaborative Pre K
teachers worked together on the concept of Building Friendships, and a small, but mighty group of
kinder teachers, shared best practice about friendships. Here are a few “best practice” ideas that were
shared. I was particularly struck by a quote shared by Linda Brault at the Teaching Pyramid training
regarding friendship as is relates to adults.
“The single best childhood predictor of adult social adaptation is not school grades or classroom
behavior, but rather, how well a child gets along with other children.” Hartup
Kindergarten teachers included; Debbie Tambussi, Carol Burns, Melissa Riley, Heidi Joseph, Cindy
Wang, Michelle Jindrich, Kristen Vando, Irene Delgado, and Rachael Cinelli.
This team of kinder teachers shared best practice and tips:
People to People game
Kids Yoga
8th grade role models role play friendship and problem solving
Website Resource - www.ustream.TV/channel/ncqtl-teacher-time
Resource - Gail Joseph author of Social Emotional Development for Young Children
Allow strong emotions to be accepted and channeled (e.g. acknowledge and move on)
Use of music - Birdie Dance, Popcorn Dance, I’m a Lonely Petunia, Oh Playmate, (Bev Boz Annual Kindergarten Conference in San Jose)
8. Website -
Thanks to Linda, Sean, and the Pre K and K teachers for an excellent workshop and productive sharing.
Tomales Visitation to Bayside/MLK Academy
Special thanks to Daniel Norbutas who did an excellent job leading a tour. Jane Realon, Rhianna
Kaplan, Meredith Leask and Jen Osterholt-Warner for Tomales represented their K-8 program. Daniel
arranged for Conscious Kitchen, Bayside/MLK Food Service Program, to serve a lovely breakfast. You
may wish to check out the program sponsored by Teens Turning Green. The food is delicious, organic,
and locally grown. The teachers and the students have breakfast and lunch together regularly. It is
worth a look.
Daniel quickly provided each visitor with a clipboard with a “Learning Walk” document prepared for
responses. Bayside/MLK had completed a visitation to Venetia Valley where they had reviewed a
document developed by Jacqui Parker for Venetia Valley after the TOT Alignment Trainer of Trainers.
The format, which is listed, describes the school’s focus areas, as designed by the staff. It has a space for
Teacher and Student Evidence observed during the visitation. The topics that have subcategories for
each focus area include: What it means to be a scholar, Promoting student talk time, GLAD strategies,
Common Attention Signals, and Conflict Resolution. (See below)
What did the Tomales Team see on the Learning Walk?
1. Common systems and routines and procedures; SLANT, Schedules on the Board, Behavior
2. AVID strategies - process observers, Socratic seminar, and Cornell note-taking - Grades 6-8
and leveled instruction for math
3. GLAD strategies and T-charts with common themes aligned with social studies and science,
with academic vocabulary and ELA strategies embedded
4. Common prep for teachers to ensure collaboration
5. The team heard about Fabulous Friday assemblies collaboratively led with the PE teacher where
students are seated in “families” with Pre K-8 representatives at each table. Breakfast is served,
children are recognized for achievements, and an energizing activity starts the day each Friday.
6. Art instruction and studio work is themed based and provided in the classroom and as an
7. The Pre K environmental walk for Head Start, Rebecca Courtney’s class, revealed a rain forest,
soon to take over the classroom space, and GLAD charts evident to introduce the lesson. The
kids were at the Discovery Museum for a field trip, but their presence and that of their teacher
were deeply felt.
8. Small group instruction was evident in each classroom with instructional assistant support to
tailor learning
9. Classroom environments included plentiful student work displayed with particular emphasis on
For the coming year, we are planning to schedule a Learning Walk at each of our schools, hosted by
each P3, P5, or P8 School. West Marin has already set a date February 10 from 8:00 – 12:00 p.m. Thank
you Matt and Babs. Dates are in process of development for the “master calendar of events” that will
be available this spring. Sharing our work through conversation is one thing, seeing it in action is yet
another. We are grateful for these P8 Learning Walk opportunities.
Bayside/MLK Academy Learning Walk Focus Areas -Common Practice and Procedures 2013 - 14
Focus Area
What it means to be a scholar
Classroom systems: Be prepared, Work
Hard, Be Kind
Student roles and responsibilities
Use of Tone Zones
Common Student Response starters
Self-regulation hand checks, transitions,
Promoting Student Talk Time
Whole Group/Choral response
Hand and finger signals
Expectations for partner/team work
Check for understanding and monitor
GLAD Strategies
Using Scouts for who is prepared, working
hard, being kind
Academic vocabulary
Integrated SS and Science themes with
embedded ELA
Fab Five to deliver instruction
Common Attention Signals
Call and response
Five to Zero
Conflict Resolution
I statements
Sharing Feelings
Peace Place/Conflict Corner
Second Step-Identify, name, brainstorm
Restorative Justice – community circles
Teacher Evidence
Student Evidence
April 7
April 8
April 14-18
April 23, 2014
April 25
1:30 p.m.
3:30 p.m.
April 29
May 1
May 5
May 6
May 9
3:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m.
1:30 p.m.
3:00 p.m.
May 13
May 26
June 11
June 23-24
3:30 p.m.
9:30 a.m.
8:00 - 3:00pm
Site Visit
Site Visit
Spring Break
Facilitator Meeting
Teaching Pyramid Pre K-K
Site Visit
Speaker’s Series - Milton Chen
Site Visit
Site Visit
Teaching Pyramid Training for Pre
K-K Teachers
Site Visit
Memorial Day Holiday
MCOE Summer InstituteTechnology Integration
George Couros-Keynote
(2 day Math Workshop with
Eileen Smith and Danelle Frenchfirst part of six session P5 follow
up series )
West Marin
West Marin
Dominican University