Crownover News

October 2016: Edition 2

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Learning Targets!

The learners will identify misconceptions and basic understanding of what learning targets are all about.

ASCD defines learning targets as "a way to convey to students the destination for the lesson-what to learn, how deeply to learn it, and exactly how to demonstrate their new learning. In our estimation (Moss & Brookhart, 2009) and that of others (Seidle, Rimmele, & Prenzel, 2005; Stiggins, Arter, Chappuis, & Chappuis, 2009), the intention for the lesson is one of the most important things students should learn. Without a precise description of where they are headed, too many students are 'flying blind'".

T-TESS dimensions 1.4 and 2.1 are supportive of learning targets and how to adequately structure them into your lesson plans. When developing learning targets, ask yourself, what do I want my learners to walk out of my classroom knowing? This is just the beginning of something beautiful.

Learning targets should not be solely used as a recital piece. Students need to see the end in mind and the big picture behind those words. Placing adult language on your board misses the mark for students to take ownership of their learning. Students need to comprehend what the learning target means. Take a look at your lesson plans to see if your assignment or activity supports your learning target. This correlation should be widely evident in your daily activities. The assignments and activities should match and support your learning target, otherwise the sentence on your board serves as a lost cause. Share your learning goal, provide them with an activity to support their learning and most importantly provide feedback towards reaching this goal or target. A vision at the end of the lesson makes their learning journey possible.

Once the learning target is discussed, share samples of good work with your students. In order to put this learning target into action, we must support their understanding of the learning. Reciting objectives is not enough. Your learners need to connect all of the dots to see success. Allow students to develop their own understanding of the learning target by expressing it in their own words.

A few takeaways:

· Develop learning targets that are supported by quality and intentional assignments/activities.

· Allow students to discuss and interpret the learning objectives in their own words.

· Discuss the 'why' of their assignments/activities.

· Model/display quality work.

· Constantly check for understanding to ensure you are moving towards thelearning target.

· Find evidence that your students are moving towards mastery of the learning target. (embedded formative assessments)

Meaningful lesson planning and a thorough thought process are crucial to supporting targets that encourage all students to engage in higher-order thinking while mastering academic standards. In order to reach our campus WIG goal #1, we must dig deeper into our learning targets and create a culture that allows students to ask questions and take ownership of their learning. Don't leave your students guessing!

We look forward to growing in this area as a campus!

Tell me the facts...

Here are some statistics so you understand how Denton ISD has grown in our ELL/bilingual numbers:

Dr. Grace Del Valle shared with all LPAC coordinators some great facts about our ELL/bilingual numbers. Take a peek!

In August, we had 3,840 students. That is mostly because K and PK and were not in. We now have 4,309 ELLs--more than what we ended up last year. We had 4,261 at the end of last year (before we exited students).

We have 123 more students than we did at this same time last year. However, keep in mind we exited 241 students at the end of the year. If we had not exited students, we would have now 123+241=364 more students than last year!

The district’s growth was 1079.

ELL growth- 123 out of 4,309= 2.8%

District growth- 1079 out of 28644= 3.8%

DISD LEP totals 2016-17

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This is the first time our ESL numbers surpass our Bilingual numbers. Curiously, TEA reported the same finding last year state-wide. This could be caused by one of two things: increasing number of students of other languages (which is clearly supported by the increase of number of languages in our district) or by Spanish-speaking parents preferring ESL over bilingual (not the best practices according to TEA). TEA ‘s Bilingual Department Director Susie Coltress mentioned she was worried about the possibility of the later trend (districts encouraging parents to choose ESL over bilingual—parent permission A) and indicated she was going to follow up. In our case, I believe we are just getting more diverse as you will see in the rest of the facts.

Last year, we had 42 languages. This year we have 46 languages (so far). Of most interest is the fact that this year we see some languages we have not seen before like Malayalam (from India) and Cebuano (from Philippines).

Another interesting fact is where our students are coming from. Our 4,309 ELLs are coming from about 60 countries. Last year we had 57 countries. The first two nations have not changed- USA and Mexico. However, the third comes as a surprise: Puerto Rico. But if you have been reading the news, it would be easy to understand why we are getting students from there. Given the economic circumstances of the island, parents are fleeing looking for better life circumstances for their children and USA is an easy move since they are US citizens (keep in mind public education is in Spanish). Next up is Saudi Arabia; most of these students are children of UNT graduate students or professors.

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ELL population increased or stayed the same in most campuses.

Two middle schools had increases in ELL population and all high schools had increases in ELL population. One of the middle schools had a decrease of 0.3% (not statically relevant) while the other had a decrease of 1%.

Tips and Tools: from teachers to teachers!

I haven’t had the chance to implement this in my class yet, but the possibilities are limitless. Some of you may have heard of it before today, it’s called Blendspace. This site allows you to:

  • Set the class up in station rotations
  • Allows students to go at their own pace
  • Make some of the stations pull out groups with you
  • Allows students with read aloud or large text the space to accommodate
  • Group students with similar abilities

I am someone who is more of a kinetic learner, so I just need to work with things myself at my own pace, so I find the tutorial video upon logging in super helpful. This site definitely takes some time to get familiar with and really utilize well. I’m still in the exploration stage, but I know I’m not alone in feeling like I need to be twelve people at once to meet all of the needs in my classroom at the same time, and I’m hopeful because I think this site is going to allow me to do just that. I encourage you to check it out and see what all there is out there for your subject. The website is: I’m hoping you find yourself as enamored as I did on staff development day. I am not an expert by any means at this point, but I wanted to share a tool that I think could help expand your classroom.

Alecia Dockery

6th grade Contemporary World Societies

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  • Michelle Duck-for checking in on my class when I was especially stressed and for being there for me!
  • Stephanie McLeod-for taking time out of her day to give me great ideas for my Accelerated Reading class.
  • Alecia Dockery-for taking a whole day to attend 504 meetings for our team. You are very appreciated!!
  • Melissa Deal-for scanning and rescanning and rescanning all of my answer documents.
  • Christina Gonzalez-Thank you for going out of your way to help out. You are a wonderful teammate!
  • Stephanie Bielman-for always sharing all of the great things she is doing in her class with me! She is a valuable resource and much appreciated!
  • Ronnie Yeatts-for always getting us in for lab time and being on call with tech issues.

Have a KUDOS for a colleague?

Email Ms. Nygrin to celebrate a colleague. Use "Kudos" in the subject line and share who you would like to have featured in our Kudos section of next week's newsletter.

Attendance Notification!

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