The Reds Tale

December 6, 2018

From the Desk of Mr. Roote

Given a daily commute I have come to enjoy the many sports talk opportunities available on my Sirius XM dial. Recently, I heard a show host talk of grip issues on a plane yoke that could lead the plane to buck, the more the yoke was squeezed, despite the presence of "clean" air all around the plane. Essentially, he was making an analogy that suggested sometimes it is best to take overthinking and overworking out of the equation. A web article describes it best, "The 'Death Grip'. It’s not just students that do it, pilots do it too. So what am I talking about? I’m talking about squeezing the yoke so hard that your fingers turn white! Let me start by saying, STOP! I understand the fear and unknown in the beginning of your training, but I see pilots with years of experience doing the same thing.It’s usually the turbulence rocking the plane back and forth that people are really nervous about. People think that if they don’t hold the plane there and do the best they can to keep the plane from rocking, it will flip over from the turbulence. I used to feel that way while I was learning many years ago. It’s not always turbulence, it could be just fear in general. For you students, you have to force yourself to understand that just because it’s turbulent, doesn’t mean you will lose control if you don’t hold the yoke really hard. Next time it’s turbulent out, trim the plane (if you don’t know how yet, ask your instructor to demonstrate this) and let go of the yoke. The plane will rock and roll but doesn’t flip over. Every now and then you may get a strong gust of wind that will roll the plane more than is comfortable but all it will take is quick correction to level the wings again. For the most part, the plane will be stable, just rocking back and forth without your hands even touching the yoke!"

With ten weeks behind us and maybe a taste of failure on our minds, begin to think about helping your students and colleagues loosen their grip a bit as sometimes looser is better. I don't mean to say reduce expectations or to make things easier, I am suggesting that we follow a bit of advice that was easy to ignore or to work smarter instead of harder.

I was asked to check in on a student in a classroom that was frustrated and demanding to leave because he did not see any value in the lesson. When I arrived at the classroom I accompanied him on a very long walk to my office. We chatted freely and along the way and he stated, "I hate what the teachers want me to do.". Given his statement I asked him to describe all the things his teachers ask him to do that are bothersome and not related to teaching. I also asked him to describe the bothersome things his teachers ask him to do that are not related to his learning. We took twenty more steps and he was unable to answer either question. I hope he realized that maybe his demand to avoid the lesson was akin to squeezing the yoke to hard. I ended my conversation with him by asking him to consider just letting his teachers teach and allowing himself to be a learner.

From the Desk of Ms. Ross

John Hattie, author of Visible Learning, has researched and written about the value of learning targets and success criteria. Learning targets are descriptions of what learners should know, understand, and be able to do by the end of a period or unit. Learning targets are the basis for tracking student progress, offering feedback and assessing their success. What we use to determine how well a student has met the learning target is through success criteria. Success Criteria answer the questions: “How will teachers and students know when the learning target or goal has been met? What are we looking for during the learning to inform our instruction?”

Success Criteria are statements that describe what success looks like when the learning target is met. The statements are specific, concrete, and measurable. When success criteria are communicated clearly, and teachers and students are actively looking for evidence of learning, learners understand the importance of the lesson. The success criteria describe how students will be expected to demonstrate their learning based on the learning intention.

Most importantly, the learning target should clearly lead to the criteria for success. They have been described as bookends. One bookend is the learning target(s) and the other bookend is the success criteria. The success criteria must be directly linked with the learning targets in order to have any impact.

It is important to know and communicate the learning target(s) and success criteria to students. Strategically using the learning target and success criteria promotes student reflection and metacognition.

Mash Up

NYS My Brother's Keeper Changing the Narrative

From Ms. Garrett: "Due to the increasing number of students with accommodations, their very specific needs and the extensive volume of testing, the Testing Center will no longer be available to provide makeup testing support for students without accommodations. This change will take effect Monday, January 7, 2019. I appreciate your understanding and support. Please feel free to contact me with any questions."

Social Emotional Learning and the Plan for Excellence

Instructional Corner

Differentiating instruction is the process of matching students’ needs to the requirements for achievement. Differentiated instruction, recognizes students’ varying background knowledge, readiness, language, preferences in learning, and interests. It provides different avenues for acquiring content, processing or making sense of ideas, and developing products so that each student can learn effectively. In other words, differentiating instruction helps all students reach their learning targets. Learning targets should help teachers decide how and when to differentiate instruction. In principle, we support giving students choice and variety whenever possible. However, there are degrees to which choices matter for learning. The choices that matter most lie in the ways we deliver content to students, the ways students engage with the content, and the ways students make the content their own. The more directly a differentiation strategy leads to the learning target, the more important it is for learning. The learning target is central to planning good differentiated instruction right from the beginning. It is the reference point toward which your observations and assessments of students’ readiness, interest & affect, and learning profile need to point for you to plan effective instruction for that specific content or skill.

Document Sharing Space

Calendar Share

December 10 and January 14. Below 65 Reports. Contact: S Mateo

Tuesday's in the LGI: January 8, February 5, March 5, April 2, May 7 and June 4. Staff Meetings. Contact: T Roote.

December 13, January 17 and 31, February 14, March 14 and April 2. SELF Days. Contact: T Roote.

Wednesday, December 12. College Wear Wednesday. Future College Wear Wednesdays are: 1/9, 2/13, 3/13, 4/10, 5/8, 6/12. Contact: Sue Gardner.

Friday, March 15. NHS Program/No WTCC Program. Contact R Ross.

Band and Choir upcoming performance dates. Contact: Cynthia Briggs.

  • Friday, December 7 - Eastview Performance (Bands and choirs)
  • Monday, December 17 - Winter Concert (Bands and Choirs)
  • Friday, December December 21 - Outlet Mall Performance (Bands and Choirs)

December 21 in the gym. Winter Pep Assembly. Contact: L LaPaglia or B Yuhas.

Tuesday, April 30. Capstone Day. Contact K Ganter or D Barry

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The Newark High School Mission, Vision and Values

The Newark High School Mission: We are a school community with deeply held hometown pride, committed to readying young people to be life-long learners with experiences aimed at continuously motivating us to hone our skills in the complex tasks of teaching and learning. Our community is devoted to providing supports for the aspirations of our adolescents as they mature into adults with ambitious plans for college and careers.

The Newark High School Vision: Staff embody the school values and impart confidence while providing an inviting classroom environment with clear expectations and specific academic and behavioral goals. Students embody the school values through intellectual and emotional perseverance. Families embody the school values while remaining actively involved as advocates for their children and supporters of the school programs and staff.

The Newark High School Values: Safe, Responsible, Trustworthy, and Respectful.