PLE Zen Den

January 18-22, 2016

A Chance to Start Over

As the fall semester draws to a close the opportunity to start a anew presents itself. Some of us will welcome brand new grade levels while other of us reinforce the idea that our current students start fresh with a 100% grade average. Whatever the case may be, new terms are not only opportunities for students but teachers too. As we move toward a Canvas environment as professionals, now is the time to introduce it to your students in baby steps. As we welcome new students, revitalize your classroom rules (see the video below), especially as it relates to properly utilizing tablets. As a teacher, ensure you are instructionally sound so students not bringing their tablets becomes a non-issue.


With this being a short week we will delay jumping head first into Canvas until the week of January 25. Please check your calendar for upcoming events. However, with GCS transitioning to full integration of Canvas effective July 1 it is vital that we adhere to the district mandate and ensure both Allen and Guilford are ahead of the curve. You'll also find C&I specialists integrating Canvas into upcoming units and asking you to begin using the tool in your classrooms. For me, I will continue to focus on Science 8 and Math I for the remainder of January. Finally, we will work with techies to complete a tablet audit at both schools.


New devices: I know you're interested in this information. I will share new device specs during our PLCs or talk to the following teachers at your schools to find out more: Allen (Hough/McLean) Guilford (Denny/Terzigni).


As always, view the PLEF Instructional Coaching Menu to pick from a variety of resources to help you and your students grow. Have a great week.

Classroom Rules

Bring your charged tablet to every meeting

Monday: Happy Birthday Dr. King

Tuesday: Guilford

Wednesday: Allen/Academic Service Meeting @Eugene St @1pm

Thursday: WSA AM/Allen PM for Science 8 Canvas review

Friday: WSA

Thank you to the teachers who continue to use the Amplify Classroom Management tools. Remember the value of formative assessment and the ease in which Amplify helps you accomplish this goal throughout a class period. Here is the breakdown from January 11-15
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Great Teaching and Learning Spotlight

Great teaching and learning is occurring in every classroom in your building. Your peers are your greatest resource. Visit their classroom during planning to keep your ideas fresh. If you have something you'd like to share, email it to me and I'll feature it in my weekly updates.

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Remind is a free, safe, and simple way for teachers to communicate with students and parents. Send updates, questions, and more to any device—students and parents can receive notifications by text message, on the app, on the web, and by email.
  • Save time by sending quick, one-way announcements to an entire class.
  • Reach individuals and small groups directly with instant, safe messages.
  • Personal phone numbers are never shared, and message history can be accessed at any time.
In one Harvard University study, frequent teacher-family communication increased the likelihood of homework completion by 42% and decreased instances of teacher redirection by 25%. Communication is critical to student success, and Remind can help teachers build strong relationships with students and their families.

Need to Knows

  • If you're looking for more ways to use Google in your classroom...Then join us on Saturday, January 30th, when we present the online training event, "Google Tools & Projects for Your Classroom"! Plus, register today and you'll also get a FREE copy of our eBook "10 Google Tricks for Your Class." Click Here to Register and Get Your eBook

  • Remember the Emoji Exit Ticket from a previous newsletter? Great news - the Canvas version is live and online. Search 'Emoji Exit Ticket' in the Commons to begin using this tool.

  • The Quiz Hub is an online interactive learning center. It features matching quiz games focused on vocabulary, math, spelling, geography, history, and science facts. The following account will give you full access to the Quiz Hub through January 22, 2016. account: hairston / password: 333

  • The Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) user interface will be updated next Friday, January 22, 2016 for all GCS users. The functionality of Canvas will not change but you will see changes to the Dashboard, Global Navigation menu, and Course Navigation menu. Click here to view a video on the new user interface. If you have any questions, or need integration support, please contact your PLEF, Sabrina Jenkins or Pam James.

  • Check out the links below to discover opportunities for students.

Tamika M. Davis, MLS MS

Some of you are hesitate to try new strategies and technologies. I believe Neil Gaiman, author of, Coraline said it best, "I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something." Join the Canvas revolution today!