Middle School Update

November 20, 2015

Track and Field Day

  • Bring your water bottle and sunscreen.
  • Meet on the outdoor court when the bell rings.
  • Students should line up by grade levels. Follow the Fire Drill signs.
  • Bible teachers, take attendance and let the office know of any absences.
  • Teachers, mix yourselves up amongst the buses for supervision.
  • While at the event, all of you are responsible for supervising students. The PE department will be busy running the events. Those of you not involved need to be supervising kids. You are still the teachers. You can give discipline (time out, N's, etc.) as needed to maintain order.
  • Have fun! This is a great day to spend time with the kids.

Important Dates

Nov. 25: MS/HS Track and Field Day

Nov. 26-27: No School; American Thanksgiving

Nov. 30-Dec. 4: Science MAP testing

Dec. 1: Combined Staff

Dec. 8: MS Christmas Concert

Dec. 9: Chapel Schedule

Dec. 10: End of Q2 X Blocks

Dec. 10: 1st Comments Due

Dec. 11: Regular Schedule; No Chapel

Dec. 11: 2nd comments Due

Dec. 14-16: HS Finals; regular schedule for MS

Dec. 14: SMT Christmas Buffet

Dec. 14: 3rd comments due

Dec. 15: 4th Comments Due

Dec. 16: Final Comments due

Dec. 17: Last day

8:30-11:00 – Class Parties

11 – 12 – MS Awards Assembly

12 – 12:30: Checkout

Before you leave: grades verified

Dec. 18: Staff work day; Christmas party in the evening

Putting it into Practice

Even though Malaysia doesn’t really have distinct seasons, Dalat has seasons of its own. When Lydia Roberts starts giving us instructions about how to enter semester grades, ES teachers all say their kids are getting fidgety, and suggestions of fasting in anticipation of the SMT Christmas buffet are made, I know it’s “the end of the first semester season.” Can you believe we’re almost there?

This semester I’ve tried to boil down the most effective teaching strategies into a short list for you. If you’re like me, you don’t have a lot of extra time to wade through piles of good ideas trying to find the best ones. With data from millions of students, John Hattie has done the work for us and has given us a powerful priority list. It’s the best practices of teaching served on a silver platter! For the end of the semester, I want to review these things and challenge you to consider how you have put them into practice this semester.

#1: Engaging students in reflection about what they know and want to know about what they’re learning, and raising their expectations for what they can know.

#2: Four essential qualities students want to see in their teacher:
Does my teacher truly care about me and my learning process?
Does my teacher’s enthusiasm for the subject make learning interesting?
Is my teacher presenting material in a way that’s clear and organized?
Is my teacher available to help me when I need it?

#3: Teachers receiving feedback from students—both by asking students to give input on classroom practices and by listening to what student assessment data is saying about where students need help.

How has knowing these things changed what you’re doing in your classroom? How do you want these to change what you do next semester?

If you haven’t done so yet this year, I’d strongly encourage you to take some time to get feedback from your students. Click here for a link to ideas for a how to put together a simple evaluation.

Susan Allen

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