Charger News

February 1-February 7, 2016

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively & to think critically."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Rigor, Rigor, and more Rigor

This week we reviewed our data from our climate survey data and there was an awesome dialogue that ensued thereafter. One of our lowest areas on the survey was the area concerning our campuses notion of a college going culture which stands at 61.5%. Our campus scores in this area are some of the lowest scores in the district. The conversation we are currently having can definitely move our campus in the right direction. One question that came from the conversation was, "what is the priority...the ACP, or college readiness?" What a challenging question and the answer is that they both are important and significant in different ways.


The ACP represents the assessment of the curriculum that the district expects for us to teach to our students. However, the curriculum is flexible, in that pieces can added to give our students more challenges. The curriculum is not set in stone. English Language Arts needs a component that challenges students to a rigorous writing process from their freshmen year to their senior year. The science would benefit from more of focus on projects/labs and the scientific method to prepare students for the rigor of college. Professional Learning Communities allow us to collaborate vertically and horizontally to add the rigor we desire for our students to have. Let's maximize this time to have productive and positive conversations about how we can work together for our students so that they every opportunity to be successful in college.

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The Power of Peer Feedback by Rusul Alrubail

One of the most powerful elements throughout the writing process is peer feedback. Unless students are blogging, they’re mostly writing with the idea in mind that the main audience is the teacher. Shifting this mindset in students will allow them to take on writing with a much larger scope. Students should see their peers as audience as well.


The Benefits of Peer Review

Peer review provides a metacognitive process of learning in that both the students and the teachers are able to receive feedback. Teachers will receive feedback on their pedagogical practice.

Consider the following questions when assessing peer feedback:

  • Does this student understand the task?
  • How is this student’s understanding of the task similar to his/peers?
  • How are the peers working together to give feedback?
  • What kind of feedback are they providing?
  • Does the feedback relate to the assignment outcomes?
  • How can I best communicate assignment outcomes to ensure strong peer feedback?

Students benefit from peer feedback in that they are able to teach other about the tasks and provide feedback that they would consider relevant. In seeing that their peer feedback is relevant, students will be more engaged and invested in working to complete the task successfully. Peer feedback also gives students an opportunity to have their voices heard, and to listen to each other. It is often easier for us to understand concepts from people who are similar in age as we are.


How to Introduce Peer Review

Set expectations from the start of the lesson that peer review is not about judging each other’s work, but helping each other out. Also, remind students that it’s important for the peer feedback space to be safe, judgement-free in order for everyone to truly benefit from the feedback.

  • Have students focus on the positive aspects of the work before pointing out areas of improvement.
  • Show students how they can phrase things constructively. Instead of “I don’t understand the point of your introduction,” try this: “Your thesis statement can be stronger. Can you provide examples?”
  • Provide students with categories/areas to focus on when giving feedback, for example: Grammar, structure, sentences, creativity, etc.

Many students will not be so keen on the idea of peer review. After all, who wants their peers to read their work and assess it? However, if their peers can help them see the benefits, and the importance of the process, they will actually enjoy it!

2015-2016 Fall Climate Survey

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Conrad Feeder Pattern Foci

Listed below are items that our entire feeder works to make norms for every class in the Conrad Feeder Pattern.

  1. Progress Monitoring: Teacher-managed Profiling & Student-managed Profiling
  2. Differentiated Individualized Professional Development
  3. Data Driven Decisions and Instruction
  4. Graphic Organizer Utilization
  5. Justification of student responses (i.e. How do you know? Why? What does that mean? Explain, etc.)
  6. Scaffolding Instruction
  7. Differentiate Instruction, inclusive of Small Group Instruction/Instructional Stations
  8. No Opt Out, Think-Pair-Share, Cold Call
  9. Content Specific Writing
  10. Content Specific Reading

This Week...

Monday, February 1


Tuesday, February 2
6/7:30pm-JV/Varsity Soccer (Girls) vs. Thomas Jefferson High School @ Pleasant Grove
5:30/6/7:30pm-Freshmen/JV/Varsity BBall (Boys) vs Newman Smith @ Conrad High School

6/7:30pm-Freshmen/JV/Varsity BBall (Girls) vs Newman Smith @ Newman Smith High School

Wednesday,
February 3

6/7:30pm-JV/Varsity Soccer (Boys) vs Thomas Jefferson High School @ Loos



Thursday, February 4


Friday, February 5

6/7:30pm-Varsity Basketball(Girls) vs. North Dallas @ Conrad High School

6/7:30pm-Varsity Soccer (Girls) vs Woodrow Wilson @ Franklin Field


Saturday, February 6

1/2:30pm-Varsity Soccer (Boys) vs Woodrow Wilson @ Loos

10/11:30pm-Varsity Basketball(Girls) vs. North Dallas @ Cobb

Announcements & Action Items

  1. Please post lesson plans in a visible place for visitors to access. (Remember lesson plans should reflect pacing by the minute for components within the lesson plan)
  2. Please be sure and review Mrs. Esparza's monthly calendar. If you have any events you would like added, see her in the front office.

Coming Soon...