Wolcott's Weekly "What's Up"

Office of Teaching & Learning News 10.24.2013

Quote of the Day

"Nothing good grows in rows... except vegetables. We are not producing vegetables in our classrooms. The Brain thrives on social interaction- make it happen!"


Exciting New Tech Feast Changes!

Tarah has been working extremely hard to reinvigorate our daily tech feast day into an event that really showcases the extreme talent we have in the district. In order to accomplish this task, Tech Feast is DEAD! The new event will be called "W.E.13 (We Engage 2013)". The event will have sessions on ways to integrate tech integration as well as best practices used to implement our FOCUS and the ATP. Every session will have explicit connection to one of the 4 C's of 21st Century learning and at least one of the letters of the FOCUS acronym. Please keep an eye out for new postings she sends on the topic and encourage your staff to present their ideas at this great event. Further, it would be AWESOME if you some of you would consider presenting during one of the sessions. I will be doing one on use of TWITTER and will be forcing Paul to do one on Kagan structures. (Surprise Paul!).

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October 31st Staff Development Day

There have been a few more changes regarding locations and activities for support staff and n on- classroom teachers. I will send that schedule out on Monday. Additionally, please remind staff to look at locations for PM activities. Principals will host grade level at their school- everyone WILL NOT be traveling to Meadowview.

Math Parent Letter

I am finalizing the Math Parent letter to go home to parents explaining changes due to Common Core and grading. This will be ready Monday. I apologize for running late on this but I wanted to wait to get some ideas from the conference I attended and also wanted to make sure I have some additional documents for parents available online. I also need to finalize the online location with Amy. Once all of this is done, we will send out. Thank you for your patience.

Assessment Now Conference

Sunday through Wednesday I was in Atlanta for Solution Tree's Assessment Now Conference. It was a terrific conference. Keynotes were given by Bob Marzano, Tammy Heflebower, Tim Kanold, Doug Fisher, Tom Guskey and Tom Hierck. Our Tom rocked the place! The theme was utilizing assessment information formatively to provide ongoing feedback to students and help them become drivers of their own learning. To try and model use of technology (thanks Tarah!), I kept 90% of my notes using twitter. You can see those notes by going to my twitter feed @TeachLearn68 or by searching the #AsmtNOW. I will be talking much more about this over the next several admin meetings.

Doug Fisher- Gradual Release of Responsibility

Beside Tom, the one presenter who really stood out was Doug Fisher, Doug and his partner Nancy Frey have written dozens of books and are best known for their Gradual Release of Responsibility model. Having seen the model many times, I felt confident in my knowledge of it. After listening to him in person it made much more sense and aligns with our FOCUS. Please take a few minutes and watch the link below and think about it in terms of the daily instruction you observe.

Gradual Release of Responsibility

November Math Curriculum Writing Dates

As we continue to write the new math curriculum, Rachel, Kelly and I will be working with grade level representatives over the next couple of months to polish things up. Please feel free to attend any of the scheduled November meetings below.

  • November 5th 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM @ PDC
  • November 7th 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM @ PDC
  • November 9th 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM @ PDC
  • November 12th 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM @ PDC
  • November 14th 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM @ PDC
  • November 16th 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM @ PDC
  • November 19th 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM @ PDC

Expectations for Principals Re:Professional Development

Principals are not expected to attend every professional development opportunity we have for staff, but taking an interest in the training is imperative, Taking interest requires following up with staff who attend to see how you can further support implementation via coaching, etc.

For any two day professional development experience (ex, ELL Strategies/7 Keys), principals are expected to make an appearance at the training on either day one or day 2 and stay for at least a half hour to touch base and see how ongoing support to staff can be provided. We have had a number of staff who have said during these multi-day events, "I wish our principal was here to talk about this with."

Principal "To Do" List Reminders

  • Monday Meeting Agendas (Elementary Principals) - placed into your online staff share folder by the next day at noon.
  • Wednesday Meeting Agenda (Bill and Justin)- placed into your online staff share folder by the next day at noon.

Upcoming District Professional Development

  • October 28 & 29 ELL Power Strategies @ PDC
  • October 30 Thoughtful Classroom Follow Up- PRINCIPALS ATTEND PM @ PDC
  • November 1 Thoughtful Classroom Follow Up @ PDC
  • November 13 Advanced Chromebook Training @ PDC
  • November 14 Advanced Chromebook Training @ PDC
  • November 15 GES Training @ PDC
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