The Roar

September 14, 2015

"A mind stretched by an new idea can never be returned to its original dimension." ~ Oliver W. Holmes

Chatham's Chattering

Big image

Good review in preparation for the faculty meeting!

The Importance of Good Learning Targets

(Originally titled “Learning Targets on Parade”)

In this Educational Leadership article, Susan Brookhart and Connie Moss (Duquesne University) say that ideally, learning goals help students know what they’re supposed to be learning, why it’s important, and what their work will look like when they’re done. But teachers’ learning targets don’t always accomplish this. Here’s an example of flawed goals for a unit on literary language. The overall goal: Students will learn that point of view and figurative language help tell a story. Two daily lesson targets:

- The students will put examples of figurative language on cards and sort them according to type.

- The students will identify two examples of simile and two examples of metaphor in Julie of the Wolves.

These are okay activities, say Brookhart and Moss, but what’s missing is students knowing what they’re going to learn. Here are better goals for lessons in the same unit:

- I can define simile and recognize examples in literature.

- I can define metaphor and recognize examples in literature.

- I can explain how metaphors and similes enhanced the storytelling.

- I can describe and identify examples of different points of view.

- I can explain how the point of view affected the story.

Note that these tell what students will learn rather than what they will do and are part of a clear progression toward larger unit goals and understandings. “Each day, students should know what new content they’re learning and how they’re sharpening their skills,” say Brookhart and Moss. “Are they learning a new concept? Extending understanding by building on a previous concept? Combining concepts to form more sophisticated understandings? Practicing a skill for accuracy and fluency? Applying a skill they already know to new content?”

Brookhart and Moss say that components of effective learning targets will:

- Describe exactly what students will learn by the end of the day’s lesson.

- Use language students can understand.

- Be stated from the point of view of a student who has yet to master the knowledge or skill being taught.

- Contain a performance of understanding that translates the description into action – what students will do, make, say, or write during the lesson.

- Include student look-fors or criteria for success in terms that describe mastery of the learning target, not a score or grade.

Here are daily learning targets for a second-grade unit on subtracting with double digits:

- I can subtract a one-digit number from a two-digit number without regrouping, using cubes.

- I can subtract a one-digit number from a two-digit number without regrouping, without using cubes.

- I can subtract a one-digit number from a two-digit number with regrouping, using cubes. One of the criteria for success in this lesson was, I use regrouping when the problem needs it, and I don’t use regrouping if it doesn’t.

- I can subtract a one-digit number from a two-digit number with regrouping, without using cubes.

- I can subtract a two-digit number from a two-digit number with regrouping.

Here are the lesson goals for a unit on the federal bureaucracy. The goals: To help students understand the complexity of Washington’s government; realize that some agencies are more subject to partisan politics than others; and be able to identify various workers’ roles and the budget involved in each type of agency and understand where federal taxes go.

- Lesson 1: Learning the characteristics of a bureaucracy and three agencies of the federal government.

- Lesson 2: Learning the makeup and responsibilities of the Executive Office of the President.

- Lesson 3: Learning the makeup and responsibilities of the cabinet departments and their relationship to the Executive Office of the President.

- Lesson 4: Learning the makeup and responsibilities of three types of independent agencies.

- Lesson 5: Learning how to analyze certain issues facing the U.S. and relate them to the appropriate type of independent agency.

- Lesson 6: Comparing and contrasting private business management with the management of federal agencies.

- Lesson 7: Extending those ideas by evaluating whether bureaucracy is the most effective way to organize and manage government functions.

- Lesson 8: Learning that various taxes are levied to fund various parts of the federal bureaucracy.

“If the teacher is the only one who understands where learning should be headed,” say Brookhart and Moss, “students are flying blind. Writing the goal on the board is not enough; students should have the target in mind as they work and ask themselves how what they’re doing will help them hit the target.”

“Learning Targets on Parade” by Susan Brookhart and Connie Moss in Educational Leadership, October 2014 (Vol. 72, #2, p. 28-33),; the authors can be reached at and

Harbins Staff Calendar

Click the red button to go directly to the staff online calendar. The two weeks shown below is just a snapshot as of 8/10/15

Big image

CogAT Informatioin

Mark you calendars:

The main administration of CogAT is scheduled for September 16th - 18th with makeups on September 21st and 22nd.

CogAT will be administered to all students in grades 1, 2, & 5.

Click on the link below to see more information on Times, Hallway Traffic, Proctors and Small Groups (Teacher and Rooms)

School Open

The school will be open on Saturday, September 19th, from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm.

English Learner Proficiency Plans

All students that are directly served through ESOL must have an English Learner Proficiency Plan. 2 help sessions will be offered so that we can get these proficiency plans done before conferences. Come to Amanda Acres' room either Wednesday (9/16) at 3:10 or Friday (9/18) at 3:10 for an informal help session. There haven't been any changes to the ELPPs this year so feel free to start if you feel comfortable. I have already gotten each ELPP started so you can just search by a student's name. Please let Amanda Acres know if these help times do not work for you or if a student's name is not appearing on the ELPP list.

Parent/Teacher Conference Schedules

Please e-mail or give Mia a copy of your Parent/Teacher Conference Schedule by end of day Thursday, September 17th.

Color Printers

We are currently thinking of ways to be more cost effective with the use of the color printers. Please remember that class sets and photos are not cost effective.

Constitution Week

In the spring of 2005, Congress passed legislation requiring educational institutions receiving federal funding to hold educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution on September 17 of each year (section 111 of Public Law 108-447). GCPS schools should commemorate Constitution Day sometime during the week of September 14- 17, 2015

Please plan to celebrate Constitution Day in your classroom! You may choose a time and day that works with your schedule between September 14-17. Your grade level's Social Studies Action team representative has prepared a list of suggested activities, or you can choose your own! Thanks for helping our Harbins tigers experience this special event!

Who is Making IT Happen?

  • Keith Brown, thank you for your extreme patience with the person who did not entirely zip her laptop bag during the monsoon on Wednesday!
  • Chris Rogers, your lesson to introduce blogging was fabulous!! My third graders are so excited to begin blogging!

Early Release Information

Early Release days for parent conferences are Wednesday, Sep.23, and Thursday, Sep. 24. Please follow the directions and timeline for on-line scheduling of conferences.

  • Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - Send home/e-mail Parent Letters with information about on-line Early Release conference sign-ups that gives the password for parents to use.

Complete conference information, including how to use PTCFast, our online

conference scheduler, can be found on eCLASS here

  • September 11 and 18 - Send home reminders in class newsletters.
  • Friday afternoon, Sept 18th- Give a copy of your conference schedule to appropriate special education teachers, reading teachers and Mia Latimore.
  • Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - Early Release- No AKS/CQI
  • Thursday, September 24, 2015 - Early Release-No AKS/CQI
  • Friday, September 25, 2015 - Complete survey on Early Release data sent by Christy.

Please follow the Early Release schedule for the two days and note the changes. Lunch times have been adjusted, but students still eat in the cafeteria and have a 30 minute lunch period. However, Specials on those two days are 30 minutes, not 45. (See attachment) Schedule is also posted in the Harbins Handbook under Schedules.

Early Release Schedule

Early Release Teacher Information

eCLASS Fall Course Offerings

Click on the link below to see all of the fall course offerings from the eCLASS Office. There are a lot of great opportunities here - PLEASE make sure you take a look.

NEW Classworks' Applied Mathematics (K-8)

Classworks’ Applied Mathematics is 310 new problem-solving activities for grades K-8 that are appropriate for whole-class, small-group and independent work. These are standards-based intellectual challenges designed to promote conceptual understanding as well as the ability to reason and communicate mathematically. Each activity is differentiated, with a Progress, Meeting, and Expanding level - all addressing the same standard with varying levels of difficulty. The activities have built-in differentiation opportunities with multiple choice and open-ended response questions, digital tools, student hints, an interactive canvas, and audio recording capability. There are multiple ways to solve the problems, and teachers can use the activities to promote critical thinking and problem-solving, as well as real world application for the math skills.

Wednesday, September 9 - 4:00 - 6:00 - Discovery Lab @ ISC

Thursday, September 17 - 4:00 - 6:00 - Discovery Lab @ ISC

Leadership Academy Conference for 2015-16

Each grade level will have a daylong leadership conference which consists of 6 sessions. The students will rotate through all of the sessions. (Number order of the habit does not impact the order in which students attend sessions.

Teachers with split classes need to give the Administration a list of how the students will be split the Friday before your Leadership Academy Conference.

Teachers will stay with their classes. They will have a planning period during their regular specials time. The specials teachers will assist with each session during specials.

Big image

Technology Reminders

Technology coaching is open to all teachers, either through lessons with students, or for you during planning time. I would love to help you plan for successful technology integration in any way that I can. Click here to access the technology coaching schedule and sign up.

The mobile device connection issues have been repaired by the county. Remember, if students have never connected at school before, they need to select the "Student" network, open a browser, and attempt to access an open page (such as in order to enter their passwords and join the network.

When leaving a computer lab, please remember to LOG OFF of computers, keep the computers open, and turn off the projector. Thanks for your attention in making the labs easier for the next class to use.

Please fill out a Footprints ticket for any technology-related issues. If you need something for a laptop computer, please include the GCPS decal number on the bottom (such as 173225T) and make sure that the computer is turned on.

Are you not receiving notifications when someone shares a document with you in Google Drive? Click here for directions on how to forward your email to your GCPS Lotus Notes email.

The eCLASS office is hosting lots of great professional learning opportunities this fall. Click here to see a flyer of offerings - many are at schools closer to here than the ISC. All registration is through the PD&E Tool.

Need help on eCLASS, Reading Eggs, or Study Island? There are videos and handouts made just for Harbins in the eCLASS Harbins Training Page. Click here to go to the training page (must be logged in to eCLASS first)

GCPS has given teachers free access to hundreds of great online courses through the PD&E tool. Just type “ME” in the search bar in PD&E, then click “Online” on the left-side to view lots of great courses, including using SchoolNet, iPads in education, Evernote, Twitter, & more - all can be viewed at your convenience.

Media Center News

Dot Day is TUESDAY, September 15th – we will be decorating DOTS during story time classes that week but if you are in grades 3-5 and would like to decorate DOTS let me know and I will give you a class set of dots for your students to create. Dot Day was started in 2009 by educator Terry Shay to celebrate the book The Dot by Peter Reynolds and has grown as a day to celebrate Creativity, Courage and Collaboration with your students. I have some Skypes lined up for my story time class the week of 9/14 to connect with other classes to celebrate Dot day and share how we are “Making our Mark” in the world. To learn more about Dot Day visit their website or come talk to me

The book The Dot is also available on our BookFlix database under the Family and Community tab.

Gladiator Hockey Hat Trick for Reading flyers went home on Friday. This is an completely voluntary program for students – they need to read three books between now and the program deadline of October 2nd, record the books on the sheet sent home and return the sheet to the school. Please put any sheets returned in my box. The students who participate will receive a voucher for a ticket to a Gwinnett Gladiator Hockey Game. If you have any questions please let me know.

Save the Date: Archer Cluster Barnes & Noble book fair will be at the Snellville Barnes & Noble Saturday, December 12th.

Classroom Spirit Award

Each Friday, you will go into the Google Chrome "Friday Spiritwear" file that Montine shared with each of you and enter the total number of students in your class that is wearing a red shirt or Harbins spirit wear. The class showing the most school spirit by wearing red or school spirit wear will get a "spirit paw" to hang on the door. Go Tigers! Show your school spirit and encourage your students to participate!

ABCD Awards

Please send your nominations to Chatham by September 24, 2015, for recognition of staff members who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that teaching and learning at Harbins are at the highest levels.

Roar Deadline

If you want to add something to the Roar, it must be sent to Montine by noon on Thursday of each week. If not turned in by Thursday at noon, it will have to be entered into the following week’s Roar. Thanks for your help!

Leaders in Learning

A Chrome file has been shared with each teacher, please go in to list your Leader in Learning each month when Montine sends out the notification email.

Staff Birthdays


Hazel Choxom - 9/15

Lisa Toler - 9/15

Julie Goolsby - 9/19

Through the Eyes of a Child

Big image
Big image