Monday Morning Message (2/22/2016)
Every Child - Everyday!
Good Morning Everyone! Finally, the AUDITS are over. For now... The real work begins now. We are officially full steam ahead in TESTING SEASON. Although behavior usually picks up in the spring time, remember that we need OUR kids in OUR classrooms as much as possible. YOU are the students best chance at being successful! I know some of you have noticed that I have not been approving personal days on Fridays and days before holidays. It is very hard to get subs on Fridays and it is a policy to not take personal days before or after a holiday. I know that everyone needs a mental health day from time to time, or you have business that can't be taken care of on the weekends. I truly understand that, but we need you here as much as possible. We have a big task this year, but together we can do it! Be present and let us conquer this challenge! See you around campus!
Our students are teaching them the ways of AVID!
This is a picture from the joint effort of KMS and NMS to recruit AVID students.
District Spelling Bee
Our student John Paul Ortiz did a great job at the District Spelling Bee! He didn't win, but he made us PROUD!
Reminders & Information
- Dress Code: Do not allow students to sit in your classroom out of dress code. If you allow them to bend this rule, they will attempt to bend others.
- Time Clock - Remember to clock in and out each day. Missing a clock in or out once or twice is okay, but if it is a persistent problem it may affect your PDAS appraisal.
- Please be at your door during transitions. If you are on your conference period please come out and help to monitor the hallways.
- Remind your students to walk on the right side of the hallway during the passing periods.
- Do not let students out of class without a pass that includes their name, destination, time, date. We are trying to reduce the amount of time that students are out of the classroom and we would like to be able to quickly determine where they should be.
- Remind students of the "lending grant" chromebooks that we have that are available to check out and go home with them.
- Remember to follow the discipline ladder with students in your classroom. Try different interventions and parent contact before sending a student to the office. If it is a level 3 offense, send them to the office immediately. If you have any questions, please ask Ms. Smith or Mr. Swacker.
- Grades - Make sure that you are inputting 2 daily grades per week. The administrators will check on Tuesdays to verify grades have entered.
Seven Ways to Encourage Effort
Because scores, even scores related to effort, are external motivators, we need to adopt assessment practices that encourage effort without relying on a score. Here are seven ways to modify your evaluation strategies to encourage students to try harder and increase internal motivation.
1. Never fail a student who tries, and never give the highest grades to one who doesn't. If students can succeed without trying, then the work is not challenging enough. These students need a higher level of challenge, and they should seek it out themselves if their teachers fail to provide it. Although determining the level of challenge is the teacher's responsibility, students need to be taught that getting by without effort is not acceptable. Taking the initiative to elevate their challenge needs to be expected of the best students.
On the other side, how can any student who tries be a failure? What more can we expect a student to do? Once again, it is the teacher's responsibility to provide the appropriate level of challenge. No student should fail just because the teacher is unable to provide a reasonable level of challenge.
2. Start with the positive. When going over an assignment, start with what the student did well. "Marty, you got numbers 3, 5, 6, and 8 right. That tells me you can do this work. Let's figure out why you missed the rest and how you can get them right."
3. See mistakes as learning opportunities, not failures. In every life situation, from building relationships to playing computer games, except school, mistakes are important in the learning process. We learn from them. In school, mistakes should never be seen as failures, but as diagnostic tools that tell students what they still need to learn.
4. Give do overs. Let students who want to increase their scores learn from their mistakes and try again. This expression of initiative clearly shows effort.
5. Give students the test before you start a unit. This way, they can see what they need to learn, what the teacher's priorities are, and how to organize their learning.
6. Limit your corrections. More than two corrections a page overwhelm most students. They may look at the test or paper and throw it away. Teachers do not need to correct every problem, just the most important ones.
Tell your students you'll give them a chance to fix those two most important mistakes, which you've marked, before moving on to two more. If students want you to point out other problems, you can do so in a one-on-one conversation.
7. Do not compare students. Students should never be measured by the achievement of others. Parents may want to know how their child compares with others, but a standards-based reporting system reports progress in relation to identified standards, not in relation to other children (Carr & Harris, 2001). For any standards-based assessment to be effective, I believe it must include effort as one of the major standards.
Imagine a school where every child does his or her best, and none give up hope of learning. Isn't that where you want to work? These strategies will help you get a little closer to making your school into that dream school.
Remember, we are the Best school with the Best students and the Best faculty and staff. Good, Better, Best!!! Never let it rest, until your good gets better and your better gets best!