Sept. 7, 2015

“It makes sense to create thoughtful questions for students, but it’s even more important to elicit their questions.” Alfie Kohn in “Who’s Asking?” in Educational Leadership, September 2015 (Vol. 73, #1, p. 16-22)

From Dave: Follow the link below to check out the great happenings at GO CAPS!


Students in the GO CAPS program have had a fast paced and high energy introduction to the work world! Our GO CAPS teachers (Chris Adams, Sarah Clayton, and Tom Tobin) facilitated a two week “boot camp” in professional skills seeking to prepare students for their collaboration with industry professionals throughout the school year. Human resources professionals provided insight into professional dress, appropriate communication, and general guidance on how to function in a professional setting. In additional to authentic employee induction experiences, students visited multiple industry partners to learn about actual projects that will be assigned to student groups. The Medicine and Health Care students visited emergency facilities at both Cox and Mercy hospitals. Student teams are using knowledge from their visits and personal research to design their own version of a 25 bed emergency facility! The GO CAPS program has benefited greatly through the partnership and leadership provided by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce!


Blended Learning


NSBA Council of School Attorneys

The link below is to an article that provides recent court decisions regarding claims of harassment and bullying, with specific references to transgender students.


PBL opportunities for staff on makerspaces


Anniversary of Sept. 11: If any of your staff would like to teach a lesson tied to Sept. 11, the link below has some well-designed lessons for various disciplines in grades 6-8, and 9-12.


Swtich, Ch 4 Point to the destination

SMART goals have been used in the business sector since the early 1980s, and almost that long in education. They put those important measurable parameters on goals, but they also presume everyone is on board in their desire to reach those goals. When you are leading a group more resistant to change, you must reach them on an emotional level to inspire them (think of the elephant from Ch 1). Providing a compelling destination, a “destination postcard,” for them to visualize can help create that groundswell of support toward your goal.

Chapter 4 describes Teach for America teacher Crystal Jones’ first year of teaching first graders, most of them never having attended kindergarten. The students’ skills and abilities were all over the map, so Crystal felt she needed to inspire them to feel empowered about their destination. One tactic was to refer to themselves as “scholars” instead of “students.” She then pointed them to a destination: everyone would be a third grader by the end of the year. What first grader wouldn’t be excited to think they would be a third grader by the end of the year? She set SMART goals for herself in terms of where each student should be throughout the year, and what needed to happen to get them there, and then she got them hooked with the destination. At the end of the year, 90% of the students read at or above the third grade level.

Another perfect example of this is Parkview’s Leadership School of Choice. Vikings who participate can look forward to being better prepared for careers or college upon graduating. Students build leadership skills each year, and are inspired along the way with university tours, mentoring underclassmen, and interacting meaningfully with the community through community service. The program has SMART goals for each year, but it is the destination postcard that hooks the students.