Curriculum and Instruction News

February 19, 2016

Our February focus is digital resources available to teachers and students. As you know, the district recently deployed 1,300 Chromebooks to schools around the district. Now that we have increased the number of devices in our schools, the next task is to provide resources and access to information to both teachers and students around the district. We are working on this in a variety of ways with a variety of groups of people including library media specialists, and various curriculum committees.


In addition to this work that is going on, the district has also changed the settings on our internet filters in an attempt to provide greater access to educational resources. When setting the filters, we worked with two standards: First, that anything educational in nature would be allowed and second, that anything unsuitable for a professional workplace environment would be blocked. Sites that are clearly pornographic, exploitative, or otherwise unsuitable will remain inaccessible for both students and staff. However, in opening the filters to a greater number of sites that can be used for educational or informational purposes, we have increased access to information for our entire faculty and student population. During the filter changes, some sites were temporarily blocked or unblocked. Please know that the filters have now been correctly set.

Curriculum

Chromebook Rollout

Over the last few years, technology has been inconsistent among buildings in the District. In an attempt to provide the minimum amount of technology for student use, the District purchased approximately 1,300 Chromebooks to be distributed among our buildings. To establish a fair and equitable baseline of technology among buildings, we looked specifically at testing needs. Chromebooks were distributed in such a way that every elementary school can now test two grade levels at the same time and every secondary school can test an entire grade level or subject area at a time. This brings us up to a minimum standard for our students which will allow us to grow to meet more specific goals and needs in the future.

Additionally, these Chromebooks will serve as a replacement to nearly 1,400 desktop computers running Windows XP that are no longer supported by Microsoft or the District. These computers will remain where they are until they are no longer operable. As we continue to grow our technology, it is important to look at what is available on a building level. Although some classrooms may lose use of a desktop computer, the entire building will have greater access to Chromebooks. Ultimately, this will help us better engage students with technology and allow for a more equitable student to technology ratio throughout the District.

Although the District now meets a minimum standard in technology for students, the Comprehensive School Improvement Planning process will help determine next steps in technology purchases and distribution. Now that we have met a minimum baseline for testing, we can begin to examine specific needs of the District and individual buildings.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.

Literacy

Using Blogs to Enhance your Literacy Instruction

The use of blogging in the classroom has several advantage in the ELA classroom. Blogging can be used to foster an awareness related to private and public writing. By blogging, students can take ownership of their writing, become better observers of others’ writing, write for an authentic audience, and develop an understanding of audience.


Two fairly easy to use sites are KidBlog and Blogger . They are both fast and efficient ways to get your students up and started with blogging as a form of collaboration.


After you have reviewed and established some basic guidelines for creating your blogging community with your learners, consider the following possible uses for students:


  • Responding to readings

  • Maintaining a writer’s journal

  • Sharing student-generated research or links to class-related articles

  • Creating a showcase for final projects

  • Archiving writing

  • A collaborative workspace for assignments and brainstorming

Professional Development

District PDC to sponsor 15-Day Twitter Challenge for all Fox C-6 Educators

The district PDC is sponsoring a 15-day Twitter challenge for all Fox C6 Educators that starts on February 22nd and runs every school day through March 15th. The purpose of this Twitter challenge is to encourage teachers to learn out loud by sharing their learning with colleagues across the hall and around the district in a virtual space and to help teachers develop a virtual personal learning network, or PLN, made up of like-minded educators.


To participate in the Twitter challenge, simply post one tweet each school day between Monday February 22nd and Friday, March 11th based on the day's topic. Be sure to include the hashtag #C6Learns on each tweet so that it is added to the district-wide conversation. Not sure how to set up a Twitter account? Click here for instructions.

Fox C-6 15-Day Twitter Challenge Schedule #C6Learns

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Instructional Technology

Enhance your Learning with #C6edtech Resources

Since the Fox School District first hired a Coordinator of Instructional Technology in December of 2013, we have worked to provide a variety of face-to-face and virtual learning experiences for Fox teachers. Even if you were unable to attend an event or missed a blog post, all of the resources, session notes, blog posts, and more are available for 24/7 access on the C6edtech website. The site can be browsed by topic or event so that teachers can catch up on any learning they may have missed or need to review. Visit tinyurl.com/c6edtech to review the archives.

College and Career Readiness

College and Career eResources

Did you know that Fox C6 has a College and Career Readiness webpage that links you to information on scholarships, ACT dates and study guides, military resources, AP helpful hints and much more! Click here to check it out and start preparing for a better tomorrow!


You can also follow me on Twitter for the latest updates on college and military visits at both high schools, ACT tips and tricks, career guidelines for succeeding in the workforce and more! @FoxC6CCR


Maria Scopino

scopino@foxc6.org

Federal Programs

Go Math Academy for Title 1 Students

The Fox C6 School District recently purchased Go Math Academy for the Title I students using federal Title I parent involvement funds. This is an online subscription that will allow students to practice math lesson while at home. We are currently getting things all set up and parents will be notified within the next week that this tool is available to students who are currently receiving Title I math services. The purchase was made in response to a Title I parent survey on which many parents requested more tools to help support Go Math lessons at home. The tool allows parents and students to view lesson videos and fun ways for students to practice grade level appropriate skills. For more information on this exciting tool, please visit the Go Math Academy website.


For other interesting online learning tools available to Fox C6 families, visit the websites below.

Resources for Students

Resources for Parents

Monthly Title Newsletter

General Federal Programs Information

Data and Information

Updated Instructions on Importing Term Grades

Tyler recently updated the process teachers will use to import end-of-term grades for students. See the time-saving tutorial below or click here for details.
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