The Ricketts Reader

Monthly Newsletter

September 2013 Schedule

3rd-FCE/HPE/Elementary Principal Meeting

4th-3rd Grade District PD

5th-4th Grade District PD




11th-HSE 21 PD



17th-TDS Meeting/Elementary Principal Meeting










Another New Thing?

The TDS team lost two members to administrative positions and nobody new was hired. Since there are only four of us and we're supporting all twelve elementaries, we decided that we could "divide and conquer" on some of our projects. The newsletter is one of the projects we'll be doing together.

In this first monthly edition, you'll get a brief synopsis of some of the initiatives happening in HSE and how they relate to the TER (teacher effectiveness rubric.) How do you see them connect? There are many more similarities than differences between the big ideas. Instead of thinking about them piling on top of one another, imagine them as layers - configured together to support individualized instruction. TEDS asks us to ensure that all students are actively engaged in the learning process...think HSE21 and Project Based Learning. TEDS asks us to provide differentiated ways of engaging with content specific to individual student needs...think Response to Instruction in our general education classrooms.

Like you, I am learning many new things and have participated in numerous summer and after school trainings to keep up to date with my knowledge. My stack of books for the summer included many texts related to district initiatives. Feel free to stop and chat or email me if you have a question or comment.


Connect the Dots.... HSE Initiatives

We've got a lot of dots (and abbreviations!).... and thankfully they do all connect and support each other:


HSE Best Practice Model
PBL (Project Based Learning)

RTI (Response to Instruction)


Differentiated Instruction (supported through a workshop structure)

Many ShiFts.... One Message: It's all about the instruction


Some of the heavy-lifters in TEDS that are prevalent in HSE initiatives:

  • Teachers facilitate student academic practice so that all students are participating and have the opportunity to gain mastery of the objectives in a classroom environment that fosters a climate of urgency and expectation around achievement, excellence and respect.

  • Teacher effectively connects content to other content areas, students’ experiences and interests, or current events in order to make content relevant and build interest

  • Explanations spark student excitement and interest in the content

  • Teacher ensures that all students are actively engaged in the learning process through best practice engagement strategies

  • Teacher provides differentiated ways of engaging with content specific to individual student needs

  • Classroom activities offer students choices that enhance engagement

  • Students have opportunities to meaningfully practice, apply, and demonstrate that they are learning through assigned work that requires the use of academic skills in relation to course content (critical reading, writing process or critical thinking)

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities

  • 3rd Grade - District PD - Wednesday, 9/4/13 (8:30-11:30, 1:00-4:00 @ CRE)
  • 4th Grade - District PD - Thursday, 9/5/13 (8:30-11:30, 1:00-4:00)

  • Units of Study Grades K-4 - Tuesday, 9/10/13 (4:15-5:15 @ CRE)