Dartmouth Public Schools
iInspire, Kindness Matters, You Matter
Dr. Bonny Gifford
Some time ago, my sister and I attended a Christmas concert by a local chorale. The program included Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria and other Glorias from around the world. We both agreed attending the concert was a good decision, despite having had to emerge from our cozy homes on a particularly cold Sunday afternoon. We felt blessed to have had the opportunity to hear 75 vocalists accompanied by a 6-piece orchestra. Our feelings of bliss were increased when to see freshly falling snow as we exited the church. How serendipitous! We were truly ready for the holiday!
As I drove home, I realized good fortune had played out that night. A winter chill, unexpectedly warmed by drifting snowflakes, sweet melodies that moved the spirit and expressive lyrics that sparked emotion combined to craft a perfect night. It struck me that an event such as this is similar to any admirable and large undertaking in that it take the collaborative efforts of many people and conditions to make it happen. When joining a group and enduring months of rehearsals, all the while thinking ahead to the performance, any one person might begin to believe that his/her individual part was not particularly important; but if every member of the group felt this way, the result would be a poor or mediocre performance. Conversely, if each person resolved to give 100% at all times and make a notable contribution, the result would be – and in this case was – an outstanding performance and experience.
When you think about it, any organization achieves excellence the same way; each individual person making a unique contribution to the best of his/her ability. In the words of H.E. Luccock, “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it.” Our school community can achieve our goals in similar fashion, but it takes the involvement, contribution and positive attitude of each of us. The support of all is essential if we are to continue our forward progress. We are fortunate to have many giving people who rise to the challenge in their quest to ensure DPS is an optimum learning environment in which all students learn and grow.
As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season takes over take time to relish those serendipitous moments when everything magically falls into place. When you do, stepping out into a cold, wintry night will feel exhilarating.
Integrating Digital Literacy Skills
Quinn School has been clicking away with some great integration projects this month. Grade 5 students wrapped up a reading group activity using Makey Makey’s and Scratch to create interactive posters. Students could look at the poster and click on a section to hear the kids explaining various parts of the book. Grade 4 has been traveling across the Northeast region using Google Tour Builder to Pin and visit various landmarks around the region. Some students were quite excited to find themselves touring the Basketball Hall of fame and the Statue of Liberty using the power of Google Earth. Grade 3 brought their artifacts from their trip to Plimoth Plantation to life using ChatterPix to make them talk. Click on the link to see a Mashoon video to hear what it is and how it was used. Things have been hopping in the library as well as students participated in many activities to celebrate Hour of Code this week. Some students used Code.org while others participated in an unplugged coding Hopscotch. Quinn was selected to received a grant from the American Library Association for coding activities and iSTEM activities.
Elementary Coordinated District PD
For the second year, the Elementary PD Calendar included time for grade level teachers across the district to collaborate. The goal of the grade level district PD sessions is to continue supporting our collaborative environment and build vertical and horizontal alignment of resources and best practice through which teachers work to ensure consistency with respect to content, common language.
Led by grade level L3 (Leveled Literacy Leaders) from each school, K-2 elementary teachers across the district are working together to write If/Then Units for writing workshop. They came together for a half day in the fall to launch their work. They will continue to work on units during three after school sessions, then return in the spring to combine all their work into one cohesive unit.
During this same time, again led by the L3 leaders, grades 3-5 teachers are participating in the next level of PD for implementation of the Reading and Writing Units of Study. Topics were selected by the L3 leaders that best matched the need of their grade level. Teachers are engaging in a deep dive into the Reading Progressions, unpacking the Baby Literacy Essay Unit, and discussing how to effectively use the Writing Learning Progressions.
DMS Runner of the Week
DMS physical education staff is proud to announce the RUNNER OF THE WEEK AWARD. Each week DMS PE Staff is on the lookout for students that are self motivated and giving 100% effort during our daily jog. Every student is encouraged to work hard every day in hopes to improve their aerobic endurance levels. Weekly, two students per grade will be names 'Runner of the Week." The goal is to keep our students motivated and focused on living a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Click here to hear a quick 60 second piece about redesigning learning spaces. Give students a voice in the process and how design impacts the brain and learning; NOT about being pretty!
MCAS Resource Center
DESE has updated the MCAS Resource Center with new information and resources. Access sample questions, scoring guides and rubrics on the DESE site. No matter what grade or subject you teach, all teachers should be familiar with what our students are expected to know and be able to do. We all contribute to their success.
Informational Expert Pieces
Grade 3 students are learning the art of information writing. Students have been working diligently on composing expert writing pieces in which they share their knowledge on a topic of their choosing. As a culminating activity, students created a presentation using Google slides and taught their classmates all about their topic. Ms. Gamache and Literacy coach, Lisa Reitzas worked together to provide feedback to students on their presentation skills using a rubric that they created with the students.
Watch a Informational presentation about drawing. Third grade projects integrated Writing, Speaking and Listening and Digital Literacy Standards in their final presentation.
Enhanced Text Editor and Lesson Planner to Google Classroom Integration are now a part of Rubicon/Atlas.
The enhanced text editor in Atlas allows for new functionality in all text fields:
- Add tables
- Embed active links
- Embed images and videos
- Resize embedded images
- Change color of text and highlight text
- Text editor menu floats as your scroll
Lesson plans can now be pushed to Google Classroom:
- Share any of your lessons to your Google Class
- Click "View" on any of your lessons, then use the "Share to Google Classroom" button to share
Watch What Students are Learning at DHS
Several classes within the DHS Television Media Production pathway recently collaborated to create and produce a promotional video that highlights the many different opportunities that are available at Dartmouth High School.
The project which was overseen by DHS TV Media Production Teacher. Mr. Perrotti provided students an authentic opportunity to demonstrate the skills and knowledge that they've mastered thus far this school year. This project represents a focus on the skills necessary for our students to thrive in the 21st Century, specifically, the opportunity to think creatively and critically while communicating and collaborating effectively with one another. It represents the best of Dartmouth High School and showcases many of the tremendous opportunities that we provide our students.
DeMello’s Young Mathematicians
During the math workshop, second grade students in Ms. Desmaris’ class at DeMello School are busy learning about addition. Students are learning to use mathematical properties, such as the commutative property of addition, to add three addends. Our young mathematicians use strategies like number lines, making ten and place value to enhance their understanding of addition. Students also work in centers using technology and math activities to gain fluency with their addition facts to 20.
Looking for a new warm up routine? Check out this 5 minute video to see how a teacher uses a formative assessment to drive her instruction.
Dartmouth School Music Association Holiday Concert
- 12/10 6th grade Chorus Concert 6:30pm at DMS
- 12/10 8th grade Chorus Concert 8:00pm at DMS
- 12/11 7th grade Chorus Concert 7:00pm at DMS
- 12/12 Quinn Holiday Concert 7:00pm at DMS
- 12/17 DMS Orchestra Concert 7:00pm at DMS
- 12/18 6th & 7th Grade Band Concert 7:00pm at DMS
- 12/19 DHS Chorus and Orchestra 7:00pm at DHS
- 12/20 DHS & 8th Grade Band 7:00pm at DHS
Young Readers, Reading up a Storm
First Grade students have completed the first two Lucy Calkins’ Reading Units of Study: Building Good Reading Habits and Word Detectives. In the Building Good Reading Habits Unit, students strengthened their reading by learning such strategies as taking a “sneak peek” before they read, using pictures to figure out tricky words, double-checking their reading and looking at all parts of the word to solve unknown words.
In the Word Detectives Unit, students went on “missions” to monitor their reading to ensure that their reading makes sense, sounds right and looks right. Check out grade one students reviewing a previously taught skill on reading with phrasing, fluency and intonation. These young readers work closely with their reading partners to read smoothly - adjusting their voices to match those of the characters from their self-selected fictional books.
PDP's and License Renewal
Professional licenses are valid for five (5) calendar years and must be renewed in order to remain active. Professional licenses that are either one (1) year from expiring or currently on inactive status can be renewed only if the required number of Professional Development Points (PDPs) has been earned. The quickest way to renew your Professional license is through the Educator Licensure And Renewal (ELAR) system