Points of Pride

August 11, 2017

Instructional Focus....

Good evening,

This week I was able to listen to a podcast entitled "Ditch the Homework," in which a former teacher was encouraging other educators to not assign homework. Before we get too far, please know that I am not "Anti-Homework," but I thought some of his points provided good "food for thought."

His main premise was that homework frustrates students, parents and teachers (when it's not done correctly, or missing), and the gains in student achievement are minimal, why are we still doing it? Someone I love to listen to, famed educational researcher, John Hattie reports that out of 150 influences on a student's learning, homework was ranked 94th in the impact it has on learning (Hattie, Visible Learning for Teachers-2012). The podcast also argued the point that "Practice does not make perfect, practice makes permanent," so when students are practicing something it should be with the highly-trained teacher, not the parent.

Again, I am not saying that you should abandon homework, rather reflect on your current practices:

  • Is the homework you give relevant to student learning?
  • Do the students see it as relevant to their learning?
  • Are you seeing gains in student achievement because of the homework you assign?
  • Is assigning/grading maximizing my time with students? Teachers: Watch the video below and send me a brief reflective email on how "My Favorite No" could enhance student learning and I will give you a jeans pass.
"My Favorite No"

This teacher has an innovative way for checking students' understanding of a concept.

Odds and Ends....

  • A/C: When we got the new chillers, the computer system was changed as well. The "override" trick does not work unless it's activated in five or more classes. This weekend, we have scheduled for the A/C to be available from 9-2 on Saturday and Sunday. If you can't make it then, come with four friends :)
  • More A/C: The hallways, gym, and front office are scheduled to start in the mornings well before the classrooms. When you get here in the morning, consider opening your door to let the cool air in.
  • SafeSchools: Our favorite videos are coming next week and ALL staff are required to view. I don't know the due date yet, but get them done as soon as you can.
  • I still need one more volunteer to be on our School Council. There will be six, one hour meetings, directly after school. One more person is needed to be in compliance with an Arizona statute.

Intervention Team Representative....

If you are concerned about a student, please reach out to your assigned person for assistance on referrals:

Kinder: Kristy Sandum

First: Mary Sink

Second: Sue Terrill

Third: Lindsay Balles

Fourth: Melissa D'Agostino

Fifth: Robert Bircher

Sixth: Sue Terrill

Behavior only: Helen Dippre