Staff Memo

January 10, 2014

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Posting Objectives

Below is the summary of an article about posting objectives. The bold words are what I added for emphasis. Food for thought and supports our work with clear objectives.

Should Objectives Be Posted in Classrooms?

In this blog post, Grant Wiggins comments on administrators requiring teachers to post daily objectives on the wall, sometimes in the name of UbD-type backwards design of curriculum units. Some schools take it a step further: when students are asked what standard they’re working on, they chorus, “We’re working on ELA Standard B.2.a.i.”

“This gets it all backwards,” says Wiggins. “The posting is the means; the end is understanding of the meaning of the work and a way to stay on track… The aim is to ensure that students understand goals and how current activities support those goals. Ideally, then, students have perspective and see the value of the work; they understand the why of the current work in order to find it more meaningful and to facilitate purposeful learning, and they have a touchstone for gauging progress (and thus use of time).”

The best test of posting goals on the wall is whether students can answer questions like, Why are we doing this? Why does it matter? and How does it connect to previous work? If students respond, “I dunno” or “Ask the teacher,” it’s not a good sign – and it doesn’t validate the efficacy of the sign on the wall. [Far better to have provocative, well-crafted unit Essential Questions on the wall and frequently refer to them as the unit unfolds.]

“Mandating the Daily Posting of Objectives, and Other Dumb Ideas” by Grant Wiggins, Dec. 5, 2013

How Do Birds Survive the Coldest Winters?

- 35 °C (- 31 °F) Winter in Siberia {Arrival of the Birds}

What's Happening in Early Childhood?

Our early childhood classrooms are ripe with opportunities for students to participate in science inquiry-based and project-based learning and our students love this instructional approach! While participating in winter related thematic units of study , early childhood students have been exploring math and science pre-academic concepts regarding following multi-step directions, completing unfamiliar routines and comparing objects based on quantity, shape, color and texture.

The early childhood typical peer program continues to grow in all of our community classrooms. At this time, we are currently welcoming new peers into the afternoon early childhood section taught by Monica Alford here at BSE. The typical peers in our program provide appropriate social, communication and pre-academic modeling for our students with special education needs. This research based model of instructional intervention also benefits typically developing students. Along with traditional pre-school activities, our typical peers learn diversity awareness, patience and tolerance. This leads to decreased anxiety about students with special needs and promotes a life long compassion and better overall attitude regarding students with special needs. For more information about the benefits of Peer Mediated Instruction (PMI) , see the attached PDF of the December Special Education newsletter or the following link:

A Message from Glenda Ritz You Should Watch

Message to Educators Jan. 2014

Up-to-Date Info

Dear Staff,

I believe this is the most up-to-date info I have regarding our calendar and events. That being said, the emails keep coming in rescheduling things.

Hope to see all of you bright and early on Monday.

Day 21 with no school. . . By the time I see you, 23 days will have passed.

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Looking Ahead

Monday, Jan. 13 Day 2

  • Pledge - Cooke
  • 1:50 Stakeholder mtg - KG - Snyder
  • 3:10 Collab Team 2
  • 3:50-4:20 Copier training
  • 4:00 Diversity team meeting

Tuesday, Jan. 14 Day 3

  • 7:30 Learning Leadership Team meeting in PD room
  • 9:00-9:40 - Elem Principals' Focus Group mtg - Lisa gone
  • 9:45 Admin team meeting - Lisa gone
  • 3:10 Collab Team 3
  • 4:15 Units of Study planning - PD room
  • Evening Parent Night for Chauncie's Place

Wednesday, Jan. 15 Day 4

  • 12:00-1:00 ELA/Math Focus group meeting - Lisa
  • 1:00-3:00 Elem principals' meeting - Lisa
  • 3:10 Collab Team 4

Thursday, Jan. 15 Day 1

  • 8:00 Office meeting
  • 1:00-3:00 District Diversity mtg @ FJH
  • 3:10 Data PD Team K

Friday, Jan. 17 Day 2

  • 7:50 Student Council mtg
  • 12:01 Half-day dismissal for students
  • 1:00-4:00 PD for staff - Diversity focus with Danielle Riego

Monday, Jan. 20

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - No School

Tuesday, Jan. 21 Day 3

  • Pledge - Beall
  • 10:15 Fire Drill
  • 1:00-3:00 Elem principals' mtg - Lisa gone
  • 3:10 Data Collab - Team 1
  • 4:00-4:30 Math Workshop Study Group mtg - Chap. 5 - PD room

Wednesday, Jan. 22 Day 4

  • 9:30-11:00 Budget Committee - Lisa gone
  • 3:10 Data Collab - Team 2 - Library

Thursday, Jan. 23 Day 1

  • 8:00 Office mtg
  • 3:10 Data Collab - Team 3 - Library

Friday, Jan. 24 Day 2

  • $1 Hat Day
  • 8:00 Discussion mtg - Lisa's office
  • 3:10 Data Collab - Team 4
  • 6:00-8:30 Dad's Club Movie Night