"The Oskaloosa Syllabus"

Information and News You Can Use!

Norms, SMART Goals (Focus), Learning Targets and Looking at Data

PLC's continue to grow. Remember to reinforce the group "norms" or "agreed upon behaviors" as you meet weekly. We can't forget the group dynamics existing in each PLC and how it can either make a PLC successful or ineffective.

Our SMART Goals should drive our Action Plans which help us focus on what we want to accomplish during our PLC collaborative time. Just as our GLB's and our Learning Targets help focus on our instruction, our SMART Goal should do that for our PLC's.

Looking at student data is pervasive around the district as well. Having students track their own progress is an outstanding way of making students own their own learning. Check out the MS Science PLC for one example of that.

Left and Below: Examples of Learning Targets found in district classrooms! Can you recognize either of them? If you do, let me know and you could win a prize!!

Grading Window to Close

The Grading Window for 1st Trimester Final Grades will open Wednesday, November 7th at 8:00 AM and will Close Tuesday, November 13th at 4:00 PM

DLT Met on October 2nd!

Here are the items we discussed or were decided:

1. Reviewed the DLT Mission and Norms - no changes. I have made posters of each to display in the board room.
2. Finalized the 2 Goals for the Year: Quality Instruction and the RTI Process
3. We reviewed the "Qualities of Forward Moving Districts" by watching a short Prezi. Does Osky have these same qualities?
4. A Kiosk Activity was next - Characteristics of Effective Instruction and how the Characteristics align with the "look fors". The 5 categories on the walkthrough template will help to determine what Quality Instruction looks like in Oskaloosa.
5. Chad Farner and Kyle Braundmeier will present to the BOE in October
6. Reviewed decisions made - DLT members to take the CEI's to their PLC

Ever tried GoAnimate? Below is a short example about the Characteristics of Effective Instruction using this website. I have also attached the link at the end of this newsletter
Characteristics of Effective Instruction

The MS Science PLC is the PLC to Watch for November!

Check out the work of the MS Science PLC - they are doing some great work.

Their SMART Goal this year is 100% of students will achieve a 2 or higher for all grade level benchmarks and 85% of students will achieve a 3 or higher on all grade level benchmarks.

They are helping students track their success with the idea of a stoplight. Their Action Plan includes some very important actions:

1)Prior to the start of each unit students will be given a pretest to check their prior knowledge of the topic being addressed. After the assessment students will be given a score of 1-4. The goal of the pretest is to give us a clear understanding of what students still need to master along with providing the opportunity for differentiation for all student abilities before the unit begins.

2) Students with a 1 on a GLB will receive an additional activity, project, or assignment that teaches the GLB in an alternative way and

3) Students will keep their own GLB record in their science notebook. GLB records will be updated with pre-test and post-test scores. GLB records will be colored coded based on the 1-4 key. Red will represent a one, yellow a two, and green will represent a 3 or 4. The data wall will incorporate stop lights for each GLB with percentages in each lens. The MS Science PLC has additional action plan activities - check out their Wiki at http://oskyplcwiki.wikispaces.com/MS+Science

Below: Displayed in a MS Science classroom is the SMART Goal, the Learning Targets and the "data wall" of student success

Oskaloosa has an Instructional Coach!

The Elementary has hired Jen Groenenboom as the Elementary Instructional Coach. Jen is formerly one of our 4th grade teachers, but now will be assisting teachers in the building with literacy. Jen will be working primarily with the Demonstration Classrooms who will model Small Group Instruction and learn the Workshop Method this year. This work is related to our School In Need of Assistance (SINA) plan.

The goal is to increase student achievement and be taken off the the "list". Jen is working with individual teachers in the area of literacy instruction as well. If you would like her to model, provide feedback, observe, or simply provide literacy ideas for your instruction, let her know - her door is always open!

PLC Collaboration Dates For November

  • November 7th = Extended PLC
  • November 14th = Vertical Team
  • November 28th - Building

Common Core Expectations

Curriculum Teams have been exploring the expectations for instruction as a result of our membership in the Common Core Consortium. Communicating their understanding has been fun as we have explored some neat websites to do that.

We have used the links below. Try them out.

The last link takes you to Educore - a sight dedicated to the Common Core and its expectations. There are videos and articles you might be interested in. I have placed some of them on the Curriculum Team Wiki.


Tuesday, Nov 6th 2012 at 4-6pm

Board Room at Central Office

Work Day for Entering Grades

Monday, Nov 12th 2012 at 8am

Individual Buildings/Classrooms

Social Studies CT

Tuesday, Nov 27th 2012 at 8am-3pm

Board Room at Central Office

Math CT

Friday, Nov 30th 2012 at 8am-3pm

Board Room at Central Office