The Mentee Minute

January 26, 2015, Volume Ten

The Mentee Minute

Greetings, GaVS Just in Time cohort, faculty, and staff!

Wow, what a phenomenal start to the Spring semester 2015!

With the high enrollments, demands on online instruction, and desire to maintain the standards and mission of GaVS, the current edition of The Mentee Minute highlights best practices for grade reporting, time management, and communication with stakeholders.

In addition, the final minute for January provides the "Tip of the Issue," which showcases the Teacher Toolbox. A resource for all!

Enjoy the sample images and strategies from fellow faculty!

Happy day, happy week!

A little Mentee Minute Happy . . .

Dover Police officer sings Taylor Swift's "Shake It off " | AMAZING VIDEO

Sample News Items to assist with Quizzes, Discussions, and Missing Work

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Entering Zeroes in the Gradebook: A Step by Step Guide, courtesy of Joyce Bearden, GaVS Mentor

Step 1: Go to Grades, click “More Actions” drop down arrow.

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Step 2: Click Hide/Show columns. Check only assignments that were due on the due date Friday. Click save.

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Step 3: Select view by “sections." Click “apply."

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Step 4: Select the section you are entering zeros for (18,16,14 or 12). Click “apply."

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Step 5: Click dropdown arrow next to the assignment that needs to have zeros added. Click “grade all.”

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Step 6: Enter zero and due date feedback.

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Example of due date feedback.

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Grading follow-up procedures

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February Professional Development Series: "Students Love Differentiation!"

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Communication Etiquette . . . How is yours?

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Communication: Best Practices for all

Please take a moment to carefully read the following best practices and suggestions for effective communication strategies.

General Best Practices:

• Always try to utilize the sandwich method. No matter what needs to be discussed or conveyed begin and end on a positive note.

• It is always better to be too formal than to be too casual.

• Always maintain professionalism.

• If the nature of your communication becomes unproductive in any way defer to your DC.

• When choosing a method of communication consider the need for concrete documentation.

Phone Communication:

• Do not make or accept calls unless you have a quiet, uninterrupted place to talk.

• Always remain calm and respectful – even if that means you need to calmly and politely end a call.

Email Communication:

• Proofread!!! Make sure that you have used complete sentences, correct spelling and grammar, proper punctuation and capitalization, etc.

• Always include a greeting and closing.

• Make sure that you have a professional signature attached for every device from which you may be responding to student or stakeholder email.

• Avoid the use of “text talk” or emoticons when communicating with parents or students.

• Remember that the use of all caps conveys yelling.

• Try to use word choice rather than formatting to convey your message.

• Before you hit send objectively consider your tone (reading out loud often helps).

• If you are angry or in any way emotional when composing an email take a break before sending. Walk away, come back later, and reevaluate the tone of the email.

• Use “forward” and “reply all” carefully and sparingly – especially with email threads. You never know who will ultimately see your email.

• Remember that once an email has been sent it cannot be retracted.

• Always acknowledge receipt of emails in a timely manner – even if you do not have an immediate answer.

• Use BCC rather than CC when emailing groups of individuals.

Five Minute Film Parody from Amusing Videos via Edutopia . . . Check these out!

Tip of the Issue

What is The Teacher Toolbox?

The Teacher Toolbox, as examined in GaVS Orientation Training, is an invaluable resource for all GaVS faculty. The link may be found on the Main Teacher Page, and the Professional Learning Widget also includes a direct link to the Teacher Quality section of the Toolbox.

Spend some time exploring the titles and sections, noting the Special Needs section, Professional Development Archives, The Mentee Minute editions from Fall 2014, and numerous best practices for Effective Online Teachers!

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