JCHS Instructional News

News & Celebrations- James Clemens High School Faculty

Issue 17 / March 16, 2014

Hello JETS!

Only one week until Spring Break! WE can do this!

Directions Here --->

We look forward to seeing you in Flight School on Wednesday. We will begin to explore data literacy by exploring our collective beliefs about the best uses for data at JC. Mrs. Buchanan will share some important JC & MCS data with everyone that will come in handy as your team plans for current and future students!

Have a GREAT week!

Alyson :)


Spanish Convention CONGRATS-- 7 Awards go to JC Students! Magnifico!

Brain Health Expo-- HUGE Success!

The videos and pics below show just a tiny snippet of the success of the Brain Expo. It was so much fun to watch talents and passions collide at JC (from both teachers and students)!

The excitement of the kids (ES & HS Alike) was contagious. I saw so many natural teachers and leaders among our students. I look at the kids we are so fortunate to learn with each day-- and I am hopeful for the future! To quote our friend and IP from LMS, the future looks BRIGHT for the JETS!

Great Flight, JETS! Keep Flying High.

Helmet Safety - JCHS Brain Expo
Latin Students teaching @ JCHS Brain Expo

Strategy Spotlight: Student Engagement

What does student engagement look like?

(NOTE: There could be a prize hidden in this post!)

How do the experts define "Engagement":

Marzano and Pickering define student engagement as a combination of both short-term attention and longer-term engagement. They explain that engagement results when students answer in the affirmative to the questions below:

  • “How do I feel?”
  • “Am I interested?”
  • “Is this important?”
  • “Can I do this?”

Marzano adds that student engagement happens as a result of the careful planning and execution of research based strategies in the classroom. It just so happens that we have a treasure trove of resources in that area for Content Literacy / Strategic Teaching.

More from Marzano HERE.

Strategic Teaching

Before, During, and After learning strategies can keep student engagement high during all phases of a lesson. Holding the attention of students is much easier when we keep THEM working! That lesson from Harry Wong proves true time and again-- the KIDS should leave tired from the work and brainpower utilized during the day. The teachers should be skipping out the door because their hard work was complete once the lesson was planned! Facilitation becomes the easy part!

Mrs. Buchanan has TONS of ideas available to you here to help in planning. Check them out here: Mrs. B's Livebinder

Random Response / Cold Calls

An easy way to keep engagement levels high in your class is through use of the "Cold Call" strategy which also helps with formative assessment / checks for understanding. This strategy is often called the "Equity Pot" because it creates equal opportunities for all students to answer. It requires all student to be ready to participate. implementation is as simple as pulling popsicle sticks with student names from a cup (See photo below & SEE ME to get a cup with sticks for your class!)

And guess what? THERE'S also AN APP For That! There are actually a few apps available for this purpose! Two that I have tried are iLeap Pick-A-Student and Pick Me. They are both user friendly and FREE! The Pick Me app even lets you keep up with the number of times you call on students and rate their understanding by ranking their response within the app.

Questioning, Talking Structures, White Boards for Answers, Teaching Others, etc...

Having structures planned for students during lessons keeps them actively involved in the lesson...ENGAGED.

Examples might include:

  • Use of Wait Time w/ Questioning
  • Turn & Talk
  • Show What you Know (mini-whiteboards)
  • Teach your Neighbor (mini-whiteboards)
  • Entry / Exit Activities
  • Fist-to-5 Class Check-Ins

These are a few ideas. I see so many different ideas around JC. What strategies are working best in your class? Please share with us!

What Educators are TWEETING about around James Clemens, Madison City, and Alabama

Don't have a Twitter Account? No problem! You can still see the tweets by clicking the buttons below!
💙✈️#ProudToBeAJET on Twitter! ✈️💙

JCHS PRIDE- Students & Teachers Sharing What Makes Us #proudtobeajet

#JCHSfaculty on Twitter!

JCHS Faculty Sharing

#MCSlearn on Twitter!

Madison City Schools Sharing & Networking

What are educators talking about in Alabama?

Check out #ALedchat to find out!

In-Flight Movie

This Week's Theme: Engagement (The Anti-Boredom Campaign)

This video should provide a bit of comic relief as we head into Spring Break.

The level of engagement from the young male driver might not be up to par (at least as far as his attention to the road ahead), but the lady here is "living in the moment"--- fully engaged in the task at hand! lol

Enjoy a laugh~

Alyson :)

Want to use video clips as Thinking Prompts with your lessons?

This resource from Dr. Jim Knight may be helpful: http://www.corwin.com/highimpactinstruction/chapters/Attributes_of_Effective_Thinking.pdf If you're interested in viewing more examples, visit this Pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/alysoncarpenter/videos-thinking-prompts/

Disclaimer: Pinned videos don't always signify endorsements. We often pin first and view later!

commercial fake steering wheel


Alyson Carpenter, Instructional Partner

James Clemens High School

Madison City Schools

Madison, AL

Go JETS! ✈️

Alyson Carpenter's Vimeo Channel

You might see clips from your classes here! :)

Alyson Carpenter's Pinterest Boards!

Items are often pinned for later viewing. Pinned items are not necessarily endorsed.

Upcoming Flight Plans:

Backmapping Meeting- Geometry Teachers

Monday, March 17th, 8:30-10:30am

211 Celtic Dr

Madison, AL

Teachers who were invited to this event will meet at the Madison City Schools Central Office.

JCHS Curriculum Night

Monday, March 17th, 5-7pm

11306 County Line Rd

Madison, AL

Join us and learn more about the outstanding opportunities for students at James Clemens High School!

JCHS Flight School

Wednesday, March 19th, 9am-3pm

11306 County Line Rd

Madison, AL

Flight School is held during the last 45 minutes for those with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd block planning. It is held during the first 45 minutes for those with 4th block planning. See you in D122!