NRES Staff Newsletter

Week of December 6, 2015

Around the Building

Big image
Big image
Big image

Arrivals and Departures

Mrs. Eaton will also be out until the first of the year. Mrs. Byrd will be filling in for much of the time. Please keep both Mrs. Hoppes and Mrs. Eaton in your thoughts and prayers as they deal with health issues.
Big image
Big image

Second Round of OTES

If you'd like to schedule your second round of OTES please do so by the end of this month. After December I will schedule those who have not scheduled yet. Here's what you need to schedule:

OTES-Round 2 Scheduling
  1. Pre-Conference/Mid-year Review
  2. Observation-30 minutes
  3. Post-Conference
Schedule Your Second Round Meeting:

See a great opportunity for Professional Development? I'd like to help!

If you see a great opportunity for professional development please let me know. I'd like to be able to send you to it. The expectation would be that you then come back and share with the rest of the staff.

There isn't always money for PD or money to get subs for a lot of people; however having one or two people attend workshops/conferences with the expectation that they will share with others when they return can help foster a more powerful Professional Learning Community within our school.

Sharing would consist of coming back and presenting at a staff meeting and "coaching" those of us who might be interested in going further with the topic/idea.

So be on the lookout for great PD and let me know.

EPC Wellness: Participate and Earn Rewards!

Dear EPC Participant,

Don’t miss out on your reward! Make sure to complete the following steps as you participate in EPC wellness:

Step #1: Complete Personal Health Assessment

Step #2: Complete Reasonable Alternative – Your Roadmap for Health wellness workshop (required): $50

  • Login to
  • Click on #1 Your Roadmap for Health
  • On the Manage Workshops page scroll down the list and find ‘Reasonable Alternative – Your Roadmap for Health.
  • Click Sign Up
Step #3: Complete ONE additional wellness workshop: $50

Step #4: Redeem wellness dollars for gift cards in the Hallmark Gift Card Center

Key Dates:

  • Complete steps 1,2, and 3 no later than August 31, 2016
  • Complete step 4 no later than September 30, 2016

Please click HERE to review the attached program guide to help answer any questions.

You can also email for additional help.

Complete your PHA by June 1, 2015 to earn $35 wellness dollars!


You can earn $35 today by completing your Personal Health Assessment (PHA) through the EPC Wellness Program. The PHA will take about 20 minutes to complete and consists of questions related to individual lifestyle practices and health history factors that impact your health.

To start earning your wellness dollars visit and log in using your username and password. New users can select 'Sign Up Today' to register on the wellness website.

1st Grade program rehearsals/performances schedule

The following is the schedule for the 1st grade Holiday practices and programs:

REHEARSALS: (In the gym, all 3 classes on stage)

  • Wednesday, December 9th: 12:25 - 1:00 Rehearsal
  • Thursday, December 10th: 12:25 - 1:00 Rehearsal
  • Friday, December 11th: 12:25 - 1:00 Rehearsal
  • Monday, December 14th: 12:25 - 1:00 Rehearsal


  • 12:25 - 1:00 Rehearsal Performance for Elementary
  • 6:45 pm Arrival
  • 7:00 pm Performance for Parents

KRA Individual Student Reports Ready

The Individual Student Reports have all been generated. Now, all teachers are

able to log on to the Ready for Kindergarten Online system and retrieve the

report for each child in their class(es).

Some reports that have been generated may indicate that the student

assessment is incomplete and provide no further information at this time.

This will be corrected for a small number of students when the reports are

generated again later this month. For about 1% of students who participated

in the KRA, one or more items were not scored. These students will get

scores for all domains for which they have at least seven items scored. If

all four domains meet this criteria, they will also receive an overall

score. These scores are being put into the system now.

8 Strategies Robert Marzano & John Hattie Agree On

Here's the article I shared with you at our last staff meeting.

Strategy 1: A Clear Focus for the Lesson

John Hattie highlights how important it is for you (and your students) to be clear about what you want them to learn in each lesson. According to Hattie, teacher clarityis one of the most potent influences on student achievement. Robert Marzano agrees, including lesson goals in his top 5 list of factors that affect how well students do at school.

Hattie states that lesson goals:

  • Clearly state what you want your students to learn
  • Can focus on surface or deep learning (or both)
  • Must be challenging for the students relative to their current mastery of the topic
  • May be grouped (i.e. a single lesson may have more than one goal)
  • Need to be shared with the students

Marzano also found that posing questions at the start of a lesson is an effective way to focus students: For example:

  • How do you add mixed fractions with different denominators? That’s what you must know by the end of this lesson.
  • What is the difference between elements and compounds? …
  • Why is Persuasive Essay A better than Persuasive Essay B? …
  • When (what period) were Egypt’s great pyramids built? …

Hattie suggests using questions a slightly different way:

  • What are today’s lesson goals?
  • What do I already know that will help me achieve these goals?
  • What actions will I need to do to ensure I achieve these goals?

Strategy 2: Offer Overt Instruction

Robert Marzano claims it is important to explicitly teach your students the things they need to learn. His review of research actually revealed it was the most important factor (teacher controlled) affecting students’ success. You need to tell them what they need to know and show them how to do things they must be able to do for themselves.

John Hattie did not review explicit teaching per se, but he did find that Direct Instruction was very effective. Direct Instruction involves explicitly teaching a carefully sequenced curriculum, with built in cumulative practice.

Furthermore, Hattie highlighted the power of giving students worked exampleswhen explaining how to multi-step tasks. Marzano also highlights the importance of giving examples and non-examples (similarities and differences) of the concept you are teaching. For example, when teaching prime numbers it would be useful to highlight 2 as an example, and 9, 15 and 21 as non-examples to avoid confusion with odd numbers.

Marzano also found that you can explicitly teach deeper levels of understanding by using graphic organisers You should use graphic organisers to show how different ideas were related to each other (e.g. steps, cause-effect, hierarchy, lists, comparisons, etc.).

Neither Hattie nor Marzano believes that great teaching is nothing more than standing out the front of the class and imparting knowledge. However, both agree that telling students what they need to know and showing students what they need to be able to do are essential aspects of teaching.

Strategy 3: Get the Students to Engage With the Content

While it is essential to actively teach students what they need to know and be able to do, it is also important to get them to actively engage with the content.

Marzano and Hattie agree that this starts with students actively linking yournewly provided information with their prior knowledge of the topic. Students need to engage with the content as soon as they hear it by:

  • Adding it to what they already know, or
  • Using it to clarify some of the faulty assumptions they currently hold

Your students can then engage with your information in other ways. Hattie talks about the value of getting kids to take notes. Marzano also found there was great value in having your students take notes, and getting them to work withphysical manipulatives. Also, he found that the simple act of asking students to recall information that you have just taught them (i.e. asking basic questions) had a substantial impact on how well they mastered the material. All these strategies are useful, but they only allow students to engage with the material at a surface level.

Robert Marzano also found several ways for students to engage with the material in ways that help them deepen their understanding beyond surface knowledge. These include the use of graphic organizers that show how information is connected (e.g. steps, cause-effect, in comparison to, hierarchical classification). It also includes the use of analogies, such as:

  • Persuasive devices are to a writer what tools are to a tradie, or
  • The Magna Carta offers citizens what a referee offers a game of soccer.

These are practical strategies that exemplify the higher levels of the SOLO taxonomy (an alternative to Bloom) that Hattie also advocates.

Strategy 4: Give Feedback

It is important that you give your students feedback after they engage with any new material. This:

  • Highlighting what is right and wrong, or good and bad about their work
  • Helping students to see how they can improve

Robert Marzano highlighted that students need to be given feedback while there is still time to improve (i.e. before finishing a topic or assigning a formal assessment task). John Hattie agreed with this but went further, showing that novice or struggling students need immediate feedback, while more experienced students do better when they receive delayed feedback. Hattie also discovered that different types of students need distinct types of feedback (see How to Give Feedback: The Advanced Guide).

Hattie also highlighted that feedback is a two-way street, where student results tell the teacher the degree to which their efforts are working (or not). When teachers see feedback this way, it has an even larger impact on their students’ subsequent results.

Strategy 5: Multiple Exposures

If you want students to internalize new information, you need to expose them to it several times.

When exploring how to enhance students’ vocabulary, Robert Marzano found that it was critical for teachers expose students to the same word multiple times. When each exposure was coupled with an explicit comment about the word and its meaning, students’ vocabulary acquisition doubled.

John Hattie picks up on the significance of multiple exposures by revealing the critical importance of techniques such as rehearsal and review. Put simply, rehearsal means going over material until you can remember it, while review involves going over things you have learnt previously.

He also stresses the merit of giving students time to practice doing the things they have learned to do. When spaced out over time, Hattie found that having students practice things led to a 26 percentile improvement in their marks.

On a more cautious note, Hattie warned that practice without feedback can be dangerous as it leads to students internalizing the wrong things.

Strategy 6: Have Students Apply Their Knowledge

Robert Marzano found that helping students apply their knowledge deepens their understanding.

Knowledge application is a deductive process whereby students apply general principles to specific case studies or problems. Marzano found that teaching students how to think deductively and giving them guided practice in doing so helps them generalize their learning beyond the particular topic or task at hand. Hattie confirmed that deductive processes (i.e. general principle applied to specific situation) is much more effective than inductive teaching (i.e. asking students to discover general principles from observing specific situations).

Knowledge application also involves problem-solving. Robert Marzano’s synthesis of research revealed that problem-solving had a large effect (d = 0.54) on students’ understanding. Marzano believes that problems should require students to apply previously learned knowledge and skills – and Hattie agrees. When problem-solving is used in this way, Hattie found a similar effect size (d = 0.61) to Marzano. However, when a problem is used to stimulate discovery learning, the opposite is true (d = 0.15). Hattie also emphasized the importance of teaching students how to solve problems, e.g. understand the problem→ come up with a plan of action → implement the plan → review the results.

Strategy 7: Get Students Working Together

Robert Marzano and John Hattie both agree that getting students to work with each other helps them to achieve better results. The use of cooperative learning groups adds value to whole-class instruction (d = 0.41) and to individual work (d = 0.59-0.78).

They also agree that inter-group competition can increase the effect of cooperative learning even more.

However, neither Marzano nor Hattie believes that cooperative learning should replace whole-class instruction or individual learning activities.

  • Hattie highlights how students need you to teach them topic-related facts and skills, so they can make genuine contributions to their group. If students haven’t gained sufficient mastery of the material, they cannot actively participate in cooperative learning tasks.
  • Marzano adds that it if students are to master what they are being taught, they also need opportunities for individual practice and feedback.

Finally, Marzano and Hattie agree that cooperative learning is only effective when you:

  • Structure it carefully
  • Keep groups small
  • Teach students how to work in groups

For further information, read Group Work That Works.

Strategy 8: Build Students’ Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy refers to a student’s belief about their ability to successfully complete a task. It is situation specific. For example, a student may feel confident that they can dance well on stage but be insecure about public speaking.

Hattie & Marzano both found that students’ self-efficacy had a substantial impact on their subsequent achievement. Students who believed they would master fractions were more likely to do so, while students who saw themselves as poor readers were less likely to improve their reading.

Marzano’s review of research showed that you can build students’ self-efficacy through praise, and expressing your belief that they can do well. However, to be effective, such praise must:

  • Be genuine – i.e. only given when students have made real improvement
  • Refer to specific accomplishments related to the task

As Carol Dweck noted, if you praise lavishly and liberally, you end up praising mediocrity, which in turn sends a message that you believe that is all you think they are capable of.

Hattie highlighted the fact that the link between self-efficacy and achievement is reciprocal. That is, achieving genuine success has as much impact on subsequent self-efficacy, as self-efficacy has on subsequent achievement.

Big image

MEMO 614-Today's articles come from Education Next, Educational Researcher, Literacy Today, The New York Times, The Synapse, The Language Educator, and the Alexandria City Public Schools. Here are the headlines:

  • Is poverty the reason U.S. students don't compare well internationally?
  • A high bar for using value-added measures to evaluate teachers
  • Tips for working with adult learners
  • David Brooks on a school that develops community and character
  • The evolution of the Pledge of Allegiance
  • Using data in world language classes
  • Graphic novels in high-school classrooms
  • A model backwards-designed Algebra I course

If you want an HTML version of this week's Memo, please click here:

To listen to a podcast of last week's Memo (#613), please click here:

Big image

Things to do:

  1. Star Student names and Write-ups to Rob by 12/9.
  2. Let Jen know if you can't print to your user box.
Big image

10 Day Forecast

Monday, December 7

  • Pledge-Johnson
  • 3rd Grade Team Meeting, 7:55 a.m.
  • 2nd Grade Team Meeting, 10:00 a.m.
  • Elementary School Watch Meeting, 1:00 p.m. (Rob out)

Tuesday, December 8

  • Pledge-Wyen
  • IAT-Mann, 7:00 a.m.
  • IAT-Mann, 7:45 a.m.
  • NEAT Meeting, Rob out
  • 2nd Grade Field Trip to WSU
  • IAT-Johnson, 2:15 p.m.
  • Baby Shower, 2:30 p.m.
  • 5th & 6th Grade Band/Choir Concert, 7:00 p.m. @ KRHS

Wednesday, December 9

  • Pledge-Doss
  • 1st Grade Team Meeting, 12:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 10

  • Pledge-Fairbanks
  • DARE Graduation Practice, 8:25 a.m.
  • DARE Graduation, 1:00 p.m.

Friday, December 11

  • Pledge-J. Roberts
  • GISA Music Tour, 9:00 a.m.

Monday, December 14

  • Pledge-Clay
  • Toth/Eaton Field Trip to Rotary Christmas Party
  • Christmas Dance Practice-After School

Tuesday, December 15

  • Pledge-Kugler
  • Toth/Eaton Field Trip to Rotary Christmas Party
  • Christmas Dance Practice-After School
  • IEP-Doss, 2:00 p.m.
  • 1st Grade Holiday Program, 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, December 16

  • Pledge-B. Roberts
  • Star Student Assembly, 7:45 a.m.
  • LPDC Meeting, 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 17

  • Pledge-Chrisman
  • Christmas Dance Practice-After School
  • LPDC Meeting, 4:00 p.m.

Friday, December 18

  • Pledge-Everhart
  • End of 2nd Grading Period/Semester
  • Elementary Music Performance presented by Middle School Band/Choir
  • Christmas Assembly, 1:00 p.m.