October 7th, 2015
The past weeks have been truly exciting for me while talking with individual teachers and teams about our focused goals pertaining to math theory/practices and all things HSE21. As you know, or will soon, is that our HSE21 area of our learning continuum is one with vast options. In this update you will see some writing from a book that Mrs. Patrick, Mrs. Lansdell, Mrs. Murch, Mrs. Kalustian, and I are reading. Our hope is to offer you tidbits from good sources to assist you as you reflect, learn, and push for new practices in that far right side of the learning continuum.
As stated or will be stated in your goal meeting, live on the line of your own personal discomfort. Embrace the struggle of implementation, take risks, reflect, rebuild, and try again. Keep one steady foot in the continuum where you find success, but always leaning outward creating a higher frequency of exposure for your students in the sea of inquiry that we call HSE21.
I'll also remind you to take great care in reading the many articles on questioning that I shared in paper and email versions the last month. I thrilled to hear teams discussions around questioning and know our future will continue to be one of strong development around essential and supporting questions.
Kohn (2015), reminds us that Questions-based teaching tends to shade into learning that is problem or project-based. Intellectual proficiency is strengthened as students figure out how to do justice to a rich question. As they investigate and come to understand important ideas more fully, new questions arise, along with better ways of asking them. And then the learning spirals upward!
Project-Based Approach to Instruction
In a project-based approach, students work over an extended time period for a purpose beyond satisfying a school requirement- to build something, to create something, to respond to a question they have, to solve a real problem, or to address a real need.
For example, students might work to plan, plant, and cultivate a garden to help feed the hungry in their community: they might develop a guidebook for visitors at a nature preserve, they might study an then develop a plan to reduce waste in the school cafeteria, or they might research and write a history of their local community.
Along the way, teachers build knowledge and teach skills, but in students' minds, the knowledge and skills serve to meet the project's goal. While in the teacher's mind, they may also serve to address specific state standards, meet district curriculum requirements and so on (Duke, 2014)
21st Century Learning Skills - College and Career Readiness
PBL - Will promote the following in your best practice focused classroom:
Creativity and Innovation
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Communication and Collaboration
Flexibility and Adaptability
Initiative and Self-Direction
Social and Cross-Cultural Skills
Productivity and Accountability
Leadership and Responsibility
Do you see any behaviors above that you wouldn't want to promote in your classroom? Any of you notice the direct correlation between 21st Century and HSE21?
Thursday - ALL SCHOOL COLTS BLUE and jeans - Spread the word to all parents!
Fighting the Shortage of Substitute Teachers 101
1. COME TO WORK, unless you have a pre-arranged personal day or you or the family are really sick....like really sick.
2. DOCTOR VISITS, try to make these on days that are not Friday or days that you know the district has big PD plans.
3. BE REALLY NICE TO THE SUBS WHO DO SHOW UP, these people will actually pick us over another school if they feel welcome and liked while they sub. No joke, subs will make comments that they won't return to a school because they were not treated with a friendly smile. Let's go overboard and make them feel like royalty.
Professional Development - October 2015
10-8-15 - O365 Video Training - Mrs. Patrick - Library - 4-5PM (optional for credit)
10-8-15 - Statewide Fire Drill - 1:45PM
10-13-15 - AimsWeb Refresher - 4:00 in the computer lab with Fatima
10-19,10-20, and 10-21 - Evening Parent Teacher Conferences - DK at the main door
10-26-15 - Staff Meeting - LGI - Dr. Flessner 4-5PM - Drinks provided (Mandatory)
Red Ribbon Week - October 26-31, 2015
Mon-Wear red-Show your ready to take a stand against drugs, sign pledge banner.
Tues-Wear your favorite sports team- Show you plan to lead a healthy life.
Wed-Neon/sunglasses- Too bright for drugs.
Thurs-Wear blue- Show that using drugs and alcohol make you feel sad.
Fri- Our school is drug free-BSE spirit wear.
Signs on the doors-close the door on drugsOn trash cans-drugs are trash
Evaluation...so now what?
Almost all of you have completed your beginning of the year meetings. Here are a few reminders to be sure you are ready to move forward.
1. Double check to see if your B.O.Y. sheet is uploaded into SFS.
2. Note that you have a short observation completed, this is documentation of your BOY meeting with me.
3. Send me your long observation week by Outlook invite for the week you want your long evaluation. The content is my choice. November is packed so steer clear of that one.
4. The week of your evaluation, Monday, upload ALL of your plans for that week into SFS.
5. Short observation are in full swing. I will be hanging out without short observations prior to break to get our kiddos used to me being around due to me NOT getting in too much this week.
Coach Corner - From Fatima, TDS
May I Teach Your Class? - There is a high demand for reading lessons still which is great! I have also started math problem solving lessons in many classrooms. If I have not been in yours - what are you waiting for? Let's co-teach!
When I Pop In - I may come in your room and "hang out" and take on the role of one of the students. Please keep teaching and do what you would normally do. I have been extremely thrilled with the open ended questions in math and reading as well as the amount of student collaboration happening. Keep. It. Up. You may invite me in anytime!
Short Evals - My short evaluations are underway! It is my goal to make it to each classroom at least once for a formal observation.
Benchmarking with F&P - The deadline is fast approaching to have all students completed in order to articulate strengths and goals with parents at conferences. Need help - contact me asap!
Looking for Leadership? - If you have any interest in diving into Comprehension and Collaboration by Stephanie Harvey & "Smokey" Daniels please let me know as I am organizing future leadership opportunities to lead upcoming PD.