"Learn Like a Champion" Nov. 23 - Dec.4, 20

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LCAP GOAL 3 Social Emotional Learning and School Community

The amazing work of Hillary Chambers (Counselor) and the Student Council Ambassadors continues. They are reaching lives in a positive way bringing the school family closer together virtually. Art classes, fun skits, learning videos, and information are popular with students and parents. Below, students signed up for an afternoon session facilitated by one of our resident artists Faith. Faith is not only good at art, but she is inspirational and answers many life questions while kids relax and learn to draw; in this case Spongebob.
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Student Ambassador Kevin (below) is a great role model for the kids. He taught a class in how to enjoy the colors of the Fall Leaves. Students drew leaves and enjoyed hearing positive things while seeing other members of our school family. The students learned a lot more about feeling okay than just drawing and coloring different types of leaves.
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LCAP GOAL 2 Proficiency for ALL - Math Talks Again?

I recently spent over half an hour on the phone with a parent who was upset that Common Core and our math curriculum were not helping kids. I went back to my teaching days and explained how kids learn and the importance of kids learning various strategies to solve problems. She said her daughter's teacher said there is one way to solve the problem and the book didn't explain it.

The mom said something important. She said that she spoke with another mom and they had different ideas of how they were taught to solve the problem. I told her to hold on, and let's talk about how she did the right thing; she talked about her idea with her friend, and her friend shared her idea on how to approach a math problem. I said THAT is what her daughter is supposed to be learning in class, not just whether she gets the correct answer. The discussion and problem-solving and ideas and trial and error, using complex thinking skills is what the goal is. That is what they mean by Common Core.

The mom and I slowly worked our way through the problem talking about it and sharing ideas, and the mom said, "This is actually kind of fun." I told the mom, that this is the fun way to teach too, but we want the KIDS to explore and think and problem-solve because they will like it too! We talked about how her daughter needs to explain her thinking and if she can't describe why or how she used the strategy she used, then she didn't quite learn deeply enough. She needs to talk about it! For a student, teaching it back to another person is huge!

The mom thanked me for giving her so much of my time. I said that talking about learning is what I wish I could do more of as an instructional leader-principal. Wow! What a reminder of what we might be missing or forgetting to do with our students. Math talk.

According to an article by Catherine Gewertz (May 5, 2020) in Education Week, having students put their math thinking into words engages more students and boosts achievement. She wrote, "The idea that 'math talk' can have academic payoffs isn't new." Common Core State Standards put a high priority on ensuring that students understand the concepts underlying their calculations.

Mastery of Common Core's standards for mathematical practice means students must know "how to do things like construct viable arguments and critique others' reasoning." Here are some ideas from the article:

  1. Create a culture that welcomes "rough draft" thinking.
  2. Highlight the way students' thinking influenced the outcome.
  3. Foster small-group conversation about word problems.
  4. Teach students explicitly how to have math conversations.

A well-designed math conversation can make it easier for all students - even those who rarely talk in class - to participate, experts say. And by including all class members, a well-structured conversation can help students feel that their thoughts have value.

The good news, according to experts, is that math discourse is a technique that works as well virtually as it does on paper or in face-to-face classrooms. Now, when students and teachers risk feeling disconnected and adrift, there's even more reason to consider using "math talk" techniques to help students feel engaged and see themselves - and their classmates - as valued mathematical thinkers.

The mom ended our conversation by saying that she was excited to try these strategies with her daughter and to share with her adult friends about our conversation. As educators, let's not forget to keep the rigor high, and expect students to explain their thinking and logic in writing or conversation. There are many ways to do this virtually, and that is a conversation worth having. I hope we are all having that conversation not only with our colleagues, but with our students and their parents. Like the line in Field of Dreams, "If you build it, they will come."

Mr. Radtke, Principal

LCAP 3 - Social Emotional Learning, Health, and Safety

The World of Bella online for the Friday Student Council Virtual Frank Ledesma News. How to be safe, keep your hands clean, eat the right food, and get some exercise. She is quite an actor, a role model, and one of our fantastic Jaguar Ambassadors and Scholars.
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LCAP Goal 2 Proficiency for All and Goal 5 Highly Qualified Staff

Shifting from Extrinsic to Intrinsic Motivation - Interesting Conversation

Pretend Examples: Teacher 1 'Compliance' and Teacher 2 'Engagement'

Teacher 1: "Ok, everyone. I've got several choices for you to learn about how geography affects where people decide to live and the way they live. I expect you to choose at least two different resources to explore for me, and I want you to also pick one activity to try. To get full credit on the assessment, you will need to cite the resources you used."

Teacher 2: "Ok everyone. You have several choices for how you get to learn about how geography affects where people decide to live and the way they live. Don't forget to use at least two different resources, and then pick an activity to try. You can do more than one if you want! Remember to cite resources to give credit to other authors and organizations and boost the credibility of your work."

Moving from Compliance to Engagement:

  • Instead of "I expect you all to...," try "Your next challenge is..."
  • Instead of "I want you to...," try "Whats a goal you have..."
  • Instead of Here are three things you need to do...," try "Herea are three things to try as you..."
  • Instead of "I've created some choices for you...," try "You have several choices to consider..."

Move from teacher ownership to student ownership.

Rather than tell students what they need to do to get a good grade, consider explaining what they should keep in mind as they aim for high-quality work.

LCAP 3 - Social Emotional Learning - Drawing a Hand Turkey

Bella taught students how to use their hand to make a special drawing of a Turkey for their family. The students enjoyed the time with one of their role model school Ambassadors.

Important Events This Week:

November 23-27, 2020 THANKSGIVING BREAK!

November 30 - Timesheets Due!

December 1 -STA Meeting & DLT 3:00 - 5:00 pm

December 2 - Happy Wednesday

December 3 - Happy Thursday

December 4 - Happy Friday


December 8 - Strings Virtual Program @ 6:30 pm

Frank Ledesma Elementary School

973 Vista De Soledad

Soledad, Ca. 93960

(831) 678-6320

(831) 678-8029 Fax


Richard Radtke