Spring/Summer 2015 Newsletter
CCS Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Updates
note from kim...
I cannot believe that it is already June! This is our third newsletter this school year. Please review the information contained in this newsletter to learn about the happenings and celebrations in departments across the district. Thanks for everything you do to support learning for all of the children and adults in our schools. As always, please let me know of any questions, thoughts, concerns or suggestions. Have a wonderful summer!
Administrator of Curriculum, Assessment, Professional Learning & Grants
2014-15 subject area coordinators
Daryl Biallas, K-12 World Language
Kevin Emmons, CTE
Jessica Hall, K-12 Fine Arts
Barb Huey, K-5 Math
Radhika Issac, K-5 Social Studies & District ASL
Mike Lewis, K-12 Performing Arts
Laura Mahler, 6-12 Literacy
Phyllis Ness, K-5 Literacy
Brian Pierce, 6-12 Social Studies
Noah Sharrow, 6-12 Math
Heather Smith, K-5 Science
Janet Thomas, K-12 PE & HealthNichole Trzasko, 6-12 Science
studies & pilots - update
Middle School Math (Big Ideas)
Elementary Word Study (Words Their Way)
AP US History (The American Pageant)
Spanish IV (variety of books and DVDs)
feedback & assessment
A focus for K-12 Literacy this year has been to grow our understanding of formative assessment and the importance of feedback to ensure learning. We will continue to learn about these important topics in the future and work to ensure K-12 vertical alignment in learning progressions as we move forward. A wonderful video by Dylan Wiliam on the importance of feedback and how it accelerates learning is linked here.
One result of all of the formative assessment learning has been evidenced by the creation of a new System Of Assessment and Reporting (S.O.A.R.) for our elementary school students. A revised “report card”, appropriately renamed a “feedback document” has been created that better aligns our assessment, instruction and reporting to learners and parents. Stay tuned for information on how this new system may also lead to changes at the secondary level.
A highlight of our K-12 literacy alignment work occurred this year when we brought together all 5th and 6th grade teachers for Route 5/6 Learning Labs. Fifth grade teachers got a real taste of middle school ELA classrooms, while 6th grade teachers were interested to find out how things work in 5th grade workshop settings. Thank you to our host teachers, Monica Phillips and Jen Eichhorn (SMS, 6th grade) and Kelly Mertz and Beth Rogers, (PKE and SPE, 5th grade). We hope to continue to provide professional learning to grow this vertical alignment across multiple grades and buildings next year.
An exciting initiative that will occur next year in our elementary schools will be the implementation of a district-wide Word Study endeavor. This initiative is part of our efforts to continue to grow understanding of all components of balanced literacy. Our K-5 teachers will use both teaching and student resources from Words Their Way as one aspect of a reader and writer’s understanding of how words work. Helping all teachers and learners K-12 grow their knowledge of word study and the impact across content areas will be a goal for next year. Please take a moment and read the following article “Under Common Core, Students Learn Words by Learning About the World.”
As you look forward to authentic writing publication options for next year, consider a new local publication for student writing and artwork. The magazine is called Kids Standard and is open for entries from students from preschool through high school. The magazine is very polished and professional-looking, even in full color. Keep it in mind as a publication option for your students. For more informations click on this link to explore the magazine’s website.
k-12 world language
This year our focus was on outreach from the high school down to the younger grades. Our elementary coding clubs are growing by leaps and bounds. We're very amazed at the learning and inspiration happening there.
If you didn't get a chance to attend the Maker Girl Mania hosted by the Women in Engineering Club, look for it next year. Hundreds of girls from SE Michigan got to spend two hours exploring, tinkering, designing, and creating all manner of cool activities.
We made updating and streamlining our K-12 Computers curriculum a priority this year. The primary focus will be to update the technology and curriculum focused on the 21 Things for Students curriculum. The 21 Things for Students is a project-based curriculum in learning and effectively using digital tools provided at no-cost in Michigan from a REMC grant. We've finished our plan for SMS with the development of two technology quarter-long courses: Computer Essentials for grades 6 and 7 and Computer Tech Tools for grade 7. We also revamped our Career Awareness and Exploration curriculum for grades 6 and 7.
As we look to 2015 and beyond, we hope to continue our outreach to the younger students and hope to enrich the K-5 experiences by supporting STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering & Math) activities. We are looking for a couple of Kindergarten teachers who would be willing to try some engineering and computer science based enrichment activities next year. Any takers?
k-12 pe & health
K-12 Performing Arts
K-12 Visual Arts
7th Annual Imagine That! Teen Art Show
@ Independence Library
Thursday, June 18th 2015 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Voting from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Join us for the 7th Annual Imagine That! Teen Art Show, sponsored by the Friends of the Library. The goal of this event is to give teens in grades 6 through 12 the opportunity to showcase their artwork, gain recognition, and empower them as valued members of our community. Each year, approximately 15 prizes are awarded to students for artwork submitted in various categories and every artist who participates in the show receives a certificate of participation and a special treat!
Curriculum: We are now aligned (or very close) to full alignment to common core standards, and are analyzing our instructional resources. At SMS next year, we will have fresh resources in the form of Big
Ideas textbooks and the accompanying online resources.
Instruction: We continue to focus on inquiry, deeper thinking, and problem solving as our primary goals, because this empowers students for long term success both in and out of the math classroom. We try to share instructional best practices and engage every student in quality mathematics everyday.Assessment: Our focus for 2015/2016 school year will be assessment, with emphasis on formative assessment to give students and teachers nearly daily feedback about progress. Part of this discussion will be a fresh look at our grading and summative assessment processes.
k-5 social studies
6-12 social studies
CHS teachers focused on expanding the use of cultures of thinking routines; developed overarching questions and focus questions to drive instruction and assessment; and edited the scope and sequence of courses due to the transition back to semesters. Junior high teachers created outstanding extracurricular activities and opportunities for students. They produced a War War II themed play, called "Rosie the Riveter", which was shown to the entire student body. They did that in conjunction with having World War II speakers come to the school to speak about the war. There was a veterans ceremony to honor a Clarkston graduate serving in the military. They made a mosaic stone for the graduate and dedicated it in the courtyard. They had a Memorial Day service in which they invited community members to attend. Students gave speeches about the importance of Memorial Day. They also had a fundraiser for a Habitat for Humanity house to raise money to buy a flagpole for the veteran living in the house. Lastly, the teachers administered a Geography Bee.Sashabaw teachers developed performance understandings for units; examined formative assessment options; added additional pre/post assessments to gauge student understanding; and varied the kinds and types of assessments.