Heritage Middle Staff Newsletter

March 2017

March 24th Early Release Feedback

Thank you everyone for valuing the time provided to work with PLTs or teams on Encore, lesson planning, and/or common assessments. Many commented appreciating the time provided and need more to continue working on what was started. Here is a link to discussions had around the building during the extended PLT.

Here is a link to all staff responses on the feedback form.

Food for thought: How do your interactions impact students?

Every Opportunity

The Atlanta Speech School released “Every Opportunity,” a video that shows a day at school from the perspective of one young student. While he begins his day with enthusiasm, his interactions with educators and other adults leave him feeling discouraged. According to a press release from the school, the video “demonstrates how small changes in adult behavior, both inside and outside of the classroom, can enhance a child’s approach and her ability to learn.”

Reference: Bologna, C. (2016). The Huffington Post. "Eye-Opening video that makes adults reconsider the way they talk to children."

iPad Expectations and Resources

Justin Walker created an Ipad app inventory for staff to know which apps are on all student iPads before checking them out. Justin is also working on a Google Form for teachers to request apps to be downloaded on the iPads. Unfortunately, not all apps are supported on the iPads.

Here are a few reminders about iPad check out:

Please return iPads by 3:30pm. The devices should not stay in your classroom overnight. Teachers are to pick up and return the iPads to media center, not students. If you have checked out multiple sets, please take a minute to sort the iPads by number and return them to the appropriate box. Thanks for the help!

Instructions and expectations are found on http://lovettinstruction.weebly.com

Meet a New Patriot

Amanda Thompson

My first day at HMS was February 28th. I am working in AST as a one-on-one with an autistic student. I graduated from Meredith College with a BA in Social Work and Psychology. My interest is in the mental health field, and I loved my first job in a mental health center. I did some work with autistic children in college and after graduation. I am enjoying my new job at HMS, and am learning new things every day! My family consists of my husband and 4 boys! My oldest 2 currently attend HMS as a 6th and 8th grader. I have enjoyed meeting some of the staff here at HMS, and look forward to meeting the rest of you!

Take a Look at the New Google Sites

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With WCPSS moving away from Blackboard at the end of last school year, Mr. McCabe gave us the option choosing which platform to use for an online presence. Many created a Google Site while others created a Weebly because of the ease and contemporary look of the finished product. If you have not heard, Google updated and streamlined its website creator application last year, and WCPSS accounts began having access to the new Google Sites last month.

Why make the switch? Like many of you, Mr. Barringer's 8th Grade Track 2 team use a team calendar for daily assignments. The calendar was the main focus of the website with a few resources for students and parents. He created a new team site using the newer version of Google Sites, and comments "it's aesthetically pleasing and should serve as a better resource for our students as compared to old Google Sites."

Techrepublic.com featured an article detailing 5 key features of the new Google Sites:

  1. Webpages display nicely on any device
  2. You can insert content from Google Drive and other apps
  3. You can embed some external content
  4. You can customize and move content sections
  5. You can publish your site to the organization (WCPSS) or world **Mr. Barringer did comment you would have less headaches if you publish to the world so students do not have login to see the site

Mr. Barringer has offered to meet with anyone who would like to learn how to create a site using the new version. If there is a large response, we will hold something after school in the near future.

Science and Math Teachers: Equations in Google Docs and Forms is Changing

Eric Curts, author of Control Alt Achieve blog, gave the inside scoop on Google's equation tool, g(Math), upgrade. The new version, Equatio, will be a Chrome extension, and will eventually work with other apps beyond Docs and Forms. The new version will launch April 4th. Read Curts says about Equatio here.

WCPSS Teacher Survey

The annual WCPSS Teacher Survey is an anonymous survey of certified school-based teachers. The data from this survey support a number of important district initiatives (e.g., Strategic Plan metrics, School Progress Reports, program evaluations, federal requirements, etc.). Your responses are critical to help inform district decision makers for future planning. You should anticipate that the survey will take 15-20 minutes to complete. All certified staff members who are directly responsible for instructing students should complete the survey by April 28. The survey can be accessed using the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JJMKDQ3

New Professional Books in the Media Center

Professional Development Opportunities

Changes in Instructional Practices Around the Shifts in Math (SRN 175790601)

On March 27th, core departments worked through the math shifts module in Canvas. If you have not done so already, complete the module by the end of April and register in eSchools to receive literacy credit (0.1).

Supporting ELA Teachers Through Data and Planning (SRN 178645902)

Thursday April 6th, 9:00-4:00 @ CRII room 1400B

This session will provide teachers an opportunity to transform data into action. Participants will learn about resources to support planning aligned to the literacy shifts and depth of the standards. Only 4 ELA teachers from each school can attend. Subs are covered.

Differentiation Across the Disciplines (SRN 1779968405), Tuesday April 25 and Tuesday May 2nd 3:30-5:00 pm @ CRII room 1410

Participants will learn how crucial it is to differentiate for all students, understand the 3 ways in which we can differentiate for our students, receive and reflect upon differentiated lessons provided for them. (0.3 Literacy CEUs)

NCSU Triangle HIgh Five Math Summit 2017, Thursday August 3rd for secondary math teachers at Talley Student Union, 7:30-4:30 pm

Dr. Robert Berry, president-elect for NCTM, will speak to equity issues in math education. The presentations will focus on culturally responsive instruction. Registration begins in May.

EdTech Team Summits featuring Google Apps for Education, July 19-20, 2017

For registration and more information: nc.gafesummit.com

Special 10% discount (use code NC2017)

Summer Professional Development Opportunities: UNC Program for the Humanities

Contact Christie Hinson Norris, Director of K-12 Outreach, at cnorris@unc.edu for additional information if needed.

1. Carolina Oral History Teaching Fellows in Civil Rights | June 19-21, 2017 and July 26, 2017 |UNC-Chapel Hill
Oral history interviews provide tangible access to the past, with narrators offering first-hand descriptions in their own voices of historical events, ideas, and mindsets. Bringing K-12 students into close contact with these unique auditory sources can give them a very real sense of what it was like in years past, leading to personal connections, the development of critical thinking skills, and an interest in history that is sometimes missing in middle and high school youth. With this in mind, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Southern Oral History Program (SOHP), in collaboration with Carolina K-12, is excited to announce and solicit applications for its Carolina Oral History Teaching Fellows. This unique program will provide fifteen middle and high school teachers from around the state with an intensive exploration of how to utilize oral histories in the K-12 classroom in effective, meaningful, and creative ways. This year’s focus will be on oral histories from the Civil Rights Movement. Teachers will receive a 4.0 CEUs & $550 post-participation.

2. The 2017 William Friday Teachers Seminar - Carolina Voices: Exploring the Diverse History & Heritage of the Tar Heel State | Sunday, July 16 – Tuesday, July 18, 2017 | UNC-Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library
North Carolina history represents a tapestry of diverse and distinctive people & events, replete with rich heritage and resilient individuals who fought for a better way of life, showing courage and conviction, often in the face of extreme adversity. UNC-Chapel Hill’s Carolina K-12, in partnership with Wilson Library’s North Carolina Collection, invite K-12 teachers to join us this summer on the beautiful campus of UNC-Chapel Hill to explore these themes and related state and national history. From learning about the ways enslaved people resisted oppression and sought freedom throughout the state, to exploring the dramatic history of textile mills and labor strikes in rural North Carolina towns, to learning how the state’s unique dialects tell the story of our varied histories, teachers will enjoy a snapshot of some of North Carolina’s most captivating events and people. Designed to equally educate and appreciate our state’s incredible teachers, participants will be treated to dinner at the renowned Carolina Inn, and those meeting mileage requirements will also receive free accommodations at the Carolina Inn.

April Calendar of Events for HMS

April 1: Snow Make-up Day from 1/10/17

April 3: Baseball home vs. West Millbrook, HHS lower field @ 4 pm
April 4: Author Alan Gratz assembly
April 4: PTA Board Meeting @ 7 pm
April 5: Bully Lesson (all students remain in homeroom), Soccer home vs. Zebulon @ 4 pm
April 5 - 8: 8th-Grade band to Orlando
April 6: Baseball home vs. Rolesville, HHS lower field @ 4 pm, Softball home vs. Wake Forest @ 4 pm
April 6: Rising 6th-grade Open House, Tracks 1 and 3 @ 6 pm
April 10: PTA Spirit Night at Subway – Gateway Commons
April 13: Spring Portraits Tracks 1 and 2
April 14: Good Friday, No School
April 17: Leadership Team Meeting @ 3:30 pm
April 18: Track home vs. Zebulon @ 4 pm, Spring Chorus Concert, 6-7:30 pm
April 19: Happy Track out, Track 3!, Soccer at Wake Forest
April 20: Welcome back, Track 4!, PBIS meeting @ 7:10 am
April 20: Baseball home vs. Wake Forest, HHS lower field @ 4 pm, Softball home vs. Wendell @ 4 pm
April 20: Rising 6th-grade Open House, Tracks 2 and 4
April 21-22: Science Olympiad State Competition, NCSU
April 24: Department Meeting @ 3:30 pm
April 25: Track home vs. Wake Forest @ 4 pm
April 26: Soccer at Wendell
April 27: Character Education Breakfast, Softball at Rolesville

WCPSS Employee Discounts

Tax Prep Discount From H&R Block
H&R Block is offering WCPSS employees a reduced rate for services as part of their Tax Preparation Discount Program. To get specific information on this program please follow this link.