Branch 16

Questioning The Ttwwadi Monster

As many of you know, I am very progressive in my approach to education. I am a risk taker and want people around me to be comfortable in taking risks. I have truly come to embrace the term, "fail forward." As we look forward to the remaining school year we must think about what our data is telling us. The information in different data points shows that we have plateaued in specific areas.Even though the new ISTEP has its issues, it still points to areas that we need to improve upon. The top twenty-five percent growth, the bottom twenty-five percent growth, text based response in reading, and extended response in math. We knew these were going to be the style of questions, and we are incorporating them in our lessons. Our learning calendars, focus periods, collaboration time, and RTI process are pivotal in addressing these areas. We are on the right track! As the pendulum of education swings back and forth we need to maintain our focus of always usings bits and pieces of different processes to meet our students' needs. As our students move through our grade levels they become stagnant readers. How can we encourage students to read more? How can we expose our students to reading everywhere they look? If we placed short stories, informational text, or introductions to old and new book series above the water fountains, in the stalls of the restrooms, in the lines of our cafeteria, and in the hallways, could we entice the students to read more? What are we doing in other subject areas to support reading?

In math if we can show the correlation between the math that they are learning and the real world such as cooking, baking, science, construction, engineering, etc. will our children start realizing the importance of being able to explain the processes in math? Our students read and use math more than they realize. How can we use their world to garner the results we want for them WITHOUT teaching to the test? How can our extended arts and special area teachers enhance what is going on in the general and special education classrooms? If we are using the same lesson or activity that we have used for more than three years- what can we do to improve it and make it even more engaging? If we are allowing the Ttwwadi Monster to take control, then we will continue to see plateaued or declining results.

The book Teach Like a Pirate is a mindset that some might not be comfortable with. The purpose of this book in our PD is to fight the Ttwwadi Monster! Even the way Scott and I approach iObservation are focused on moving forward in the fight. When we are looking at domains 2 and 3 of our evaluation process how are we improving ourselves and our instruction. TLAP goes hand in glove with Marzano's Framework to use engaging best practices to garner student development.


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