Staff Memo

Nov. 20, 2015

Marvin Marshall's blog #172

When it comes to classroom management and how we help children learn to be kind, respectful people, Marvin Marshall is one of my favorites. His book is titled, Discipline without Stress, Punishment, or Rewards. I get his newsletter regulary and found a couple of gems I want to pass on to you this week. I find Marvin rather cynical about the system of education and standardized testing. His voice is one that supports learning.

"Outside of schooling, the importance of teamwork is absolute because people work collaboratively.

It is ironic that in schools the emphasis is on performance of the individual and includes activities such as ranking. In a sense, in order to win, someone has to lose; such is the nature of competition. We are taught to compete from our earliest days, and we believe that we must compete to succeed. We are told that competition is part of human nature, that it brings out the best in us, that it's for fun (for the winners ) and builds character (for the losers). There is no doubt that competition improves performance.

I play a type of Great Highland Bagpipe music referred to as Pibroch (English spelling) that only about eight percent of pipers play. There is no doubt that I would not have put hours (my wife says,“years”) into this type of music if it not been for competition. (It was nice to win a few medals.) But the topic here is about promoting LEARNING.

In life outside of schooling, working with others is what really matters, especially when it comes to productivity. I am still optimistic that educators will one day realize that although COMPETITION IMPROVES PERFORMANCE, when it comes to LEARNING, COLLABORATION is significantly more effective."

A Funny from Marvin Marshall

When the adults argue with a young person, it is like arguing wth a pig. Both get dirty, but the pig likes it.

Interested in Learning More about Marvin Marshall's Approach to Classroom Management?

Please let me know. I'd be more than happy to sit down and talk.
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Growth Mindset Thoughts

“What on earth would make someone a nonlearner? Everyone is born with an intense drive to learn. Infants stretch their skills daily. Not just ordinary skills, but the most difficult tasks of a lifetime, like learning to walk and talk. They never decide it’s too hard or not worth the effort. Babies don’t worry about making mistakes or humiliating themselves. They walk, they fall, they get up. They just barge forward. What could put an end to this exuberant learning? The fixed mindset. As soon as children become able to evaluate themselves, some of them become afraid of challenges. They become afraid of not being smart. I have studied thousands of people from preschoolers on, and it’s breathtaking how many reject an opportunity to learn.”
Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success

Principles of Learning

Principle number one is all about growth mindset. It's our job to help instill this mindset in our students by inviting them to make mistakes, put forth tons of effort, practice until something becomes permanent (not perfect), and not give up.
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Upcoming PD Reminders and Revisions

  • Conferring Interest Group Dec. 3 @ 8:00 or 4:00 - Interested in learning more about how you can use conferring to teach and assess for learning in reading? Want to learn more about how to balance small guided reading grouips with one-on-one conferences? Join Sean for this PD. He's offering both before and after school sessions.

  • Close Reading Interest Group Dec. 8 @ 8:00 - Interested in learning more about close reading? Join me from 8:00-8:30 on Tuesday, Dec. 8 in the Collab Room and we'll begin talking more about how and why. I attended an all day workshop with Kate Roberts and Chris Lehman, the gurus of close reading, last spring. Recently Fatima Rich, instructional coach at GES and BSE, and I presented close reading PD to the BSE staff. As we continue to work at helping our students think more deeply, we will need to know how to use close reading.
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Looking Ahead

Monday, Nov. 23 Day 1

  • Pledge/MOS - Coldren
  • 3:10 Collab Team 1
  • 4:05 Discussion - Lisa's office

Tuesday, Nov. 24 Day 2

  • 8:00 Undong/Dismantling Racism Debrief - Collab Room
  • PTO Surprise


  • Enjoy the break. I'm thankful for each of you.

Monday, Nov. 30 Day 3

  • Pledge/MOS - Vadas
  • 3:10 Collab Team 2

Tuesday, Dec. 1 Day 4

  • Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation (HSSF) Giving Tuesday
  • 8:00 Office meeting
  • 8:00 Safety Comm meeting
  • 3:10 Collab Team 3 - focus on vocabulary

Wednesday, Dec. 2 Day 1

  • 8:30-10:30 Elem. principals' meeting - Lisa gone
  • 12:40 Share the Load - TM - Cook
  • 3:10 Collab Team 4

Thursday, Dec. 3 Day 2

  • 8:00 Interest Group PD with Sean - Conferring
  • 3:10 Collab Team K
  • 4:00 Interest Group PD with Sean - Conferring

Friday, Dec. 4 Day 3

  • Favorite Book Character Day - Dress like your favorite book character
  • 7:35 Staff Meeting/PD
  • 3:10 Collab Team 1

Monday, Dec. 7 Day 4

  • Pledge/MOS - McKinney
  • 8:15 Share the Load - RB - Stage
  • 3:10 Collab Team 2

Tuesday, Dec 8 Day 1

  • 8:00 Interest Group PD with Lisa - Close Reading
  • 3:10 Collab Team 3

Wednesday, Dec. 9 Day 2

  • 8:00 Share the Load - AK - Hicks/Larkins
  • 8:15 Share the Load - DT - Hicks/Larkins
  • 3:10 Collab Team 4

Thursday, Dec. 10 Day 3

  • Fire Drill
  • 3:10 Collab Team K

Friday, Dec. 11 Day 4

  • 7:35 Diversity21
  • 9:35 Share the Load - AK - Omeish
  • 1:00 PTO Exec Bd. meeting - Lisa
  • 1:45 Share the Load - KG - Rent
  • 3:10 Collab Team 1 - Math focus