Adventure Specialists' Advice

April 20, 2017

Happy Long Weekend

I hope that you are able to get some rest this weekend after the craziness of this short week. Once May arrives, there are a lot more evening events and a big push towards the end of the year. I will be out with the junior class for the rest of today and tomorrow, doing the final preparation for JSB. Hang in there and thanks for your diligence!


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Important Dates

  • April 27 - MS Service Learning Day

    • School Dismissed at 12:30

    • Curriculum Work Time 12:30-2:30 (teachers may leave at 2:30)

    • JSB 4:30 (optional)

  • April 28-May 1 - Labor Day (no school)
  • May 2-5 - Teacher Appreciation Week
  • May 2-3 - School Board Meeting
  • May 3-12 - ES and MS MAP testing
  • May 4, 2:00 - Volunteer Appreciation
  • May 9 - Divisional Meeting (awards decisions)

Simple Wisdom

I find that when it comes to educational trends, I’m most drawn to things that are simple, profound, and have a proven track-record behind them. In my life, this kind of educational wisdom has come from many sources. In the past few years, Rick DuFour’s insights related to professional learning communities has been a great help to me. Over the next few weeks I want to delve into some of the key insights from DuFour’s work that have been most helpful to me and connect them to active learning strategies.

To begin, I want to give a simple overview of DuFour’s four essential questions. When you boil everything down, he says that these are the most important questions that teachers must be actively considering each week.

1. What do I expect my students to learn? (These are the objectives or “Students will be able to… statements we’ve been working on this year)

2. How will I know that they are learning? (These are the formative and summative assessments we use to gauge student learning )

3. What will I do when they aren’t learning? (This relates to many of the discussions we’ve had around the grading fixes)

4. What will I do if they already know it? (This involves providing differentiated learning opportunities)

DuFour and his team have found that when teachers are able to grapple with these questions in dialogue other educators, students flourish. As we finish the year, I think it’s so valuable to consider ways to continue to enhance our teaching practices next year. These questions a great way to do this, so we’ll be considering each one in the coming weeks.

Susan Allen

HS Teacher, Instructional Coach

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