JMQ Flash

January 4 - 8, 2016

HAPPY 2016!

Instead of sharing lengthy resolutions which we all too soon forget, I invite you to share one word that embodies a thematic personal and professional focus you will commit to in 2016. I invite every person who reads this Smore to share. Consider doing it with your students, too! See #OneWord for more information.

I have created a Padlet (#OneWord - link below) for you to post your name and one word! You may include a graphic with your one word, or list your word with no graphic embellishment as I have done.

If you know my focus, you can help me target my path in 2016 with your ideas. We can all do that for one another. It's not so much about accountability as it is about building capacity in one another. I look forward to knowing your @OneWord!

One Word That Will Change Your Life

The Weekly Scoop

Pam will send out a nuts and bolts bulletin on Monday based on the our Google Calendar.

Schedule for January 4th, 2015

Casual dress (jeans) is fine. We will work 8 - 4:00. Paras will need to take comp time if they choose to extend lunch. (Para work day is 7 hours and 30 minutes.)

Your grade level/planning partners may need to work on the following: unpacking TEKS, writing lesson plans, and creating assessments. All need to evaluate together the alignment and rigor of plans. There are guidelines for that under professional development below.

Here is our day:

  • 8:00 - Pick-Me-Up Breakfast in Cafeteria
  • 8:20 - The Fundamental 5 Review/Short Faculty Meeting (Teachers only)
  • 9:30 - 11:30 Work in your rooms; plan with your teams
  • 11:30 - 1:00 Lunch
  • 1:00 - Work in your rooms; plan with your teams
  • 2:00 Required Confidentiality Training for Teachers and Paras - Joyce Thompson, presenter (cafeteria)
  • 3:00 - 4:00 Work in your rooms; plan with your teams

Wednesday, 1/6/15, 3:20 PM in Cafeteria - Required Staff Meeting for Teachers and Paras

There will be an SRO officer coming to give us emergency drill training. Paras, since this is a safety issue, I invite you to attend. (You will earn comp time.)

Professional Development

"Once you stop learning, you start dying." ~ Albert Einstein

This section of my flyer is the most important to me because of its potential to improve what we do for kids within our walls. We live in an age where we must continue to grow our vision, our skills, and our understanding of how students learn best. Without timely information for what we need personally, we are less effective. Consider putting yourself in the driver's seat. Join Twitter to connect with other educators and experts. Unlike links that you get on Pinterest, most Twitter links and resources are free. See what innovative schools and teachers do to improve learning, and start to envision how you might implement new best practices in your own classroom. Twitter does not cost you anything monetarily, and you can personalize who you "follow" to meet your needs as an educator, so your time is efficiently used, too. (Click "Twitter" for links to separate articles on using Twitter for professional development.)

I love going to a good workshop, and we are fortunate to be located so close to Region 7. Did you know that Region 7 has a Facebook page? It is available by clicking here. You might check it periodically for specially advertised workshops that fill up fast.

All teachers have a copy of The Fundamental 5. It is a short read, so please make sure you are ready to discuss the book with one another on Monday! The Prezi I sent you in my last Smore is a good review. We will do a jigsaw activity to see what you valued in the book.

twitter in 60 seconds

A More Lengthy Twitter How-To Video

I am going to go back and make sure my settings are correct. Like most things, I just jumped in to Twitter and immediately succumbed to all it's wonderful content from the best educators and minds around. The "how-to" below would be a great team activity for your grade level. Consider setting up your accounts together in the lab!
Beginner's Guide to Using Twitter for Professional Development - 2015 Tutorial

What does R I G O R require?

In your planning time on Monday, I would like you to discuss your lesson plans with one another. Be honest as you go around the room and evaluate alignment, application of The Fundamental 5, and rigor (as per the questions in the short video below.) STAAR is rigorous. It is going to take a lot of work from our collective collaborative body to increase rigor at Johnston-McQueen. What kind of classroom culture must be created to ensure rigor?
What Rigor Looks Like in the Classroom: What Rigorous Instruction Requires Students to Do

Suggestion for Reading Smores

Some of what I post under professional development you can use immediately. Other items will plant a seed for further discussion, such as the posting for Genius Hour. (I would like to start a discussion about piloting this after STAAR.) As you see items that you want to revisit when you have more time, you might put those Smores in a special "to do" folder under professional development. That way when you have time, you will have the information you want to review at your finger tips. How might grade level teams identify needs and use Smore (or Twitter) links as a springboard for PLCs?
What is Genius Hour? - Introduction to Genius Hour in the Classroom

Intermediate ELA Teachers - Take Notice!

How do literature circles provide rigorous instruction? Whether you go paperless or do it the old-fashioned way, literature circles provide a degree of autonomy for students and an element of choice. They certainly provide more student-centered instruction. I thought there were some great ideas in this article. What do you think? What might you use?

Ideas for K-2 and application for 3-5!

Grade levels do not equate to learning levels. If you have beginning readers and mathematicians, I want to encourage you to look at the app and ideas below. If you are an intermediate teacher with kids who struggle, these activities could be tweaked and used with your below-grade-level students, too. Mr. Smith is corny, but engaging. He knows what kids like, and he knows his students need to practice a lot every day in his classroom in small groups. Give your small groups a shot in the arm with some of these low cost ideas. You will find Teacher Tipster on FB, Youtube, and at The "Appy Hour" link is from Math Coach's Corner, and I have posted from her site before.

Mr. Smith has crazy intros to his videos, but the content is sound. If you need some great ideas that will improve literacy for your K-2 crew, check out his website and all his Youtube videos! I am including just a few of my favorites.
Teacher Tipster (Maze Words)
Teacher Tipster (Photo-Phonics)
Teacher Tipster (Cup Stackin' Phonics)

This next idea correlates nicely with our superhero theme.

Teacher Tipster (Power Phrase Hero Challenge)
Teacher Tipster (Weekly Reader Reports)