Tuesday Tidings


It's hard to convey in writing how full my heart was by the end of last week, but I'm going to try. As you may have heard (or experienced if you were a participant), Wednesday and Thursday we welcomed trainer Duke Fisher into the building to work with a group of 20 of us from the district on the first steps toward implementing Restorative Practices. It was a diverse group of people in the LGI for those two days, and I could not have been happier with the experience. We learned so much, and you will be hearing more about this approach in the coming weeks. From the main office, you may be invited to participate in a Restorative Circle with, for example a student returning from a suspension as a support person or possibly as a harmed party. Remember, there are three types of harm - harm to "stuff", emotional harm, and community or school harm. Don't worry, preparation is one of the key components to a successful restorative circle, and we will always make sure to pre-conference beforehand. This is the language of Restorative Practices, and you can expect to be hearing it more regularly. And to those of you who may be wondering if we're going to force you to join hands and sing campfire songs after you write a referral, no this is not replacing traditional discipline. It is enhancing our response by offering an opportunity to rebuild and strengthen relationships that are effected when poor choices are made.

Restorative Practices in the school environment goes beyond the realm of alternatives to traditional discipline, although this is how many come to it. This approach can be used to encourage a culture of regular sharing and community building within an individual classroom, and indeed this is possibly where the most important, proactive work is done. Restorative Practices are not just about addressing harm. The practice of using personal talking pieces in a classroom circle, something that comes to us from traditional Native American culture, is a woerful opportunity to build relationships by allowing students to share with you and their classmates, and it's a solid way to start or end a week of learning.

There is much more to come on this topic as we maintain the momentum that was created by Duke last week. Our next stop is a group book study on The Little Book of Restorative Discipline for Schools, which is a short and easy introduction to the world of K-12 Restorative Practices. Interested? Sign up here, and I'll share information with you as soon as we set a date for the first group discussion. This is great PD for those 100 hours toward your 5-year re-certification, and you're more than welcome to jump in even if you didn't participate in the training! I look forward to continuing this conversation with all of you.

Calendar (AKA Where Will Tim Be This Week?)

Tuesday, Jan 19th:

  • Admin Cabinet Meeting, HS LGI, 9:45 AM - 11:45 AM
  • Math SATM, 2:15 PM, Room 111
  • BOE Meeting, 6:30 PM, OWWMS LGI (Presentation: "The Middle School MakerSpace: Student-driven Creating in the Library")

Wednesday, Jan 20th:

  • Joint HS/MS ITL Meeting, 2:30 PM, HS LGI
  • Parent University, 6:30 PM, Harrison Ave. ES

Thursday, Jan 21st:

  • Regional EdTech Leadership Meeting, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Queensbury HS

Other Important Upcoming Dates:

1/25- Marking Period 2 SchoolTool Unlock for Teachers

1/27- 8th Grade Transition Day @ the HS, 8:30 - 11:30 AM

**If you're looking for me, don't forget to check the big calendar hanging on the wall outside of my office. This is the best I can do until someone forcibly implants a GPS device in my forearm. And yes, it has finally been updated for January.

Thank you to Laura Rozell for sharing this digital tribute with built in discussion questions created by her husband, Matt, for his social studies classes. If you are looking to have a discussion in your class about the impact that Dr. King had on the Civil Rights movement (and how this is still applicable in 2016), this is a great place to start.
MLK JR educational tribute

Weekly Tech Tip

This week I wanted to focus a few moments on Google Extensions. What is an extension? It's where the true power of Chrome is hidden, of course! Extensions are mini-programs, add-on tools, that focus on one specific task and make your browsing experience in Chrome that much better. There are many many extensions out there, so I thought I would share this article from The Google Gooru on the "10 Chrome Extensions That Make Your Life Easier." It was one of their top posts of 2015. Check it out here, and consider signing up for the Gooru's daily newsletter filled with tips and tricks specific to the wonderful world of Google Apps, delivered to your inbox every day. It's worth it!

#OneNewThing (Yep, It's still here!)

What better way to ring in the New Year and shake off the dust of 2015 than by trying #ONENEWTHING in your classroom? I'd love to hear your stories as you try out these suggestions or other tools you may have found. We all learn from each other!

Thanks for sharing your #OneNewThing! Click here to share something on the #OneNewThing Google Form

New Things We Have Tried This Year: Pear Deck, Google Classroom, Kahoot, Poll Everywhere, TodaysMeet, Piktochart, Smore, Storybird

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