Missile Message

Weekly Updates August 24 - 28, 2015

Martin's Musings

"Why are you doing that? What's the purpose?"


Purposeful Planning is one my expectations at East. We talk about this idea with RCD in many different conversations and many different ways. This weekend I took a minute to pull out Teaching as Leadership by Steven Farr. This book is referred to frequently in conversations in Shelby County. Many of you have read it. (If you haven't and are interested, let me know. :-) ) In the book there are 6 key ideas that lead to leadership in the classroom, student achievement and ultimately closing the achievement gap. One of those 6 ideas is purposeful planning. I began to reread that chapter. Early in the chapter it shares a short vignette in which a teacher shares that a colleague asked her the two questions above and the impact those questions had on her planning process. Those two questions are very powerful in every aspect of your classroom and day, even throughout the entire program offered at East. We should continually ask those questions and make sure there is a clear intentional purpose for each lesson, activity, procedure, etc. You must know the purpose and it must have clear desired outcomes to advance student learning. Food for thought:


  • Can you name the purpose and the outcomes you desire in the routines and rituals in your classroom? Is it something you do just because you think you should, or because it was suggested? It is getting you what you want?
  • Can you name the purpose in the strategies and activities you are planning in your lesson? Is it one you have done for years and is your favorite? Does it align to the depth of the standard?
  • Do you know how you are going to assess the target and what success looks like for strategy and target? Have you taken time to define the criteria? Even written out a successful answer for yourself?


Remember that purposefully planned lessons start with the backwards design process in RCD: start with a clear vision of success from identified standards that have been clearly deconstructed into learning targets that will lead to success and mastery.


Keep your vision of success for students in your mind. Don't be surprised if I you do not hear me ask you about the purpose behind what you are doing or teaching. Set the vision for the learning.

"Nothing is an obstacle unless you say it is." - Wally Amos

Mrs. Martin's Schedule

Monday - East; SBDM meeting @4:15

Tuesday - East; faculty afterschool

Wednesday - East

Thursday - East

Friday - Lead and Learn day @ Central Office