Coach Corner - 2nd Semester Edition

Instructional Coaching Newsletter, Meyzeek Middle School

Celebrating the coaching work going on around the building...

A Sincere Thank You to teachers and teams who have invited me to become a thought partner for instruction. Here are some things we have accomplished together:

*Champions team invited me in to take data on a class needing extra support. The data assisted the team in developing a 2nd semester plan that will support more engaged learning. Can't wait to see the results - the plan is phenomenally strong!

*Ms. Richardson and I have co developed a way to allow her to plan once per month with the Algebra PLC.

*Ms. Palof has taken on a leadership opportunity where she and I will plan and implement Louisville Writing Project Argumentative Writing mini-units. These research based units are proven to elevate the level of On Demand Argument writing. Goal Clarity Coaches from around the district will visit her room to witness the greatness that will come from the process.

*Ms. Mattingly has invited me to plan with her through a coaching cycle after the break. Her goal is to increase meaningful student discourse and collaboration among her students. She inspires me with her growth mindset and high hopes for all students in her classes!

*The 6th grade Social Studies PLC is using a common anchor chart to elevate quality of ERQs on the next proficiency.

*The 7th grade Math PLC has committed to 2 strategies during the next unit: modeling annotation of math problems, and thinking aloud as annotation happens. If we model what good processing and thinking look like for students, they can replicate it in their own work.

I'm Inspired to Take a Risk!

Beginning in January, I will be teaching 6th graders during 6th period. Here's an overview...

Life Skills/Literacy Course

Teacher: Cox

Level: 6th Grade

Academic Overview: This course will be designed with the principles of “Genius Hour” and “20% Time” referenced in the work of AJ Juliani among others. Genius Hour is an approach built around student curiosity, self-directed learning, and passion-based work.

Terry Heick from TeachThought describes the approach this way:

“In traditional learning, teachers map out academic standards, and plan units and lessons based around those standards. In Genius Hour, students are in control, choosing what they study, how they study it, and what they do, produce, or create as a result. As a learning model, it promotes inquiry, research, creativity, and self-directed learning.”

Students will certainly demonstrate mastery of standards, especially literacy standards, but how the student shows mastery of the standard will be largely differentiated depending upon the passion project he/she is designing.

When Google implemented the idea of “20% Time” (or “Genius Hour”) in the workplace, the company reported employees to be overall more engaged, curious, happy, and productive in all aspects of the job. We hope the same for students in this course!

Lifeskills Overview: Colleges and employers report the need for young people entering higher education and the workplace to have developed skills of collaboration, creativity, intrinsic motivation, problem solving, and critical thinking. Students in this course will focus as much on the development of these skills in the process of their work as they will on developing a product. In our learning environment, students will be accountable to the following:

· Building a Purposeful Working Classroom Community – students working together, developing collaborative relationships that enhance thinking and problem-solving skills.

· Workshop Model of Instruction – students will operate in a workshop approach, where the majority of the class time is spent applying what is learned during the mini lesson to the project at hand.

· Classroom Discourse – creating and sustaining thinking-centered instruction where students do the rigorous work of refining their thinking through meaningful discussion with the teacher and with one another.

· Thinking Strategies – students become critical thinkers who understand, process, and synthesize concepts.

So, if you have long term project ideas that would enhance learning in your content, but just can't find the time to implement them, let me have them! Students may be thrilled to choose a content project suggested by a teacher!

Lunch and Learn Feedback

Many of you indicated lunch may not be the best time for us to learn together - just too short! Allow me to better meet your needs by taking time for this brief survey...
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