the RAH

Nov 14-22, 2016 (Special Thanksgiving Edition)

from J-

I'm not really sure this a special Thanksgiving Edition- it just covers a longer time span. As Thanksgiving is coming soon, there will not be RAH for the stand alone two days.

It was great to be with you this past Wednesday at our Ele Leadership Team. I left committed to being a better learner and leader because of our time and discussions together, and committed to the ideals of the picture below.

#HourOfCode is coming Dec 5-11. This national movement is aligned to our work in supporting student become digital learners through programming, and may be one the languages needed for their future success. Go to to start, and check out more resources at

I'm looking forward to visits at Williams, Truman, Fremont, Robberson, Weller & Boyd this next week. Besides our discussion and anything you want to share, I'm focusing on first grade learning this round.

Have a fantastic 5+2, and then a well-deserved and blessed Thanksgiving!

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Ten Truths

They may not be fun to hear or think about, but they can help you improve your life immediately.

from the Hubb-

I attended the DESE Federal Programs Conference recently. I was able to attend a couple of sessions presented by Jaime Casap, Chief Education Evangelist, at Google. He talked about innovation in education. He also presented on different ways to use Google apps in the classroom. Here is the link to both of his slides. Page 7 of the Google apps slide talks about using Google Docs to help students with writing using revision history for accountability. Page 8 is a good reminder about giving students different audiences and purposes for writing. Lots of great ideas!

Teacher Open Forum & Parent Advisory Council

Monday, Nov. 14th, 4:15pm

1359 East Saint Louis Street

Springfield, MO

Teacher Open Forum at 4:15pm

Parent Advisory Council at 6:30pm

Keep your students cyber-safe at school & beyond

"Safety and security don’t just happen; they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.” —Nelson Mandela

from Bret-

I’m sharing these bullet points a colleague sent to her teachers regarding guided reading/fluent reading fidelity checks. Great reminders:

  • Great lessons include the teacher using a whiteboard/chart paper to write down the purpose/objective of the lesson. Teacher not only verbally shares what the purpose is but they point to it on the board/chart.
  • Great lessons have a lesson plan in which every section is filled out—specific and purposeful.
  • Great lessons include a teacher who gives specific teaching and praise points. A specific teaching point sounds like, “Look back at page 4. You said…….now try and read it like you’re actually talking to someone.” Also, a great lesson includes a teacher who, at the end of the lesson, asks the student what their teaching point was. (See if it sinks in.)
  • Great lessons include closure. Sometimes lessons get rushed and this component is forgotten or skipped. To earn a score of 4, the teacher guides the group to discuss the meaning of the text while keeping the focus on the purpose that was established for reading. Also, great lessons include teachers who ask students at the end which reading strategy worked best for them.
  • Great lessons include teachers who use a folder that contains the BOY reading levels of every student (on a post-it.) One quick glance can tell you a lot.

Last week, I shared information concerning teacher feedback. Specifically, principal behaviors to think about before you begin a conversation with a teacher about an observed lesson. Here are the remainder of the talking points, all to take place during the conversation about the observation:

  • Principal focuses on what’s going well
    • Begin by asking teacher to reflect on what went well
    • Paraphrase what the teacher believes went well
    • Identify concrete, specific things that went well
  • Identify areas of improvement/challenges facing the teacher
    • Teacher identifies areas of improvement/challenges
    • Principal paraphrases areas of improvement/challenges
  • Generate ideas for addressing challenges
    • Principal offers ideas/resources to address areas of improvement/challenges (typically additional time or money)
  • Principal provides other areas for growth/improvement grounded data (might include areas outside the scope of the observation)
  • Prioritize next steps
  • End the conversation positively
    • Ask “Was this conversation helpful?”
    • Select an area of focus for the next observation
    • Thank the teacher for his/her time

Feedback about the Don’t Meth with Me 5th grade program goes here.

BOE Regular Mtg

Tuesday, Nov. 15th, 5:30pm

1359 East Saint Louis Street

Springfield, MO

Where the magic doesn't happen...
Kid President’s 25 Reasons To Be Thankful!