April 14, 2020

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Mark your Calendars for Vanguard Only Events with Leslie Fisher!

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Join us for the remaining Remote Learning Series Events! All sessions from 1:00-2:00 pm.

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Wednesday, April 15 - Teacher Leader Examples (Engaging Students) Join here!

Friday, April 17 - PLC Data Use in a Remote Learning Environment

Wednesday, April 22 - Exemplary PLC Examples (Data Use) Join here!

Friday, April 24 - Re-teaching and Enrichment in a Remote Learning Environment

Wednesday, April 29 - Teacher Leader Examples (Re-teaching and Enrichment)

These events are open to all FCS Employees, so please consider sharing with others! Previous topic videos and slide decks can be found here at

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Vanguard Birthdays

Vanguard Wishes A Very Happy Birthday to

Stacie Thompson 4/16

Christine Anderson 4/18

Kristin Yann 4/23

Giovanna Allison 4/27

We want to celebrate our Vanguardian family. If you would like for us to recognize your birthday, please click this link.

Celebrate Your Vanguard Team!

We have so many amazing people in the Vanguard Team and it's so gratifying to hear about all of this amazing work you're all doing. We are truly making a difference and doing our part to make a difference during our new remote teaching reality. Keep up the game-changing work everyone! #FCSRising!

Please help to celebrate the amazing work being done by you and your colleagues at this form:!

A selection of them will be shared in this space every week!

From Jen Lawson, Hillside Elementary School:

"Our VanHusky Team at Hillside ES have been, as everyone has probably, supporting our staff. Our team has been providing a Wired Wednesday newsletter that has tips/tricks and ideas for helping the day run more smoothly. Our team has created a channel on our staff TEAMS page to support our staff and make the help more centralized. In general, our team has been actively available during this interesting and challenging time trying to come up with simple yet logical solutions for questions/problems and finding solutions that are not overwhelming for staff. Our team consists of Lynn Shebat, Liz Goldsmith, Lexi Fraser, my self- Jen Lawson and our amazing team lead Kathleen Simon- Hillside METI. Its been amazing to see the teachers in our building learning new things b/c they "have to" and I think this will really create more options next year for those willing to try new things and reach out for help. We are the VanHuskies!!!"

From Dana Munson, Riverwood High School:

"Riverwood Vanguard created a school-wide template to help make our assignments easier for our kids to follow; We presented it at the last face-to-face meeting; and We led a school-wide PL session on getting online and being visible to our students through recorded PPTs, Zoom & Teams Meetings."

From Colleen Greathouse, Dolvin Elementary School:

"Our Vanguard/Vanchise team started off with DAILY newsletters during week 1 of digital learning. We created tutorials and shared tools that would help teachers when creating a digital learning environment. We also continue to offer Office Hours twice a week for teaches to ask questions, share successes, and learn new teaching tools. These have been VERY successful! When sending out a survey of what else the Vanchise team could do to help, teaches offered us a lot of praise and appreciated everything we were doing. We are continuing to work on parent tutorials to help our parents learn these digital tools as well during this crazy time. Overall, the Dolvine Vanchise Team has gone above and beyond the call of duty! We are also in a competitive BINGO game to earn some flair for everything we are doing to make this the best experience each day. Even though we have gone down to one news letter a week, we are always there when our teachers need us. #DolvINcredible #DolvinGoesDigital # FCSrising"

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School Lead Info

Please reach out if you need any support! We are here for you. Additionally, please continue to help your team with remote learning and remind them of upcoming PD opportunities. Check teams for school lead specific information.

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Let's See Your Remote Teaching Expertise!

Vanguard Team,

We are still in need of write-ups about your excellent remote teaching practices!

Before Spring Break, I challenged each of you to contribute one blurb, and, while I have heard from many of you, there are still many more of you who have something to contribute!

These will be going out daily from Cliff Jones to our district administrators.

Please complete the form at:

The instructions can be found on that form, as well as an exemplar.

The big warning I have to give is that the technology you discuss has to be approved and officially supported by Fulton County. To see the list of supported technology, please go to the Employee Portal and click on the FCS Marketplace, and then App Marketplace. You can then find or search for your technology and click through to the description. Look for the "Status" line. It needs to say "Approved and District Supported." There are many programs and platforms that are in the Marketplace that are in pending status, so just because you see the technology in the Marketplace, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is approved.

If you submit a write-up of unsupported apps, we unfortunately won't be able to use it.

These blurbs should be relatively short, and are more oriented to the big picture rather than highly detailed - if you're spending more than about 20 minutes on this, then you've spent too long!

Some light editing may be done on your write-up, including removal of references to non-supported technologies.

Thanks for your support on this initiative!

Remote Teaching Write-Ups

Since our awesome write-ups are primarily being distributed to building and district administrators, I wanted to make sure that I shared them within the team as well. Since we're just getting back into the swing of the VW, I don't want to overwhelm you with three weeks of write-ups, so you'll get a selection today, but I hope to share the prior week's write-ups in future VanWeekly editions.

From Sarah Harkins, Ocee Elementary School:

Microsoft Teams for Homeroom Morning Meetings

I use Microsoft Teams for morning meetings twice a week. The parents know the times, and the students are on the platform when I click "meet now" at the designated time. I start by giving everybody a few minutes to chat before I mute microphones and offer a morning meeting question. Each student takes turns sharing, and we use the hand signals we practiced in class throughout the year in order to respond to each other silently. Once everybody has had a turn, we chat for a few minutes and I answer any questions they might have about the work expectations and/or content. This simple yet effective way to continue our classroom community has helped establish a sense of consistency and optimism as we embark on digital learning together! I'm using this with second graders, and they've loved this platform.

From Chanel Johnson, STEM Program Specialist:

Microsoft Planner

Microsoft Planner is a work management application, that lets you organize projects, share files, assign tasks, and chat with other collaborators. an ideal tool to use while holding virtual PLCs with your Teams. You can do the following
Create new plans, assign tasks, and share files with others.
Organize teamwork and collaborate on projects in a simple, visual way.
Chat with others to make sure you're on the same page.
Keep track of your team's progress and stay on top of your work—from anywhere, on any device.

From Chelsey Lloyd, Autrey Mill Middle School:

PE Strategies for Remote Teaching

PE lessons should be planned to instruct the basics of health and fitness with an emphasis on exercise practices and the importance of understanding personal health. Lessons should consider each student’s lifestyle choices relating to personal health and fitness. PE lessons can be fun and personalized while also offering students with important workout techniques (i.e.: modified for students with disabilities) that can be done at home.

Activity logs can be used to track personal health and fitness. Students can also use their personal devices to record video, take images, screen shots and track steps using fitness trackers etc. to demonstrate their fitness/learning.

Digital platforms that can be used include but are not limited to the following: Nearpod, Edpuzzle, BrainPop, Newela, Flipgrid, Teams and Google Classroom to submit work. It is also a great idea to incorporate social media (ex: Instagram/Twitter) as these platforms have become great part of students’ lives and they can express how they are feeling regarding personal health and fitness. We want our students to maintain a sense of structure, but at the same time maintain a stable mental health during these challenging times. Above all, the students should be having fun and enjoying getting out and moving.

From Michelle Howard, Summitt Hill Elementary School:

Daily TAG Meetings in Teams

I conduct a daily TAG class with Microsoft Teams just like I would do at school. I have found that if I organize the lesson with a PowerPoint that students stay focused are excited by the end to begin their assignment. A typical day will include: a class meeting where students share, a warm up activity such as a rebus puzzle, a presentation of the week's prior work turned in, a hook for the lesson that usual includes a discussion of prior learning, then an introduction to their creative or problem-solving or research project. At this point, I usually guide them through a process I want them to learn or use. Then they move off TEAMS to complete the assignment. I stay online in the meeting about an half an hour so they can pop back in and receive guidance. I also use the PowerPoint to record the lesson if student miss their TAG day. This format has been what has worked best so far. TEAMS allows me to load assignments, praise student work, add FlipGrids into my lesson easily.

From Monica O'Connell, Crabapple Crossing Elementary School:

Using PowerPoint to Record a Lesson

Using PowerPoint video option to record my remote teaching lessons has been the simplest way to demonstrate a concept or strategy and provide a variety of ways for students to understand the concept. For example, yesterday I recorded a lesson on marking up syllables before a suffix and I could embed a short video after my mini-lesson as well as use markers to mark up the slide. I can then either save the PowerPoint recording as an mp4 and download to my Youtube channel or the students can just view my recording on the PowerPoint! If you make a recording mistake, you do not need to record the entire lesson again as it gives you the option to redo audio exclusively pertaining to that slide! You can also type in notes in PowerPoint and use notes to help you record! Best of all, if you really want to make an exemplary video, you can practice your lesson using PowerPoint Coach beforehand! Check it out and you will be pleased!

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Vanguard Leadership Team

Fulton County Vanguard Team

Mission: Building the capacity of instructional leaders to transform learning and teaching.

Vision: Through building colaborative relationships and supporting student focused learning, the Vanguard Team will positively impact student achievement.

Pillars: Transform, Innovate, Mentor, & Support (TIMS)

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