Slice of the Pi

April Edition

As we navigate this perilous moment, may we find some sliver of grace. May we reckon with our privilege. Choose beauty and curiosity over rigidity. Compassion and fullness of heart over closed mindedness. And social connection over geographic isolation — even if it be temporarily virtual.

Rich Roll

What's Your Word?

I hope this Slice of the Pi finds you safe and sane. Certainly it has been a stressful and busy time, but I hope you are all as impressed as I am with what you have been able to accomplish in just a few weeks. Our lives have been flipped upside down and I'm sure we have all said a few choice words these past few weeks as we transitioned to this 'new normal', but the one I have decided to settle on is opportunity.


We have the opportunity to connect with colleagues from other buildings and around the world as educators come together to share resources, we have the opportunity to rethink how we assess and give feedback to students, we have the opportunity to collaborate with coaches and administrators across the district, we have the opportunity to explore new technology and instructional strategies, we have the opportunity to remember what it is like to be a brand new teacher, and we have the opportunity to support and care for each other, and our families, in this unprecedented time in history.


This edition is lengthy to try and address the many requests from staff- feel free to visit often and read in small chunks or skip around to what applies to your immediate needs. Thank you for the opportunity to work with you!!



Resilience is often described as a personal quality that predisposes individuals to bounce back in the face of loss. Resilient leaders, however, do more than bounce back—they bounce forward. ascd


Let's start with some small things. I love what many of the universal design for learning people say and that's “plus one.” Don't think you're going to transform your entire course to the greatest online course that's ever existed. Do a plus one. Say to yourself, “What can I do this week? What can I do in the next two days to be able to meet the needs?” Edsurge


I want to send a message to parents, and in particular to working moms, who will inevitably take on most of this home labor along with working remotely: This is going to be messy and that is OK. NYT


When the reality of an uncomfortable situation cannot be immediately improved focus your energy on the things you love. Chad Wright


It’s a good time to stock up on compassion. Everyone will have different levels of fear and grief and it manifests in different ways. A coworker got very snippy with me the other day and I thought, That’s not like this person; that’s how they’re dealing with this. I’m seeing their fear and anxiety. So be patient. hbr.org


We learn that uncertainty is not our enemy. We can embrace uncertainty from a place of inner security and harness its creative potential. O&D

Possible K-2 Resources

Possible 3-5 Resources

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Sal, We've Got Some Questions For You!

Many of you are using Khan Academy as a math resource and I’ve received several questions regarding the platform. I’ve added answers to your questions as I’m sure many of us had similar experiences.


Q: Can kids do assignments without them being assigned by me if they are in my class?


Your students will have access to all the content on Khan Academy regardless of whether or not you are assigning it. However, you will only be able to see the progress they complete on the assignments you have assigned.


Q: Some kids had a quiz today and some didn't? From the same link?


If some of your students did not have access to the Quiz you assigned, it is most likely the case that you had not assigned it to those students. To verify this, you can access the Manage tab under Assignments and edit the assignments to include all of your student.


Q: Can you do course mastery and assignments? Like on Fridays you work on course mastery but M-Thursday are assigned based on curriculum?


You are able to assign both individual assignments and course mastery goals to your students to provide a schedule for them to work on each. Both will populate on their homepage under your class assignments.


Q: I'm a coach (SPED, etc)- To support teachers and kids, what is the benefit of signing in using someone’s password or creating a classroom too and inviting kids to join mine?


If you create the student accounts yourself, you are able to control the creation of usernames and how they appear on your roster. This also streamlines the process to getting your students started on Khan Academy. However, if your students already have Khan Academy accounts, using the class code to have your students join the class makes it easier to ensure that they are always signed into the same account and have access to your assignments without losing previous progress. *I think signing in using a teachers account (if they are comfortable with that) is easiest, although if you are working with multiple teachers that is tricky because you will have to log in and out multiple times as different people...


Q: If someone mastered a course does it move them to the next grade level?


If a user masters a course, whenever they visit that course page they will see that the course has been completed. However, they will be responsible for navigating to the next course to begin working on the next grade level.


Q: If I assign through Google via a link to the exact assignment will it still collect individual student info? Or do I need to assign in Khan?


The scores achieved in an assignment completed on Khan Academy cannot be transferred to your Google Classroom. However, you can create a class in Khan Academy and import your Google Classroom roster. You'll be able to create assignments for your students, track their progress, get assignment reports, and more—all at Khan Academy.


For more information on how to import your Google Classroom roster to Khan Academy, click here.

You can also check out their step-by-step guides in the Teachers & Coaches Help Center click here.



Q: Is it possible some kids aren’t showing up in my assignments because parents joined and now just added me as a coach versus being in my classroom?


If a student has added you as a coach, but not enrolled in a specific class, you will have to input them into a class from the student roster on your account. To do so, please locate the student on the Student tab from your Teacher Dashboard. Then, check the box to the right of their username. You can then select Actions at the top of the page to add them to a specific class. Once a student is added to a specific class, you will be able to assign them content.


Q: Can kids can change names?


Users over the age of 13 will have full access to Khan Academy to change their account settings, including their usernames. Users under the age of 13 will have their parents or teachers monitor these settings for them.


Still curious? Here is a Guide to Remote Learning from Khan.


Parents have also had many questions regarding assignments being completed. Jennifer O’ Brien offered to share this Guide for Parents she created which is a great resource for our families.

Dear Family,

These may be useful to you as you think about how to support our families:


Miss a previous issue?

Special Edition: Slice of the Pi

March Edition: Slice of the Pi

February Edition: Slice of the Pi

January Edition: Slice of the Pi

December Edition: Slice of the Pi

November Edition: Slice of the Pi

October Edition: Slice of the Pi

September Edition: Slice of the Pi

Questions? Comments? Curiosities?

I'd love to hear what's on your mind!