Kristi's Korner

February 15, 2016

Quote of the Week

Change is tough, people don't like it, but it is necessary. Take two aspirins and call me in the morning.

Christopher Bond


Thinking about change of late. Why is it so darn difficult? For some of us, we can set that goal of drinking eight glasses of water a day, chewing our nails a little, or maybe a lot less, being more patient with our husband, and get there. For others of us, we can't seem to get there despite the best of intentions. Not that I am talking about me.

Even more interesting is the philosophy of change in bigger organizations. Those 90-90-90 schools are not making their gains because all the stars have aligned. They are moving forward with intention. Thinking of change in a system like the Hazelwood School District which contains 19,000 students and 1,300 teachers is particularly intriguing. How do you move that many people?

I think HSD was on a great road to move people with their Assessment Literacy initiative. It started purely voluntary. It even seemed a bit like a grass-roots movement. After that, the pd became building-based with like-groups. Great differentiation. It also had terrific follow-through from month to month which is another important part of change. The one misstep as I see it is the mere fact of calling it Assessment Literacy. It became a program. So what has happened when the initiative was dropped? As with human nature, many dropped all that went with it

The problem with this program is that it wasn't just a program, but actually included a lot of very effective classroom strategies. Actually they are good strategies in life. I use them for planning vacations.....Where do I need to go? Where am I now? How will I get there?

This year I have been able to get in many classrooms not only at Lusher, but across the district through my work in the TIP program and I.S. walks. What we see in many spots is either the total dropping of the AL strategies or a quick rush to do it in compliance. It is the...OMG they are walking in and I don't have my learning target up so I am going to hurry over and do it now.

Three of the AL strategies are in Hattie's top ten strategies of techniques that have the most influence on achievement. I urge you to reflect on your use of learning targets not as wall paper but as a learning tool. Think about your use of formative assessment, self-reflection, scoring guides, and feedback. These are all strategies that move kids as data proves time and time again. Are these strategies living and breathing in your classroom?

As I end most of my writing, if you want to jump back in or jump further into any of these strategies and need a partner in crime, please ask. You know how I love learning!

News and Notes

Buddy Day: Still looking for a good theme if anyone has one.......February 29 is the date.

Reading Celebration: This is March 2nd and will be a BONUS Buddy Day. It should incorporate a STEM Dr. Seuss activity. Please see me if you want some help with this.

PLC's: Canceled this week. Julie says, "It's my welcome back gift."

Smile of the Week