HCS Curriculum & Instruction

September 2015 Newsletter

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The Grading Grind: Will You Be a Coach or an Umpire?

It is time for the first progress reports of the year, and first nine-week final grades will be just around the corner. You have a lot of choices to make as you consider where you will place yourself in the grading process. Will you stand behind home plate and call balls and strikes, or will you stand behind the batter and use your voice and your hands to improve the batter's swing? I hope you choose the latter approach. Follow the link below to learn more about surviving, and maybe even thriving, in the grading grind...

Link to The Grading Grind

What Is Erin's Law?

The Alabama legislature recently created a new law that will require teaching related to the prevention of sexual abuse in grades pre-K through 12. What does this mean for you? Follow the link below to learn more...

Link to article on Erin's Law

DOK: Depth of Knowledge Rising to Spotlight in HCS

The ACT Aspire for Grades 3-8 and Grade 10 is now the Alabama State Department of Education required spring assessment. It measures students' achievement in math, reading, English, science, and writing.

ACT has chosen to use Webb's Depth of Knowledge as a framework for developing questions for the assessment. Click here to read more about the types of tasks and questions our students are being asked. The graphic gives examples of questions from Levels 1-4.

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Canvas Updates

Help Me!

Hoover students and teachers have access to 24/7 Live Chat in Canvas. After you log in to Canvas, click on Help in the top right corner. Chat with Canvas Support will be the fourth option in the Help Area. You can also call the Support Hotline at 1-844-802-9014.


Parent Observer Accounts

Parents can create observer accounts in Canvas by clicking the banner on the home page. Parents will need the student's email account to register.

Google Classroom Updates

Google recently released several powerful updates to Google Classroom.

  • Share to Classroom Extension-The Share to Classroom extension gets you to webpages your teacher shares, without you having to type out the whole URL. You can also push web pages directly to your teacher.
  • Question Driven Discussions- Teachers can easily create questions to check for understanding. Also, teachers can choose to allow students to comment on each other's answers or not.
  • New Post Button (+)- Look for the new + Post button to create Assignments, Announcements, Questions or to reuse a post.
  • Reuse Assignments- You can now reuse assignments, announcements or questions for any class and year.
  • Calendar Integration (Soon)- Classroom will automatically create a calendar for each class in Google Calendar. All assignments will a due date will automatically be added to this calendar.
  • Bump a Post- Move a post to the top of your classroom stream.
  • Due Dates Optional- You now have the option of creating an assignment without a due date.
  • Attach a Google Form to a post (Soon)- Attach a Google form to a posts and assignments.

Follow the Google blog for more information.


Welcome to the Hoover City Schools Family!

On August 5, 2015, Hoover City Schools welcomed the newest members to our instructional family. Our new teachers were welcomed and challenged by Dr. Murphy, Dr. Dodson, Ms. Greene and other members of the curriculum department. They also heard from the "voice of a teacher" as Minnette Wiggings, Trace Crossings first grade teacher and Alabama Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Dr. Pamela Harman, SPHS earth science teacher and JSU Secondary Teacher Hall of Fame Inductee talked about what it meant to be a Hoover City Schools' Teacher. Please welcome these talented educators to our family!

Are you interested in pursuing National Board Certification?

Have you ever wondered if this process is for you? If so, please join Tammy Dunn and Dr. Pamela Harman on Thursday afternoon, September 24. We will meet from 3:45 until 5:00 in the Old Berry Media Center to discuss the assessment process, the cost, the time requirements and the support for candidates.

Dr. Harman will also be meeting with Hoover NBCT's who are interested in learning more and gaining support as they undergo the renewal process.

Your attendance is not a commitment to complete the assessment. Come and hear what 145 Hoover National Board Certified teachers already know. This process will deeply impact you as a classroom teacher and forever change the way you look at your teaching practice.

Register at STI PD # 158cis15-100.

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Alabama has new course of study for science and Hoover teachers are exploring the standards

On Thursday, September 10, the Alabama State Board of Education approved a new Science Course of Study. This is the first set of new science standards since 2005. Hoover teachers are already field testing these standards in their classrooms as we look to adopt resources and develop new curriculum guides for science courses to be implemented in fall, 2016. You can access to new standards HERE.

Secondary teachers have been asked to focus on two of the science and engineering practices during this school year:

  • Engaging in argument from evidence
  • Obtaining, evaluating and communicating information

To embed these practices in our curriculum our teachers have all been asked to include four argument driven inquiry (ADI) lessons into their courses during this school year. Many teachers have already begun the process and are sharing their experiences with colleagues, on twitter and other social media.

Read about Kristen Bundren's AP biology AID lesson HERE.

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