Designing our Design LAB

2015-16: A Year of Learning, Making and Designing Together

Last Week at Design Lab

We've completed our first week of 2016 and the first week of the second semester. This past week, I observed staff analyzing our Winter NWEA Data. Some groups of teachers began to determine how best to support students as we move into the second semester. I saw 9th grade students Develop plans to nurse plants back to health. I overheard history students summarize migration patterns. I watched seniors imagine their own beats in our new audio production studio.

My favorite part of the week was watching and helping our staff to Learn by Doing on Monday afternoon. I've attached some pictures below.

Here are some key takeaways:

-Doing the work doesn't mean we've learned it. We have to begin to asking students to provide Evidence of Learning. Evidence of Learning and completing an assignment are not the same thing.

-Learning by Doing with students starts with learning by doing ourselves. We are becoming a school where students learn by doing and do so through the use of the many tools we currently have, and will have. But if we don't know how to use the tools, we'll never use them in class. I'll be providing as much time as possible for you to use our tools and feel comfortable with them.

-Once you know how to use our learning tools, we'll shift to learning to use our tools to support student learning. Be thinking about how to use these tools with students, but out first priority is learning to use them ourselves.

-We can have fun learning these tools. It was so fun watching Rosemary, Loretta, Shawntel and Desiree learn to use the Audio Production tools. I've never been more excited to hear Salt and Peppa! Ken and Rob are taking on the Go Pros. This is such an untapped resource and together I'm sure they will come up with tons of ideas to use these fun cameras in class. Jessica S and Meghan took on the cube! Check out the Minion Darth Vader on Jessica's desk. She is our first successful Cube user!


-What will our school look and feel like to students when they are all using tools to meet standards and provide evidence of learning? I can't wait to see the process and the outcome.

The Week Ahead: Routines

Let's make sure we start out the semester strong:


-Passes: There is no reason to give students passes at the start of 5th period. Students have had 40 minutes of lunch time to use the bathroom. Do not give passes upon their arrival to 5th. I recognize that students have developed these routines over time. But let's break the routine. No passes to start 5th period.


-Uniform: We've had heating units down. Lindsay's room has one day of warmth and a week of cold. Jeremy's room was cold for most of the week. But not every room is cold. If it is cold in your room, I trust you to use your judgement in determining if students can wear jackets and hoodies. But when your room is fine, please maintain our uniform standard. I'm counting on you to either to uphold the uniform standard and call me to support you when you need help.

The Week Ahead: Learning

Our school-wide focus should be on the following:

-Making personal meaning of our student data. Which of your students are proficient? Advanced? Or far behind?

-What are you doing to support individual students? How are you supporting the student with great growth from Fall to Winter, but still low scores? How is this different from what you are doing to support the student with little to no growth from Fall to Winter with already high scores? What visible actions are occurring in your classes to incorporate our student data into teaching and learning?

-Using our verbs within our existing content standards. What verbs are you teaching? What standards are they a part of?


To support these efforts, I will be coming around to classes in Non-Evaluative Walkthroughs. I've developed a google form and I'll be collecting data to share with the staff at our weekly meetings. I'll be looking for evidence of verbs in action, evidence of data being used to support students, and examples of learning by doing. I'll be using my IPAD to do these non-evaluative walkthroughs. If I come in to your class with my IPAD, you know I'm just collecting data and examples to share with the staff. If I come into your class with my computer, the visit is the 2nd TDES walkthrough.


Let me know if you have any questions.

Robotics This Week:

The Tri-C Semester begins on January 19th. I'll send you the Robotics Schedule as soon as it's confirmed.

Staff in the Makerspace: Learning by Doing

200 Minutes This Week

Monday January 11-Personal Planning Time

Tuesday, January 12-Legal Modules Completion Time (3rd Session)

Wednesday, January 13-Learning by Doing

Thursday, January 14-Data Team Meeting


Please email me by the close of busines Monday with the tool you intend to focus upon for Learning by Doing.

Making at Other Schools

Below is an article called Tinkering is Serious Play from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). The article is about Play, Learning, Science and Standards. It's a great piece about the value of tinkering and making in schools.

News and Notes:

-January 11-Graded due: 7:30 AM-Speak with Ms. Asberry if you didn't input your grades by the deadline.

Conditions for Learning Survey Window is Open-Please review Ms. Yox's email sent on 1/8 for proctoring information

-January 11-Mr. Beavers is out. Ms. Yox is on recruiting visits all day.

-January 11th-Personal Planning Time

-January 12th-CAO Meeting-Eric is out of the building

-January 12th-Legal Modules Session for Teachers (3rd Session)

-January 13th-Learning by Doing (Full Staff in the Makerspace)

-January 14th-Facing History Training: Mr. Witt, Ms. Paris, Ms. Farmer and Mr. Gill are all out of the building

-January 14th-Full Staff Data Meeting-Bring your laptops

-January 18th-No School MLK Day

-January 19th-Personal Planning Time

-January 19th-Family Maker Night for Prospective Families 5:30-8:00 (We will have dinner, a school overview and a project for families to make)

-January 20th-Data Team Meeting(s)

-January 21st-New and Innovative Schools Principal Meeting-Eric out of the building until 1:00 PM.

-January 21st-Senior FAFSA Night 5:00-7:30 (Speak with Michelle to participate)

-January 21st-Legal Modules Session for Teachers (4th Session) or Learning by Doing

-January 22nd-TDES Walkthrough 2 is due

-January 25th-27th-High School Recruiting Fair

-January 25th-Personal Planning Time

-January 26th-Data Team Meeting(s)

-January 27th-Learning by Doing

-January 27th-Evening High School Recruiting Fair at the Wolstein Center 5:30-7:30

-January 28th-Staff Meeting and Staff Celebration


Upcoming Dates:

-February 12-Teacher PD Day, no students

-February 15-President's Day-No School

-February 18-Early Dismissal-Interim Parent Teacher Conferences

-February 28-March 4th-3rd Quarter Exams

-March 4th-Unannounced TDES Observations are due

-March 7-18th-OGT's-This is a change from March 14-25th