Lance's Ledger

February 22 - 26 at Central Elementary

Old Folks Come to Central

Throngs of centenarians visited Central Elementary this past Friday in celebration of "100's Day." First grade teachers and students went to great lengths to age themselves to the century mark. At dismissal time I assured one aged first grader at the crosswalk, "It's safe to cross ole' man!" Playing all of the part he shuffled across the crosswalk carefully supporting himself with his cane. As he passed by me and got to the other side he stopped, turned around, looked up and said, "Thank you, sonny!"

Thanks to our first grade staff and parents for supporting the celebration. I was surprised and impressed by the number of students who came in with full hair and facial make-up. They really looked the part!

Visible Learners

On February 18 I had the opportunity to attend a seminar featuring John Hattie and John Almarode. Most of us may be familiar with Hattie's research on effect size but dialogue with John Hattie was especially enlightening as he took time to explain what his research did and did not really say. The day focused on bringing his research to bear in efforts to develop schools of "Visible Learners."

Hattie and Almarode stressed that Visible Learners must be Assessment-Capable Learners. Just what is an assessment-capable learner? These are students who:

  • know about their learning and can plan their next learning steps with a teacher (or a peer)
  • are active in their learning
  • understand the assessment tools being used and what their results mean
  • understand the learning intentions (a.k.a., "I can" learning targets) of each lesson
  • have teachers who hep them use success criteria to know if they have achieved the learning intentions
  • can peer-assess against success criteria and give feedback/receive feedback based on the criteria
  • can set smartER goals, then self-monitor their progress
  • can answer: Where am I going? How am I going? Where to next?
  • are able to track their progress using rubrics and/or exemplars

In looking at the characteristics of an assessment-capable learner one is tempted to think that it may take time to develop these skills in students. How exciting is was when Hattie took time to show us example from a kindergarten classroom demonstrating these characteristics in action. He further shared that the research base supporting this concept holds true among all populations of socioeconomic, special needs, gifted and regular education students.

Want to know more? At this week's PLC in less than two minutes I can show you one way you can super-charge your student's understanding of learning intentions (learning targets). Best of all, it won't involve coming up with a new program or take a lot of extra time out of your teaching routine. Just a smarter approach!

Are Learning Intentions (Targets) & Success Criteria a Secret?

In the following video Hattie speaks to the importance of sharing learning intentions and success criteria up front with students.
John Hattie Learning Intentions & Success Criteria

This Week at Central

Monday, February 22

  • Table of Honor during lunches
  • PD at Williams Property with Matt, Lobban, Tim Rutkowski and Shelly Konzman (4-5 PM)

Tuesday, February 23

  • PLC Grades 1-4 (remember to discuss behavior data shared in last week's Ledger)

Wednesday, February 24

  • Staff Meeting (Agenda: School Improvement Work) 7:35 - 8:15 AM
  • CAP PLC from 2:00 - 3:20 PM (remember to discuss behavior data shared in last week's Ledger)

Thursday, February 25

  • Principals' Mtg. (9:30 - Noon)
  • Mr. Brown visits (2 PM)
  • Lance Reads at Thomson Reading Night (5 - 5:30 PM)
  • Grade 4 Music Concert - 7 PM @ DHS

Friday, February 26

  • Principals @ seminar in Bay City
  • Lance back in office approx. 2: 30 PM

Looking Ahead

February 2016

  • Feb. 29...ACC (4:15 - 6:15 PM)

March 2016

  • March 1...Midterm of 3rd MP
  • March 2...Early Release Day: students dismissed at 1:28 PM
  • March 3...Team Leader Meeting (7:40-8:10 AM); District Grade Level PLC: Grade 4 (8 AM - 3 PM @ Williams Center)
  • March 4...Bldg. Rep Meeting (7:30-8:10) Bosses Luncheon/Program (principals & central office admin. from 11:30-1:30)
  • March 7...DPA CMC (4:15 - 6:15 PM); Board of Education Mtg. @ 7 PM
  • March 8...PLC Grades 1-4; PTO @ 6 PM in Library
  • March 9...Staff Meeting (agenda: School-Wide Behavior Plan Review; Visible Learning Tips; other TBD) ;CST Meetings; DESA CMC from 1-3 PM
  • March 10...Admin. mtg. (9:30-Noon); Family Reading Night (5:30 - 7:30 PM)
  • March 11...Lance out of bldg. in PM
  • Grade 1 Music Concert @ DHS (7 PM)
  • March 16...All day ACC (8:30 -3:30)
  • March 17...Principals' Mtg. (9:30-11:30); PTO Book distribution and craft
  • March 18...Popcorn Day (PTO)
  • March 21...Mini-QAR
  • March 21 - 24...ForMar @ Central
  • March 22...District Grade Level PLC: Grade 2 (8:00 Am - 3:00 PM @ Williams Center)
  • March 23...Staff Meeting (agenda TBD); CAP PLC
  • March 24...District Grade Level PLC: Grade 3 (8:00 AM - 3:00 PM @ Williams Center)
  • March 25...Good Friday (holiday), No School for students & staff (building closed)
  • March 28...Brainstormers Assembly Part 2: Student Writings Come Alive!
  • March 29...Data Day Grades 1 & 3
  • March 30...Data Day Grades 2 & 4
  • March 31...Building Rep. Meeting 7:30 - 8:10; Principals' Mtg. (9:30-11:30); End of 3rd MP

April 2016

  • April 1...AM PD (3 hours)/PM Teacher Records Day
  • April 4-8...Spring Break
  • April 11...Classes Resume; Report Grades & comments in Synergy by 4 PM
  • April 12...Report Cards printed and to teachers
  • April 14...Parent/Teacher Conference 4:30 -7:30 PM for Central (Open conferences)
  • April 20...District Grade Level PLC: K (8:00 AM - 3:00 PM @ William's Center)
  • April 27...District Grade Level PLC: Grade 1 (8:00 AM - 3:00 PM @ Williams Center)

Mid-Year Reviews

With our rescheduled data days complete it's time for us to take some time to review goal progress to date. Please contact Michelle to arrange a time during the next two weeks for us to meet to discuss the progress you are seeing.

PTO Book Distribution

Our Central PTO has planned a book distribution and craft for our students on March 17. The PTO devotes quite a bit of effort to researching books that are of higher interest to particular grade levels. Still it is not a perfect system and sometimes there may be student or teacher requests that challenge both the PTO committee's financial resources and expertise. To avoid miscommunication and misunderstanding I offer the following guidelines for book distributions.

  • PTO will set out available book selections for particular grade levels. If teachers or students have questions/suggestions about other books those suggestions should be forwarded in writing to the PTO coordinator for future consideration. PTO determines which books are set out per grade level. If teachers have professional concerns about the quality of book selections those concerns should be addressed with me (the principal) and we will determine a way to resolve the concerns.
  • Be sure to respect the book distribution times reserved for your particular class. I have asked PTO to extend book selection time from 10 minutes to 15 minutes per class.
  • Teachers are required to be in attendance with their students during book selection and are in charge of handling student issues.
  • Please reinforce with students the importance of manners. "Please" and "thank you" go a long way and keep our volunteers coming back.

Teachers, thank you so much for your help in making the book distributions a success for all!

Thought for the Week

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