Nov 17 - 25, 2014 (Special Thanksgiving Edition)
The Hubb speaks...
I recently had the opportunity to participate in some professional learning with Linda Dorn. I thought this would be a good format to share a summary of some topics that stuck out. As principals, these are things you might look for as you visit classrooms.
· Are anchor charts displayed? Usually, these are big charts that are co-constructed (the teacher tracks student responses during a mini-lesson). This means the chart is usually constructed during the lesson. These are not charts sold at IPA. Not that there is anything wrong with IPA charts. I have posted many of those myself. Here are the rules for anchor charts, whether they are for ELA, math, or procedures: They are co-created. They go up on the wall. They go into each student’s log. They go into each students brain until that thinking becomes routine. Then, they come down from the wall. Is this happening in classrooms you’re visiting? Does everyone see the value in anchoring concepts to return to? Anchor charts can be a super effective learning tool if used this way. Please see the example below. Student responses are on sticky notes.
· Mentor texts are books the teachers pick because they are a great example of a theme they are studying. Mentor texts are used, not because they are the most difficult texts, but the most available to go deeper into meaning, and they are worth revisiting. Mentor texts are used by the teacher as examples to drive subsequent mini-lessons and small group instruction focused around meaning and analysis. Are mentor texts being used in classrooms, beyond Making Meaning lessons?
· As students read texts, are teachers pointing out the writer’s craft and language use of the author? The writer’s craft and language each author uses helps to create pictures in your mind as the reader which helps us comprehend the text in a more meaningful way. Later, when students write, they can apply these craft techniques to their own writing to help their audience create meaning as they read. Is this occurring during small group instruction and/or mini-lessons? Are anchor charts showing evidence of this happening? Visualize the next two sentences. The dog barked. The Pomeranian snarled at me as if I were a steak. Which has deeper meaning?
Updated Referral Form
At the beginning of the school year, the Delta team reviewed the Discipline Referral Form. Overall the form is the same, with some minor tweaks. The form is attached in the email with the newsletter for those that like to use a digital copy of it. It is also a continued option to order from the Purchasing Dept should you prefer to have the triplicate version. Please note that the updates are minor enough that it would be considered wasteful not to use any forms that you have on hand.