BASD Coaching Rundown

Issue #5: January 2021

Happy New Year, BASD!

Thanks so much to those who stopped by for a hot cocoa break! We had some great conversations and gave away almost 100 books! If you borrowed a book from us, just return it to one of the coaches when you’re finished. If you’re still waiting for a book, as soon as it gets returned we’ll be sure to pass it to the next person!

Newsletter Challenge

We are switching it up this month! There are many great ideas to try in this newsletter. Let us know if you do any of the following activities and we’ll add your name to the monthly prize raffle:

  • Implement the Found Poetry or Blackout Poetry strategy described in our Strategy Spotlight section

  • Have your students send hopes to the moon (or send one yourself!) as part of the Hope Moonshot Challenge

  • Use one of the digital freebies linked below

  • Sign out one of the books featured in our Book Nook section

A New Year Brings New Hope...

The Readiness Institute at Penn State, in collaboration with Global Moonshots in Education, is collecting messages of hope from students, educators, and members of the global community and then sending those messages to the moon to create a lasting reminder that the hopes of today can become the reality of tomorrow. Check out this site for more information, including lesson plans, and a PowerPoint to share with students.

...and a new section of the VLP

We just released section 4 of the BASD Virtual Learning Playbook. Please check out this section to learn more about some of the important considerations as you assess students in the virtual classroom setting.


This time around we are adding a little friendly competition element. At the end of the section, you will see a link to a brief PearDeck activity. The school with the highest percentage of participation in the PearDeck before Sunday, January 31st will win a Super Bowl snack party catered by the coaches the week of the big game! So far, Benner Elementary is in the lead!


If you've already answered the Pear Deck questions, we encourage you to go back in and take a look -- we’ve added feedback to some of the questions you posed. This feedback will also be sent to you via email when we close the slides at the end of the month.


Reach out to a coach if you would like to collaborate to adjust an upcoming assessment.

Teacher Feature!

Special thanks to everyone who implemented the Six Word Memoir strategy with their students last month! All who gave it a try were entered into our prize raffle. Congrats to winners Naomi Rupert, Julie Renne, and Kevin Scott. Check out some of the awesome examples below!
Big picture

Strategy Spotlight

Found Poetry

We’ve shared many great instructional strategies over the years on our strategy days, but how do we transition the tried and true strategies that we love to the digital environment? In each newsletter, we will review a previously shared strategy and share ideas for how to use it in the time of COVID-19.


This month’s featured strategy is Found Poetry. We shared it a few years ago, but are bringing it back into the lineup because it’s such a great tool for all content areas! In a nutshell, this strategy takes students through the process of thoughtfully selecting important words and phrases from an existing text and then rearranging them to create an original poem. Found Poetry provides students with a structured way to not only demonstrate understanding and comprehension of content but sharpen their summarization skills.


Alternatively, students can create Blackout Poems. With this twist, students black out the words in a text with a marker, leaving behind only a few significant words to create an original poem. Students can even get creative with their blackout poems by removing words strategically, resulting in a design related to the text’s main theme.


Yes -- Found Poetry and Blackout Poetry are possible to implement in the remote setting! Check out this document for a more detailed description of the strategy. We’ve updated the information previously shared with some ideas for engaging students in these activities virtually!

Hey guys... Melissa the Math Coach here... Math doesn’t use a typical “text” as referred to in this strategy. That doesn’t mean you can’t use it. There are great variations that apply for alternative texts and I’d love to collaborate with you to plan one that works for your classes!

Professional Learning

Internal Trade Time

We have some in-house professional learning opportunities being offered in the coming weeks. Check out info about the following sessions:


BASD Twitter Chat

Date: Monday, January 18th

Time: 8:00-9:00

Location: Virtually on Twitter

Save the date for the January BASD Twitter Chat! It will be held on January 18 from 8-9. Reflect with your colleagues as you relax in your PJs from home! Check out this link for more information.

External Trade Time

Remember to fill out an External Trade Time Approval Form and submit it to Sommer for approval prior to completing the professional learning. Trade Time forms can be found here.


ELA Learning Pathways

Date and Time: You decide!

PDE has created learning paths to provide a common language and literacy knowledge as a baseline of understanding for all Pennsylvania educators. Each learning path consists of a PowerPoint show which guides the participant through a series of activities including significant text selections, videos, and personal reflection opportunities. The accompanying journal allows the participant to record their findings either in digital or print form. To receive Act 48 credit for a learning path, it is recommended to contact your administration prior to beginning a learning path. It is incumbent upon the LEA to assign the appropriate hours. PDE will not award Act 48 hours. There are currently two learning path options. Click on the following link and then select "Professional Learning Opportunities" from the sidebar navigation to learn more: https://www.pdesas.org/Page/Viewer/ViewPage/21


Webinar: SEL From A Distance: Why SEL Now More Than Ever?

Date/Time: Monday, January 25, 2021 - 6:30pm-7:30

Presented by Jessica Djabrayan Hannigan and John E. Hannigan

Our students need social and emotional learning more than ever! How can we determine their needs and where do we begin? This session offers tools and best practice processes for social-emotional learning (SEL) that you can implement immediately in any setting.

Registration Link


Webinar: Great Teaching by Design: From Intention to Implementation

Date/ Time: Monday, February 8, 2021 - 6:30pm

Presented by John Hattie, Vince Bustamante, John Almarode, Douglas Fisher, and Nancy Frey

Why leave student success to chance? By combining your intuition and experience with the latest research on high-impact learning practices, you can evolve your teaching from good to great and make a lasting difference for your students. Join the authors of Great Teaching by Design as they lead you through how to turn good intentions into great practice through a model of implementation.

Registration Link

Digital Freebies

Each month we’ll share a few fun finds that we came across in our internet travels. Feel free to add these digital resources to your collection!


Are you looking for resources about how to run book clubs remotely? Check out this guide from Facing History and Ourselves: Remote Book Clubs: Nurturing Community and Connection. It’s free and includes resources and tools designed to help educators launch student-centered remote book clubs, including tips for identifying interesting books and getting them to students, teacher planning checklists, and student-facing handouts that support discussion and engagement.


Pittsburgh Bitmoji Rooms: Have you dove into the world of Bitmoji Classrooms? If so, check out these “Pittsburgh Sports Team-Themed” rooms. Lots of cool graphics for Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates fans! (Sorry Kresley, only Pittsburgh Fans on this newsletter!)


Vocab Throwdown: Teams can go head-to-head in a gamified vocabulary review. Students are tasked with finding historical examples, GIFs, memes, and more based on a shared vocabulary term.

Book Nook

Contact Us!

If you didn't check out the PearDeck in this month's VLP, you may want to watch this video to learn more about how your coaches joined an 80s band!