Uinta County School District #1
May 2018-Weekly Newsletter, Vol. 26
CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2018!!!
-PLC AT WORK-
Whether the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act will represent a step forward or backward in the effort to ensure high levels of learning for all students will depend on how states respond to the autonomy they have been given for overseeing their own school improvement processes. If they return to the low-accountability, laissez-faire oversight that typically preceded NCLB, there will be no sense of academic press to improve student achievement. Schools that can avoid the bottom 5 percent of performance on state assessments, the bottom 5 percent of Title I schools on subgroup performance, and can help more than two-thirds of their high school students to graduate may have little external incentive to improve. If states merely create their own versions of the punitive strategies of NCLB and RTTT, there is no reason to expect different results from those we have gotten over more than a decade.
But there is an opportunity for states to move school reform in a new, better, and much more promising direction if leaders adopt and sustain a new mindset regarding what is required to help students learn at higher levels. As a nation we now have fifty opportunities for states to take this less-traveled path. It is my hope that some of the states will do so and that the improvements in student learning that they experience will light the path for others.
-2016 Solution Tree Press, Compiled by Dr. Rick DuFour
FAREWELL TO OUR RETIREES! WE'LL MISS YOU!
Joan Barnard- 42 years
Rhonda Hatch- 37 years
Bruce Lange- 36 years
Darcel Lange- 35 years
Lorraine Wester- 35 years
Gary Johnson- 29 years
Bill Jackson- 21 years
Alice Jane Long- 16 years
Karen Cook- 11 years
Trudy Martin- 34 years
Cindy Titensor- 33 years
Maria Easton- 33 years
Linda Lamb- 25 years
Kathy Rees- 21 years (leaving in Dec. 2018)
Aree Fruits- 20 years
Helen Hutchinson- 20 years
Janeece Cook- 8 years
THANK YOU FOR YOUR YEARS OF DEDICATED SERVICE TO UCSD#1!
Small Group, Big Change: When Students Actively Learn and Teachers Facilitate
Imagine this classroom. A teacher sits at a kidney-shaped table with four students. The teacher patiently explains how to solve a long-division problem. Students quietly listen to the teacher’s explanation and do their best to follow along. After the teacher explains the first problem, the teacher directs the students to attempt the next problem on their own. The students struggle, and the teacher steps in to provide scaffolding by walking them through the procedure one more time. This time, the steps are provided a little slower and perhaps a little louder. Does this seem familiar to you?
This scene has played out before our eyes in many classrooms throughout the country. The practice of pulling small groups of students stems from best intentions. The goal is to help close the achievement gap and help students build their skills with mathematics. What we find is that the achievement gap continues to widen. This led us to the question, “Why are small groups not as effective as we think they can be?”
A Better Approach
We set out to answer this question by critically analyzing the current state of small-group instruction and applying best practices specific to mathematics. We needed to create a new image of effective small-group instruction. So what does this mean? When we consider best practices for whole-group mathematics lessons, we envision meaningful tasks, rich classroom discourse, and students collaborating in heterogeneous groups. We view the teacher as a facilitator and students as active participants in their learning.
See It in Action
We were fortunate enough to be able to capture authentic and meaningful small-group instruction through our work with classroom video. Check out the short video clip below for a sneak peek.
We hope to provide a shared image of engaging small-group instruction where students are doing the sense-making. As you watch the video, consider these questions:
- How do students learn from one another and not just from the teacher?
- How does this lesson differ from the imagined scenario above?
- Most importantly, how does what you see here compare to your own practice or to the practices of those you support?
In our upcoming book, Making Sense of Mathematics for Teaching the Small Group, we discuss a framework for small-group math instruction alongside videos of best practices in action to help you realize this new vision.
Dixon, Juli K., Brooks, Lisa A., & Carli, Melissa R. (2018). Making Sense of Mathematics for Teaching the Small Group. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
Cheri Dunford, Supt., Board Exec. Assistant Ext. 1021
Dr. Joseph Ingalls, Assistant Superintendent K-5 Ext. 1026
Doug Rigby, Assistant Superintendent 6-12 Ext. 1025
Alicia Johnson, Instructional Services Admin. Asst. Ext. 1024
Kristine Hayduk, Human Resources Ext. 1023
Matt Williams, SPED Director Ext. 1040
Shannon Arellanes, SPED Admin. Asst. Ext. 1041
Bubba O'Neill, Activities Director Ext. 1060
Dauna Bruce, Activities Admin. Asst. Ext. 1061
John Williams, Business Director, Ext. 1030
Jaraun Dennis, Facilities Director, Ext. 1075