A Monthly E-Newsletter for Spotswood Educators
Your Students... My Students... OUR Students!
Happy New Year and welcome back to school.
This edition of Spot-On includes a number of links to educational articles, a video on the many uses of our smartphones, and minutes from our last FACT and LLC meetings. I hope you find the below items informative and interesting.
Additionally, please note that the 2014-15 school calendar was sent to you last week and is available on our district's website.
Educational Articles and Resources for Your Review
Interesting video on how a device can change how we do things...
Lead Learner Committee Meeting Minutes
Minutes from the November LLC meeting will be provide in the next Spot On!
Lead Learner Committee – LLC
Thursday, November 21, 2013
· Purpose of Committee
Representatives will come together to discuss how education is changing and the direction we as a school community need to go. This is a visioning committee that will help us address new teaching techniques, new technology, and new educational resources.
· Flipped Classroom – Discussion occurred on ways and resources available for flipping the classroom.
· Khan Academy – This free resource is currently being used in fourth grade math as a center for students to practice skills. This site also collects student data to guide teacher learning.
· Competitive Grant Program for School Innovation – There is a possibility of an innovation grant through the New Jersey Department of Education. A brief discussion on ideas for this grant started.
· 30 Things Your Smart Phone Made Obsolete – See video included in Spot On!
· Appy Hour – Several staff members and classes engaged in Hour of Code in November.
· Technology Vision for Spotswood – This committee will begin to develop this vision and its members will solicit ideas from colleagues.
· Purpose of Educational Technology – Discussion on need to include Digital Citizenship in the purpose.
· District Policy on Technology/Social Media Use
· Update on Wireless Install – It will be tested in January and ready for use at the end of January.
· Apps your colleagues are using and you might want to try:
o For All Rubrics - Create and use your rubrics through this site.
o Quizlet - A free website providing learning tools for students, including flashcards, study and game modes.
o Edmodo - A free social learning platform for teachers, students and parents. It is commonly called Facebook for schools but the difference is the teacher controls who has access and what is posted. Additionally, it gives parents access to view materials and information.
o Class Dojo - A free classroom tool for teachers that helps them quickly and easily improve classroom behaviors.
o Running Record Calculator – Create, use and collect data on your rubrics through this on-line site.
FACT Meeting Minutes
The FACT Committee reviewed and gave input about the 2014 - 2015 calendar and our new district web page. Class web pages will also be transferred over to the new system. Other committees will review the calendar and district web page as well.
We will be notified shortly with a definite date as to when OnCourse will go off-line. The estimated date is December 16th. The elementary Genesis format is still being worked on. Many staff members have stated that the new Genesis Lesson Planner is extremely slow, and it is taking a very long time to complete lesson plans. Staff members still need training on the new Genesis system and were hoping that another PD Academy would be provided.
The FACT Committee was pleased with the November in-service days. There was a wide variety of selections to meet most of the staff needs and interests. If you have any suggestions for future PD workshops, please inform Graham Peabody in the Curriculum Office. Since our Teach Like a Pirate workshop was such a success, Mr. Rocco would like to know if anyone could recommend a book for another Edmodo book study group or an inspirational speaker for a future workshop.
It was suggested that the elementary grades would like more non-fiction books and have a workshop on teaching higher level thinking.
Our new food vendor is planning to have a taste test and interview students at different grade levels to determine how to improve student purchases and interest in lunch. It was stated in September that many students do not like the new food especially the pizza.
The FACT committee is still looking for a representative from Memorial. If you are interested in joining this committee please contact Mr. Rocco.
If you would like an issue discussed with Mr. Rocco or have a response to any of the aforementioned items please contact a FACT member. The FACT team members are Heather DeLollis, Jeannie Gersten , Dawn Hyland, Carol Kuhn, Jessica Marciano, Jackie Martinez, Rima Michaels , and Barbara Silvers.