Sipley School Weekly Howl

Week of September 22, 2014

Hundreds of studies have been undertaken to measure the success of cooperative learning as an instructional method regarding social skills, student learning, and achievement across all levels from primary grades through college. The general consensus is that cooperative learning can and usually does result in positive student outcomes in all domains (Johnson & Johnson, 1999).

Monday's Certified Staff Meeting is for Individual Reflection

The purpose of this Monday's meeting is to allow staff time to reflect on Friday's Inservice. Please use the Monday 3:00 - 4:00 meeting to discuss and plan Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures! Certified staff will be on their own. All staff have to work in the building until at least 4:00. Have Fun!!

Three Suggested Kagan Structures.

Jeff introduced us to ten Kagan Structures. There are many more in the book. Jeff suggested that we start with Timed-Pair-Share, Rally Robin, and Round Robin.

Parallels between F.O.C.U.S. and Kagan Cooperative Learning

As I sat in our inservice I couldn't be more pleased to hear the parallels of F.O.C.U.S. and our new learning. It was validation of two things. 1. It validates the characteristics of what we saw in our great teachers. What we saw in you, when we began to identify characteristics of great teachers. 2. It validates that our Academic Transformation Plan has the potentially of enhancing teaching and learning.

Kagan features classbuilders and teambuilders aimed at relationship building, which parallels the F in F.O.C.U.S. I encourage all staff to begin DEB groups with classbuilders on Monday!

Kagan has high expectations for learning. Kagan structures shift the learning load to the students. They need to be the hardest workers in the room. This parallels the O in F.O.C.U.S.

Kagan structures naturally creates engagement through meaningful experiences. Engagement is at the heart of Kagan cooperative learning structures. This parallels, or mirrors, the C in F.O.C.U.S.

Kagan structures utilize data to inform instructional planning. Remember how students are arranged in groups? This parallels the U in F.O.C.U.S.

Jeff shares, "Effective feedback is best when it is immediate and specific." When he said that I wondered if he reviewed our A.T.P.! Needless to say, this is another parallel - the S in F.O.C.U.S.

Show Me the Money!

Our 2014-2015 budget has to tighten up. We do not have the funds to purchase much more for this school year. Many of our wants will need to get pushed to next school year.

Informal Observations

I will begin conducting informal observations in the week ahead. Each informal observation will be followed by an e-mail or a verbal discussion.

Here is a Glance at the Week Ahead

Sunday - Anna Hottman's Birthday!!!!

Monday - Differentiate Engagement Block (D.E.B.) Begins

Monday - Fire Drill and Evacuation to Edgewood at 10:15.

Monday - Certified Staff Meeting 3:00 - 4:00 - Individual PD/Reflection

Tuesday - Principal Teaching and Learning Meeting - I will be out of the building in the afternoon

Wednesday - Kathy Siran's Birthday!!!!

Wednesday - I have a principal goals meeting at DAC. I will be out of the building during the lunch hour.

Wednesday - STP meeting at 6:45 - Certified staff members are expected to attend. Please develop a schedule as done in the past.

Thursday - ECRA results will be available.

Friday - Bus Evacuation Drill

Don Mrozik, Principal of John L. Sipley School

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