JCE Monday Notes
November 30, 2015
Tuesday, December 1 - AM PL - Learning Environments
Wednesday, December 2 - Leadership Meeting
Thursday, December 3 - AM PL - PBL 1
Friday, December 4 - AM PL - PBL 2
Friday, December 4 - Standards Window Opens
Saturday, December 5 - Breakfast with Santa
Monday, December 7 - Kindergarten Power Planning
Monday, December 7 - itslearning training in Data Room during Planning
Next week (Dec. 7th-11th) is National Computer Science Week. We are celebrating the 3rd annual Hour of Code. Our goal is for every student, school wide to try some type of computer science activity for an hour next week. The Hour of Code can be a turning point. Many students have not had the opportunity to imagine themselves on careers they don’t know much about. Learning to code is about solving big problems, helping people live better lives, and bringing us all closer together.
*Please sign up your class to participate in the Hour of Code by using this link:
The link for Forsyth hourofcode.com/forsythcountyschools
(This is not madatory.)
Ideas for teachers to try…it’s ok to LEARN WITH the STUDENTS:
Teacher Led Hour of Code Lesson Plans http://code.org/teacher-led
Hour of Code tutorials/Puzzles for all ages https://code.org/learn
Hour of Code Suggestions by Grade Level http://askatechteacher.com/2015/11/09/hour-of-code-3/
We will be doing Code with our Specials classes but will only see Days 4, 5, 6, 1 and 2 for Grades K-1 and 4-5. If you'd like to bring your students to the Media Center to complete an activity, let Annette or Emily know.
Partners in Education Spotlight:
Just in case you can't find your copy...
What Do We Do With All This Data?
I recently read an article in my November edition of Educational Leadership that was timely
considering we just received student test scores from last spring. We’ve waited months to
see the impact of our year-long efforts from a year ago, and now we need to best decide
how to use this data for current instruction and to prepare for this year’s assessment which
is just 4-1/2 short months away. According to Amanda Datnow and Vicki Park’s article “5
(Good) Ways to Talk About Data”, there are five key components that teams within a school
need to consider when looking at data. I’ve taken these five key points and added my own
thoughts to supplement their ideas.
1. Students are the shared responsibility of everyone. There’s too much at stake
and it’s too much responsibility for one person to bear on their own – grade level
teachers and support teachers need to all take ownership of the students and their
progress. It’s not a competition between teachers and their test scores, rather we
can all learn from one another and find out what one teacher did that can help
students in your classroom. This is another great reason to share grade level
students during daily RTI segments. If the team focuses on the data-driven needs of
all the students and discuss their progress or gaps, then multiple teachers can
strategize on ways to meet each child’s needs and place them in an RTI group
accordingly. It is the team’s responsibility to improve student achievement, not just
the homeroom teacher.
2. Conversations about data include healthy disagreement. When teachers meet to
discuss the data, they may not always agree on why students performed at a
particular level. Was it the way the questions were worded? Student interest level or
effort? Pacing? Class dynamics? Or did the teacher try a strategy or activity that had
direct impact on performance? Disagreements are expected when several adults are
discussing something they’re passionate about, but the discussions need to be
handled in a respectful manner that focus on the goal of improved practice, not just
a venting session. An unhealthy and unproductive alternative is to ignore the
conversation completely because you know there will be differing opinions, but it is
best to set norms at the beginning of the year so team meetings are a safe place for
sharing all ideas where teachers don’t feel judged, everyone listens with respect,
and decisions are made that focus on what’s best for students.
3. Conversations about data engender trust rather than suspicion. This one
encompasses multiple levels of trust – trust that your team and administration are
not simply looking at data and making judgments, and trust that your teammates
are genuinely doing their best to help students grow at high levels. Understanding
your colleagues and the challenges they face in their classroom will help you
respond in a helpful manner to their concerns and find ways to discuss the assets
students bring to the classroom rather than just their deficits. As an administrative
team, we will use data to look for patterns in ways we need to improve as a school,
not as a ‘gotcha’ for low scores.
4. Data teams take a solution-oriented approach. Being a reflective educator has
the most impact with this component. Rather than just picking and choosing data
points and making quick decisions to make changes, it’s best to look at the data and
reflect on what contributed to the success or difficulties in those areas and why
what you did may or may not have made a positive impact on student learning
before proposing a possible solution. Sometimes more is needed for the teachers to
be able to prepare their students for success, so teacher professional learning will
need to occur before student learning can excel, but getting to the root of the
instructional practice or lack thereof can help make solution-oriented decisions.
5. Data teams know what they’re expected to accomplish. What is the purpose of
looking at data with your team? Does everyone see the value of spending time
together to look at data? How often should data be reviewed and specifically, what
data is being discussed? While there are a lot of questions to ask and answer, the
key is that these collegial conversations are happening on a continual basis using
not only state testing scores, but formative and summative assessments as well.
When you meet to discuss county assessment results, do you see a difference in
performance with certain standards between the classes, did the majority of
students miss a particular problem? As an administrative team, we are not as
concerned about your team following a regimented protocol for your data meetings
or even that you are documenting all of your data in a uniform chart. We know that
if these intentional conversations occur and are focused on observational and
assessment data that teams will be reflective and committed to determining the next
course of action for specific students and standards. The ultimate goal of data teams
is to improve instruction and learning for all students while also embedding time for
teachers to share and learn from their peers. Authentic professional learning which
then translates into changed classroom teaching behavior at its finest.
Datnow, A. and Park, V. (2015, November). 5 (Good) Ways to Talk About Data. Educational
Leadership, 73(3), 10-15.
Instruction and Curriculum Support
Facts4Me – we now have a school site subscription to use their site for research. Your students will use:
Username: JCE123 Password: jaguars
Ways to make your Math Classroom Atmosphere Successfulhttps://www.youcubed.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Norms-Paper-2015.pdf
Any team wanting to know more about GOFAR, please let me know and I will come to you. It will take about 6 min for you to become proficient with the data base.
Grammar site worth looking at: https://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar
Poems with Text Dependent Questions: http://www.readworks.org/rw/poetry-text-dependent-questions?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=11.30.15%20Poetry
Kindergarten and First grades are coming for Personal Safety and Internet Safety with Mrs. Flynn and Ms. Ford (room #1213) through tomorrow, December 1st. Wednesday will begin Personal Safety Connections/Guidance for Second and Third grades! We will also be doing Personal Safety with these grade levels for the first two lessons. Then we will have a lesson on Internet Safety. I am so excited that Linda is with me and able to be my second adult in the room for these lessons while she is here. That means that through the end of December, teachers will not need to stay in my room as we have done in the past years. I am trying to work things out so we can continue this for the remainder of the Personal Safety lessons for this school year. I know how busy everyone is and how precious planning time is. Next year we will need to go back to having the teachers stay. Everyone should have sent the letter about these lessons home a few weeks ago when I emailed it out to you. Also, Please be sure to let me know if you have students who are not participating so we together, can be sure they are not present in my room for the lessons.
There will only be a 5th Grade Safari Leader Meeting this week! Please let you fourth grade Safari Leaders know they do not have a meeting this week (I am teaching during their recess time).
Holiday House Toy Collection:
Please let me know if you have any questions about the Holiday House toy collection program. All items are due to me by end of day on Wednesday, December 2nd!!!!
Please let me know if you have any questions or need anything!
Have a wonderful week,
Onalee and Linda
Please remember to use the Outlook Calendars to reserve laptops and Chromebooks. The carts are housed in hallways for convenience but are not reserved for those grade levels only. Anyone can reserve any cart at any time. Please remember to use the calendar to sign up and follow that schedule.
MISSING: Laptop 5 from Cart 2 is missing the down navigation button. Please be on the lookout for this missing key and let Emily know if you find it. Thanks!
Now that every student has a Google Drive account, digital books are easy to create and share. Using Google Slides, students can work individually or in small groups to plan the distribution of the text and add photo illustrations with the built-in image search. Of course, they could also illustrate with paper/pencil and take pictures of their artwork. Google Slides can be embedded into itslearning assignments, discussion threads, notes, etc... the same way you embed YouTube and other videos. To find the embed code for your Google Slides presentation, choose File/Publish to the Web, click on Embed, and copy the code. The Discussion Thread would be a great itslearning tool for allowing students to comment on others' stories. Let me know if you're interested in trying this out!