JCE Monday Notes

November 30, 2015

Upcoming Events

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:

Belk Santafest

Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More Holiday Offer

Just in case you can't find your copy...

From Admin

What Do We Do With All This Data?

Jennifer Amburgy

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

Winter F&P Good Doc Form: https://docs.google.com/a/forsythk12.org/forms/d/1_DJFXk_hFA55DdsCtPiOEzWj2vf-_A5soDb8edohVdg/viewform?usp=send_form

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

Counselor's Corner


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.

Safari Leader:

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!

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Monday Notes will be archived in itslearning.