Good Things Newsletter

October 2016

The Air is Crisp and the Leaves are Changing--Fall is in the Air--We are HALFWAY there :)

As we approach Fall Break, let's take a moment to celebrate many of the awesome things happening in classrooms and around our school. We are halfway through our Fall semester. Yes, there have been many #ETC opportunities, but as oneMooresville we have stuck together and moved forward for our kids.

Your Media and Tech team hope you have a restful and well deserved fall break.

April, Tracey, Damien, Kristi, and Erin

A Little Halloween Nostalgia: It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

Linus exemplifies great determination that the Great Pumpkin will visit his pumpkin patch and all he needs are for his friends to believe in him as well. This month's newsletter focuses on M-2: High Expectations for our students and how we can set the bar high and challenge our students to rise to the occasion.
Linus Explains The Great Pumpkin 1

October's M-Powerment Focus is: M2- High Expectations

One way to foster high expectations for students is to help them see things with a growth mindset. Instead of looking at challenges as a final endpoint, help students to see they can choose to overcome them with persistence and support from you.

High expectations for students also corresponds to high expectations for ourselves. When faced with a challenge or something you don’t know how to do (yet), how do you respond?

Check out this Edutopia article on the power of “YET”. What are the things you haven’t mastered...yet? And what are your plans to make progress toward your own goals?

Check out the video below which describes the "Power of Yet" because sometimes Sesame Street just says it BEST :)

Sesame Street: Janelle Monae - Power of Yet

Instructional Highlight: Student Ownership of Learning

Having high expectations for students means holding them accountable for their work and progress. This month we are highlighting three teachers who are using different methods to help their students make the connection between their efforts and their results.

Amy Ward

Amy Ward sends weekly personalized emails home to parents with updated student performance information, including averages by type (Homework, Quiz, etc.) and missing assignments. This is an easy way to hold students accountable for their work in class and strengthen the home connection (M-1 for the win!). Using information exported from the Blackboard Learn Gradebook, a Google doc template, and a little bit of Google magic, this process can be automated to send an entire class of emails in minutes! Check out this email example from Ms. Ward.

Caty Carmendy

Caty Carmendy used a similar process to create personalized 4.5-week assessment progress reports with student reflection. Using information downloaded from Mastery Connect, she used Autocrat (a Google add-on) to create customized reports for each student. Students completed a reflection about their performance, and had an embedded link to their online remediation. The remediation is a “no-fail” quiz in Google Forms. If students got a question wrong, it took them to a page with more explanation and another problem to try before moving on to the next session.

Sample Student Reflection Document

Remediation Link

Trinity Frasure

Trinity Frasure noticed her students were accumulating zeros and their last unit test average was way down. To encourage them to meet her expectations, she created a “progress check” for each student using a Google doc. After students pull their performance information from Learn and reflect on their effort, they have it signed by a parent in hopes that it will jump start their motivation as well as make parents more aware of how their student is doing.

Check out her form here. You can go to File > Make a Copy to tweak it and use it yourself.

Two of these solutions involve creating category averages in Learn. Here are directions for that too!

If you’re interested in incorporating any of these strategies with your classes, please make an appointment with Damien, Tracey or April.

Literacy Strategy

As we provide more digital resources for our students it’s important we help them engage with the text in meaningful ways. Here are some websites that help students better comprehend what they are reading.

  • Rewordify lets students copy and paste difficult text, or paste a website URL, and it simplifies the text into easier to read language. It’s an effective way to help ELLs and increase comprehension for all students.

  • Visuwords and SnappyWords both are online visual word dictionaries. Students type in a word and see relationships, synonyms, and related words. This is great for visual learners!

Pair it with the Discovery SOS Strategy Vocabulary Quadrants, which guides students through different aspects of vocabulary words!

Tech Check-up

Google Classroom lets you distribute and collect work students do in Google docs very quickly. It will automatically create an individual document for each student and manage the sharing process. You can grade assignments, provide feedback, and export your grades to a spreadsheet to put into Learn. We have a few teachers trying it this semester (Ms. McCraw / AP Calculus; Allie Chapman-Scruggs AP English). They report they love it so far!

Here are a few things to remember if you want to try Google Classroom:

  • Google Classroom should be used in conjunction with Learn, NOT as a replacement! The expectation remains that you post grades through Learn and links to your Google Classroom materials for parents to access.

  • Teachers can only set up Google Classroom in the student domain. If you set it up in the domain, it will not be approved.

    • Login to using and your regular computer password.

    • Click on I’m a teacher and then send an email to an ITF letting us know you are waiting on an activation. Technology must approve these before classrooms are active.

News from the Media Center

Expect all students to properly cite their sources for any projects in your class. Encourage them to use MHS Digital Resources. Many of the resources on this page include built-in MLA or APA citations.

Contact Kristi and Erin for assistance in citing sources. We will work with you on this digital citizenship skill as well as check/edit students’ Works Cited/References pages and other uses of citations.

*Note: Although convenient, many citation websites do not accurately auto-cite the online sources that students find. For this reason, we recommend the use of Citation Maker.

View the video below to watch education expert Robert Marzano advising teachers to review their current expectations of students so that they can communicate high expectations for all students.

Video link:

Read this short article from Educational Leadership to learn more about Marzano’s four-step process.

Stop by the Media Center to check out some of Marzano’s books from our Professional Collection. We recently received Enhancing the Art & Science of Teaching with Technology that Marzano co-wrote with Sonny Magaña.

You've Been Busted--Jordan Black

Jordan Black’s honor students are creating a class blog tied to each of the topics in his unpacked standards. Each student has to become an expert on the standard, post the key information for EOC review, include a visual, cite references, and reflect on/explain the topic. Students have to comment on each other’s posts. At the end of the semester, students in CP classes will use the blog as an interactive review. Mr. Black reports the students are excited to be published authors and that engagement is high. This is a great example of setting high expectations for students through higher level thinking skills and inquiry. Check out their blog at:

You've Been Busted: Anabel Gonzalez

Ms. Gonzalez is using learning menus with her ESL students to help guide their coursework. Each unit, students choose an appetizer, entree, and dessert tied to their learning objectives. Ms. Gonzalez wanted to offer as much choice and differentiation as possible since she has varying levels of English proficiency, even in her small classes. She chose to use blogspot because it archives older menus and helps her keep track of what was offered. Check out her menus at:

Something Motivational: Challenge Your Students to Succeed

Great Teachers Challenge Students to Succeed
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April Davala

Instructional Technology Facilitator

Tracey Waid

Instructional Technology Facilitator

Damien Akelman

Help Desk Manager

Kristi Brawley

School Library Media Coordinator

Erin Stutts

School Library Media Coordinator