Lakeview Staff Newsletter - March 6
Books - RAA and Bookroom!
1. Thank you, Janet, for coordinating "Read Across America" week for our teachers and students. Thanks as well to Melissa J for helping find and pull books. What a great way to make diversity prominent in our literature.
2. We have more books in the bookroom! About 100 titles - 600 books - were added this week (over $3000). They are all fiction, all from Pioneer Valley, they all either expand on recurring characters already in our collection or introduce new recurring characters to our collection, and they are mostly Levels A-H. Thank you, Rachel, for sorting and bagging books so quickly! My plan right now is to add more texts again this summer, expanding levels upward. Here is a document of just the new books and here is the link to the entire bookroom inventory, searchable in so many ways. We now have 1194 titles! The new books are able to be previewed in Rachel's room until the staff meeting on Wednesday - they will be available for checkout starting on Wednesday.
Infinite Campus Transition
One of the big transitions that is already started is our switch to Infinite Campus. You know that SDSM is changing from PowerSchool to Infinite Campus. That means different things to different people. Roxanne, Cortney, and I started the first of about 15 training sessions this week and they continue through August. Ruthanne is very busy right now making sure our immunization information is solid before it is migrated into IC. Special Ed and Pupil Services will be pulled into this work over the coming months. This will eventually touch every aspect of our work from IEP's to report cards (all for the better in the end).
A Student Information System (SIS) like PowerSchool or Infinite Campus may not be something you spend much of your time thinking about, except when taking attendance or doing report cards. But the entire architecture of any district is built upon this system. Health records, schedules, transcripts, behavior, communications, state reporting, grades, and so much more are part of any SIS. It is the "operating system" of any school district. I can tell you this - we look forward to this transition and the opportunities it is giving us to get data correct and rethink many aspects of our work.
Can you help at the Art Show?
Getting more value from "Turn and Talk"
This article caught my attention, especially the idea to write first before turning and talking. Makes a lot of sense to me. ~Chris
In this Forbes article, author Natalie Wexler describes what she often sees in classrooms when the teacher tells students to turn and talk about something just taught:
- Students talking about the intended topic but not making any sense;
- Students having a lively discussion on a different topic;
- Capable or assertive students holding forth while others listen (“social loafing”);
- Students staring into space waiting for the teacher to say time is up;
- A very noisy classroom, making it difficult to hear, also inviting off-task behavior.
Teachers may suspect that their turn-and-talks aren’t that productive, but many believe their administrators expect this pedagogical move to be used in every lesson.
“To be sure,” says Wexler, “there’s truth to the idea that interaction has educational benefits. Learning doesn’t happen unless students are engaged, and group and pair work can be very engaging for students. But it’s possible to have engagement without learning.”
Here are some research-based ways to get maximum value from turn-and-talks:
- Make sure students understand what they’re supposed to be discussing, starting with enough factual information and a clear and interesting prompt.
- Give students guidelines and protocols that help them debate and negotiate – for example, “Make sure you understand your partner’s perspective.”
- The quality of turn-and-talks can be enhanced if students are asked to write silently before discussing with their group.
- Pair sharing can be especially helpful in world language classes, giving students more practice using the language without the pressure of performing for the whole class.
“Why Teachers Need To Do More Than Have Kids ‘Turn and Talk’” by Natalie Wexler in Forbes, February 9, 2020, https://bit.ly/2TxOfCH
Tues, Mar 10 - Maddie, Bronwyn, Sarah H, and Chris at a site visit all day in New Berlin
Wed, Mar 11 - busy day:
• Staff Meeting 7:15-8:15
• Jen Sielaff at Lakeview for building hours from 8:45-11:45 in Room 122
• Lakeview Art Show in gym from 5-7 p.m.
Thurs, Mar 12 - PTO Meeting 7-8 p.m. in library
Fri, Mar 13 - Building Meeting (optional) 7:45-8:15 in the library
Tues, Mar 17 - Concert practice performance from 2:00-3:15 in gym
Evening concert at the high school. Students arrive at 6:00, Concert starts 6:30