November 2, 2012

What 'Ya Need to Know...

•11/6 SSF PTO Sponsored Boutique

•11/7 Star Party 6:00PM

•11/12 Veteran’s Day Holiday

•11/13 Book Fair begins-Happy Holidays to our Classroom and Special Ed Staff-Vero is “donating” $100.00 of Scholastic Book Dollars to EACH teacher to be spent at the book fair-THESE DOLLARS ARE MEANT TO BE SPENT ON BOOKS TO SUPPLEMENT YOUR CLASSROOM LIBRARIES…not your personal libraries. (<: Thank You Vero for donating a portion of last year’s profits to our classrooms!!

11/14 Staff Party @ Dream Dinners-See Sharon if you are interested in joining us!

•11/15 Staff Meeting AND Comfy, Cozy, Cocoa-wear your jammies book fair evening-Looking for “Guest Readers!” Let Vero know if you are interested in reading book that evening!


•Our Entire team for a Great Emergency Drill this morning! Well Done!

•A belated Thank You to Mr. Chuck for returning to school last week and working extra 4 hour shifts in Nora’s absence!

•Kudos to Francesca Vaccarino for organizing a meeting with the coordinators of Maggie’s Book Club-an organization that partners children with reading dogs-more information on this will be forthcoming-Thank you to Robin and Kaylynn for getting this started at SSF!

•Thank you to the Tech Dept. for their continued efforts to get our Apple TV and iPads talking to each other-We appreciate your efforts as we work our way through this frustration!

•A Drop in the Bucket for Susan Jensen for taking the time to come to our school to answer our insurance questions-could she make it any easier for us! YEAH Susan!


•Pardon the Pun…but this week’s article is on Flipping the Classroom-a new approach to using technology-Cara and Monica are piloting different strategies for this innovative use of technology-can’t wait to hear more about their discoveries!

Two “Flipped Classroom” Gurus Share Some Pointers

In this helpful Kappan article, Colorado high-school science teachers Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams say their journey into “flipping” classes began with a simple question: What is the best use of face-to-face time with students? “We concluded that students need us most when they were wrestling to understand a difficult concept or problem,” say Bergmann and Sams. “This wrestling match often happened at home when we were unavailable to help students as they constructed their understanding.” In 2007, they decided that lecturing was not a good use of classroom time and began recording videos of content presentations, asked students to watch them at home, and then worked with kids on challenging problems and applications in class.

Bergmann and Sams believe flipping can be done well and it can be done badly. Here are five key elements to success:

A network – It’s hard to do this work alone. If teachers don’t have like-minded colleagues in their school, they might try, a site where over 9,000 educators are discussing and collaborating on the concept.

Support from administrators – “We have seen the most remarkable change happen when leadership – whether at the school or district level – embraces a flipped classroom approach and provides professional development, resources, and a willingness to embrace change for the sake of students,” say Bergmann and Sams.

Support from the IT department – Skillful technology administrators are essential to showing teachers the best and easiest way to post their videos.

Time – “Our general rule of thumb is to allow 30 minutes to create a 10-minute video,” say Bergmann and Sams. And videos don’t have to be perfect. Before teachers get started, it’s helpful to attend a one- or two-day flipped learning workshop followed by a one-day training on screen-casting.

Thoughtful educators – There isn’t one right way to flip a class, and teachers need to tailor the approach to their content and personality.

“Flipped learning is a method developed by teachers for teachers,” conclude the authors, “a grassroots movement gaining traction with the ones who have the real power to change education: classroom instructors… We are excited to see where this will go and how teachers will uniquely answer the ONE question.”

“Before You Flip, Consider This” by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams in Phi Delta Kappan, October 2012 (Vol. 94, #2, p. 25),