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News You Can Use!

Friday, January 22, 2016 [Volume 1, Issue 8]

Week 2 of the 3rd 9 Weeks is complete! Can you believe it!

Great job to the 3-5 hallway for the progress they have made on our USA Test Prep Assessments! Keep up the great work!

Make sure you stay warm and healthy during the cold weather and have a great weekend!


*We are diving back into the focus of Academic Language this week! Check your email!

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Upcoming Events! Please mark your calendar & also check the school-wide online calendar frequently:

January:

15 - Report cards go home

18 - Holiday...schools closed

19 - Midyear USA Test Prep Benchmark Assessments Begin

22 - Cardinal Carnival

26 - Awards Ceremony: 3-5 @ 9:00 & k-2 @ 1;00 in MPB

29 - Kindergarten to Northside High School to see "Princess & Pea"

February:

11 - Magnet Schools Open House ...5:30 & 6:30

26 - Northwoods Spelling Bee @ 1:00 in MPB

January Staff Birthdays!

Happy Birthday to our January babies: Debbie Baldwin, William Kornegay, Cindy Overs, and Patricia Hayes!

News from your Digital Learning and Teaching Facilitator

5 Awesome OneNote Tips That Will Change How You Use OneNote!

There are many unique ways to use OneNote, and using it to change the way you teach or study could be the best one. Come aboard. OneNote has loads of tips for the teacher and the student. Stay tuned for 5 more awesome OneNote tips next week!

Tip #1 - The To-Do List

That’s how you start your day. An organizer and a diary aren’t complete without a to-do. Here’s how you set up a quick to-do list in OneNote.

You can start your daily to-do in a new Note page. Select the Home ribbon. Click on ‘To-Do’ in the tag box or use the shortcut key of CTRL+1. Type your first to-do item. Hit Enter and then CTRL+1 to add succeeding items. If you complete your to-do, you can check them off one by one.

Tip #2 - Using OneNote Templates

Unlike other Office apps, OneNote doesn’t make it obvious where page templates are located. It’s probably because in OneNote, there are Notebooks and Pages, two different entities. But once you know where templates are located, using them for productivity could become a habit. Onslow County does have an AVID template for OneNote.

Click on the little dropdown above the page list on the right hand side of OneNote. Select Page Templates to locate the one you want to use under the different categories. You can choose a template and set it as the default template, or customize a page and set it as a template.

Tip #3 - Doodle or Sketch Your Ideas

A real world diary or organizer is not always neatly written. You find doodles, little sketches on the sides, and what not. OneNote being a digital equivalent gives you the Draw tab on the ribbon with quite a few drawing tools for visually representing your ideas. Draw your ideas…color them…flesh them out.

Tip #4 - Using Paper Backgrounds

Does a white sheet of paper make you more creative? Or maybe, it is the soothing yellow of a legal pad? OneNote isn’t about paper at all, but two simple choices can help you duplicate the feel of writing on paper. Check out the View tab on the ribbon. Combining Page Color and Rule Lines, you can create your own writing ‘environment’. You can even set the color of the ruled lines.

Tip #5 - Carry Your Notes with You

Note-taking is often a flash-of-the-moment process. One way to capture a note anytime anywhere is to quickly use the Android or iPhone apps that OneNote has (and other Office 365 apps). It will automatically sync through Office365.

You can create rich text notes with pictures, bulleted lists, checkboxes and more. You can capture instant photos with your phone camera and create a note from there. You can create multiple notes, and also view all your previous notes and notebooks on the first screen. All notes automatically get saved to your OneDrive Account. Great for archiving receipts and parent notes.

News from your Instructional Coach

Myths about personalizing Instruction for Students

This appreared in the Instructional Friday Focus last week. I thought it was so powerful and I wanted to make sure everyone saw it. It was in Mr. Snowden's section.


Paurl France recently wrote a great article that appeared in Edutopia about the three myths that may deter tearchers from personalizing instruction for students.


Myth 1: Personalized Learning Means Everyone Is Doing Something Different

When France first heard the term "personalization" he imagined individual students working on projects and activities at their own pace. In retrospect, he now knows that differentiation is the key to keeping students from working in silos void of interaction and deprived of shared experiences. France feels that the classroom should be a balance of students working on passion projects while teachers set up processes, protocols and lessons to help nurture and manage the classroom ecosystem. Lessons and activities should never be a one size fits all.

Myth 2: Personalized Learing Is Always Interest-Based

France points out that student interest is only one dimension of personalized learning. Recently he taught a series of lessons on Westward Expansion which are normally not an enthralling unit of study for students. However France's students were engaged because they could observe, ask questions, and make inferences. That led him to conclude that well planned learning experiences often personalize themselves.

Myth 3: Personalized Learning Is Way More Work Than One-Size-Fits-All Curriculum

France does not feel that it is more work to personalize, but that it is simply a respositioning of where attention is focused in the classroom. In a personalized curriculum, teachers spend time building soft skills, finding authentic materials that can be used for future students, and conducting authentic assessments. Additionally students slowly become more autonomous and reflective and teachers see a return on their investment.

France closes with this comment, "Most likely, when you start personalizing, it will feel like more work at first, but like anything else, all it takes is a bit of time, some experimenting, and a daily dose of reflection to feel like you've got the hang of it."

To read the article in its entirety, go to http://www.edutopia.org/discussion/3-personaliation-myths

News from your EC Program Coach

Preparing EC Students for School Emergency Drills

As children, the only school drills that many of us had to practice were fire and tornado drills. With the use of technology and the increase of violence in schools, we have had to include bomb evacuations and intruder lockdowns. All of these drills produce some sort of stress for all of our students, but for some of our special education students, it causes a lot of stress which can result in breakdowns and outbursts, and that doesn't include the students.

There are steps can be taken to help prepare students with special needs be more comfortable and prepared for the change in routine that occurs during emergency drills. However, these students need the support of all staff members and practice in order to make the drills be more successful.



STRATEGIES TO CONSIDER:

Autism Spectrum Disorders:

· Social Narrative or Social Memo, include what to do and what not to do (i.e. Don’t take your books, coat, backpacks etc.).

· Have a bag of comfort/sensory items.

· Use of Five Point Scale.

· Use of visuals (i.e. visual communication instructions).

· Emergency preparedness packet from AUSM.

Visual Impairments:

(Blind-Visually Impaired/Deaf-Blind)

· Employ Braille signage or audible directions.

· Emergency back-up lighting systems, especially in stairwells and other dark areas

· Mark emergency supplies with large print or Braille.

· Students should know where the nearest telephones and alarm boxes are located and how to describe their location.

· Preparedness kits should include: extra folding white cane, heavy gloves for feeling the way over glass or debris, colored poncho worn for visibility, comfort items.

Hearing Impairments: (Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Deaf-Blind)

· Provide sign language training to some staff for students who may not be able to hear emergency warnings.

· Have teachers practice basic hand signals with hearing impaired students for emergency communications.

· Alerting devices, such as strobe lights and vibrating pagers can be used to supplement audible alarms.

· Install both audible and visual smoke alarms in the classroom and building.

· Preparedness kits should include: pen and paper, flashlight to communicate in the dark, extra hearing aid batteries and batteries.

· for TTY and light phone signaler.

Developmental Cognitive Disabilities/Developmental Delay

· Provide simple diagrams or pictures.

· Practice evacuation route(s) with students regularly.

· Check that evacuation routes have directional signs that are easy to follow.

· Preparedness kits should include: comfort items, pen and paper and visual communication instructions.

Mobility Impairment:

(May include students who are physically impaired, students on crutches or in a wheel chair)

· Store a lightweight manual wheelchair, if available.

· Train the staff the proper way to move an individual in a wheelchair.

· Mobility impaired students should practice moving their wheel chairs or having them moved into doorways, locking their wheels and covering their heads with a book or with their arms or hands.

· Provide staff with a transfer sling (i.e. Tuc-N-Kari) or Evac.

· Chairs (Staff should consider how many people it may take to transfer the student using the sling. Also where will the student be sitting once the student is transferred out of the sling?).

· May want to have an extra lightweight manual wheelchair stored on the first floor to transfer students from a sling.

· Preparedness kits for those who are in wheelchairs should include: heavy gloves for making way over glass or debris, extra battery for electric wheelchairs recommended but may not be practical, patch kit for punctured wheels, flashlight, whistle, and Mylar space blanket.

Speech or Language Impairments:

· Determine in advance the best way for the student to communicate with others during an emergency.

· Provide written emergency and evacuation instructions on a card, carried at all times and placed in an easy to see location.

· Preparedness kits should include: extra batteries for communication equipment, note paper and pen, comfort items.

Other Health Disabilities:

(May include students with respiratory impairments)

· Include emergency evacuation masks and respirators in classrooms.

· Have oxygen and respiratory equipment readily available.

· Students and staff should practice putting on and removing this equipment as part of an emergency drill.

· Preparedness should include: medical schedule and dosages, medical mask, if student can wear one, any medical equipment needed for 72 hours, note paper and pen.

Medically Fragile:

· Designate who is going to administer medications to the students when a nurse is not available.

· Keep medications, authority to administer the medication forms, and healthcare plans in the vicinity of the medically fragile student.

· It is the parent’s responsibility to maintain medical supplies, notify the school of changes and provide new doctor’s orders.

· It is the nurse’s responsibility to remind the parent to provide medications and update orders when notified.

Strategies to consider for all special education students:

· Staff and students should routinely practice the route(s) and procedures.

· Staff should establish a plan and communicate with emergency responders to prepare for the emergency evacuation.

· Consider name tags with photos and brief information kept by the classroom door.

· Consider having a bag of comfort/sensory items.

· Teach to the different types of emergencies (i.e. fire, severe weather, lock down, active/violent intruder, evacuation, environmental emergencies).

· Make cheat sheets for each type of emergency.

· Review or create Emergency Plans yearly.

· Teach students ‘Plan B’ (a slightly different plan).Staff should discuss transportation procedures.

· Provide preparedness kits for all staff.

· Train staff on how to de-escalate students in a time of crises.

· Review behavior management strategies with students and staff (i.e student expectations).

· Keep directions simple and clear.

· Remain with the special needs student after the evacuation.

· Recognize that the fine details are unique to each.


*All of the information above and much more can be found at http://www.mnlowincidenceprojects.org/documents/pi_Region10_EmergEvacPlanning.pdf

News from your Literacy Coach

Differentiating Tips!

I've had several conversations about new ways to have more instructional differentiation in classrooms. There are endless possibilities but here is one of my favorite lists! Take a look to see how you can better meet the needs of the various learners in your classroom!

http://tpri.wikispaces.com/Instructional+Strategies+that+Support+Differentiation

Bringing Rubrics Back to Life!

Why Use them?

Why Embrace them?

Click below for the scoop ---->

Inspiration & Laughs for the upcoming week!