the "Oskaloosa Syllabus"

News You Can Use - February, 2013

Curriculum Mapping - Key Points and Ideas

Curriculum Teams have started the process of Mapping our GLB's on ATLAS. This is a process taking us several years to accomplish. But for those of you not on a Curriculum Team - What IS Curriculum Mapping? Why are Curriculum Mapping? What does the Curriculum Map Look Like? What Are the Expectations for US?

  • Mapping is an ON-GOING process that is driven by collaborative conversations!
  • Mapping is a way of thinking about documenting what we currently do to implement out GLB's and the Iowa Core Standards
  • Mapping demonstrates what we are using for instruction and assessment relative to our GLB's
  • Mapping is NOT just a thing we are doing - it is the beginning of critical conversations to help communicate what we are doing, whether it is working, and what we need to do differently
  • Mapping helps us to plan by units so new teachers have a starting point
  • Mapping provides evidence of our alignment to the Iowa Core
  • Mapping supports our district goals
  • Mapping shows the amount of instruction and practice our students are receiving on individual GLB's and their Components
  • Mapping documents our "intended curriculum" is our actual "enacted curriculum"
  • Mapping provides a framework or structure for our teaching on a daily basis
  • Mapping allows us to be reflective and assess how students perform on GLB's
  • Mapping should be the KEY to what we do in the Classroom!!!
  • Mapping is not required to be completed this school year - we continue to work on developing quality maps as we continue with curriculum work

3 New Helpful Links on Staff Resources Page

Curriculum Teams have discussed how to implement more authentic/real-world assessments and tasks for students in the classroom - AND at higher levels of thinking on Bloom's Taxonomy.

These three websites provide information on how you can integrate these ideas into your instruction without changing a lot of what you are currently doing. The High School is learning and implementing PBL as part of Professional Development this year - the Middle School will move in this direction next year. If you want to learn more:

DLT Update

The DLT met on January 8th from 4:00-6:00. Below is a summary of that meeting

1. Review DLT Norms

-DLT viewed a leadership video by Drew Dudley – great leadership motivation and outlook! Take a look at:

2. Miscellaneous Information

a. Standards-Based Grading Workshop in CR in April will be attended by: Mary, Stacey, Kirsten, Stacy, Jeanne, Todd, and Jen

3. Decision Item on Standards-Based Grading – 3rd Grade

a. Reviewed the timeline for implementation.

b. The DLT members had a good conversation around the timeline – Alexis Shipman provided some information about the 3rd Grade current implementation and feedback from parents. The only concern from the 3rd Grade team is the time to have the necessary conversations. Mary assured the team there would be paid time for them to collaborate to be ready for implementation.

c. Next Steps: Survey second grade parents & follow the timeline for implementation. Coordinate with elementary principals for parent meeting to take place in the spring 2013.

4. RTI – Building Learning Supports Plans

a. Several DLT members attended a presentation in December by Wayne Callender

i. We reviewed the 20 items that were also in the latest newsletter. Others who attended shared ideas or aha’s gained from the presentation related to their building.

ii. Discussions of RTI at each level among teachers around a packet of information received by Callender on a CD in attendee folders.

iii. Groups summarized their conversations.

5. Presentation to the Board of Education – Dr. Cooksley presented

6. Decisions made:

-DLT approved the progression of the 3rd grade shift to standards-based grading.

Common Core Implementation - Website "Teaching Channel" Videos - What the Common Core Looks Like in K-12 Classrooms

Videos for 6-12 - Lesson Ideas for Common Core - Great Lesson Ideas!!!

Check out the pictures below of Learning Targets posted in classrooms! Do you see yours?

We can have fun with Learning Targets too!!! Tell me whose Learning Target this is and you will win a prize!

PLC To Watch in February

Foreign Language

The PLC featured in February is the Foreign Language PLC at the HS. This is a small 3-person PLC, but they are very deliberate and focused each week. Check out a little about the Foreign Language PLC!

Our 2012-2013 Norms

  • Be positive! :)
  • Be flexible & open to the ideas of others.
  • Keep your focus.
  • Share team responsibilities.
  • Agree to disagree.

Our SMART Goal for 2012-2013

1. 100% of the student will demonstrate acquisition of vocabulary with at least 80% proficiency as measured by vocabulary assignments and assessments.
2. 100% of foreign language students will achieve a 2 each GLB.

Some of their Action Plan items:
Introduction of vocabulary, guided practice, individual practice, novel manipulation of vocabulary and grammar. A variety of literacy strategies will be used

PLC Dates in February

February 6th - Extended PLC
February 13th - Extended is Vertical Team
February 20th - Extended PLC
February 27th - Building Choice

Sites and APPS of 2012

Additional resources you might use in your classroom!

LETRS Training

Elementary Special Education and Title I teachers will take part in a 5-year project with the Department of Education. Each teacher will be trained in LETRS - beginning literacy development. For more information go to

Planning will take place in February where we will create an action plan for the 5-year work with the learning modules.

Common Grading reminder

  • Each course taught by more than 1 teacher WILL have the same weighting
  • Each course taught by more than 1 teacher WILL have the same grading practices
  • Each course taught by more than 1 teacher WILL have common summative assessments
  • Each course taught by more than 1 teacher WILL use the same categories in the grade book
  • Each course taught by more than 1 teacher WILL use the same assignments to show progress on GLB's - weighted and scored the SAME (Assignments do not have to be identical, but they MUST be graded using the same criteria)
  • Assignments/Assessments MUST be linked to a GLB to show progress on a GLB - though NOT ALL have to be linked - they must be linked consistently by a team - AND you should choose enough assessment information to show evidence of students' meeting GLB expecations

3rd Grade - NO letter grades next year

During the 2013-2014 school year, 3rd Graders will no longer receive letter grades to demonstrate academic expectations on GLB's. Instead they will use the 1-4 code to demonstrate whether they have met the expectations of the GLB's.

Social Studies and CTE - Resource Selection

Reminder - All Purchase Orders MUST be in to Dr. Cooksley by April 1st!!!

PLC Survey Results

If you want to look at the PLC Survey Results for January - go to the PLC Wiki and click on "PLC Survey Results" to view. Or simply click here:

RtI - Response to Intervention

In order to keep you up-to-date with what is happening with RtI in our district - here is some information we are discussing:

  • Universal Screener - we are discussing which will allow us to progress monitor students in grades K-HS. We are investigating some allowing us to track and monitor student progress
  • We continue to watch videos and learn - here is another video to help you understand RtI
Getting Started | RtI Stories

RtI Guiding Questions

  1. Is your core cycle sufficient? Identify screening tools - organize and analyze the data
  2. If the core is not sufficient, why not? Review curriculum, instruction, and assessment - also environment
  3. How will needs identified in core be addressed? Identify resources and training required - develop an action plan
  4. How will the sufficiency and effectiveness of the core cycle be monitored over time? Determine your goal and data to collect
  5. Have improvements to the core been effective? Use baseline data as a comparison on universal screener


  1. Which students is the core cycle sufficient and not sufficient, and why? Identify instructional needs of students not meeting core
  2. What specific targeted and intensive instruction is needed? Identify resources matching student needs
  3. How will specific targeted and intensive cycles be implemented? Determine who will provide instruction and who will collect the data
  4. How will the effectiveness of targeted and intensive cycles be monitored? Select progress monitoring tool and collect data
  5. Which students need to move to a different cycle? Review progress monitoring data/formative data and make changes as necessary

The Thoughtful classroom teacher effectiveness framework

  1. Organization, rules, and procedures - how do you organize your classroom - rules and procedures?
  2. Positive Relationships - how do yo build these to promote learning?
  3. Engagement and Enjoyment - how do you motivate students to do their best?
  4. A Culture of Thinking and Learning - how do you develop this?
  5. Preparing Students for New Learning - How do you establish your purpose, activate prior knowledge and prepare them for learning?
  6. Presenting New Learning - How do you present New learning to engage students with the content?
  7. Deepening and Reinforcing Learning - How do you help students solidify their understanding and practice those skills?
  8. Applying Learning - How do students demonstrate their learning and what kinds of evidence do you collect to assess learning?
  9. Reflecting on and Celebrating Learning - How do you help students look back on their learning and refine their learning process?
  10. Professional Practice - How do you demonstrate a commitment to professional learning and contribute to your Learning Community?

*Source: School Administrator, January 2013

3 tasks that should be happening in PLC's

  1. Looking at student and teacher work - use "I wonder" statements to provide feedback rather than using the entire tuning protocol
  2. Designing Common Assessments
  3. Reviewing and responding to data

Time to Giggle!