Bulldog News Week of 12.10.17

BULLDOG NEWS!

downloadNearpod – Those of you that signed up for Nearpod,  we will have onsite training!  Our trainer will be coming Wednesday December 13 during your planning to show you all what Nearpod can do for you and your classroom!  This week we will be having ISDs – two will be Tuesday and this one will be Wednesday. So if you attend Nearpod training, then you do not have to attend an ISD on Tuesday; however, we would love to have some both!

The trainer has asked that people wanting to attend fill out this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScNUHVcLF5NRPpl3Ml3Toezs3vxi-XeGSTo6clCzzWktDoYZg/viewform

There are still some available licenses for you to use Nearpod in your classroom.  If you are interested, please let Mrs. Hester know so she can add you to the list.

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Make sure you thank Mr Gillon and Ms Pender for their hard work in making our data room a functional place!

download

 

Recognizing our Students

Mr Holt brings me candy everyday and it makes me feel great.

I am recognized and I have a conversation with him everyday about his life and his sacrifice. I know this man cares because he only brings me my favorite candy.

Do you recognize your students? How do they feel about you and your leadership efforts to build community in the classroom? This is an essential part of our job.

We will be having conversations about this in our upcoming coaching sessions. One way to make sure we empower students is building a community in the class where they know they are supported and challenged and, most importantly, valued.

Make them feel great too!

Next Reads!

We mentioned Teach Like a Pirate in the last blog, it will be a Spring/Summer read for us. These two books will be great resources in our continued journey for creating a student centered school. We read Carol Dweck’s Mindset’s my first year here. It was a great introduction to the concepts of fixed vs growth mindset and work. Mindsets in the Classroom is the educator’s practical guide.

When you are ready for your copy, I have both in my office for you. They are good reads that will leave you with good resources, steps and inspiration.

MEDIA MADNESS

  • Here is a visual chart you can share with your classes about our new reading incentives. The link for the book summary has been posted on their Schoology page. If they are struggling to locate it you can share it as well. https://goo.gl/forms/HvgBRXrOnj1T11223

reading incentive 1

  • If you are interested in doing a book tasting in the library to introduce your students to new topics and various genres please let me know. Mrs. Powers came to me with the idea and her students all found at least one new book they were interested in! Its a fun and simple way to introduce students to titles they may not normally seek out.
  • Coding with Sphero will take place this Tuesday and Thursday in the makerspace during student lunches. Space will be limited due to a low number of Sphero’s so it will be first come first serve. This will be posted on all grade level Schoology pages.
  • This weeks shared album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/A6X7auR20iJoeoFR2

INSPIRATION

You will probably reflect on a couple of things as you learn about Richie Parker:

  • Experiencing pure admiration and joy for his story
  • Wondering what was school like for him and do you have a classroom where he could thrive?

I got very emotional when I first heard his story and began researching him. At the end, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t feeling sorry for him but was being a support and challenge in his life. Would we be the teachers he remembers later in his life that were a part of ‘barrier-overcoming mentality’ development.

TECH AWESOMENESS

  • Keyboards for iPads – Within the next month we will have keyboards that can be attached to the iPads for students to use.  We are hoping to have a class set for each grade level to use.
  • Shattered Screens – Please remind students that if they come to me with a shattered screen that they will most likely be charged a $50 fee.  The iPad screen will not shatter if it falls off their desk.

Instructional Information and Ideas

Thank you to all Chapter 3 presenters…what a variety of presentations, platforms, engaging discussions, and takeaways. Several important concepts resonated with me while reading this past week:

  • Establishing a school-wide data culture is needed to promote student growth mindset and ownership of data, #empowerment is the key!
  • Choose a data source students can show rapid improvement, celebrate successes, then establish more ambitious goals.
  • Make the data matter – “is it worthy of being counted?”
  • Develop a usable system for teacher and student to gather, analyze, and present data

Odds and Ends:

  • Please add True Blue Bulldog winners to Google Doc by Friday, December 15th
  • Popcorn Party and Free Jeans Day planned for Wednesday, December 20th. Report for articles read @75% or higher will be generated on Monday, the 18th…please encourage your kiddos to continue reading and complete a book summary for each book read (link shared by Mrs. Shue via Schoology grade level groups)
  • If you ARE NOT participating in Nearpod training, select an ISD for Tuesday at the following link: ISD Options
  • Research validates the importance of the first and last five minutes of a class period in reference to student understanding and knowledge…in a nutshell the first and last part of instruction or class have the most impact on student achievement
  • Warm-ups, bell ringers, logic problems, or a Do Now…engage students as soon as they enter the room:) Check out a few below:
  • Estimation 180   Which one doesn’t belong? Logic Puzzles (any content)

GO-TO GIRLS

“In this country that grows more food than any other nation on this earth, it is unthinkable that any child should go hungry.” Sela Ward

“One in four kids in the U.S. faces hunger.  35 million people in the U.S. are hungry or don’t know where their next meal is coming from, and 13 million of them are children. If another country were doing this to our children, we’d be at war.” Jeff Bridges

We can make a difference for people facing hunger in our community.  WRMS is having a food drive which started December 6 and lasts until December 18th.  Homeroom teachers you were given a flyer and tally sheet last week, and students were given information on schoology.  But our students often need a reminder.  All teachers please help us encourage our students to bring in food.  We can show them that they can make a difference in this community.  Also, the winning homeroom will receive a prize.  Thank you for helping the needy among us in West Rowan!

 

It is not too late to participate in Santa Paws and bring some Christmas cheer to some of our students.  If you are out shopping, pick up athletic socks, cute socks, fast food gift cards, Wal-Mart gift cards, or some candy, and you will bring a smile to a Bulldog child.

 

Don’t worry; a little snow won’t stop us from rocking around the Christmas tree.  We moved the dance to Friday, December 15 from 6-8.  Proceeds will go toward the student need account. Please help us raise money for uniforms and other student needs by encouraging your students to attend the dance.  Dance in the holidays!

 

Like wearing jeans?  Everyday?  Now you can do just that AND help some of our students who struggle.  For a mere $15 you will be helping our student need account and earn comfy clothes.  

 

Anyone interested in participating in staff secret santa, let Jenny Horton know.  We will draw names on Tuesday and the exchange will happen Monday, December 18-Wednesday, December 20.

 

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”

Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

 

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

Charles Dickens

 

RESOURCES

  • Eliminate Fear from the Classroom Must read! This article, which is a review of a book chapter, talks about ‘well-intentioned’ efforts that actually create fear in the classroom. No matter where it comes from, its harmful. Let’s be reflective and  intentional about the practices in your room that are actually instilling a fear culture.

UPCOMING EVENT

Monday Dec 11

  • 7th Grade Horizons Trip
  • Leadership 7th Grade
  • Wrestling vs China Grove Middle Away
  • 8th Basketball vs China Grove Middle Home
  • Faculty Meeting at 2:45 – Please make sure you access your Panorama Survey before the meeting. Everyone received an email with instructions

Tuesday Dec 12

  • WRMS 7th Grade Horizon Trip

Wednesday Dec 13

  • WRMS 7th Grade Horizon Trip
  • EC Dept Meeting

Thursday Dec 14

  • BT/Mentor Meeting
  • 8th Basketball vs CLMS Home
  • Band Booster Meeting

Friday Dec 15

  • Student Assistance Team (SAT) during planning

Saturday Dec 16

  • RSS Middle School Wrestling Tournament at WRHS

Monday Dec 18

  • 8th Basketball vs EMS

Tuesday Dec 19

  • Winter Band Concert

Wednesday Dec 20

  • Popcorn Party and Free Jeans Day

Friday Dec 22

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear Day

Monday Jan 1

  • Happy New Years

Tuesday Jan 2

  • SIT Meeting

Wednesday Jan 3

  • 8th Basketball vs Southeast MS at Home
  • 7th Basketball @ Southeast MS

Friday Jan 5

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear
  • RSS Teacher Breakfast w/ Dr Moody

Saturday Jan 6

  • All District Band Auditions, Southpoint High School

Monday Jan 8

  • Leadership 7th Grade
  • 8th Basketball @ NRMS
  • 7th Basketball vs NRMS at Home

Tuesday Jan 9

  • Band Booster Meeting 6:30

Wednesday Jan 10

  • RSS Rounding Visit
  • 8th Basketball vs Knox MS at Home

Thursday Jan 11

  • BT Mentor Meeting
  • 7th Basketball @ Knox MS

Friday Jan 12

  • WRMS 8th Awards Ceremony 8:00 – 9:00 Gym
  • WRMS 7th Awards Ceremony 10:00 – 11:00
  • WRMS 6th Awards Ceremony 12:00 – 1:00

Saturday Jan 13

  • RSS 8th Basketball Tournament, 8:00-3:30 Southeast MS
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Bulldog News Week of 12.03.17

BULLDOG NEWS!

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Its an exciting time to be a Bulldog and work in the West Area. We have several upcoming #WRStrong events coming up and they are some great events and opportunities for students and staff!

  • Dec 8 #WRStrong Basketball Night WRHS vs Central Cabarrus HS 6:00 pm
  • Jan 11 #WRStrong Fine Arts Night! Art showcase and stations, Band/Chorus Performances
  • PBL Showcase – This spring, West Area Schools will be having a PBL showcase. This will be a opportunity to put

Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 4.39.56 PMBook Reads for 2018 – We are planning our book reads for 2018. Right now we are taking our time with Leaders of Their Own Learning to make sure we have a good collective focus. But as we finish, our next dive will be an inspirational, fun read to get you motivated, thinking differently about what we do!

Teach Like a Pirate has been around for several years and is still a favorite for educators! As we near the finish for Leaders, we will dive into this #TLAP! I have your copy in my office if you would like to get a head start in December! I’m excited about our continued focus to rethink how we serve students.

 

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The Good Noise on Enrichment

This Wednesday was our first iteration of our rethinking enrichment, providing a more student-centered approach and overwhelmingly, feedback has been great. Lots of teachers have said the smaller numbers, more concentrated focus for remediation, and high interest enrichment groups went very well. Even with some teachers being out, our combined classes never went over 30. Overall, there are no major fixes but there are some things we need to fine tune moving forward:

  • Always check your roster – A lot of frustration happens when we have a large number of students show up that aren’t on our roster. Unless you’ve heard from an administrator about combining classes, you should redirect students to an administrator or person on duty so we can help them find where they are supposed to be
  • Sub plans – This is will be tricky. If you are going to be out that day, as best you can, please leave plans for your groups that a sub can follow. Your team can help you with this as well
  • Variety – There has been so much success with remediation that we don’t want to lose sight that this is probably THE time to awaken a known/unknown passion in our learners. The interest stories we’ve heard with the Civil Rights Study Group and Cursive Writing Groups is incredible. They want to be facilitated. These areas help us connect with students and we cannot take for granted the value of building relationships with students
  • We also need to adjust our Wednesday schedule in order for our grade level combined classes to meet like normal.  This is also in our google doc under WRMS Schedules.Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 9.52.36 PM
  • As we prepare for the next round of Wednesdays, please go to the google doc and change the topics that need to be adjusted for remediation and add anything you may want for enrichment.  Here is the link to add or delete for Wednesday enrichment in January:  https://goo.gl/RVxnT3. Please make sure that you go to the January tab.

Some areas that students had mentioned before that we weren’t able to provide:  cosmetology, mechanics, cooking/food, etc.  Think of what some of your students may be interested in.  Popular ones that you may not have originally considered: cursive writing, coding, MakerSpace [think of a specific creation focus], space exploration, hip hop dance, skit creations, animals, etc.  And the always popular games, sports, arts, etc.  Again Be Creative and think like a middle schooler 🙂

Weekly Meetings

Because of we are revamping Wednesdays [we need a new name] we are going to adjust up our weekly meeting schedule:

  • Monday – Team Meeting, Grade Level Meeting, Parent Meetings, IEPs
  • Tuesday – Teacher PD
  • Wednesday – Protected Planning
  • Thursday – Protected Planning
  • Friday – SAT, Team Meeting, Grade Level Meeting, Parent Meetings, IEPs

We cannot make a schedule set times for grade levels, team planning, parent meetings – given how each week is different and parent meeting needs vary, that is a decision for grade levels and teams. We do need you all meeting as a team and grade level weekly. Keep in mind that occasionally, meeting after school may be a necessity but communication, collaboration and setting a purpose for meetings will help streamline talks in meetings.

Grades Let Us Know

Conversations about students, grades and gradebooks are ongoing. Parents rely on grades and updates to have conversations with students about what needs to be done. It is an easy conversation to have when information in gradebooks is accurate and updated. Below are a couple of considerations to keep in mind:

  • Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 5.24.35 AMPlease make sure your title of assignments in PowerSchool and Schoology match
  • While it is district policy to update grades weekly, our commitment to update them regularly should be above policy, we should want to keep parents informed about what is going on in classes so they can help us help students;
  • There are built-in features on PowerSchool Gradebook that allow you to leave information for parents if work is “Late” or “Missing”. You can even leave a “Comment” on a grade, explaining a low mark. Giving a shout out to Mrs. Kohler who was being praised for doing this so well. This are great practices to keep parents informed and to answer questions before they are asked. Please see Mrs. Kohler or an administrator if you need help with this.

DATA ROOM

The data room is almost ready for you!  Now it’s time for you to show off what data you have been planning to display.  This week various groups are presenting the data chapter from our book study,  Leaders of Their Own Learning.  We are looking forward to hearing how this chapter can help us to drive change in our teaching and instruction.   We will also start talks on how our data room can help us to better meet the needs of our students and strengthen/focus our Wednesday enrichment times.

There is one whiteboard and one cork board for each grade level core area, PE, Arts, CTE, EC, Bible, Media, Guidance, and Admin.  Remember you can be creative and you can refer to the data video.

Nearpod

Those of you that signed up for Nearpod:  we will have onsite training!  Our trainer will be coming December 13 during your planning to show you all Nearpod can do for you and your classroom!  Let Mrs. Hester know if there is something in particular that you would like for the trainer to cover.  There are still some available licenses for you to use Nearpod in your classroom.  If you are interested, please let Mrs. Hester know so she can add you to the list.

Wrestling Tournament

We are hosting a wrestling tournament on December 16.  This event is the culmination of our wrestlers’ season.  We want to make this memorable for all and a pleasant experience for our visitors.  Some of you have volunteered to help as well as cook for this event.  We still need more help and food!  If you have an hour or two that you can help at the gate, concessions or in the hospitality room, please see Mrs. Hester or Mrs. Hoffman. Anyone willing to bring anything for the hospitality room is much appreciated!  We will be providing food for staff, coaches, officials, and volunteers.  Thank you again for all you do for WRMS and we want to show everyone WRMS is a great place to be!!

MEDIA MADNESS

  • Bookfair will be open on Monday. This is the last day of our book fair, if you have remind set up for your classes please send out a message reminding students and parents that it is the last day to purchase items from the bookfair. Bookfair is a great way to raise money for new books for the library and I really appreciate all of your support this past week!
  • Epic books is a great FREE way for students to have access to audio books! Their book selections are current and things our students love to read. https://www.getepic.com/ Ill be happy to show you the site and all of its many features!
  • Comics in the library!! In an effort to reach all of our readers we are now offering comic books for check out!! We have a great selection for all of our students! Please help me in spreading this exciting news!
  • This weeks shared Google Album! https://photos.app.goo.gl/VsRw1Uf0iPsfUFWv1

INSPIRATION

This TedTalk has been around for a number of years and its message is timeless. After listening to it, reflect on what and how you plan for learning in your classroom. We can do some great things to tap into our students creativity and imagination!

TECH AWESOMENESS

  • Christmas Gifts: With Christmas right around the corner, many of you have asked about an educator’s discount for Apple products. It is easier than ever. All you need to do is go to this link and make your purchase.  https://www.apple.com/us-hed/shop
  • iCloud.com: Just a reminder if you go to iCloud.com you can access and work on Pages, Keynote, etc. from anywhere the same as you do Google Drive.
  • Private Browsing: Just so you are aware some students have figured out a way to access private browsing.  They go into Safari, hold the pages or tabs icon in the upper right corner, and then open a new private tab is a choice for them. This is another way for them to access games and other nefarious sites!
  • Connect Directly to Your TV: Sometimes, unfortunately, your Apple TV just doesn’t want to cooperate.  There is a cord you can purchase for about $10 that connects your laptop directly to your TV. Might be something you want to look into: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074J2BY9Z/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Instructional Information and Ideas

November data has been updated on the Achieve 3000 wall. Several students have met and exceeded the 40 article goal and other students are rapidly approaching. Grade level lists of students meeting the Achieve 3000 component of the reading incentive will be shared at this week’s data meeting on Tuesday. Logistics, including date of popcorn party and free enrichment, will also be shared.

Winners of the Achieve Thanksgiving Reading Challenge were announced on the Bulldog News, but only one student has come by my room for their coupon. Please see the link for student names:

Thanksgiving Reading Challenge Winners

A big shout out to Ms. Kennington for sharing Quizalize  At first glance, it resembles Quizizz and Quizlet, the data disaggregation is much more user-friendly! No more spreadsheets, columns, and rows! Student performance is easily analyzed and teachers can use results for instant grouping for guided instruction. Each account has up to three free classes but is “attached” to an email account. Using @rss.k12.nc.us and @rssed.org provides you with six free classes. Sharing with colleagues is also an option.

GO-TO GIRLS

 ***URGENT***8th grade teachers turn in all recommendation forms for early college by this Tuesday, December 5.***

I just want to DANCE!   We are hosting a dance this Friday, December 8 from 6-8.  Proceeds will go toward the student need account. Please help us raise money for uniforms and other student needs by encouraging your students to attend the dance.  Dance in the holidays!

We have been meeting with students to discuss grades and try to address some of the issues that have led to poor grades.  Thank you to those who have helped us locate these students so that we can provide interventions to improve student success.

FYI we will be having the Bulldog Freeze Out Hunger food drive from December 4-15th.  Details to follow.

UPCOMING EVENT

Monday, Dec 4

  • SIT
  • 8th Basketball vs KMS Away
  • Wrestling vs Knox MS Home

Wednesday, Dec 6

  • Wrestling vs Mooresville MS at Home

Thursday, Dec 7

  • 8th Basketball vs KMS Away
  • RSS Teacher Breakfast with Dr Moody
  • Wrestling vs Mooresville MS at Home

WRStrong GameFriday, Dec 8

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear Day
  • NJHS/Student Council Dance 6:00 – 8:00
  • #WRStrong Basketball Night at WRHS – Central Cabarrus HS; Employees and Spouse get in w badge, Students get in for $1

Monday, Dec 11

  • 7th Grade Horizons Trip
  • Leadership 7th Grade
  • Wrestling vs China Grove Middle Away
  • 8th Basketball vs China Grove Middle Home

Tuesday, Dec 12

  • WRMS 7th Grade Horizon Trip

Wednesday, Dec 13

  • WRMS 7th Grade Horizon Trip
  • EC Dept Meeting

Thursday, Dec 14

  • BT/Mentor Meeting
  • 8th Basketball vs CLMS
  • Band Booster Meeting

Friday, Dec 15

  • Student Assistance Team (SAT) during planning

DP4SkpxVQAEximnSaturday, Dec 16

  • RSS Middle School Wrestling Tournament at WRHS

Monday, Dec 18

  • #WRStrong Fine Arts Show
  • 8th Basketball vs EMS

Tuesday, Dec 19

  • Winter Band Concert

Friday, Dec 22

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear Day

Monday, Jan 1

  • Happy New Years

Tuesday, Jan 2

  • SIT Meeting

Wednesday, Jan 3

  • 8th Basketball vs Southeast MS at Home
  • 7th Basketball @ Southeast MS

Friday, Jan 5

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear
  • RSS Teacher Breakfast w/ Dr Moody

Saturday, Jan 6

  • All District Band Auditions, Southpoint High School

Monday, Jan 8

  • Leadership 7th Grade
  • 8th Basketball @ NRMS
  • 7th Basketball vs NRMS at Home

Tuesday, Jan 9

  • Band Booster Meeting 6:30

Wednesday, Jan 10

  • RSS Rounding Visit
  • 8th Basketball vs Knox MS at Home

Thursday, Jan 11

  • #WRStrong Fine Arts Show, 5:00 – 7:30 at WRHS
  • BT Mentor Meeting
  • 7th Basketball @ Knox MS

Friday Jan 12

  • WRMS 6th Awards Ceremony 8:00 – 9:00 Gym

Saturday Jan 13

  • RSS 8th Basketball Tournament, 8:00-3:30 Southeast MS

Tuesday Jan 16

  • ELA Benchmark
  • RSS 8th Basketball Tournament

Wednesday Jan 17

  • Math Benchmark
  • RSS 8th Basketball Tournament

Thursday Jan 18

  • Science Benchmark
  • 7th Basketball vs Corriher Lipe MS at Home

RESOURCES

  • What Guides the PLC Process?  – Only one MUST read resource this week! This gives a good guideline for what happens in our planning talks.

Bulldog News Week of 11.26.17

BULLDOG NEWS!

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Welcome Harmony Bella Warren! Glad you and Mom are well!

Reading Incentive Program

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Please remember to discuss this schoolwide incentive program with your students! Take some time to find out where your classes are! Have a discussion with your team about which class you will discuss this with and while you’re discussing make sure you are sharing what your TEAM/CLASS incentive plan looks like.

Our New Enrichment

This week we are implementing our new Enrichment schedule. As a reminder, we are on the full schedule Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday, we go to the half day schedule and then our new enrichment the second half of the day. To get information to you in a timely manner and work out logistics, we are going to be creating/logging into SignUp Genius and selecting classes all on Monday.Below are some key points to remember:

1) Schedules – We have made a slight adjustment to the schedule (mainly 7th & 8th grade) in order for some of our classes to not have a conflict and to finish lunch earlier.  Here is a quick picture and a link to the Google Document:

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Wednesday, we will run the early release schedule.

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2)Sign up Genius Monday – In order for students to effectively sign up, each student needs to have a sign up genius account.  Their login should be their rssed.org Google email and password should be their student ID.  We are seeing that most of the 8th graders accounts are still intact and of course our 6th graders don’t have account from last year but suprisingly our 7th graders’ accounts are not there. Either way sign up and login won’t take 10 minutes.

  • Please have them go to www.signupgenius.com
  • 6th & 7th grade click on Create Sign up and use google email and student ID as login and password. We will be on the 6th grade hall during 2nd block from 8:30-8:45 and 7th hall from 8:45-9:00 to assist.
  • 8th grade try to login.  If they are unable to do this, then have them create a sign up. We will be on the hall from 9:15-9:30 to assist.

Again, this should not take long. An important part of this is monitoring so we need you all to make sure all students log in.

Again, we will be available during 2nd period to help.

3)  If you are wanting certain students to sign up for one of your remediation classes, please tell them or write it down for them.  15 remediation spots will be reserved for you unless you specifically tell Mrs Hester different.  The other classes may have more slots.

Teams may need to discuss two/three classes that some students may need to have so they don’t have one student being told to sign up for everyone’s remediation. Mrs Hester will come to all planning periods share these details as well as signing up for classes. Please bring your rosters with you ready to discuss student needs.

4) Monday afternoon during 4th period ALL STUDENTS will login to Sign Up Genius and register for their Wednesday afternoon remediation classes. Each grade level has a different sign up.  A link will be provided and they also may have received an email linking them to the sign up.

Please have students show you that they have signed up and clicked sign up so that it says ‘Thank you!” If they did it properly, then they should receive an email telling them what they signed up for as well as being able to log out and back in and see their classes. You should look for two things – the confirmation email and the ‘Thank You’ notification. Again, monitoring this is important, it helps us all if you monitor and look for these. One of us will be on every hallway to help with this process.

New Coaching Cycles We will begin new coaching cycles next week. We started with all ELA/Math/1st year teachers the first month then the remaining staff the second month. For this cycle, we will do 6th and 7th grade for the month of Dec and the remainder of the school when we return.  This time, these informal discussions will have a more focused on certain target areas.

Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 12.12.28 PMWorking on the Student Work – This Wednesday for PD, we will do another round of looking at student work. This is proven process of reflecting on the quality of our planning and expectations in our classrooms. For our first round of this, we had separate conversations in each department about recent work, this time we will be be doing this as a whole group in Mrs Henley’s room. So on Monday and Tuesday, please gather some student work of your choice – essay, presentation, worksheet, etc – for the discussion. This time, we will have a group protocol in place for this activity. Again, this is for growth and reflection. All the feedback we give is given to help all the students on our grade grow.

Just as we teach and remind students about what giving quality feedback looks like, this is our time to reflect and practice giving effective feedback. Remember, the feedback we give helps students grow!

INSPIRATION

As we prepare for next year we will be focusing on not just students diving into projects but what they do when they are in projects – thinking and problem solving and understanding the problem.

This video does a great succinct job of exploring the 5 steps in the Design Thinking process. This is a framework for many in business and the world at large.

Do we use the best teaching practices that help the brain learn best?

Do we maximize opportunities for creativity? Resilience?

Learning doesn’t happen with a grade or event, it’s about a process. We need to focus on the best learning experiences for our students.

Go to Girls

***8th grade teachers turn in all recommendation forms for early college by December 5.***

 

Remember the importance of doing attendance daily so we can have an accurate record of who is present and who is not. If court action gets initiated it is critical that attendance is accurate. Please let Mrs. Muire know of any attendance concerns. Thanks!

 

We have been meeting with students to discuss grades and try to address some of the issues that have led to poor grades.  Please continue to let us know of students who are failing, that we can provide interventions to improve student success.

 

Teachers starting after Thanksgiving if a student has been to guidance they will return to class with a pass from us.  So if a student claims to be coming from one of our offices or is on their way to the uniform closet; you can ask to see their pass to confirm.  We will be asking them for passes from you all before we allow them to stay in guidance unless you contact us prior.  

 

FYI we will be having the Bulldog Freeze Out Hunger food drive from December 4-15th.  Details to follow.

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Remember to have this discussion on your team!

UPCOMING EVENTS

Monday, Nov 27

  • Leadership – Exploratory
  • 8th Basketball vs Southeast MS at Home

Tuesday, Nov 28

  • Wrestling vs Southeast Middle at Home

Wednesday, Nov 29

  • Student Work Samples
  • ISS Closed for the Day
  • Wrestling vs Ellis Middle at Home

Thursday Nov 30

  • Wrestling vs North Rowan Middle Away
  • 8th Basketball vs North Rowan MS Home

Friday Dec 1

  • Bulldog Wear Day
  • Student Assistance Team (SAT) during planning
  • Woodleaf/Cleveland Dance @ WRMS

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 6.40.04 AMSaturday Dec 2

  • Dodgeball Tournament

Monday Dec 4

  • SIT
  • 8th Basketball vs KMS Away

Thursday Dec 7

  • 8th Basketball vs KMS Away
  • RSS Teacher Breakfast with Dr Moody
  • Wrestling vs Mooresville MS at Home

Friday Dec 8

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear Day

DN-yJL6X0AYBIT5Monday Dec 11

  • 7th Grade Horizons Trip
  • Leadership 7th Grade
  • Wrestling vs China Grove Middle Away
  • 8th Basketball vs China Grove Middle Home

Tuesday Dec 12

  • WRMS 7th Grade Horizon Trip

Wednesday Dec 13

  • WRMS 7th Grade Horizon Trip
  • EC Dept Meeting

Thursday Dec 14

  • BT/Mentor Meeting
  • 8th Basketball vs CLMS
  • Band Booster Meeting

Friday Dec 15

  • Student Assistance Team (SAT) during planning

Saturday Dec 16

  • RSS Middle School Wrestling Tournament

Monday Dec 18

  • #WRStrong Fine Arts Show
  • 8th Basketball vs EMS

Tuesday Dec 19

  • Winter Band Concert

Friday Dec 22

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear Day

RESOURCES

Bulldog News Week of 11.19.17

BULLDOG NEWS!

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Collaboration is Hard Work

We can take collaboration for granted. Its easy to think that allowing students to sit together with classwork in front of them is the same as collaboration. It isn’t. Collaboration has to be taught and modeled and revisited often.

We see a good example of collaboration [or a lack of it] when students have to create projects together and someone doesn’t fulfill their part. Collaboration is labor and thought intensive. We have to define it, set expectations and revisit regularly.

Work for Students Without iPads

This year we are having an unusually high rate of iPad breakages. As a school we are taking a serious look at what we can do address this. We will be bringing this up in SIT and other groups looking for suggestions so please think of some ideas of how we can motivate students to better take care of their iPad. In the meantime, if you have a student who doesn’t have an iPad, we have a responsibility to make sure they have access to a device or they have print alternatives for the assignments given. School wide there are less than 35 students without devices. Per teacher, this doesn’t mean a lot copies for this type of work but it will take some advance planning and knowing/tracking who is without a device.

The school system is working on our replacements but we can step up our efforts to make sure students aren’t getting penalized for not having devices.

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Parent Portal

We have a growing number of parents accessing student work and grades on Parent Portal – and we want this! We need them informed to help us in this partnership. As such, we need to be good partners and have good, up-to-date information they can use as home to help us make sure students know the work we expect.

Even though there is a county policy on hand about weekly grading, this message can’t be about policy – this message has to be about our desire/need to help families help children. If parents don’t know, they can’t help – its that simple. Please make sure you are getting your grades in on time [weekly] and accurately. We have some great digital support in grading, take advantage of what we can do.

Incentives

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We’re going to be meeting with teams Monday 11.27 to discuss your plans for incentives with students. What do you do, on your team, to celebrate Achieve3000 victories? Grade Increases? Core Values? Others? These meetings will be no longer than 15 minutes – look for the invitation.

For our school, SIT and Admin have developed some incentives for all students to focus on Achieve3000 and to encourage reading of books as well.  We hope you all will share this

Screen Shot 2017-11-19 at 10.44.55 AMwith your students and use it in conjunction with your plans so that we can grow strong Bulldog readers.

Follow this link to the Google Doc of the full plan – Achieve Incentives Plan

 

Please keep Coach Young and Mrs Wilkinson in your prayers.

Data Room

We are so excited as our data room develops over the next couple weeks.  The room has been a real team effort from Mr. McCoy painting the room, Mr Brown boards [and challenging our concept of ‘straight lines’], and Mrs Hester and Mr Pittman creating our awesome video below – we want this to impact move to be about making a difference in our learning and teaching.  We have gotten tables and are adding wheels so we can move them around to create different types of work spaces.  We have ordered white boards that should be in very soon, and we are also creating 2×3 ft bulletin boards for you all to use for your data. BE CREATIVE!

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MEDIA MADNESS

  • On Monday I will be coming around to take pictures of each teacher team for the yearbook.
  • This weeks weekly photo album https://photos.app.goo.gl/7kc9jvhLD5KLHs6q2
  • If you are interested in sharing a book you have recently read and participating in our weekly book share I would greatly appreciate it!
  • Some exciting news! This week the library had 312 books circulated!! Way to go!!
  • Our first book fair this year will be starting the Monday we come back from Thanksgiving break!
  • https://www.getepic.com/ is a great FREE site for teachers! Free e-book and audio books for student use! All audio books are read aloud to the students and with the print book they can follow along! For those that are not audio books the students can click on every single word and it will read a definition to them. I plan to make simple tags on all of the books I have available in the library that correspond with the free audio book. This will be great for students during our reading enrichment. The books are current books and books that our students love such as Big Nate, Goosebumps, 39 Clues, and nonfiction! https://www.weareteachers.com/want-to-support-student-readers-have-them-listen-in/

INSPIRATION

After listening to this, have a conversation with your teammates, planning partner, admin or someone you haven’t seen in the building in a while.

Here are some great words to share with students about their beliefs and attitudes towards trying and keeping at it.

TECH AWESOMENESS

  • Laptop Cart: If you have any laptops that belong in the laptop cart please return them to Mr. Pittman.  The district is completing the buyback process and needs these devices back.  We are currently short 7 laptops in the cart.  The district will be replacing our laptops with 20 new devices.
  • Apple TV: If your screen isn’t showing up on your Apple TV then shut your computer all the way down and start it back up.  This will fix that problem.  Your laptops need breaks every once in awhile too :).
  • Bulldog News: We start our Bulldog News program everyday after announcements.  Make sure you have logged in the school systems filter page to access YouTube before hand.  Here is the link to our school YouTube page: Click Here

Instructional Ideas & Information

Kudos @westrowanmiddleschool teachers!! Comparing September and October Achieve 3000 data reflects your diligence in purposeful integration versus “today we are doing Achieve!”

September

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October

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For us “old timers”, we know the initial rollout of Achieve was wrought with confusion, inconsistent expectations, and IS NOT literacy instruction. Many of our students will complete a task or activity simply because it is “what you do.” In a recent meeting, Dr. Morrow stressed the importance of using Achieve 3000 not as a station, something to put kids on, and something you do, but must be used with fidelity.  Achieve used in isolation versus integrated into multiple curriculum components – close reading, writing in all content areas, strategic questioning – can be viewed as an add-on instead of high-quality informational text.

Achieve 3000 articles have multiple resources, including the Curriculum Key. Use the template to plan and implement Achieve with fidelity.

Achieve Lesson Template

GO-TO GIRLS

***8th-grade teachers turn in all recommendation forms for early college by December 5.***

Remember the importance of doing attendance daily so we can have an accurate record of who is present and who is not. If court action gets initiated it is critical that attendance is accurate. Please let Mrs. Muire know of any attendance concerns. Thanks!

We have been meeting with students to discuss grades and try to address some of the issues that have led to poor grades.  Please continue to let us know of students who are failing, that we can provide interventions to improve student success.

Teachers starting after Thanksgiving if a student has been to guidance they will return to class with a pass from us.  So if a student claims to be coming from one of our offices; you can ask to see their pass to confirm.

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 6.11.49 PMUPCOMING EVENTS

Monday Nov 20

  • Leadership 6th Grade
  • Wrestling @ Erwin
  • 8th Basketball vs Erwin at Home

Tuesday Nov 21

  • 2 Hour Early Release

Wednesday Nov 22

  • Annual Leave, 10 Month Employees

Monday Nov 27

  • Leadership – Exploratory
  • 8th Basketball vs Southeast MS at Home
  • Wrestling vs Southeast Middle Away

Wednesday Nov 29

  • Student Work Samples
  • ISS Closed for the Day

Thursday Nov 30

  • Wrestling vs North Rowan Middle Away
  • 8th Basketball vs North Rowan MS Home

Friday Dec 1

  • Bulldog Wear Day
  • Student Assistance Team (SAT) during planning
  • Woodleaf/Cleveland Dance @ WRMS

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 6.40.04 AMSaturday Dec 2

  • Dodgeball Tournament

Monday Dec 4

  • SIT
  • 8th Basketball vs KMS Away

Wednesday December 6

  • Leaders of Their Own Learning, Chapter 3, Using Data with Students
  • 8th Grade facilitators – Math
  • 7th Grade facilitators – Social Studies
  • 6th Grade facilitators – ELA
  • Exploratory facilitators – Sweet & Young

Thursday Dec 7

  • 8th Basketball vs KMS Away
  • RSS Teacher Breakfast with Dr Moody
  • Wrestling vs Mooresville MS at Home

Friday Dec 8

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear Day

DN-yJL6X0AYBIT5Monday Dec 11

  • 7th Grade Horizons Trip
  • Leadership 7th Grade
  • Wrestling vs China Grove Middle Away
  • 8th Basketball vs China Grove Middle Home

Tuesday Dec 12

  • WRMS 7th Grade Horizon Trip

Wednesday Dec 13

  • WRMS 7th Grade Horizon Trip
  • EC Dept Meeting

Thursday Dec 14

  • BT/Mentor Meeting
  • 8th Basketball vs CLMS
  • Band Booster Meeting

Friday Dec 15

  • Student Assistance Team (SAT) during planning

Saturday Dec 16

  • RSS Middle School Wrestling Tournament

Monday Dec 18

  • #WRStrong Fine Arts Show
  • 8th Basketball vs EMS

Tuesday Dec 19

  • Winter Band Concert

Friday Dec 22

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear Day

RESOURCES

 

Bulldog News Week of 11.12.17

BULLDOG NEWS!

Teacher Centered vs Student Centered

  1. Teacher centered classrooms focus on control, student centered classroom emphasize the learning objectives and who has mastered them
  2. What is Teaching vs Facilitation
  3. What does the brain really needs helps us keep learning?
  4. Checking completion vs Checking understanding
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This Bulldog gets it!

Reading During Enrichment

Between now and Thanksgiving, we’re going to be adding two days to enrichment where we are just reading for pleasure. Students can read materials of their own choice – books, magazines, Achieve3000 Articles – anything they want to dive into for the 40 minutes. These days are Wednesday 11.15 and Monday 11.20.

We should remind students daily about our reading days, post reminders in the room. Building up our reading culture means building these opportunities to read for pleasure. The main difference between this and DEAR, Drop Everything And Read, is our level of engagement. Just as we have circle up talks or community building talks with students at the beginning and/or end of class, we are going to have a quick starring and/or ending conversation with the class about what they read, why they were interested in reading it, what they think different now or any other interest building questions. Think Responsive Classroom meets Literacy Circle. Don’t overthink this – we’re just building a interest in reading.

Welcome our newest Bulldog, Amelia Lynn Bowman! Mom, daughter and smiling dad are all great!

Procedural Reminders

As the year moves on we need to remember some key things in order to have smooth operations:

  • Work for ISS – Too many students are having to leave ISS to get work from their teachers. Please make sure that work is being sent to students. This is a great time to have extra practice in place. Digital tools like MobyMax and others would be great resources at this time. Mr Avery will also be adding a requirement that all students successfully complete 3 Achieve3000 articles everyday they with him, above the work sent by teachers.
  • Students picking up items in office – Throughout the day, we have students called to the office to pick things up that parents or family members may drop off. Please keep in mind that students don’t have to go to the office immediately, they can wait for lunch or returning from exploratories to pick things up. In case front office forgets this, its ok to ask ‘Does the student have to come right now?’
  • Leaving classes unattended – We all need the occasional restroom break during class, can’t fight nature but as of late there have been a lot of teachers out of class running errands, having conversations, making copies or other things that take them out of the classroom where supervision is needed. Nothing beats preparation – please make sure we are supervising students at all times. We all want an need to trust classes but we also don’t want to have ‘that’ incident in our rooms because we weren’t there.
  • Reviewing Classroom Expectations – We should be prepared to go over expectations regularly with students. ‘Told does not mean taught.’
  • Rigor – Word search, word finds and crossword puzzles are not acceptable work on any day. Collaboration is the solution for solution
  • Class Changes – Our teams are clustered close together for many reasons but a main one is to cut down on transition time. There is a lot of time with students in the hallway when classes are only a few feet away. Please make sure your team is reviewing class change times and all are aligned with that plan
  • Its important that we guard our weekly meeting times and needs. Monday and Fridays are grade level and team meeting times – there is something going on everyday and every week that should warrant meeting and quality discussions for each of these. There shouldn’t be anything going on Tuesdays and Thursdays other than high level planning – data discussions, talks with Henley/Shue/Pittman/Admin, resource planning. PD on Wednesdays is how we grow together. We add variety to it because our learning should be a dynamic as the students.
  • We’ve made it though our first round of coaching. It was worth this time to have 1-on-1’s with everyone. Our next round will be at the end of this month/Dec.

A Great PBL Experience

Mrs Brooks and Mrs Wilkinson planned a PBL for their students that involved one of their culminating experiences to a visit to Catawba College. Several staff members had pleasure of visiting seeing the final presentation of the students. It was easy to see the impact the visit had on the students. This took looking and planning for college from the abstract to impactful. Great PBL planning ladies.

Making Enrichment Better

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The goal of enrichment has been to sacrifice time from our regular classes in order to provide students with additional time for remediation in subjects they are struggling with or to give students not struggling in a class the opportunity to explore different areas. Recently there has been less remediation/benefit for our students who need us the most. Other concerns we’ve noted include:

  • current system has remediation efforts with large class sizes, at least 25. [By using everyone in the school, we’ll have decrease numbers for everyone];
  • Teachers are using this time for students to ‘catch up on homework’ but often students are not working and teachers are doing other tasks;
  • We are missing student choice.

A proposal for enrichment change has been to limit to a half day and going to full schedule on the other days. On the one day, we would go to our half day schedule and have 3 choice slots for students. Students will HAVE to pick classes they are struggling in [up to 2]. To clear up some misconceptions that go with it:

  • This is not a free for all, students have to pick sessions.
  • If they are struggling in 2 or more they will have to pick 2. This might be motivation for some to do better
  • Additional preps – This is a common misconception. There is no prep here. These remediations can’t be subject wide, we have to focus them on concepts. Example – Ms Hough and Mrs Miller [8th Grade Soc St] won’t list ‘8th Social Studies’ for an enrichment group, they will list ‘Primary sources – Political cartoons’ or ‘Causes of WW1 and WW2’. These would have been topics for guided instruction in the class. There is no prep for this, we are spiraling back to high needs areas of student understanding. Think of what will help fill in gaps. You may even assign students here. Instead of ‘7th math’, ‘Solving 2 step equations’; instead of ‘6th science’, ‘States of matter’. This of this as extended guided practice.

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Lastly, we need teachers to host activities students will love but absolutely tie into their curriculum:

  • Visiting businesses to understand unit rates
  • Bringing in speakers to talk about erosion
  • Coding
  • How to Green Screen like a GIANT
  • Reading/Writing Teen Fiction
  • Yoga and Mindfulness [we need LOTS of this]
  • Running

We will be polling students to get some ideas for sessions. Hopefully these talking points will help provide you with a better picture of the proposal. The goal here is to improve this time to make sure all students are learning at a high level. If you have any questions, please see an administrator.

#WEstBulldogs Pep Rally Time!

Thanks to Mrs Hege and Mrs Roach and all the faculty and students that helped with our pep rally.

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Pep rallies bring smiles to middle school students faces!

Data Room

wrhs 20171592196868..jpgAs we work to make our data room our own, keep in mind WHY we do it – we are doing it for our students.  We all want all our students to be successful.  One way we help our students grow is to see where their gaps are. Collecting data will help us define those gaps and fill those holes – think of the growth we would all see.  

In the next week, you will be sent a video to view showing some different ways to display your classroom data. These pictures are to jumpstart your group thinking, to help you generate creative ideas in selecting which data will have the most impact for you and how you can display it. Every group will be given a 2×3 foot white board and cork board to create your display. (All 4 grade level core subjects, PE, CTE, Arts, Admin, Tech, Guidance, EC, Bible)

img_0202593895193.jpgWe know some of you have already begun to track student data to drive your instruction, create teams, and plan guided instruction. Think about this – is that data you are collecting what you need to improve student learning in your classroom?  We want every core class to collect data on common assessments and another piece of data that will help your subject grow our students. If you don’t teach a core subject, what data will show you the gaps in your classroom or the growth that your students are making.  Everyone has data we can evaluate to help West be the best it can be.  Let’s make this data room a telling story of the growth our school will see this year!  

INSPIRATION

Let’s redefine failure.
Think of a great message our students need to hear.

TECH AWESOMENESS

INSTRUCTIONAL INNOVATION AND IDEAS

Whew…what a busy week! My instructional toolbox is bursting with new ideas! Last Thursday and Friday, I attended the NCCTM (North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics).  RSS middle school instructional coaches presented at the national AMLE (Associate of Middle-Level Educators) in Philadelphia. Understanding the benefit of attending a wide variety of sessions, as a group we “divided and conquered” gathering as many authentic applicable instructional ideas, awesome resources, and brain breaks.

If you are a veteran RSS teacher, I am sure you remember the middle school energizers shared with teachers. Engaging the middle school student was a HOT topic @AMLE. Understanding the effects of sitting for an extensive amount of time during professional development, attendees were students and participated in fun, quirky, and engaging brain breaks. Multiple studies researching the psychological and physiological changes middle school students experience from ages 11-14 validated the importance of and need of allowing students the opportunity to step away from academics for short periods of time (1-2 minutes) so they can recharge and refocus on the task at hand.

Conference week wrapped up with the NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children). While looking through my session notes I noticed several themes:

  • strategic and prepared questions by teachers to elicit critical thinking by students
  • planning engaging instruction is possible and does not take a lot of time

Looking forward to sharing awesome instructional ideas from these amazing conferences.

GO-TO GIRLS

Any 8th grade student that is interested in early college needs to sign up for more information in the guidance office.  Mrs. Horton will bring them more information and the registration packet.  Please encourage any students you feel would be a good fit to come by to hear more about it.

***8th grade teachers should turn in all recommendation forms by December 5.***

Huge thanks to all who helped make the Time Capsule celebration a success!!!

As we get close to the end of the first quarter, more conversations are occurring with students and parents about attendance issues. Remember the importance of doing attendance daily so we can have an accurate record of who is present and who is not. If court action gets initiated it is critical that attendance is accurate. Please let Mrs. Muire know of any attendance concerns. Thanks!

Teachers we know grades are not where you want them to be for all students.  We are here to help with academics too.  Please make a spreadsheet or email a list of your students that are failing and we will be glad to meet with them to try to address some of the issues.

Speaking of being here to help…all of our Crosby Scholars must do 2 community service hours.  Some of them have difficulty getting off campus to complete these.  If you have something you need done around school, please send Mrs. Stone an e-mail and include how many students you could use and hours they would receive.

UPCOMING EVENT

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 6.13.11 PMMonday, Nov 13

  • Leadership 7th Grade
  • Faculty Meeting 2:45
  • 8th Basketball @ China Grove MS
  • Wrestling vs China Grove MS at Home

Tuesday, Nov 14

  • 8th Grade Planning
  • All-County Honor Band Auditions at WRMS 3:30 – 5:30
  • Boy Scouts Sign Up in Main Collab Room 5:30 – 6:30

Wednesday, Nov 15

  • Data Visit
  • WRMS Community Visit
  • Enrichment – Reading

Thursday, Nov 16

  • 8th Grade Planning
  • Wrestling vs CLMS @ Home
  • 8th Basketball @ CLMS
  • RSS CTE Career Day – 8th Grade

Friday, Nov 17

  • 8th Grade Band Night @ WRHS
  • Student Assistance Team (SAT) during planning

img_20171104_183114287527868.jpgMonday, Nov 20

  • Leadership 6th Grade
  • Wrestling @ Erwin
  • 8th Basketball vs Erwin at Home
  • Enrichment – Reading

Monday, Nov 27

  • Leadership – Exploratory
  • 8th Basketball vs Southeast MS at Home
  • Wrestling vs Southeast Middle Away

Wednesday, Nov 29

  • Student Work Samples
  • ISS Closed for the Day

Thursday, Nov 30

  • Wrestling vs North Rowan Middle Away
  • 8th Basketball vs North Rowan MS Home

Friday, Dec 1

  • Bulldog Wear Day
  • Student Assistance Team (SAT) during planning
  • Woodleaf/Cleveland Dance @ WRMS

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 6.40.04 AMSaturday, Dec 2

  • Dodgeball Tournament

Monday, Dec 4

  • SIT
  • 8th Basketball vs KMS Away

Thursday, Dec 7

  • 8th Basketball vs KMS Away
  • RSS Teacher Breakfast with Dr Moody
  • Wrestling vs Mooresville MS at Home

Friday, Dec 8

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear Day

Monday, Dec 11

  • 7th Grade Horizons Trip
  • Leadership 7th Grade
  • Wrestling vs China Grove Middle Away
  • 8th Basketball vs China Grove Middle Home

Tuesday, Dec 12

  • WRMS 7th Grade Horizon Trip

Wednesday, Dec 13

  • WRMS 7th Grade Horizon Trip
  • EC Dept Meeting

Thursday, Dec 14

  • BT/Mentor Meeting
  • 8th Basketball vs CLMS
  • Band Booster Meeting

Friday, Dec 15

  • Student Assistance Team (SAT) during planning

Saturday, Dec 16

  • RSS Middle School Wrestling Tournament

Monday Dec 18

  • #WRStrong Fine Arts Show
  • 8th Basketball vs EMS

Tuesday Dec 19

  • Winter Band Concert

Friday Dec 22

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear Day

RESOURCES

Bulldog News Week of 11.05.17

BULLDOG NEWS!

A Great Event

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Superhero pose for a superhero organizer!

Friday was a great day for West Rowan Middle, a day when staff and students from the first year the school was opened came to join us for a great event – our time capsule ceremony!

This was a great day of connecting and reminiscing, nothing but smiles and appreciation and laughter all day!

This was made possible by a lot of people, staff and students alike, but we need to thank the main organizer, Mrs Horton for bringing her vision to bear!

Below are some links to different videos and captures of the day as well as some of the pictures taken for the event! What a great day for proud Bulldogs!

Thanks Mr Pittman for this video!

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Thanks Mrs Shue for these pictures!

Rowan Partners for Education MiniGrants

Here is a great opportunity from the generous support of Rowan Partners for Education. All staff members are able to apply for mini-grants to support innovation at your site.  If you would like to learn more, see previously awarded grants, or apply for a mini-grant, please click the following link: http://www.partners4education.org/mini-grants.html

BLENDED-2-1

 

Checking for Work vs Checking for Learning

Using blended learning and guided instruction effectively is our on-going work. Not just for the evolved teaching practice we have to learn but also because they help redefine learning by giving us new opportunities to connect with students and fill in gaps they may have.

Blended learning helps us get beyond creating simple stations in rooms and enhance teaching opportunities. Guided instruction allows even more.

In our recent coaching conversations, a common theme has emerged about the conversations we are having during guided instruction. Learning is enhanced when we  effectively use this time to gauge what students know and don’t know, have differentiated conversations with students who got and don’t got it [yet], get to know how our students feel about the work and what will make them better equipped about the work.

Part of our evolved teaching practice is moving from the teaching role we understand from our own learning practice, checking work, working the checklists, low level questions and work, to the facilitator role our students today need – coaching, monitoring progress. We will still have plenty of work to do because, after all our students will always be 11, 12, 14 but we have to get away from the mindset of what learners aren’t doing and make it about what we need to do to fill in the gaps?

Changes to PD for November

We’re making a slight change to ISDs for the month of November. Instead of having ISDs this month, we will be using these Wednesdays, Nov 8 and Nov 29, to extend our talks about planning preparation for learning.

During your planning period, we need you to bring your most recent student work products – playlists, presentations, rubrics – to Mrs Henley’s room for a discussion on how we can dive deeper into learning by making the most of our presentation talks.

These talks are not deconstructive, we only build up our efforts for designing the best learning for our students. If you have specific questions about any work samples, please ask any administrator, we’re glad to help


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MEDIA MADNESS

  • Here is the link to our weekly shared album! A lot of fun Halloween pictures and time capsule pictures this week! https://photos.app.goo.gl/EDxRohuoogkqwP0B3 If you take any pictures of your class or at sporting events throughout the week I would greatly appreciate if you would share them with me! Thanks!
  • Every week I post a book share. If you have recently read a book that you loved and would like to share it with our students please let me know! Or if a student is reading a book they love send them to me so they can share!
  • I will be starting Sphero (coding) classes during lunches next week in the makerspace. Dates will be posted on each grade level schoology group!

INSPIRATION

TECH AWESOMENESS

Holiday Fun! [Is the zombie recruiting or is Prince expanding backup? RIP]

UPCOMING EVENT

Monday, Nov 6

  • Wrestling at CLMS
  • SIT Meeting
  • Leadership Meeting – 8th Grade

What Makes West Great.pngTuesday, Nov 7

  • 8th Grade Visit to Catawba College
  • What Makes West GREAT! [Parent Night, highlighting innovative teaching] 4-6 pm
  • Band Booster Meeting – 6:30 pm

Wednesday Nov 8

  • Report Cards Go Home
  • Bring Student Work Samples
  • Pep Rally – End of the Day

Thursday Nov 9

  • 6th Grade All Day Planning
  • Wrestling at Mooresville Middle
  • BT Mentor Meeting
  • 8th Basketball vs Mooresville at Home

Friday Nov 10

  • Veterans Day

Monday Nov 13

  • Leadership 7th Grade
  • Faculty Meeting 2:45
  • 8th Basketball @ China Grove MS
  • Wrestling vs China Grove MS at Home

Tuesday Nov 14

  • RSS 8th Grade Career Day
  • All-County Honor Band Auditions at WRMS

Wednesday Nov 15

  • Data Visit
  • WRMS Community Visit

Thursday Nov 16

  • 8th Grade Planning
  • BT/Mentor Meeting
  • Wrestling vs CLMS @ Home
  • 8th Basketball @ CLMS

Friday Nov 17

  • 8th Grade Band Night @ WRHS
  • Student Assistance Team (SAT) during planning

Monday Nov 20

  • Leadership 6th Grade
  • Wrestling @ Erwin
  • 8th Basketball vs Erwin at Home

Monday Nov 27

  • Leadership – Exploratory
  • 8th Basketball vs Southeast MS at Home
  • Wrestling vs Southeast Middle Away

Wednesday Nov 29

  • Student Work Samples

Thursday Nov 30

  • Wrestling vs North Rowan Middle Away
  • 8th Basketball vs North Rowan MS Home

Friday Dec 1

  • Bulldog Wear Day
  • Student Assistance Team (SAT) during planning

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 6.40.04 AMSaturday Dec 2

  • Dodgeball Tournament

Monday Dec 4

  • SIT
  • 8th Basketball vs KMS Away

Thursday Dec 7

  • 8th Basketball vs KMS Away

Friday Dec 8

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear Day
  • Woodleaf/Cleveland Dance @ WRMS

Monday Dec 11

  • 7th Grade Horizons Trip
  • Leadership 7th Grade
  • Wrestling vs China Grove Middle Away
  • 8th Basketball vs China Grove Middle Home

Tuesday Dec 12

  • WRMS 7th Grade Horizon Trip

Wednesday Dec 13

  • WRMS 7th Grade Horizon Trip
  • EC Dept Meeting

Thursday Dec 14

  • BT/Mentor Meeting
  • 8th Basketball vs CLMS
  • Band Booster Meeting
  • Friday Dec 15
  • Student Assistance Team (SAT) during planning

Saturday Dec 16

  • RSS Middle School Wrestling Tournament

Monday Dec 18

  • #WRStrong Fine Arts Show
  • 8th Basketball vs EMS

Tuesday Dec 19

  • Winter Band Concert

Friday Dec 22

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear Day

RESOURCES

Bulldog News Week of 10.29.17

BULLDOG NEWS!

An Inspiring Message

We’re excited to hear from one of actual Freedom Writers Monday Oct 30. As a reminder for the day’s agenda:

Screen Shot 2017-10-21 at 5.15.54 PMCertified Staff

  • Buses 66 and 366 will leave from back parking lot at 7:30 [Thanks Coaches Brown and Sweet for driviing]
  • We need to be seated by 8:25
  • After the keynote, we return to WRMS. We can anticipate being here around 10:30

Classified Staff

  • Bus will leave at 10:30 to arrive at Carson High at 11:00
  • Registration will be from 11:00 – 11:25. Find our table and register
  • Keynote Speaker Manny Scott 11:30 – 12:30
  • Lunch [will be provided] and Vendor Fair – 12:30 – 1:30
  • Break out Session – 1:30 – 2:20
  • Closing Keynote in Gym w Dr Moody 2:40-3:30

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True Blue Recognition!

We have great kids!

In an effort to share some love and shed the spotlight on some of our students, we are bringing back an award – True Blue Bulldog! We are aligning these recognitions to our five Core Values. Students were asked to vote the first three weeks of the month then teachers would make final selections the last week.

Coaching Rounds

This week we’ll be starting our second round of coaching sessions. We’re looking forward to speaking to the remainder of the staff about various topics. This week, EVAAS has released the individual teacher data. We will be incorporating this EVAAS data into our talks for this round and then will have talks with teachers not on this round very soon. You will be able to access this information on Nov. 2.

Congratulations to our UNDEFEATED Championship Teams!

Congrats to our players, coaches and families that all lead and supported all our teams this year. Success comes from effort #WEstBulldogs

Surveys

From Nov 1 – Nov 11, Rowan-Salisbury School will be giving a student and teacher survey. Last year it was a pilot experience at several schools, this year it will be for everyone. This week, administrators will be shared information to give to staff.  We will set the date for giving the survey at WRMS for Monday 11.6. Students will take it during PE [thanks PE teachers] and teachers will take it that day during their planning periods.

Teachers will be given 5 questions covering topics like pedogogical effectiveness, class climate, rigor expectations, engagement, student teacher relationships. After the survey is complete, teacher will have access to their data and school averages through an online dashboard When we get more information and details about this survey, we will share it with you.

DRIVEn to Improve!

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The next time we see Charlie and Jane, let’s remember to thank them for a great day of sharing. Conversations like the one from Friday are needed jolts to help us remember what is most important. We need great messages like this reminder about focusing on engagement [Relationships, Autonomy, Master, Purpose] to help students achieve at high levels.

20171027_1316151985326554.jpgThese messages give me a lot to think about:

  • Developing engaging activities is work BUT ITs WORTH IT! Share the workload
  • I want to be one of the three people engaged in work. That’s the good purposeful work and conversations we need to have.

We will see DRIVE later for next rounds in helping us be better for our students.

BLENDED-2-1

How We Use Tech Matters

This infographic was shared with principals.

Key questions to ask:

  • Is technology enhancing what I do as a teacher?
  • Is technology helping students learning and demonstrate learning at higher level and in a more unique way?
  • Do we [grade level, planning team, school] understand each of these dynamics roles in classrooms?
  • When is blended learning more appropriate to employ than just having a tech-rich environment?
  • Which of these applies to my room, more days than not?
  • What do I need to implement blended learning more effectively?

New Board Policy

We are empowering our students to create and evaluate content so that they not only be critical thinkers but also be a part of quality content and movements. RSS has created a policy to provide guidelines for students, advisors and teachers for students as they create works including publications, plays and other expression forms that may have personal or political beliefs. We want student to express their opinions and beliefs in a manner that is safe for all of us.  Please take some time to read this policy carefully. BOE Policy 3630

Enrichment – Filling in the Gaps

Our next cycle of enrichment starts Tuesday, the new schedule for it has been uploaded in WRMS Essential Information.

At the next SIT, we will be discussing our plans for Enrichment and what we can do here to make sure we are serving students needs. To help with these conversations, please consider the following and share with your SIT rep:

  • Is this time/model sufficient in allowing me to help students with most need?
  • Are we challenging all students sufficiently?
  • Are students on fire about this time?
  • Are you excited about enrichment time?

Buried Treasure – Time Capsule

We’re excited about our event this Friday! We’re going to be joined by former Bulldog students, teachers and administrators in our celebration.

MEDIA MADNESS

INSPIRATION

 

 

TECH AWESOMENESS

  • 7 iOS Features for the iPad Classroom: http://technocation.blogspot.com/2017/09/7-ios-11-features-for-ipad-classroom.html
  • Remind: Just an FYI students at other middle schools are creating “classes” in the Remind App to send nude pics to each other.  I have not heard of that happening at our school but just stay on the look out.
  • Schoology and the Future:  I will be talking at grade level meetings about Schoology’s future 🙂

Instructional Innovation and Ideas

Thank you to all staff for your patience with IO Education this week! A big shout out to 7th grade for accommodating the hiccup when administering the Science benchmark. This was our first school-wide implementation and even with the “pop up” issues, overall we were successful!!

Several teachers have inquired about using IO Education for assessments beyond benchmarks…yes, it is very user-friendly. Items are categorized by standard and DOK, therefore determining standards for re-teaching and selecting students is possible with a few clicks of a button.  However, as we discovered for Social Studies and Science item banks are not as plentiful as teachers would prefer, but as usual, ELA and Math have many more options:) Creating a test on IO Education for ELA and Math for common assessments takes just a short time, but after students complete teachers have a wealth of data to use when differentiating instruction.

When creating an assessment via IO Education teachers have several options. As mentioned above, creating a test using provided items or creating a test key uploading a PDF. You may be asking, “why would I go to the trouble if I can do the same thing on Schoology?” The benefit…dissagregation of data by student, item, and standard. See the links below for step by step procedures in assessment creation.

Creating a Test Key

GO-TO GIRLS

Last chance for United Way!!! Please get your contribution forms into Mr. Brown or Mrs. Muire by Thursday, November 2nd!  Many agencies benefit from United Way donations, and these agencies help many people in our communities.  This is your chance to make a big difference in our community.

Any 8th grade student that is interested in early college needs to sign up for more information in the guidance office.  Mrs. Horton will bring them more information and the registration packet.  Please encourage any students you feel would be a good fit to come by to hear more about it.

***8th grade teachers should turn in all recommendation forms by December 5.***

The Time Capsule celebration is Friday, November 3rd at 10:30am!  All social studies teachers please get your Time Capsule contributions to Mrs. Horton by November 2nd.

As we get close to the end of the first quarter, more conversations are occurring with students and parents about attendance issues. Remember the importance of doing attendance daily so we can have an accurate record of who is present and who is not. If court action gets initiated it is critical that attendance is accurate. Please let Mrs. Muire know of any attendance concerns. Thanks!

Teachers we know grades are not where you want them to be for all students.  We are here to help with academics too.  Please make a spreadsheet or email a list of your students that are failing and we will be glad to meet with them to try to address some of the issues.

Speaking of being here to help…all of our Crosby Scholars must do 2 community service hours.  Some of them have difficulty getting off campus to complete these.  If you have something you need done around school, please send Mrs. Stone an e-mail and include how many students you could use and hours they would receive.

UPCOMING EVENT

Monday Oct 30

  • RSS Workday
  • District Workshop – Carson High School

Tuesday Oct 31

  • WRStrong Canned Food Drive
  • WRStrong Trunk or Treat @ West Rowan High

Wednesday Nov 1

  • Leaders of Their Own Learning – Chapter 2

Thursday Nov 2

  • 7th Grade Planning
  • RSS Teacher Breakfast – Wallace Forum

Friday, November 3

  • Bulldog Wear Day
  • WRMS Time Capsule Opening and Celebration with the WRHS Class of ’97
  • Student Assistance Team (SAT) will not meet this day- see message above under Go to Girls

Saturday, Nov 4

Monday, Nov 6

  • Wrestling Scrimmage at CLMS
  • SIT Meeting
  • Leadership Meeting – 8th Grade

What Makes West Great.pngTuesday, Nov 7

  • 8th Grade Visit to Catawba College
  • What Makes West GREAT! [Parent Night, highlighting innovative teaching] 4-6 pm
  • Band Booster Meeting – 6:30 pm

Wednesday Nov 8

  • Report Cards Go Home
  • ISD – Achieve300 ELA, SAMR, Poverty Book Study, Open
  • Pep Rally – End of the Day

Thursday Nov 9

  • Wrestling at Mooresville Middle
  • BT Mentor Meeting
  • 8th Basketball vs Mooresville at Home

Monday Nov 13

  • Leadership 7th Grade
  • Faculty Meeting 2:45
  • 8th Basketball @ China Grove MS
  • Wrestling vs China Grove MS at Home

Tuesday Nov 14

  • RSS 8th Grade Career Day
  • All-County Honor Band Auditions at WRMS

Wednesday Nov 15

  • Data Visit
  • WRMS Community Visit

Thursday Nov 16

  • BT/Mentor Meeting
  • Wrestling vs CLMS @ Home
  • 8th Basketball @ CLMS

Friday Nov 17

  • 8th Grade Band Night @ WRHS
  • Student Assistance Team (SAT) during planning

Monday Nov 20

  • Leadership 6th Grade
  • Wrestling @ Erwin
  • 8th Basketball vs Erwin at Home

Monday Nov 27

  • Leadership – Exploratory
  • 8th Basketball vs Southeast MS at Home
  • Wrestling vs Southeast Middle Away

Thursday Nov 30

  • Wrestling vs North Rowan Middle Away
  • 8th Basketball vs North Rowan MS Home

Friday Dec 1

  • Bulldog Wear Day
  • Student Assistance Team (SAT) during planning

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 6.40.04 AMSaturday Dec 2

  • Dodgeball Tournament

Monday Dec 4

  • SIT
  • 8th Basketball vs KMS Away

Thursday Dec 7

  • 8th Basketball vs KMS Away

Friday Dec 8

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear Day
  • Woodleaf/Cleveland Dance @ WRMS

Monday Dec 11

  • 7th Grade Horizons Trip
  • Leadership 7th Grade
  • Wrestling vs China Grove Middle Away
  • 8th Basketball vs China Grove Middle Home

Tuesday Dec 12

  • WRMS 7th Grade Horizon Trip

Wednesday Dec 13

  • WRMS 7th Grade Horizon Trip
  • EC Dept Meeting

Thursday Dec 14

  • BT/Mentor Meeting
  • 8th Basketball vs CLMS
  • Band Booster Meeting
  • Friday Dec 15
  • Student Assistance Team (SAT) during planning

Saturday Dec 16

  • RSS Middle School Wrestling Tournament

Monday Dec 18

  • #WRStrong Fine Arts Show
  • 8th Basketball vs EMS

Tuesday Dec 19

  • Winter Band Concert

Friday Dec 22

  • WRMS Bulldog Wear Day

RESOURCES