What a GREAT first week! I want to thank everyone for what they did to make last week a spectacular opening! It was great that we were able to immediately jump into introductory/relationship building activities and procedures immediately. I felt that students were taken care of and all essentials were handled expertly! Thank you all for job well done!
Keeping it together!
We’re not going to let a little darkness keep us from keeping the learning moving! Great to see you all rally and really not get phased by our eclipse event. Even though we had some parents ask why we didn’t cancel school, we know that keeping a cool head and having a great activity planned goes a long way.
Collaboration Makes the Difference
I was struck by this last week and told a couple of people I was going to share out with everyone because this is going to be one of the things that makes a difference in our goals for helping every student grow and reach academic goals. These are shots in the 8th grade math teachers classrooms:
What is evident when you walk into the classrooms is that these teachers had an awesome conversation about what was important, what needed to be taught and HOW it needed to be taught. I don’t know if that conversation included using graphic organizers to identify similarities and difference [which is one of Marzano’s high yield instructional strategies] or how they were going to tailor it to fit each teacher’s delivery style – but for a frequent classroom visitor who’s always checking on how departments are functioning and how classrooms are thriving, this was hitting on all cylinders! The delivery both classes was slightly different, the room set up was not the same and that’s all ok. What I can easily see evidence of planning, students engaged, use of good materials and more importantly this was STUDENTS doing the good work and talking out deep, rigorous points! As we move forward, we will talk about what good collaboration looks like and how we will build our school culture and operations around protecting this value-add! Our journey [and it is a journey] will be about continually building this better process.
And let me be very clear about this – I have seen evidence of planning and sharing on all levels and areas. I just wanted to share this story because it hit some pretty unique points.
Great job 8th Math!
This week we will start our regular meeting rotations. This will be how we make sure important information is conveyed, that all teachers are hearing and being heard and importantly, that we are planning and responding to student academic needs. Our meeting schedule will be as follows:
Monday – Open planning periods for teachers;
Tuesday – Grade level meetings
Wednesday – PLCs/Instructional Planning and PD
Thursday – Protected Planning
Friday – Open time
Meetings will start promptly five minutes after the planning period begins. See you there
As a whole we are all moving toward creating flex learning spaces within our school. Our Design Challenge due date is rapidly approaching and so many of us are working to transform our classrooms to create flex learning areas. These areas allow different opportunities for our students throughout the school.
Last year we transformed the library into a flexible learning space for all students and staff. This change created an environment where the students began to see the library as more than a room full of books but a place where they are able to collaborate on projects, checkout books, research, or simply hangout with their peers and enjoy lunch. This transformation had a great impact on our students!
A former student created a video telling why the library was important to him. In his short video he tells how the library has impacted him academically and personally. He entered his video in a nationwide contest and was selected as a winner to receive an all expense paid trip to Washington D.C. During his trip he was able to attend a Congressional meeting where his video was shown. After his video he was provided a short amount of time to speak about what motivated him to create his video and why his library was important to him.
Monday Aug 31
- Happy Birthdays to Mr Bowman and Mrs Smith
- 6th Grade iPad Deployment
- Band Meeting 6:30
- Tennis/Softball vs North Rowan MS @ 4:00 pm
Tuesday Sept 1
Wednesday Sept 2
Thursday Sept 3
- Tennis/Softball vs Erwin MS
Friday Sept 4
- Jeans Day – PE
- Twitter is a great way to find some cool ideas. A recent trend that has been popping up on the internet is for people to tell the side of how the villain in movies were really the heroes. Thought this might be a cool activity for some of our ELA and History teachers to try. Here is an example of what I’m talking about: http://www.ew.com/article/2015/08/24/karate-kid-video-daniel-larusso-villain Who knew that Daniel LaRusso in the “Karate Kid” was really the bad guy!
- This article will help explain the problems with Flash on the iPad. http://flip.it/eLOA1