Bulldog News Week of 9.28.2015

BULLDOG NEWS!

  • Just a reminder that you should be putting all grades into PowerSchool. This week Mr. Pittman will start working with teachers on connecting their Schoology gradebooks to PowerSchool.
  • If you use the remind app please let your parents know about the “How to…” page on our website:  http://wrms.rss.k12.nc.us/how
  • As of right now parents DO NOT have logins for Schoology.  They will be given logins at a later date in the year.
  • Benchmarks are off to a great start! Thanks to everyone for helping field great questions and make sure we had a tremendous start. One thing that we noticed was this was a lot of students’ first time logging into DE. As of now, there are very few students who don’t have iPads so let’s make sure we are integrating some of the great activities from DE into our classrooms.
  • Please remember, this week, we are switching our Collaborative Planning Days and our Grade Level Meeting days. Tuesdays, we will all be trained on Achieve3000! This is going to be a TREMENDOUS resource for all of us! Several of us have already received some of the training and I can assure you it will be well received by all. We will have distributed training during our grade level meetings. This is mandatory for all teaching staff. Your training is only during your planning period – please come with a good mindset of receiving the good information to use in your classroom. We will not have a lot of time during this training for questions, I’m sure there will be some time but we need to plan on this time being about receiving. We WILL schedule some time immediately after school in the media center to ‘play in the sandbox.’ We will use that time to answer any questions you may have had during the training that may not have been answered. This after school meeting is optional, you do not have to attend. We will be looking for everyone to start using this incredible resource very soon.

INSPIRATION

Last week during collaborative planning, Ms Shoaf led some great discussions on guided instruction. It has led to a lot of follow up conversations amongst you – it is good to see our talks generate some great discussions!

There are several teachers already using guided instruction at what I would consider the expert level. First, remember this share at our first faculty meeting:

Kalinowski leading a group in guided instruction

This is Ms Kalinowski leading a group while there are others in the room doing independent/group activities. Ms K takes time to teach expectations and routines to her groups – that’s why this was able to be a success. This was also within the first 15 days of school.

I took this video last week in Ms Henley’s class.

This is a great example of guided instruction. Ms Henley is sitting with one group and takes periodic breaks to check in on the kids in the hall [throwback reference]. There are a couple of things to note in this video:

  • 1:15 into the video a student is ‘trying to figure out what Ms Henley did wrong on a problem.’ That’s called error analysis and it is one of the best critical analysis pieces we can do with kids
  • Note the students using the desk/whiteboard space to capture thoughts and work problems out – that is a major reason for room design
  • Digital resources all used in Schoology help with management

These two teachers are great inhouse expert resources, ELA and Math, you can visit, pick their brains and assist you in helping implement guided instruction in your room.

Centers

I’ve seen some great examples of centers in the classroom but I want to share an innovation I’ve seen in Ms Brooks class. I call it ‘Centers Where You Are.’ After she designed her groups and their learning outcomes, she made rotations schedules for students where they didn’t have to leave their tables. Their assignments were on the board and all resources were digitally boarded. I particularly liked this because kids knew what was expected of them and they effortlessly worked to complete tasks.

We need to remember that centers/groups are NOT new to our students. They have seen these for years during their K-5 experience. Many/most are also very accustomed to the guided instruction as well. This is a great opportunity for us to reach our kids who don’t make connections very easily.

There are a lot of inhouse experts we can tap into and build up practices in our classroom.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Tuesday

  • Achieve3000 Training [During planning periods]
  • Acheive3000 ‘Play in the Sandbox’ Time – Afterschool in Media Center; OPTIONAL
  • Softball/Tennis at Erwin MS
  • 7th Football at Southeast MS

Wednesday

  • School Visit – Community Members
  • 8th Grade Football at Southeast MS

Thursday

  • Design Challenge Due [Please try to have rooms ready for our visit]

Saturday

  • YFL Scrimmage

RESOURCES

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