Thanks to Ms Stone for organizing a great Rising 6th Grade visit! We’d also like to thank the counselors, 6th grade and exploratory teachers for their contribution in making this a great wonderful day. We had over 200 5th graders, and some parents, on both days who were anxious to learn about our great school. We are especially proud of our 6th grade tour guides who did a great job walking our 5th graders around. We can look forward to some great things next year!
So lunch is a BIG deal now!
This week we’ve started a lunch schedule and arrangement for our 8th and 7th graders. As we shared earlier, we are allowing them to dismiss for lunch all at once [unescorted for the most part] and given their choice of flexible seating – for the most part they can sit where they want between the cafeteria, media center courtyard and media center. For the most part it has gone great. We’ve been very pleased with the students behaviors. As with anything, there are a couple who have problems handling this level of freedom and we had to give students several reminders about being responsible but as with all things, this is what we expect to do and do it gladly.
This is such a great endeavor because we are doing something very different that requires trusting students to do it. Instead of protecting a system that has been in place for years, let’s do something different to get differenter betterer results [I embrace the inventive language].
A big payoff here is that we can give teachers a duty free lunch. While we are thinking of some different options here, this is huge benefit. This is also a time we can plan on some good work/support for students.
There is still plenty of work to do – we need more outdoor seating options, we need engaging things for our students to do after they eat, etc. We also need a plan to get our 6th graders ready. They have more room for growth than the other two groups. Case in point, while I was addressing them whole group in the cafeteria, one of them popped a cookie bag while I was speaking. This goes to show that we have to keep training kids, this is what we signed up for. We will have to do more to get them ready for this. I walked some of them around to see the 8th grade lunch.
Afterwards, they even told me some of their weren’t ready. But they rose to the challenge! I wasn’t looking for confirmation that we had some immature 6th graders, I was looking for solutions and they came with different things we will try soon.
The good work we are committing to, the good HARD work is to keep up efforts to build the school and individual students we all need. We won’t let the absolute few determine what we do in this school.
Our SIT Work
As many of you know, we’ve been working in SIT to develop a Mission, Vision and Core Values for our school to help set the directions and drive for our next steps towards moving our schools. These new beliefs will be guiding beliefs – these will be the things that become part of our culture and breathe as we share with the world, teach our kids and work with each other to embark on a journey of continued growth
Improvement is a journey.
So far, this is what we have. We will regularly gather input from everyone so can build the school that will grow the students we need.
I had a bittersweet conversation with Mrs Holmes Friday. We were having the last conversation regarding her observations, the final before her retiring from teaching. We talked about when it would really set in and the plans she was going to make soon after. We are going to miss her and all other teachers who will be retiring this year.
When I circled back on the 8th grade hall and landed again in her classroom I took this picture of her classroom as I was struck by her student’s engagement and what she was doing – using blended learning to create multi-tiered work for students while she had one-one conversations [GUIDED INSTRUCTION] to fill in gaps. This truly is the best of blended learning.
Some guiding questions to consider as you design instruction:
- How are my students?
- What gaps do I fill in for students as I do my one-on-one talks?
- What things do my students commonly misunderstand?
- How frustrated are my kids who aren’t getting it?
- What strategies, old and new, do I have ready for students who my struggling students?
This is a great time for relationship building. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste. This is one of the tools all the great teachers in our building know and use well.
Monday, May 2
- Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
- SIT Meeting
- Jeans Week for Faculty – Thanks for 100% on the Teachers Working Conditions Survey
Tuesday, May 3
- Happy Birthday Mrs Brawley!
- 7th Grade Teachers visit Responsive Classroom at NRES
- Protected Planning
- Baseball/Tennis at Southeast
- Volleyball/Soccer vs Southeast MS at home
Wednesday, May 4
- Happy Birthday Ms Accardi! We missed you!!
- Collaborative Planning
Thursday, May 5
- RSS Teacher Breakfast – 7:30-9:00 am
- 7th Grade Teachers Visit Responsive Classroom at NRES
- Protected Planning
- Baseball/Tennis vs Knox at Home
- Volleyball/Soccer at Knox
- Bulldog Parade – Last one of the Year
- Blended Learning: A Common Sense, Teacher-Friendly Definition
- 6 Hand Signals That Bring Learning to Life
- Essential Mindsets of the High Performing Team of the 21st Century – This is an important read. I would like us all to read and internalize this one. Do we value conventional thought to achieve safe, historic successes or are we challenging each other to push new, risky thinking to achieve things we have never seen or thought of before?