We had a great conversation Monday about relevancy! This topic started out about novels [again, for clarity, there is no ban on class novels just a requirement for good discussions] but it was really about making sure our kids are well read, love and appreciate reading and have literacy skills they need to function with any text, in any environment. Our standards clearly outline the skills our kids need and that is what they will ensure is taught. If we can make that happen in a quality manner with a novel, then all good, but we have to make sure:
- We have a good clear understanding of the standards required throughout the entire work;
- We commit to quality discussions;
- We assume the best intent in our discussions [WRMS Core Value];
- We weigh in then buy in [WRMS Core Value]
Our desires and wants can’t obfuscate the priority of teaching standards and student needs and more importantly reaching readers. Here is a great read shared by Mrs Henley about changes some are considering regarding readings taught in high school, Contemporary vs. classic! http://buff.ly/2c709Rg. Look at some of the considerations, rethinking what is classic to reach readers.
In our digital learning and working environment, we have to rely on staying connected. The best and most efficient way to do that is with digital tools like email, blogs and Remind. We rely on everyone’s professionalism to stay connected to information, that includes reading emails daily.
In an organization this size, there are continuous developments. While we try to minimize school wide emails through the week, sometimes operational emails have to go out. When that happens we need everyone on board and up to date. Please make sure you are staying current with emails and communication.
Student data in every class will drive personalized instruction. Students will track data for every class this school year on a Google spreadsheet. All the data the student tracks will be displayed on one Google site which the student will create. Teachers will help students create the Google site by following the directions in the Google slides presentation.
It is important that we have students regularly update the data for their websites. Students will share their sites with their teachers and parents. They will also use their site to lead a student led conference later this year. This data will help students reflect on their learning, set and adjust goals throughout the year. This data will help us plan for student’s individualized learning, quickly see where students need additional support, and use data for SAT meetings and parent conferences.
Saw this strategy in Ms McNeely’s class and it is a great share! She gave all groups red, yellow, green bowls as they were completing their classwork. Green bowls up mean all is good, yellow bowls mean we kinda got it but may need a little help. Red bowls mean give us help immediately. This is a great strategy to help keep kids working. Seeing some yellow doesn’t mean the teacher needs to jump into action but needs to be on deck.
I thought this would be particularly helpful given that we are doing a lot of work in hallways and outside the classroom. You guys are great for monitoring but this can be a quick visual check for where students stand with the work. Putting this in place would help with our monitoring efforts and quickly identify where we need to intervene and where we need to monitor.
Forums for Creativity
This week, we have seen all three grade levels give student projects requiring students to create videos for a class assignment. Students have been very excited to participate and get creative! Way to go with planning! Seeing this, we see a need for two things:
- Green Screens – Let’s give kids a great space and resource to get as creative as they can. I sat in with some 7th graders as they were planning some things. They had a lively discussion and were greatly engaged. A good resource like this would have made a great activity better. Every grade level can benefit from this. Green screens do need some help getting set up but we have in house expertise to help;
- Collaboration rooms need to be set up: As more students were in the hallway, they were looking for spaces to work and record good videos. Collaboration rooms make sense for this. Let’s get them set up and set up green screens in them to allow for recordings.
We will have a green screen area in our upcoming makerspace that will be more elaborate than the ones on the hallways but this ones on the hallway will give teachers more immediate access.
Let’s take creativity to another level.
Great conversations during PD this week! I appreciate everyone’s transparency about the use of technology in their classroom, hurdles we are still facing, and choosing to integrate one new website/app to their “instruction tool box.”
This week’s take away:
- How can I use technology to differentiate content (standards) for my students?
- Students need to “sense make” my content before they can be “owners of their learning”….how can I integrate technology effectively?
- How can my students demonstrate understanding, mastery, or “become an owner of their learning” creatively integrating technology?
In your PLC/collaborative planning next week, refer to your unpacked standard and/or picture of your “technology brainstorming”…
Learning targets this week are amazing…
Monday, Sept 19
- Department/Subject Meetings-2:45
Tuesday, Sept 20
- 7th Football vs China Grove Middle at Home
- Softball vs Southeast Middle at Home
Wednesday, Sept 21
- 8th Football vs China Grove at Home
- Ms Pender’s Birthday
Thursday, Sept 22
Friday, Sept 23
- WRMS ISDs
- How to organize your class and life with Showbie – Literacy Lounge
- Selecting Relevant Articles for Achieve3000 – Main Lab
Monday, Sept 26
Tuesday, Sept 27
- 7th Grade Football vs Erwin MS Away
Wednesday, Sept 28
- 8th Grade Football vs Erwin MS Away
Thursday, Sept 29
- 8th Grade – Horizons Visit
- Softball vs North Rowan MS Away
- Tennis vs North Rowan MS Away
Friday, Sept 30
- 8th Grade – Horizons Visit
- High school reading: classics or contemporary? http://buff.ly/2crHefH
- 10 Ways to Build Relationships With Students This Year
- Don’t Leave Learning Up to Chance: Framing and Reflection
- What College Never Taught Me About Teaching
- How to Create Simple Comics on Pixton
- Oracy: The Literacy of the Spoken Word