We are excited about the change to our Tuesday PD. Our first week went very well [thanks Mr Pittman, Mr Brown, Mrs Shue and Mrs Henley]. Our next iterations have already been set but our goal is for these sessions to serve you fully. We will be creating a survey for you all to tell us what you want to learn more about. We will be developing talks and trainings around this menu you create. Please begin talking to your teammates about what would go a long way in improving what happens in your classroom, department and grade level. Its our hope that this will really help elevate our talks
We’ve started our mid year talks. We have scheduled these for Mondays and Fridays. This reformatted talk is absolutely not a ‘Gotcha’ talk. We are making this about improving the good we are already doing here. Look out for your invitation.
As we move further in the school year and with parents increased opportunities to check on student progress, we will be having more talks about grades, student performance and behavior. These are opportunities for us to build up needed partnerships with parents in making sure our common goal, our MISSION, is accomplished – Empowering students to achieve personal and academic excellence!
We both need each other to make this work. Parents and teachers have to work together to celebrate strengths, voice concerns and develop goals for improvement. As we are having these meetings, we should keep a couple of things in mind:
- Directives don’t work – We can’t give students mandates to improve. No matter how politely we frame it, ‘do better’ or ‘do this work’ or ‘pay more attention’ won’t get us there;
- Be compassionate – As we assume the best intent for our students in these conversations, we have to be willing to find out why unwanted behaviors are occurring during our investigations. Its not enough to identify that students aren’t organized or they aren’t doing homework. Being empathetic to what our kids are going through is always important. While we may not have had the same exact experience growing up, we can respect what they are going through. It can be difficult – our frustration can be a barrier to setting goals but that’s where the team comes in – be there for each other to help everyone see the child in need;
- Set Goals – Again, directives don’t work. We have to maintain high expectations and we can’t reach high bars if we don’t put plans and support in place. If we want students to be better organized, we have to set a goal for organization, provide some benchmarks for what success looks like and schedule some checkups to make sure that 11, 12, 13 year old is progressing. Here is a great article How to Tell If Your Interventions Are Working http://buff.ly/2gx3sjz.
Its important to keep in mind that we are often addressing behaviors that have been practiced wrong over time. One 45 minute meeting won’t cure something that have been practiced wrong or a misconception believed for several months. It will take all of us to get better. Don’t hesitate to bring in support staff to assist in this process.
Several weeks ago, the Enrichment schedule until February 3rd was emailed. The schedule has been amended for the eight instructional days prior to Christmas Break. Those days are “categorized” as intentional. How grade level teams choose to meet with their students: block one, block two, etc. or two days back to back with one block should facilitate the needs of the students. December 20th and 21st are also Sign-Up Genius dates. Please make the front office aware of your rotation after it has been decided upon.
Incorporating writing in all content areas is a focus in middle school. During the Blended Learning rotations at the beginning of the year, teachers received the middle school writing matrix and Common Core standards for each grade level. We briefly discussed writing, you have a copy of the matrix and standards, now what? Integrating writing opportunities in all content areas, including math, permits students to demonstrate understanding. Hess’ cognitive rigor matrix applies Webb’s DOK (Depth of Knowledge) and Revised Bloom’s cognitive process dimensions and provides curricular examples for teachers. Take a moment…check out the writing links…and brainstorm how you can add a creative writing task in your curriculum…
365 creative prompts for writing, poetry, journaling, and more!
PDF can be modified for all subject areas.
Students create an Instagram post for a literature character…creative application for all content areas.
Our makerspace is starting to come together! The back of the library has undergone a very long transition and more is yet to come. I wanted to list for you all a few of the supplies we already have back there and some that will be coming along with ways they can be used within your classroom.
Makey Makey kits allow you to rethink the normal poster board project. Using free webtools such as Scratch.com students can take their poster and code a digital story or informational piece to go with it. Makey Makey kit is a simple introduction to computer systems and coding. For more information on ways you can use Makey Makey in your classroom click the link. http://www.makerspaceforeducation.com/makey-makey.html
Arduino kits are coming soon to our makerspace. These kits introduce the idea of coding and the design process. Simple robots are easily created. The mother board is color coordinated and the computer system is designed exactly the same and makes coding and creation simple.
Squishy Circuits are also one their way. Student can use playdough to build and design…but thats not all. This special playdough conducts electricity! For more information please click the link. http://create.coloradovirtuallibrary.org/squishy-circuits-projects-and-teaching-tools/
These are just a few of the things that we will soon have to call ours and that will be ready for use soon. I am looking forward to introducing these new tools to you and our students and seeing what our students design and make!
Technology has found the issue that is causing Apps not to download. There was an issue with the Apple Servers talking to our JAMF server. So technology had to basically “Reset” all of our Tokens…..
What does the mean for students? This means that the server is going to re-issue the tokens to all the devices in the District. Students should not notice any change in the Apps currently on their device but it will take some time for the system to re-issue each app. So students may still have issues downloading apps over the next day or two until this process is complete.
Monday, Nov 28
- Department Meetings
Tuesday, Nov 29
- Horizons Trip – 6th Grade
- Basketball vs Knox at Home
- Wrestling vs Knox Away
- 8th Grade Band Parade Rehearsal
Wednesday, Nov 30
- Horizons Trip – 6th Grade
Thursday, Dec 1
- Basketball vs China Grove MS Home
- Wrestling vs China Grove MS Away
Friday, Dec 2
- Happy Birthday Ms Kennington
Monday, Dec 5
- Basketball vs North Rowan MS Home
- Wrestling vs North Rowan MS Away
Tuesday, Dec 6
- Happy Birthday Ms McNeely
Wednesday, Sept 7
Thursday, Sept 8
- Wrestling vs Erwin MS Away
- Basketball vs Erwin MS Home
- 5 Strategies to Deepen Student Collaboration
- 3 Great Ways to Encourage Student Collaboration
- 5 Effective Blended Learning Best Practices
- How Do I Differentiate Through Project-Based Learning?
- How to Tell If Your Interventions Are Working