Bulldog News 2.27.2016


wp-1487941660896.jpgThanks to Mrs Brawley and Mrs Rabon for their volunteering to lead our talks and shift towards WRMS becoming a @Responsiveclassroom focused school. These efforts are important and necessary in our connecting with and building relationships that will help us in our efforts to help students achieve and grow and be the best they can be.

Important things to remember:

  • Bulldog Greeter
  • Phone Greeter
  • Time and Space
  • Greeting [prominently displayed] at beginning of class with positive direction

Find your path and your own effective way to implement. These features are important but their impact is minimized when we make them things to simply check off and do. Positive, nurturing relationships are the most important things we can build up in our classrooms. When we have good relationships in place, students want to be builders and contributors and creators. We have to want to do better to get better in our classroom.

this is what responsive classroom looks like


Benchmarks begin next Tuesday, February 28th.  Please refer to the Benchmark schedule found in the Schoology WRMS Staff course, The following Monday – Wednesday, March 6th-8th are deemed “core time” per the WRMS Google Calendar. It is extremely important all students complete the benchmark as to yield accurate data for standard re-engagement. Please make sure to utilize longer core class periods for students to finish up benchmarks if not completed the week of 2/28-3/2.

Compassion Project!

People are excited about this!

Our first day of meeting with students regarding the Compassion Project is in the books! With incredible help and support from Mrs Horton, Mrs Muire, Mrs Stone and Mrs Shue we had most kids signed up with a topic/general area of study. These ladies are working hard to help organize this massive event. Thanks for all you do.

You can help by talking to your kids about their plans for changing a life, changing the community or changing the world. I’ve been having some conversations with students already and have been hearing some magnificent plans ranging from a whiffle ball fundraiser to adopting a hall at a nursing home.

We aren’t going to build a ceiling – empower and encourage your students to amaze you!

Calls for Support

The front office will start implementing a new call system to administrators for the different situations that arise in the building. The ‘Code’ that is called in will depend on the situation in the classroom and information given.

To help with this, we need teachers or students to try to describe the situation as best they can in as few sentences as possible. For example:

  • ‘There was a fight in my room but I have them separated’
  • ‘There is a fight and I can’t separate them’
  • ‘A student reports that some money is missing’
  • ‘I have a belligerent, defiant student in my room.’
  • ‘A diabetic/asthmatic/sick student has passed out in my room.’

Our goal is to get help sent to you as soon as possible. We want to provide the right help. Its important to remember that the longer we are on the phone hearing about the situation is time away from getting help to you.

Schoolwide Emails
When I started last year one of the first requests was for more streamlined communication – hence the creation of Bulldog News. It has helped us with reducing schoolwide emails tremendously. While we are still doing a good job with a reduced number of school wide emails, looking back over the last couple of weeks, we have had more being sent out. Some of these could have been avoided with some advanced planning and notification.

start-your-blog-4-stepsFor clarity, we are not talking about the ones with information that needs to be deciminated immediately like Pittman’s tech notifications or a Counselor’s last minute changes or notifications about the Compassion Project – these need to happen. To state this again, some school wide emails are essential. What we have to be weary of are school wide emails that could be announcements with the Bulldog News. That requires some advance planning and communication.

We still use Remind for quick shares through the week. Remind messages are always things that are good to know – some are essential for now, some can wait til later.

Many of you are good to talk to an administrator before a school wide email is sent out which helps. We don’t want to clog up our inboxes with unnecessary emails.

Communication is key. Staying informed and connected is a critical necessity for function and growth – stay informed!


PBLs Next Year

Great PBL Resource from Edutopia here!

This year has been a great introduction and slow exposure to PBLs – problem-
based learning and project-based learning. We’ve been able to play in the sandbox a little at a time and hopefully you have gotten a little deeper and deeper each time and have had some thoughtful conversations about what they are and more importantly, your changing role in them.

It is different from the traditional practices and methodologies of the classroom we were taught in and it will require us to make serious adjustments to what we do and more importantly what learning and teaching look like.

screen-shot-2017-02-25-at-2-51-58-amNext year during the 2nd 9 weeks and some of the 4th 9 weeks, WRMS will dive into Standards Based PBL instruction. We will teach our standards through PBLs. This will be a significant change from what we do now. This year, we have had projects or problems to explore that have been outside our regular classroom practices and planning. This will involve a new level of understanding, planning and role adjustments.

  • How does our curriculum mapping fit into this structure?
  • What role do formative assessments have in PBLs?
  • What does grading/assessment look like?
  • How should we inform and keep parents informed of this new endeavor?
  • How do we help students stay organized?

Our school mission of empowering student learning is a journey. This leg of the journey requires us to give up traditional control and embrace a new role and thinking, empowering students to produce while at the same time ensuring that our 11-13 year olds are monitored well, and collaborating and planning on another level.

Student Led Conferences

First, two very big shout outs:

  • Thanks, Mrs Hege for leading our Tuesday PD sessions on student led conferences
  • Props to Mrs Brooks and Mrs Warren for branching out having their student led conferences after school this Monday and Tuesday.

Student led conferences are not an event – they are a NECESSITY!

We had good turnouts for the PD sessions and all were left with resources [search your Google Drive folder for ‘Conferences’ folder] the Hege provided. Or you can follow the example of Brooks/Warren and draw upon your own experience and research and implement this yourself.

I sat in a parent/teacher meeting Friday. The parents had concerns about the students performance and have serious questions where his trouble comes from. The teachers in room suggested a conference that would allow all three parties to hear and provide input. This is a great start – but the conference then became a student-led conference. This is the powerful move!

Instead of parents and teachers thought becoming the center and talking points, we should create opportunities for students to lead discussions on their data, grades, performance and their plans to recover. This is where we have to be.

Put the work solution where the work concern came from.

Henley’s Hurrahs

Achieve 3000:

If you have not already done so, check out the new Achieve 3000 performance report:

How are my students performing on reading skills?

Student performance for reading skills are categorized :

Mastery is Demonstrated 80-100% Correct

Additional Practice Recommended 65-79% Correct

Aggressive Intervention Recommended <65% Correct

Excellent data to use for creating guided groups, in addition to benchmark data.

Differentiation Tool:

Students accessibility of  differentiated assignments, task, and/or activities on Schoology or another digital platform is very easy. However, students can easily determine which “folder” equates to ability level. A big thank you to Mrs. Powers for showing Mrs. Nussman, Mrs. Roach, and myself how to create grading groups in Schoology. See the brief video link below:

Schoology Differentiated Groups

In order to receive SEA System CEU credit, be sure to stop by my room and sign the indicated columns on the PBL roster.



Saturday, Feb 25

  • Happy birthday Mr Kepley

Monday, Feb 27

  • St Baldrick’s Spirit Week – Twin Day
  • 7-Basketball vs Knox at Home
  • Enrichment – Compassion Project

Tuesday, Feb 28

  • St Baldrick’s Spirit Week – Dress to Impress
  • Benchmark Schedule
  • Band and Chorus Performance at West Rowan HS

Wednesday, March 1

  • St Baldrick’s Spirit Week – Mathlete vs Athlete
  • 7-Basketball vs CGMS at Home
  • Happy Birthday Mrs Kohler
  • WRMS Club Pictures – 12:00 – 2:00

Thursday, March 2

  • St Baldrick’s Spirit Week – Country Day
  • Happy Birthday Mrs Howell

Friday, March 3

  • St Baldrick’s Spirit Week – Green Out
  • St. Baldrick’s Event 4:00 – 6:00 pm

Monday, March 6

  • Enrichment – Core Make-up

Tuesday, March 7

  • Enrichment – Core Make-up

Wednesday, March 8

  • Enrichment – Core Make-up
  • Alan Gratz Visit 6th/7th Grade – Corriher-Lipe Middle School

Thursday, March 9

  • Enrichment – Compassion Project

Friday, March 10

  • Enrichment – Compassion Project
  • 8th Grade Band MPA
  • RSS Literacy Summit

Thursday, March 23

  • Data Visit – 8:00



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