Bulldog News 3.13.2017

BULLDOG NEWS!

A Great Student Showcase!

Friday morning was the RSS Literacy Summit. This was the district’s showcase and invitation to the community to see our dedicated focus on literacy and the work we are doing to engage, support and help our students be successful. To help demonstrate our great work, Dr Morrow enlisted the help students from NRMS to come up with a skit, songs and presentation to inform our community members and families about the importance of literacy in our society and they rose to the occasion by engaging them with two questions:

  • Why is literacy important to you and your community?
  • How can the community help support literacy?

This was a great example of putting a significant problem in front of our kids, giving them unfettered support and watching the marvel unfold.

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Core Value Lessons – Digital Citizenship

We’re splitting Core Value lessons and Compassion Project Time during enrichment for the next two weeks. Because of some recent events, we need to tie in some digital citizenship lessons with our core value lessons.

Commonsensemedia.org is a great site for resources on digital resources. Below, I’ve outlined some lessons that would be good talking points for our classes:

Give these a look and modify to fit a good message for our students AND integrate key components from our core values.

INSPIRATION

I can’t thank you all enough for the hard work and success we’ve been having with our first iterations of the Compassion Project. Students are on fire for their projects. Many of you have been sharing stories of some of the things our kids are coming up with as well.  This is an exciting time and venture for our school.

At this point, we should be helping students understand the scope of their project and begin planning steps for their projects. Our role as facilitator is critical here.

Its important that we understand that facilitators aren’t monitors or just in the room with students – we have purposeful conversations with students about their projects. Simply telling students to talk about their project is not enough. Embrace the fact that 11-14 year olds will have some good ideas but won’t think of all the details – that the power of our conversation with them. Conversations are critical.

HENLEY’ HURRAHS

At a PD session last Tuesday, it was noted we have experienced “snippets” of introduction and re-visiting during ISD for a lot of “stuff.” In looking at the list below that is very true:

Google
Guided Instruction
Infographics
Blended Learning
Twitter
Google Hangout
Pear Deck
Play Posit
LDC – Literacy Design Collaborative
ClassDojo
MakerSpace
Achieve 3000
Student Led Conferences

However, upon closer review, 3 out of 13 (23%) can be categorized as instructional frameworks and/or strategies. The remaining are resources for our students to receive and process (sense -make) content, and demonstrate understanding. Without a quality, planned, and differentiated instructional plan…resources remain a resource and not an instructional tool for students to engage and interact with the content. 

Becoming overwhelmed with the amount of initiatives, apps, and websites we have at our disposal is understandable. While I am not negating their value, using them as “stand alone’s”detached from vetted, research-based instructional frameworks and strategies does not equate to intentionally planned high-quality instruction for our students. 

Purposeful planning to find the most appropriate balance of instruction enhanced by digital tools is critical when creating content specific curriculum. Long gone are the days of textbooks that permit us to take our students on a pre-determined, page by page journey,  We are captains of the ship. For some of us, this is our first voyage, for others we could navigate with our eyes closed. But just like the weather, our student population is never the same and we must make constant adjustments to ensure we successfully reach our port. 

Knowing our students do not arrive at our classroom door on day one without gaps is a given. However, what we do on the remaining 179 days is not. Instead of revisiting the same conversation about what they cannot do and wanting that one prescriptive program or “silver bullet” that will fix it all, we (all stakeholders) should work together to create the best curriculum and learning experiences for our students. Will it be easy? No. Can it be accomplished in one 45 minute PLC meeting? No. Does it require an unbiased perspective when collaborating with colleagues? Yes. It is an ongoing process of intentional, and sometimes, difficult discussions about what the data says, how we are going to respond, and our responsibility as educators uphold Standard V: Teachers Reflect on Their Practice:

Teachers analyze student learning.

  • Teachers think systematically and critically about student learning in their classrooms and schools: why learning happens and what can be done to improve achievement. 
  • Teachers collect and analyze student performance data to improve school and classroom effectiveness. They adapt their practice based on research and data to best meet the needs of students. 
  • Think systematically and critically about learning in their classroom: why learning happens and what can be done to improve student achievement 
  • Collect and analyze student performance data to improve effectiveness

Teachers link professional growth to their professional goals.

  • Teachers participate in continued, high quality professional development that reflects a global view of educational practices; includes 21st century skills and knowledge; aligns with the State Board of Education priorities; and meets the needs of students and their own professional growth.

GO-TO GIRLS

Our Annual Career Day will be this Thursday, March 16. We will have many visitors at school representing 20 various future employment opportunities for our students. Every exploratory room, collaborative room, the media center, ISS, and computer lab will be occupied until 12:50 so please do not send students to these places. Students will receive rotation cards Thursday morning and several NJHS members will be stationed in the halls to assist presenters and guide students. If you see a visitor, please greet them and thank them for volunteering. To get kids talking about their future, all staff is encouraged to wear college gear on Wednesday- either your alma mater or favorite school.

Branching Minds will be presented for those who still need an introduction during a future ISD. In the meantime, see Jenny if you or your team needs initial training or a review.

Dodgeball tournament March 24!!!!

UPCOMING EVENTS

Monday, March 13th

  • Happy Birthday Mrs. Miller
  • Faculty Meeting
  • Enrichment – Core Values [Tie in Digital Citizenship to Core Values]

Tuesday, March 14th

  • WRMS PD Achieve3000
  • WRMS Middle School Principals Meeting – Walk Thrus and Visit
  • Soccer and Volleyball vs NRMS at Home
  • Baseball/Boys Tennis vs NRMS Away
  • Enrichment – Core Value
  • Band Booster Meeting

Wednesday, March 15th

  • Enrichment – Core Value
  • Track at Home [WRHS]

Thursday, March 16th

  • Enrichment – Compassion Project
  • Career Day – [See above]
  • Baseball/Boy Tennis vs Erwin Away
  • Soccer/Volleyball vs Erwin Home
  • RSS Vendor Fair – Assessment Product

Friday, March 17th

  • Virtual Learning Day – Plan your activities NOW!
  • Early Release Day!

Monday, March 20th

  • Happy Birthday Mrs. Wilkinson
  • Track at Mooresville
  • Enrichment – Core Values
  • DEPARTMENT MEETING MOVED to March 27th

Tuesday, March 21st

  • Enrichment – Core Values
  • Baseball and Boys Tennis vs CLMS at Home
  • Soccer and Volleyball vs CLMS Away

Wednesday, March 22nd

  • Enrichment – Core Values
  • Track at Knox MS

Thursday, March 23rd

  • WRMS Data Visit
  • Enrichment – Compassion Project
  • Soccer and Volleyball at Mooresville
  • Baseball and Boys Tennis vs Mooresville at Home

Friday, March 24th

  • Enrichment – Compassion Project

RESOURCES

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