Bulldog News Week of 4.10.2017

BULLDOG NEWS!

The academic year is quickly drawing to a close, and the date for testing is just around the corner. In an effort to protect PLC time during the school day, next Thursday the 12th after dismissal will be utilized to develop re-engagement (remediation) plans by grade level and content area.  Creating a strategic, focused, and effective plan for our students incorporating the ideas, strengths, and suggestions from our colleagues is the goal for the  day.

Content colleagues will decide what points of data to use when grouping students, determining best strategies, and needed resources to implement effective standard re-engagement.

C3qZ3qWVUAAiiaeMake a Student’s Day

This is a short week but we still have an opportunity to brighten a student’s day! Make a decision to see attend a game this week and let a player know you are looking forward to see her/him. Many of our past students are thrilled to see us at the high school games – same is true for our current students. Students care that we care.

(In case you missed it:)

Surveys Please remember to take your surveys for our recent virtual learning day. We will be presenting this information to the board at a meeting very soon. Here is the link – https://goo.gl/forms/FAuagJafv2RVBJYp2.

slider6Printer Copies – As we begin to make plans for next year, one of the considerations we have to look at critically is the number of copies we are making. We recently received a report regarding the number of copies we’ve made over the last several years [this was actually a copier usage report] and two things are striking: 1) there has been very little decline in the number of copies we’ve been making over the years and 2) we are already very close to

this is a concern of practice. Copies has always been a concern of schools but with the resources available to us, we must have continuous, critical conversations about the copies we have been making. Specifically, in our 1:1 environment do we really need to make the copies we are making?

During some of our walk-thrus, we make note of the opportunities when activities could have been paperless such as print copies with questions wherein students have to record short sentence answers or text, stories and narrative, printed front and back. While these activities may be needed the format can absolutely be different and it needs to be different.

This is a time when we need to have critical talks in our planning teams about what format we will deliver activities – be intentional in your talks. Take the time to consider alternatives like Google Forms [which can grade some assignments for you], Google Docs wherein students can collaborate and build together as well as Schoology. If you need help with any of these, please send out a message – someone will come running to offer some alternatives.

INSPIRATION

This week in 7th grade:

Anchor charts, by Ss for Ss! Purposeful communication & collaboration needed for success! Three of core values

Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 9.04.52 AM

Why should I use anchor charts?

The purpose of anchor charts is for students to have ownership over their learning and to “anchor” unknown topics to their own own experiences.  They are created as a teacher presents a mini-lesson.  7th grade Science flipped a teacher centered instructional strategy, allowing students choice, voice, and creativity – learner centered.
                                           7th grade ELA incorporating College and
                                          Career Readiness Anchor Standards via hot topic debates
                                         
                                          Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 9.37.29 AM

 

Debate, argumentation, and focused discourse can be used as a Transition to Writing Process skill in the LDC (Literacy Design Collaborative) literacy framework. Seventh grade ELA wove together several instructional resources to prepare for classroom debates. Topic,  supporting or opposing the death penalty. Students read paired texts from Common Lit : Do juvenile killers deserve life behind bars? and Stanley Williams, leader of the Crypts.

TECH AWESOMENESS

  • If you would like a desktop computer from the computer lab in your room for those students who didn’t charge their iPads or “forgot them at home” please email Mr. Pittman to let him know.
  • I will be coming by classrooms this week to check student iPad’s for any damage.

MEDIA MATTERS

This week during lunch I will hold our first Lego robotics/ coding class in the makerspace. For students who are interested they may bring their lunch into the makerspace.

Tuesday our school will host the middle school Battle of the Books competition. Schools will start arriving around 930 and will be gone around noon. The competition will take place in the Library, Makerspace, and Computer lab. Please do not send students to these areas during that time.

If you or someone in your house is a crafter and you have spare supplies lying around, and are looking for a good cause to donate to during your spring cleaning please consider the  Makerspace! If you have yarn, magazines, scrap booking paper, Legos, glue, etc I would really appreciate the donations 🙂

In hopes to help publicize our school and the awesome things happening in your classrooms we are going to start sharing pictures on social media every Friday. Below is a Google photo link, please use this to add your pictures to our Photo Fun Friday publication! I will post the album every Friday at noon, please make sure all pictures you would like to share are loaded by then. If you have any questions please feel free to ask me 🙂

https://goo.gl/photos/gFPj3karzcRNWJNb6

 

HENLEY’S HURRAHS

Thank you for participating in this week’s Literacy Design Collaborative PD. LDC is not “just one more thing” or a lesson plan template. LDC is…intentional planning and instruction for the purpose of effectively incorporating reading, writing, speaking, and listening and other fundamental literacy skills in any subject area. LDC is not an initiative singular to WRMS, but a district wide best practice strategy.

If you have not already joined the WRMS LDC PLC course in Schoology, please use this code to join:

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 1.14.02 PM

Once you are a member, you will have access to frameworks for planning, videos (LDC in   action), on-line resources, and rubrics.

At the conclusion of a PD session, several teachers remained and conversation wrapped around “if we already are doing this” what is the point of using the LDC instructional framework?  Why? Because when educators take time to pre-plan literacy based instruction, students benefit from the intentional inclusion of not only content standards, but speaking and listening, writing,  and some we may unintentionally “leave out.”

Literacy Alignment

Take a moment and review the chart above…each instructional framework or strategy includes four key components to intentionally integrate literacy into all content areas: get them interested, students interact with text, active discussion, brainstorming, etc. and an authentic final product.

Hat’s off to Mr. Bowman! During whole group PD on Tuesday, he was trying to “wrap his head” around how to utilize the LDC literacy framework with his content. After more discussion, he adapted the framework to fit the needs of his student population and has a completed module ready for implementation!

GO-TO GIRLS

Project Compassion!  Remind your students they should be working on their presentations this week. We will be meeting with our Compassion Project groups during Enrichment Monday- Wednesday (April 10-12) to hopefully allow the students time to finalize their projects.

Also, we had a phone conversation with a kind woman at the Rowan County Animal Shelter.  They are grateful for all the offers of support; however, it has been overwhelming each time we have met for the compassion project as they get flooded with phone calls from West Middle during that time.  She said all students have the same questions so here are the answers:  You must be 18 or older to volunteer there, however you can collect things for them.  Most needed items are cat food, kitty litter, puppy food, old blankets, and old towels. So, any of you who have groups of kids doing their project that involves the animal shelter, please pass this information along to them.

Thank you 6th grade and exploratory teachers for welcoming our rising 6th grade students!  We have received several e-mails from 5th grade teachers and counselors saying the students are now excited to come here.  And thank you 7th grade for switching schedules to make this happen.

Remember we have one more visit!  On Wednesday, April 12th we will welcome rising 6th grade students into the building from 9:15-10:30.  They will be meeting exploratory teachers as well as the 6th grade teachers to get a taste of what being a WRMS Bulldog is all about! Remember that 6th and 7th grades will be switching schedules that day.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Monday, April 10th

  • Baseball vs. Erwin @ Home
  • Soccer and Volleyball vs. Erwin @ Home
  • Track Boys Conference @ NRMS
  • Faculty Meeting
  • Enrichment – Compassion Project

Tuesday, April 11th

  • Enrichment – Compassion Project
  • ISD PD – Blended Learning, Apple Teacher, or Breakout EDU
  • Track Girls Conference @ NRMS

Wednesday, April 12th

  • Enrichment – Compassion Project
  • 5th Grade School Visits
  • Baseball vs. CLMS Away
  • Boy’s Tennis vs. Knox Away
  • Soccer and Volleyball vs.CLMS @ Home

Thursday, April 13th

  • Early Release Schedule
  • Grade level remediation planning after dismissal

Friday, April 14th

  • No School
  • Good Friday

 

RESOURCES

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