Monday Memo Week of March 24

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Upcoming Important Dates

March 25 – Leadership Team Meeting 2:30 in Melanie’s room
March 26 – Faculty Meeting 2:30 in the Library, food by 8th Grade, Agenda below
March 28 – Teacher Workshop Day, No school for students. More info below
April 2 – Music and Art in our Culture Day
April 2 – Early Release Day – Students dismissed at 11:10 am
April 3 – 8th Grade Graduation Organization Meeting, Library 6:00 pm
April 4 – 3rd Quarter Ends, Grades will need to be on Infinite Campus by the end of the day April 11
April 11 – School  Dance sponsored by the 7th grade

March 26 Faculty Meeting Agenda

  • Accolades and Notices
  • Technology
  • School Nurse
  • NECAP Data Analysis
  • Other

The Data review will allow etchers to see results for your current students as well as the students you had last year (minus and identifiable information). You should be able to see how your students performed on each of the released item questions, any patterns to the responses of the students and, as a result of the questionnaire, the students perception of how much homework the did in each of the tested subjects.

It should be interesting, to say the least, to see what all of this information tells about our students last year and our current students. Hopefully, all will come to the meeting with an inquisitive mind about these results and what that can tell us.

March 28 Teacher Workshop Day

District wide, we will continue to explore what the idea of Proficiency Based Teaching and Learning should look like in our future. As you are all aware, we are heading in this direction with our current class of 8th graders. Their experience in high school should be much different from those of the students who preceded them. Seat time and acquisition of credits will have less meaning for them and the demonstration of the skills necessary to be “College and Career Ready” will be more important.

We have already begun a lot of this work, and I will have available the work done by each content area at grade level for those who need it.

Music and Art in our Culture Day

Our next early release day, April 2 will have our students experiencing several different mediums of art and music that impacts our culture. Thanks to Tracy Williamson, and I am sure several others, students will select different workshops to attend during this day. These selections should have been made during Advisory on Friday. If your advisees have not yet selected their workshops, please have them do so ASAP.

Teacher Day on April 2

We have spent a great deal of time this year working on lots of different initiatives that have been put upon us by many outside forces. We have had very little time to explore that which will help us become more fulfilled in our jobs.

In keeping with the “practice what you preach” idea, I am proposing that on the afternoon of April 2 we undertake a 20% day, or, as some put it, a FedEx day.

What is a FedEx Day? it is a time when you will be allowed to work on a project of your now choosing. Something that you have water to work on, but never had the time.

There are some parameters about ties kinds of days. Just as with FedEx, all participants are expected to “deliver” a product of their work time. Unlike FedEx, we will begin our work on April 2nd, but our presentation time will be on the April 9th Faculty Meeting.

We will have  more on this in the next few days.

A Couple of Interesting Articles from Huffington Post

I came across a couple of articles that I found rather interesting, especially as we navigate all of the challenges and obstacles of the Common Core, Proficiency Based Teaching and Learning and Teacher Evaluation models.

The first link is for our English Language Arts teachers, as well as any teacher who would ask a student to write an essay (of any type) or communicate, via the written word, about their learning.It was written by Jonathan Owen, a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, and in response to an article that appeared in The Atlantic by Michelle Cleary about diagraming sentences.

Since March 4 was National Grammar Day, and, if I can use a fair amount of latitude since we are in the same month, I thought this would be an interesting read.

Huffington Post Article – ELA

I withhold any of my thoughts about the article, but I would love to hear from those who may have an idea, one side or the other.

This second link is kind of a promo for a book the author has written and wants us to become so intrigued that we will all go out and purchase it. That’s not the reason I suggest the article, but more for the reasons that we have seen in some of the videos we have shown over the course of the last couple of years, most notably Sir Kenneth Robinson’s TED video “Do Schools Kill Creativity” and Shawn Achor’s “The Happy Secret to Better Work”.

I would love to hear from any or all about what the think on this and I hope you enjoy them.

Hilary Wilce Article

Also, if you’d like to view the Ken Robinson Video again, or the Shawn Achor video, here are the links:

Ken Robinson

Shawn Achor

 

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