Upcoming Important Dates
July 28 – EdCampOOB
August 12 – MooseCamp PBE
August 27 – Teacher Workshop Day
August 28 – Teacher Workshop Day
August 31 – 1st Day of School (6th Grade only)
September 1 – All Students come to school
September 4 – No School
September 7 – No School Labor Day
September 8 – And the long Stretch Begins!
Lots of Learning Still Happening on Twitter
While I haven’t been as present I as usually am with my PLN friends on Twitter, I have been lurking and peeking in every couple of days. I am always amazed at how productive and creative these incredible educators are, and how willing they are to share what they have learned. There is one thing that seems to be a common thread in all of these folks, they are all willing to try something without fear. They understand that working with learners, and it doesn’t matter if they are young or old, establishing a good relationship with the learners is critical. They also seem to understand that they may be the “teacher” in the room, but that everyone is also a learner.
In what seems like a lifetime ago, I was introduced to the work of Dylan Wiliam and Paul Black through a very thick article called Inside the Black Box. (Click the link, if you’re interested in reading it.) The article was written in 1998, prior to the passage of NCLB, but during the period when schools and educators were being challenged by businesses complaining that schools were not producing folks ready for the world of work. The piece was a stunning report on the effectiveness of classroom level formative assessment and its relationship to improved student learning.
At a time when school districts were spending thousands of dollars on professional development, trying to increase levels of of student achievement, Black and Wiliam reported that more than any other intervention, effective classroom level formative assessment clearly demonstrated far greater increases in student achievement.
With this in mind, I am including a link to an Edutopia article by Todd Finely on checking on student progress. There are some excellent ideas to help each of us conduct those check-ins on how our students are doing that do not end up in our grade books, but serve to help us leaner what we need to do next to make sure our students gain better understanding.
We have completed our first year of using the print server PaperCut and I ma happy to report that we had a significant reduction in the amour of paper we used last year, almost one whole pallet! That is an incredible result and far better that we could have ever imagined!
Yes, we plan to continue to use the printeserver in the coming year, but I am not sure that PaperCut was the only reason we had such a huge reduction in our paper usage.
I know that many of you instituted using the Google platform, and Google Classroom with your classes. I am fairly confident that that was a big factor in our overall reduction in paper usage.
This summer, I cam across a piece written by Jackie Meyers from Gaggle.com (and a former classroom teacher!) about paper usage. In the article, she points out several reasons, beyond saving paper and money, for decreasing your usage of paper and increasing your effectiveness in assessing student work and providing the all so very important feedback to students quickly and efficiently.
I would love to hear what you think and some of your ides for how you can employ different strategies for assessing student work while decreasing our paper usage and copying costs.
The First Teacher Workshop Days
Since our lest Monday Memo, I have received some more information about that first day of school.
We will be meeting, as we have for the past several years, at the Middle School. There will be a light breakfast served in our cafeteria beginning at 7:00 am. We will all gather in the GMS Auditorium at 7:55. Heather expects that she and Dennis Libby will address the staff until about 10:00. We will then get back to our building to begin our work.
We will have a far more detailed schedule out to you when our Leadership Team meets.
Last week, I mentioned the EdCamp that the good people at Old Orchard Beach were putting on this coming Tuesday, July 28 (that’s tomorrow). There is still time to sign-up for this unique professional development activity, a portion of which will be conducted at The Pier at Ild Orchard Beach! If you are interested you can sign up at http://edcampoob.weebly.com
I know that Terri Dawson, Beth Orland (our new Library/Media Specialist) and I will be there!
OK, everyone, Back to you summer vacation!