Weekly Memo for September 19

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Upcoming Important Dates

Sep 21 – Early Release Day Students dismissed at 11:10
Sep 21 – LipDub Activity
Sep 26 – EICAL Rotations begin
Sep 28 – Leadership Team Meeting
Oct 5 – Content Area Meeting 2:30 – 3:30
Oct 7 – Teacher Workshop Day – No School for Students

Early Release Day

Most of the planning has been completed, the students have chosen their themes, made their signs and are ready to show their school spirit. We will complete the filming of our third LipDub during the morning of Wednesday’s early release day. This should be fun!

When the students have been dismissed, lunch will be on your own. We will begin our activities promptly at 12:00 in Auditorium. We will examine our LearningPlans during the first part of the afternoon. This will allow you to efficiently input your information regarding your self assessment and the goals you have set for yourself. This system will assist all of us in examining our practice to see how we can continue to improve.

After the initial presentation, all teachers will be allowed to return to your rooms to complete your self assessment and your goal setting. I am expecting that all teachers will have their self assessment and goal completed and uploaded by Thursday, September 22. Susie and I will then set our goal meetings with each of you and begin to plan to schedule our classroom observations.

EICAL Rotations Begin

Thank you to all of you who submitted the write-ups about the EICAL activities your will be offering this year. I am looking forward to good year for our students and, personally, I am really looking forward to returning to the cemetery with my students toes if we can uncover some history! I know how much work this is for each of you, and I know the students appreciate how much you put into creating these activities for them. I also know that if you were to ask kids if they wanted to have time to do homework, the would choose to have the free time.

We started EICAL because we all saw the need to provide opportunities for all of our students during the school day to learn, and to learn about themselves as learners. Each of you have created activities that allow our students to stretch beyond the traditional day at school. We also use this time to provide rehearsal time for our musical students engaged in Band or Chorus. These are all very important activities that, according to a vast amount of research, help to engage our students far greater in the learning activities of school. The same research indicates that students engaged in these activities demonstrate evidence of learning at higher levels. Let us all please honor these varied learning activities for our students, These may contribute to greater learning in the future for each of these students.

As we prepare our kids for their future, the skills required of them will be vastly different than the skills we needed during our day of schooling,. We must remember that we are not preparing our students for the repetitive work of the last Century, our students will need to know how to think creatively… and quickly. They will have to adapt continuously in their lives. The memorizations of our learning are no longer necessary. We do think it’s a good idea to have information on quick recall, but when you match our brain recall spend with the speed of our laptops of phones, there’s no contest.

But I digress! EICAL is about offering many “things” to many students. Lots of excellent learning events for our students, and you all do it so very well.

Most Likely To Succeed

I have included on this Weekly Memo a video from Ted Dintersmith the Producer of the education documentary Most Likely to Succeed. You may remember that the documentary deals with the beginnings of American Public Education and how it has pretty much remained the same ever since. I also showed the video during our first faculty meeting, he was the fellow delivering the TEDx speech from Fargo, North Dakota.

I am delighted to report that we have been approved to hold a showing here at GMS on the evening of Tuesday, November1. Our plans are to hold the showing with an opportunity for community discussion afterward. We have lots of planning to do and I could always use help in the planning and execution of the event. If you’re interested, please drop me a line.

Just to tease you a bit about the documentary, here is a clip from Dr. Tony Wagner, enjoy!

Leadership Meeting

We will have our Leadership team meeting on Wednesday, September 28 at 2:30 in Melanie’s room. We will be joined by Kate Gardoqui. You will want to make sure you have your laptops for this meeting.

Election 2016

There is a rumor that we here in the United States will behaving an election sometime soon! Actually, I am not sure we have an election like this since 1824, and it is possible that it could end in the same place as the election of 1824!

I am looking for someone, or a few someones, to help organize the Secretary of State Mock Election for GMS. This needs to be completed by October 26 and the school results reported to the Secretary of State. There will be a Rally and Tally event on that day in Augusta, if anyone is interested in attending.

In the meantime, there are a whole bunch of great resources available for this upcoming election. PBS has a great deal of great resources that are available at the click of a mouse pad button here.

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has a great site called Knowledge Quest with a slew of great resources for the election. These resources can be adapted for any grade level and class. Check out the AASL website here.

The New York Times Learning Network, while a bit dated, can also be a good resources for all teachers to use, regardless of the content area, Checkout their site here.

 

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