Week of November 28


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Upcoming Important Dates

Nov 29 – Digital Citizenship Assemblies Postponed to December 22
Nov 30 – Content Area meeting 2:30 (agenda to follow)
Dec 2 – Google for Education on Air Conference
Dec 6 – Chorus Concert 6:00 pm GMS Auditorium
Dec 7 – Early Release Day Student dismissed at 11:10
Dec 7 – Teacher Workshop 12:15 – 3:00
Dec 14 – Leadership Team Meeting 2:30, Melanie’s room

Content Area Meetings Agenda

After our faculty meeting, when each content area had the opportunity to review the Cornerstones of Grading, we now need to begin to look for some actions steps, some ideas that we can explore, that will aid us in making these Cornerstones come alive. I am including a video from the film Most Likely to Succeed, to add some fuel to the fire of the argument Breadth vs. Depth.

I hope that this short clip will stimulate some substantive conversations during these meetings.

I ask each Content Area to determine one person to be the Note Taker and upload the relevant notes into the Google Classroom.

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/178677984″>8. Breadth vs Depth</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/mostlikelytosucceed”>Most Likely to Succeed</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

USM Course on PBL

I know that Heather Perry sent emails out to the entire staff regarding the Proficiency Based Learning Course Series in conjunction with the University of Southern Maine. There is still time , if you are interested, to enroll in this course that begins in mid-January.

The classes will meet at Gorham High School from 3:30 to 5:30 on Wednesdays.

These courses on Proficiency Based Learning will lead to a certificate of Graduate Studies in Proficiency Based Learning. Please let me know as soon as possible of your interest in joining this course.

Digital Citizenship Assemblies

We have postponed the planned Digital Citizenship Assemblies for Tuesday morning until Thursday December 22nd. On this last day before the Christmas Vacation, we will have the assemblies beginning with the sixth grade at 8 the seventh grade at 9 and the 8th grade at 10 in the auditorium.

These assemblies will take a new look then they have in the past. Terry Dawson and Beth Orlando have been diligently working to create digital citizenship breakouts for the students to be active participants in the learning.

To finish the day on Thursday the 22nd of December, we will hold our annual student faculty basketball game in the gym beginning at 12:30 with the students being dismissed at 1:45 to their advisories for dismissal.

Speaking of the student-faculty basketball game we will be looking for participants for both the Male and the Female Faculty Teams and I hope we get a good crew to participate and carry forward the traditions of the faculty trickery and experience overcoming youth and inexperience.

I do apologize for the inconvenience I may have caused anybody through this postponement, but there were many reasons why it was the right thing to do. So I thank you for your understanding.

Chorus & Band Concerts

For most of the first part of this school year, many of our students have engaged in endeavours that appear to be invisible Beyond the walls of our classroom. These students are are out Band, Steel Band and Chorus Students.

In the coming weeks we get an opportunity to be able to witness the fruits of their labors during the first part of the year. We begin on Tuesday December 6th, with the steel band and chorus concert in the Gorham Middle School Auditorium. The concert begins at 6 p.m.

On Tuesday December 13th, the Gorham Middle School band will hold their annual Winter concert beginning at 6 p.m. in the auditorium.

I do hope that everyone gets an opportunity to come see our students, your students, show off the skills that tend to be invisible in our classrooms. I know how much the students enjoyed seeing their teachers in the audience as they perform. It’s also a great night of entertainment and oh, by the way, it is free.

Early Release Day Activities

Our next early release day is December 7th Wednesday. December 7th will also be the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on the naval station in Pearl Harbor Hawaii. In years past, we have always observed December 7th by beginning the school day with a moment of remembrance for all the souls lost on that particular day , and all the souls lost in the ensuing battles of World War II.

On this December 7th, we will begin their day with an assembly in the gymnasium for the whole school, where we will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor with the GMS Band and Chorus providing the necessary patriotic songs. I have also asked several veteran’s groups to join us for this ceremony and to stay for the remainder of the morning to meet with our students in small groups to tell the stories of their service to America. We have received commitments from any of them to stay for the morning , and once I get a complete list and number of the veterans who will be staying I will get a schedule out to the faculty so that you can share it with your students.

If any of you happen to know a veteran who would like to join us on this particular morning please feel free to invite them. I ask only that you let me know so that I can include them on the list to be honored.

Our plan for the afternoon Teacher Workshop session, using student-centered classroom as a theme, is to plan Edcamp style program where teachers are teaching teachers, sharing ideas, and learning new things from each other.

I know many of you have heard me talk about the camps in the past, but I have not seen, in the many years that I’ve been in education, a better way for information and new learning to be transmitted among adults.

So, we will begin promptly at 12:15, in the GMS Library. It is really important that everybody be there promptly as we determine where, and what, and who will be offering sections for the afternoon, so, please plan lunch accordingly! Our plan is to run three 40-minute sessions for the afternoon and we will explain more about how and it Edcamp works on December 7th.

2017-2018 Budget Meetings

It is that time of year again, no not the holiday season, but the budget season. I will be meeting with each and every one of you over the next few days to talk about your budget needs for 2017-18.

You may remember that last year we operate it was called a zero-based budget. That is a budget that assumes a clean slate for each account and we build the budget based upon the department needs.

I have put in each of your mailboxes, blank templates for you to use as you begin to plan for 2017-2018. We will use these templates to determine your needs for the coming year and what will be included in the budget.

It’s also important to understand even though you may request certain supplies equipment textbooks etcetera, there is no. guarantee that they will survive the budget process this is going to be a zit always is an arduous and tedious process the results of which will provide us with our operating budget for next year. It is very important that each of you put forth your best effort ideas and thoughts into this process . I look forward to meeting with each of you in the coming days to discuss your requests.

A Thought Provoking Video

I came across this TED video while doing something that I truly hate doing, riding the elliptical at the gym. This was a perfectly timed video to get me through my hated warm-up exercises and then give me the impetus to continue the necessary work!

While this may be easy passed on as a relevant video for Gorham, Maine, since most of Victor’s talk references his life and his work with inner city kids, but I found myself thinking about the many students I had as a classroom teacher who held similar profiles as the Victor and many students he mentions. I also wanted to think that I was more like the teacher in Victor’s life, but had to admit for far too many of these students profiled in this video, I probably was not!

In any event, I hope you enjoy this selection and I truly hope that you reflect on the many (or few) students that you have had in your classrooms who may have similar profiles.




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