Here’s hoping you all had a great Thanksgiving! I spent my time driving, eating, laughing and resting – a wonderful vacation!

SPOTLIGHT

Improving Learning and Teaching
For the month of December, we will be focusing our improving our planning efforts during Wednesdays and Thursdays. We will start by having some special visits by CCS curriculum specialists Yimiya Pearson and Lucille Lazare. This week they will lead a talk on using data for planning and differentiation in the classroom.  I will personally lead the talks for the remainder of the month. Our goal here is to be more efficient, purposeful and impactful with our collaborative planning and our protected planning. All these efforts, everything we do, goes towards improving learning and teaching.

Supervision and Communication
With this being a short a month, we will need to make sure we have a tight focus on supervising students. Given this short window, we can count on students to want to leave classrooms a little more, not use the best language or judgment when treating others or do their assignments. We have to prepare for this:

  • Use your best professional judgment when dealing with kids asking to leave the room. Know where your kids are at all times.
  • We need to make concerted efforts to clear hallways as soon as possible and start the learning and teaching as soon as possible.
  • Agendas – when I have met with parents recently who are concerned about students grades, performance and attendance, I always ask about agendas. Parents have been very receptive about students using agendas to record assignments and have the student take the agenda to the teacher at the end of class to note behavior and performance. Take some time Monday to connect kids with their agendas and embed that in their process. Make contact with parents to let them know we need them to have their agendas
  • Make sure you are contacting parents when there is a change in grades. Phone calls are great, emails are just as good. We also have a lot teacher using digital tools like ClassDojo to communicate with parents. Keep them informed. We can understand this – we would expect no less for our own children.

Let’s make sure what we have some good quality learning activities in place for our students! Every day is an instructional opportunity we cannot get back! We can get creative in how we teach standards! Its important that we plan learning outcomes, keep a rigorous frame of mind in our plans and make sure we are collaborating!

INSPIRATION

I mentioned @ClassDojo earlier and it inspired me to find a video of it. Ms Sams has led a training on how we can use it in classrooms to help – this isn’t a training video, just a creative way to showcase the positives.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Monday 12.01

  • SIT Meeting

Tuesday 12.02

  • School Pictures [Make Up Day]
  • Parent University – Presentation, Online Safety for Parent and Students

Wednesday

  • Progress Reports Go Home
  • Protected Planning

Thursday

  • Data Planning with CCS Curriculum Specialists
    • Math/Science in the morning
    • ELA/Social Studies in the afternoon
  • Basketball vs Westover MS at Home
  • Wrestling vs Westover MS Away

RESOURCES

Top 10 Reasons to Start using Google Drive in the Classroom

  • ideas-for-motivating-adolescent-male-readersA must read for teachers and school leaders

4 Ideas For Motivating Adolescent Male Readers

Important YouTube Tip for Teachers and Presenters

  • Start and stop YouTube vids during your presentation when you need to.

5 Social Media Must Knows for Every Teacher

  • Build Communities and Share Information – great starts!

Skype Translator: How it will change communication forever

  • Language is no longer a barrier

ASCD EDge – 5 Things Not to Say When Students Make a Mistake

  • Instead of starting over, ask what did we learn from this? Let’s work thru this.

10 Great Apps for Middle Schoolhow-to-kill-learner-curiosity-fi

5 Tips about reporting to parents

  • The first is  a major one

How To Kill A Learners Curiosity In 10 Easy Steps

Three Effective Ways to Look for Educational Content in Twitter

5 tips to create strong learning environments with iPads

5 Things to Share With Your Teachers About Educational Technology

PBL Project Planning: Matching Projects to Standards

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