Sunday, September 15, 2013

September 15, 2013

We are one month into the school year.  Everyone has been very busy these last few weeks.  Remember there will be bumps along the way. All of us won't always agree on everything.  But, we do all need to focus on the fact that we are here each and every day for the students. When things seem to get difficult or tough, remind yourself why you became an educator. We went into education to make a difference in the lives of children.

As I was running this weekend I was thinking about how so many of our students are now talking about wanting to go to college. Some still are unsure of what they want to do, and that is okay too. We need to now help the students take it from "I want to go to Georgia Tech," to "This is what I am going to do to guarantee I can get into Georgia Tech." What we need to help our students with is creating plans/steps that will help them reach their goals and ultimately attain their dreams. Here is a quick graphic I put together.

In case I haven't made it to your room for one of my T4S visits yet, I will be there soon. As a reminder, I will give you feedback on the following areas: Objective, Facilitating Student Interactions, Engagement Techniques, and Formative Assessment.  I also like to take photos of the great things happening and Tweet with a message and then include in a future blog posting. Continue to incorporate writing into your daily lesson plans. Remember to include Reading and Writing to Learn. 

We are happy to announce that Angie Julien from West Ed will be providing three after school Professional Development workshops this year. The first two will focus on Reading and Writing to Learn. The final workshop's focus has not been determined yet. It will be finalized as we get closer and see where we are going and what support is needed. The dates for the Professional Development opportunities are as follows: October 8th 3:45-5:30, December 10th: 3:45-5:30, and February 26th 3:45-5:30.

Our next in the series of our Technology and the Common Core PD's will be Thursday, October 3rd from 3:45-5:30. These have all been very useful PD's to date. We have been introduced to PLN's, Mobile devices in the classroom, and Digital Citizenship. This partnership with SCOE has been invaluable. If you are on Twitter and haven't followed him yet, you should follow our presenter Geoff Belleau @gbelleau.

This Tuesday, September 17th marks my second endeavor with "Student Voices." I will be shadowing my second student. I am looking forward to experiencing a day as an eighth grader this time. More students have signed up for a total of eight students. I have sent each of them a welcome letter explaining that I will shadow each of them over the next few weeks. If I am in your classroom, do your best to treat me as a student.

As I have mentioned in several posts, all teachers should be including writing in their classes every day. Writing that makes students explain, justify, and cite.  Below are examples of writing to learn in both Spinelli's Physical Science class and in Balthazor's Pre Algebra class.

Here students are working on taking notes on density. 

The objective of the day: "Students will calculate the density of different substances using mass and volume measurements.  Tara has a very specific lab notebook routine for the students where they write their information down. 

Students were assigned a mathematical concept and then needed to write a newspaper article that explains the mathematical concept. Here a student uses his own device to gather additional information.

Students reviewing a newspaper article. They will use what they learned on the format to guide their original piece.

Student using his own device to gather additional information on his topic. He is also working on his math newspaper article.

WORD OF THE WEEK: COMPARE:  Compare is to examine or judge two or more things to show how they are similar to or different from each other.  

Tuesday, September 17th: We will be on an assembly schedule. The Travis Brass Quartet will be performing. 

If you would like to sign up to present ideas, strategies, or something great that is happening in your classroom at an upcoming staff meeting, please fill out the Google form found through this link.

Have a great week!

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