Saturday, October 12, 2013

October 12, 2013

As I mentioned in last week's post I have a lofty goal. Let's create an amazing lesson plan app that works with Common Core. There are some apps out there, but none that do everything. I envision a template that focuses on our T4S Strategies and a bank to choose from with Common Core standards.  The lesson plan app should also be interactive in the sense it would allow the teacher it import YouTube videos, Google images, etc. Just my idea right now, but if we could make it a reality that would be amazing!!! I am serious about this one, so if you are too, let's start planning it!

What an AMAZING week at Crystal Middle School. Our College and Career Fair was a HUGE success. The math and English department worked hard on Benchmark #1. There were a lot of GREAT rigorous lessons delivered by many of you.

Rachel Chang and students showing College Pride!!

Witt and students showing College Pride!

McCormick, Spinelli, and Baptista showing College Pride!

Marine Corps, Hoorah! 

Balthazor, Garcia, Cougar, and students showing College Pride!

We had ALL 956 students out and participating in our College & Career Fair!!

Student and Cougar showing College Pride! Notice her NEU shirt from elementary school!!!

Chang, Cougar, and students showing College Pride!

Our new banner that graces the entrance to our campus! Our message is loud and clear, Cougars are College Bound!

ASB students showing College Pride!

Great face paint!!

Suisun PD @ the College & Career Fair

Showing CAL Pride!

Solano Community College @ College & Career Fair

Army Strong @ College & Career Fair

Superintendent Corey and FSUSD Board Member Honeychurch visited our College & Career Fair

UC Berkeley @ College & Career Fair

Armijo High School @ College & Career Fair

Lewis, Accetolla, and Chang teachers showing College Pride!

Students enjoying the many "goodies" at the College & Career Fair

Mr. Walpole holding his weekly Wed. lunch with students

Students enjoying the College & Career Fair 
Students enjoying the College & Career Fair

Student receiving college logo face paint by Ms. Rockwell

Each week I continue to highlight classrooms that are implementing the Common Core and providing rigorous instruction to the students. This week was a great example of the Common Core being implemented from 6th-8th! There is also a lot of collaboration happening across the departments. English and History are working together on Primary Sources. Try and think outside the box with your allocation of FedEx time. The more you plan together the better your lessons will be. The better your lessons are the more the students will learn. Here is a snapshot of some the great work happening. A picture though can't speak as loudly as seeing it first hand. Take some time on your prep and get into other classrooms to see it in action.

Mr. Harris' US History Class: This is a display of an annotated primary source document. Every student had a document that resembled this. The objective for this lesson read as follows: "I will use video notes, close reading, and annotate primary sources to write a paragraph explaining what caused the Salem Witch crisis of 1692." Students engaged in Depth of Knowledge Level 3 questions/discussions in this lesson. Way to go Harris.

Mr. Walpole's US History Class: SmartBoard is displaying SOAPS. Mr. Walpole is walking the students through the process of determining the intended audience of the primary source document they are looking at. The students engaged in Depth of Knowledge Level 3 questions during this lesson. Way to go Walpole. 

Mr. Baptista's 6th grade math class. Students are exploring area. 

Mr. Baptista's 6th grade math class: Students were exploring different ways of measuring things. After a brief activity using various tools to measure their desks (rulers, yardsticks, paper, tiles, rocks, paper clips, etc), students explored the concept of area by covering their desks with paper tiles. They needed to estimate and use partial units to find the number of tile units needed to cover their desks. Lots of strategies for calculating the number of those partial units was evident and there was also quite a bit of discussion around precision (no overlapping tiles, no gaps). 

Ms. McCormick's Science class: Students recently took a field trip to the Suisun Marsh. Students needed to compile a report on the different things they learned. Here students are presenting to small groups. The students listening to the presentations had to fill out a graphic organizer on the information presented. 

More students presenting and recording information in McCormick's Science class. 

More students presenting and recording information in McCormick's Science class. 

I don't have a picture of it, but in Merrick's English 8 class on Friday students engaged in Depth of Knowledge 3 discussions as well. She is preparing students for research project they will begin in a week. There was also a seamless implementation of BYOD in the class. Students were told to use whatever resources they had available to them. About 80% of the students pulled out their smartphones and immediately logged onto the internet to begin finding answers to the questions. Students had to work together in groups to narrow down the topics to one. You could hear students problem solving, and sorting and ranking in order to find one topic their whole group agreed on.

I will not be on campus on Monday, but for a good reason. I will be at the Sonoma County Office of Education with Josh taking part in the 4C's Series. Digital Tools for Communication & Collaboration. I am very excited because one of the presenters is Eric Sheninger who is leading the movement of bridging the gap between technology and education. He will share his experience and expertise on the use of social media and Web 2.0 technology as tools to engage students, improve communications with stakeholders, and help educators grow. He is the principal at New Milford High School (NJ). If you aren't already you should definitely follow him on Twitter @NMHS_Principal. I am looking forward to the many things I will be able to bring back to Crystal. 

WORD OF THE WEEK: DEFINE: Define is to describe something carefully and thoroughly, and to say what standards, limits and qualities it has that make it different from other things.  

Student Voices Update:  I will be shadowing a student this Friday, October 18th. 

Technology Professional Development #4: October 24th, 3:45-5:30 in the library. Geoff Belleau from SCOE will be presenting on Online Smartsearching: Helping teachers and students search smart. 

No Excuses Lesson for October: Tuesday, October 15th during 4th period have your students fill out page 4 and 5 in their student agenda. They will be setting goals for themselves for second quarter. 

New Staff Members: I would like to welcome Clement Lau to the Crystal Family. Clement will be taking on the US History line in F204. Clement begins on Monday. Please stop by and welcome him. I would also like to welcome Judy Sorenson. Judy has joined us in our FA vacancy in G106. Judy has been with us for a little over a week now. If you haven't stopped by to say hi yet, please do. We are so excited to have both Clement and Judy be part of Crystal. 

Have a GREAT week!

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