Friday, April 30, 2010

Week of May 3- Special Education Audit Feed Back

Kudos and To Do's 
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!  Last week Dr. Kilgore had a great visit with about 17 of our students. She asked them thought provoking questions. Our students were very complimentary of our teachers! I will share some of the things they said at our faculty meeting Monday. Our performing arts department rocks!  Great job with the competitions! High five to Mrs. Wright for diecting this years drama production, "Willy Wonka Jr.!" What a great performance! Big ups to Mrs. Hackman and Mr. Wright for leading the efforts with our Special Education Audit-we came out smelling like roses! The SpEd Department is really working hard! Congratulations to Mrs. Merritt for being invited by the VADOE to work on the English Curriculum Framework this summer! Thanks to Mrs. Francis, Ms. Jeffery and Mr. Giffon for attending the PTA planning meeting Thursday evening!  We are off to a great start for next school year! 

Instructional Focus
As a reminder next week is walkthrough week. All of the content supervisors will assist with the walkthroughs at some point next week. The "look for strategy" is small group instruction. I am looking forward to us talking about all of the great things happening in each other’s classrooms.
Monday and Wednesday- Math and Science
Tuesday and Thursday- English and Social Studies
Friday- All contents

Here is a tackle box of technology tools.  There are some great resources in the toolbox (acutally its a wiki)

A Look Ahead (check the calendar)
Monday- Faculty meeting
Tuesday- SOL examiner training

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Week of April 26- Small Group Instruction

Kudos and To Do's

Thanks for your hard work with teaching our students. Almost 340 students earned honor roll this nine weeks! Thanks to Mrs. Hawkins and Mr. Holden for honoring Earth Day by sponsoring a campus/Atkinson way clean-up with their students (see slide show below). Big ups to Mr. Newton and his K.I.C.K students working with CNU students to create the great mural under the stairway (see slide show below)! High five to the Seventh Grade Staff led by Mrs.Goff for holding your OWN grade level meeting and making what I think are some pretty bold decisions to ensure success for the rest of the school year (it's good to revisit how we manage the present in order to create the future).  I am so proud of your leadership!  Bob Ski--be proud of your peeps!
Homework- in preparation for our next round of Shift Shops, complete the Twt Poll below.

As a reminder, we are not inviting students to do their best academically.  They do not have an option.  Be sure to work with each other and administrators to ensure that they participate in planned intervention activities.

Dr. Kilgore will visit us Thursday to talk to some of our students and Friday we will have our Special Education audit.

Instructional Focus and Tips

Small Group Teaching. Those that have embraced the concept of small group teaching are reaping great benefits.  As you look at your most recent formative data, use it to form your groups. You may want to give your groups a cool name or let your students name the group. Keep the groups flexible and fluent. It does take a little planning, but the benefits outweigh the means.  Here is a great site that gives some structure and purpose:

Click here:

Keep looking for exciting SMART Board activities for students:

Twitter Trail PLN Tip
 Here is a great person for you to follow on Twitter for some neat websites and activities:

Lots of Youth Development this week in pictures. By the way, I always use my cell phone to take these photos and MMS them to Photobucket.  The slide shows are easy to create... 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Celebrating Our Secretaries this Week- April 19-23

Post A Message for our Secretaries. Click the pink post a sticky button at the bottom of this post.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Week of April 19

Kudos and To Do's
Happy Secretary's Week to our Fab Five! We appreciate all you do to keep us up and running! Congratulations to our Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Lambusta--our Media Specialist! You are very deserving of this great honor by your peers! Thanks to everyone for a great first week back! Look at the examples of "Good Teaching" in the slide show below.
Be sure to check your email about the upcoming Special Education Audit and for assisting with PTA recruitment for next year. Report Cards go home next week. Make sure you call and speak with parents of students that have earned I's. Although we have Parent Assist, all of our families do not have access--minimize surprise.

Instructional Focus and Tips

Summarizing. Having students summarize skills and concepts is a great strategy to use daily. Continue to look for opportunities to engage students using technology and research based strategies. Look where?

Twitter. Continue to check my Twitter feed on the right for links to great instructional stuff. Here is a nice eBook of Web 2.o Projects that I got from a Twitter friend that you can download--it should give you some great ideas to use for the end of the school year.

Google Docs. Another great and underutilized tool is Google Docs. Here is a You Tube Video that explains what Google Docs can do and a link to how to create a SELF GRADING QUIZ using Google "Forms!" Students can use this when taking common assessments. The great news is that you can tell it to grade fill in the blanks! The first teacher to create a useable self grading quiz will get a prize. You have to send me a link.

Examples of "Good Teaching"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

- Welcome Back! Week of April 12

Welcome Back Rock Stars,

Welcome to our new Weekly Activity Blog! I will no longer use the Glog to communicate our weekly activities. The Blog allows more flexibility and will allow everyone to participate in our professional development (by commenting). I have decided to call it the Passage PLN Blog.

I'm sure you remember how we began the school year by Tweeting at the movies. I challenged each of you to begin a blog and to have your students post a few times throughout the course of the school year. Thanks for your efforts with trying something different for our students.

I knew then that I wanted to do a blog for the staff (we had a lot of fun that day). The trouble was, I could not see how I could make it purposeful. It took a week of rest and reflection to find the purpose. I want to use the blog to do my weekly Activity Calendar and provide PD via introducing you to a PLN. What is a PLN? A PLN is a Professional Learning Network (or Personal Learning Network).

In a nutshell, it's professional development on demand and from people from all over the world! I spent the latter part of my Spring Break reflecting on my practice and how I would be better professionally tomorrow than I was yesterday (the two questions from Daniel Pink). Here is a quick video that summarizes what a PLN is:

My next challenge to you as professional educators is to join me on a quest to be better tomorrow than we are today by learning from each other and from other professionals around the globe with similar interests. Here are the first steps:

  1. Social networking is the quickest way to learn from other people. Let's start by building your PLN. Follow me on Twitter . Click here or click on the icon to the right. I know many of you did this in the beginning of the school year. I blocked most of you after the movie because I was unsure how I would use it. I've never made a mistake before..
  2. Check out my Twitter feed to the right of this post. I will retweet useful information from my PLN for you. Click on a link to something of interest to you. I am sure you will find something interesting.
One of the things that came out of our climate survey was my keeping you on the cutting edge of instructional practice. I am looking forward to us learning together, having an awesome last quarter and celebrating how smart our kids are because we gave them smart stuff.

Birthday Shout Outs- Ms. Richardson- 4/7, Ms. Glover & Ms. Harwood- 4/10, Ms. Dixon- 4-11