Saturday, March 29, 2014

March 31, 2014

Every year at this time, I write a blog post called "Turning the Corner" for the parent blog. Honestly, it doesn't vary much from year to year. The message always seems timely. It's right before MAP testing that I seem to notice the most changes in our students. Even this year, with the snow days and other interruptions, the confused weather and other stressors, it's at this time of year that things seem to coalesce in a more mature way for our students. At least from perspective.  And just as we're gaining momentum, just as we're about to round the corner of spring and begin the speedy course to the last day of school . . . comes the MAP test.

We will get through this together. Our students have our support and our relationships and our optimism to connect them to their learning, and I believe that they will show what they know as best as they can on behalf of all that they have learned in your classrooms.

Meeting Dr. Stacie Stryhal
I hope you are able to introduce yourself to Dr. Stryhal in the Annex on Monday morning. We'll be around the building at other times, but this might be the best time to slow down for a moment and welcome her to Hixson Middle School.

Monday's 1:1 Tech PD
We will meet in the auditorium immediately after school on Monday for our teacher-designed and led tech PD.

  •  Please bring your laptop (and power cable if your computer needs it)
  • After a brief presentation you will move to 1 of 3 classrooms (118, 107, 211)

April's Thinking Strategy: Synthesizing
Synthesizing is the process whereby a student merges new information with prior knowledge to form a new idea, perspective, or opinion or to generate insight. It's important to reading and to learning. When students 
  • elaborate on new information (to make inferences not explicitly taught),
  • record and represent knowledge (i.e., their understanding of the information),
  • examine similarities and differences or errors in reasoning, and 
  • generate and test and hypotheses (to see if their new idea, perspective, opinion, or insight "works" or not)
they are relying, in part, on their ability to synthesize. In what ways can you help your student's synthesize in your subject area? Click here to learn more and for Discovery-related resources.

Professional Growth Plans in iObservation for 2014-15
Growth plans can be edited through the beginning of school year 2014-2015. Teachers have two options:

  1. To continue their current Growth Plan with no changes and the plan will rollover to the 2014-15 school year evaluation cycle, or
  2. To revert to draft and change one, two, or all of their goals for the upcoming school year. If you want to change your goals, you will need to talk with your principal and the principal can revert the growth plan to draft.
These changes can be self-directed by the teacher, or required by the principal. If teachers want to change their goals, all changes must be made and approved by Friday, September 19, 2014.

And have you noticed a new referral? We had a group of teachers make a prototype and . . . well, if you've seen a new referral, you've seen the prototype. Based on my miscommunication it got out before there was any communication. So, can we just try it for a bit and see how we like it please? . . . thank you. =)

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