- Techno Expo Expectations- Submisssions are requested. Does not have to be a final product for submission. If there is a product that is in the works, submit a written discription and a skeleton idea of what the final product will be. It can also be a demonstration/presentation not reliant on technology.
- Clubs- question about size of clubs. At this time clubs will remain larger in amount of students. Ideas regarding allowing more student led and pairing up older students with younger students. Slide show will be sent out around 2:30-3:00 Monday. Students will need to have made their selection by Friday morning. Students who did not get their first three choices and students who came to Sendera after clubs had started will get first choice over other students. Please let Wilson know if you have a new student or a student mentions that they were one of the few that did not get one of their first three choices the first time. Clubs will begin on January 29th.
Balanced Math with Meredith Cunningham
Continue to the link regarding the slide show presented by Meredith Cunningham on January 8th, 2018.
Balanced math is a focus on Math Literacy (the action of students to read, write, speak and listen about Math). There is specific focus/intention in students explaining their thinking outloud in both Math Workshop and Problem Solving Block. Both Math Workshop and PSB must hinge or balance around TEKS (what and why), Lesson Planning, Purposeful Talk and Components of Workshop. All come back to purposeful planning. What does planning look like on your grade level? Is one person the keeper of the knowledge and plans are handed out, or is their discussion about the problem solving/workng the problems out?
Math Workshop is intended to build student capacity to be successful problem solvers when they enter Problem Solving Block. In Math Workshop minilessons should be designed so that your top 25% can immediately go into the task of the Origo lesson and work with success immediately while Guided Math groups and fluency stations are provided for others. Students who need the most support are met with immediately after the minilesson, followed by the next group of need, and so on. Only the top 25% should immediately go into the the Origo workbook, while the other students will need to meet with the teacher in a guided math group to continue instruction before working independently on the Origo workbook task. Groups should be fluid. Use of pretests help to determine groups. There are many resources available to help structure Guided Math Rotations in Moodle including Fluency Folders. It was also recommended that teachers utilize the old Investigation games as a resource for Math/Fluency Games. Another resource that was shared was the hand out for Guided Math Rotations.
Problem Solving Block is the other piece of Balanced Math and the focus of our Southwest Learning Team's learning walks. The purpose of the learning walks was not meant to be a "gotcha" but to obsercve what we are doing well and ways we can enhance and move our students' thinking forward in regards to math. When Young and McCowan spent the day with the Southwest Learning Team it brought about questions about what we do at SRE. We are seeing that we don't look the same horizontally or vertically. We are clear that Problem Solving Block is supposed to be at least 20 minutes every day and preferably 30 minutes. It can be useed to spiral in skills on low performing standards and you can utilize those problems provided in Moodle or utilize your own. There was discussion about modeling. Teacher models seems to be a best practice in getting better student product. Structure was also discussed. While structure does not have to look the same across grade levels it does have merit. If modeling and/or organization/structure are something you have not yet brought into Problem Solving Block it is never too late to begin!
Problem Solving Block is designed so that there can be differentiation within the process based on who needs what. It was also mentioned that sometimes a problem may be a bit easier to help build confidence and provide balance with productive struggle.
Problem Solving Block Non- Negotiables for NISD:
- Happening daily (with exception for pre-test days)
- PAL time
- Solo time
- Productive Struggle
- Writing with explanation (K-2) and justification (3-5)
- Purposeful Student Presenters
It was also mentioned that it is better to have quality problem solving over quantity. It was suggested that students might solve on day one and write the explanation/justification on day two.
Over the course of the next few weeks Problem Solving Journals will be looked at to determine what direction we are going as a campus. Today we had a short bit of time to discuss what it would look like as we vertically align our expecations for Problem Solving Journals and the work students produce. The discussion was in depth and as a campus we plan to return to this discussioin in future vertical Math PLC conversations.
Other Resources discussed that can be used were Education Galaxy (not endorsed by NISD) for K-2 and 3-5 after students complete expected components of the the grade level in Imagine Math. When in Math Instruction (Problem Solving Block and/or Math Workshop) student activities need to center around Math.
Mission and Vision
This continues to be an area of personal struggle for Mr. Booles. When looking at other Mission and Vision statements from other schools, academies and businesses it seems to fall short and he wants more for SRE. He wants us to collectively put it together and it to mean something. It may very well take the whole year and that is ok. It has to be something that we all can buy into and that we can deliver. Reading from an email from Swearingen he shared her statement "I want them (students) to remember their years at SRE." Our mission and vision have to be something that is special... it is difficult for us to stay in the memory of our students when high school is right there, but we want that kind of campus. Additionally, Dr. Warren is redoing the mission/vision for the district so we want to wait to see what those expectations may result.
Problem of Practice
Some discussion went into our problem of practice. There was discussion about an emphasis on more time observing each others classrooms. Scheduling time for teachers to visit other teachers in a variety of ways (using extended PLC time, guidance time and/or planning time). Purposeful staff development was also discussed with learning happening amongst one another capitalizing on the expertise within our campus. We got rid of the Google Classroom discussion threads. Clarified that student data folders with student learning goals can be on paper or digital.
The biggest discussion came from our Instructional Focus statement where the question was raised regarding "all students will make at minimum one year's growth in reading and meet or exceed end-of-year grade level expecations in all content areas. Suggestions were made to bring in individual student goals (not necessarily academic in nature) and tie to the social/emotional needs of students. Some debate was made regarding the Instructional Focus statement being a high expectation and the reality of certain situations. The illustration of how all NFL football teams start the season with the intent and goal to win the Super Bowl, but only one team reaches that goal. While the debate was passionate, it was beneficial and gave everyone a lot to consider.
Mr. Booles shared the following video "This is how 936 Marbles Can Change Someone's Life."
Kinder through 5th grade we have 216 marbles. When they reach second grade we have 144 marbles. 5th grade 36 marbles... 18 marbles because we are halfway through the year. How are we going to make a difference with the time we have left? "The difference between a success story and a statistic is you..."