Thanks for the Learning, Salt Creek Staff

While this will be my last day of full participation in the Salt Creek community, I will still be assisting Natalie and Lani during 4th quarter as Ms. Perez will still be running the show at Kellogg.  So, basically you ‘aint seen the last of me Salt Creek!!!   I’ll be coming back to sign off evaluations in April, among other tasks that still need my attention.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone on the Salt Creek staff for working as a team to create awesome learning experiences for children.  The talent and dedication on this staff is unquestionable and the kids and families benefit daily from  your compassion, expertise, and support.  Personally, I have learned something from each and every one of you and I head off to my new adventure with fresh ideas and approaches inspired by working with all of you.  I wish you the best in your lives both personally and professionally and if I’m able to assist you in any way in the future, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Dan

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Principal Meeting

As I’m sitting here soaking up some Doug Fisher this morning, I thought I’d share some of the key learnings of our meeting this morning.

1. CVESD has become excellent at integrating purpose in to our lessons, but we would benefit from repeating the purpose throughout the lesson so our students don’t forget that initial purpose.
2. Productive group work needs to have a product so the teacher can check for understanding by each of the participants.
3. Whole group guided instruction (addressing one students’ misconception in front of the class) can easily lead to a loss of cognitive engagement from the rest of the students. We would be better off pulling a group for guided instruction and giving the rest of the students a chance to explain their thinking to a group or partner.
5. Great guided instruction is carefully focused on what the child is saying or doing to uncover the misconceptions.
6. Addressing misconceptions causes the student to do the thinking and work to solve what they don’t know.
7. Modeling needs to include an I statement and metacognition (because, why , and how)
Thinking is invisible. The only way to make thinking visible is to talk about it.
8. We need to model examples of vocabulary words that CAN’T be learned through context. (Research says context can only help us learn 50% of words – D Fisher)

When I get back to school, I’ll attach a list of some good examples of modeling in math.

What do you think of these ideas?
Anything that you agree or disagree with?
Any area that you would like to explore further with your grade level or whole school?

Friday Staff Meeting Preparation

'UF00034628' photo (c) 2006, UF Digital Collections - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Action Items included: Please read carefully before Friday.

Friday we will continue our work around writing instruction with a focus on time for writing, determining the criteria for published work, and scheduling modeled writing observations.  Here are our tasks for Friday:

1.  Please review this file with the minimum minutes of writing instruction in grades 1-6 (Kinder didn’t have a collaboration – we’ll add their minutes Friday.  At the meeting we will discuss what our minimum number of minutes for each grade level should be and how to get every teacher to implement those minimum minutes into their current daily schedules.

Writing Minutes

2.  Please bring a copy of student writing from your strongest English Learner and non-English Learner.  These will be used to help us create criteria for published student work.

3.  Please review this chart for peer observations.  Your grade level will need to pick a 15 minute specific time on the selected day and time block where you are to be observed.  Every teacher in that grade level will need to do a shared writing lesson of 10-15 minutes during that time to be observed by one of your colleagues during their collaboration.

Date and Time Frame Being Observed Observer
October 17 AM 4th 6th
October 17 PM 5th 4th
October 18 AM Kindergarten 3rd
October 18 PM 2nd 1st
October 19 TBA 3rd (3 teachers) Kindergarten (3 teachers)
October 19 TBA 3rd (3 teachers) Kindergarten (3 teachers)
October 24 AM 6th 5th
October 24 PM 1st 2nd

The purpose of the observation is to learn from one another by giving constructive feedback to the observed teacher related to shared writing instruction.  We will also have the added benefit of observing great practices in classrooms where we don’t normally have time to observe.   Friday we will nail down the times and protocols for the observation and spend some time practicing a coaching conversation with peers.

Feel free to put your questions in the comments below so everyone can follow the clarifications.  Thanks a million.