Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Duval County Teacher Academy, Day 2

Interactive Journals K-2
Looks like journals are definitely in - "highly suggested, but not mandated."
  • The expectation is that each student K-2 will have an interactive journal in both Science and Math.
  • Interactive journals are a type of formative assessment and record a student's thinking.
  • The journals have a specific "researched" (have requested a copy of the research) format which includes the "Rules of the Journal" on the inside cover, a Table of Contents, and a synopsis of the CGA's (Curriculum Guide Assessments) on the inside back cover that we will be taking as baseline, first, second and third nine-weeks and end-of-the-year.
  • Only the teacher is to write on the right side of the page and the student writes on the left side.
  • "Labs" are now referred to as "aligned investigations."
  • Teachers should write feedback in the journals on a consistent basis.
How does this effect us?  I'm a little hesitant to comment on this because I am sure Math Council will meet to decide how we are going to use journals.  Science Council did a book study all year on Interactive  Science Journals so I am sure they have great ideas of how to implement this for kinders.  I'm really sort of excited about the Science Journals, having used them in first grade last year. I can't wait to discuss this with other kindergarten teachers so we can find easy ways to actually get kinders  to effectively use this tool.

CBC-Common Board Configuration
The superintendent's expectation is that every class will use a common configuration on their board.
Objective (which can be written in kid-friendly form and is not the standard)        Home Learning
Essential Question
How does this effect us?  Since this is the Superintendent's expectation, we, like the rest of the county will figure out a way to find board space to supply this information for each subject each day - Reading, Writing, Skills, Math and Science - oh my!  We probably should discuss this as a grade level and figure out a fun, creative way for the display that will really be helpful rather than just compliance .

Rigor is not a four letter word!
How to raise rigor:
  • has to be relevant to real world
  • group work, high level work
  • connected to prior learning
  • probing questions
  • instruction is beginning to end
  • utilize essential questions
  • utilize research-based strategies
  • frequent formative assessment
  • personal commitment to each student

Gizmos are interactive, on-line simulations, focusing on Math and Science
  • Explorelearning.com
  • Although Gizmos is developed for 3-12th grades, there are some that can be used for whole group instruction with K-2. 
  • Demonstrated Line Frog Hop gizmo which is a fun addition and subtraction number line game.
How does this effect us?  
We are very familiar with Gizmos having had this overview before, so this was just one more overview of a product that was not really made for kindergarten.  If we are going to use it, I think we would need "someone" to go through the Gizmos and make some Common Core/ Standard recommendations because just searching through can be too time consuming.

Math will now include 60 minutes of Math Investigations (and Envisions) plus a 30 minute addition that will allow for RtI interventions and centers.  This is not a time to do Calendar Math which will have to be added to some type of opening exercise.
  • iReady is a web-based diagnostic prescriptive Math intervention based on the Common Core.
  • The diagnostic is on-line and takes 30-45 minutes for each student to complete and provides a skills profile of what students know and need next in Algebraic Thinking, Numbers and Operations, Geometry and Measurement and Data.
  • Has sound that reads each problem so you are testing Math and not Reading.
  • Skill specific instead of grade specific.
  • Students are encouraged to use paper and pencil to arrive at answers.
  • Will not be available for kinder students until January.
How does this effect us?   This may be a skill based program but if this program can actually deliver all that it promises, it would be the perfect RtI Tier 2 intervention to be done in the classroom.  It could also provide ESE intervention and small group work in specific skills.  It could also provide extra enrichment for Gifted students.  Can't wait to see if this intervention delivers!

In an effort to be transparent, I need to say that I will miss tomorrow's training and will be working at my school to get materials to some of our new teachers instead.  Tomorrow's agenda includes ethics (if I haven't figured that piece out by now, I need to go ahead and retire), a piece on reading IEPs (should have this piece down after 35 years as an ESE teacher), Champs and Bullying, and ESOL.  I am fortunate to have had many, many trainings on Champs and Bullying and ESOL.  I have many praises for the training thus far, such as the American Reading Company representative telling us that Sticks in a Can is good practice and then using that technique to keep teachers engaged or the county trainers this morning who taught us about interactive journals by actually having us make a journal and using it throughout their presentation. I believe that professional development should model good practice.  If I had one criticism, it would be that we talk so much about differentiation, and yet this training has provided very little of that - a good example for me is tomorrow's agenda.  Although this agenda might be perfect for many teachers, I have had such excellent experience and PD in those areas that the agenda didn't really meet my needs.  There are so many other areas that I really do need!  Hoping differentiation will be part of the last few days.

Stay tuned...


Jenny Nash said...

On CBC, is this true for all grades? Silly me, forgive my ignorance....Doesn't an essential question AND an objective sort of seem redundant? And wouldn't the objective being stated cancel out the effects of asking the question (reveal the answer)? Maybe I'm just misunderstanding or need to consider a different perspective....

dayle timmons said...

@ Jenny - wow, those are great questions and I certainly am no expert, but when we unpacked the standards a couple of weeks ago with the state folks, the steps included underlining the nouns and circling the verbs of each standard to filter out the major concepts and then to write a learning goal (an "I can..." statement) then to write an essential questions which was what you wanted the student to do at the end of the session (the question you ask in the closing). The next thing they had you do was write a learning scale (with a 3 being at standard and 4 being above the standard) to see what mastery of the standard would look like. All that was to be done before you begin to plan the lesson, so... I'm thinking each one of those is considered a little different. Anyone else is welcome to add their own insights and questions to this.