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.
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
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
- 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.
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.
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.