Saturday, December 12, 2015

The week of Dec. 7-11, 2015

One more week before Winter Break! Whoo hoo! And we got some serious rain. I love it. For me this was kind of a crazy week. I was super busy on site at Fillmore and then spent Thursday and Friday on the LATSS panel, which is always a real learning experience. I am tired, and I imagine you are as well. That being said, we still need to step on the gas pedal. This last week before a break is a crucial time to solidify the learning your students have done this year so far. So, continue to work hard and then let's all take off three weeks. :)

This week I also started my training to become a Google Certified Educator. It's free training and if you want the certification you have to pay to take the tests. I've done a few of the modules and have learned a lot and think that we all could benefit from knowing all we can about Google Apps for Education- it would make our lives easier and we would do better by our students.. I challenge you all to become Google certified. Here's the link: Become a Google Certified Educator


I realize more and more what a huge transition we are making to building classes that truly build the skills and standards the Common Core asks for. I am really curious as to how we are doing and what your thoughts are. Judie found a great survey where we can see our own data and compare it to the rest of the district, county, state and nation. We need to get feedback about this! Already we have had over 100 students fill out the survey, 4 teachers, and 2 administrators. I'm hoping that all our students in grades 2-6 complete the survey and every single teacher. Here are the links to the surveys:



On Wednesday, we will be having the first meeting of our Mission/Vision team. About 8 people have volunteered to be a part of this team (both certificated and classified) which will look at our currrent mission and either keep it or change it to match the direction we think our school should be taking. Everyone is welcome to join and be a part of this process.


Mrs. Denton and Mrs. Culmer went to a training given by Alice Keeler on all things Google. They bought me the book 50 Things You Can do with Google Classroom. I've been reading it, and it's pretty darn good. Here's a tip to get students collaborating (see image):



I thought our week of Hour of Code was fun. I wish I was around more this week to promote it more and hang out and code with the kids. It was really fun watching the students using critical thinking and problem solving skills in an activity they seemed to really enjoy. Makes me think about how to extend that into other areas of our instruction and how gamifying learning really has some merits.


For the first time I was able to see ALEKS being used in Mrs. Towle's class. I was really impressed with how individualized it is and how students are able to track and monitor their own progress. It really allowed for student self-assessment and empowerment; two things we know increase student learning.

The art project Mrs. Silver is doing with her EOs as an extension of the ELD unit is ending and the artwork her students created is impressive. Check out these samples:


Thank you to Mr. Latimer and Mrs. Martinez for spreading Christmas cheer. I have really enjoyed all the days of Christmas so far- great creativity AND deliciousness.

I watched Mrs. Culmer's students using a crazy contraption that attaches to the iPad to practice art and motor skills. Ask her about it.





Coming up:

Mission/Vision planning team meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

Kindergarten Winter Program on Thursday night.

Last day of school for 2015 on Friday!


Have a great weekend and a great week.

Michael











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