UAI Staff News
Week of October 31st, 2016
To Do's for this Week
- [MONDAY, 31OCT16] Early Dismissal for Halloween. Students will be rapidly dismissed on Monday for Halloween. At the start of 8th period, please remind students to be get all of their stuff from their lockers and be ready to dismiss at 2:30PM. After school will be in session.
- [MONDAY, 31OCT16] Early Start to Monday PD. Pod leaders should bring student work or other relevant artifacts to reflect on the efficacy of their lesson. The next teacher should share their lesson with their pod so that everyone is ready to provide feedback during Monday's PD.
- [THIS WEEK] Prepare for SLCs. Student Led Conferences are on the Horizon. New teachers & coaches should set aside time this week to review protocols and objectives for SLCs. All teachers should begin in-class conferences (if you haven't already done so) to best prepare students for their reflections on course achievement during their SLCs. If a student is failing or nearly failing your class, please call home this week to notify parents of what supports can be in place at home to avoid failure. Parents and students should be notified long before SLCs about student struggles.
- [THIS WEEK] Post Student Work. Posting student work leads to student pride and engagement in your class. Please make it a point to post student work in classrooms and hallway bulletin boards. Remember, not all work needs to be 100% exemplar. Work can be in-progress and/or provide learning opportunities (e.g. This student has an original approach to this problem...). Parents and visitors will be coming to the building more frequently throughout November. Please make sure that your classrooms and our hallways show the work our kids are doing in your classes.
Grades, PLOPS, and Skedula Updates. Lesson planning and execution take the lion's share of any teacher's attention and intellectual prioritization. In addition, we need to remember to make time and thought space for the rest of our professional responsibilities. At the top of the list are Grades, PLOPs, and Skedula Updates.
- Marking Period 1 Ends on November 10th. As stated in the UAI Staff Handbook, teachers are expected to enter grades weekly. MP 1 ends on 10NOV16 and Grades are due by 3PM on Tuesday, 15NOV16. Please stay up to date on your grades. That way you'll avoid being overwhelmed when the marking period comes to a close.
- PLOPs. Many teachers have been improving their timely completion of our students' Present Levels of Performance so that our team of IEP coordinators can complete students' annual reviews and write their IEPs. Some teachers are still struggling to make the time to meet deadlines. As a reminder, there is time allotted on Tuesday from 3-3:25 to complete this type of work. Please make it a priority to meet your deadlines so that your colleagues can complete their job duties effectively.
- Skedula Updates. For calls home and disciplinary consequences (e.g. classroom removals), classroom teachers must enter their low-inference report on the situation in Skedula. For calls home, it can be simply SNIS (student not in school), called home, parent aware (or left message or whatever else happened). For classroom removals, if teachers do not provide a write up in Skedula, then only the student perspective can be reflected. Please update Skedula appropriately. Also - please do enter positive Skedula comments for students. When used this way, positive comments in Skedula go a long way to improve student-teacher relationships, build trust and increase the health of classroom learning environments.
Thanksgiving Potluck Karaoke. While our PTA Karaoke didn't achieve the goal of increasing parent engagement, the staff and students had a BLAST. This raised the idea of building some fun times with the entire staff. On Monday, 21NOV16, we'll be doing another early
SLANT and Accountable Talk Stems. Jen and I completed a brief walk-through on SEL structures in 6th & 9th grade classrooms last week. Here's what we found:
- SLANT and Accountable Talk posters are up in nearly all classrooms.
- Many (but not yet all) teachers were referencing SLANT to get students to focus on speakers.
- In classrooms where SLANT was most effective, students were able to explain how SLANT helps them (e.g. it shows the speaker that I'm being respectful and listening - which is important for things like interviews)
- Teachers who greeted their students at the door had the most effective transitions
- A couple of teachers used Accountable Stem Talk in both full class and paired discussions (not just small groups).
SLANT and Accountable Talk will not be effective unless you use it everyday and explicitly remind students why using it is an aid to their academic and social achievement. In SEL classes, students will be learning more about the why and how strategies like SLANT and Accountable Talk Stems can positively impact their learning and understanding. To complement these lessons, teach into and expect students to use these strategies throughout the class period.
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Per Session Posting
Open House Volunteers. We are having our 2nd Open House on Saturday, November 19th. We're asking for volunteers to represent our school and take families on tours of the building. Staff will be paid per session from 9:30-12:00. If you are interested, please email Kiri at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open House Volunteers