Sunday, October 6, 2019

Week of Oct 7th

UAI Staff News

Volume VII
Issue 8
October 7th, 2019


This Week's Birthday Wishes! 
Happy Birthday to Lauren! Her Birthday is Monday (07OCT).  She only works Weds-Fri so send her your well wishes via text or email (

Schedule Changes & Grades.  Student schedule change requests are no longer being accepted.  If a student has a schedule issue, they must speak directly to their teachers.  Then, if teachers find the issue valid and relevant, please reach out to me and we can accommodate.  We are mimicking the Add-Drop period that students will encounter when the arrive in college.  Schedule changes can of course still occur for student who need it, but this structure provides a teaching opportunity for student learn both why and how to stay on top of their out-of-classroom needs (like changing courses).  Teachers can still use the form to communicate change requests.  The form helps me keep everything in one place and allows me to more readily communicate back to you the status of those change requests.

To-Do This Week

Keep Time.  Please print and post the bell schedule below where you can see it while you're teaching.  In addition, if you are struggling with time management, include time allotments in your lesson plans and use a timer to help you stick to those times.  Last week's passing periods were much improved, but we still have some ways to go.  While some teachers are now at their classroom doors at passing, most are not.  Please make sure to end your classes so that you have sufficient time to be ready to welcome the next class into your room AND to send your class to their next classroom on time.
          • 1.  8:30-9:23
          • 2.  9:25-10:18
          • 3.  10:20-11:13
          • 4.  11:15-12:08
          • 5.  12:10-1:03
          • 6.  1:05-1:58
          • 7.  2:00-2:50
Observations and Planning Documents.  Our goal is to make sure that everyone has at least one observation by October 15th.  As a reminder, please have your lesson plans printed and ready for collection when we arrive, OR have them accessible in your Pacing Guide in this folder HERE.  In addition, in this round, we are looking at unit and syllabi.  Please have your unit plans linked into your pacing guide and upload your syllabi to this folder (as per the start of year checklist).  Alternately, have your current unit and course syllabus printed and ready for collection when we arrive for observation.

Observations and Lesson Look-Fors.  One trend that we've noticed in the observations conducted thus far are a lot of missed opportunities to maximize student thinking.   At the start of the year, it makes sense that many teachers emphasize structure and routine to communicate expectations for safe and orderly learning environments.  However,  taken too far, this plan can result in an over-control of student movements which leads to compliance-focused tasks and subsequently the inadvertantly squashing of student thinking and intellectual engagement.  When students are engaged in compliance (hallmarks of compliance activities are things like copying notes, completing graphic organizers, etc.) it takes important time away from thinking and constructing new understandings (e.g. discussing their ideas, reading texts to gain new understandings, or writing original responses to higher-order questions that involve applying what they've learned).  Make sure your lesson plans maximize student thinking time and keep compliance activity to a minimum.  Please refer to the UAI Teacher Observation Look Fors to help you prioritize your planning and instruction.  In particular, during this round of observations, we will be looking at:

  • 1D- Designing Coherent Discussion
    • Learning tasks include questions to push students to think - not just one answer questions and require students to create their own understanding through the application and synthesizing of prior and new knowledge.
    • Learning tasks include extensions, scaffolds and/or supports to provide equitable access to learning for students with learning differences.

  • 3B - Questioning and Discussion
    • Discussion structures are implemented daily in service of students discussing questions that push critical thinking and reflection where more than 90% or more of students successfully engage in the discussion structures. NOTE: The easiest way to meet this expectation is to have turn-and-talks planned throughout the lesson
    • Discussion topics and questions are implemented strategically to advance student thinking where more than 90% or more of students engage in the discussion to actively create new understandings and learnings.

  • 3D - Assessment
    • Criteria that tells students the content, skills and process/practice that is necessary for success and that you will give them feedback on.
    • Teachers actively seek to elicit from students their current understandings, skill mastery and ability to implement practices and the teachers track that information for planning and to give students helpful feedback. 
    • Throughout the class period, teachers regularly give feedback to students that pushes student understanding, skill and/or ability to implement and specific practice.  Feedback is for pushing and challenging the learner to deepen thinking not simply to complete the task. 

<<Reminders from Last Week>>
Marking Period 1 is Ending.  Next Tuesday 08OCT19 is the last day of the first marking period.  Teacher grades are due on 15OCT19 at 3PM.  Please see Ms. Jennifer and/or a member on your grade team for help with submitting grades via PADs.

Monday PD.  October 7th is the first Monday of the Month, which is our traditional Grade Team Meetings which will have PLOP writing and Attendance Team Updates as fixtures on the Agenda.
    • 3:00-3:05 Announcements
      • Congratulations Cassandra! - You've been selected to review the blog this week!
    • 3:05-3:15 Skedula Grade Transfer
    • 3:15-3:50 - Attendance Team Update
      • 3:50-4:10 October PLOPs

    Student Support Services Update

    Per Session Opportunities

    No New Postings This Week 


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