Sunday, April 19, 2020

Week of April 20th

UAI Staff News

Volume VII
Issue 33
April 20th, 2020


Happy Birthday Ms. Jen,  Ms. Rachel, Mr. Phil & Ms. Brenda!
Sunday, 19APR20 is Ms. Jen's Birthday.
Thursday, 23APR20 is Ms. Rachel's Birthday 
Friday, 24APR20 is Mr. Phil's Birthday
Saturday, 25APR20 is Ms. Brenda's Birthday
Bring your festive well-wishing to this weeks' AM Check-ins!

Best Practices for Remote Learning.  Annie spent last week surveying families, students, and teachers to collect the online instructional practices that work best for our community.  There are many teachers with strong elements at UAI, and their students and families have taken notice!  Two main trends across the best practices for Google Classrooms and Zoom Lessons are

  1. having strong systems for CLEAR directions and expectations 
  2. having strong models that provide students with exemplars of those expectations.
Please take a look a the Best Practices for Remote Learning to develop some ideas for your own practice.  In addition, reach out to the folks highlighted in the document to help you up your own Online Instructional Game!

Developing Mastery on Targeted Skills.  Thank you to all the subject teams that met to develop agreed upon learning goals for the remainder of the year.   Throughout all of the grade team meetings, the same theme arose.  We have so many things that we want to accomplish with students, but we have to remember - we WILL NOT be able do them all.  We have to force ourselves to choose the highest leverage skills that work best in an online instructional environment.  If we choose everything, we will accomplish nothing.  So, the greatest challenge teachers will face in the next few weeks is on keeping the foci small, intentional, and achievable in 18 lessons.  Each of the subject teams met to come up with their individual goals by grade, but each team actually had very similar themes across grades and subjects.  Please take a moment to review the notes of each team.  Collectively, we can all work together to row together to achieve all of our goals!

  • English: Using a variety of shorter texts and genres, students will be able to select the most effective evidence and embed that evidence within their own thinking (rather than pulling entire quotes as standalone evidence) to support their claims and analysis.
  • Social Studies:  Develop capacity to pull the most significant facts from primary documents, maps, charts, and other visual genres to use in support of explanations and claims about historical events and relationships.
  • Science: Read, summarize and analyze a variety of scientific texts (written text, charts, graphs, tables, and other visual representations) to deepen understanding of a concept and use information to explain (in writing) their conclusions about (or discoveries through) scientific experimentation. 
  • Math:  Students will be able to manipulate multiple representations (of word problems, equations, numbers (e.g. decimals/percents/fractions etc.) to fluently solve mathematical situations.

Launching the Rest of the Year.  Many thanks to everyone who joined the 10AM meetings to review and tweak our online structures.  We are going to roll out the changes to students and families via email with this Slideshow that we will also share with them during grade meetings.  See the calendar below for the grade meetings for students and families.  Staff are welcome to join!
Here are the highlights of tweaks and changes for the rest of the year.

  • Less Is More.  All zoom scheduled times remain the same for the rest of the year.  The shift will be that the lessons will be split over two zooms with a break in between.  In addition, each lesson will have daily formative tasks (so teachers can give feedback to students) and one graded assessment.  Thus, students are submitting assessments for grades on Wednesdays and Mondays.  (Mon/Tue will be lesson 1, with graded assessment for lesson 1 due on Wednesday at 3pm, and Thu/Fri will be lesson 2, with graded assessment for lesson 2 due on Monday at 3pm).
  • Feedback is Key.   With only two lessons per week, there is more time and opportunity for giving students feedback.  There will be students who need extra support and time with you.  Daily Tutoring Office Hours (2-3:20PM) are still available for that work and one-on-one or small group feedback.  In addition, you can give feedback in the Zooms and/or in writing.  Finally, Wednesday Zoom time is reserved for you to use as needed.  For example, you can have small group zooms, do chats with students on a document, write up student feedback, or have another lesson (because so many still struggle with the idea).  Whatever you need to do so that your students achieve and excel on the assessment that is due is find.
  • Attendance.  Continue to take daily attendance that records any interaction that students have with you each day (emails, texts, joining the live zoom, submitting formative assessment, anything).  As a note, if a student doesn't show up on the lesson days, but she does submit the graded assessment, that is evidence of her participation in the lesson and she will be marked present for the lesson days.  If her performance on the graded assessment is not acceptable, that means you need to reach out to her to stress the importance of attending/watching the lessons.  
  • Grading.  Participation is Pass/Fail (so 55/100), and if she is credited for attendance, then she is credited for participation.  Performance is solely the graded assessments (so two per week, only).  Progress is your own individual evaluation of how well students are integrated your feedback into their performance pieces.  

To-Do This Week

Support our Outreach.  As our outreach gets stronger, and we're able to connect and push kids into a patterns of productive learning, our outreach lists will change.  Kids will move onto and off of the list.  The single thing that we are tracking in terms of who needs support is who DID NOT submit their 2 graded assessments for the week.  These assessments are due on Wednesdays and Mondays.  So, the Outreach Lists will be updated each Tuesday morning.  In order for us to correctly identify students in need of support, we need teachers to enter an "M" in the Remote Learning Tracker for any student who failed to turn in their two graded assessments by 3:00pm on Monday.

Outreach.  Daily outreach to our most struggling students will be essential to ensuring success for our students.  In addition to technology issues, students will be inevitably encountering issues arising from this pandemic (be them mental, physical health, economic - or some combination of some or all of these).  To be most effective in outreach, we need to work collaboratively with our social emotional supports and academic intervention.  Counselors will be working collaboratively with teachers to call homes together to figure out what students are experiencing and what strategies are going to work best to help the students stay on track for the rest of the year.  Here's the plan:

  • Counselors will be calling you to schedule conference calls with students targeted for outreach this week.  This is based on the list teachers submitted on Friday 17APR20 at noon.  Moving forward, students will be targeted if two or more teachers indicate that they are not turning in graded assessments.  So, this list will change each week on Tuesday mornings (after the 3PM Monday deadline).  
  • OOCS (Out Of Classroom Staff) and teachers will contact students daily for the week to help those students develop strong strategies and habits so they can independently submit all graded work each week.
  • There are students who are not on the outreach list because only individual teachers listed them.  Those teachers should reach out to students who are not turning in graded assessments.
  • Every Wednesday, OOCS will meet to review the caseload for the week and any outcomes that have come from Tuesday's outreach.  They will send out updates to the grade teams on Thursday regarding the impact of the outreach and support for students.


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