Tuesday, September 10, 2013

LC Rubrics & Teacher Conference Schedule

2013-2014 Teacher Observations & Conference Schedule

Bookmark this post for future reference.  This post contains links to all of the Learning Cultures rubrics and calendars for Kiri, Kelly, & Nicia.

Classroom Social Norms                  Unison Reading                    Learning Conference
Classroom Environment                   Work Time                           Table Share
Writing Share                                   Content Share                       Lesson
Small Group Instruction                  Danielson Indicator Crosswalk Document

Like in years past, we're splitting up the supervision load.  This year's supervision assignments are as follows

Middle School (15 Teachers) - Kelly
6th & 8th Grade Team:  Cindy, Wendy, Pamela, Alison, Joanna, and Tara
7th & 8th Grade Team:  Marsha, Meredith, Adrienne, Sabrina, Val and Phillan
Arts & PE:  Tracy, Nora and Elana

High School (21 Teachers) - Kiri & Nicia
9th Grade Team:   Darby, Damon, Jamie, Martine (Kiri) & Colleen, Marianna, Jen S (Nicia)
10th & 8th Grade Team:  Sarah, Danielle, Elena (Kiri) & Mike St, Rebecca, Sandy (Nicia)
11th & 12th Grade Tm:  Brodie, Ilyana, Hassan, Mike So, Raquel, Noam, Doris, & Kelly (Kiri)

Below are our google calendars.  You can either reference them here (they'll update automatically), or you can add them to your own google calendar.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Launching Learning Cultures - Week I

The First Day of School

Today is the first day of school!  It's an exciting day for our students and our school.  For our girls, many of them are looking forward to reconnecting with old friends, making new relationships, and finding out what is in store for their learning this year.

Of course, the first day brings with it a hefty amount of anxiety and anticipation.  In addition to orienting our girls to course goals for the year, our job is to smooth their transition from summer into school year by helping them understand the parameters of their place in school.

A new understanding of "teacher"

For our incoming and new students, Learning Cultures presents a new definition of learning, and in particular and new kind of teaching.  For many students coming from traditional classrooms, they have gone through school being passive learners.  The transition into an active agent in their development of new concepts and skills is a challenging one.  As their teacher, your job is to provide them with tasks that engage their inquiry, classroom resources that afford them the opportunity to learn, practice and explore, and to gather data from their progress to teach grass roots lessons that target student needs and deficiencies.

As teachers, we are still charged with making sure our girls learn.  We control the environment, the activities, and evaluate progress.  For our students, we are continually pushing them into actively seeking out answers and creating their own questions and learning paths through the standards and objectives of our course topics.  This week, take the opportunity to explicitly teach into these expectations.  Explain how the role of teachers and students shifts in Learning Cultures.  Show them how to empower themselves through their questions, through exploring the resources in your room, and exercising their ability to choose how to make new connections and meaning from the experiences in your class.

Social Responsibility and Social Norms

Learning is a social act.  In order to have a functioning social environment, we need rules that govern our interactions.  In traditional classroom settings, the teacher is the monarch, so government runs explicitly through one person.  Learning Cultures is democratically structured and as such, requires a set of guidelines by which all members of the community agree to abide, a social contract.

This week, as you introduce students to the formats, rules, and ladder of consequences, viewing them through the lens of a democratic learning environment will help students situate the roles of the rules and formats in their understanding of how to learn at UAI.

This week will require explicit mini lessons into social norms, and additionally I'll be speaking to this during assemblies.  With the girls this week, through both practice in the formats and through your mini-lessons, you'll be teaching into the expectations of each student as a member of the learning community.

Independent Work Time

Strong Social Norms, Rich Learning Environment, and Quality Tasks & Assessments are the three stabilizing factors that underscore a successful independent work time.  We rely on a strong Independent Work Time so that we can provide guaranteed learning opportunities in Unison Reading and Learning Conferences for all of our students.  These first two weeks are the foundations of our work this year.  Continual return to the social norms and continual build up of the classroom resources, will empower students to effectively engage in your tasks and perform well on assessments.

Good Luck!

Bottom line, you are charged with an enormously weighty job - of molding the future lives of other people's children.  For the next 10 months, we will be spending over 1/2 of their waking hours with their children - often more than their own families get.  Our job is to make sure that that time is the best quality time spent both social-emotionally and academically.  Our job is also to have fun doing this work!  Good luck UAI and have a wonderful first day!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2013-2014 Goals and Expectations

2013-2014 Goals and Expectations

Essentially, the health of our school and success of our students is measured in three areas: Environment, Progress, and Performance.  Similarly, our goals share the same three domains.

(1) Learning Environment Goal:  By (a) increasing team function & collaboration, (b) focusing feedback (both peer and supervisory) on research-based rubrics, and emphasizing improvement on the Classroom Environment and Social Norms rubrics, all categories of the LES will increase.

Increase parent, teacher and student satisfaction on Learning Environment Survey by 40% in each category.

(2)  Student Progress Goal:  By increasing opportunities for assessment and analysis of student performance on assessment, students will make more informed choices in Work Time and have higher quality Conferences.  Thus, course passing rates will rise.

For both high school and middle school, at least 80% of all students will pass each individual course.  
For both high school and middle school, at least 80% of students in the lowest third and/or with IEPs will pass each individual course.

(3)  Student Performance Goal:  With continued focus and development on core LC formats (Unison Reading, Conferences, and Work Time), we will increase average NYS Middle School and Regents exam scores  (scaled) and overall course passing rates.

In the middle school, UAI's performance on the common core state math and English exams was in line with the rest of the state.  As we adjust to the higher demands of the common core, we will continue to use Learning Cultures as our primary vehicle for alignment.   Our goal for 2014 is to have a minimum 30% increase in average exam scores and overall proficiency rates on both the NYS Math and English tests.

In the high school, Regents performance continues to improve across the board.  We did not meet our goal of reaching the 80% overall pass rate, but we continue to improve.  Like with the middle school, our goal for 2014 is to have a minimum 30% increase in average exam scores and overall proficiency rates.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Welcome Back to the 2013-2014 School Year

Welcome to the 2013-2014 School Year!

We have successfully completed our first full year of school-wide Learning Cultures implementation.  All classes 6-12 fully implemented the following formats:  The Lesson, The Learning Conference, and Independent Work Time.  All classes grade 6-9 plus high school English, Social Studies, Math, and 11th grade science implemented the model fully.  It was an immense undertaking, but we finished the year with a deeper understanding of the model, and ready to build and improve upon our work to launch our 2nd full year.

We'll be going over more data in detail next week when everyone is together (and I've finished analysis of the high school data from summer school), but to give you sneak peak, below is our middle school performance.

Our Results

Middle School Exam Results

There are many, many things to be said about the New York State Common Core results for the middle school exams.  That is another blog post.  Suffice it to say, I found utility in the data in looking how we compared to our peers.

In ELA, our students out-performed all other Learning Cultures schools in the UA network and we also outperformed the New York City Averages in all middle school grades.  If you've been following the
 Common Core Results Statewide, you'll know this also means we outperformed all of the other large urban districts in New York.   In addition, our students were either the top or 2nd to the top performers of all  UA schools.

In Math, we again out-performed all other UA Learning Cultures schools (except for 8th grade math).  Our performance relative to the City was not nearly as strong as our students' ELA performance.  However, given that ELA classes are entering the 3rd year of Learning Cultures and Math is entering it's 2nd (like the ELA classes of last year) coupled with a targeted coaching focus around math this year, we're predicting increased gains this year.

High School Exam and Graduation Results

Four Year High School Progress Report Comparison
2009-2010 was the inaugural year of our high school which began with the Class of 2013 as our first group of 9th graders.  Using that year's data points as baseline, the color coding below allows you to see high school growth (red being bad and green being good)

For the last two years, UAI high school has demonstrated strong growth in student progress (credit accumulation & regents passing).  This year, our Learning Environment Survey showed improvement after two years of negative growth.  

2012-2013 UAI Regents Performance Comparison 
Looking at last year's student performance on Regents exams (inclusive of all testing months - January, June & August), there is no doubt that our efforts in the classrooms this year was evident in the success of our students.  This past year in all but two subjects, average Regents score and overall passing increased.  In English and US History, the percent of students achieving scores of 85 or higher (the mastery level on the Regents exam) nearly doubled!

With Learning Cultures in entering its 3rd year in literacy and it's second year in all other subjects, we look forward to continuing this growth!

School Quality Review

Our overall school quality review was a well-earned Proficient with the following strengths, needs and goals.  From Final Quality Review Report:

The school uses the Learning Cultures (LC) curriculum that is aligned to the Common Core and New York State learning standards and engages students in rigorous academic tasks to promote college and career readiness.

To have an outside evaluator come in and assess all of the work and effort our team put into establishing Learning Cultures school-wide last year, coupled with measurable achievements in state tests and student progress, we are clearly making strides in the right direction!

Teacher Evaluation

Teacher Evaluation

Your MoSL Committee will be formally presenting and providing some answers to questions first thing on Tuesday morning.  In the mean time, please use this blog as a reference and resource as you deepen your understanding of this new process.

As you know, last spring, New York State enacted a law that governs how all public school teachers in the state are to be evaluated.  You can learn more details form the DOE's slide show on Teacher Evaluation.  In short, there are three components of a teacher's evaluation.

  • 20% Local Measures, assessments selected from a state approved list by a committee of teachers at the school.
  • 20% State Measures, assessments selected from a state approved list by the principals.  To see both state and local selections, please open up the MoSL documents found in this folder to view the selections.
  • 60% Observation Data, these are administrator observations on the teacher efficacy in 22 indicators on the Danielson rubric.
    - At UAI, we will use the Learning Cultures format rubrics to evaluate efficacy on the Danielson indicators.

The MoSL Committee

At UAI, the MoSL (Measures of Student Learning) Committee consists of 8 members.  Four were selected by the UFT chapter [Pamela, Adrienne, Damon, and Jen S.] and 4 members were selected by the principals [Tara, Wendy, Meredith, and Mike Som.]. Kelly, Nicia, and I also sat with the committee.  This summer, the committee was charged with selecting the local measures for each teacher at the school.

The HEDI labels (Highly effective; Effective; Developing; and Ineffective) replace the old Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory teacher ratings.  With the three different measures (State, Local, and Observations), there are 40 different possible combinations for final ratings.

4=Highly Effective; 3 = Effective; 2= Developing; 1= Ineffective

Observation Choices

With this new system, teachers have the choice of how their evaluative observations take shape.  The options articulate the minimum necessary.  The options described below only pertain to evaluation observations.  When you review the rubrics, you'll notice five main components in each rubric:

  1. Low-inference observations.  These will be the factual, low-inference data points observed during the observation.
  2. Format Indicators and Progress Feedback (e.g. Needs Immediate Improvement, Making Progress, and Proficient)
  3. Strengths, Needs and Recommendations.  This are will be the immediate feedback sent to you via email, and we'll follow up on these notes with discussions and goal setting during face-to-face conferences.
  4. Format Evaluation.  All classroom observations will provide you with a holistic evaluation of the format observed.  This is an informal evaluation only and designed for use as both formative and interim assessment.
  5. Danielson Evaluation.  The final component of each rubric is the Danielson Evaluation.  ONLY official observations will have this portion completed.   In this new system of evaluation, you have two options for how and when this portion of the rubric gets filled out.

Option 1: AT LEAST 1 Formal & 3 Informal Observations

  • Within the first 20 days of school, a pre-observation meeting (which can be the Initial Conference) takes place.  
  • Within this same time period but after the pre-observation conference a full period observation takes place.  All Learning Cultures formats will be evaluated and rubrics completed with Danielson indicators
  • By the end of the first 20 days of school, post-observation conferences with teachers are completed.
  • Throughout the rest of the year, at least 3, unannounced information observations  (See Option 2 below for specifications on these visits) 

Option 2:  AT LEAST  6 Informal Observations

  • Some visits will be announced and some will be unannounced
  • All visits will be for at least 15 minutes
  • There is no limit on the number of Informal Observations but each teacher will receive at minimum 6.
  • Can be videotaped with teachers permission
  • No pre/post conference required, but feedback is mandatory in some form (Email, teacher conference, rubric feedback, etc.) after each visit.
  • Observation Reports (aka Rubrics completed with Danielson Indicators) provided to teachers and cc'ed to file within 90 days of visit.

Feedback and Support

Getting feedback and sharing best practices with colleagues and peers is an essential component for successful observation evaluations.  Prior to any evaluative visit, you will want to have your peers and/or our lead teachers visit your classrooms to provide insight and suggestions.  Additionally, we will be providing you with formative evaluations on key format (Social Norms, Classroom Environment, Unison Reading, and Conferences) by the end of September to help you establish benchmark goals of the year.  Together with both colleague and supervisor feedback, we will all strive to improve our practice and continue our professional growth.

Grade Teams have already begun to meet and plan around supporting one another using the Social Norms Rubric to structure feedback).  Grade teams began meeting this past week to establish team norms and to begin setting grade-based expectations around the universal ladder of consequences and grade-wide social norms.

Subject Teams also began to meet to support one another on establishing a quality Classroom Environment that will support Work Time activities.  Like the Grade Teams, Subject teams will also engage in classroom inter-visitation to provide team members with feedback and support.

Soon the Professional Development Committee will re-launch for the year and both embedded and external PD opportunities will also serve to support and nurture teacher growth and performance. 

In Short...

The State and the DOE have enacted many overwhelming changes.  However, provided that we continue to pull together and support one another we will continue to improve our school and provide our students with a high quality educational experience at UAI!

Monday, June 17, 2013

2013-2014 School Year Schedule

Hello All

I realize that many of you have waited patiently for this program.  We originally had a program in place to present to you on 13JUNE, but after our budget meeting with the network, we were unable to overcome the budget shortfall and fully staff that program.  Much of this shortfall stems from the DOE's restructuring of special education funding.  Many of our special education students were moved from full-time funding to part-time funding, resulting in a significant loss of money.

As a result, the following program is being proposed.

To optimize period length and to get classes to meet everyday, the proposed schedule is a 7 period schedule.

  • Teacher days are 6 hours and 20min with 37.5 mins of Extended Day Tutoring (by Advisory group of no more than 10 kids) Mondays - Thursdays.  The School Day is 8:25AM-2:45PM
  • The 8th grade has been split up.  Three grades of teachers will teach across grade, but all of these teachers will have their own classrooms (not move).
      - Grade 6 Teachers teach 1 section of 8th grade
      - Grade 7 Teachers teach 1 section of 8th grade
      - Grade 10 Teachers teach 1 section of 8th grade.
  • Three grades will not teach across section, but will have to share and/or move between classrooms.
      - 9th grade teachers will share and/or move classrooms (teach all 4 sections)
      - 11th grade teachers will share and/or move classrooms (teach 3 sections & push into 1)
      - 12th grade teachers will share and/or move classrooms and have multiple preps
              (e.g. Teach Govt/Econ and English; Teach Math and Science; Teach Writing and Special Ed)
  • I still have to finalize exactly where Preps/Professionals periods go based on teacher Prof Period Assignment, but essentially (barring any errors that I find as I comb through the schedule, and barring any further budget and/or staffing dilemmas).
  • This 7 period schedule requires and SBO.  In emailing with Mary Wade over the weekend, she mentioned to me that the only SBO deadlines she knew about was the Extended Day time.  She expressed that she thought that the SBO season was over, but I also shared with her that other schools were still working on SBOs.  In fact, we were still working on our SBO last June.  When I verified that she was the schools' district rep who provided SBO approval, Mary replied, "Yes, based on information directly from the UFT members in the school.  As you know an SBO must be agreed upon by both the DoE and the UFT."

Click Here To view the Schedule Proposal

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Programming Clarification

The development of the program is a tricky and multi-variable process. I've been doing NYC DOE school schedules since 1997.  My programming experience runs the gamut from an alternative transfer high school with kids whose credit needs spanned the map to the esoteric eccentricities of an elite performing arts school that had professional arts organizations like Alvin Ailey providing dance instruction for 3 hours a day to students.

Every school has their own unique needs and wants.  Ultimately, we are all striving to do the same thing which is provide the best structure for our kids to be safe, to thrive, and to learn.

Kelly and I have been avidly negotiating with the UFT consultation committee (Damon, Jen S, Adrienne, Jessica S, and Pamela).  They presented us with a hard-worked proposal from the staff.  The proposal asked for 60 min periods for all periods.  This program also asked for 4 sections each meeting 4 times per week with the remaining periods being left for push in.

PROPOSED SCHEDULE from Consultation Committee

Unfortunately, there were 2 dilemmas inherent in this proposal.
  • The math of student need didn't match up with teacher request to teach 4 sections only 4 times per week.  In this program, there are 34 periods (7 periods per day * 5 days per week minus the early release day).  Under the proposal, each student would have

    Middle School        
    - 16 Core Courses Periods (Math/Sci/Reading/Writing)
    - 8 Breadth Course Periods (3 Carrerra + 2 Art + 3 Gym)
    - 5 Lunch Periods
    TOTAL = 29  (we need to make it to 34)

    High School        
    - 20 Core Courses Periods (Math/Sci/SocStud/English/Language)
    - 5 Breadth Course Periods (2 Carrerra + 3 Gym)
    - 5 Lunch Periods
    TOTAL = 30  (we need to make it to 34), thus the "????" periods in the above program
  • Student Safety during the hour-long lunch period.  The passing time around lunch posed a safety issue for students.  Currently, middle school students have 50 minutes in the cafeteria.  Already this time is too long for students.  Now, we're proposing to buffer this time by 5 minutes at the beginning and end of the lunch periods.  We've been discussing many ideas with the consultation committee, but none of the ideas can guarantee personnel to staff the halls and cafeteria and ensure student safety.

    With these two unresolved issues, this proposal is not viable.

As a result, we presented you with the 1.5 period block program.  This program attempts to solve both of the problems listed above.

Program Option A

Pamela shared the results of your preliminary vote on this program which led us to develop contract-aligned program.

Program Option B

If the staff objects to Program Option A, then we will have no option but to move forward and implement Program Option B.  Option B is not an ideal program, but it is contractual.  

With respect to the original proposal, the consultation committee did recognize the need to give up the push in periods to make their program viable, but as of yet, we have not cracked the safety problem and supervision for students in the halls during lunch.  Ergo, that Option is still not viable.

We need to move forward.  Either we agree to vote in Option A by Friday May 3rd, or we will default to Option B on Friday May 3rd.  Friday May 3rd is the deadline for SBOs and submission of session times. 

To help you weigh the options more clearly, I've put together some pretty charts for you

Comparison of Teaching & Non-Teaching Time (total minutes per week)

Comparison of Class Minutes by Format

Projected Learning Cultures Mandates and Breakdown for Program Options

I hope that you are willing to consider Option A.  It is viable, it serves the best interests of kids, and it is fair for teachers.   If you disagree (or agree), please let us know by taking this brief survey here.  It is anonymous and only for purposes of understanding staff attitudes, desires, and needs.  Kelly and I will be out of the building part of the day Monday (Girl Inc Event) and Tuesday (Network Instructional Rounds visit to UA Green Careers).  Our next meeting with the committee will be on Wednesday.  Please do continue to share with them your thoughts and opinions so that they may bring your concerns and questions to our meeting on Wednesday.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Alphabet Post Part II: High School DRPs

The Results of the DRPs for the High School are in!To see the details and student level results, click on this link:  DRP High School Analysis March 2013


Here are some useful graphics to contextualize the DRP levels

Average DRP Level of High School Regents Exams

  • By copying and pasting passages from the January 2013 Regents Exams, I was able to get estimated DRP levles using this link "Get the DRP Level
    The General Directions on the Front Page
        - of All the Regents Exams = 64

    9th Grade (a P90 range of 62-69) - UAI Average 9th Grade DRP Level = 56
        - Living Environment Regent Exam = 69
        - Integrated Algebra I Regent Exam = 63

    10th Grade (a P90 range of 64-72) - UAI Average 10th Grade DRP Level = 65
        - Global History Regent Exam = 70
        - Chemistry Regent Exam = 68
        - Geometry Regent Exam = 53

    11th Grade (a P90 range of 67-72) - UAI Average 11th Grade DRP Level = 56
    - US History Regent Exam = 67
        - Algebra 2/Trignometry Regent Exam = 64
        - English Language Arts Regent Exam =  57
        - Physics Regent Exam = 70  

So, what does all this mean?

When grading major assessments like Regents Exams, how many times have you had questions go through your head like "I know they know how to do this! How did they get that wrong?" or "We did this a million times in class, how could they miss that one?" or "Why didn't they just read the problem?"

If you've had these questions pass through your thinking, then hopefully these DRP scores shed light on some of these hows and whys.  With our kids reading at average levels that are below the demands of most of the Regents exams, reading instruction must happen hand-in-hand with content instruction.  Regardless of the content, every student needs to learn how to read and use genres specific to your discipline (e.g. language dictionaries, maps, charts and data tables, textbooks, primary documents, essays, novels, exam prep books, etc.).  Therefore, with reading levels like the ones presenting in our girls, we all have to have a hand in bringing our girls to grade level reading capacity.

Unison Reading is the tool we use to build this literacy in our content literacy in our high school classes.   Coupled with standards-based conferencing, we are seeing dramatic growth in our students - particularly in our 9th and 10th graders.  

We are still struggling with the girls who struggle the most, those in the lowest third.  Currently, Nicia & Lauren are working with the ISS teachers to develop their capacity in Unison Reading and Learning Conferences.  In particular, they are working with the team to build in strategies for reading intervention in these formats.

In addition, our PD committee is continuing to focus their PD work around Unison and targeting specific indicators to increase student engagement and intentionality.  On top of their work, we are having our 2nd Learning Cultures Booster day on Monday, March 11th and another visit with Cynthia on Tuesday March 19th.  

We have transitioned to being a Learning Cultures school, and the large majority of you are well along in the process of transforming from traditional to Learning Cultures teachers.  There is still much to learn, and these professional development experiences are excellent opportunities to extend your own understanding of the practice and theory underlying the formats.

If you're a host teacher for tomorrow's boost, the network of Urban Assembly Learning Cultures coaches will be working directly with you to focus on key rubric indicators in Unison Reading and Learning Conferences to maximize growth in these formats.  If you're listed as an observer, please print out this form to help you structure and learn from your observations.  Here's tomorrow's schedule of learning activities:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Alphabet Post part 1: SLCs - Student Led Conferences Next Week

SLCs - Student Led Conferences

Our Final round of Student Led Conferences are here

Please complete the appointment sheet by Monday, March 11th.  Because this is our last round, it's important to touch on the following points

  • DRP Scores - for grades 9-11
    The link above will take you to the updated February DRP scores.  In order to be reading on grade level, students need to have the following range of DRP P90 scores:  9th Grade Range - 62-69;  10th Grade Rage - 64-72;  11th Grade Range 67-72.  Students reading in the 57-67 range are reading at the middle school level.  Students reading below 57 are reading at the elementary school level.

    Take a moment to look at the history of P90 scores for each of your advisees.  (please come see me for help if you need it).  If there are repeated occurrences of scores near each other (e.g. they've scored 43, 45, 44 in the last three DRP administrations), then the argument of "I don't take that test seriously" cannot hold.  Rather, this is a very serious delay in reading.  Please review the DRP scores with families, and for those students reading below grade level, establish reading goals with both parent and student for independent reading at home, together.  Reading independently and in quantity is the best, fastest way to build fluency and develop reading levels.
  • Promotion in Doubt - for all grades
    We mailed all letters home and also gave them to students.  Please double check with families that parents received and signed the Promotion in Doubt letters and understand the annualization policy.  If your advisee is PID, you'll receive annualization letters to distribute and have signed.  For those students who are PID, it is especially important to get parents in for the SLC.

    In particular for seniors, if they are currently failing a course, they are not on track for graduation and are immediately suspended from Senior Activities for the 2nd Marking Period.  In addition, continuing to fail will result in not graduating and participating in ceremonies in June.
  • Reflection on Work
    Students need to root their reflections in their work.  Make sure when students are reflecting on their progress, that they are referencing their work and pointing to aspects of work as evidence of their claims in their reflections.

    Prompt students to articulate the learning standards exemplified by the work.  For example, this work shows how I can do x, which is this learning standard y.  Also, Students should also be able to situate the work.  For example, they should explain what came before and after the piece they chose and how this piece fit into the unit arc.  Working with students to be able to reflect and articulate in this manner is the best and strongest preparation for our SLC.  This type of reflection should be echoed through the SLCs into your conferences and discussions in Unison.
  • Goals for The Semester - Articulated Steps with Completion Dates
    Goals set should be a balance of academic and personal behavioral goals.  Personal goals are behavioral or character based.  Here are some examples
    - "I will come to school everyday on time" is a personal behavioral goal.
    - "I will ask questions or breach each time I don't understand something" is academic behavior -
        it's active participation in academic discourse.
    - "I will turn my work in on time" is a personal behavior.
    - "I will turn in my after having edited and checked for errors to make sure my work is the
        highest quality and it will be completed on time" is an academic goal.
    - "I will study for quizzes and major assessments" - can be both personal and academic. If you
        help students articulate what "study" means to being for example "I will set aside x amount of
        time before major assessments to review my notes/quiz myself/do practice problems and check
        my work" it becomes more of an academic behavior.

    The goals also need to have times associated with them.  Here's some examples
    - By x date, after following through on the personal/academic goals above, I should have improved my performance by y amount.
    - By X date, I should be getting Y types of grades on my major learning target assessments

These are just some examples to help you drive up the rigor and quality of student conferences.  I welcome you to reach out to your colleagues who do these everyday for more ideas.  Check out their conference binders and stop in to see some a conference - SLC or regular classroom conference.  Make the time to learn from one another.  You are each other's biggest resource!

Please reach out to me with any question you have regarding SLCs. 

Next Post:  Alphabet Post Part II - DRPs

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Learning Cultures Rubrics

This is the post to which you should refer when looking for the rubrics during classroom visits and peer inter-visitation.

Unison Reading -
The Lesson -
The Learning Conference - 
The Classroom Environment - 
Independent Work Time -
Table Share

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year

Welcome Back from the Winter Break and a Very Warm and Welcome Happy New Year!

Hopefully, you all got a chance to relax and recharge.  To get us back into the groove and rhythms of our days, here are some announcements and reminders

  • Winter DRP Administration in Humanities Classes this week
    Nicia will have already shared with the High School humanities teachers the details on how and when to administer the Winter DRP.  We use the DRP (Degrees of Reading Power) to chart reading growth.  During the DRP meetings in Advisory, a lot of teachers reported that students did not take this seriously at the beginning of the year.  Please stress to them now that these measures are used to help them succeed.  Trying their hardest and approaching the exam with seriousness and intent is what needs to happen so that we can get data to best help them.  Please announce in advisory and reiterate in your classes that the DRPs are important exams to help us understand what each of our girls need.
  • PD this Month 
    During PD Tuesdays this month, we will be reviewing the data on the CBMs (Curriculum Based Measures) and discussing the use of this data in your classes and how to target and structure intervention centers.  To get a head start, go ahead and take a look at the data already on the site for our girls in the lowest third.  We will train you on how to interpret this information, but it will be much easier for you to follow along if you first experiment on your own with the data and what you see.  You'll also be able to start forming questions about what you see to make the session that much more informative and useful for you.  Please visit www.easycbm.com and log in using ksoares with a password of 283adams.
  • January Regents List
    Nicia and I are finalizing the Regents list.  Students who have previously failed a required regent (Algebra I, Living Environment, English, Global, or US History) will automatically be signed up to re-take the exam.  Students who have previously passed, but have not yet earned the college ready marks of 80 for the Integrated Algebra and 75 for the English, will be signed up to retake the exam.  Please touch base with Nicia with your final list for all other exams not mentioned above.
  • Regents Review After School Session
    Once we finalize the Regents List, we'll be able to finalize the After School Regents Prep schedule.  So far, the following people have responded with interest for the per session posting:
     - US History:  Brodie & Doris
     - Global:  Colleen, Darby, and Natasha
     - English:  Heather
     - Math:  Mike, Noam, and Hassan
     - Living Environment:  Damon
    Students will recieve test prep schedules on Friday

  • Final Exams, Regents Week, and End of Term SLCs
    Final Exams will be on the 17th & 18th.  Nicia and I are still finalizing the schedule, and should have it out to folks by the end of the week.  Additionally, Nicia is working on the Regents Proctoring schedule and we'll review that with everyone during Tuesday's PD.   As you know, grading is off-site from here on out.  For this month, only the English and Algebra I exams are being graded off-site during the day.  All other exams are being graded through per session.
Welcome back everyone!