Friday, August 25, 2017

Week of August 28th

UAI Staff News

Volume V
Issue 1

This Summer's Memories

Welcome Back!  Walking on the beaches of Jekyll Island, GA (yes, actually named after Jekyll as in Jekyll and Hyde), we came upon this wonderfully interesting geometric sand shapes.  It made me take pause and awe the natural mathematical beauty that surrounds us in the world (it took me a while to find out what they are...I won't rob you of that treat and let you find out on your own!).  I truly hope you all also took some time to recharge and get excited for the upcoming year.  It is shaping up to be one of the best yet!

Summer school is officially closed, and UAI will be coming back online for the 2017-2018 school starting on Monday.  In next week's blog, you'll get the full debriefing of the school and the goals for the year.  This is a small prep blog post to ease you into the start of a wonderful year!

This summer was packed full of social and political upheaval as we continue to each navigate our existence under a very different type of presidential leadership.  If anything, I feel the world's events galvanizing our mission and vision for our students.  Our mission of empowering our young women in STEM fields, which are still dominated by men, is more important in today's climate than it ever has been.  The work we do at UAI is important, far reaching, and way more impactful than any job.  We are helping young women become a better future for our world.  That isn't a job, it's a passion and a mission. I'm excited to have such a talented and committed group surrounding our girls as we move forward in this work!

Things To Do

Staff Return.  All staff are invited to return next Wednesday and Thursday 30AUG17 and 31AUG17.  Staff will receive training rate per session for work these two days.  Here's the agenda

  • Wednesday, 30AUG17:  
    • 9:00-9:30AM - Welcome and Overview of the day - Meet in the 205 (the library)
    • 9:30-2:00PM - Work Time (Classroom Set up and/or Course Planning)
  • Thursday, 31AUG17:
    • 9:00-2:00PM - Continued Work Time

The goal of these two days are:

  • Goal #1:  Complete Room Set Up.  There will only be about 30 min for final room set-up time on the 5th and 6th of September.  So, to give you more time to get oriented and situated, I'm inviting you in early.  Here are some things I need you keep in mind during set up:
    • Moving Furniture.  Don't move anything heavy by yourself.  Our custodians will be around that week to help.  Please don't drag things across floors.  The floors are beautiful now, and we don't want them scratched up prior to the start of school.  Help is available!
    • Trash and Hallway.  Don't leave anything in the hallways.  If you are tossing things, please put them in trash cans, OR stack near trash cans, clearly labeled "Trash" so our custodians can pick them up.
    • Wall Prep - Use blue wall adhesives to hang things on your walls.  Staples and tacks the paint, causing an enormous amount of work for our facilities staff.
  • Goal #2:  Complete Planning Prep.  We began unit planning back at our PD in June.  I also sent a reminder email on August 5th to get you thinking.  Now is the time to bring planning to a finished product.  This Unit Template, Curriculum Map, and Yearlong Pacing Guide must be ready to go at the start of our full staff PD on Tuesday, 05SEP17.   We will be using them to generate our lesson plans for the first unit on the 5th and 6th.  The focus of high quality instruction is excellent lesson planning.  Thus, the 5th and 6th (when we are all back and officially kick off the year) will develop lesson plan quality.  To prepare for this work, you'll need to complete first the following:
    • Complete this Unit Template (save a copy of your own and upload your final version to the correct folder).  The unit template has clickable links that will guide you through each step of the planning process.  These resources are adapted from our partners at the Literacy Design Collaborative.   You can log in to Core Tools (or create a new login) to search their database for inspirations as well.  When you name the unit, please save it in the appropriate folder HERE and use this naming convention:  COURSE NAME & GRADE_UNIT TITLE_TEACHER NAME_2017-18
    • Complete this Curriculum Map Template to the best of your ability.  This document will provide you and students an overview of the course.  Differing from the pacing guide, the Curriculum Map gives an ideological overview of what students will be learning with you and why it's relevant to them.
    • Complete this Pacing Guide with links to your daily lesson plans.  The Pacing Guide has all the school year, and UAI specific holidays and events.  This is your main logistical tool
    • Your lessons are expected to be linked into the Pacing Guide.  Here's the UAI Lesson Template, but you are free to use your own.  You may wish to create blank templates for all your lessons now so you can finish the pacing guide, at least for your first unit.  As a heads up, this is where Annie & I will go to evaluate your lesson and unit plans after an observation.

      Current Staff Facebook.  It's time to update our Staff Facebook.  This is a tool that allows us to build community among our staff, students and families.  I have received from most, but I'm still missing a few.  Please send me a recent picture and a brief bio:  Where are you from?  What are your hobbies?  What was your major/minor in college and where did you go to school?  How long have you lived in New York City?  How long have you worked at UAI? What grade and subject will you be teaching?  What makes you most excited to start the school year?  Please email your bio to by August 28th.