Thursday, August 20, 2009

Not Just Another Class

This fall I will be hosting a class in which we pull together many previous JCSD1 courses and initiatives. Some of the content of this class will include Backward Design, Working on the Work, Multiple Intelligences, Visual Literacy, Integrating Technology, and Assessment. My plan is for us to review these and shares our successes in applying them in our daily teaching and overall plans.
Working in collaboration with trusted colleagues is one of the most rejuvenating and energizing ways to improve teaching. Pulling this into the mix will be another aspect of this class.
This class will also be a way to get your appraisal model work done. If you can take this class, you'll have time set aside specifically to get this work done.
I haven't worked out all of the details, but here is plan so far:
- 2 recertification hours
- class will be held twice per month for 3 hours
- we will meet for a total 30 hours
We've been kicking around a few names but haven't chosen a final one yet. I believe names are important, so I want this to be a good one - not boring and not cheesy. Keep your eye out for this class, and if you have an idea for a name let me know.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Write Stuff

This year Kaycee School is implementing a writing intervention dubbed "The Write Stuff." The intervention sets a standard for all work that will be passed into a teacher's basket, as well as that of teachers and other staff members. Here are the 10 Write Stuff expectations:

1. Writing has main idea.
2. Writing answers the question.
3. Writing has details, examples, evidence, etc.
4. Writing is organized.
5. Writing has been reviewed.
6. Writing has neat penmanship and is easily read.
7. Sentences are complete and make sense.
8. Writing includes transition words or phrases.
9. Effort is demonstrated to correct spelling errors.
10. Writing has been edited.

Teachers at every grade and in every content area will expect the same level of quality from students, according to what can be expected developmentally, of course. Details of how to maintain quality and gather data throughout the year are being worked out in these weeks before school starts. I think this is a great step for this school - it's manageable here, where in bigger schools it could be really difficult to implement. The common language and expectations will only help students when it comes to taking pride in what they create.