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Some interesting things and resources shared by Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning in Friday Focus email

Leading and Learning Quotes:

“Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.”
Roger Lewin

“If you are not successful, then I fail.”
Johnetta Wiley

Common Core Resources:

Illustrative Mathematics– Hundreds of sample problems, videos, and other resources, organized by grade, standard, and domain. Project led by CCSS contributing author William McCallum at the University of Arizona. Illustrative Mathematics provides guidance to states, assessment consortia, testing companies, and curriculum developers by illustrating the range and types of mathematical work that students experience in a faithful implementation of the Common Core State Standards, and by publishing other tools that support implementation of the standards. I recommend clicking on the tabs at the left to explore your grade level for great resources:
Strategy/Tool to Try:

#1: PowToon PowToon is an online presentation tool that allows you to create free, cool, and awesome animated video explainers. Have your students make mini movies as a commercial for a novel or a recap of a unit. They can also explain a new concept.

#2 Talk a Mile a Minute Students love to talk! They love talking to their peers the most. One way to provide them with that opportunity to talk to their peers while still demonstrating learning of new vocabulary and curriculum concepts is through playing the game called Talk-a-Mile-a Minute. Playing this game also provides the teacher with an instant and quick form of assessment.

Many teachers use Talk-a-Mile-a-Minute on a regular basis to review concepts or vocabulary terms learned either that day or throughout previous lessons. As far as materials, all you need is a doc camera or Power-point slides projected, the lists of terms in specific categories that you want your students to review, and a timer.

The list of terms might be vocabulary related to any subject that you are currently teaching. An example list from a science class would be:

Category: Forms of Energy

Fossil Fuels

Tell your students to partner up, stand face-to-face with your partner with one facing the opposite direction from the screen that will display the terms, while the other is facing towards the screen. You have the first list of terms ready on the overhead beforehand and tell them "ready-set-go!" Turn on the overhead to display the terms and the students have one minute to Talk-a-Mile-a-Minute. The objective is for the students facing the list of words to immediately tell their partner the category and attempt to get them to say all of the terms within the minute by only providing them clues such as definitions, synonyms, antonyms, but they cannot say any of the words on the list first. It is very similar to the game "Taboo” or the old show, “$10,000 Pyramid.”

After time has been called, the teacher leads a debriefing by asking what terms were easy, which ones were difficult, and what strategies were used to get your partner to say the correct terms. Then, tell partners to switch spots and repeat the steps with another related or non-related list of terms.

Talk-a-Mile-a-Minute is quick, easy, fun, engaging, cooperative learning, and provides instant feedback to the teacher on their students' progress with vocabulary or unit concepts. I recommend demonstrating the game with a partner before playing the game for the first time!

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Good Morning All! I hope everyone is having a pleasant Friday.
First, I want to state that I had a wonderful day teaching yesterday at Oak Terrace. I was teaching gifted and many were my students from when I was a perm sub last year. My experience was especially rewarding because prior to each class assignment I wrote the lesson objectives on the board along with a few essential questions. This allowed me to keep on track ( as much as I could) and focus on the "why/purpose".

Secondly, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT -  LEO AND LINDSAY -GET THEE A SUB ASSIGNMENT IN HPHS. I am here subbing English and this is not my place. THIS IS YOUR SPACE. I am about as effective here as a one legged man in a butt kicking contest. The guy I am subbing for is not popular with the students as I am learning. Leo get your color blind, cap headed arse in here! I am sorry you two.  I am publicly vocal because I am hoping the Peanut Gallery will chime in. I am at this high school and seriously Leo, your style and method(s) of teaching are needed here.  Lindsay you would be so great with the Freshman class. Okay, I have said my peace. I hope you will reconsider your placements for student teaching. You would inspire these young adults in a way that that would allow them to grow as people and students. HELP!


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Final blog- for class :-)

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A friend on Facebook posted this- I thought it was excellent and wanted to share it...enjoy!

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Well, I have finished my lesson for tomorrow night's class and I feel very time constrained I must admit.  20 minutes is hardly enough time to get out of the gate!!!  Time is my biggest nemesis in life and the thing I am always trying to improve on and master control of so I am hoping to be successful with at least that element tomorrow!

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