12/19/2020

January 2021

 


The Mantra Continues into the New Year = Deep Student Learning and Profound Instruction!



Listening to Teresa Amabalia in the Principle Progress, when students make gains academically, they also gain confidence, improve their behavior, and want to attend school. Imagine the power behind all of us committing to strategies within the QFI Model that elicit academic interaction from every student every class period.




Here Is What I Am Noticing after visiting Classrooms from Every School at Least Two Times This Fall




Students are successful when:
  • Shown meta-cognitively  “how-to”
  • Given process or task feedback at the moment
  • Granted the opportunity to speak about their understanding
  • Taught the information was chunked into sections or criterion or steps
  • Given time to talk in breakout rooms or small groups

  • Given time to articulate their knowledge verbally
Research resoundingly tells us that learning sticks when we are given time to process and talk.

We also know from research that specific and in-the-moment feedback leads to growth and achievement.

Mid-Year Student Performance in Reading, Writing, and Math






As we enter into the 2021 part of the school year, we continue to work together, striving to make social connections and academic interactions with 100% of our students in 100% of your classrooms.

11/28/2020

December 2020

 

Tis the Season.

                                                    

I think kids
are rather enjoyable.....
                        Some are tall and thin
                        Others are shorter and rounder
                        Some walk
                        Others run
                        Some glide
                        Others skip
                 Students light up with their work is right
                        They grin ear to ear
                        When they see their favorite teacher
                        who says, "child it is so great to see you today"
                        Students are the most precious gift
I think kids
are rather enjoyable

                          

The mantra continues = Deep Student Learning and Profound Instruction!

Listening to Teresa Amabalia in the Principle Progress, when students make gains academically, they also gain confidence, improve their behavior, and want to attend school. Imagine the power behind all of us committing to strategies within the QFI Model that elicit academic interaction from every student every class period.










Here is what I am Noticing.

The diagram shows the results in visiting each classroom, recording the impact on students in correlation to different QFI "looked for." 




In the reflection following the demonstration lessons this past fall, resoundingly, people wanted to try strategies that provoked more student interaction in the daily lesson. In the second round of class visits, more students interacted academically with staff as more classrooms deliberately used a variety of strategies inviting the academic interaction; using such strategies as:

  • Use of the chatbox code, 
  • Ask students to unmute and share, 
  • Use cold call for certain names, 
  • Shared students documents in Hapara, 
  • Presenting student work, 
  • Students chinning their whiteboard into the computer screen. 
  • Breakout rooms for the student to student interaction

Staff and students alike appreciated the interaction with each lesson!  In this last round of school visits, there was a collective increase in student interaction with the increased use of such strategies mentioned above! 

And we continue to work together as we strive to make social connections and academic interactions with 100% of our students in 100% of your classrooms.


10/31/2020

October and November 2020

 

The mantra remains:

Quality First Instruction and Deep Student Learning in whatever the venue.


It will be nice to have some students return to school shortly. 


Listening to Teresa Amabalia in the Principle Progress, when students make gains academically, they also gain confidence, improve their behavior, and want to attend school. Imagine the power behind all of us committing to strategies within the QFI Model that elicit academic interaction from every student every class period.


What is Happening?

The entire staff was trained on the foundation of the Quality First Instructional Model (QFI).

Every staff and administrator has watched a QFI demonstration lesson this fall. Every staff member walked away with a call to action = a strategy to try as early as the next day in their classroom, facilitating even more success from the students!

Each school will get a visit from our QFI coach/consult this fall/winter as a way to monitor the instructional progress as a whole organization; as a way to celebrate the successes; as a way to guide our continued work to improve the instructional practice throughout the entire school district, and, therefore,  to reach every student.


What am I noticing in the four components of Quality First Instruction?



In the reflection following the demonstration lessons, resoundingly people wanted to try strategies that provoked more student interaction in the daily lesson. Within days, I heard highlights from people using some of the observed strategies - chatbox code, unmute and share, cold call of certain names. Then as a result staff was excited to get more student involvement! I imagine students felt better as well.

Staff and students alike want to interact more with each lesson!  There are pockets of success! And we continue to work together as we strive to make social connections and academic interactions with 100% of our students. 


10/10/2020

The Fall Season

 

Tis the Season of Digital Distant Learning


Students making connections with each other and their teacher. "Unmute and tell me about yourself today."

Students learning their content knowledge delivered by the teacher and interacting with the teacher and with each other. (I am learning how to decode and say words that end in "s" - see Dogz."

Students gaining strategies on how to learn on their own. "I learned for different ways to solve two-step multiplication programs. I used the lattice method to figure out this answer."

It takes a whole village as paraprofessionals, students, teachers, and family members assist in the teaching and learning journey. For example, some parents sit in the school session and support their child in mastering the day's learning outcome.


Go team! Students reading and annotating a Scholastic News Article together with their teacher and their para. 






What else is happening? 

        Konocti adopted an instructional model called Quality First Instruction. The model gives us a framework and structure to rally behind. The same pillars remain a focus within the structure: a)  teacher clarity, b) high leverage instructional strategies, c) academic interaction or formative assessment practices, and d) feedback.

        As everyone works to improve our instructional practice and our leadership practice, Jason Willoughby, an outside consultant, and coach, visits each school to run a demonstration lesson and collaborate with the staff. So far, KEC, ELS, LLES, and this wee,k LLHS observed a demonstration lesson and collaborated with each other: collaborate on the instruction and the pillars = what strategies and activities to continue in the classroom; what strategies and activities to add to the classroom; and what support structures to add at the school so staff can continue to be successful with their students.

           It takes the whole system working collectively to see significant academic growth in every single student. When staff succeeds, and when students succeed, other factors also fall into place = attendance, behavior, and social-emotional well-being.   

  

            What am I noticing so far?  

Konocti has a common instructional model. 

Konocti set goals to see more students improve academically, and more students reach grade level

Staff want to use strategies and activities that engage and involve more students in their learning.

The teachers in the younger grades, K -3 especially, are making progress by using more strategies each day that let the student interact with each other and the teacher more often. As a result, the students practice their new learning more often so it can stick.

Going forward in the next four weeks, I expect that we will see more of us adding more strategies and activities that let the student interact with each other and the teacher more often. With more practice time, the students' knowledge starts to stick and move into their long-term memory. 



Often, I will read about someone from the most unpromising circumstances - inner city, ghetto, drug family, single-parent home, abandoned by the father, abandoned by both parents sometimes - and the child will have grown up to be a star athlete, a successful politician, or a doctor. the reporter will ask, "How did you get to be who you are?" And the answer will always be with the same four words" "There was this teacher." (Scherer, 1998 p. 22)














8/16/2020

The First Days of School

 



As author and speaker, Patrick Lencioni, shared, some things change and some things remain the same. 

Let's take a look.

Our purpose as educators remains constant. We are here to make a difference. In Konocti that means teaching and leading in a way that teaches content and character.

Due to Covid-19 and distance learning, some of the strategies and priorities have shifted. Training began to emphasize an increase in one's technology skillset.

 In terms of the needs that remain the same:

1. People want to belong

2. People want to contribute

3. People want to see and measure that contribution


                                                                            


As Victor Uribe shred by Diane, The Night Before Distance Learning.
       Twas the night before distance learning

and all through the town

everyone was thinking

how will this go down?

Students and parents and teachers all wonder.

Can I make this work? What if I blunder?

Passwords, logins - do I have it all ready?

Easy now, take a breath, remember to be steady.

There will be blips, there be unknowns, 

but we're in this together, you are not alone!

One day at a time, this is not a race, 

a new journey for all, so please give grace.

Grace to yourself and grace to each other.

We will get through this one way or another.

Students want to learn,

and teachers want to teach,

families need to work,

so it may be a reach.

But, patience and respect will guide us through

this strange experience that is new.

I'll say it again (and many more times), 

we'll work this out....things will be just fine.

Here we go folks, this could be a while.

Just remember to be kind, and of course......to smile


   Slow and steady and surely....................