January 2018 - The goal = Ensure 1+

"Success is all around us in our schools. We need to identify this existing success, celebrate it and replicate it."

 A Sincere Happy New Year to All. I hope this blog finds everyone healthy, happy, and rejuvenated!

I will quickly share a glimmer of my winter break. The dogs and I spent a couple days near the beach as we headed to Southern California to see my parents.  The dogs and I ran up and down the beach making our temporary footprints in the sand until the water washed ashore. The sun reflected off the ocean of blue, and the noise of the crashing waves roared against the cliff side.

     In that time, I was able to both reflect and gear up for the six months. You can read below the blog to see the details of my 2017-18 SMART Goal, some results, my analysis of the results, and my next steps

My Message 
What? Konocti looks to ensure students improve 1+ or more for their one year of school. This one year of improvement could be in academics, civility, and/or in well-being.
Why? Perfection and proficiency are too far-fetched and discouraging. Yet everyone - students and adults - can improve academically, socio-emotionally, and/or in civility. Such improvements lead to literate children - literate in reading and in content knowledge. 
Why else? Learning also cultivates such skills as communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking so students can succeed in their future endeavors and in the future.
How? Through teacher clarity as one river bank and knowing one's impact as the other river bank. Once we articulate the intended learning and establish what success looks like along the way, we can ferry back and forth, embedding all kinds of other tasks, activities and strategies to teach and develop the students. 
We monitor students' learning every inch of the way, ensuring impact and ensuring progress.

Here is what I want to convey:

     I want to convey a collaborative spirit around this common endeavor. The work is hard. The direction is genuine. It will truly take every single one of us to receive the message, continue to gain knowledge, and continue to hone our craft, improving ourselves, to in turn, develop and advance our students.

Here is what I want us to do:
    As we rally behind the endeavor, looking to ensure 1+ for each adult and each student, I want us to believe: believe in oneself, believe in each other, believe in the students.


My SMART Goal Setting

Step 1.  Write down your goal in as few words as possible.
My goal is to  “make learning visible” for all students (measured by the growth of students at a .4 effect size or higher).

Step 2.  HOW will you reach this goal?  List at least 3 SPECIFIC action steps you’ll take.

1.      Effective execution of instructional practices (all grounded in teacher clarity) such as checking for understanding, metacognitive, and providing effective feedback

2.      Clearly communicate the instructional vision

3.      Strong presence at the school sites and in PD and at collaboration throughout the school year

4.      Regularly monitor my impact with various data points

Step 3.  Make your goal MEASURABLE.  Add details, measurements, and tracking details.
I will measure/track my progress toward my goal by using the following methods: 
Attendance at the sites, PD and collaboration……..student responses in district walk-thrus…………….teacher and principal responses in the focus –group interviews, and in collaborations, and at PD………….student reading data (growth and achievement)

I will know I have reached my goal when we make incremental growth each trimester in our students reading results, progressing closer toward the end-of-the year academic goal. I will also know as there is a steady increase in the number of kids that can articulate their learning, how they are going in their learning, and where to next?
(Rdg data, cumulative responses to the 3 questions, my calendar, teacher/administrative responses)
I will also know by my follow through to visit school sites regularly, and to regularly attend collaboration and PD

Step 4.  Make your goal ATTAINABLE.  What additional resources do you need for success?
Items I need to achieve this goal: Calendar the collaboration, the school visits, professional development, data analysis.

How I’ll find the time:  schedule walk-thrus each quarter, schedule quarterly professional development, schedule collaboration time to analyze district data, schedule time to provide the feedback, schedule the time to prepare for PD and collaboration, schedule time to aggregate the data.

Things I need to learn more about: Leading and facilitating the strengths and improvement of large organizations around one common vision

People I can talk to for support:  teachers, site administration, superintendent, professional networks, other C&I directors

Step 5:  Make your goal RELEVANT
List some reasons why you want to reach this goal. I am here for the sake of the students.  I want to do everything in my power to ensure our students graduate at grade level reading, writing, and thinking or beyond.

Step 6:  Make your goal TIMELY
I will reach my goal by:  06/05/2018

My halfway measurement will be the walk-thru data and the reading data in January 2018

Additional dates and milestones I’ll aim for: November 2017, and March 2018

MY DATA HALFWAY Through the School Year.

A.) The walk through results as of January:
Teacher Clarity visibly posted
Student Clarity: What are you learning?
Student Clarity: Where are you at in your learning? Or How are you going/doing in your learning?
Student Clarity: Where to next in your learning?
Instruction time devoted to Math and/or Literacy
Depth of Learning

B.) The local reading results as of January:
 K -2 at 20%
3rd – 7th at 10%
8th and 11th at 35% and 40%

C.) My calendar:
I visited schools at least every month. I participated at every collaboration and at every professional development.
You can ask to view it more closely. Just ask me.

D.) Some administrative and teacher responses:
You know your impact.
You believe in collaboration.
 You should stay if you believe in this work and in the kids.
I do not think the district direction/initiative is about learning.
I was not on board at first – I had to find my way.
Let’s stick with “this” for a while so we can get good at it.
I appreciate the district has a vision.
There could be something missing from the direction.
I am not sure I believe in John Hattie’s research
Clarity clears up a lot, lowering anxiety for students and for staff.
Clarity is usually at the crux.
I could use some more support in teacher clarity
There are more strategies besides teacher clarity.
I have seen success. It helped with student discipline too.
PD and collaboration allows for adults to understand what is expected

Some Possible Next Steps:

**Continue to stay current on research in our field of education
**Continue to use the structures and people in place to communicate, communicate the direction and vision – the what,
the why, and the how.
**Continue to lead the way by modeling it myself.
**Continue to look for progress over perfection
** Continue to provide support in any way that I can especially in professional development, collaboration, and workshops.
**Continue to visit classroom and schools, talk with teachers and students, and provide feedback
**Continue to develop a culture of respect and trust, confidence and cooperation.

**Share my plan and data with other collaborative teams and ask their input


Learning made Visible here in Konocti Unified during the Month of December

We look to ensure 1+ years growth, or more, for our ourselves, and for our kiddos, academically, civilly, and social-emotionally.

1.) Teacher clarity (that causes student clarity , depth to their learning, and ownership over their own learning)

2.) Know thy impact (by regularly assessing student progress, formally and informally)

You are welcome to employ other practices in pursuit of ensuring 1+ year's growth in students, academically, civilly, and social-emotionally.

As we know, the teacher is one of the most influential factors on student's education. Students learn when the class and school culture is a peaceful and harmonious place. John Hattie calls this the inspirational and passionate teacher pillar (Hattie, 2009).

While we are focusing on high levels of learning, the positive school and class culture is an ever-present necessary and crucial factor. In talking with students, students mostly know they can count on their teacher as that consistent kind human being in their daily lives. Students know they can make a mistake in the process of learning. Students know they are cared for on an emotional and physical level.

Click on the links below to hear students talk about the power of teacher clarity and student clarity:

Click on the link below to see an example of a classroom demonstrating visible instruction and visible learning right here in Konocti:
https://youtu.be/0crXnxitPwU and  https://youtu.be/Ns3YDhMcA5I

Here are some highlights regarding visible instruction and visible learning

...................as I continue to travel and visit the school sites as well as talk with students and with staff.

** Majority of the elementary classrooms visiting feel welcoming and inviting. The students demonstrate a high regard for the teacher and for their fellow classmates. Students are talking about their learning, excited about their learning, and knowledgeable in their learning for that particular day. Students gracefully supported each other in their learning.

** While not a must, a majority of elementary classrooms visibly posted the learning intention and success criteria for the day. A relevant step in tranfering the goals and expectations of learning to the students.

** In a majority of the elementary classrooms visited recently, class time was dedicated to grade level reading, talking, and writing, or the class time was devoted to math instruction.

Here are some model student response demonstrating clarity, depth, and ownership of their learning........on the trajectory to make one year's growth or more.

Where are you at in your learning? " Learning about point of view from the narrator perspective."
"The book is from a dog’s point of view."

How are you doing/going?  "I am understanding so far."

What do you do to support your learning?"I check for the evidence in the book. I check my answers with the answers on the board."
What is next? "After identifying the story elements from this story, we will write our own story using these elements."

District response/support
Continue to communicate the vision
Continue to provide professional development
Continue witch collaboration
Continue to give feedback especially around the students' understand of the intended learning, around their understanding about their progress in the intended learning, and to the level of depth to their learning.

November 1st and January 31st Staff Development Day

We got mixed reviews from staff regarding the value and usefulness of their specific professional development session on November 1.

I take that feedback seriously in working with the principals and the consultants to arrange a valuable and useful professional development day on January 31st.

Our core business is teaching and learning. As director of curriculum and instruction, collaboration, and professional development should align with our goals and expectations, as well as support the development of us as professional educators. As change agents and life-long learners ourselves, we, too, play an active role in gaining worthy and necessary knowledge from regular collaboration and professional development. 

My personal and professional mission is to inspire, educate, and empower people - myself, kids, and adults. I see collaboration and professional development as one viable way.