February Happenings on the Learning and Teaching Front in Konocti Unified

Knocking on Konocti's Doorstep are the 4Cs  and 1H: Clarity, Challenge, Climate,  Civility and Hope

What is the ripple effect we want to leave on students and adults in our school buildings? 


The Banks of the River at Konocti Unified School District in 2017-18:

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 can be 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 other high-leverage tasks, activities and strategies to teach and develop the students. 
As far as the other river bank, knowing one's impact, we monitor students' learning every inch of the way as knowing the effectiveness of our instructional practice.

How else? Every student and every adult enters the world innately “good”. Students deserve and want at least one go-to adult during their academic career. Educators and educational leaders also merit having at least one advocate/champion during their career in education. As Manny Scott preaches, “even on your worst day, you can still be a student’s (and colleague’s) best hope.” What can this mean and look like? The subtle steps you are already taking and we can continue to take intentionally and cohesively. Having at least one specific student you champion. Having one fellow colleague you check in with, and they, in turn, check in on you. Showing up everyday, being that safe haven and consistent adult for students. Believing in the student when he or she might not yet believe in his or herself by recognizing their strengths, and then leveling up from that point. 

Current Literature

I know there is a healthy inquiry around the research Konocti Unified uses to guide the direction around what works best in education to cause learning at a one year rate or greater. People are welcome to read more about the utilization and implications of meta-analyse studies, why Hattie uses effect size to create his narrative, and how .4 effect size became known as the hinge point to represent one year's growth. The document also offers some current literature by renown researchers in the field of education, not an exhaustive list, regarding what works best in education. You can find the information  at  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rtRiy6TQOS7APuONOVhv932WgRMg0FUmpAmoXsgIcqg/edit?usp=sharin

Local Reading Data Points 

In addition to current research, Konocti also looks to monitor student improvement through the effectiveness of our instructional practice by gathering multiple local measures. I shared a mid-year academic progress check to the school board in January. I used the results of one local reading standardized assessment  to track our progress and achievement. Below are the two charts showing a slice of our current reality in relation to where we are headed.

My discoveries and response to this one reading progress and achievement data point.
I analyzed the data point with the principals.
I listened to and read the notes of teachers interpreting and responding to the data point.
I continue to visit classrooms looking for clarity around the expected learning, depth to the learning, and instructional tasks/activities that involve reading, writing, talking.
 I video tape classrooms and transcribe the clips to use as demonstration clips for teacher trainings.
I look to provide specific feedback to teachers and principals in line with the success criteria connected to the action steps and goals of the district-wide strategic plan.
Occasionally, I step into a classroom where I can practice the instruction of reading and writing or math.
I plan and participate in site and district collaboration, with a deliberate focus on student learning and quality instructional practices.

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