CK-12 a Great Alternative
Check out this 5 min video about CK-12, an open source textbook non-for-profit site.
Today as I listened to some great professional development at Region 16, I was slapped in the face by a truth about a weakness in my life. S.T.E.P.S. is a simple acronym that reminds us how to treat people, and boy did I need to hear it.
S - Smile
T - Tone of Voice
E - Expression/Facial
P - Posture
S - Start putting into others what you want back
This simple idea, from Sid Hurlburt, was something I needed to hear. I confess that I have heard variations of the same message many times, but today it penetrated my moody heart.
So to all who have interactions with me, I confess my weakness, and commit to S.T.E.P.S. Change is hard, requires discipline, and significant effort, but I am publicly confessing because I need all of you to hold me accountable. I place it as a priority to serve our district's staff, students, and community with my best foot forward. I am whole heartily committing to STEPS, and it feels great.
Readiness v Supporting
This image really hit me hard this morning. Supporting standards for our curriculum are meant to be taught early and introduced in earlier grades. Readiness standards are meant to be the majority of the in depth instruction. I had heard many times how the supporting standards make up a smaller percentage of the state assessment, and readiness standards are the majority of the assessment. But shouldn't our focus be on skills, cognitive level, and what is needed for the next grade level, and not necessarily the test results alone. A few days ago I heard Patrick Larkin, a High School Principal at Burlington HS in Massachusetts say, "we could use to get away from the test being the primary focus." Testing is important and TEA and federal government place a high value on the results of the state assessment, but I think we should focus on grade level readiness with high level thinking skills. We need to prepare students for the next grade level by providing them the appropriate content instruction and the correct cognitive level, and the rest will fall into place.
Math Rap - Pi
Also check out the additional raps about math concepts Math Rap You Tube Channel!
Another great Blogger for Math
As of today I have spent nearly 70 hours in our Elementary, Junior High, and High School classrooms, and with an honest heart, I am so impressed with our teachers. I have seen teachers challenge our students at every grade level. I have seen the effort of all teachers to align their instruction with our district curriculum. I have listened as teachers express celebrations of student success and concern about students who are in need of a helping hand. Our teachers are amazing. Their effort should be applauded, and their hearts comforted by the seeds they are planting in the young people of our community. They inspire me!
What I noticed today...
Today as I visited classroom, I got to witness real genius in the classrooms of Childress ISD. I saw a true master of classroom management, so good, that all I could think about was having this teacher share her techniques with the entire district. Then I went into another classroom and witnessed a true master of questioining at a high cognitive level and connecting content to personal experience.
"Techy" Tips for not so "Techy" teachers!
The link below is a blog post from a teacher in Melbourne, Australia. It is a 28 slide presentation on tools for the not so techy teacher. I have not used all of the tools in the presentation, but I have used some of them with a great deal of success. Check it out, it will only cost you a few seconds, but it could change how you do some things in your classroom.
A Fun Blog Post about using Angry Birds to teach Math, History, and Science
Click on the link below and it should take you straight there.
Introducing Salman Khan of the Khan Academy
Below is a link to a video with Salman Khan talking about his site, how it started and where it is today. Just incredible and possibly an insight into the future of education.
Here is the link to the Khan Academy Website which is also below on this page under the Content Resources.
Campus and District Improvement Plans
Campus and District Improvement Plans
Documents that relate to CSCOPE
Purchase Order Template
Results from the 2011 Professional Development Survey.
Class Election Test doc