April 28, 2014

By Allan  

Hi Everyone,

Ten items of note this week:

• New School Design Updates – There aren’t any meetings until later next month, but attached are the plans that were shared at the last meeting and reference in last week’s announcements. Also attached are two updated library plans (Plan #1 and Plan #2) since then that Julie has been working on with the architects. Be sure to let Julie or your Design Team reps know if you have any thoughts or questions on the library or other aspects of the new building. Lots of great ideas have been shared on the Pinterest page. I also made a board for “Outdoor Spaces” if you come across anything cool for the courtyards, playground, garden, entryway and other outdoor spaces. Follow the Outdoor Spaces board and I’ll give you access to pin to it.

• New Howard T-Shirts are Here! – T-Shirts arrived late last Friday and Lori and Allison sorted them out by class (Thank you!), so they are ready for teachers to pick-up as soon as you’re ready. However, let’s wait until Friday to pass them out. Erin had the great idea of passing them all out at once, having kids put on their new shirts and then taking a picture of the entire school wearing their shirts from the roof! We can plan to do this at the start of the PBIS Dance Party, but I’ll send out details later after I connect with PBIS folks.

Howard blue copy

• PBIS Focus: Positive Attitude – The May PBIS monthly focus is Positive Attitude, so remember the PBIS/CFK Cheat Sheet, which matches our monthly themes with Caring for Kids class meeting lessons. This is an easy way to tie the two activities together.

• 4J Admin Updates – If people are curious about some of the vacant admin positions around the district, a few hires were announced last week. Willagillespie will have David Jacobsen as their principal next year, taking Stella Dadson’s place. David is currently serving as an assistant principal in Chile and previously worked as an administrator in both South Albany and Springfield School Districts. Adams will have Kevin Gordon as their principal next year, taking the place of Cindy Sainz. Kevin taught at Parker Elementary for 10 years and currently teaches in the Junction City, while also serving on the ODE Assessment Team. He and I were also video store clerks together at Super Star Video. At Fox Hollow, Eric Anderson, the current North Eugene HS principal and former principal at Roosevelt, will be taking over for Morely Hegstrom as principal. Downtown also announced that SEHS principal Randy Bernstein will be the new Director of Secondary Education, taking the place of Laurie Moses. That still leaves principal vacancies for Churchill, North, South, and River Road/El Camino Del Rio, along with the Director of HR, Communication, CIS and the new Chief of Staff position all left to be filled.

• Cleaning House – With only 34 student days left in the year and people starting think about packing things up for the year, remember that this is a good time to begin culling old materials, which will save time later when we pack EVERYTHING up at the end of next year.

• Online technology resources – In a sidebar in their Journal of Staff Development article, Kristine Gullen and Tovah Sheldon suggest the following websites for educators:

50 Education Technology Tools Every Teacher Should Know About
13 Free Web Tools Students and Teachers Should Know About
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)

• How to motivate students by making them feel valued, important – It’s common in the classroom for teachers to involve students in the process of putting their chairs on their desks at the end of the day, educator Jim Dillon writes. In this blog post, he shares two scenarios, one in which the teacher asks students to put their chairs on their desks and rewards them for doing so, and another in which the teachers — with the help of the janitor — explains the reasons behind the task and why the responsibility is important. Dillon writes that he favors the second scenario, which turns the chore into a motivating “noble” task.

• How to leverage the interactive power of game-based learning – The principles of game-based learning can help motivate students, suggests Jordan Shapiro, an author and Forbes columnist. In this blog post, Shapiro explains how teachers can implement “gamification” in their lessons. Ideas include using merit badges instead of grades and designing project-based lessons, where students must demonstrate mastery before moving to the next level. “Done well, gamifying the classroom encourages students to be motivated by the excitement of moving on to new challenges,” he writes. And here is a related article that asks the question, “How to make classroom lessons resonate in the real world?”

• Computer-coding curriculum to reach estimated 2 million students – I’m rather fascinated by the idea of teaching students to write code. According to this article, students in 30 school districts nationwide will be learning more about computer coding this fall. Seattle-based nonprofit Code.org recently announced the initiative, which will reach an estimated two million students. Participating schools will use the Code.org curriculum and receive training and mentoring. “This is a transformative moment for public education, where we must develop the ability of our students to learn new things and apply their understanding to solve real world problems,” said Robert Runcie, superintendent of Broward County Public Schools in Florida.

• Schedule of Events for the Week – See the Google Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for this week:

April 28 (M)
OAKS Round 2: Math (No groups)
2:30-3:45, Allan to Title I Principal and Coordinator Meeting (Ed Center)

April 29 (T)
OAKS Round 2: Math (No groups)
10:30-11:30, Apple Visit to iT3 Classrooms
1:30-2:30, Allan to IEP Meeting (Room 20)
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Room 4)
2:30-3:30, Talent Show Practice (Cafeteria)
5:00-7:00, ACE Awards (Hult Center)

April 30 (W)

OAKS Round 2: Math (No groups)

May 1 (H)
OAKS Round 2: Math (No groups)
PBIS Focus: Positive Attitude
8:30-4:00, Allan to Jon Saphier Training (Ed Center)
3:30-4:30, Allan to Staff of Color Affinity Group Work Session (SEHS)

May 2 (F)

OAKS Round 2: Math (No groups)
1:00-2:00, PBIS Reward Dance Party (Playground)
3:30-4:30, Talent Show in Gym (BEST Show Off)

We’re almost done with testing and just seven and a half more weeks until summer vacation!



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