February 18, 2013

By Allan  

Hello Everyone,

I hope you all had a nice three day weekend, even though it was a wet one.

Thirteen items of note for this week:

• March 1 PD Day, 8:30-12:30 – Equity and Data Dive – A week from this Friday will be a Howard PD day. We’ll be meeting in the morning for an equity training (hopefully from Carmen Ubina. She’s still waiting to confirm the date.) and then taking an in-depth look at our student data, focusing primarily, though not exclusively, on our school-wide and classroom benchmark data.

• February PTO Meeting Tuesday – A quick reminder that this Tuesday is the February PTO meeting if are any staff members able to join me at the meeting. It’s always nice if we can have staff representation there besides myself!

• Literacy Night Dinner Orders – Look for an email later this week once I nail down details for the staff meal people helping out at Literacy Night. I was originally thinking Wayback Burger, but they weren’t able to give me a good enough deal, so I’m working with Soup Nation to see what they can give me. If all else fails, I’ll fall back on the old reliables Burrito Amigos or Pegasus Pizza. Feel free to weigh in if you want to sway me one way or another. Stay tuned!

• Student Headphones Order – A couple teachers have expressed interest in using their classrooms funds to purchase student headphones. These headphones are Labsonic Personal Stereo Folding Headphones and have worked well for some other schools. Title 1 has already ordered some if you want to see them in person. The prices get cheaper the more we order, so if you would like to spend any of you classroom funds on headphones, let Lori know by the end of the week.

• Facilities Bond and Technology Plan – There’s not a lot of detail in this email, but I thought I’d share with everyone an email from Peter Tromba with a general overview of how the district is planning to spend Facilities Bond money, if it passes, dedicated to technology purchases.

• OBOB Final Battle this Thursday – This Thursday is the final Howard OBOB battle to see who will represent us at the OBOB regional battle. The regional battle will again be held at North Eugene High School on Saturday, March 9th. Stay tuned for more details!

• Staffing Survey Due, Monday, February 25th – If you haven’t done so already, please return your staffing survey to me by Monday, February 25th. You can reply to me via email or by returning a hardcopy to my mailbox (although I prefer email).

• Help Name the Moons of Pluto! – Images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2011 and 2012 revealed two previously unknown moons of Pluto. So far, SETI has been calling them “P4” and “P5”, but now it’s time to give them a proper name. By tradition, the names of Pluto’s moons come from Greek and Roman mythology (SETI learned from NASA’s mistake of letting people do write-ins), and are related to the ancient tales about Hades and the Underworld. Follow this link if you think your students might enjoy helping pick their new names.

• Free Run, Jump Throw Activities for Youth – Here’s a fun free activity for kids ages 5-12 you could mention in your classroom newsletters or tell your students about. It’s a free track and field clinic coached by UO and OTC athletes on Saturday, March 16th, 10:30-11:45 at Hayward Field. See the flyer for details.

• Five Free Web 2.0 Tools to Support Lesson Planning – The job of lesson planning can be made a little bit easier if teachers use Web 2.0 tools, according to consultant Lisa Michelle Dabbs in this blog post. I was familiar with Pinterest, the virtual pinboard that allows educators to access visual, clickable resources they can click and share, but was not familiar with the other sites, including Edcanvas, Livebinders, Storybird and VoiceThread as resources for lesson planning.

• How Is Creativity Killed? – Here’s a very smart article from Yong Zhao, a recent addition to the UO College of Education, who thinks U.S. education risks importing China’s creativity gap by adopting test-centered curriculum, pedagogy, and policies. He’s also written a book I liked a lot on this topic, Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization.

• Making sense of popular teaching methods – There’s a lot of talk about problem-, project- and inquiry-based learning, but how do you know the difference and understand what will work best for your students? This blog post, offers a cheat sheet for these teaching methods, along with examples and tips. For example, teacher Heather Wolpert-Gawron used project-based learning in which her students sought to have a broken school bell repaired.

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

Feb. 18 (M)
Presidents Day – NO SCHOOL

Feb. 19 (T)
7:30-7:55, Allan to Mid Year Evaluation Meeting
11:00-12:00 OBOB Practice (Room 2)
2:30-3:30, Staff Meeting Meeting (Library)
6:00-7:00, PTO Meeting (Library)

Feb. 20 (W)
Exclusion Day for students without up-to-date vaccinations
12:15, Allan to Formal Observation Post-Conference
2:15-3:15 Taking it Up Meeting (rescheduled so Carmen to Casey to attend)

Feb. 21 (H)
9:00-11:00, Allan to Superintendent’s Cabinet Meeting
11:00-12:00, OBOB Final Battle (Gym)
3:30-4:30, Allan and Carla to Caring for Kids Coordinator Meeting (Ed Center)
7:00-8:00, Arts Umbrella String Academy Concert (Kelly MS)

Feb. 22 (F)
Book Fair Preview

Have an excellent week, everyone!