Friday, January 13, 2017

Our goal is public. Now what do we do?

Our school goal is out there, maybe not with the specifics, but it's out there.  We want to improve our scores on the MAPs Reading test.  Everyone has a part in this.  If you look at our goal chain, you'll see the names of students and staff, regardless of grade or job title.  You all completed your own chain link with your reading goal.  Do you remember what it is?  I remember mine- to write a book.  Now that the goal is out there, I'm sure you'll hold me accountable.  We will revisit our goals with the kids again in February to see how we are doing.  I'll be sharing mine, too.  Here's a photo of our commons after your assistance.
But now the real work begins.  What are you doing to keep our school goal at the forefront with our kids?  Do you model reading, aloud or silently, when the chance presents itself?  Do you sit down and confer with a student about what they're reading, maybe even with an occasional visit to study hall?  Do you encourage reading when students have finished their class work, even if it's for only 5 or 10 minutes?  I am excited to see the results we get from this round of MAP testing.  If our kids make gains, we'll celebrate.  If they don't, we'll need to look more closely at our instructional practices and classroom expectations.  We can do this!

Great things I saw this week...
  • The positive messages that our 7th and 8th grade health students (that's every student in 7th and 8th grade) to highlight kindness and goodness in our school.
  • Students sharing their writing with one another.
  • Collaboration between our 6th graders for their Mars Medical projects.
  • Have you seen the cool things being printed on our 3D printers?  If not, take a walk to the library and take a look!
  • MAP testing efforts by our students due to the environment and expecttions you all provide.
  • Staff stepping up for one another to cover a class or recess (Thanks, Janine!).
  • Students helping one another during Homework Club.
  • Wednesday at lunch, an 8th grader, upon seeing our goal chain said, "Oh.  Now I get it!"  Let's not forget the power of a symbol for our kids.
  • Your willingness to take another risk with something new- Google Team Drive.
  • Two new students joined us this week and bot were welcomed by our students with open arms.  One joined us from a neighboring school and one joined us from Germany (the country) with limited English.  Watching the kids accept our two new students was awesome!
  • My favorite thing I didn't see until Thursday afternoon upon returning to my office following Homework Club.  There was a new link from a 6th grader because after he was F&P tested, he wanted to adjust his goal because it wasn't high enough.  We should all follow his lead.
Monday, January 16th
  • practice 7:00-8:15
  • BLT  4:15-5:15
Tuesday, January 17th
  • Homework Club  4:15-5:15
  • game at North Shore at 6:30
Wednesday, January 18th
  • practice 7:00-8:15
  • cover class  2:30-4:00
Thursday, January 19th
  • practice 7:00-8:15?
  • parent meeting 8:00-8:30
  • students dismissed at noon
  • AV Rover at 2:00
Friday, January 20th
  • Half day here
Tweets, quotes, and blogs

Small Victories (from Pernille Ripp)

Call me Coach (co-writtenn by Dennis Schug, principal from New York, and me)

Next week ends the first semester, the half way point of our school calendar.  Please do me one favor.  On Thursday or Friday next week, sit with one colleague and talk about your greatest moment of the year here at school.  Maybe it's a grade level group, or not.  Maybe it's a content group, or not.  Maybe it's someone you know really well, or not.  Maybe it's me, or not.  Regardless, find someone to share that greatest moment with.  Next week I'll share mine.  We all have at least one thing to celebrate and it's more fun to celebrate with someone else.
Be the one!
Take care of the kids.  Take care of each other.  Take care of yourself.- John Gunnell