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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Good first two days!

It’s great to see everyone back again. You look rested and rejuvenated!

Professional Development Day—From what you are telling me, the process of entering your professional development workshops electronically is going OK. I will look at the requests that were submitted around the first of the week and approve them. After that, I will make going to the pdweb site and examining requests one of the tasks I perform routinely each week. I will also be posting some follow-up information related to the technology session we had on Tuesday.

Accelerated Reader Marking Period Progress Reports—I am placing these in your boxes. As always, this report gives you an at-a-glance picture of how your students are doing. We hope to see % of questions answered correctly at 85% or higher. As the year progresses, your students are hopefully reading more challenging books. Also look at the percentage of students at risk. These are the students who are simply "not with the program." They are either scoring low on tests or are taking far fewer tests than the class as whole.

Failure Lists—I am placing in your boxes what is called a "Failure List." I am giving it to you as an example of one report that can be generated from STI. As a principal, this gives me a list of students who are having problems. I am also sharing the list with Mrs. Ford. As a classroom teacher, you may have been making some sort of list similar to this for your own purposes. Giving this to you saves you from having to compile that list for yourself. I plan to give you a new list each six weeks. Even though it's called a “failure” list, I set things up for it to return any grade of D or F.

Round-Robin ReadingAs I go in classrooms, I find we still have some of this going on. When students take turns reading while the entire rest of the class listens, the time is not being well-used. The only person learning is the one who is reading.

Computer Security—Over the holidays I heard a spot by a couple of guys named Chase and Sam on channel 6. They have a website which is really pretty good in terms of giving you practical stuff. In particular, this page that they have on computer security summarizes a great deal of information in an understandable fashion.

Professional Development—We are our own most valuable critics. This site serves as a self-check for teachers. It was prepared by the University of Victoria. This one may well be worth printing out and rereading periodically, because it is so "nuts and bolts." I would encourage you to pick only one or two points to focus on. It takes MANY applications of a concept before it becomes habit. Replacing even one bad habit (such as staying bound to your desk or lecture) with a good one (circulating among students and providing quick help and direction) can make a major difference for you.

Leave for March 17—I have already had 4 personal leave requests for March 17, which is the last school day prior to spring break. Finding subs when a number of people are out is always a challenge, especially when the same thing may be occurring at other schools.

Next Week
Artist in Residence Continues
Monday
—National "Clean Off Your Desk Day" (There really is such a thing!)
Tuesday
School Renewal
Friday
Accelerated Reader Store

Week After Next
Artist in Residence Continues
MondayNo school (MLK Day)
Thursday
I will be in Tuscaloosa




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