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December 11, 2015

Keep It or Junk It in a 4th Grade Classroom

This week I had a pleasure of working in Aaron Grossman's classroom. We engaged in 'Keep It or Junk It' using 4th Grade OUT materials on Mountain Men. You can read about  the experience below, where I have copied the post from Mr. Grossman's blog ( roomd4 and an excellent one to follow).

Mountain Men and Keep It, Or Junk It
POSTED ON Today we continued our study of Nevada State History and Mountain Men by employing an instructional strategy called Keep It or Junk It. What made today special is that Kate Crist, an Implementation Specialist with the district, was the lead teacher as we worked with complex text—well above grade level—and identified words and phrases to support the claim that Mountain Men lived of the land and “opened of the West.”
You can look over the resources we are using by clicking here and learn a bit more about Mountain Men for yourself!
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December 3, 2015

Social Emotional Learning and the Common Core: High School Cohort 6

Educators from various Washoe County high schools gathered for their second day of training on Social Emotional Learning. As part of training, they engaged in a session designed to bridge SEL and Common Core instruction with a focus on the instructional move Question Quads.  Materials for the session can be found below.


    December 2, 2015

    Principal's Instructional Leadership Team, Session III

    WCSD leaders gathered this afternoon for the third session of the course, "Principal's Instructional Leadership Team". This year-long inservice supports school site principals and a small team of instructional leaders to collaborate throughout a year of study to develop and articulate a vision of instruction and build capacity for this vision at their school sites. 

    This afternoon's session continued the work started in the previous session, focusing on the role of school leadership in Common Core implementation and tools available to support this work.  Leadership teams began by discussing an excerpted portion of Learning to Improve and later explored content on the Instructional Shifts in Mathematics. Educators then moved to using the Instructional Practice Guides paired with video content, focusing on how to support collaborative inquiry and create a common vision for instruction. Participants ended the session by planning how to implement this work back at their school sites, preparing to facilitate professional learning with their staff using the IPGs & video and conducting observations focused by the IPGs in classrooms throughout their school sites.  Materials for this session are linked below. 

    December 1, 2015

    Social Emotional Learning & the Common Core - Elementary School Cohort 6

    Educators from various Washoe County elementary and middle schools gathered for their second day of training on Social Emotional Learning. As part of this day, Mandi VanDellen and I facilitated sessions to help bridge SEL and Common Core instruction. Mandi's session focused on mathematics, providing the instructional moves Number Talks and You-Y'all-We. The ELA/Literacy session provided the instructional move Keep It or Junk It. Materials for the session can be found below.


    • Math CCSS & SEL Deck
    • ELA/Literacy CCSS & SEL Deck 

    November 19, 2015

    Focus on the Core for All, Session 2 - ELA

    English Language Arts educators gathered Thursday morning for the second session of 'Focus on the Core for All', an Options Area cycle of professional learning designed to support teaching and learning aligned to the CCSS. 

    During this session, educators began by reviewing a modified version of the EQuIP Student Work Protocol, applying print and video lesson materials from a student-led Socratic Seminar in a Washoe County classroom (see materials at teachingthecore.org, search for 'Moffat'). Participants then used the modified protocol to share and review work from their implementation of last session's instructional move, Modified Fishbowl Discussion, and determine next steps when using the instructional move in the future. Participants then engaged in a new instructional move for classroom implementation, Jigsaw Socratic Seminar, and planned for its use with their students. During session 3, participants will again review student work from this latest implementation. Materials for session 2 are linked below. 

    November 5, 2015

    'Focusing on the Core for All' - Session 1 for Math

    Options Area science educators gathered this morning for their first session of 'Focusing on the Core for All', the Options NVACS professional learning cycle for the 2015-2016 school year. This group includes teachers from Options Area schools, Implementation Specialists from MTSS and Student Support Services departments, Student Support Services area administrators, and Options Area school site principals, each of whom has chosen a content focus for the year (English Language Arts, History-Social Studies, Science, or Mathematics). The professional learning cycle for this year builds on that of past years (namely, the High School Core Task Project and Shifting Instruction to the Core) and is focused on supporting teachers, implementation specialists, and administrators in the Options Area to expand and deepen alignment of instruction, materials, and programs Common Core Standards and Instructional Shifts so that all students are prepared for college and career. More details on this professional learning cycle can be found here and linked below.

    The content focus for this third meeting was Mathematics and the session began with a focus on reviewing the alignment of instructional materials to the standards and shifts using the EQuIP Rubrics. Participants then worked in grade-level content groups to engage in an instructional move, Focusing Questions. Finally, participants started planning for implementation of the discussion strategy in their classrooms. To provide evidence of and get feedback on student learning, participants will bring examples of student work to the next Mathematics professional learning session. Materials for the session are linked below. 
    • Presentation deck in PDF

    October 26, 2015

    Instructional Resources at the RVSD Multi-Age Program

    I had the pleasure today of spending time in kindergarten - 5th grade classrooms at the Ross Valley School District's Multi-Age Program (MAP). You can find information on MAP on their website here. This afternoon MAP teachers explored resources to support increased CCSS-aligned teaching and learning in their classrooms. Materials for the session are linked below.




    October 22, 2015

    'Focusing on the Core for All' - Session 1 for Science

    Options Area science educators gathered this morning for their first session of 'Focusing on the Core for All', the Options NVACS professional learning cycle for the 2015-2016 school year. This group includes teachers from Options Area schools, Implementation Specialists from MTSS and Student Support Services departments, Student Support Services area administrators, and Options Area school site principals, each of whom has chosen a content focus for the year (English Language Arts, History-Social Studies, Science, or Mathematics). The professional learning cycle for this year builds on that of past years (namely, the High School Core Task Project and Shifting Instruction to the Core) and is focused on supporting teachers, implementation specialists, and administrators in the Options Area to expand and deepen alignment of instruction, materials, and programs Common Core Standards and Instructional Shifts so that all students are prepared for college and career. More details on this professional learning cycle can be found here and linked below.

    The content focus for this third meeting was Science and the session began with a focus on reviewing the alignment of instructional materials to the standards and shifts using the EQuIP Rubrics. Participants then worked in grade-level content groups to engage in an instructional move, Modified Fishbowl Discussion. Finally, participants started planning for implementation of the discussion strategy in their classrooms. To provide evidence of and get feedback on student learning, participants will bring examples of student work to the next Science professional learning session. Materials for the session are linked below. 
    • Presentation deck in PDF and Keynote

    October 12, 2015

    Principal's Instructional Leadership Team - Session II


    WCSD leaders gathered this afternoon for the second session of the course, "Principal's Instructional Leadership Team". This year-long inservice supports school site principals and a small team of instructional leaders to collaborate throughout a year of study to develop and articulate a vision of instruction and build capacity for this vision at their school sites. The course focuses on identifying and facilitating core instructional methods that promote a discussion-rich classroom where students are accountable for reasoning and application of skills. The goals of this year-long course include:
    • Increase shared leadership and teacher efficacy 
    • Develop a vision of instruction to inform the 2016-1017 school performance plan
    • Identify the agreed upon processes that will shape a culture for student centered learning
    • Clearly articulate best practices for Tier 1 instruction throughout the school 
    This afternoon's session focused on the roles of a school principal in Common Core implementation and some of tools available to support this work.  Leadership teams began by reviewing the norms, goals, and reflected on their work thus far through the course. They then engaged with Riddile's "Five Essential Schoolwide Conditions for Common Core Achievement",  discussing what they can start doing at their school sites to better support the CCSS at their school sites.  Participants later moved to using the Instructional Practice Guides to support collaborative inquiry and create a common vision for instruction, starting by pairing the Guides with videos from Elementary and High School classrooms. Participants ended the session by planning how to implement this work back at their school sites; between now and the third session leadership teams will facilitate professional learning with their staff using the IPGs paired with video and conduct observations focused by the IPGs in classrooms throughout their school sites.  Participants will also read and annotate an excerpted portion of Learning to Improve in preparation for the next session. Materials for this session are linked below. 

    MTSS Session II at North Star Online School

    As part of their ongoing work with WCSD Fundamentals, North Star educators engaged in professional learning this morning focused on MTSS. The session began with an overview of the MTSS system and the bulk of the morning was spent in decision making, as educators reviewed their site-based flowcharts and tier descriptors, determined their consistent agenda & decision rules for data, and began drafting PBIS expectations and matrixes. Materials for the session can be found below. More information on WCSD's MTSS practices can be found here.

    October 9, 2015

    Planning for CCSS-Aligned Teaching: Part II

    As a continuation of last month's post 'Planning for CCSS-Aligned Teaching: Part I', this post is focused planning to use aligned ELA and Literacy instructional materials. 

    When looking for lesson and units aligned to the CCSS, an excellent place to start is with the EQuIP Rubrics. These rubric, developed by New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts with the support of Achieve , can be used to evaluate the quality and alignment of instructional materials to the Common Core. To support a deeper understanding of how the rubrics can support your selection or development of aligned lessons and units, the EQuIP website contains the rubrics (in ELA/Literacy for grades K-2 and 3-12) and feedback forms, an explanation of the Peer Review Panel, and rubric training materials. (There are also EQuIP Rubric training materials available on this blog here and here.) Additionally, there are more than 100 exemplar lessons and units posted to the EQuIP site for you to review, select, and implement in your own classroom.  

    October 8, 2015

    RISE Quarter 2 Professional Learning: Using Objectives to Frame Student Learning

    Teachers at RISE Academy for Adult Achievement gathered this evening for professional learning on the RISE Instructional Expectations, this time focusing on objectives. Teachers engaged with a variety of print resources to collaboratively learn about the purpose and application objectives to support student learning. Materials for the session are linked below. 



    'Focusing on the Core for All' - Session 1 for History-Social Studies

    Options Area educators gathered this morning for their first session of 'Focusing on the Core for All', the Options NVACS professional learning cycle for the 2015-2016 school year. This group includes teachers from Options Area schools, Implementation Specialists from MTSS and Student Support Services departments, Student Support Services area administrators, and Options Area school site principals, each of whom has chosen a content focus for the year (English Language Arts, History-Social Studies, Science, or Mathematics). The professional learning cycle for this year builds on that of past years (namely, the High School Core Task Project and Shifting Instruction to the Core) and is focused on supporting teachers, implementation specialists, and administrators in the Options Area to expand and deepen alignment of instruction, materials, and programs Common Core Standards and Instructional Shifts so that all students are prepared for college and career. More details on this professional learning cycle can be found here and linked below.
     The content focus for this second meeting was History-Social Studies and the session began with a focus on reviewing the alignment of instructional materials to the standards and shifts using the EQuIP Rubrics. Participants then worked in grade-level content groups to engage in an instructional move, Modified Fishbowl Discussion. Finally, participants started planning for implementation of the discussion strategy in their classrooms. To provide evidence of and get feedback on student learning, participants will bring examples of student work to the next ELA professional learning session.
    Materials for the session are linked below. 

    October 6, 2015

    Writing to Sources: Session II

    Washoe County educators gathered again Tuesday evening for the second of a two-session inservice, "CCSS: Writing to Sources". The focus for these sessions is how teachers might better support students to use evidence from text and media to write opinion and informative pieces.  Over two evenings participants will explore the CCSS Instructional Shifts, Standards for Writing, instructional activities, and CCSS-aligned resources that support teaching and learning focused on writing to sources. 

    This second session began as participants collaboratively reviewed their between sessions task (drafts a writing lesson using a resources from session one).  Participants then explored instructional moves to support classroom writing, engaged with the Nevada DOE and SBACC writing rubrics, drafted mini-lessons for writing, and read various published materials on how to better support formative assessment of writing. 


    Materials for this session are linked below. 

    September 30, 2015

    New College and Career Readiness Standards Resources Available on LINCS

    I was delighted to find the following announcement from LINCS in my email this morning:
    We’re happy to announce the recent addition of fifteen resources to the LINCS College and Career Standards Resource Collection. They include eight College and Career Readiness (CCR) resources in mathematics and seven in English language arts/literacy. These exemplary teaching and learning resources were recommended and reviewed by coaches and staff from OCTAE’s Implementing CCR Standards in Adult Education project. You’ll find a range of tools aimed primarily at instructors responsible for providing instruction aligned to CCR standards including some to assist instructors with students with limited English proficiency. 
    These resources complement the ELA/Literacy and Mathematics professional development materials available from OCTAE to support CCR Standards alignment in adult education classrooms and programs. The recently posted teaching and learning resources are sure to be a welcome addition to adult educators nation-wide.

    September 29, 2015

    Writing to Sources: Session I

    Washoe County educators gathered Tuesday evening for the first of a two-session inservice, "CCSS: Writing to Sources". The focus for these sessions is how teachers might better support students to use evidence from text and media to write opinion and informative pieces.  Over two evenings participants will explore the CCSS Instructional Shifts, Standards for Writing, instructional activities, and CCSS-aligned resources that support teaching and learning focused on writing to sources. 

    This first session began as participants used print and video content as well as student writing samples to explore the Instructional Shifts and Common Core Standards for Writing. Participants then reviewed instructional supports to move from reading to writing and an instructional move, Think and Write, that supports students to use evidence from text when writing to inform and writing to persuade. Between this first and second session, teachers will draft (and perhaps teach) a lesson that focuses on writing. 

    Materials for this session are linked below. 



    September 28, 2015

    Student Learning Objectives, Session 2: Learning Content & Assessments at Northstar Online School

    North Star Online School teachers and administrators gathered this morning for their second professional learning session focused on Student Learning Objectives. During the hour together, participants reviewed the expectations for learning content and assessments within SLOs. Materials for this session are available on the Washoe County District Website under the Student Learning Department (protected materials require a district log-in to access). 



    September 24, 2015

    'Focusing on the Core for All' - Session 1 for ELA

    Options Area educators gathered this morning for their first session of 'Focusing on the Core for All', the Options NVACS professional learning cycle for the 2015-2016 school year. This group includes teachers from Options Area schools, Implementation Specialists from MTSS and Student Support Services departments, Student Support Services area administrators, and Options Area school site principals, each of whom has chosen a content focus for the year (English Language Arts, History-Social Studies, Science, or Mathematics). The professional learning cycle for this year builds on that of past years (namely, the High School Core Task Project and Shifting Instruction to the Core) and is focused on supporting teachers, implementation specialists, and administrators in the Options Area to expand and deepen alignment of instruction, materials, and programs Common Core Standards and Instructional Shifts so that all students are prepared for college and career. More details on this professional learning cycle can be found here and linked below.
     
    The content for this first meeting was English Language Arts and the session began with a focus on reviewing the alignment of instructional materials to the standards and shifts using the EQuIP Rubrics. Participants then worked in grade-level content groups to engage in an instructional move, Modified Fishbowl Discussion. Finally, participants started planning for implementation of the discussion strategy in their classrooms. To provide evidence of and get feedback on student learning, participants will bring examples of student work to the next ELA professional learning session.

    Materials for the session are linked below.