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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.