Saturday, February 14, 2015

February 13 Professional Development

Wow! Great professional development session with you all. I appreciate the hard work you did, and I am confident your curriculum is making great strides.  I love the enthusiasm and passion you bring to your work.  Your students will be the beneficiaries!  Below are the powerpoint and key documents that we used for our study.  Will look forward to our conversations about Visible Learners and Power Standards next month.


Protocol for Looking at Student Work

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Glad to See You

It was so wonderful to see you all again--and to meet the wonderful new Grand teachers.  While I won't be seeing you until February, please know I am just an email away! Contact me anytime at

Below are the materials that we used in our workshop in September.


Reviewing Your Unit

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Congratulations on a Great Year of Study!

Instructional Goals for Next Year

At our final professional development session, you reviewed the data generated from your survey of instructional practices and identified the following three areas that you would like to study further.  

1.  Accommodating individual differences in learning

2.  Using assessment to support learning
  •           student self assessment
  •           effective feedback
  •           authentic assessment
3.  Expanding skillful use of literacy strategies

Your major focus next year in professional development will be drafting and critiquing two new units as well as reviewing  the work generated this summer by each department. But you can easily begin to explore these areas in study groups and department and building meetings.  These three areas can grow into major areas of study over time as your curriculum begins to come together. Studying instruction as you are designing curriculum allows you to build into your designs the best practices in supporting students' learning.

Our Most Recent Frank Winner: the Fabulous Keith WIlliams

Keith's work with his students caught the eye of Connie Rich who awarded him the Frank award at our final professional development session. Keith's unit combining musical theatre and social justice definitely highlights his creativity. And his skillful service as a team leader reinforces his ability to collaborate. Congratulations to Keith! A real design thinker!

A Wonderful Celebration of GCAA

Inspired by “I am from” by George Ella Lyon.  Created by the students of GCAA.  Arranged by Cindy Kalachek.

                                               I Am From GCAA

I am from the building that stands on Grand Avenue; a structure that was rehabbed, reconditioned and reinvigorated to support all the ideas that thrive inside.  I study in the district surrounded by theater, classical music and jazz, in the shadows of universities and libraries.  The Sun Theater now casts its radiance upon me. I am in awe of its dazzling dimension yet I feel at home in the warmth of the stage lights.

I am from middle school and high school.  I am from book bags, back packs, beakers and ballet barres. I am from document based questions,  thesis driven essays, six-eight time, and three dimensional perspectives.  I am from algebra and arabesques, from grand pianos and marble launchers. I am from Katherine Dunham, Leonardo DaVinci, and Harper Lee. I am from lab-write-ups and saxophones.   I am from  Shakespearean plays and  Newton’s laws.  I am from cylinders and sculptures and similes and scripts and soliloquies and set design and sonatas and subject- verb agreements. I am from designing, observing, tinkering, questioning, reflecting, editing and performing.  

I am from teachers who are artists and artists who are teachers. I am from “5, 6, 7, 8!  Write! Write!  Write!  Create your own ideas.  Point your feet.  Buenos Dias!  Take out your work.  Cell phones away.  Here’s today’s Power Up.  Open your journals.  What you do in this class, you will do on the stage.  Form follows function.  Creative Genius.”  

We will be from colleges and conservatories, apprenticeships and internships, galleries and universities, experiences locally and globally, and we stand under the stage lights, behind the canvas, in front of laptop screens, amid the designs, and next to inspiration.  We are from Grand Center Arts Academy.