Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Congrats to Our Current Frank Owner

Danielle designed an amazing energizer for us! She was awarded Frank by Fred (or is it Warren?) who received Frank when he offered a fabulous synthesis of the group's thinking about design principles. Remember design thinkers are creative; they espouse teamwork; they are ambidextrous; they focus on the end user; and they are curious. Looking forward to seeing Frank awarded to the next design thinker!

Capturing Our Work in Pictures

                                               You guys are looking good!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Silver Rhino

The competition for the silver rhino trophy is tough to be sure. Currently the scores stand as follows:

purple team   1 point
red team        2 points
pink team      2 points
green team    1 point
yellow team   1 point
blue team      2 points
orange team  1 point

Remember, your team can secure additional  points if you submit a written description of how someone on your team used the ladder of inference or the iceberg model in the work at Grand Center.  This is a fabulous opportunity to pull ahead of the herd!  We need these descriptions for the ebook we are putting together, so the writing serves two purposes.  Write something up: run it by your team, and send it my way!  If you need to review these two tools, I have posted quick reference materials in the resource section.

Andrew's Poster

One of the things several people commented on during our time together was the powerpoint I showed you somewhat incidentally that chronicled the multiple drafts of a young student working to draw a butterfly.  I have attached that powerpoint in the resources for you to use in your classroom if you would like.  Attached also is a poster that Andrew created to help his students think about multiple iterations. Great idea!

Our First Two Days

Well, I have finally settled back into Santa Fe pace, but it took awhile after my two exciting days with you all.  I want to begin by saying thank you for the wonderful energy and thoughtfulness you brought to our time together.  I had a terrific time and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know every unique one of you. I hope you realize and celebrate what a fine staff you are.

Over the next few days I will be posting a few materials generated by our time together and also in response to questions and comments you offered. If you have not yet visited and downloaded the online materials for our UbD book, do make sure you access that.  A couple of you said you would like to see some completed units and there are several from a variety of disciplines located there.

I know you will all be very busy with school starting, but take a couple of minutes to read Culture: The Hidden Curriculum.  It is very short and a fabulous reminder for the beginning of school of the importance of attending to the culture in your building.  And don’t forget to attend to the culture of your own classroom. I encourage you to do one class-building activity with your students every week that will help them form strong bonds with one another.  You can find a sample of these kinds of activities here:   team building  This time invested in relationships pays dividends in achievement.

Also remember, that while you are creating only one unit this year, you can carry over your learning from that work to your classroom every day.  For example, do you have a clear map of what you are teaching at the beginning of the year? Are your outcomes clear?  Or have you assembled a collection of activities that you hope will meet student needs? Remember to organize your assessment tools early in the planning so you can teach toward them.  And try to develop two or three overarching provocative questions with no quick answers that your students can tussle with throughout the whole unit. A few other reminders we touched on last week: As you are planning your teaching strategies, remember the 10/2 rule.  Don’t give students more than ten minutes worth of information without time to process.  They can’t listen to you and process at the same time. Remember also as you assign complex text, give students the upfront preparation they need to be successful.  Finally remember the importance of state changes. Students need periodic changes in the activity and pace of the lesson to keep their minds engaged.

I wish each of you a spectacular opening week.  Now go grow some dendrites!!