Amy Griffin's Blog

Duke Pride and Service

 
Prek Students ready for Duke  Pride Day!
 
As you will read in the CuCPS Highlights section, last week was busy and exciting as students learned in classrooms, participated in athletics, and served the community.  I am most proud of Mrs. Fleischman's students who participated in the third annual Day of Service to commemorate September 11, 2001, by building and maintaining the Cancer Survivor Garden at Bear Creek Lake State Park. 
 
Meet two new members of the Ag Program, Bo Peep and Fudge Brownie.
 
It has been busy and productive in the new Agriculture program. The students have named the pigs, Durham and Duchess.  There are also two new members, Bo Peep and Fudge Brownie. The new program is quickly coming together!  Mrs. Talbott attended the Farm Bureau meeting last Monday. Farm Bureau members have graciously donated $350 for FFA jackets.  Mrs. Talbott and I also attended a Farm Bureau Young Farmers gathering on Sunday and learned about Allendale Farm. The Hatchers, owners of Allendale, are innovators in producing high-quality hay.  It was interesting to hear about their farm operations and the lobbying efforts of the Farm Bureau. It is wonderful to know that we have a wealth of experts and resources in Cumberland to support this new program!
 
CuCPS Highlights:
 
 
  • Mrs. Fleischman's class participated in the 3rd annual Day of Service to commemorate 9/11. Students have been building and maintaining the Cancer Survivor Garden at Bear Creek Lake State Park for three years: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/environmental_education/stewardship.shtml.
  • Thanks to the Cumberland Farm Bureau for generously donating $350 to purchase FFA jackets.
  • Guest motivational speaker, John Mallon, spoke with students this morning about "Life After High School".
  • The CHS Golf team defeated Amelia (195 to 211), but was very close to beating the host team Nottoway (185-195). The team was led by: Chase Grubbs (42), Tyler Shores (43), Thomas Huddleston (51), Francisco Sustaita (59) and Dustin Clark (62). The Dukes continue to have the most wins ever by a CHS Golf team. The golfers will be preparing for the Conference 44 Tournament that will be held in 2 weeks at The Manor in Farmville.
  • CMS Lady Dukes Volleyball defeated Prince Edward MS:  2-0, 25-10 25-12.
  • CHS Varsity Football defeated Rappahannock County HS, 58-6.
  • CHS Varsity Volleyball defeated Randolph Henry, 3-2. 
  • The Girls Cross Country Team traveled to Prince Edward and performed very well. Top performers were Ebony Jones, Marya Elasha, and Carmen Meachum. The Boys Cross Country Team went to Richmond and competed at Collegiate against mostly 5A and 6A schools. The Dukes were led by Jared Halvorsen, and Matthew Bapties with personal best times, and strong performances by Brenton Morris, Joe Kingsley, John Ryan Bapties and Ja’Quan Brown. 
  • The Athletic Department celebrated Senior Day for Thomas Huddleston, Tyler Shores and Francisco Sustaita. The Duke Golfers played well against Bluestone and Randolph-Henry. The team was led by Chase Grubbs (41), Thomas Huddleston (50), Tyler Shores (51), Francisco Sustaita (59), and Dustin Clark (64).
  • Dr. Jones, Mrs. Ford, and Mrs. Pearman attended the VDOE Rural and Low Income Conference in Roanoke with National presenters, Dr. Margarita Calderon and Elma Noya.
  • Check out articles about CuCPS in the Cumberland Today:  http://issuu.com/cumberlandtoday/docs/20140910_ctt/1?e=2346192%2F9284662
  • Ms. Whittaker and CuCPS are featured on the VDOE webpage: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/
  • With all the information on the news about Enterovirus, below is a link concerning the symptoms and prevention of Enterovirus. CuCPS will be taking extra precautionary steps in prevention by: reminding everyone of the importance of hand-washing and not sharing food or drink; wiping down furniture, keyboards, and toys more frequently; and reminding everyone to stay home when sick. The transportation and food service staff will also be taking preventative measures.  http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/EV-D68.html

Events for the Week:
  • Wednesday
    • No School for Students: Professional Development Day for Teachers
    • 6:00 p.m.:  Algebra I, Geometry ,and Algebra II Family Math Night
  • Thursday
    • 6:00 p.m.:  CCES School-Home Connection:  "Got Scores....What's Next?"

http://www.vachildrensbookfestival.com/

 

 

A Growth Mindset

 

I enjoyed my visits in elementary classrooms last week. I saw evidence of the math plan that works in 3rd and 4th grade classrooms. Students were engaged, enthusiastic, and critically thinking as they completed the problem solving activities in collaborative groups.  In a 3rd grade math class, I saw students working in pairs on a place value game that also had students engaged, using math vocabulary, and problem solving.

 
In a 4th grade language arts class, students were using higher level thinking as they developed questions from a story they had read. In social studies, students were working in collaborative groups developing informative posters of the regions of Virginia. Students used a rubric and each had a responsibility for a part of the poster.
 
 
Dr. Lisa Meyers spent two days at CCES last week. She emailed to thank me for sharing our students and staff with her. She praised our teachers and administrators for their willingness to work with her. She also praised our students. She wrote, I fell in love with your students. They are so kind and so sweet and so hungry to learn. This is music to my ears! This validates my feelings about the CCES students and staff-- from the support staff, to the teachers, to the administrative team!  Thanks, CCES, for continuing to grow.  I see a growth mindset in both our students and staff. A superintendent couldn't ask for much more!
 
For more information about a Growth Mindset, research Dr. Carol Dweck.
 

2014-2015 Senior Banner

CuCPS Highlights:
  • 5th graders participated in DARE with Sheriff Hodges.
  • Freshman Class Officers: President: Darius Kyle; Vice President: Olivia Sims; Treasurer: Christian Allen; Secretary: Caylor Scales
    SGA: President: Alexa Massey; Vice President: Taneijha Hampton;Treasurer: Trevon Foster; Secretary: Brenna Halvorsen
  • Cumberland Middle School Volleyball defeated Prince Edward MS 3-0. 
  • The Duke Golf Team defeated Buckingham, but lost to Bluestone in Appomattox. They were led by: Chase Grubbs (40), Tyler Shores (45), Thomas Huddleston (51), Francisco Sustaita (62). 
  • Varsity & JV Volleyball defeated Nottoway HS.  

  • CHS Boys & Girls Cross Country Teams did very well at their home match. They celebrated their Senior runners: Annesha Harris, Karli Raby, John Ryan Bapties, Joe Kingsley, Brenton Morris & Delante Trent. The Boys Team finished in 2nd place overall with Jared Halvorsen finishing 1st with a new sophomore course record, followed by teammates Matthew Bapties (3rd ) and John Ryan Bapties (4th). The Girls Team finished in 3rd place led by Marya Elasha and Annesha Harris with strong showings yesterday. All of your runners performed very well in the warm conditions. 
  • Congratulations to the CHS Golf team for their victory at home. They defeated Prince Edward and Amelia. The Dukes were led by: Chase Grubbs (41), Tyler Shores (49), Thomas Huddleston (46), Dustin Clark (62) , and Francisco Sustaita(65). The Dukes Golfers have set a new team record for victories in a season with 3 matches to go. 

The CMS football team had their first win last week!
Events for the Week:
  • Monday
    • School Board Meeting
  • Tuesday
    • Administrative Council Meeting
    • Board of Supervisors Meeting
  • Wednesday
    • Interims

New additions to the Ag program!

Around the Clock

 
School bells ring around 3:00 p.m.; however, as I leave a middle school volleyball game at 5:00 p.m. to attend a meeting, there is still hustle and bustle throughout the complex and on school grounds. What some don't realize is that this is the case every weekday and on weekends.Young people are everywhere participating in volleyball, band, cross country, drama, football, and the list goes on and on.  Teachers, staff, and administrators are here after-hours coaching and working with students and/or cheering them on as they participate in the various activities. They are here not because they have to be here, but because they want to be here.  They care.
 

Although I know this happens daily, it always amazes me as I see it in action. Cross-country students running in the halls or around the grounds, drama students practicing on the stage, sweaty football players giving it their all, and parents proudly watching their children. It is a wonderful sight to see. Cumberland County Public Schools is truly the center of the community--  a mecca for learning and a place for bringing people together.
 

CuCPS Highlights:
  • Congratulations to the 2014-2015 CHS Class Officers:
    • Senior Class:  President: Brenton Morris; Vice President: Kevin Huddleston; Secretary: Sarah Massey; Treasurer: Colby White;
    • Junior Class:  President: Dakoda Boyles; Vice President: Tina Eubank; Secretary: Melissa Gilliam; Treasurer: Jada Harris; and
    • Sophomore Class:  President: Kaylah Paras; Vice President: Allison Gilbert; Secretary: Shakiera Branch; Treasurer: Demory Williamson.
  • The CHS Golf Team finished 2nd to Central and defeated Nottoway in Victoria:  Chase Grubbs (36), Tyler Shores (43), Thomas Huddleston (50) and Francisco Sustaita (57). 
  • The CHS Golf Team played very well against Randolph-Henry and Buckingham. The golf team was led by: Chase Grubbs (39), Tyler Shores (51), Thomas Huddleston (55), Francisco Sustaita (62) and Dustin Clark (74).
  • The CHS Boys Cross Country Team did very well in Amelia. They finished 3rd overall. Jared Halvorsen (2nd place), Matthew Bapties (3rd place), John Bapties (5th place). The Girls Team ran hard but did not place.
  • The CMS Volleyball Team did well against Nottoway (2-2).
  • The CMS Football Team did well against Prince Edward in their first game ever! 

Events for the Week:
  • Thursday
    • Lisa Meyers at CCES
    • 6:00:  Senior Parent Night
  • Friday
    • Lisa Meyers at CMS

Kindness

 
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. This is the quote painted last week on the new Buddy Bench that the Little Duke Leaders will place at the CCES playground.  The Buddy Bench is a way to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. It makes me so proud that these young children can have such compassion for others. They are truly an inspiration for us all.
 
 
We held the Longwood Partnership Orientation last week.  Participants decoded CuCPS, learned about 21st Century Learning, and unpacked standards.  It was wonderful to see real classrooms examples of 21st Century learning as we took the Longwood students for a tour through CMS and CHS.  Two examples included work in Carpentry and comic strip design in Civics. 
 
 
We received exciting news that CHS has been awarded a 21st Century Community Center Grant.  This grant will assist in providing STEM (STEAM, adding art) initiatives for our students.  We plan to explore robotics, 3D Printing, a Maker's Space, and much more!
 
CuCPS Highlights: 
  • The CHS Football Team won their scrimmage against Hargrave Military Academy.
  • The CHS Golf Team won their match against Prince Edward and Buckingham. 
  • German math teacher, Chrisoph Rohlfing, visited CHS last week.
  • You can see Ms. Whittaker at the White House: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeokPT06dr8&feature=youtu.be&list=UUYxRlFDqcWM4y7FfpiAN3KQ.
  • Chase Grubbs was selected as a standard bearer for both the Men's and Women's US Open during the 2014 Opens at Pinehurst #2 in North Carolina. Notable PGA/LPGA members that he worked beside include: Rickie Fowler (#13 in the world), Zach Johnson (2007 Masters champion & #11 in the world), Kevin Streelmen (#43 in the world), and Ryan Palmer (#49 in the world), and for the women Na Yeon Choi (2012 U.S. Women's Open champion & #20 in the world ), Angela Stanford (#12 in the world), Sakura Yokomine (#42 in the world). Mr. and Mrs. Grubbs were selected as US Open Marshals for both the men's and women's Open this past June being assigned to hole #16 for both weeks. 
 
Events for the Week:
  • Wednesday
    • CMS Football Game at 6:00 p.m.
CuCPS Schools and Offices will be closed on Monday, September 1, 2014, for the Labor Day Holiday.
 
 

Differentiation: What Is It?

 
I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend after a great first week of school. Saturday, I canoed down the James River from Columbia to Cartersville. I have to say that we live and work in a beautiful place. In the midst of daily activities and routines, I sometimes forget that I have so much to be thankful for -- and living and working in Cumberland are truly things that I appreciate. I am also thankful for all the work and preparation from the entire CuCPS faculty and staff that made our opening so smooth and positive. It was wonderful to see all the smiling faces and children eager to learn as they began the new school year. 
 
 
As we work toward designing lessons that meet the diverse needs of our students, differentiation is expected. This summer the differentiation graphic above came through my Twitter feed several times.  I find it to be very informative on what differentiation is and is not.  I have also copied and pasted a list from the blog post, www.edudemic.com/what-differentiation-is-and-is-not .
 
Differentiation IS…
  • An idea as old as effective teaching
  • Lessons designed around patterns of student need
  • Use of whole group, small group, and individual tasks based on content and student needs
  • Necessary for success with standards for a broad range of learners
  • Valuing and planning for diversity in heterogenous settings
  • Purposeful use of flexible learning
  • At the core of quality teaching
  • Teaching up
  • A student focused way of thinking about teaching and learning
  • Designed to address learning and affective needs that all students have

Differentiation IS NOT…

  • Tracking or grouping students into classes by ‘ability’
  • Incompatible with standards
  • Ability grouping within a classroom
  • Dumbing down your teaching for some students
  • Something extra on top of good teaching
  • A set of instructional strategies
  • Mostly for students identified as gifted
  • Mostly for students identified as having learning challenges
  • IEPs for all
  • Individualized instruction
  • A synonym for group work
 
 
CuCPS Highlights:
 

Events for the Week:

  • Monday
    • 9:00-3:00 Head Start Open House at CCES
    • Insurance Open Enrollment Meetings
      • 8:30 Transportation Dept
      • 3:30  All other CuCPS Faculty and Staff
  • Tuesday
    • Head Start Begins
    • 10:00  Administrative Council Meeting
    • 5:30  CHS Informational Meeting on Puerto Rico Trip
  • Thursday
    • Longwood Partnership Orientation
  • Friday
    • Longwood Partnership Orientation

Welcome to the 2014-2015 School Year!

 
 
The first week of school is always an exciting time of year.  It is a time for new beginnings, renewing friendships, and learning new things. It was very evident at Open House how eager the students (and their parents) were to get back to school.  As we begin the new school year as staff and students, let's commit to the following:
  • Treat each other with respect and kindness;
  • Have high expectations for yourself and others;
  • Set learning goals;
  • Have a strong work ethic; and
  • Produce quality work.

We had great pre-service days with teachers and staff and have started the school year well prepared.  I know it is going to be an outstanding and successful school year!

 
CuCPS Highlights:
  • We had an exceptional turn-out for Open House.  I have to give a special thanks to CCES staff, division custodians, central office staff, Colonial Webb, and county maintenance that worked to open CCES. It was a tight timeline, but everyone pulled together and got the job done!  It is amazing what can be accomplished when there is focus, teamwork, determination, and hard work!  
  • A special thanks goes to the Cumberland Ruritans for the annual lunch and door prizes. It is nice to know that we have support from leaders in the community.

Events for the Week:

  • Monday
    • First Day of School for Students
    • August School Board Meeting
  • Tuesday
    • Board of Supervisors Meeting
  • Friday
    • Longwood Lab School Meeting
    • Volleyball and Football Scrimmages

2014-2015 Convocation: Down on the Farm!

 

 

I enjoyed seeing everyone today at Lunch and Convocation, especially while you participated in the Barnyard Sounds activity, Family Feud, and the Chicken Dance! Again a special thanks goes to Mr. Brandt and our food service workers, the custodial staff, and Central Office staff for providing such a good time.  My comments from today are below:

 

Five things come to mind as we move forward as a school division.  Each one of us must...

 

  • Believe in and work towards a common mission: At Cumberland County Public Schools, this means ensuring that each and every student becomes a successful 21st Century learner, worker, and citizen;
  • Support the mission with passion, persistence, and dedication;
  • Face the brutal truth, even if it hurts;
  • Celebrate accomplishments; and
  • Celebrate the struggles and challenges, because struggles and challenges become opportunities for growth and learning.  Some of the best and most meaningful experiences come through this.

This summer, the administrative team has reflected and wrestled with issues such as:

 

  • Fixed v. growth mindsets: Do we truly believe that each staff member and every student can grow?
  • Instilling a strong work ethic and quality work in students, staff, and each other;
  • Providing an education for ALL students; and
  • Our own shortcomings in ensuring quality.

We discussed how to support staff so that we have prepared students.  We heard from teachers that they needed more time for collaborative planning, so 1/2-1 day a month have been provided in this year's calendar.  We heard that teachers wanted more support in reading and math instruction, so we have outstanding consultants in reading and math to assist teachers K-8 for the entire school year.  We also heard that more instructional time was needed in K-8 reading and math; therefore, schedules have been adjusted.

 

We have many accomplishments to celebrate as we open the school year:

 

  • CHS is Fully Accredited having significant growth in math and graduation rates.  They have shown that significant growth is possible through focus, teamwork, and hard work.
  • CCES had an overall increase in reading levels.
  • The Little Duke Leaders presented on service learning at VSBA and has been highlighted several times in the Farmville Herald.
  • Ms. Whittaker will be recognized at the White House next week for winning the Presidential Environment Education Award.
  • We have a new Agriculture program at CMS and CHS.
  • For the first time in many years, we were able to add needed positions this year.
  • Student enrollment has increased over the past year.
  • And of course there is much more that has been highlighted throughout the year in School Board meetings, Facebook, our webpages, local papers, and my weekly Blog.

With our accomplishments, we have some brutal facts and challenges to face this school year:

 

  • K-8 reading and math 
  • At all levels, ensuring all students are achieving.  There can be no excuses for not doing so.

I am confident that we will overcome these challenges because we have you--a staff that will face these challenges with passion, confidence, commitment, and courage. You have already begun meeting the challenges by attending summer professional development, developing new ELA Pacing Guides, and working on curriculum alignment.  To move forward, we must have have high expectations for our students as well as for ourselves.  

 

Another brutal fact is that we will always have to work hard; education will never be easy.  But just know that the product of that hard work is the education of a child which provides him/her opportunities and a foundation that he/she would never have without us.  It is well worth it!

 

I look forward to working with and supporting each of you as we ensure that CuCPS is all ABOUT students, preparing them to be successful for life-- academically, socially, and physically.

 

As Ron Edmonds said, 

 

We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us. We already know more than we need to do that. Whether or not we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven't so far.

 

 

Events for the Week:

 

Monday:

8:00-3:30  K-8 Math PD
8:00-10:00  Transportation PD
11:00-1:00  CuCPS Faculty and Staff Lunch/Convocation
 
Tuesday:
8:00-3:30  K-8 PD
 
Wednesday:
12:00 noon  CEA Lunch
 
Thursday:
12:00 noon  Ruritan Lunch
3:00-7:00 grades 5-12 Open House
5:00-7:00 grades Prek4-4 Open House  (This is a change)
 
Friday:
12:00  CuCPS teachers may leave, schools will remain open
 
Monday, August 11, 2014:  First Day of School for Students
 
 

 

Celebrate the Accomplishments and the Struggles

 
Celebrate the accomplishments and the struggles. As teachers officially report for the 2014-2015 school year this week, we have lots of accomplishments to celebrate. We also have some challenges ahead.  Dan Mulligan says that we must see struggles and challenges as opportunities. Lasting and authentic learning comes through struggling and overcoming challenges. This summer, our teachers and administrators have been growing professionally and learning best practices so that ALL students learn and achieve in Cumberland County Public Schools.  We have spent the summer learning how to analyze data for learning, develop pacing guides, align assessments, and implement researched-based strategies. I look forward to working with and supporting our staff and students for the upcoming school year. I know together we will make a school division that is FOR and ABOUT students!
 
 
CuCPS Highlights:
  • CuCPS was well represented and recognized at the VSBA Conference on Education!  The Little Duke Leaders presented on service learning and student leadership; Mrs. Jamerson and Dr. Jones participated in the Partnership Fair; and CuCPS was awarded the VSBA Food for Thought Award for Wellness and Physical Activity. The conference was attended by Mr. Reid, Mr. Dowdy, Dr. Jones, Mrs. Jamerson, Mrs. Gills, the Little Duke Leaders, and myself. We were joined by Farmville Herald reporter, Ilsa Loeser.
  • CuCPS commends 10th grader, Delante Street, for advancing to the 2nd round of the television show, "American Idol". Delante and his mother will be traveling to Kansas City on August 11th for the competition. If successful, he will be heading to Hollywood!
  • CuCPS is proud to announce that Ms. Angela Whittaker will be recognized at the White House on August 12, 2014, by the EPA Office of Environmental Education and the White House for being a Presidential Environmental Education Award winner! We are so proud of her!
  • Dedicated teachers attended Phase 2 of Assessment Alignment last Monday and Tuesday.
  • Mrs. Gills, Dr. Jones, and myself attended a Data Workshop in Roanoke last Thursday.
  • Dr. Ross, Dr. Jones, Mrs. Tillett, and myself attended the What Works Conference at Hampden-Sydney College on Friday.

Cumberland Middle School Football practice has begun!
 
 
Events for the Week:
  • Monday
    • Administrative Council Meeting
  • Tuesday
    • 8:00-3:30:  New Teacher Institute
  • Wednesday
    • 8:00-3:30:  New Teacher Institute
    • 10:00:  Mentor Training
    • 12:00:  Mentor/New Teacher Luncheon
  • Thursday
    • 8:00:  All CuCPS Teachers report to Schools
    • 1:00:  Division Special Education Teacher Meeting
  • Friday
    • 8:00-3:30:  K-8 English/Language Arts Professional Development
    • 8:00-3:30:  Food Service Staff In-Service

Busy Times!

 
Last week was full of exciting opportunities for our students and staff.  We began the week attending the Moton Museum's Brown Bag Lunch series. Betty Scales and Kern Gilliam spoke about the desegregation of Cumberland County Public Schools which began almost 50 years ago. The dialog from these trailblazers and discussion that followed were both informative and eye-opening.
 
 
Students completed summer school, the Longwood TAG Summer Program, a Dual Enrollment Economics and Personal Finance course at Longwood University, and the Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge. CuCPS staff participated in numerous professional development including the SREB conference and a Hummingbird Robotics Workshop with ITTIP. The first Agriculture Advisory Committee was held to assist with launching our new Agriculture program at CMS and CHS.
 
 
CuCPS Highlights:
  • Summer School concluded with representatives from the Cartersville Volunteer Rescue Squad, the Volunteer Fire Department, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, Fish and Game, and the National Guard. Students learned about the function of community organizations and equipment required to perform the community service. Students climbed the rock wall with the help of the National Guard SFC Jay White.
  • Mrs. Page and Mrs. Barr attended a workshop working with hummingbird robotics with ITTIP. The mission of ITTIP is to transform teaching and learning in K-12 classrooms through the use of technology by providing high-quality professional development for educators, in order to maximize the learning experiences and opportunities of K-12 students for a globally competitive workforce.
  • The Piedmont Community Supporters awarded five $500 scholarships to graduating high school seniors of 2014. Pictured (L-R) are Leah Whitehead (Randolph-Henry High School), attending Southside Virginia Community College; Shaterra Walker (Prince Edward County High School), attending Radford University; Kailyn Harris-Gilliam (Cumberland County High School), attending James Madison University; Sam Back (Randolph-Henry High School), attending Southside Virginia Community College; and Malcoln Tillerson Jr. (Prince Edward County High School), attending Bridgewater College.

 
Events for the Week:  CMS Football practice starts today at 5 p.m. Activity buses will be leaving Country Corner Store in Cartersville and JR's in Farmville at 4:30 p.m., practice will end at 8 p.m. 
 
Teacher Flex Workdays begin this week.
  • Monday
    • Region 8 Aligning Assessment PD: Phase 2 (Elementary)
  • Tuesday
    • VSBA Conference on Education
    • Region 8 Aligning Assessment PD: Phase 2 (Secondary)
  • Wednesday
    • Data PD in Roanoke
    • 14-15 Bus Routes Published
  • Friday
    • What Works Conference at Hampden-Sydney College

Junior ROTC cadets attended JCLC (which stands for Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge) Eagle at State Military Reservation Pendleton, Virginia Beach, VA.  The four cadets are, from left to right: Taylor Wright, Reese Summerall, Chris Giles and Caleb (William) Kinney.

Thinking Outside of the Venn Diagram

 
 
 
I enjoyed working with math teachers and principals last week during the Region 8 Math professional development with Dr. Dan Mulligan.  We learned to Celebrate the Struggle with deepening student understanding of math standards.  Dr. Mulligan provided us with many resources, strategies, techniques, and tips for working with students.  I have added the presentation and resources from the workshop to the Teacher Drive.  I have named it, Dan Mulligan Math Workshop.
 
I am unable to mention all the wonderful brain-based strategies and recommendations provided during the workshop; however, I will mention a few that I took note of, none of which appeared difficult to implement:
 
  • We need to give students "rehearsal" time instead of "think" time when asking questions. Rehearsal time consists of giving a student time to talk about the answer with a partner before anyone answers in whole group. This significantly increases participation and engagement with all students.
  • For students who are struggling or from poverty, vocabulary is the key to the kingdom.
  • When imagery is used with vocabulary, student achievement has risen 37%.
  • Interactive Notebooks, especially with the use of a glossary, are good for math vocabulary development.
  • Kindergarten is the new 1st grade
  • Math teachers need to incorporate reading strategies for vocabulary in math questions.
  • For justification and higher level thinking, Math and Number Talk are important (referenced Marilyn Burns).
  • To increase rigor, ask a second question.
  • Relationships are key.
  • Student self-assessment and correction are necessary for the deep understanding of math concepts.
  • School divisions need a common Prek-12 vertically articulated problem solving process.
  • Create is the verb used most in the essential knowledge and skills of the math standards.
  • Writing should happen in all content areas, including math.
  • Always give students a purpose for completing any activity.  This includes reading a math problem.
  • When using a Venn diagram, always give examples that do not fit into the diagram (leaving items outside of the Venn diagram).
  • When planning instruction and developing assessments, look at the weight of strands.
  • Students need to use yellow highlighters for highlighting important vocabulary, etc.
We participated in many hands-on, higher level activities for math that can be found on the Teacher Drive.  Teachers that attended the workshop will be provided time to share what they learned with other math teachers when we return to school so we can see these great strategies in our classrooms. 
 
A quote shared by Dr. Mulligan.
We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us. We already know more than we need to do that. Whether or not we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven't so far.  -Ron Edmonds
 
 

Events for the Week:

  • Monday
    • 1:00 Administrative Council Meeting
    • 4:00 Little Duke Leaders Presentation to Administrative Council
    • 7:00  July School Board Meeting (Closed Session at 6:00)
  • Tuesday
    • 10:00  Agriculture Advisory Committee Meeting (LPJ)
  • Wednesday
    • Last Day of Summer School