Ideas and successful practices from principals in the Master Principal Program.
First, if any of you are on Twitter...please add me. @mattwright1414 I'm a huge Twitter user. I came across a presentation on formative assessments and it had some strategies that I haven't seen. I shared it with my teachers and they really liked it! I think you can just copy and paste it.https://docs.google.com/a/mtree.k12.ar.us/presentation/d/1nzhdnyMQmio5lNT75ITB45rHyLISHEEHZlHTWJRqLmQ/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000&slide=id.g583166bc_1_11
I also found a link to an article on Edutopia that has helped me as I have worked on bringing in the 8 sectors. http://www.edutopia.org/article/community-business-partnerships-resources?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=roundup-community-partnerships-resources-blog-image
I have shared with my teachers: 11 Habits of Effective Teachers. May you find a way to pass it on.http://www.edutopia.org/discussion/11-habits-effective-teacher?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=discussion-11-habits-effective-teacher-countdown-image
Awesome! This is a great read!
I have been messing around with a matrix to track communication with staff members. My focus is being intentional about who I talk to and the things we keep talking about. I've uploaded it to Google Docs. Here is a link: https://drive.google.com/a/mtree.k12.ar.us/?tab=wo#my-driveThe formatting is off, but it allows you to see what I'm trying to do. Maybe you will find it useful!
Sorry! Wrong link! https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1a3xNvS1ECzHLJnV2_yqjPzg-rjQn6SbFpJVnn8FjHj8/edit?usp=sharing
Great minds think alike .... I have created one too, but I don't know how to use Google Docs :-( or to upload it here. I will have to bring a hard copy example of mine (I use codes) and one of my goals is to learn how to use Google Docs - SOON! :-)
One of my teachers attends the institute, and she shared one of the resources from her first visit to the mountain. The book Mindset was a great read I enjoyed over the Christmas break. I then had my teacher present her work with the book in her classroom to our staff for professional development, and our staff is sold on the importance of this book. If you want to put your school on the track to eradicating a fixed mindset in your students to a growth mindset that says they, too, can achieve great things through hard work, this is the read for you. It's much more involved than that, but hopefully that's a good snapshot that will whet your appetite for more.
Thanks for sharing this resource! It sounds like exactly what I have been looking for! Maybe it will help shift the "mindset" of students and teachers alike!
Going to have to get this book! My staff is currently reading "Teach Like a Pirate". Steph Worthey introduced it to me and it is great!
Thanks, Matt and Karen, for sharing your ideas. I have pulled everything into different windows and plan to look through the articles, etc. after work today and tomorrow. I am excited about looking at the assessment, eight sector, and 11 habits.Here is a resource I found helpful this past semester. The Educational Leadership November issues from ASCD focused on Talking and Listening (the good kind that students do!). There are multiple articles here that I shared with teachers. To sum it up, "The amount of talk that students do is correlated with their achievement." If you have teachers burdening students with unending lecture day after day, what a great read this would be to share as you work with them.
Our staff is currently doing a book study using Eric Jensen's newest book, Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind. Our school is 85% FRL and this resource takes a lot of the theory and research and offers some practical ways to implement strategies in the classroom. It helps teachers recognize behaviors and make plans to appropriately react to those behaviors, both personally and academically.
Hi Michael - Do you have a copy of this book you could bring to the mountain for me to look at? We have done Ruby Payne's Understanding Poverty and staff members still say it is the most powerful book they've read. Marcia Tate is a part of his 'network' and she had two good books - one is Worksheets Don't Build Dendrites and one is Sit and Get Doesn't Build Dendrites (this one is good for ideas to use with our adult learners). See you on the mountain! :-) Sharon Lewis
Thank you for sharing Eric Jensen's book, Michael. That is also the book study our teachers participated in. It was one that was so great, we carried it across all three schools in our district. This was absolutely great in just reminding teachers who our children are that we see in our classrooms every day. We also live in a high poverty area with families that are struggling with many challenges and stressors. We truly have the thought in mind that we do not want any child to fail and so we must become more knowledgeable and utilize smarter strategies. It is such a good book! Meg Barnes
Hello Michael, Our staff will be doing a summer book study using this book. We have created a google doc accessible to all staff to comment and share as they read. We will post guiding questions, and ideas for reflection. The face of Kirksey is changing. We are seeing a steady increase in ELL and SES learners. Our back to school PD will focus on learning for poverty and ELL student. Frontloading my teachers' learning.
In October, I was fortunate to attend the NAESP conference in Orlando. One of the breakout sessions was facilitated by Robyn R. Jackson. She was absolutely phenomenal. I am in the process of reading her book Never Underestimate Your Teachers, Instructional Leadership for Excellence in EVERY classroom. In this book she outlines steps on how to move your school forward by moving the people in it forward; excellent instruction in EVERY classroom. The Will/Skill Matrix is used to determine a teacher’s skill level and prime motivator. Additionally, I tend to access edutopia often. A recent edutopia post was titled 5 Fantastic, Fast Formative Assessment Tools. This link give teachers 5 quick formative assessment tools (http://www.edutopia.org/blog/5-fast-formative-assessment-tools-vicki-davis?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=blog-5-fast-formative-assessment-tools-link) The assessment tool that keeps jumping out to me is the one titled Kahoot. This website allows teachers to create assessments where students can answer using computers, cell phones, iPads, and other devices. You can create flashcards for review, embed videos, and fun quizzes. Additionally, students can also create review games to share; talk about increasing student engagement and application!
Recently, my Literacy Coach shared a book entitled "Lead With a Story" by native Arkansan, Paul Smith, with me. This book , while written from a business perspective, speaks to the power of using stories to engage learners. In his book, Smith uses over 100 ready-to-use narratives organized by 21 tough leadership challenges to help define culture an values; engender creativity and innovation; foster collaboration and build relationships; provide coaching and feedback; and lead change. Smith also provides guidance on crafting your own stories and tailoring each to your specific challenges. Smith has also written "Parenting With a Story," another powerful text with strong educational applications.
Candie,I read the first sentence of your post and stopped. I went to amazon.com, read a few reviews of the book you mentioned in your post, and bought it!!! Isn't it so true that sometimes, as educators and principals (and even teachers), we get caught up in just "getting the information out there" to our staff because we have soooooo much to cover!! Between state mandated PD such as "Suicide Prevention", "Bullying", "Autism Awareness", TESS, BloomBoard, etc., sometime we don't feel like we have time to tell "stories" or follow the railroad track model. I know myself, that I need to stop, slow down, and really determine what my staff will most benefit from.I recently went to an awards dinner with my husband for ABF. I recall the speaker (president) being such a good speaker, although I couldn't pinpoint exactly what it was that captured me. Now, I realize it was because he "lead with a story." Thanks for the recommendation!!
Communication!! Most likely the number one area we as Principals are told we need to do a better job with. So how do you communicate with all stakeholders? How do you eliminate the gruesome steps involved; taking notes, editing notes, printing notes, attaching to an email, sending as a bulletin (what's that? :)), printing and putting in teachers' boxes? I have learned TWO incredible instant ways. EVERNOTE and GOOGLE DOCS! Incredible tools to keep me organized and communicating instantly. Evernote is an APP or web based. I am able to create notebooks for subjects, then use for all notetaking. All I carry is an iPad or Chromebook, all my notes are with me. I can then share each notebook with whomever I choose. GOOGLE; if you are not using google, how are you surving as a 21st century leader?? We have created a Google doc for every TEAM at Kirksey. They write in the doc during daily meetings. This gives each teacher, counselor and administrator instant access. It allows for back and forth communication instantly. We have so many ways we have become more efficient and better timely communicators using GOOGLE it is mind boggling!!! Google classroom, its incredible!! How do you GOOGLE??
Want to learn more about GOOGLE, join us at Kirksey. This is a global event we are honored to host!! Would love for you to join us!!http://rogerscloudcamp.appsevents.com/viennacloudcamp
I read the article 13 Tips to Manage Change on the Education Week website. I love their weekly emails and find that they offer quick bites of information that I can digest on the go! The article can be found at http://bit.ly/1EBmwnZ and offers tips on how to manage change in a school. I agree with most of the suggestions but the idea that changes need to have a "systems" approach resonates with me. I also totally agree that we need to have those "paradigm shifters." Without our speed boats, change might be rather slow.
Part of my staff did a book study on Mindsets in the Classroom by Mary Cay Ricci. This book is about building a culture of success and student achievement in schools. This book really opened the eye to my teachers. They began to think about the terminology they use with students. For example if a child finished an assignment first did they make that child feel they might be smarter then the student who finished last, but still did the assignment correct. This book will be the driving force for changes that will be made in the building next school year.
Stephanie "LeAnn" Helms"It takes a whole staff and community to educate a middle school student."---I base this off of an African ProverbI have had the honor of returning to my homeschool and working at the high school level as a teacher and being moved to the middle school as principal. I was not excited about the move at first but along the journey, I fell in love with Middle School. I am sharing an article that was recently published in the local newspaper. If you are a new middle school principal, remember it is okay to just stop and dance. I have learned that middle school students need to know and understand that I/we love and care about them. Tuesday, May 26, 2015By REVIS BLAYLOCKManila Middle School Principal LeAnn Helms and some of her students celebrate achievements.It has been a four year climb but it has been worth it as Manila Middle School has been named one of 67 achieving schools in the state, receiving an "A" rating.Principal LeAnn Helms said the middle school teachers and students have worked very hard over the last four years getting the middle school out of the needs improvement status. The great results came from the 2013-2014 test scores."This is based on students and teachers understanding the importance of growth," Ms. Helms said. "It is all about growing kids."The theme last year during the testing time was "In It to Win It" and that is exactly what they did.Ms. Helms gives the teachers, students and parents credit for the success.Manila Middle School has 310 students in the fifth through eighth grades with a 30 member staff."Middle school is all about living outside of the box," Ms. Helms said.State Representative Dave Wallace visited the Manila Middle School last week to offer his congratulations to the students and staff for reaching their goal.Ms. Helms has served the middle school for four years, principal for three. Her goal has been to not only educate the students but allow them to have fun along the way. She has taught students the joy of education."I've learned it is sometimes okay to just dance," she said.Over the last few years several robotics teams have been formed and the students have won several awards in robotic competition.Helms has instilled a sense of school pride and community pride in the middle school students. Each month students participate in a community service project.Math and literacy have been double blocked and it seems to be helping.For two years all of the middle school students were treated to a trip to the space camp in Alabama. They have done well in the quiz bowl teams, chess team and entrepreneur business competition.Manila Middle School was honored at the National Middle School Conference."Middle school is an amazing age," she said. "Students are finding themselves and it is up to us to give them many options. One African proverb says it well. 'It takes a whole staff and community to educate the whole middle school child.'"It has been a good year for Manila Middle School but Ms. Helms will not be stopping there. She will continue to inspire, encourage and lead the students to set and accomplish higher goals.
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by the work that you weren't sure if you made a difference or not? I recently received a letter from a staff member that is leaving our building. It really made me reflect on the work I am doing with others. To make a long story short.....This staff member is extremely laid back. I knew she would eventually move on, not because she doesn't love our school, but because keeping her energy in one place is like caging a bird. Some of the things she had to say stopped me dead in my tracks. She said she was struggling to say goodbye to me, a big surprise to her, because she just accepts things as part of her "journey". She said I had "been much more than a principal, take every opportunity to teach others around me, listen when they need to talk, shoot a look when they are being ridiculous, and leading by example". She said I had created a "beautiful, loving, and balanced atmosphere in our building". She said other things in her letter, of which I won't continue to bore you, but that really made me stop and think.... First, WHO in the world is she talking about? Did she confuse me with someone else? Then, I realized, she was really talking about me. Then, I thought.... What if I had approached the job differently? What if I had continued to let the job overwhelm me and not pay attention to the little things? Her letter made me realize that we DO in fact have to pay attention to those "other sides of the railroad tracks", things I haven't always been great at, as they fall into the "feelings" side of things. LOL! However, as we said when we were teachers, we are the "decisive element"...and we influence the lives of so many others, good or bad, and sometimes we don't even know it. Needless to say, she has inspired me and changed my outlook on my role.
In posting the above, I forgot to post the resource I wanted to mention. I just finished reading Closing the Attitude Gap by Baruti Kafele. This book is excellent because it talks about the "other side" of the railroad track, the relationships side. The main points in the book are: believing in your students, really KNOWING them, caring about them, providing them with an environment of excellence, and letting them know who you are. I guess this letter and book struck such a chord with me because they are essentially saying the same thing. We are all humans. I think these things are not only important for our students, but also for our staff, especially if we are in schools where we are trying to change the culture.
Thanks for sharing your insight about this resource - on my list to access. I heard Baruti Kafele last summer at the AASCD conference in Hot Springs. He is very passionate about his work and his talk was excellent. He truly has made a difference for many - especially young African American males.
2015 Crew, how are you? Here is a time management recording tip: Justin Baedar at Principal Center recommends Todoist. Ease of use and a simple way to record our time before session twohttps://en.todoist.com/
Thanks for the resource John! I hope you have had a great beginning to the new year!
Currently reading Pure Genius by Don Wettrick....HIGHLY recommend! I would also encourage you to join #leadupchat a Twitter chat on Saturday mornings at 8:30 am #gamechanger!! We also have an ALA Phase 1 2015 Voxer group (we welcome principals from all phases!) set up; If you are interested in joining let me know!
"Double Jeopardy" (How Third-Grade reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation) written by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 2011 is an article we studied a few years ago as a school faculty. I have to recommend it, especially to Elem. level folks. The article is rich with data and research on the need for early intervention if we are to keep these kiddos from falling through the cracks. We continue to refer to the article years later as to where we need to allocate the bulk of our resources to make the biggest impact on our student's individual trajectory.
Book Talk – 21 Trends – Out of the Trenches and into the future (Gary Marx)“An interesting thing happened on the way to accomplishing our plan. The world changed.”This particular book had relevance way back when I read it in the Form titled 10 Trends... Gary Marx makes the connection and application to education quite well in both. It behooves us to be on top of the emerging trends as educators... so often we are too far behind the curve or too late to the table. Marx makes his points in precise ways concerning the obvious trends with technology, as well as the implications or the begat(s) from those emerging trends. It all starts with the differences in the generations that exist in our society today and takes you on a quick 300 plus pages (really) through all the emerging trends relevant today and in the near future.
I am reading Contagious Culture by Anese Cavanaugh. So far, it is excellent and aligns with our work to develop our leadership capacity. The work begins with me - and improving myself. The subtitle for the book is: show up, set the tone, and intentionally create an organization that thrives. This resource is very timely as we are supporting our teachers and staff in moving from "survive to thrive" in our work. I have not finished the book, but already have begun to think of more ways to "be the change" through my Intentional Energetic Presence.
Great article - made me think more about ways to inspire a school-wide learning environment to better encourage and support "teacher agency". The article is from Learning Forward and National Commission on Teaching and America's Future - from 2016: Moving from Compliance to Agency: What Teachers Need to Make Professional Learning Work - http://learningforward.org/docs/default-source/pdf/teacheragencyfinal.pdf
21c Learning: Dr. Gina Hogue, Associate Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at Arkansas State University, recently hosted a screening of "Most Likely to Succeed" by Dr. Tony Wagner a documentary detailing the changes that need to take place in education. The school that was highlighted in the documentary is revolutionary and changed my outlook on twenty first century learning. The following link contains more information about the film including hosting your own screening: http://www.mltsfilm.org/
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After attending Session I of ALA this summer, I had several thoughts about how my teachers could make the first day different for the students. At the first faculty meeting we discussed a variety of things that might change students' attitudes about first day. Our plan was put into action. On the first day each grade level developed a theme/quote to live by during the year. All students collaborated and prepared their presentation. During the last period we had an assembly. Each grade did their presentation for the rest of the student body. We had a wide variety of presentations from skits, songs, raps, posters, dances, banners, and each group had a theme related name. The students were so proud of their presentations. Some hung their banners and posters out by their rooms as a reminder of the message they wanted to project during the year. The teachers incorporated those leader skills with their students and it has continued, in various ways, throughout the first weeks of this school year.
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