Pride Post #60

I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving Break was grand.  Family, the mountains, elk, and eagles made this a glorious week for Joanna and me.  I look forward to seeing everyone rested and ready (or at least faking it J) tomorrow.  We will meet in Kelly’s room at 8:10 a.m.  We will save the work on planning planning-time for the post-Winter Break work day and use tomorrow to continue our work on clarity.

On a more somber note I wanted to pass along this note from Kevika.

Hi all,

Hope you are well. As many of you know, I spent a couple months last year working with schools in Mumbai. Everyone there is of course in shock and feeling very vulnerable and scared. The teachers have reached out and asked for any post 9-11 resources that might be relevant from them to use as they are trying to figure out how to start talking with their students about the horrifying events.

Any thoughts you have that I can pass along would be much appreciated.


If people have resources or thoughts about how we or the kids could reach out, please pass them on.

Many thanks and much love,


To Dos and To Thinks

* Post an action step in the work room that came out of your one on two.

* Experiment and expand your skillful teaching and learning repertoire.

1. Practice your expanded clarity repertoire.

2. Communicate clear UKDs, agendas, criteria for success.

3. Use a new move to activate students’ current knowledge and uncover their confusion.

4. Plan for and protect summarizing time in your lessons.  Try out one of the new ways we learned to summarize from Friday’s lesson.

5. Plan and perform a think aloud.

6. Use a new check for understanding.

7. Attempt to make student thinking visible.

* Draft your next unit and assessment according to the due dates you established.  Seek feedback from all of the brilliant folks around you.

* Let me know if there are any additions or suggestions for the parent Pride Post.

Ongoing reminders

* Take care of yourself and have fun with kids and teammates.

* Plan and teach thoughtfully.

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. *

This week I will try to…

ì Observe all teachers and follow up on one on two meetings.

ì Write a history of the school for the KPH yearbook.

ì Write Tim Newell’s rec letter for Emory-Riddle.

ì Meet with Ann Bullock to plan our certification courses.

ì Meet with Kelly Wright from KIPP.

ì Plan Friday’s team development.

ì Teach History/Writing to 2013.

ì Participate or help plan weekly rookie, leadership team, KIPP NC and board meetings.

ì Plan for the Jan-Plan Colby Interns.

ì Help establish the TSC.

Upcoming Events and Due Dates

Written Spelling Bee Test

December 2

Rich Barrett (KIPP Sunshine Peak founder and current high school Fisher Fellow) and Kelly Wright-director of KIPP’s School Leader Training visit.

December 2

Meeting with Ann Bullock to plan the umbrella courses for lateral entry teacher licensure.

December 5

Science Department Day

December 5

Semi-final Pride Bees

December 5

Roanoke Rapids Christmas Parade

December 6

School-wide Spelling Bee

December 12

Parent Pride Night

December 18

Last Day of School in 2008

December 19

Winter Break

December 20-January 4

Teacher Development Day

January 5

Students return.

January 6

Maryland Alternative Spring Break trip arrives.

January 14-24

End of 2nd Grading Period

January 16

Grades due

January 19

Grade Verifications Out to Teachers

January 20

Grade Verifications Due Back

January 21

Report Cards Printed

January 22

Beth Napleton and her TFA team from to Gaston for their retreat

The week of February 2nd

DPI team visits for the Title II monitoring visit.

March 10-11

End of 3rd Grading Period

March 20

All juniors take the SAT

March 14

Grades Due

March 23

Grade Verifications Out to Teachers

March 24

Grade Verifications Due Back

March 25

Report Cards Printed

March 27

KIPP Writing Project Meetings at GCP

April 2-5

End of 4th Grading Period

June 5th

2009’s Commencement Ceremony

June 6

Grades Due

June 8

Grade Verifications Out to Teachers

June 9

Grade Verifications Due Back

June 10

Report Cards Printed

June 12

Readings, Links, and Other ways to get smarter

1. Teaching and learning is an art and a science.

Marshall Memo #260 discusses the Japanese schools’ exercises in lesson study.  We are experimenting with elements of this practice and I would love to try more.  Someone on the team mentioned this to me before break and I can’t for the life of remember who.

This article tackles a subject I think about a lot.  How does providing a real audience for kids’ work increase both their investment and understanding?  One thing I like about this article is that it makes the point that providing a real audience (in the form of a class of elementary school children, a parent group, or Internet viewers) is not a nice extra but an essential part of learning.

This is another interesting article from Educational Leadership about how educators should use Web 2.0 tools.

2.      All students leave GCP with the desire and skills to choose the life they want and become the people they want to be.

This is a dense but interesting article on the new literacy required by the shift from text to video as a primary means of communication.  I am still processing but it’s worth some thought and discussion. In a related article, Harvard’s Project Zero (which named the dispositions of critical thinking we reference) is researching the impact of the web and social networks on students’ ethics.

These two articles spotlight some important research about the attitudes towards and consequences of sexual activity at a young age.

3.      The students and teachers are passionate about ideas, their school, their community, and their growth.

Wu and Sonntag saw Ms. Rhee speak in person.  I have no clear opinion about her work in the DC schools but this article nails the essential question facing public schools in our country: “The reform camp, of which Rhee is the new hero, is shot through with divisions. But its members share a few common characteristics, and perhaps the most important is a belief in the primacy of teachers. This sounds banal, but it’s actually quite controversial. Many people believe that teachers and the classroom are only one part of a vast web of relationships and environments that determine educational success.”

This link is required for reading teachers and optional for the rest. Check out this list and not just because the first book is about a cat.  The last book looks particularly cool.

We missed the day but the idea is beautiful.

I shared this article with some of the coaches a few weeks ago.  The follow up story is a marvelous footnote. For Star Player and Scholar, This Game Day Is Different

4.  Our school embraces the idea that this is a long term struggle to build strong people and an enduring community institution.

Struggle and progress in the KIPP nation

Feinberg and Levin make a list of America’s best leaders.


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