Pride Post #73

Dear team,

Last week ended beautifully.  2009 hit 100%. We did some great work with questioning.  Then yesterday afternoon  Monique Turner was offered a full four year scholarship to Wake Forest that includes a summer research stipend.   This is going to be a celebratory spring in the peanut field.

Please take some time to encourage or kids to encourage seventh graders, sophomores and juniors this week.  2014 starts the next round of EOG Writing tests. 2011 takes the NC Writing Test on Tuesday. Then in the main event, 2010 takes the SAT on Saturday.  These are great opportunities for our kids to build Pride and send love across the field.

Enjoy the extra hands this week and take the opportunity to do spring cleaning, organizing, or re-designing.

Much love and many thanks,


Readings, Links, and Other ways to get smarter

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

Check out these tools I found on

This is a cartoon I made on The cartoon itself is weird but the tool is great for kids and teachers alike.

These are posters Mary Dickens made on

This is a witty slideshow by the freetech blogger.

On the front of teachers exploring the digital frontier I want to throw out another shameless plug for

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

Lots of us have talked about developing study skills this year.  Much like analyze or discuss, study is a verb that kids hear a lot without explicitly understanding its purpose or what it looks like when done effectively.  This slideshow (prepared by KIPP Austin) is an interesting tool for teaching kids why and how to study.  Taffie and I bounced around ideas about how to make studying an assessable and accountable part of the homework routine.

The Literacy 2.0 issue of Ed Leadership was enthralling.  Here’s a link and you are welcome, even encouraged to borrow my copy.

Here are a few of the notes and questions raised in this issue:

Everything needs to be taught.  Reading, writing, and thinking are more important than ever in the Web 2.0 world and we need to teach how to apply these skills and dispositions in a world that seemingly has no walls.

We have to figure out a way to teach kids the why and how of research.  There’s compelling evidence that even college level students don’t spend adequate time evaluating web sources.

Most multi-tasking is really ineffective.  “Instant messaging is likely to create a cognitive style based on quick superficial mutl-tasking”.  Our brain usually takes fifteen minutes to get back to where it started before we stopped to check email or send an IM.   At the same time, “multi-tasking is not going away” so how are we teaching kids to handle it? Where do we provide time and space for kids and ourselves to be contemplative?

Plagiarism is a fight that won’t be won unless we start with values. In

reflecting on the ways in which I consistently plagiarize this quote struck a chord, “information slides between web pages to documents, with attribution to happen later and later never comes

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

A study that asserts recess helps kids achieve.  KIPP Lynn uses recess effectively for culture and fitness building in addition to its traditional purpose as stress release and incentive.

Get your GCP photos online. Don’t keep those amazing pictures of classes, Pride times, and trips to yourself.  Share them on our shutterfly account.  I am looking for some high quality shots to frame for the front lobby.  If your shot is selected I will make you a free extra copy;

You can upload your photos at                                        Password: pride

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

Kelly and I were watching a fifth grade Bench owning where instead of the normal questions I ask (Is she sincere?  Have they earned there way off?) Taffie asked, Who thinks Guy earned his way off?  What is your evidence? This is a beautiful example of blurring the line between academics and culture.  I am excited to see our school headed in this direction.

Victoria Bennett hand-wrote thank you cards for sixth graders who had written notes to her. J They received them like autographs from a celebrity.  If our fifth and sixth graders revere their college bound brothers and sisters above pop stars something good is happening.

To Dos and To Thinks

ì Experiment and expand your skillful teaching and learning repertoire.

ì Plan and script purposeful questions.  Try out new language and structures that invite student thinking.

ì Check out the Pride Post for parents and let me know if there are any additions or corrections.

ì Hype (and perhaps even train for) the 5k to kids, parents, friends, and families. Send out Shaif’s invite.

ì Enjoy dismissal at the buses.  The smell of diesel fumes is truly one of spring’s joys.

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

Ongoing reminders

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

* Plan and teach thoughtfully.

* Save $ and resources creatively.  Savings means the paper in the copier, the napkins in the kitchen, towels in the bathroom, and the temperature in our rooms.

* Seek out additional funding and resources. Donorshoose is a great way to make this happen.

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

This week I will try to…

ì Plan for several planning conferences and post-observation debriefs

ì Continue Observation round #6.

ì Participate in recruitment, plant, budget, and leadership team meetings.

ì Teach History/Writing to 2013.  We are starting a second round of debates and would love observers, feedback, and guest judges.  At least come for the “Google makes us stupid” proposition.

ì Continue Work on mastery case study for RBT with Kelly. This week we go to the video tape.

ì Develop Kippster of the Year Selection process.   Still behind on this.

ì Plan an April Fool’s Day prank on the kids.  Any ideas?  Anyone?  Bueller?

ì Follow-up on benchmark meetings with math, reading, and science teachers.

Upcoming Events and Due Dates

FAB (The University of Florida) spring break group arrives.

March 7-14

William and Mary spring break group arrives

March 9-13

The Pride of 2011 knocks out the 10th grade writing test.

March 10

The Pride of 2014 starts acing their second round of writing tests.

March 10-???

Dolan and Barford at KIPP NC board meeting

March 10

Dolan is out.

March 13

End of 3rd Grading Period

March 20

All juniors take the SAT

March 14

Science Department Day

March 20

Grades Due

March 23

Grade Verifications Out to Teachers

March 24

Grade Verifications Due Back

March 25

Report Cards Printed

March 27

The 5K

March 28

Brent Maddin– Director of Teaching and Learning
Teacher U visits.

April 1-April4

NC teaching fellows visit.

Monday, May 18, 2009

2016 EOY Trip

Tuesday May, 26-Friday May 29

2015 EOY Trip

Tuesday May, 26-Friday May 29

2014 EOY Trip

Saturday, May 30-Wednesday, June 3

2013 EOY Trip

Friday, May 29-Monday, June 1 (Williamsburg)

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


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