Pride Post #81

Sometimes an article skips out of the link section to the top of the Pride Post.  There couldn’t be a timelier bit of research for us.

This ACT paper (excerpted in Education Digest) reports on a study of the correlations between six factors and students’ college success. See if you can guess which is most important:

–          Background characteristics: gender, race/ethnicity, parents’ education, income, home language;

–          8th-grade achievement in English, reading, math, and science;

–          High-school courses – the highest level of non-advanced, non-honors courses taken;

–          High-school advanced and honors courses

–          High-school grade-point average;

–          Student testing behaviors – did students re-take ACT exams?

Researchers found that the second factor was by far the most important predictor of doing well in college. “Compared with 8th-grade academic achievement,” write the authors, “the predictive power of the other factors we examined was small, and in some cases negligible.”

We are at the point in the year where for the majority of kids desire and focus will make all the difference.  What is the motivation for each individual kid to double check their math, look back in the passage, or dig deeper into memory and recall their science vocabulary?  This impetus will come from multiple places.  It may be the note you write, the encouragement you whisper, the fussing with love that you deliver.  Best of all it may be the proof you offer when you remind your kids how far they have come this year.

Part of what makes me continuously grateful to work here is that we choose to do so many things that aren’t part of any job description.  Thanks for digging deep and pushing, pulling, prodding the kids towards incredible growth while keeping eyes on the bigger prizes.

Many thanks and much love,


P.S Go Music Department !!!  Phenomenal stuff.  Can you imagine how Woodley feels to have taught Allen?

To Dos and To Thinks

ì     Experiment and expand your skillful teaching and learning repertoire.

ì     Hype 100% Saturday School attendance. This is the last one and we want our attendance to be awesome.  Find a way to mention Saturday school everyday.

ì     Observe a teammate.  Observation is inspiration.

ì     Let me know if there are any additions or corrections for the PP.

ì     Send some love to the KPHS kids acing the AP tests.

ì     Please post your dance, Signing Day, or Saturday School pictures.

Ongoing reminders

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

Plan and teach thoughtfully.

Save $ and resources creatively.  Shut off your AC and lights each night.  Every penny counts.

Seek out additional funding and resources.

This week I will try to…

ì      Observe and prep notes for EOY meetings.

ì      Do 8th/9th observations.

ì      Help with Algebra prep (and learn all the Algebra One I never knew).

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

ì      Write thanks to board for billboard, signing day hype seniors.

Upcoming Events and Due Dates

Victoria Bennett presents her Senior Project to the GCP and KPH staffs

May 15 at 4:30

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

Readings, Links, and Other ways to get smarter

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

The article in Marshall Memo about how to collect and share innovative teaching ideas is an important topic.  How are we going to capture what works and share it in a serious and systematic way? We have progressed from re-inventing the wheel each year to some capture and collection of units and lessons but there is a long way to go.  This undoubtedly feels like more on an already spilling over plate.  The benefits of sharing and organizing the amazing work teachers create far outweigh the cost.

There’s another great article in the MM about teaching kids how to think about ethical dilemmas.  The author describes the gaps between what we teach and the behaviors we witness and lists some ways we can work to close the gap.

We are developing a partnership with Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina and our kids need to know that this resource out there to answer their questions.  Anyone who has sat in on sex ed classes at the middle or high school knows that the extent of kids’ misconception is life threatening.

For the adventurous this article links to a guide on how teachers can make their own web videos.  We need to have some GCP lessons on youtube besides Shaifer doing the stanky leg.

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 article discusses how to improve your power of concentration.

There’s an important article in the Marshall Memo that examines the best techniques for remembering information.  This ties into the thread of research and experience that says we need to teach kids how to study effectively.

Mr Rabinowitz thinks this quote is a good one for teaching kids to laugh off gossip. : “The mind that’s conscious of its rectitude, Laughs at the lies of rumor.” – Ovid.

As we think more and more about how to decrease the summer learning gap here’s a blog post about how to get kids reading during the summer. Get Your Students to Read During the Summer James Kim and Thomas White of Harvard University conducted an experiment to see whether summer reading helps improve test scores and whether it can be a factor in closing the achievement gap between minorities and white students. An ASCD blog post describes how the researchers think the lull in academic activity in the summer causes a decrease in literacy skills. Based on their experiment’s results, Kim and White concluded that support from teachers and books assigned to students that align with interests and reading levels can help improve student test scores and reading comprehension. The post also asks readers whether they assign summer reading to their students and allow them to choose their own books. View the post.

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

From Mr. Wu

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;

  1. 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.

I stumbled across this in my favorite basketball blog.  May not seem like a basketball topic, but it is. This is smart guy Geoffrey Canada, speaking at a New Yorker event: “Bankers get fired, people who fail poor black kids don’t.”


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