Welcome Back

7 09 2013

Hi everyone and welcome back!

Hope you all enjoyed your summer:) It goes so fast, doesn’t it?

As I explained on Tuesday,  I am now at Berner all day but MTRACT is still alive and well. I will be there depending on my schedule after school. Please email me with any needs or concerns or call the office and leave a message at 308-5580. You can always call my cell – email me for the number.

Don’t forget about the collegial circles. There is much to do to prepare our students to succeed with the Common Core and collegial circles are the perfect avenue to work with your colleagues in achieving that goal.

Personally, I was VERY busy over the summer. I’ve told you about LearnZillion before and also told you that I was honored to have been one of the teachers chosen to attend Teachfest last May in San Francisco. My commitment was to create lessons for three math standards. Well, I cannot tell you the amount of work that we put into those lessons as well as how much I learned about creating Common Core lessons. We each worked with a team of 5 teachers from around the country and a coach who had to approve everything we did. The teachers on my team were incredible, as was my coach (even though he put me through the ringer). Once all was approved by our coach, it went to the LearnZillion team for final approval. After spending the ENTIRE summer working on 14 lessons, I can attest to the rigor that goes into creating lessons for LearnZillion and encourage you to take a look at their site http://www.learnzillion.com

You will find ELA and Math Common Core lessons grouped in lesson sets by standard. You can assign a lesson to student and see the results of their practice questions. It’s changed a bit from last year so the Expert Commentary from the teacher who created the lessons is more explicit and includes the research of what standards came before and what this standard is moving toward. There are four fluency and two application questions for each math lesson as well. I didn’t see the new ELA lessons as yet but many of you know how impressed I was with their resources last year.

I’m embedding a video about LearnZillion below that includes some video from Teachfest in San Francisco to give you an idea of the commitment of the staff in producing quality lessons. They are a really impressive and dedicated group who believe in scaling their impact on a daily basis. They will be doing 1/2 hour professional development webinars throughout the year. I’ll keep you posted on that.

I hope you take 2 1/2 minutes to watch the video (if you look really closely, you’ll see me at about 56 seconds in). OH! And by the way, second grade is now included and plans to extend to kindergarten are in the works. High School is also included with the new batch of lessons being unveiled. There will be OVER 2000 NEW lessons created over the summer that will be published within the next couple of weeks. Once again, I’ll keep you posted.

I just caught the tail end of TEACH on channel 2 and it really got me excited about returning to the classroom this year. I’d like to share the end quote by a student.

The question: “What is a teacher?” Her response, “Someone who inspires you to do something better with your life.”

I guess that says it all….

Have a GREAT year,