Friday, January 10, 2014

January 10, 2014

PK-1 Principal/Director of Teaching & Learning
Shirley Sovereign
Twitter:  ssovprincipal
SKYPE:  shirley.sovereign

Apple Professional Development
On Jan. 2nd, teachers participated in training on the use of 1:1 digital devices to enhance instruction in their classrooms. We often refer to the SAMR Model to determine the ways digital devices change teaching and learning. This model helps determine whether the devices are used for substitution, augmentation, modification or redefinition of the learning opportunities for students. One of the goals of the training was to move the use of technology in our classrooms in the direction of modification and redefinition.

What did PK-12 teachers learn in the sessions?
     Elementary Teachers:  Math
          Gain ideas for engaging students in exploring real-world issues
          Experience apps that inspire learning and creativity in math
          Discover Apple resources that support math content and standards
     Elementary Teachers:  Language Development and Literacy 
          Learn how to use the iPad for teaching and learning language arts
          Learn strategies and tools to help students make personal connections to literature
     Secondary Teachers:  Reaching All Learners
          Match the Apple technology tools with the needs of all learners
          Design experiences that scaffold and personalize learning
          Discover Apple resources that support Special Education content and standards
     Secondary Teachers:  iLife/iWork Blended
          Understand iPhoto, GarageBand, and iMovie fundamentals
          Create and share slideshows and storybooks, podcasts and movies
          Explore iTunes U and other learning resources  

Report Cards
Elementary students will receive their 2nd quarter/1st semester progress reports on Mon., Jan. 13. These will be sent home to parents that day.

Mid-Year Assessments
These tests will be given during January 20-31. Students in grades 1-5 will be given the MAPS literacy assessment. DIBELS will be done with students in grades K-3. The mid-year MAPS testing has been added as part of the action plan for implementing the processes of Response-to-Intervention (RtI), which is also known as Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). 

Requests for Attending Conferences and Workshops
Throughout the year, learning opportunities become available for teachers in various grade levels, subject areas and departments. If teachers want to take advantage of these opportunities, they are asked to discuss their request with their administrator at least two weeks ahead of a conference or training. 

AEA Principals and Curriculum Director's Meeting
There were several interesting topics on this month's agenda for administrators.
  • Applications for teachers to attend the Summer Autism Training will be available soon. This training will be held for special education teachers and paraprofessionals June 23-27.
  • Google has made changes to Google Forms. There are several templates that are now available in the Template Gallery for use with classroom walk-throughs, flipped classrooms and to produce surveys. There are tutorials available on the Keystone website under School Technology. 
  • The State of Iowa is creating a database to track the results of audiology screening data, and this will be compiled digitally. It is called the Hear Form Database.
  • There will continue to be a strong focus on early literacy skills in preschool programs with the goal that all students will be proficient in reading by the end of 3rd grade. The last legislative session dealt with several areas, including:  universal screening, progress monitoring, intensive instruction and methods of tracking data. It was mentioned during the meeting that the implementation of RTI has a huge place in the mandates.   
Tour of Lime Springs/Chester Elementary
Teacher representatives from grades K-6 took a tour of the school in Lime Springs this week. The group had excellent questions and discussion during the tour and will be meeting next week for further discussion of the grade/grades that will attend in that building next year.

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