Friday, January 16, 2015

January 16, 2015

Crestwood Secondary Schools (7-12)
Twitter: @Crestwood_HS 

Special Events for the Week of January 19 - 25, 2015
Monday:           ISU Extension Meeting - 1:00 p.m.
                          Respect Retreat Planning Meeting - 3:20 p.m.
Tuesday:          CBE Coordinating Council Meeting - 1:00 p.m.
                          "Just for Kix" Halftime Performance at Basketball Game
Wednesday:     3 Hour Early Out Schedule - Teacher Professional Development       
                          Admin Meeting - 7:45 a.m. 
                          CBE Coordinating Council Meeting - 8:00 a.m.
Thursday:         Teacher Leadership and Compensation Meeting - 1:00 p.m.
Friday:              Regional Health Services Meeting - 12:00 p.m.
                          Counseling/At-Risk Weekly Meeting - 1:00 p.m.
                          County Attorney Meeting - 1:00 p.m.

Youth Frontiers - The Character Challenge

New Math Series
Crestwood 6th-8th grade Math teachers have been implementing a new math series this fall.  This past week, Mr. Jeff Blythe, Mr. Jason Sorenson, and Mr. Jerry Steffen presented an update to the School Board on the successes of the program. Harry Kitchen, 8th grade, spoke about the student perspective of the new series. Below you will find videos describing the curriculum made by Crestwood teachers.

Benefits of Math Series
6-8 Math Structure

Strengths and Challenges of Math Series

New CNC Router 
The High School Industrial Technology Department purchased a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Router this fall through Federal Perkins Funding. The equipment arrived this past week. The Router has the ability to design and implement multiple CAD designs.

Midterm Switch
With the weather cancellations to school, midterm will be moved to Friday, February 6.  Grades are due to the office at noon on February 9. 
If further weather cancellations occur, the date of midterms will be reviewed again.

Mid-Year Individual Career Development Plans
Teacher's Mid-Year ICDPs were due this past week. These plans are vital in reflecting on teachers growth and professional learning so far this school year. A benefit to this year's Professional Development Days is the increased collaboration and reflection. Collaboration and reflection are two traits that are vital in a 21st Century Learning Environment. As teachers develop these traits, they are modeling to students how learning should occur.

Updates on Competency Based Education Work
"I Can" Statements and Competencies
Teachers have completed Departmental level "I Can" Statements and Competencies. For example, from the Social Studies Department:

I Can Statements
  • determine a central idea, and analyze how it is developed through details of a relevant document 
  • apply historical background to determine solutions to current issues 
  • manage my time and efforts in a constructive manner 
  • work in a constructive manner inside a group 
  • present information and supportive evidence to listeners and readers in a variety of formats 
  • Present information and supportive evidence in a variety of formats using all technology to communicate appropriately 
  • Work in a constructive manner inside a group by contributing or participating in a meaningful way, to cooperate with others 
  • Cite evidence from multiple sources and points of information by analyzing primary and secondary sources in order to apply historical background in determining solutions to current issues
  • Manage time and efforts constructively in producing a finished product/project to display effective work ethic/employability 
  • To make judgments and formulate decisions, by examining the differences in a variety of peoples/cultures, creating the ability to impact change 
  • Understand the rights and responsibilities of each citizen by demonstrating the value of lifelong civic action in order to be a productive member of society
Authentic Intellectual Work (AIW)
The next steps include the development of rubrics to assess progress towards the completion of the competencies. This will include AUTHENTIC INTELLECTUAL WORK principles. 

Howard-Winn is consistently striving for high educational standards in which students will have the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills to be productive, responsible members of society. It is known that AIW is the “umbrella” that encompasses the direction Howard-Winn needs to take to help meet the objectives of the Iowa Core Curriculum as well as the needs of 21st Century careers. The District follows the Iowa Professional Development Model of theory, demonstration, practice, feedback and coaching. This allows departmental collaboration and cross-curricular planning to develop the skills need to attain our District Goals.

Authentic Intellectual Work (AIW) focuses academic instruction on student construction of knowledge, conceptual understanding, and elaborated communication to answer questions resembling the complex intellectual challenges of work, civic participation, and managing personal affairs in the contemporary world. In contrast, conventional schoolwork is dominated by reproduction of knowledge, covering vast amounts of information with only superficial understanding, and students answering questions they rarely face outside the school.

The three defining criteria are:

1. Construction of Knowledge 
Skilled adults in diverse occupations and participating in civic life face the challenge of applying basic skills and knowledge to complex problems that are often novel or unique.

To reach an adequate solution to new problems, the competent adult has to “construct” knowledge because these problems cannot be solved by routine use of information or skills previously learned.

Such construction of knowledge involves organizing, interpreting, evaluating, or synthesizing prior knowledge to solve new problems.

Teachers often think of these operations as higher order thinking skills. We contend, however, that successful construction of knowledge is best learned through a variety of experiences that call for this kind of cognitive work, not by explicitly teaching a set of discrete “thinking skills.” 

2. Disciplined Inquiry 
Constructing knowledge alone is not enough. The mere fact that someone has constructed, rather than reproduced, a solution to a problem is no guarantee that the solution is adequate or valid. Authentic adult intellectual accomplishments require that construction of knowledge be guided by disciplined inquiry. By this we mean that they: 

Use a prior knowledge base.
Significant intellectual accomplishments build on prior knowledge accumulated in an academic or applied discipline. Students must acquire a knowledge base of facts, vocabularies, concepts, theories, algorithms, and other conventions necessary to conduct rigorous inquiry. Transmitting a knowledge base, along with basic skills, is usually the central focus of direct instruction in content areas.

Strive for in-depth understanding rather than superficial awareness.
A knowledge base of value to students involves more than being familiar with a broad survey of topics. To be most powerful, students must have a complex understanding of that knowledge that helps them gain deeper understanding of specific problems. Such understanding develops as one looks for, imagines, proposes, and tests relationships among key facts, events, concepts, rules, and claims in order to clarify a specific problem or issue.

Develop and express their ideas and findings through elaborated communication.
Accomplished adults in a range of fields rely upon complex forms of communication both to conduct their work and to present its results. The tools they use — verbal, symbolic, graphic, and visual — provide qualifications, nuances, elaborations, details, and analogies woven into extended narratives, explanations, justifications, and dialogue. Elaborated communication may be most often evident in essays or research papers, but a math proof, CAD drawing, complex display board, or musical score could also involve elaborated communication.

3. Value Beyond School 
Value Beyond School refers to real world applications. When adults write letters, news articles, organizational memos, or technical reports; when they speak a foreign language; when they design a house, negotiate an agreement, or devise a budget; when they create a painting or a piece of music — they try to communicate ideas that have an impact on others.

In contrast, most school assignments, such as spelling quizzes, laboratory exercises, or typical final exams are designed only to document the competence of the learner, and lack meaning or significance beyond the certification of success in school.

The call for “relevant” or “student-centered” curriculum is, in many cases, a less precise expression of the view that student intellectual accomplishments should have value beyond simply indicating school success. While some people may regard the term “authentic” as equivalent to education that is “relevant,” “student-centered,” or “hands-on,” we do not.

Value beyond school is only one component of authentic intellectual work. Further, for this criterion we deliberately do not use any of the three adjectives mentioned above. We use it to emphasize not simply activity or topics that may be interesting to students, but those involving particular intellectual challenges that when successfully met would have meaning to students beyond complying with teachers’ requirements.

Intellectual challenges raised in the world beyond the classroom are often more meaningful to students than those contrived only for the purpose of teaching students in school.


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