White Pine staff Jayne Sherbeck and Jennifer Gronski presented their take on the “Zeroes Aren’t Permitted” concept they use on their team. In a ZAP program students are given levels of intervention to get their work in to the teacher. Parents are told about the program through a letter sent home by the teaching team. Students get a ZAP form each time they have missing work. If they get “Zapped” they can come in before, during, or after school to make the work up. The number of ZAPs diminishes over time when students realize that teachers are following through on the program. “Lunch Buddies” are students pulled from lunch to eat in a teacher’s room and complete missing work. The school counselor takes these kids twice a week to spell the teachers. Pink sheets are given to students to remind them to show up to their before/lunch/after school work session. After school sessions are held 2-3 days a week with certified personnel staffing the session. Teams communicate with the after school team through folders and notes. The end of each team’s day is spent in GYST (Get Your Stuff Together) where they get 15 minutes to complete any missing work, or get help from a teacher. If all the work is in, they can study, do SSR, or that day’s homework. The driving idea is to get them ready for the next day’s work. For students needing more intervention the team prepares an Individual Student Accountability Sheet. Students with D’s or E’s in their Core classes are put on the sheet and the team records what they’ve done to assist the student that week. It includes things like parent phone calls, emails, parent meetings, and their attendance in the ZAP program. Each team has a “redo” policy. If the student turns in an assignment, just to turn it in, it gets returned until it is up to the teacher’s standards. Students doing poorly on tests must fill out a retake form which includes making a plan to study to retake the test, not just retaking the test because that’s what they’re supposed to do. They have to show how they’ve prepared for the test or quiz. Their grading program is automatically set up to send an email to the parent notifying them if their student’s grade falls below a C-. Students receive weekly parent communication sheets listing the assignments from the previous week from the Team. Students can return the sheets to their teachers for classroom points. Any student not returning a sheet receives a call to their parents. Some students participate in “Study Island” where they receive MEAP style questions in subjects in which they need additional work. Completing sections of the program gets them blue ribbon recognition in the hallway. There’s more to the program than what’s listed here and you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
If we keep adding stuff to the show, we’re going to be well into a 2 hour podcast. With all the news that’s coming along I could keep putting off my MAMSE notes forever. It took a long time to get through our NMSA 08 wrap-up! Considering that, here’s part of my MAMSE wrap-up for MAMSE 09.
This year’s conference was held in Saginaw Township and one of Michigan’s Schools to Watch. Lots of cold weather this year countered by warm friendships. In no particular order, and I’m sure I won’t have all the ones I attended, here are the sessions I attended.
Central Michigan’s Center for Excellence in Education: Instructional Strategies to Support Differentiated Instruction by Polly Matyorauta & Pat Benson. This was a well done presentation on strategies used to support differentiated classroom instruction on the fly. Those of you who are familiar with Kagan Structures will recognize some of these.
- 30 Second Speech – After a reading or presentation of new content, students are asked to create a short 30 second speech to deliver to one other person in the classroom.
- Air Traffic Controller – The teacher poses a question but before taking responses assigns numbers in which the answers “land” and then goes from response to response withholding any teacher feedback after each response.
- Attention First – The teacher can reclaim lost chatter time by using a physical cue to indicate that attention needs to come back to the teacher.
- Corners – Students select a corner of the room to discuss a particular topic or aspect of the reading or presented information. For example, a teacher might put four quotes around the room and allow students to select the quote they want to discuss before coming back to their desks to reflect or write about the quote as a prompt.
- Graphic Organizers – visual frames to organize information.
- Metaphorically Speaking – Students are given objects and then asked to come up statements from the learning that use the object as a metaphor. For example, the Scientific Method is like a Road Map because it provides a path to help me find solutions. (Ok, I shouldn’t be giving the examples on this one . . .)
- Minute Fingers – While students work in cooperative groups, sometimes they need more time. The teacher can ask the groups to come to an agreement on how much time they need (which can also be zero) and then hold up the number of fingers indicating the amount of time they want.
- Most Important Point (MIP) – Students summarize the class period on a sticky note and post it on the wall or door as an exit ticket as they leave for the day.
- Quiz-Quiz-Trade – This is a Kagan Structure where students write down a question from the content on a 3 X 5 card with the answer. They pair up and each asks their questions. Whether they get it right or wrong, they trade cards and then find new partners.
- Say Something – Students pair up for a reading. One student reads for a bit and then the other summarizes what the first student read, switch roles.
- Show, Don’t Say – When the kids are in cooperative groups, don’t just tell them how much time they have left. Tell them they have “this many minutes” left, and hold up a number of fingers forcing them to look at your hand to see how many minutes are left.
One of the pieces they used that I kept and didn’t turn in was a reflective writing sheet. In a square at the top of the page was typed, “What Squares with my thinking?” Halfway down the page was written, “What’s still circling around in my head?” At the bottom of the page in a triangle they put, “Three points I want to remember from today.”
Events and Happenings:
- Book sale! NMSA is having a clearance sale until March 31st.
- Book sale Part 2! AudibleKids is having a kids book sale this weekend. Go to kids.audible.com for free downloads. (Note: Saw this on Fox and Friends while channel surfing this morning. The site is being bombarded so I can’t do much verification on this. Caveat Emptor.)
- NMSA’s Middle Level Essentials Conference April 23-24, 2009.
- NMSA ‘08 Technology Focus Video. This video spotlight focuses on the building of the technology demonstration classrooms at last year’s Denver Annual Conference.
- Educational Technology Leadership Conference, June 24th at Holt High School, Holt, MI. Register for the event now and hurry to get your presentation proposals in before the deadline!
- Any information on the Ontario Middle Level Association? Their site has gone dark and we hope this does not mean the demise of the Association.
- NMSA ‘09 Invitation Video: Indianapolis, IN Conference November 5-7, 2009.
- ATTENTION Michigan Association of Middle School Educators & Friends: MAMSE is putting together a bus for the trip to the National Middle School Association’s Annual Conference in Indianapolis, IN this fall. Ride down to the conference in a luxury bus with satellite access for Twittering, Facebooking, and other 21st Century technology access for less than $100.00. With all the conversations with middle school teachers on the bus, I wonder if we could call this a mini-MAMSE conference? There’s nothing like getting together with people who love the people we love: our students. (Some of you thought I was going to say something else!) Getting together with folks like that is energizing and priceless. Email Teresa Sutherland for information and details. Don’t forget to mention you heard about it on Middle School Matters.
- The National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform will be holding their annual conference in June. See the flyer at their website for details.
- Free Professional Development through Webinars! NMSA is offering previously recorded webinars for free from their website.
- Classroom 2.0’s Live Calendar.
- Classroom 2.0’s Ning Blog: This week’s discussion is on the uses of Podcasting for Teachers. Archived content is available.
- Second Life:
- No Events specified. Regular Tuesday meetings are scheduled. See the board on the ISTE Island for up to the minute details.
- Video: Educational Uses of Second Life
- Land of Lincoln is hosting a talk by Ioseph Mikoyan on Civil War Artillery. The event will be held in the army camp on Lincoln on Saturday, March 21, at 5pm slt. Joe is a member of a real life artillery reenactment group, with a wealth of knowledge about artillery practices during the War. This will be sure to be a fascinating lecture, complete with period slides in illustration.
- From the Twitterverse:
- From GardenGlen’s blog: Promethean users, I just discovered that free OmniDazzle (Macintosh) http://url.ie/1b8p works w/ #INSPIRE flipcharts, I like “Comic” so far
- From edupreneur: “Earlier this month, we released the findings of our first online survey of education communicators. The results were both informative and interesting. The full results can be found here — blog.educommunicators.com/2009/01/12/the-results-are-in-2008-educommunicators-online-survey.aspx The highlights include:
* Educommunicators are interested in sharing best practices and exploring ways to effectively use new media* Email is still the most effective way to communicate* Finding the right message remains our primary challenge in our daily practice* We’re looking for ongoing information on the issues and tools affecting our jobsThe primary question, now, if what do we do with these results? How do we use these findings to help build a better online community, a place where marketing and communications professionals in the education community can find real value and can make a real contribution? These are questions I and the Educommunicators board have been wrangling with for the past week or so.Based on these findings and the insights individual Educommunicator members have provided me over the past few months, Educommunicators is committed to moving forward the following goals in 2009:* Establishing an email list (or a Google group) that allow us to easily circulate information across the group and encourage our hundreds of members across the nation to share and contribute on topics and issues important to them* Collecting best practices. Now is the time to send along your case studies, your stories, and your experiences so we can begin collecting a database for all to learn from.* Strengthening relationships with other organizations, particularly NSPRA and EWA, to help supplement the services and information they are providing their members* Providing primers and tools on effectively using new media, conducting media relations, and enhancing community relations as part of our jobsOne of the first steps will be to take the contact info for all of those engaged through Facebook, LinkedIn, and other sources and combine them into one comprehensive e-mailing list. If you know of others who should be on that list, please share their contact information.As you know, Educommunicators is a social networking experiment. Its success depends on the involvement and interaction of our members. We need you to participate. We need you to share. We need you to be part of the solution. Over the next month, we will build the email list to begin this discussion. In the meantime, please send along your case studies, examples of good work, campaigns, websites, and anything else you think members will benefit from. It will then fall to the Educommunicators board to ensure they are properly shared and used to build a foundation for improving our craft and improving our industry.Email anything and everything to firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you’d like to take more of an active role (more active than providing your individual insights) we can use your talents. Just offer them up.”
- karlyb citation generator – http://www.bibomatic.com/
- LeoLaporte Liked “Is the social stream the new email? » VentureBeat” http://ff.im/-1DIFX
- edupreneur Reforming Education: Part 2 Teachers. Heady stuff for a Fri, but important. http://tinyurl.com/dfkdqf (via @DowntoEarthMama)
Educating the Whole Child Petition: http://www.wholechildeducation.org/getinvolved/thewholechild/
Followup to last week’s Moodle discussion on Classroom 2.0. http://www.mguhlin.org/2009/03/moodle-questions-during-classroom-20.html
Those who visited iTunes to get our stars back:
… and the three others who remain nameless. (Their choice, not ours. No witness protection programs involved because the know us. Really.)
Shawn’s New Favorite Website: Let Me Google That For You. Ever have that colleague that pops into your room asking you a question they could have gone to Google for themselves? This website is your new best friend.
Faux Smoking: The New Smarties Fad! (Here’s an example of a Tiny Url: http://tinyurl.com/de7lhu)
Missed the MACUL conference? See the keynotes online. Here’s one: Friday Keynote.
From MACUL: Steve Dembo has a great presentation on Social Networking Policies . His presentation is posted on the Discovery Educators Network site.
Because Shawn can’t remember what he tells Troy to try: www.evernote.com. (*NOTE: Troy told Shawn about this).
- 8 Scientific Screw-ups.
- Why Pi? Or, for an Advisory activity Why (anything)? and make a video explanation for it.
- Try the Eyeballing Game and then discuss the need for patience and use of tools. They play it again!
Hope you’re planning to attend your state association’s annual conference. I realize for some of you that was much earlier in the year and if that is your case, I hope you went. This year the Michigan Association of Middle School Educators Annual Conference will be in Saginaw, MI.
“I have just started listening to the MSM Podcasts. I download them from iTunes U and listen to them on the way to work. Today I am home with a sick child and I am listening to a marathon of MSM, spending my day with Shawn and Troy. lol.
I am a special education teacher at the secondary level and have shared the MSM link and iTunes U info on the podcast with the tech department for my school to distribute to the school, because MSM highlights and covers content that isn’t limited soley to the middle school level.
MSM is an incredible resource for newbies to the tech world. . . like me. . . because Troy and Shawn provide a thorough and comprehensive review of current education, technology, pedagogy and its practice information available from a variety of sources.
Listening to Shawn and Troy at MSM matters has “elevated the level of my game” so to speak. They are thoughtful and thought provoking in their content and coverage of material. . . all provided with a good dose of . . . humor!”
Thanks Jenny! We appreciate your spreading the word!
That’s right. Now you can follow us on twitter. Let us know what you think. Ask questions. Learn the answer to life’s greatest mysteries (like why does a middle schooler stick THAT up his nose?). Gain wisdom. Earn a superpower. But wait, there’s more………
Will Richardson is holding an impromptu discussion on 21 Century Web Literacies. Follow this link. (Please note that the link was hot during the discussion and now will only point to Elluminate in general.) Interesting conversation on literacy itself as it unfolded throughout the hour or so. Here are some links associated with the online discussion.
Thanks to Will Richardson for hosting!