Sunday, December 6, 2009

Blogs, Wikis, and GoogleDocs: Explore Web 2.0

Check out my bookmark in Delicious to see when it is most appropriate to use a Blog, Wiki, or GoogleDocs. You can access the chart by going to my Delicious account or clicking on one of the tags: Blogs, wikis, googledocs or web 2.0.

Also, see new YouTube links to Wikis, Podcasting, and Web 2.0.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Professional Development Reflection

Please post your response to the following by the end of the day on 12/7/09. Feel free to revisit the blog after you post, as others may respond to your post at a later date.

What did you find most beneficial from the morning session of the PDD? Do you have any lingering questions/concerns/unresolved issues from the morning session? What did you find most beneficial from the technology session? How could you integrate any of the technology from the afternoon session into your practice?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What is Social Bookmarking?

Do you visit numerous websites for use in your classroom? Do you have an extensive "Favorites" list? Would other people benefit from the websites you have found to be useful? Try Social Bookmarking. This process allows you to tag your sites and them make them available to anyone who logs on to the social bookmarking site. See the YouTube video on social bookmarking and the article entitled, 7 Things You Should Know About Social Bookmarking, all found on the blog.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Michelle's Messages...

Thinking of all the things I have to do to catch up after what seems like a very long week, part of my to do list is to pass on things I need to share with you, remind you, or ask for input on…

• Thank you again for all of your support over the last couple of weeks during the crazy schedules! The Dock Party was a success and your help was appreciated for supervising at lunch! We got lots of good video on the exciting activities that you planned! The kids had a great time celebrating the completion of their MEAP tests!

• The Pumpkin Decorating Contest will be at our Halloween Assembly, this Thursday, October 29, 2009. One pumpkin per Enrichment class can be submitted. Participation is OPTIONAL. Winners will gain the GOLDEN PUMPKIN AWARD for this school year. Ms. Belleau’s Advisory students from last year are the current reigning champions.

• The Halloween Assembly will be the last hour of the day 10/29/09 and the schedule will be distributed at the beginning of the week.

• Remember the Fright Night is this Thursday night from 6-8, we still need people to sign up to supervise, see the sign-up sheet by the mailboxes. Wear your costume!

• We will try to do some fire drills over the next couple of weeks on days that are not rainy.

• See email from Peggy Voigt regarding the PDD schedule for Friday, October 30, 2009. Be sure to bring what is required for the second half of the day.

• Report cards must be inputted by next Tuesday, 11/3/09 by 8am. All grades should be inputted from the grade book side of the Zangle. You should not submit or post anything from the Teacher Connection side as we are not using our standards until next semester. The grading rubric for “Life Skills Grades” will put in boxes at the beginning of the week. This replaces citizenship grades and will be inputted on the grade book side of Zangle.

We are seeking input on an idea to make TACL a little easier. Chris Morton made a suggestion that coming up with a way to post comments somewhere online rather than handwrite comments on the TACL form might save time when passing the hard copies around. Please post your suggestions below if you can think of a way this could be done to make TACL a more efficient process. Any input would be appreciated!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What is RSS?

Check out the link under YouTube about RSS feeds. Very brief but informational!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Michelle's Message...

Has October really arrived? This month brings a calendar full of events! The MEAP is upon us! Our Town Halls are planned for next week by content areas to provide collaboration opportunities for the departments. More information will follow with dates and times for meetings. The topics of the Town Halls will be MEAP Test Taking Success and PBS highlights. We will make the PowerPoint of our Town Halls available to you to view on the blog as a link.

There are four MEAP testing days, schedules have been distributed for feedback, and there is a link on the blog for you to review prior to administration including directions for proctoring the MEAP. We did better than we ever have on our MEAP tests last year because we positively promoted our kids doing their best.

During the week of October 12, we will have any students who have currently earned an E in any core area complete a TACL form. There is a Team Meeting scheduled for October 14th that can be used to complete this process.

I want to take a moment to congratulate our new department chairs for this year. Estefania Furr will continue as our Special Education Department Chair, Erin Baker is our Mathematics Department Chair, and Amy Watkins is our ELA Department Chair, welcome to the Leadership Team, ladies!

Charlene Korpics did an awesome job coordinating the count day raffles on Wednesday! We appreciate her efforts organizing all of the events. She is now involved in attacking the MEAP inventory, you go girl!

Mike Koebbe has jumped right into our Middle School family! Thank you for taking on our intramural golf program! Our kids will benefit greatly from this experience, way to go, Mike!

Education Week: Report Finds Achievement Gap Continuing to Narrow

Education Week: Report Finds Achievement Gap Continuing to Narrow

Friday, September 18, 2009

Michelle's Message...

Well, we made it through the first full week! I am writing this the night of Open House, a very long day, but I feel very proud as I reflect on our school, our teachers, our students, and our day overall. Mr. Moore and I received many compliments about what a caring and engaging staff we have at South! (But we already knew that.) Parents left reassured that their children were in a safe and caring place during the school day and that we want their children to be successful.

We must have a place where children can have a whole group of adults they can trust.

                Margaret Mead, Anthropologist

I am concerned about our low turnout for 6th grade camp orientation, but the lack of attendance can be attributed to a host of reasons. Attendance picked up around 7:00, but I think one of our goals is to look for new ways to reinvent our Open House that shows more parents the importance of attending…Char has an idea that she wants to share with her Parent and Community Involvement Team! (We are always open to new ideas and suggestions for improvement.)

There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than bread.

                                      Mother Theresa

Our building really looked inviting; I appreciate all of you who “adopted” a bulletin board! Chris and Cindy’s gold medal readers really showed how our kids shine! Kristine’s bulletin boards greeted our students and parents that passed by the sixth grade hall! Jeff’s PBS posters display the importance of consistency throughout the building. Our students’ purple flowers that Marylynn exhibited highlights our artists throughout the building. A welcoming and inviting building is critical when we are creating a positive culture and climate for our students!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Michelle's Message...

     The first week of school always brings excitement; stress, curiosity, fear, anticipation, anxiety, and rejuvenation. Each new school year always brings more to all of our plates, or “just one more thing.” Because we chose a life in public education, there will always be “just one more thing.” We can support those “things,” as long as those “things” enable us to give our students the tools to achieve in a world that has many obstacles for them to overcome.

     Professional development can be overwhelming, but know that we are doing the right work. The vision may not always be crystal clear, but in the end, the vision is always to ignite the fire to learn in our students and watch them succeed beyond our wildest dreams! Together anything is possible!

Dreams are where we’re going; work is how we get there.
     It is not our instructional strategies or the depth of our content knowledge that ensures student success. The majority of the time it is our relationships we have with our students and with one another that tend to make a greater impact in whether or not our students succeed and if we grow as professionals. I want to thank all of you who took the extra effort this week in making the connections with your students. Sue who called all of her Enrichment students before school started to welcome them to 7th grade, Sharon and Craig who helped the same sixth grader open their locker seven times in one day, and Charlene and Kevin who made sure that students who didn’t have lunch money got a cheese sandwich. It is truly evident we love our kids!

Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.
                                                                                                          Sitting Bull
     I am looking forward to a great year! Remember how much our students look to us for support and encouragement, even when we feel spread too thin, we set the tone in our classroom and in the building. Is your glass half full or half empty?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Feedback on Wednesday Staff Collaboration Time

What time do you prefer for staff meetings 7:21am or 3:45pm?

Keep in mind this must be a time you are able to attend. Please post your name with your response below.

If you prefer to keep our meetings at 7:21am you do not have to respond at all and your preference will be considered 7:21 am.

Please respond by Friday, September 11, 2009. Thank you for your input.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

South Middle School: Student-Teacher-Parent Compact

Student-Teacher- Parent Compact 2009-2010

Student Agreement

As a student, I, ____________________________________, realize it is important for me to reach my academic potential. Therefore, I will do the following:

  •  come to school each day and be on time for class
  • come to class prepared with my homework and supplies
  • fill out my planner daily
  • respect myself, as well as others’ right to learn
  • follow the school rules
  • try my best

 Parent Agreement

As a parent or guardian, I, __________________________________, will encourage my child to reach their academic potential by doing the following:

  •  ensure that my child attends school regularly and is on time
  • maintain high expectations for my child
  • stay aware of what my child is learning
  • establish a time and place for homework
  • show respect for my child, the staff, and the school
  • encourage my child to read daily

 Teacher Agreement

As a teacher, I, ________________________________________, believe that students must be given opportunities to succeed. Therefore, I will do the following:

  • provide a welcoming positive environment that promotes learning
  • respect and value the uniqueness of each child and their family
  • maintain open lines of communication with students and parents
  • come to class each day prepared
  • demonstrate professional behavior and a positive attitude
  • promote life skills in the classroom and throughout the school
  • enforce rules and policies of the school consistently and fairly

  Student signature: ___________________________________________

  Parent signature: ____________________________________________

Advisory teacher signature: ____________________________________