Monday- I hope everyone had an enjoyable and relaxing Spring Break! The kids came back to school with good attitudes. It was good to see everyone today!
As a Hawkeye fan March Madness hasn't been what it used to be for me! At least the Panthers are bringing some attention to the state! That game against Kansas was unbelievable....
With the start of spring we began our track seasons this afternoon. We have, by last count, over 115 7th and 8th graders involved this year. That's nearly 45% of our 7th and 8th graders out for track!
Tuesday- What a beautiful day! It actually feels like spring today....
A special thanks to all of our middle school students that participated in the play this year. Last Tuesday the students performed "Cinderella in New York" for all of our district 5th graders. It was yet another great show! Thanks to Ms. Sauer for all of her hard work with the students to prepare them for the show. Great job!
Our spring MAP testing sessions will begin on April 12th. We will be testing all of our middle school students in the areas of math and reading. The spring results are how we identify if the students have met their fall to spring goals that were established in September. The MAP goals are all a part of the Personal Learning Plan process.
Wednesday- This morning we had a staff meeting. During our staff meetings we try and take care of some of the management issues; upcoming dates, building management, etc. We also spend time during our staff meetings to some professional development. A lot of our current focus at our staff meetings has been on the Iowa Core Curriculum and Formative Assessments. If you are interested in learning more about either of these topics I have linked a couple of good resources below.
Iowa Core Curriculum: http://www.corecurriculum.iowa.gov/Home.aspx
Formative Assessments: http://www.nmsa.org/Publications/TodaysMiddleLevelEducator/tabid/1409/Default.aspx?name=formative%20assessment
This afternoon we have our normal scheduled early dismissal for staff professional development. I have not done a great job this year updating everyone on what our teachers professional development has been focused on. I will try and do better!
The next two weeks our teachers are working together to score student writing samples using a rubric scoring system. It is our hope that over time our teachers will be able to develop the common assessment skills, using the rubric, that will allow our teachers to virtually all score student writing samples the same regardless of the scorer.
It's looking like rain. That figures since the golf course I typically play golf at is opening today.
Thursday- Today I had the opportunity to work individually with about 15 students to review their grades, goals, weekly progress, and missing work. I believe that most, if not all, kids really want do do well. What I have found is that organization and planning are developmental skills that for a lot of kids are in process during middle school. For these kids we need support structures that help them reflect on what they are doing, what they are missing, etc. I think the more we can teach organizational skills to our students, the better. I love this part of my job as I was definitely a student who was disorganized and could of used some assistance!
Friday- Today we are 1/4 of the way through our last trimester of school! We have about 47 school days remaining. We really try and push hard through the end of our school year. Sometimes this becomes challenging as the weather improves but we will continue to refocus everyone on the task at hand, learning. Support of this at home is helpful.
This afternoon Mr. Macumber (Amana Elementary Principal) and I will be traveling to the University of Iowa for their Career Fair. This is something that our district has participated in for several years. We have taken turns on who represents CCA at the fair. The fair is set up for University of Iowa students that will be graduating this spring an on the job hunt. It has to be kind of scary for students that will graduate soon. I can't imagine that the job search will be easy at this time.
The track teams continue their preparation for the upcoming season. Their meets will begin in a couple of weeks. It's not too late to join the team!
Have a great last weekend of March "Madness"!