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Showing posts from March, 2016

Intersection of Competition and Hope

So much has been written about competition. Today, I argue that to compete is to have hope.
This week our students were preparing for spring break. Their eyes were solidly on a week of sleeping in, games, Netflix, and no homework. It also happens to be the final week to submit their creative work for possible selection in the ACTELA Anthology. Friday was a whirlwind of preparing over 35 students and their work for submission.

I watched with sympathy as each student agonized over the titles of their creative works. I watched as they approved their final submissions and clicked the send button. I watched their eyes glow with hope as they learned about the possibility inherent in their submission. Hope is inherent in the act of competition.

Academic or athletic competition imbues students with hope.  Learning how to behave under the pressure of competition is part of maturation.  I have always appreciated a colleague, Dr. Kevin Durand, who taught his soccer players to win as if you have…

Grade Level Curriculum Review Process

Grade Level Curriculum Review Process

This week we began our Grade Level Aspire Infused Curriculum Review Process. Each of our ELA Coaches was assigned a specific set of grade levels to review. We then invited each ELA teacher to join our Curriculum Review teams. The principals approved our plan and dates. Whew! The fun was just beginning!

At first blush, this process seemed daunting. By breaking down our complete review into pieces, we are able to concentrate on one Unit per Review night. We planned to meet from 4-7 one night a month per grade level for the next three months. We will completely line out what teachers are expected to complete with their students including which ACT Aspire periodic they will use with their students.   After looking at the data, we realized that some adjustments needed to be made for specific classes within each grade level.

For 9th grade, we mapped out our Unit I beginning with the end in mind. We wanted our students to be able to write a researched a…