Dr. Frederick Hess will be visiting Washoe County School District this Friday as part of the Leadership Institute of Nevada. If you don’t know Dr. Hess’ work, and if you are not attending the event, it might be worth watching the video presentations below.
In the this video for the Missouri Department of Education, Hess gives some context for why many of the reforms we are asked to implement in our classrooms often do not have the desired effects. At minute 5:37 he provides several specific examples including block scheduling, site-based management, comprehensive school reform, small high schools, and turn arounds. At minute 9:50, he outlines that some ideas are good but implementation is more challenging than we fully anticipate (e.g. differentiation). Consequently, sound ideas appear to be failures.
In a second presentation before the American Enterprise Institute, Hess asks the question, “Are American schools just not designed to succeed?” Hess makes his case that many of the challenges facing schools may seem intractable before sharing—at minute 10:25—two examples of solutions. These would include the Basis Schools in Arizona, and the Equity Project in New York.
Given that many of our district leaders and administrators will be hearing from Hess, might be worth opting into some of his content.
The focus for the February sessions of the Core Task implementation Project (CTiP) has educators working with the importance of teaching syntax—both why and how. This learning started with a video from Dr. Lily Wong Fillmore followed by reading how to implement the instructional move, Juicy Sentences. Educators also returned to the value of building a coherent body of knowledge, learned the engagement strategy Busy Bees, and watched a lesson demonstration from 3rd grade Diedrichsen teacher Ruby Burnley. All of the session materials can be accessed in the PowerPoint and in the links below.
Session 5 on Syntax PowerPoint
Article 1 on the Impact of NCLB
Article 2 on the 4th Grade Slump
Syntax 1808 Notetaker
Session 5 Notetaker
Students in Dr. Margaret Ferrara’s CTL 746 class—a course focused on the principles of curriculum development—moved through some foundational pieces on the Nevada Academic Content Standards and the Common Core. Participants learned about the instructional shifts, the Instructional Practice Guides, pedagogical engagement strategies, and reviewed a video from cognitive scientist Dr. Dan Willingham on “mental obstacles.” You can review the PowerPoint and handouts in the links below.
CTL 746 PowerPoint
Instructional Shifts Handout from SAP
Instructional Shifts Notetaker
6=3 Shifts Crosswalk
6-12 ELA Instructional Practice Guide, Daily
6-12 ELA Instructional Practice Guide, Yearly
The full set of Mini-Assessments has been added to www.63000resources.com through the link here. The Mini-Assessments are well aligned to the Next Generation Assessments and teachers throughout Washoe have discovered that they are a good gauge of how students are working with Common Core outcomes. Assessments include Because of Winn-Dixie, Cactus Jam, The Fisherman and His Wife, Mrs. Mack, Basic Archeology, Yang the Eldest & Out of the Dust, Walk Two Moons, Bubblology, Looking for Lunar Ice, Summer of the Swans, Who was Marco Polo & The Adventures of Marco Polo, Counting on Grace, Curse of the Poisoned Pretzel, The Great Fire, and The Making of a Scientist.
The MA’s were developed by Student Achievement Partners to “illustrate the shifts of the Common Core.”
Full list of downloadable assessments can be found here.