Retain Dixie Grossman, Family Court Judge

Early voting begins October 20th. The election is November 6th. Your support is important. Learn more about Dixie Grossman at and at her Facebook page,


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Emergency Sub Plans

I think every classroom teacher fears that because of some unexpected and dreadful event they cannot plan for an absence. Moreover, it might be the case that the teacher cannot contact the building to explain what is happening. This was the impetus for creating my own set of 5th grade emergency sub plans.Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 11.08.42 AM

There is no claim to perfection with these plans but the hope is to maintain an appropriate level of rigor while your school contends with your absence. The plans serve as a menu that the person covering your classroom can opt into.

None of the content in the plans relies on specific classroom routines or procedures. Moreover, it is not part of a continuum of learning so it can simply be used without a lot of knowledge building. All the content borrows from content published on the Internet.

You can download everything you need in the Classroom Management section of my classroom website (here).

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Maximizing Literacy Skills with the OUT

At the Northern Nevada Council for Social Studies, I presented on using the 4th grade OUTs to maximize literacy skills with intermediate students. The 4th grade OUTs—Opening Up the Textbook—is a curricular resource matched to Nevada’s state history. Developed by the Nevada Museum of Art, Truckee Meadows Community College and 50 4th grade Washoe teachers, the resource nurtures important historical thinking dispositions. Moreover, they are a great match to the Nevada Academic Content Standards and the emphasis on reading complex texts, navigating academic vocabulary, and answering text-dependent questions.

Social Studies Conference PowerPoint

Hoover Dam OUT

OUT in Action video

Other OUTs can be found here.

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Using Kohlberg’s 6 Moral Principles in the Classroom Presentation Materials

At Washoe County School District’s conference, MTSS in Action: Strengthening the Relations between Students and Educators around Academic and Behavior Performance, I shared a session on using Kohlberg’s 6 Moral Principles in the classroom. The idea came from former classroom teacher Rafe Esquith (video linked in the PowerPoint) as a way of creating a strong classroom culture and fostering a language to effectively communicate expectations.

You can watch all of the videos shared via the PowerPoint that includes David Brooks, Martin Seligman, and Rafe Esquith. All of the handouts are linked below.

Kohlberg in the Classroom PowerPoint

Crosswalk Kohlberg Principles to Student Friendly Terms

WOOP Toolkit for Educators

Character-Growth Card

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Question Formulation Technique & Genius Hour

Thank you to Washoe’s STEM Coordinator Kelly Barber for telling me about I had emailed and asked about getting started with a Genius Hour in my classroom and she suggested I take a look at the website. This got me to the Right Question YouTube page and a webinar they did on getting started with QFT—Question Formulation Technique.

If this is something you have considered, the short 25 minute webinar proves to be a really strong overview. It gives you the steps for the process, the evidence to support QFT, and suggestions for implementation. This is certainly not an easy lift but having a starting place helps. You can find the webinar here.




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Read by Grade Three in WCSD

This afternoon, staff from Washoe County presented on the Read by Grade Three state initiative during the Board of Trustees meeting. Begin at 2:58:28 to gain some context and clarity on how the district plans to navigate the law and the grant application WCSD is submitting to the state.

The professional learning initiatives are described at minute 3:08:09 by Lauren Ohlin, the district’s Director of Grants. Watch here.

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WCSD Overcrowding & Admin Regulation 6111

There has been some buzz about the overcrowding issue in Washoe County and the implications for students and families throughout our district. The most thorough public examination of this came Tuesday when the Board heard an overview from Dr. Paul Lamarca, Dr. Kristen McNeil and Pete Etchart.

To gain a sense of what was shared, consider the slides below. You can read through Regulation 6111 here. You can also watch the presentation beginning at minute 1:22:18 here.

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