Learning Is Irregular

http://iteach-and-ilearn.blogspot.com/2013/03/school-and-life.html
http://iteach-and-ilearn.blogspot.com/2013/03/school-and-life.html
Outside of school, most people apply learning across disciplines, scenarios, and experiences. For a majority of our lives as students, we are taught in a system that creates blocks of time for learning specific content, much like the factory model of production. However, learning should be life and there is nothing linear about life.

Life is irregular—thus, learning is irregular.

We are in the midst of one of the most disruptive, yet exciting times in history: The Information Age. The rate of change has increased exponentially due to the rapid creation of new content that is produced as technology and life have become seamless. The rate of change continues to have an impact on our education system because students today, or Generation Z, have only known life with touch screen technology. Vast amounts of information is readily available to them with the touch of a button or finger swipe across a screen. They are also creating more content than any generation in history, thus they learn in some fundamentally different ways than we are used to.

The linear, factory system of education is counter to the messy, irregular, and creative learning process that our students have grown accustomed to outside of school. Following are three key points to consider as we are challenged to meet the needs of Generation Z.

1. Asynchronous technology makes learning a constant activity. With the emergence of online learning platforms and social networking, students are able to connect, communicate, and collaborate with their teachers and peers to extend learning beyond the walls of the schoolhouse and school day. Time, space, and location are now variables in the learning process whereas they used to be constants. Author Daniel Pink wrote in the Foreword to the book, The New Social Learning,
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The use of technology greatly enhances students’ power to learn on their own time, in their own space, and in much deeper ways than ever before. So, let’s embrace it!

2. We must change how we deliver content due to shorter attention spans. We have quickly become a “sound-bite” society in that we are used to chunks of information shared in a compelling manner. MultimediaGen Z takes in thousands of digital images and messages a day, so to make learning more relevant to them, we must not only incorporate all forms of multimedia, but empower students to create and integrate multimedia to demonstrate their learning. If we adopt the use of technology in the classroom, this is a natural byproduct.

3. Focus on global skills development through the content we teach. It is often said that Gen Z will change careers 10-14 times before they retire. If this is true, it is impossible to teach them all the content they will need to be prepared for life. Global SkillsWe must consider ways to develop the four key global skills of communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking through our specific content areas. Another approach would be to create interdisciplinary courses that provide students the opportunity to apply content in meaningful ways. We should also integrate technology to help students determine what local, regional, national, and global problems they want to solve. This will, without a doubt, create the conditions for students to develop the necessary skills that transcend careers and jobs.

As we grapple with how to catch up to the changing times that occur in every industry outside of our own, we must consider the messy, irregular, and nonlinear learning process and embrace strategies that empower students to demonstrate their learning in meaningful ways.

Be Great,

Dwight


Ideas from What’s in Your Space? 5 Steps for Better Schools and Classrooms by Dwight Carter, Gary Sebach, and Mark White, to be published by Corwin Press in March 2016; available at Amazon

Week 26 at New Albany High School!

Staff News
Congratulations to Math teacher Chrissie Bolan and her husband as they celebrate the arrival of Jay Abbott Bolan, a beautiful healthy 8 pound 11 ounce baby boy!

Guidance Secretary Shelly Santantonio’s father was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. They do not yet know the severity of the diagnosis, but he is in good spirits. Please keep Shelly and her family in your prayers.

Secretary Karen McCullough officially joined our team on Monday, February 22nd! I have seen several you of stopping by her desk to introduce yourselves and to make her feel welcomed. Thanks to Beth Johnston for helping her transition into her new position.

Please welcome long-term math substitute teacher Tyler Rogers to Team NAHS. He is taking over the reigns for Chrissie Bolan. I would like to thank math teachers Karen Morlan, Chrissie, and Lindsay Bennett for leading the interview process to select Tyler to join us.

English teacher Lynette Turner, Math teacher Sara Shon, and Science teacher Clair Monk recentlyEdLeader21 attended a dynamic EdLeader21 Workshop held at the Columbus Museum. EdLeader21 is one of the premiere education organizations that develop rubrics to measure student creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication skills. They were able to connect with a number of educators from Ohio and other parts of the country. Following are the learning targets for workshop attendees:

Learning targets:
Understand the key elements in the EL21 Critical Thinking rubric
• Learn how to design performance tasks that strategically integrate Critical Thinking in the context of ELA, science and mathematics
• Learn strategies for helping students self-assess Critical Thinking skills
• Use the EdLeader21 Critical Thinking Toolkit to strengthen your systematic implementation of 4Cs instruction and assessment

They participated in several design challenges as they examined the key global skills previously listed. Following is a list of potential design challenges EdLeader21 recommends for students:
1. How can we improve the landscape of our school?
2. How can we design a blade that generates the most speed and electricity on a turbine?
3. How can we, as biographers, create a legacy for our local heroes?

What they learned aligns perfectly with our Rigor work as we challenge ourselves to examine our instructional design and student learning to ensure students are developing the necessary skills for success.

Students As Learners
Science Olympiad 1Congratulations to our Science Olympiad Team for their outstanding performance in at the New Albany Invitational last Saturday! Following is a recap by Coach Sudha Ganesan:

Our varsity team won a fourth place trophy, while our JV came in 25th place. I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of your students. They took such initiative to set up the HS on Friday last, they made sure each room had the right signage, the right number of tables, chairs, all school property was secured away from testing areas, all teacher’s resources put away safely. On Saturday morning, they were there in the lobby, greeting schools, walking them to their homerooms, getting rooms unlocked, lights turned on – true school ambassadors. During the day they helped visiting teams navigate our school campus to events, helped event supervisors with overhead projectors, internet connections, all this while they successfully competed in their many events earning a rich haul of medals and ribbons.
Our students are confident that we are on track to bringing home a top three trophy at the Grandview Heights Regionals in two weeks. Congratulations to our our amazing medal/ribbon winners.

Bhagee G. – Anatomy & Physiology (2nd), Experimental Design (3rd),
Protein Modeling (3rd), Cell Biology (7th)
Nishant C. – Wind Power (3rd), Wright Stuff (3rd), Air Trajectory (5th),
Robot Arm (7th)
Gunnar W. – Bridges (3rd), Wright Stuff (3rd),, Air Trajectory (5th)
Aditya M. – Protein Modeling (3rd), Wind Power (3rd), Write It Do It (7th)
Nikhil P. – Protein Modeling (3rd), Detectives (4th), Chem Lab (6th)
Harshitha K. – Hydrogeology (3rd), Dynamic Planet (4th)
Mihir P. – Bridges (3rd), Fossils (6th), Chem Lab (6th)
Olivia S. – Hydrogeology (3rd), Fossils (6th)
Parker L. – Game On (1st)
Wilson W. – Game On (1st)
Jovitha N. – Anatomy & Physiology (2nd)
David Tan – Astronomy (4th), Dynamic Planet (4th), Forensics (5th)
Nikhil M. – Astronomy (4th), Disease Detectives (4th), Cell Biology (7th),
Pranav G. – Robot Arm (4th)
Sidharth S.- Robot Arm (4th)
Shota N. – Forensics (5th)
Aayush S. – Experimental Design (7th)
Arjun K. – Robot Arm (7th)
Catherine T. – Write it Do It (7th)
Shanvanth A. -Experimental Design (7th)
Tejal R. – Experimental Design (7th)

American History teacher Jeremiah Hunt introduced his students to a concept called, “the silentsilent debate debate”, which led to high level academic discussion and student engagement. As I observed the class, the depth of student learning impressed me, and asked Mr. Hunt to provide a description of the activity to share:

The night before the debate, I asked half the class to read a document supporting the Truman Doctrine and half the class was assigned to read/analyze a document criticizing the Truman Doctrine. The next day, students partnered up with a person in the class who read the opposing viewpoint. Instead of debating back and forth verbally the students took turns debating back and forth by writing their positions on a piece of paper. Each statement the students wrote was taken from the document and used text evidence as support. The activities allowed me to emphasize document analysis skills and supporting a position with text evidence.

I am certain this can be used in a variety of courses, so consider giving it a try. Thanks, Mr. Hunt!

Rigor/Relevance Framework
Rigor/Relevance Framework
Each year, students in American Literature 11 write their own poems based on a significant historical event or historical artifact in America. Before students begin writing, they study poetic structure through the works of Gwendolyn Brooks, Edgar Allan Poe, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and they learn to “scan” a poem and write explications. After studying the poetic art form, students begin writing and then present their poems along with a 3-D project. This year, the students worked harder than ever and Regina Morlan and Nicki Cray were so impressed with their efforts. The final products ranged in topics from Columbine to Vietnam Protests to Dr. Martin Luther King and The Statue of Liberty. Here is an excerpt from junior and new student, Yvonne Ologo: “The American Dream:”
Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, the wind blew
Rushing leaves form my feet and toward her flew
There stood a silhouette, grey, pasted in the blue
Even with no expression my agitation grew.

Why do I have to shut up and follow the crowd?
Why can’t I do something, be creative, make myself proud?
She reached out to touch me, so gentle with care
Her face was so graceful, couldn’t help but revere…
The Statue of Liberty
And there it was in her silence she had answered me
America, yes, the land to be
Land of persistent differences but unity…

A job well done by Mrs. Morlan and Mrs. Cray!

Upcoming Events
Monday, March 7th- Department Chair Meeting 3:00 pm Professional Library
Wednesday, March 9th- Staff Meeting 7:15 am Jefferson Room;
Senior Brunch
Thursday, March 10th- Staff Meeting 7:15 am; House Jeopardy
Saturday, March 11th- SAT

Articles Worth Reading
Want to go to College in U.S? Show Compassion, Not Test Scores: Proposal

How to Turn on the Part of the Brain That Controls Motivation

Be Great,

Dwight

Week 19 at New Albany High School!

Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy lives through us all. He led during a time of great turmoil in our country and there were significant cultural, legal, and regional barriers that prevented unity from existing in our country. As we work to overcome some challenging times in our country, let’s remember the words and actions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Staff News
I was out of the building quite a bit last week, yet Assistant Principal Steve Gehlert and Kip Greenhill did an excellent job taking the lead. Mr. Gehlert worked with several teachers to find other classrooms to conduct class when faced with a water leak, they both met with a group of students to work through a conflict, and Mr. Gehlert attended an important meeting about the Global Scholars Program. I want to publicly thank them for their leadership!

http://highlanderdistrict.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/online-real-estate-classes.jpg
http://highlanderdistrict.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/online-real-estate-classes.jpg
English teacher Ann Trotter, Physics teacher Greg Morris, and AP US Government teacher Kirk Hilbrands hosted several administrators from Worthington City School District to share their experiences with blended learning. Each presented a different delivery model for their blended learning classes, which is a unique component of differentiating how they meet the needs of students. The Worthington cohort was impressed by the variety of approaches, the focus on student learning, and what they heard from students as they shared they enjoy most about having a blended class. This form of differentiation is by no means an easy process, yet the collaborative support provided during the training has proven to be invaluable. It’s a reminder that to work in isolation is merely a choice and working together in a Professional Learning Network leads to significant learning for teachers and students.

Students As Learners
Science Olympiad Advisor Sudha Ganesan provided an update on the resent success of our Science Olympiad Team after they competed at the Kenston Science Olympiad Invitation on Saturday, January 16, 2016. She states:

“Our two high school teams were off to a great start at the Kenston Science Olympiad Invitational. I am2016 KENSTON TROPHY proud to share that our students’ hard work helped them win medals and ribbons in eight events and brought home the over-all Eighth Place Trophy! Our teams placed 11th and 37th out of 48 schools, including the top eight schools from Ohio and the top schools from Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Virginia. This is an amazing start considering we played with only 14 members on our Varsity team and 10 members on the Junior Varsity team. Even as we walked out of the Kenston High School building our students were already talking about what they needed to do to make sure they come home with a team trophy at the next invitational, too.”

Congratulations to the following Science Olympiad team members:

Medal Round:
· First place gold: Wind Power – Aditya Mistry and Bhagee Ganesan
· Ribbon (4th – 8th) Round:
· Fourth place: Anatomy and Physiology – Bhagee Ganesan and Shankar Pattabhiraman
· Fifth place: Protein Modeling – Aditya Mistry, Nikhil Pramod and Shankar Pattabhiraman
· Sixth place: Bridge Building – Parker Lehmann and Jonah Callinan
· Seventh place: Wright Stuff – Gunnar Wielinski and David Tan
· Eighth place: Cell Biology – Bhagee Ganesan and Nikhil Malakalapalli
Forensics – Shota Nemoto and Olivia Samson
Air Trajectory – Gunnar Wielinski and Nikhil Malakalapalli

Rigor/Relevance Framework
Rigor/Relevance Framework
Students in our Theatre Program participated in 24 Hour Theatre over the weekend! Theatre Teacher Elliott Lemberg gave participants three themes in which they had 24 hours to prepare a performance. The themes were: appearance verses reality, change, and order and disorder. Students selected their teams and applied everything they’ve learned first semester to create a number of skits that they performed in front of a live audience. This is such a unique learning opportunity and it exemplifies our students ability to think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, and collaborate to solve problems!

Athletic Update
Our Girl’s Varsity Basketball Team is coming off 2 big wins last week. First,Girls Varsity BB they avenged an earlier loss to a 10-2 Mount Vernon team. Second, they upset a 12-1 Watterson team. Currently, their record is 9-5. The team is led by seniors Meche’la Cobb, Caitlin Coss & Liza Hernandez. They beat Olentangy Orange Friday night, but lost to Upper Arlington on Saturday.

Our Bowling Team is off to a great start! Coach Damian Hammond provided the following images of our bowlers in action!
Bowling 1

Bowling 2

Bowling 3
Upcoming Events
Tuesday, January 19, 2016 First day of second semester
Wednesday, January 20, 2016 Department Meetings 7:15 am
Thursday, January 21, 2016 Department Meetings 7:15 am
Saturday, January 23, 2016 A Cappella Cabaret

Articles Worth Reading
Managing Stress: Creating Calm In Your Career

10 Smart Leadership Solutions for Everyday Challenges

Be Great,

Dwight

Week 18 at New Albany High School!

BetterI shared this image with my staff last week because it challenged my thinking about goal setting and starting over. As educators, we are given the unique opportunity to start over at the beginning of each grading period or after long scheduled breaks, such as winter break or spring break. As each new year approaches, we are encouraged to set resolutions, but the message in the image reminds us to focus on doing something BETTER, not necessarily NEW. As we approach second semester and 2016, I encouraged staff and faculty to continue to think about the ONE THING each of us can do better rather than adding something new to our plate. We had a great first week back, which is captured in this brief Storify!

Staff News
As we approach the second semester, it is a good time to review some general expectations and procedures.
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Expectations:
-Be Punctual- Punctuality is a sign of respect.
-Be Prepared- Prior planning prevents poor performance.
-Be Present- Be here daily and also be in the moment.
-Be Professional- Professionalism is knowing what to do, how to do it, and
doing it in a high quality manner.
-Be Positive- To change your situation, change your attitude.
-Play- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Continue reading

Weeks 14 and 15 at New Albany High School!

The Carter Family, Thanksgiving 2015
The Carter Family, Thanksgiving 2015
Thanksgiving is my family’s favorite holiday! We enjoy the combination of the fall colors, cooler weather, and time to reflect on our lives independently and collectively as a family. It’s also a time for us to gather with family to break bread, laugh, listen to stories, and just relax. Let’s continue to focus on gratitude, love, and fellowship as we prepare for midterm exams and winter break.

Staff News
Congratulations to teachers Elliott Lemberg, Darren Falk, Karrie Horton, Jessica Whitehead, and ReginaKiss Me, Kate Poster Morlan and the entire cast and crew of Kiss Me, Kate for stellar performances over the weekend! There were a variety of solo and group performances that showcased our talented students.

Thanks to our Social Committee for hosting another successful OSU-Michigan Tailgate Party in the Jefferson Room on Tuesday, November 24th! The outcome of the game was not what we wanted, but it was nice to gather as a staff to enjoy good food and good company!

Art teacher Juliette Montague recently facilitated two presentations at Morehead State University. Her first presentation was on the importance of concept drawing for product design to group of STEM students. She showed them examples of how Industrial Designers and Architects use perspective drawing for concept ideas. She also gave a brief hands-on perspective drawing lesson to the class. Her second presentation was to the Arts Entrepreneur class in which she made a presentation using her own work and experiences marketing, promoting and selling artwork. She had great experiences interacting with the students both during and after the presentations. It is rewarding to share our expertise others outside our classrooms because it’s another opportunity to serve others.

Students as Learners
Last week in Claire Monk and Jessica Dorman’s physical science classrooms, students explored concepts related to force and motion in an authentic and active manner by maneuvering a bowling ball through an obstacle course. Students were tasked with a mission to complete an obstacle course by applying a force (with a hockey stick or broom) to the bowling ball, and to graphically represent the relative magnitude and direction of the motion of the bowling ball throughout the course. They were assessed based on successful completion of the course and were penalized for applied force infractions and inaccurate representations of vectors on their motion map of the obstacle course. Next week, students will relate this task to Newton’s Laws of Motion and continue to explore balanced and unbalanced forces.

Students in Lorin Love’s Biomedical Science course, while learning about biomolecules, diabetes and the insulin-glucagon cycle, celebrated a with a Plant Strong feast. Accounting for nutrients in plant-strong choices, students compared their meal with the standard American diet. At the conclusion of the feast, students were polled about what they learned. Following is a summary of their thoughts gathered on Polleverywhere!


Rigor/Relevance Framework
Rigor/Relevance Framework
Students in Anne Stidham’s Public Speaking course shared their policy change speeches last week. Students and teachers from other courses were invited to attend, as well as building and district administrators, which created an authentic audience for those delivering speeches. Students were asked to select a school topic of interest, such as ACT Period, House, school lunches, and the bell schedule. They then did research on what similar schools are doing, conducted interviews, summarized their findings, and persuaded administrators to consider their policy change suggestions. This was a great example of Quadrant D (high rigor, high relevance) activity because students selected their topics and had to apply their knowledge to solve an unpredictable situation. Additionally, they had to synthesize their results and present them in a compelling manner. It was a culmination of the skills they’ve learned in this course throughout the semester.

Upcoming Events
Monday, December 7th: Ohio Model United Nations Conference
Wind Ensemble Concert at 7:00 p.m. – McCoy

Tuesday, December 8th: Band Concert at 7:00 p.m. – McCoy

Saturday, December 12th: ACT

Article Worth Reading
11 Tips Successful People Use When Dealing With Problems in Life

Be Great,

Dwight

Week 12 at New Albany High School!

Veterans-Day-Pinterest-PicturesOn Wednesday, November 11th, we honor our Veterans by celebrating Veteran’s Day. We do not take for granted our veterans’ service here and abroad. We have several classes that write letters or send care packages to our active servicemen and women! On behalf of the NAHS students, staff, and faculty, we salute our Armed Forces!

Staff News
A sincere “thank you” to the following teachers who have volunteered to be club advisors:
Social Studies teacher Jeanette Milligan– New Albany’s Young Business Leaders and NA Stock Clubs
English teacher Lynnette Turner– Creative Writing Club
Social Studies teacher Paul Locke– Junior Achievement

Students As Learners
Choir teacher Ms. Karrie Horton and the A Cappella Singers had the experience of a lifetime during a combined concert on October 24th. They were joined by choirs from high school choirs from Northland, Whitehall, Pickerington Central, and Capriccio Youth Choir, and led by guest arranger and composer Stacey Gibbs! Following is a video of their performance of “Swing Down Chariots” and all three soloists are New Albany students, Colin Sproule, Ally Blais and Rayna Hutcherson.

After the performance, Mrs. Horton asked her students to reflect on their performance and it is evident they thoroughly enjoyed this experience! Click here to read their responses.

Congratulations to students in Art Foundations, 2D Art, KAP Drawing, and AP Drawing classes for the outstanding art on display in E Lobby!

Independent ReadingI observed English teacher Jacqui Loughry’s AP English 12 course and she has created a
great centering activity for students at the beginning of the period. While she takes attendance, students are given 15 minutes of Independent Reading. Every student was engaged in a book of his or her choice and once she completed attendance, Jacqui picked up her book and read as well! I saw a variety of books, from science fiction to biographies and everything in between. She created a handout to explain the purpose of Independent Reading which states, “This year, we will be continuing to build your skills as a confident, capable, enthusiastic lifelong reader. We will be doing this through independent reading time-15 minutes per class period almost every day and 15 minutes every day on your own.”

I applaud Jacqui for creating the conditions for students to foster a love for reading that isn’t specifically tied to a grade or assignment. Additionally, it’s an excellent use of class time to develop global skills.

Upcoming Events
Tuesday, November 10th-#BowTieTuesday
Wednesday, November 11th- Veteran’s Day; National Signing Day at 2:45 Jefferson Room; Senior Financial Aid Meeting at 7:00 pm Mini-Theatre
Thursday, November 12th- Department Meetings at 7:15 am; Eastland CC Field Trip
Friday, November 13th- Eastland CC Field Trip

Articles Worth Reading
Staying the Same is Ultimately Falling Behind
Staff Morale Is Lower Than Ever

Be Great,

Dwight

Week 11 at New Albany High School!

Lorin LoveScience teacher Lorin Love reincarnates as Anna Garcia from the dead to play a review game about diabetes with students in Principles of Biomedical Science! To see how others dressed up on Friday, as well as a recap of our week, please review the Week 11 Storify!

Staff News
Humanities and Art History teacher Rachel Braswell attended a free two-day conference about educating African American Males on Friday, October 23rd and Saturday, October 24th. The conference was not only insightful, but she was able to collaborate with many educators from higher education. The conference was co-hosted by The Ohio State University, Champions for Children, and the United Way. The keynote presenter was David Johns, the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

Spanish teacher Sarah Riechley attended an AP Spanish Workshop on Wednesday, October 29th. She, too, was able to collaborate with many other educators and discuss pedagogy, content, and AP expectations!

Math teachers Karen Morlan and Linda Schmidt attended an AP Calculus workshop last week as well. They practiced grading AP exams and collaborated with other teachers from across the country!

Thanks to the Counseling Team for proctoring OGTs last week. It took a great deal of time away from their usual workload and I appreciate their efforts to ensure all our students are able to meet this graduation requirement!

Many of our teachers highlight historical and literary characters during lessons as a way to teach or reinforce the characteristics we want our students to exhibit. To further help reinforce positive character, Jostens created a list of tips for parents to help cultivate character strength at home. This can be a great family activity!

Students As Learners
I appreciate the types of learning activities our teachers develop that not only engage students, but help them to demonstrate learning in unique ways. Following are a couple of examples; one by Social Studies teacher Darryl Sycher and the other by Physical Science teachers Claire Monk and Jessica Dorman:

“As part of the Unit on the Renaissance in World History, my students were asked to choose an explorerSycher 1 and report on them in class. This Explorers Project asked students to provide a short biography of their particular explorer and how his discoveries impacted Europe and the natives that he discovered and encountered. Along with this written portion of the project, students were also asked to display their creative side and make a visual to represent the accomplishments of their explorer. This was used to enhance their oral presentation and make their 16th century explorer “come alive” in the 21st century.”

“Mrs. Monk created this lesson to add a fun twist to the energy unit in physical science. In this activity students get to make their own bouncy ball to collect and analyze data. Once the ball is made students obtained the mass and recorded a video of the ball dropping and the bounce back. Students then uploaded the video into an analysis program, which they manipulated to be able to determine the velocity of the ball dropping and in the bounce back. With this information students then calculated the potential energy and kinetic energy of the dropped ball and drew energy bar charts of the different phases of the motion. Using the law of conservation of energy as a guide, students were able to determine why the bouncy ball did not bounce back to the same height while still having a total amount of energy equal to 100%. While the main learning target of this activity was to investigate the concept of energy transformations students also applied their skills of experimental design to trouble shoot how to alter the recipe to make a better bouncy ball, or how to make one after a failed attempt. Students had to determine what methods led to the best bouncy ball for their purposes. By making the ball themselves they also learned about chemical reactions and how the items we started with changed as a result of the reaction. Solid and liquid reagents became a bouncy rubber-like solid. What better way to spend a Friday before Halloween than making your own bouncy ball to analyze how well it conserves energy while throwing in some chemistry for fun?”

7A'sI believe there are seven A’s of successful schools: academics, attendance, the arts, attitude (behavior), activities, acts of service, and athletics. Every student can have a sense of belonging if they embrace these seven A’s and it’s important for us to create the conditions for this to happen. Coaches Pat Samanich and Brian Finn received the following email from our Special Olympics Swim Coach that celebrates the act of service by our football team:

“I wanted to reach out to both of you to let you know how much we appreciated having your football players at the Special Olympics swim meet this past Saturday. They did an amazing job and were absolutely wonderful to our athletes!!! I had a lot of parents and spectators comment to me directly on how great it was to see them participating and supporting our swim team.

Please thank them from our team and me and let them know how much we appreciated their support!! They are a great group of kids!!! -Casie Ford”

Thanks to all our coaches for teaching our students life through athletics!

Upcoming Events
Monday, November 2nd- Department Chair Meeting at 3:00 pm Professional Library
Tuesday, November 3rd- Election Day; Students Working the Polls; #BowTieTuesday
Wednesday, November 4th- Department Meetings at 7:15 am; Class Ring Orders due
Thursday, November 5th- Department Meetings at 7:15 am; Nationwide Children’s Hospital Wellness Presentation during House
Saturday, November 7th- SAT

Article Worth Reading
Edtech’s Next Big Disruption Is The College Degree

Video Worth Watching
Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling| Emilie Wapnick| TEDxBend

Be Great,

Dwight

Week 3 at New Albany High School!

As I prepared for my day on Friday, I searched through one of my books for some daily words of wisdom to tweet and came across the following quote that really resonated with me:

“Understand the difference between being at work and working.”

What came to mind was the positive feedback I received about the NAHS Staffulty (staff

http://www.sussexvt.k12.de.us/school/images/2015/open-house.jpg
http://www.sussexvt.k12.de.us/school/images/2015/open-house.jpg
and faculty) from parents during our Open House on Tuesday, September 2nd! Parents were genuinely pleased with the event because they saw and felt the love and joy we have for our craft as educators. But, more importantly, they felt how much we care for their children. As the saying goes, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” We strive to create a greater sense of community because we understand the importance of establishing positive relationships with our students, parents, and community members that will translate into a positive school experience for our students.

Another example of we connect with our students is the way we use social media to share positive messages and images about our school. I’ve been summarizing weekly events using the website, Storify, to capture articles, images, and inspirational messages that are posted daily. We tag each message with the hashtag, #NAHSCommUNITY. To review last week’s story, click here!

Staff News
Athletic Secretary Mary Ferguson was at the home football game two weeks ago to assist with ticket sales. It was so good to see her smiling and back in action! Please continue to keep her and her husband in your prayers.

Special Education Coordinator Molly Salt shared with me her appreciation for Joanne Mannarelli, Erik Jablonka, Bubba Kidwell, and Pat Samanich for working together to help a struggling student in need last week!

Students As Learners
What We Expect of Students (2)Last week I shared that our students had the opportunity to work together to determine what we should expect of them in regards to their overall behavior. Nearly 1500 students over a two day period came up with a list of characteristics we should expect of them in our school community. I used a word cloud website to create an image of the words or phrases that were most popular among the students. I am very pleased, but not surprised, by what they came up with because these are behaviors I get the opportunity to observe from our students on a daily basis! In fact, they are aligned with our core values of respect for self, respect for others, respect for the learning environment, and respect for the community.

Redd Ingram: Photo by Katie Roberts
Redd Ingram: Photo by Katie Roberts
English teacher Katie Roberts asked junior Redd Ingram to guest star as the “Grammar Graduate” in her CP English 10 class earlier last week. He led a quick review with sophomores demonstrating his learning by teaching underclassmen who enjoyed hearing it from a different voice than Mrs. Roberts. This is an excellent example of differentiating the process and increasing student voice!

Choir teacher Karrie Horton invited me to her A Cappella Choir class onKarrie Horton Friday to listen to them create and record their own arrangement of Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is”, for entry into a competition to sing on stage with the band on October 14th! It was an example of formative assessment at its best! Mrs. Horton gave immediate feedback to students as they made corrections. The students also made suggestions about how they could improve their performance. They were encouraged to truly make the song their own in order to showcase their talents! To learn more about the contest, please click here.

Upcoming Events
*Friday, September 11th- Red, White, and Blue Day for 9/11 Remembrance
*Monday, September 14th- In-service Day, No School for students
*Tuesday, September 15th- Parent/Teacher Conferences
*Wednesday, September 16th- Picture Retakes
*Thursday, September 17th- Parent/Teacher Conferences

Video Worth Reading
Common Sense Tips for Digital Parents

Until next week…

Be Great,

Dwight

Happy New School Year!

LobbyIt takes a great deal of teamwork to prepare for a new school year. Parents, Staffulty, students, and community members mentally prepare for a rush of activity, which is soon followed by a settled-in feeling after new, but familiar routines are re-established. The New Albany High School Team worked together to create a meaningful and positive first week of school for each other and our students! The House Deans and Social Committee did an excellent job decorating the lobby, the Scheduling Team created systems to help students make necessary schedule changes, and the Administrative Assistants were responsive to a variety of requests from teachers, parents, and students. Teamwork makes the dream work!

Who loves Kid President? If you are like me, you raised your hand and smiled as you thought of one of his inspirational messages. In honor of a new school year, please take a few minutes to watch Kid President message to “Be More Awesome!”

There was nervous energy in the air as the first day of school approached because of our new schedule, office hours, ACT Period, and larger class sizes. However, the following email from a colleague just about sums up our thoughts and feelings about our first week back:

“…I want to let you know that this week has been one of the best starts to a school year I can remember in my career. Furthermore, the new schedule you and others put so much time and effort into is a huge improvement to our school. Thank you for that!”

Staff News
Several staff members posted pictures of the first week on a few social media sites that provide a glimpse of our experiences. We are using the hashtag, #NAHSCommUNITY to share images, links, and other important information.

As I visited classrooms this week or walked the halls, I appreciated seeing so many teachers greeting students at the door and engaging them in brief conversations during passing times. I noticed how some used our theme, “CommUNITY”, as inspiration to classroom design or bulletin boards. These simple acts are helping to create a sense of belonging and community that leads to overall student success and positive morale!

I sat in on Mr. Eric Carmichael and Mrs. Christine Chamberlain’s class and listened to an intriguing discussion about history and the writers of history. The students were reflective in their responses and challenged each other’s thinking in the process. Mr. Carmichael also shared with me a strategy that he and Mrs. Chamberlain used to get to know all their students. They asked students to create a large name card so they could take their pictures and then take a picture without the name cards. They essentially created digital flashcards of students’ images to review them all week. By Friday, they knew the names of all their freshmen students! What a creative idea!

Students As Learners
senior seminarOur Senior Seminar Team, which is a group of teachers who facilitate our Senior Seminar program, worked diligently all summer to support a number of seniors in completing their projects. Projects ranged from video game design to an architect internship and everything in between! About a third of our seniors took advantage of Senior Seminar Summer Institute. This continues to be a model program that allows students to demonstrate their development of strong communication, collaborative, creativity, and critical thinking skills while pursuing their passions. I’m extremely proud of our seniors and members of our Senior Team!

I noticed a group of students wearing blue scrubs, latex gloves, and carrying clipboards and beakers walking the halls this week. Their teacher was also wearing the same thing! I followed them to the second floor of G building and stumbled upon a “crime scene.” There was yellow caution tape, strange marks on the floor, and obvious signs of foul play. It was a Project Lead The Way Biological Science lab designed by Lorin Love and the students are loving it! They are gathering evidence and making inferences about the cause of the crime and who is responsible. It is a great example of differentiated instruction and making learning relevant to students!

During lunch duty on Friday, I saw several groups of students discussing a reading assignment, working on class assignments, or discussing other topics presented in classes last week. I also saw classes outside in the Quad; our Introduction to Engineer students were using the track, and our photography students have been all over campus! It feels really good to have the students back on campus! I also appreciate the level of student engagement incorporated in course unit designs so early in the school year.

The implementation of ACT (Academic Coaching Time) Period has been very successful this week.academic coach The vision of ACT is to create an academic success plan for every student. Each Academic Coach has been assigned 20-25 students who they will meet with during ACT period on Wednesdays or Thursdays. The focus is to provide adequate time for students to complete assignments, work on skill development, to participate in peer assistance, and be exposed to academic enrichment or intervention strategies. ACT period provides us an opportunity to measure our success in the areas of academics, attendance, and student discipline.

A few teachers have shared with me the agreements that students have developed that will create the conditions for a comfortable learning environment. I appreciate the effort to include students in this process!

Upcoming Events
Monday, August 24th-BOE Meeting 6:30pm
Wednesday, August 26th- State of the Eagles Address 1:55pm Gym; Senior College Night Meeting 7:00pm McCoy Center
Thursday, August 27th- State of the Eagles Address 1:55pm Gym
Friday, August 28th- Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 5:30pm MS Cafeteria
Wednesday, September 2nd- Open House 5:30pm-7:30pm

Articles Worth Reading
Happier Students Get Higher Grades
Tips for Successful Parent/Teacher Communication

Be Great,

Dwight

Today’s Professional Development

http://groveland.spps.org/uploads/hanging_light_bulbs.jpg
http://groveland.spps.org/uploads/hanging_light_bulbs.jpg
Access to and opportunity for professional development for educators has grown exponentially due to the use of technology, the need for more relevant and timely learning, and a growing dissatisfaction with the traditional model of “sit and get.” There are more options besides attending professional conferences. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy attending quality professional conferences to listen to dynamic speakers, attend a variety of breakout sessions, present, and connect with other educators to discuss hot topics in education and share best practices. There are also many other ways we can engage in meaningful and relevant learning experiences on our own time, at our own pace, and in the place of our choosing. We have to come to accept that learning is a 24/7/365 endeavor not bound to traditional office hours. Technology has flattened the traditional professional development model by providing so many opportunities for those who want to take responsibility for their own growth and development. Following are six effective professional development strategies that are on the rise for educators.

1. Webinars– Webinars are web-based presentations where participants register for and login at a specific time to interact with a presenter and and other presenters. Edweb.net provides a variety of webinars four to five days a week and there is a list of communities educators can join that are relevant to them. Most of all, they are free and typically occur after the school day. I’ve facilitated a webinar for Edweb.net and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The moderator managed the questions so we were able to have an interactive and engaging dialogue about the topic. I encourage perusing this site and consider joining a community that interests you.
2. Podcasts– Podcasts are web-based interactive conversations about a particular topic. Most podcasts are recorded live and archived for future use. One that I enjoy is PrincipalCast, hosted by Dr. Spike Cook, Theresa Stagner, and Jessica Johnson. These are weekly podcasts that include guest presenters that provide their thoughts and best practices about topics like implementing the Common Core State Standards, teacher evaluations, life after the principalship, pedagogical strategies, technology integration, and so much more. I also recommend you read this article for a list of 51 podcasts for educators.
3. Twitter Chats– A Twitter chat is a topic-based discussion on Twitter that is curated using a specific hashtag. Thousands of educators participate in weekly chats and school districts are starting to host their own chats in order to continue conversations outside of the school day. If you are going to participate in a Twitter chat, I encourage you to use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to allow you to follow the thread of comments. Check out this calendar of the most popular Twitter chats, which was created by @cybraryman1.
4. Blogging– Blogging is a way to make one’s learning visible because it’s a reflective process about ones thoughts, ideas, successes, and struggles. There are many free blog sites, such as Edublogs, Blogger, and WordPress that many educators use for their own professional and personal growth. A few blogs I often read are:
a. A Principal’s Reflections by Eric Sheninger
b. Connected Principals: Sharing. Learning. Leading
c. DCulberhouse: Engaging in Conversation Around Education and Leadership by David Culberhouse
d. Leadership Freak by Dan Rockwell
e. Life of an Educator by Dr. Justin Tarte
f. RaFranz Davis: Social Learner. Tech Specialist. Digital Diva by RaFranz Davis
g. The Jose Vilson by Jose Vilson
h. The Principal of Change by George Couros
i. This Is Seth’s Blog by Seth Godin

https://www.mnnonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/VictoriaEstrella.com_collaboration-10-01-14.jpg
https://www.mnnonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/VictoriaEstrella.com_collaboration-10-01-14.jpg

5. YouTube– It is reported that YouTube is the third largest search engine in the world! Needless to say, if there is a topic you want to learn more about, search YouTube and I’m certain you will find a few videos that will increase your knowledge about a particular topic. Even better, you could create your own YouTube Channel to share your expertise with others.
6. Skype– Skype removes time and distance as barriers and provides a means to engage in a conversation with a group of people or individuals to discuss relevant topics. Additionally, it provides a simulated “face-to-face” interaction that is still important to have.
7. Google Hangout– Google is flattening the collaborative efforts by providing asynchronous means to dialog, discuss, and communicate about topics of interest. Many schools have created Google Hangouts for teachers to continue relevant discussions and share best practices that improve student learning.
8. VoxerVoxer is an app that is on the rise in the world of connected educators. It allows for the same type of connectivity as Twitter, but it allows users to create groups for participants to actually chat live. The messages can be saved and archived for future reference. I’ve recently created a Voxer account and have joined the Digital Leadership and NASSP15 groups to keep in contact with other like-minded leaders. Other examples of how Voxer is used include book studies, interviews, and topic based discussions.

These are just a few examples of relevant professional development and you may notice that they are tech-based. However, these do not replace the importance and power of face-to-face collaborative learning among peers. Consider adding one or two to your toolbox as you continue along on your journey as a life-long learner!

Be Great,

Dwight