NCMSA10: Rigorous Schools and Classrooms

Ron Williamson – Eastern Michigan University

http://www.rigorineducation.com

Handout

MY THOUGHTS IN ALL CAPS…BY THE WAY RON AND I ARE NOT RELATED :)

Ron works with folks who are in School Leadership

People hold very different perspectives on what the word Rigor means…talking about rigor makes people feel like you are really challenging what they are currently doing IS THIS A BAD THING? I KNOW I ALWAYS WANT TO CHALLENGE AND PUSH MY THINKING

Midwest struggling with change from manufacturing economy to “something else” and schools aren’t sure how to make the shift

Agricultural industry in Oregon is having the same shift: no longer graduate high school and go work on a farm, farms are looking for folks with college degrees in business, agriculture, and chemistry.

“Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels; each student is supported so he or she can learn t high levels, and each student demonstrates learning at high levels” –Barbara Blackburn, Rigor is NOT a Four Letter Word

COMPASS Model for Leading Change

  • Culture
  • Ownership and Shared Vision
  • Managing Data
  • Professional Development
  • Advocacy
  • Shared Accountability
  • Structures

Culture

  • Shapes norms and behaviors…unspoken rules about “the way we do things around here”
  • Visible through daily activities
  • Power of culture…new teachers develop “traditional practice” in less than 5 years in the classroom
  • Rituals/Ceremonies…one school had students walk across stage for grad. in order of GPA…many graduates refused to walk
  • Cultural Audit – List 5 adjectives that describe school’s culture, organize into common themes and discuss meaning
  • Walk the halls, what do you see? What is visible about student success? About the value of rigorous work?
  • Principal’s Lunch – Principal got cross section of students monthly during lunch asked them to “Tell me about your school.”

Ownership and Shared Vision

  • Involve stakeholders
  • Reduce isolation through collaborative work
  • Vision Letter – Ask teachers to write a letter describing how they will improve rigor in their classroom by end of school year…check back frequently
  • Hot Air Balloon – What would you see, hear, feel floating above school about rigor…what would it look like 5 years from now?
  • Challenge is getting people to agree on school’s vision
  • Fist to Five – tool for measuring consensus…fist=0, no support, 5=full support…many groups continue until everyone can hold up 3 fingers = broad level of support

Managing Data

  • Use multiple data collection tools
  • Don’t drown in data
  • 4 steps: Determine what you know, decide how to collect data, analyze data/results, set priorities and goals based on analysis
  • Student Shadow Study for data collection
  • Clear Expectations
  • Data Analysis

Professional Development

  • Job embedded
  • All day staff development is least effective
  • Develop shared language
  • Practical, hands-on activities
  • PRESS Forward Model: Purpose, Relationships/Connections, Expected Outcomes, Steps to Take, Support Needed, Forward
  • Follow-up on how to use the professional development in classroom…teacher to teacher works best

Advocacy

  • Build shared accountability
  • Planned public relations
  • Identify “movers and shakers” in building and in school community…How do you tap into them to support your schools?
  • Elevator talk…what would you say if you had 30 seconds to try and advocate for your school? READ THIS ONE IN PRESENTATION ZEN THE OTHER DAY
  • 1 Page Fact Sheet – single page advocacy document

Shared Accountability

  • Support teachers with change
  • Focus on results, not compliance with directives
  • Accountability through…everyday routines, supervisory practices, professional development, work with families and communities, students

Structures

  • Identify or create collaborative time
  • Schedules promote collaboration
  • Policy issues…grading, seat time, etc
  • Why do we put our bests kids with our best teachers and our kids who need more support with the newest teachers?
  • Schedule can be a very powerful tool…common planning time, shared classes, etc
  • Build in practices that promote ALL students to demonstrate their learning

GOOD INFORMATION FROM RON WILLIAMSON ABOUT HOW TO GET A SCHOOL CULTURE FOCUSED ON STUDENT SUCCESS AND RIGOROUS TASKS.  EXCELLENT INFORMATION IN THE HANDOUT. CHECK IT OUT AND LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!

NCMSA10: Videoconferencing Easy and Cheap to Use

Videoconferencing

Most familiar with Skype…fewer at conferences…fewer still have it in schools…

Tandberg systems are very expensive…

Regular video camera can be used for a webcam if already available

OrangeWare software…$20

Document Cameras

Logitech Pro 9000 roughly $100…webcam…fantastic picture for the price

$129 for H.323 software license…tack it in w/ a laptop and you’re set to go…Polycom PVX software running on laptop
16 ft. USB extenstion cable

Using 4 year old laptops…1G memory…1Ghz processor…

LOSING SOME OF THIS DUE TO TECHNICAL DISCUSSIONS ABOUT IP ADDRESSES AND FIREWALLS AND VLAN…WOAH…

EVERY ONE OF THEIR CLASSROOMS HAS 52” FLAT SCREEN HDTV…WHAAAA?…HOLY COW…PTSA FUNDED…

Showing a video of a VC session done between two classes…
Students using # cards to identify themselves…Student teacher on other end calls on #22, #12, etc

Bandwidth intensive…NC has a state network…real cost is how much bandwidth can be separated off for a VLAN…386mb minimum…State network may begin charging due to decreased budget…

Videoconferences available from NC Museum of Natural Science…NC Museum of History…and NC School of Science and Math…

NC Museum of Nat. Science only cost is to send artifacts back to Museum

Finding Other Partners
NCSSM has a catalog of programs…
Some have set schedule…some have custom schedules…
http://projects.twice.cc
http://cilc.org
Global Nomads http://gng.org

Jeff Nichols – jnichols AT wsfcs.k12.nc.us
Don Fought – dfought AT wsfcs.k12.nc.us
Carole Stern – stern AT ncssm.edu

Jerry.Taylor AT ncdcr.gov (Museum of History)
Mary.Tyler.fore AT ncdemr.gov (Museum of Natural Science)

GREAT SESSION…GOOD CONTACTS TO HAVE…THIS JUST MIGHT BE WHAT I NEED TO KICK START MY TAIL INTO DOING MORE OF THIS…

NCMSA10: This We Believe – Foundation for Success in the Middle

Linda Hopping
Georgia Lighthouse Schools to Watch

“To change the world, teach a young adolescent.”

The characteristics that we KNOW are too be good in successful middle schools are not evident in the majority of middle schools in this country. Half measures lead only to partial implementation and result in limited success.” –Ken McEwin, tom Dickinson, Doris Jenkins

What do YOU think are essential elements in order to have successful middle schools?
Deserve unique educational program
Teaming
Advisory…or a culture of advocacy
STUDENT FOCUS
Exploratory Programs
Focus on academics

Embrace Learning…not teaching…as the fundamental purpose of your school. –Rick DuFour

Culture of learning…not teaching to, learning with…

This We Believe began in 1982…was updated in 1995…2003 added Research and Resources…2010 is the 4th edition of this we believe and represents a near total rewrite…everything included is important

https://webportal.nmsa.org/Purchase/ProductDetail.aspx?Product_code=b8e51055-988b-4910-a3ac-97f70bde4973

TWB should be a roadmap for where we are going with middle schools

4 Essential Attributes of all Middle Schools
Developmentally Responsive
Challenging
Empowering
Equitable

3 Broad Areas
Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment (CIA)
Leadership and Organization        (L&O)
Culture and Community        (C&C)

16 Characteristics that are RIGHT for kids at this age…these are interdependent…can’t pick and choose
http://www.nmsa.org/portals/0/pdf/about/twb/TWB_Color_Chart.pdf
Value Young Adolescents and are prepared to teach them
Engaged in Active Learning
Challenging Curriculum
Multiple Learning Approaches
Varied Assessments
Shared Vision
Committed Leaders
Courageous and Collaborative Leaders
Professional Development
Organizational Structures
School Environment
Adult Advocate
Guidance Services
Health and Wellness
Family Involvement
Community and Business

THIS SESSION IS PRETTY MUCH A RUN THROUGH OF THE PRINCIPLES OF THIS WE BELIEVE…LOTS OF FOLKS IN HERE…WORRIES ME IF THEY’RE HEARING THIS FOR THE FIRST TIME…HOPING IT’S A REFRESHER FOR THEM AS WELL AND JUST SEEKING INFORMATION ON THE 2010 UPDATE.

Jigsaw reading of This We Believe among all staff members…”Walk the Talk” about educating young adolescents

Assess the current implementation of TWB within our school…NMSA Perception Survey to analyze staff feelings on implementation of TWB

DISCUSSING HOW SCHOOLS TO WATCH CRITERIA ALIGN WITH THIS WE BELIEVE

NMSA Assessment causes $479 plus cost of copies of TWB for NMSA members

family and student edition are being piloted currently

ALL MIDDLE SCHOOLS SHOULD HAVE A FOCUS ON TWB…IF YOUR SCHOOL ISN’T ALIGNED TO IT’S RECOMMENDATIONS, THERE ARE DEFINITELY THINGS YOU CAN DO…CHECK IT OUT!

NCMSA10: 2009 Essential Standards for Middle Grades Mathematics

2009 Essential Math Standards
NCMAC 3/12/10
1:00pm – 2:00pm

by Mary Russel and Robin Barbour

ncdpi site on essential standards http://www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/standards/

all information for math standards and info current and future can be find at http://math.ncwiseowl.org/ GREAT SITE!

essential standards are the standards NC is moving towards. They are:

        aligned with common core – federal standards for mathematics – NC has adopted common core – www.coursestandards.org and www.commoncore.org

        RBT verbs(Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy) are used throughout standards – there are few main verbs that have several sub-verbs under each one
sub-verbs are divided into teacher verbs and student verbs
                                                                
        concentrating on standards as a progression from 6th to 7th to 8th.

        listing of progressions are on the website. GOOD VISUAL OF PROGRESSION ON THE FOLLOWING POWERPOINT

        http://math.ncwiseowl.org/resources/presentations_by_the_mathematics_section/ncctm_2009_presentations/

*This year the state says we should be basing our instruction on 2003 NC standard course of study. Essentials standards still need to be voted on.
Keep an eye out for the vote. If voted on today, essential standards would not be implemented until 2011-2012 school year, but it hasn’t been voted on
so it will probably be longer. NEXT YEAR is definitely 2003 standards.*

3 options for students who will take high school courses in middle school:

OPTION 1 (must start in 6th)
6th -100% 6th grade, 50% 7th grade

7th -50% 7th grade, 100% 8th grade

8th -Math A(high school) standards

OPTION 2
6th -100% 6th grade

7th -100% of both 7th and 8th

8th -Math A(high school) standards

OPTION 3
6th -100% 6th grade

7th -100% 7th grade

8th -8th grade content and Math A(high school) standards 100%

NCMSA10: Algebrafy Your Math Instruction

Algebrafy
11:00am – 12:00pm
3/15/10

NOTES FROM THE MATH TEACHER ON MY TEAM ALSO AT THE CONFERENCE TODAY!!
MY THOUGHTS IN CAPS

Presented by The Teacher Academy

Problem 1)A snail is crawling up a pole 5 feet in length went up 4 feet each day and 3 feet each night.
How long would it take the snail to reach the top? What if the pole were 7 feet in length?
28 feet in lenght? m feet in length?
        
        OUR GROUP FIRST THOUGHT 1 FT PER DAY(THEORY 1), WE THEN DISCUSSED WHAT WOULD BE THE DEFINITION OF A DAY, WHETHER THE SNAIL WOULD REACH THE DESTINATION BEFORE NIGHT(THEORY 2).

        THEORY 1 ANSWERS = 5 DAYS , 7 DAYS , 28 DAYS , M DAYS

        THEORY 2 ANSWERS = DAY 2, DAY 4, DAY 25, Y = M – 3 MOST AGREED WITH THEORY 2

Algebrafying a problem is going over every part of a problem and asking questions and explaining a problem,
its parts, solutions, and thought processes instead of racing through problems to get answers.
In the previous problem you would ask what does the y mean? the m? the 3? etc…

“Good questions and good problems are hard to come by”

Algebraic Habits of Mind – from a book by Mark Driscoll, ‘Fostering Algebraic Thinking’

        Doing/Undoing – input/output , working backwards
        Building Rules to Represent Functions – organizing info, predicting patterns, chunking info, describing
                rule, diff representations, describing change, justifying a rule
        Abstracting from Computation – computational shortcuts,calculating without computing, generalizing,
                equivalent expressions, symbolic expressions, justifying shortcuts

        *presenter also gave us a list of questions from his book for each section*

Problem 2) You have a balance scale, and you are trying to weigh 40 packages of meat ranging in weight from 1kg
         to 40 kg. You only have four weights with which to work: 1kg, 3kg, 9kg, 27kg. How can you weight each
         package of meat with just these four weights?

        ALL OF OUR ANSWERS RESULT IN A COMBINATION OF THESE WEIGHTS OBVIOUSLY. THEN WE EXPLORED THE POSSIBILITY
        OF A PATTERN. FOR THE ONES WE FOUND A 1, NO 1, SWITCH 1 PATTER. FOR THE 3′S WE FOUND A 3 IN A ROW, SWITCH
        3 IN A ROW, NO 3 IN A ROW. FOR THE 9′S YOU GET 9 IN A ROW, SWITCH 9 IN A ROW, NO 9 IN A ROW.

presenter recommended a full class period for students to solve this problem

Algebrafying Instruction
        select an activity and address the following categories
                What is the original task?
                What algebraic habits of mind are illustrated?
                how can i algebrafy the activity?

NCMSA10: New Adventures in 3D Immersive Virtual Worlds

STEM and ICT Instructional Worlds The 3D Experience

http://stem-ict-3d.org/
Where can learning take place?

In what type of environment?

WIDE OPEN IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Video Shared during opening of session
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3uCySghKTU

S- science
T- technology
E- Engineering
M – Math

Focus on those four areas
I – Information
C- Communication
T- Technology
In 3D environments and virtual worlds

Engage in 3d world tools
build relationships w/ students
develop virtual solutions to real world problems
Mentoring program

Week 1 Student Week
Student Suite Forums
getting to know you

Utopia Forums
Had to create perfect worlds…4 students in each group, collab online to bring in from Google Sketchup and create activity

Week 2 Teacher Week
Teachers collab across states via Internet
Students teach the teachers…how to build 3D models/worlds, etc

One of our presenters created a virtual Shopping Center with stores for each curr. area…games and activities for each area
Science activity – draw backyard…then describe it in text
Watch video on “Being Bee Friendly”
Redraw backyard to be Bee Friendly…explain in writing

Language Arts – Thinking Skills Arcade
Writing activity…can create writing on a 3d panel in the arcade…Word doc embedded in model

Boxy looking “students” for avatars

WONDERING IF THERE IS MORE CUSTOMIZATION THAT CAN BE DONE HERE?…APPARENTLY CAN ADD PICTURES

Showing African Zoo activity now…Teacher in Winston talking within the environment
Grab animal card from the wall…take to different area of village to find out animal
Website “hut” for information about animals
Collaborative Spreadsheet to post information about animals

Worlds for Africa, Asia, Weather…all built by students…now available to others back at school

NOT QUITE AS MUCH AS QUEST ATLANTIS HAS AT THE MOMENT, BUT

gogofrog.com 3D Virtual World building site

FEELING LIKE THIS PROGRAM MIGHT BE A GOOD INTRO TO 3D VIRTUAL WORLDS…NOT THE FULL SOLUTION…VERY NEW, VERY LOCALIZED AT THIS POINT…SMALL BASE TO START…ADDING MORE THIS SUMMER…

Things kept simple at this point so it will work with more computer hardware in varying schools…

SEEMS WE’VE GOT A LONG WAY TO O TO GET TO A POINT IN EDUCATION WHERE WE’RE ABLE TO COMPETE WITH THINGS LIKE WoW…HOW IS IT THAT ED CAN’T FIND A WAY TO COMMANDEER SOME OF THAT LEVEL OF TECHNOLOGY? I’M SURE WoW DESIGNERS ARE MAKING LOTS OF MONEY, BUT IS IT REALLY SO MUCH THAT A FANTASTIC PROGRAM FOR EDUCATION COULDN’T HELP FUND/SUPPORT IT?

WONDERING IF PART OF THE PROBLEM IS SIMPLY THE ATTEMPT TO BILK EDUCATION OUT OF SO MUCH OF THE MONEY THAT DOES GET SPENT…PUT OUT A MEAGER PRODUCT THAT IS BETTER THAN OTHERS OUT THERE, BUT NOT AS GOOD AS WHAT COULD BE MADE…CHARGE FOR THE FACT IT’S THE ONLY THING AVAILABLE? STEM-ICT-3D IS FUNDED THROUGH NSF GRANT…

BRAIN IS COOKING THINKING ABOUT HOW THINGS COULD BE…*SIGH*

NCMSA10: Todd Whitaker Keynote

MY NOTES IN ALL CAPS

Professor of Ed Leadership Indiana St. University
What Great Teachers Do Differently

2 time Middle School Principal
6th grader: runs everywhere…when they get there hits someone
7th grader: runs everywhere…when they get there “grabs” someone
8th grader: heh, I’m way too cool to run…

Todd says middle school is kind of where his maturity stuck…

Difficult teachers don’t come to things like this…so he knows he won’t be dealing with difficult teachers today

“The people who need to be here, aren’t here…” Let’s be thankful…if most negative person in your school walked in you’d put on garlic necklace and make sure they wouldn’t come near…

Amazing how much power we give away to difficult/negative people

What is it Great Teachers Do Different? What do Great Principals…media specialists…APs…etc…do differently?

As a principal he was in cafeteria daily so lunch ended when lunch ended…not w/ a conference at 3:30

Survey teachers about effectiveness of principal…go to schools w/ most effective and least effective principals

Looking at the same things most effective and least effective folks do doesn’t help…it’s the “something else”

Poor Lecturer’s Classroom – worst of those three words…Poor…there are good lecturers…the poor ones have no idea how they’re coming across to their audience…

Teachers that can figure out how to be effective on their own…have already figured it out…they all do the best they know how…no teacher says I think I’ll wait until 2014 to get these students to the proficiency they need

People do the best they know how…including parents…AND students…

If we want change, we can either Teach and Model it…or we can whine about it…

SOUNDS LIKE CHOOSING YOUR ATTITUDE FROM FISH PHILOSOPHY

Treat people as if they were good…Good people like it, bad people are uncomfortable…rather than treating people as if they were bad…bad people like it, and good folks are uncomfortable…

Shift the Monkey…instead of good people feeling the burden, the folks that need to change feel the burden…doesn’t happen enough

If we stand by and watch, the uncomfortable group gets bigger and bigger…

Imagine a game where a parent is being a knucklehead…instead of staring while they’re yelling, sit by them and have a good conversation…shifts the discomfort to that person rather than those around him

Teach every teacher to see EVERY kid in the hallway EVERY time you see them: “Hi, can I help you?”

Looping
Great teachers looping…we want more of it…
Bad teachers looping…we cut the program…
It’s not looping…it’s the teachers…

We do the same thing with teachers…send a note saying “some teachers haven’t sent in grades”…focus on the ones that have the issue…

Who does more than any other teacher in your school: the best teacher
Who does the least: the worst teacher…
And it’s true…

Great teachers have an intention list about everything they do…may seem random, but it’s all intentional…

Coffee can full of names…great teachers don’t always call the name that’s on the slip of paper…some teachers will never figure that out

Teach your teachers right from wrong…

New Teacher Goal…for your school to become more like your new teacher, not to make your new teacher more like your school

Who’s responsible for climate of your school: Great Principal: I am…Poor Principal: The teachers, the students, everyone…Great Principals know what their role is…

Good teacher gives test, kids do poorly: Good teacher blames him/herself
Poor teacher gives test, kids do poorly: Blames anyone and everyone else…

Comparing school excuses to car mechanics using them…

10 days out of 10
Treat every student w/ dignity and respect every day, all the time
Positive Approach Every Day, All of the Time

Great teachers compare themselves to perfection…others compare other people to perfection
High expectations for students doesn’t have any impact…even worst teacher expects kids to learn, no matter how poorly they teach

Every student started this school year already knowing how to argue
Nevers
argue
yell
never use sarcasm

Great classrooms, the teacher determines what students will do next…poor classroom, students determine what teacher will do next

Great teachers have incredible ability to “ignore”
Classroom management has more to do with “class” than with management

Never use sarcasm…humiliate someone in front of peers with the intent of humor…kids always laugh because they don’t want to be next…

Have to treat the kids good ALL YEAR LONG…most teachers start the year that way…and make it to Halloween…or Thanksgiving…or Maybe Christmas…few make it all year long…

HAVING TO END THESE NOTES EARLY DUE TO BATTERY LIFE AND MY PRESENTATION IN A FEW MINUTES…GREAT SESSION TODD…HAVE TO TAKE A FEW MINUTES LATER TO DECOMPRESS FROM THIS ONE…LOTS OF GOOD INFORMATION…

NCMSA10: Education in Japan

Education in Japan
Robert Graham, Bradley Middle School

MY NOTES IN ALL CAPS

http://pages.cms.k12.nc.us/robertgraham
Click on Japan page, scroll down to PowerPoint link near bottom

Other links:
http://www.cusd.chico.k12.ca.us/libraries/elementary/japan
http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/index.html

High School
Entrance exams for high school…low scores keep you out of high school you may want to attend
Students go to cram schools called JUKU
Exam performance determines career choices

Uniforms
Shoe cubbies upon entering school…
Less focus on uniforms at elementary level
“A clean uniform means a clean heart”
Following dress code means you are serious about education

SHARING IMAGES FROM HIS 18 DAY STAY IN JAPAN THROUGH FULLBRIGHT PROGRAM…INTERESTING TO SEE THE SEPARATION OF BOYS AND GIRLS IN CERTAIN CLASSES, MAINLY PE…

Clubs
baseball, volleyball, kendo, calligraphy
100s of kids at sports clubs
3 girls in calligraphy club

IMAGES OF KENDO CLASS, JAPANESE FENCING…

Most junior high students in clubs…70% of Koryo High School in after school clubs

VERY DIFFERENT FROM US SCHOOLS IN MY EXPERIENCE…

Expected to stay involved long term to show commitment. Some clubs meet on weekends
Many boys and girls in clubs separately

Curriculum and Instruction
Most subjects the same
National Curriculum

DIFFERENT FOR US…FOR NOW…

Attend school on Saturday
Several breaks during day…10 to 15 minutes between classes…loosely supervised
Teachers change rooms, students generally stay in the same room

Cleaning
Kumi – Homeroom…develop a spirit of community and unity…one homeroom cleaned the entire school…bathrooms, courtyards, classrooms, etc…just prior to the last class of the day…

QUESTION ABOUT SCHEDULING
Time of day is similar to ours
In school approx. 240 days per year
Saturday half day…
Out of school March or April…roughly a month/month and a half

NOW TALKING MORE ABOUT GENERAL CULTURE IN JAPAN…LESS ABOUT SCHOOLS

Traditional elements of a home…
Images from a reproduction of a medeval castle

QUESTION ABOUT SPECIAL EDUCATION
Smaller classrooms…not a lot of inclusion…

Most remarkable part was how friendly the people were…stopped and asked directions on the street and were walked blocks by the person they asked…

No magic answer to what Japan is doing better than US…free time doesn’t answer the question…

Culture supports the schools…biggest difference…

CHECK OUT THE POWERPOINT…YOU’LL SEE THE ENTIRE PRESENTATION…DONE IN LESS THAN AN HOUR…GREAT POTENTIAL FOR A SESSION…NOT QUITE MET…

NCMSA10: Session Plans

So tomorrow I leave for NCMSA10 and I thought I’d give you all an overview of the sessions I’m either attending or debating on attending. If you have recommendations of things you’d like to see shared here at The Technorate Teacher, please let me know. For some session times I haven’t decided what I’ll attend yet, so there may be more than one session listed. Hopefully some of our other attendees will be creating digital copies of their notes and I’ll add as much as possible to the blog. Here’s what my schedule looks like:

  • Session 1: Education in Japan OR Inquiry in Physical Science: The Car and Ramp
  • General Session: Todd Whitaker Keynote
  • Session 2: I’m presenting about IMPACT and Tech in 20 at our school, depending on power availability I may be live streaming this session
  • Session 3: The Future is Now: 3D Immersive Virtual Worlds in Middle School OR It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Session 4: 12 Fixes for Broken Grades OR This We Believe OR Promoting Harmony: YA Development and Classroom Practice OR Who’s Afraid of Technology (hmmm…not sure how I’ll be in 4 places at once…the last session is being presented by @jldrury so maybe I can get a brief interview w/ her another time)
  • Session 5: Hands On: Real World Lessons for Middle School Classrooms OR Teaching Science through Good Books
  • Tuesday Session 1: Middle school Management Magic
  • Regional Meeting
  • Session 2: Wild and Wacky Research without Copying OR A School’s Journey Toward Globalization
  • Session 3: Formative Assessments in the Classroom – A Reality Check OR Lesson Planning for the 21st Century…No Big Deal
  • Closing Keynote: Debbie Silver

Looking forward to this one…as you can tell, I’m either rather indecisive or it’s just that there aren’t a lot of sessions that totally jump out at me. I’m not sure which it is, but I’m trying to branch out beyond technology related sessions. Hope you all are looking forward to lots of middle school related posts in the next few days!

NCMSA10: Preview

While most of my NC Twitter feed gears up for NCTIES this week, I’m looking forward to two weeks from today for the start of the 2010 NCMSA Conference.  This will be the second year in a row I’ve attended and I’m looking forward to sharing tons of resources here on the blog from the sessions I attend.  A few things I’m looking forward to:

  • Keynotes from Todd Whitaker and Debbie Silver – I’ve heard Debbie Silver keynote previously, actually at NCMSA a few years ago, but she’s always a blast.  I got to talk with her for a little while at the MiddleTalk booth in Indianapolis for NMSA09, so it will be good to see her again here in North Carolina.  I’ve never heard Todd Whitaker before, so I need to do a little background reading before his opening keynote on Monday.
  • Presenting on Tech in 20 – Our school Tech Facilitator and I will be discussing the professional development model we’ve been using this year in a session Monday morning. She will be talking about our monthly IMPACT meetings and I will be talking about the weekly Tech in 20 sessions.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to try out PD on tech tools through the Tech in 20 sessions, so I feel great about sharing that program with others around the state.  Knowing middle school teachers, 20 minutes is about the maximum attention span we can give to a topic, so I think it’s a great model!
  • Being back in Greensboro – As a graduate of UNC-Greensboro, it’s always fun to head back to the old stomping grounds.  Definitely hitting up Yum Yum’s for a couple of dogs and Smokey Bones for some “universal” BBQ…A trip over to campus to see everything new that’s been built since I graduated…

Check back soon for my preliminary thoughts on the sessions I plan to attend.

NCMSA10 Conference Program (PDF)

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