Dec 8 - 12
For the past few newsletters, I have been using smore.com. In searching for other formats, I will be using tackk.com for the next run of newsletters. I find this one to be a bit more user friendly so far. However, it doesn't work with older Explorer browsers. It does great in Chrome or Mozilla browser. Feel free to share your input. -J
When asked, most school leaders will tell you their most important role is to be an “instructional leader.” However, concrete examples of what that looks like are debatable (for example, see http://cepa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/Kappan_leadership.pdf ).
The Center for Educational Leadership at the University of Washington argues principals’ instructional leadership hinges on 5 behaviors:
- 1. Principals who are instructional leaders are learning focused. They are concerned about the learning of both students and adults in the system and measure this by the quality of instruction present in classrooms.
- 2. Principals who are instructional leaders understand it cannot be a solo activity. Instructional leadership resides with teams of teachers and principals serve as the “leader of leaders.”
- 3. Principals who are instructional leaders understand improvement happens in school environments that support public and reflective practice. That is, teaching is a public event in which teachers and leaders observe teaching and then reflect about positive possibilities. This requires a high degree of reciprocal accountability.
- 4. Principals who are instructional leaders address student diversity issues in their schools. They use data to pinpoint these needs.
- 5. Principals who are instructional leaders leverage teacher strengths to support instructional improvement.
They end with a sixth idea, “Leaders cannot lead what they don’t know,” and recommend school leaders stay abreast changing instructional methodologies and school reform initiatives.
(note: Brian's info below is a repeat of last weak. It was reported that the links were not live; this should be corrected)
At the last Elementary Principal Meeting, I had the opportunity to see lots of great ways to use Canvas. As I sat in the group led by James Grandon, he pulled up a link that he had shared with his staff. It was one of the appendices from the Common Core State Standards. These may be old news to some, but for me, it reminded me that they are a great resource. They provide English/Language Arts sample exemplar pieces as well as sample performance tasks broken out by standard for phonics, vocabulary, reading, writing. For teachers looking for extension activities for students to do in their reading logs, Appendix B has great examples of the types of questions to ask students to respond to in order to develop the deeper meaning of the reading. It also breaks down information by grade level. I’ll warn you that these appendices are quite lengthy. So, before sharing them with staff, I’d recommend taking a look to see what might be the most helpful. Then, you could recommend that they skim them for helpful sections. If you’ve already shared them, it may be time to revisit them.
Links to the ELA Appendices:
There is also a Math Appendix that provides more details around the CCSS.
Mr. Grandon goes to Washington
NAESP Communicator released the following picture in its newsletter. That's our own James Grandon on left. You can find the column release at https://www.naesp.org/communicator-november-2014/principal-ambassador-s-view-best-practice-journey
Teacher Eval Pilot Update
Teacher Evaluation Pilot Updates from Brady:
- Although I asked you finalize the teachers’ Growth Plans in our Tower training by entering your PIN, I am reversing course and asking you to please not finalize. We will finalize those plans at the end of the evaluation cycle once the observation data has been collected. If you or your pilot teacher have already finalized it & are experiencing issues with editing, please let me know!
- As you know, the observation tool utilizes DOK rather than Blooms’ Taxonomy – for those that need the basics of DOK or a quick refresher, a Depth Of Knowledge module is ready in your Job-Alike course. Please try to check it out prior to December Job Alike meeting.
Looking for a short read?
Consider what would be a radically different vision of school? http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/02/what-would-be-a-radically-different-vision-of-school/
We are looking forward to learning and being with you this Wednesday at KAC. We will learn more about the direction of SPS and the elementary division, include some literacy lead and learn opportunities, collaborate, and enjoy lunch together.