Sunday, September 28, 2014

Weekly Update 9/26

Change is inevitable.  Growth is optional.

Click here for this weeks SHS Faculty PD.

Attention Parents!  Citizens Bank has notified us that there is a problem with parents making checks payable to Aramark for the school lunch program.  Citizens Bank will no longer be able to deposit these checks for us.  Please make checks payable to the Smithfield School Lunch Program. Thank you!

The Smithfield High School SADD chapter run the Smithfield Lions 5k on Sunday.  Congratulations to all the runners!  

Congratulations to Jack Hurley for winning the RI Grange State Award!

Some excellent collaboration this week between the English and Social Studies Department.  Ryan Burns spent some time with the Social Studies Department sharing ideas and strategies on teaching argument writing.  Great work!

10 things students experience every day at school that we educators tend to forget about....

Thank you to Lori Larrivee and Luigia Solda for putting up this awesome bulletin board in the library.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Weekly Update 9/19/14

Happy Friday!  Hope everyone had a great week!

  • This weeks SHS Faculty PD provided by paperli.
  • Thank you to all the students and staff for participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  Over $500 raised for ALS.  See our video here.
  • We will have two Google hours next week.  If you have specific questions about the use of Google this is the time to utilize.  If we have been unable to connect during a free period please shoot me an email and we can get something scheduled.  Check the calendar for next weeks dates.  
  • Home football next Friday 9/26 7 pm.
  • The Bryant Confucius Institute is part of the Providence Waterfire next Saturday 9/27.
  • Lion’s Club 5k race is taking place next Sunday at SHS 9/28.  Race starts at 10 am.  

Best of Twitter and Social Media:

Shout Outs:
  • Kelley Young is exploring global issues through food.  Some great dialogue about what different countries put in their food, sustainable farming, and eating clean.  
  • Cathy Riley, John Marchand, Mark Atkinson - Excellent work during a student emergency during PE class.  Kept the student calm until rescue arrived.  
  • Rob Jackson & Jeff Macari - Staying fit and exercising everyday after school.  How many of you take advantage of the free workout facility here at SHS?

Have a great weekend!

25 Signs You’re Teaching In 2014 - From
1. You think of clouds as good things.
2. You believe tagging is the new email.
3. The blogosphere is more relevant a term than the stratosphere.
4. You spent more this year on iPad peripherals than you have pencils and pens.
5. You giggle when you recall how you used to simply give tests at the end of a unit.
6. You google before you even try to remember.
7. You begged your school accountant for an iTunes card instead of your annual classroom fund.
8. Have actually used the phrase “digital citizenship” in a sentence with a straight face.
9. You’re in bad shape if the internet goes down during a lesson.
10. YouTube makes more sense than television.
11. You forgot what chalk does to your skin.
12. Flipping the classroom is an instructional strategy rather than a response to misbehavior.
13. You’re sure Vine is rotting your middle schooler’s brain.
14. Your district has a more transparent facebook policy than they do on assessment or curriculum mapping.
15. You’re scared to explain your blended, student-centered, mobile-centric classroom to parents, so you don’t mention any of it on the syllabus.
16. You’ve “crowdsourced” something–school supplies, for example.
17. You trade rooms with another teacher for a better Wi-Fi signal—and don’t tell them why.
18. You’ve texted during class, but have taken a student’s phone for doing the same.
19. You plan lessons assuming that every student has Wi-Fi broadband access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
20. Students blame passwords and log-in issues rather than the dog for eating their homework.
21. Your students have to explain certain technologies to you, but you pretend you already knew.
22. You seriously consider that if it’s not being talked about on twitter, it may not have happened.
23. You’ve spoken more recently with the tech leader in Mumbai than the new 10th grade Math teacher down the hall.
24. You’d never admit it, but you judge other people by the tech they carry.

25. You’re energized–and absolutely fatigued–by the rate of change in your craft as an educator early in the 21st century.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Weekly Update 9/12

This weeks SHS Faculty PD may be found here.

Yesterday Renee, Liz, Kristine and I participated in a Leadership RI event at Rhode Island College.  The topic for the event was education and we were asked to showcase the things that make SHS unique.  Nine other schools participated.  Public, private and charter schools were represented.  It was a great opportunity to share the hard work of the teachers and students.  We shared information on our engineering and STEAM initiatives, grading for learning, freshmen mentoring, freshmen focus, and the Confucius Classroom.  We really enjoyed speaking with members of the Rhode Island business community.  

On the way home from the event we reflected on the questions we were asked.  The most common question asked was, “What makes your school unique or different?”  I wonder how you might answer this question?  How would an SHS teacher respond?  SHS student?  SHS Parent? If you were asked about your grading practices, how would you respond?  What do you think makes SHS unique?  Shoot me an email or tweet a response to @onesmithfield.  

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You may have seen an email from Craig earlier this week regarding collaboration with special education staff.  I do not believe this is a concern at SHS, but it does serve as an excellent reminder that we do need to work together.  I have seen a great example of this with the social studies department over the past year.  I have witnessed amazing dialogue between members of this department.  They share resources, communicate electronically, and utilize Google Drive effectively.  As a result, they have common units and lesson plans.  Their assessments are aligned to standards.  Civics teachers are using the same summative assessments.  Students are demonstrating specific skills.  It is NOT robotic teaching and learning.  Teachers still have flexibility and creativity with their lessons.  
“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.”

I truly believe that all of you understand the expectation that all staff must work together to achieve positive results with our students.  So, to make sure we are on the same page;
  • Summative assessments must be consistent across a subject area.  For example, we shouldn’t have four different biology assessments for the end of unit one.  
  • Departments are expected to collaborate on unit and lesson development, especially for courses with multiple teachers.  
  • Dialogue between faculty members must remain respectful.  It is certainly ok to disagree and debate, but attacks, rude language, and defiance do not promote the kind of positive environment anyone wants to work in.  

Thank you for your continued efforts.  The next two CPT’s will be department time.

Little response with the Google Hours this week.  I will add a smaller number for next week.  

ALS Ice Water Challenge - We are in the editing process of the ALS video.  We will be sharing the video next week.  We raised over $500 for ALS!
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Senior class meeting next Thursday during advisory. First Portfolio meeting.

Pink Out Soccer games will take place on Saturday, September 20th.  Girls start at 4 pm.  Boys at 6 pm.

Thank you to the 40 staff members who volunteered for subcommittees!  If you have not signed up for a committee and would like to, please complete the latest survey from MIke H.  Click here for the SURVEY

Shout outs:
Ryan Burns - Thank you for sharing student work via twitter during the week.  
Luigia Solda - Library looked great at Open House.  Thank you for triaging student tech issues.
Lora DiMuccio - Thank you for organizing the faculty dress down days.  
Mary Richards - You are awesome!
Student Council - Awesome work on the ALS challenge.  Excellent organization.  Great event!
Carlton Eaton/Bruce Lenore - Thanks for creating the ALS videos.  

Best from Twitter this week….

Have a great weekend!  Rest up.  We have a five day week coming up.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Weekly Update 9/5/14

Check out this weeks SHS Faculty PD!

Open House on Thursday 9/11 from 6-8 pm.  

Google Hours will continue next week.  Please check the school calendar for the new dates. 

No school Tuesday.  Primary elections!   

Fall sports are in full swing.  Check out for the latest schedules.  

LEADS Learning Walks will be starting soon.  We will try to keep disruption to a minimum.  Please do not stop what you are doing if a group pops in your classroom.

Lots of great resources on the Smithfield Live Binders page.  Go to the district page  under the Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment tab.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge will take place on Thursday during last period.  See Friday's email from Dr. Palazzo for more info.  Highest donation gets to dump ice cold water on my head........

This week's shout outs!
Great job by our counseling staff the last two weeks.  Schedule changes have been at a minimum.  No lines in the counseling office.  Awesome work!
Lori Larrivee - Thanks for keeping things positive!
Derek Snow - Thanks for tweeting out the latest updates on our athletic teams.

This week's Twitter Gems:

Have a great week!


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