Sunday, November 13, 2016

Pineapple Learning Walks and Positive Referrals

Excellence in Education: Pineapple Learning Walks  
Are you constantly searching for new ideas?
Do you wonder why a student who is struggling in your class is doing well in another?
Are you constantly searching for new ideas and strategies to improve your teaching and student learning?

One of the most valuable resources to answer all these questions is available to you--your peers in this building!

Learning from another teacher is one of the easiest and fastest ways to refresh our practice, learn new strategies, and build rapport with one another. While most teachers have an open door policy, we often get too busy and never visit other classrooms. So to help you see all the great things that are going on in other classrooms, we’ve created a multiple tier approach to Pineapple Walks.

Why are they called Pineapple Walks? Pineapples are the traditional sign of welcome. We’ll be putting little pineapples in your mailboxes, so when you’re doing something exciting, you can post a pineapple on your door to alert others that you want people to visit. Additionally, if you know your students are doing something exciting in your class, shoot me an email and I’ll include it in the Mustang Memo.

If you’re like me, you might prefer an option that requires more commitment ahead of time from the observer. I would often plan to see another teacher in action, but I would get caught up in everything else and bypass the peer visit. What a shame! Option 2 is for teachers like you.

Using this form, teachers will sign-up to visit a classroom during their planning periods. We’ll match you up with a partner, designate certain Wednesdays as Walk Through Wednesdays and together you’ll choose which classrooms you want to visit. After each visit, you’ll share with each other only what you liked about your visit. This dialogue is often as valuable as the visit itself.

One of the things I love about Monticello is that the staff is always looking for ways to learn and improve. Pineapple Learning Walks enable us to do just that and work together collaboratively, just as we hope our students do.

After walking through, take the time to write a thank you note or email to the “observed” teacher or add a note of appreciation in our Teacher Workroom, the Shout Out Section in our Mustang Memos, or nominate the teacher Teacher of the Month.

Our pineapple learning walks are optional.
Positive Referrals:

We’ve got a challenge for you! Don’t worry it’s easy and rewarding!

We’re asking you to refer students for positive actions. This could be for a student taking a leadership role in your class, or for a student who showed improvement, or someone who performed an act of kindness. Essentially it can be for any positive act!

Take a second or two to recognize a student who impressed you during the first quarter. The appropriate administrator will call the student into his/her office and contact the family to recognize the student.

This is a great way of enhancing student-teacher relationships. A simple investment with a great payoff.

Shout Outs:
Did you hear how our Marching Band did at their Assessment last weekend? If not, be sure to ask a band member about their tremendous accomplishment--and then order some fruit from them. Great job Mr. Coston as you continue to build our band program.
Need to Knows:

Portfolio Assistance If you have a student who needs assistance setting up his/her portfolio, click here

Technology / Website Permission Request Form Please use this form to request use of a website that requires student log-in if the site is not already on the approved list. DART approved list

Calendar and Memo Items
A-B-B Week

November 4
OATS Survey by All Employees Must Be Completed (see Dr. Haas’ email dated 10/28) I’m keeping this in here in case you missed the deadline.

November 11: Lockdown Drill (details coming)

November 11 Mentorship
Computer Check
During this mentorship or the following week, we are requiring that you complete our first computer check of the year. Directions are here. You must follow these directions prior to mentorship to set up your “gradebook” to complete this computer check. This is a county requirement.  

November 11 Peer Support Survey and Mentorship Activity
Peer Support Survey: Use the link to access the information and the forms.
Peer Support Nomination Instructions:
This is an annual nomination process that we provide for our students to alert the Counselors of students who are victims or bullying or students who are identified as a bully.
Before administering the nomination, please watch the I CARE video with your students.  Here is the link:
Ask your students to use the provided definitions of bullying as they consider and write the names of students who may have been bullied at school during the past month. If they do not know of anyone, it is okay to leave the nomination form blank.
Encourage students to answer as honestly as possible and to take this seriously. Explain to your students that they should not list someone’s name as a joke, because the time it will take time for the counselors to follow up could be used to work with a student who truly needs help.
Remind students that their responses are anonymous, which means no one will know they provided the information.
Explain why this is not snitching. Snitching is telling on someone to intentionally get that person in trouble. Naming a student who has been bullied is being a voice for that person in an effort to get him/her help.
Encourage students to write first and last names, if they know them. If students are unsure of a student’s full name, tell them to identify the student another way, such as his/her bus number, grade, or teacher’s name (ex: Bill in Ms. Johnson’s class).
Remind the students to list only students who have been bullied using the definitions provided in the video and/or your explanation.
Return only the Peer Nomination Support Forms to the Main Office that identify or name any student who has been a victim of bullying in the past month.

Students will also complete the Student Needs Assessment

November 8: Dawn Anderson, Trey Roberts

Worth Your Time

Engaging Students with EdPuzzle (requires parent permission)

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