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As the 9th largest school district in the state of Ohio, the Hilliard City School District serves more than 15,500 students in grades K-12, through three high schools, three middle schools, two sixth-grade schools and 14 elementary schools.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December 5, 2011

The Khan Academy Opens Its Virtual Doors - Carefully 
How connected are your teachers?  Are they paying attention to new trends in teaching?  Here’s a test.  Ask them if they’ve ever heard of a “flipped” classroom.  The Khan Academy is continuing to grow, and soon teachers will even be able to upload their own videos.  Check out this article about the expansion of the Khan Academy.  This type of instruction is going to continue to become more commonplace in our classrooms.
“In the very foreseeable future, teachers will be able to upload their own videos to the Khan Academy, but also be able to create their own “knowledge maps” or repositories of content for their classes, using videos – within or outside of the Khan Academy – and all of Khan’s analytics, and reporting tools, in order to customize their own curricula.”

Points Don’t Work.  Respecting Students Does.
Wednesday, during our Late Start, our secondary teachers will be discussing grading practices.  As I was reading this article, I felt it would provide us with a good lead in to this discussion.  At the heart of the article is a Framework for Rigor/Relevance.  However, what I found to be most interesting was the author’s point that these two R’s can not occur without the trust that is formed between teachers and students through a third R, Relationships. 
Formative Assessment or ‘Formative Instruction’?
As we prepare for our second Late Start professional development of the year, I am reminded of the importance of convincing teaching staff that our district initiatives are connected.    As we carve out precious staff meeting time for work such as data teams, RTI, new Standards implementation, and grading practices, we need to assist teachers in realizing that all of this work is about improving the quality and focus of instruction.  
The blog I chose this week reminds us that assessment is a "reciprocal feedback loop of students and teachers figuring out together whether deep learning has taken place." Isn't that what our daily work should always be? 
As the Brain Changes, So Can IQ - Study Finds Teens' Intellect May Be More Malleable Than Previously Thought 
This article reinforces what we believe about highly effective teachers, leaders and schools.......what we do really does matter.
A recent study by researchers at University College London found that environmental factors during the teenage years can impact intellectual capacity.  I.Q., which may be more malleable than previously thought, can be influenced by environmental factors such as tutoring, personalization, feedback, and at the opposite end, neglect.  "A change in 20 points is a hugh difference", said the team's senior researcher Cathy Price.  " It can mean the difference between being rated average and being labeled gifted- or conversely being categorized- as substandard."

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