Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Getting Granular Through Student Data - Phase 1

I had a wonderful meeting with Richard D'Auria, the ESO6 SAF, who greatly clarified for the entire cabinet the purpose of CFI Interface. What is CFI Interface? It stands fore Children's First Intensive. It is a website: http://www.8cfi.com/ that consists of tabs for each team in one's school. The teams document how they are meeting and supporting one another to help students who perform in the lowest one third of the cohort. By helping the lowest one third, one eventually builds the capacity of the school to move all student learning.

Banish the thought of once a month department meetings. The push is to have teachers meet on a weekly basis and have conversations about how to help students who are struggling academically in their classes.

From the meeting with Mr. D'Auria I created a blueprint to help the assistant principals and myself know the next steps in order to accurately relay the information to the entire school community. Click on the title or right here to access: Getting Granular About Moving Student Learning.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kudos to the McKee Robo Wizards

The Imagery Award celebrates attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration from the machine to the team appearance. Being creative and original makes this team not only look good, they make FIRST look good! This creative team worked their magic both on and off the field. They can be seen with their bubbling cauldron of moon rocks perched above their pit sitting on their purpose thrones, and at the crater battling in their wizard hats and capes.
The Imagery Award was presented to team Number 522, "The Robo Wizards," at the March 4 - 7th Rochester Regional FIRST Competition. Congrats, Robo Wizards!

A Guide to Effective Questioning

To put some pep into your questioning skills and to make sure students improve on their critical thinking skills, click on the title. You will see a PowerPoint that showcases question starters as well as instructional tips that align with Bloom's Taxonomy. The goal is to broaden the range and type of questions you ask of students and that students ask of each other.
One word answers are not enough.
Students need to be able to explain and demonstrate their thinking. Put your finger on the mouse, move your cursor to the right and click right here: Effective Questioning Skills

Friday, March 6, 2009



Scholarships abound. Currently, the P.T.A. Scholarship application, given out in your shop class is approaching its deadline. Please see Ms. Marsigliano for assistance.

Also, if you are a female, going to major in education, please see Ms. Marsigliano for a special scholarship opportunity.

For all Time Warner subscribers (those of you who use Time Warner Cable) we have a scholarship for you.

Also, this is an important reminder. When you get your acceptance letters and financial aid award letters, please bring them to Ms. Rivera and Ms. Marsigliano.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Moving Towards Quality Review Level Observations

In the spirit of transparency, it is important for all stakeholders to be aware that there is a rigorous upgrade to the 2009-2010 Quality Review. 

We at McKee have decided to take steps towards implementing all of the elements by looking at our practices in the classroom. We decided to do informal observations incorporating the Quality Review (QR) classroom observation rubric.

As we proceed forward in doing regular walk-throughs of the departments, below are several attachments that help the school community at McKee.
  • Click here to see a Self Evaluation of Classroom Walk Through / Lesson - a one page form that teachers fill out in a short debriefing session. The goal of all self-evaluations, reflections or observations is to be low inference, which means, it has to be seen and heard.
  • Click here to see the Classroom Walk Through / Observation form. Lines and spacing have been adjusted so that one is able to write down the low-inference evidence as one sees and hears the interactions and activities.
  • Click here to see the Lesson Summary Strategies form. This handout has a list of ways to end a lesson in which the students take the lead in demonstrating their understanding of the content learned during the period.
The goal is to have all of the teachers be able to look at themselves and their colleagues using the self-evaluation template. Through the regularity of the walk-throughs, teachers will become knowledgeable and empowered, able to gauge their practice, be part of a peer assessment process, and understand how to enhance the quality of their lessons to advance student learning.

Walk-A-Thon for Children's Health & Fitness

Join the Fight to end Childhood Obesity!
Participate in a 3 mile walk around Prospect Park to promote fitness and healthy lifestyles for kids. Saturday, March 28, 2008, 10:00 am. For further information and to register go to: www.bodysculpt.org or call 718-346-5852.


NYC ACT-SO is en enrichment program for minority high school students. The program is free and prepares students to compete in local "Olympics of the Mind" in the following areas: Humanities, Performing Arts, Sciences, Visual Arts. Winners of the local competition will advance to the national competition on July 8th - July 12th in NYC. Recruitment is now occurring. The workshops will be on Saturday, March 7, March 14, March 21 and April 4. Students must participate in these workshops in order to be eligible for the local competition. Pre registration is required. For an application and further information go to www.actso.org., actsinfo@actso.org or call 212-666-7212.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Blog Shout Outs

Click on the title to check out 20, that's right 20 blogs regularly generated by teachers at Ralph McKee High School. 

For those of you who follow our little site, we started last year, 2007-2008 with only 5 teachers using the blog as an instructional tool. 

It is now 2009 and we now have 20 teachers who use blogging in a number of ways. Click here for the Blog Shout Out.

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