Friday, August 27, 2010

Understanding Race To The Top

Let's engage in a digital think-aloud. New York State is one of the recipients from the Race to the Top (RTTT) initiative. It is also a great opportunity to look at the power of a writing style that students rarely are exposed to in secondary school: grant writing. In addition, it provides a great way for educators to engage students in understanding how to do non-fiction reading of a large document. Think college readiness when students are deluged with many texts, whether digital or hard-copy, that require they summarize, synthesize, and evaluate information. A key comprehension strategy is using the Table of Contents to skim and scan key points.

The Table of Contents lists 32 priorities.
Page 9 of RTTT lists the milestones New York hopes to achieve:
1. Teachers and principals will be evaluated using student growth data
beginning 2011-12
2. All schools will implement the new Common Core Standards by 2011-2012
3. Our assessments will be aligned to the Common Core Standards by Spring 2012
4. Our Education Data Portal will launch statewide in Fall 2012
5. There will be implementation of specific strategies to turnaround 147 of persistently lowest-achieving schools in 4 cohorts beginning September 2010.

Page 29 describes the anticipated timeline

Page 61 shows the professional development structure

Page 68 describes how New York has spent school funding in the past.

Page 246 describes the differentiated accountability measures.

Page 273 (Strategy 4: Expand Partnership Zones) describes the innovative Secondary School Model Fund also known as the IZone. 84 schools serving 13,000 students are part of iZone

Page 282 describes New York City's experience about school improvement.

Page 317 describes the approved Partnership zones: including Children First & iZone.

Page 356-448 shows the project by project budget summary, or how the $700 Million will be spent.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Learning a New Feature About PowerPoint


I am now painstakingly going over the links that I've created and the files that I've placed within folders. A family member who is very comfortable with computers has a sharp eye and keeps me on my toes. Most faculty members know that she dragged me kicking and screaming from the world of pen and paper into understanding various software programs.

The latest information page that I am trying to streamline is the whole notion of a print rich environment for high school so that it does not sound like an elementary school. For most secondary school teachers it's about space and organizing who copies the exemplary work, and the system used to update the work within the classroom. Ah - the key words, organization and consistency.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Using E-Chalk for the Updated McKee Website


Here I am, just learning how to upload files and links onto the E-Chalk site. I am not a natural at computers nor even at anything technical. I have to slog my way through the process. So here I am, at 10;55 PM, pushing myself to upload two of my favorite K-W-L charts onto the website. I finally did it. I also think that I am intoxicated with being able to link files to a website.

Here's a secret - it took me forever, and I mean several months before I even had the nerve to follow up placing anything onto the McKee website after the initial e-Chalk training. My brain just could not wrap around the concept. Finally, now that it is the summer, and I have enjoyed the best fruits of the summer, I decided to once and for all tackle the frontier of following the rules to input information onto the website. By the way, the new website is Welcome To The Home of the Soaring Seagulls. It's a bit long but I think it works.

Apture Multimedia