Friday, September 27, 2013

Welcome Back Breakfast on Sept. 21, 2013

Check out the first event organized by the PTA Executive Board of 2013-2014.

Parents on a Saturday. So cool.


A Kohl's representative making a contribution to the PTA.


Of course, Ms. Greene (PTA President) presents a token of McKee's gratitude to the representative from Kohl's.


Ms. Mullen, in charge of English, Social Studies, ELL, AVID Coordinator, and now Advanced Placement Supervisor. McKee now has 3 Advanced Placement courses. We're starting small and building with the help of the citywide initiative called the APEX Program. Very exciting.


Mr. Sarno is the instructor for the Auto Program and also the Work Based Learning Coordinator. He helps our students gain internships.


Who is this new face to McKee. His name is Mr. Lambert. We are putting him through his paces as he takes on a number of different roles at McKee.


Where did all this talking and where did all these people gather? - Why at the the annual Welcome Back Breakfast. This event always jump starts the first PTA meeting. This year it was held on Saturday, September 21, 2013 in the student cafeteria.

Test Drive For McKee High School's Auto Program


Friday, September 13, 2013

Tips 1-5: From the Classroom to Your Room



Instructional Tip 1 - Have a calendar hanging in the classroom. Point to it. Provide an overview of the assignments that will be covered for the day, and for the week.
Instructional Tip 2 – The summary is crucial to seal the deal on the lesson. I use guiding questions. Make sure it is in big bold letters in an eye catching color:
Summary
  i.         What did you learn?

ii.         Why was it important?

iii.         How did you learn it?


Instructional Tip 3 – A good sampling of Cornell notes based on a rubric makes a sharp bulletin board inside the room! I plan to post the Cornell notes of students who receive exemplary grades.

Instructional Tip 4 - Have students create an “Instagram” word wall. This idea is courtesy of “KK” Kenavan.

Instructional Tip 5 - Have students create a word wall in the computer room using the vocabulary sandwich template (idea courtesy of Noreen Mullen).



Inserting Turn and Talk Time

In the spirit of sharing, I find it helpful to remind students about the protocols for group work. 

I always insert at least one of the directions for turn-and-talk
slides in a PowerPoint and/or SMARTboard page. 

Click here to check it out. 

Always keep group work short, simple and to the point. It will help with addressing some of the components in Domains 2 and 3 from the Danielson rubric.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Good teaching is . . . Good teaching - What I expect when I walk into a classroom!


The core of the teacher evaluation system is good teaching. Good teaching requires constantly communicating to students, parents, colleagues, and the administration; effort, research, investigation, networking, professional development, assessment, academic intervention strategies, implementation of technology, implementation of differentiation, and reflection.

What do I expect when I walk into a classroom? Check it out.



1. Teacher monitoring student entrance into the classroom. An opening exercise handed to students at the door. The teacher states expectations at the start and at each major point of a lesson. Statement of CCLS standard(s) being used.

2. Aim / Essential Question; Do Now,
Collect previous day's homework. Indicate expectations and standards in the lesson/unit. Activate prior knowledge from the previous day's learning. (Example: SMARTboard interactive exercise: image match, keyword match).
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3. Motivation of 5 minutes in the form of a visual, audio selection, journal entry, or connection to the lesson. The audio selection should be music or clip aligned to the subject matter. Arrow of recitation established: pass it on, student pulls a name from a cup.
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4. Mini Lesson in which the skill is modeled, and the content is discussed
   Quick formative assessment of student comprehension: thumbs up/thumbs down, survey, multiple choice.
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5. Explanation of the directions, and distribution of resources: textbooks, handouts.
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6. Differentiated instruction. Steps for the activity should be pre-posted on the chart,  PowerPoint, SMARTboard, and/or a handout. 
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7. Assess student learning at least twice a period.

8. Monitoring the progress of the students by checking the status of their Cornell Notes as to who is exceeding expectations, meeting expectations and who is below expectations

9. Students respond to and use questions from Habits of Mind and Blooms Taxonomy or Costa's Levels of Questioning to share out core understandings that build toward answering the aim / essential question. The teacher has students "pass it on", repeat, comment or expand on the answers of other students.
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9. Summary provided by the students answering the aim or essential question both verbally and in written form with a summary in their Cornell Notes. An alternative for a quick formative assessment is an EXIT PASS. Pupils can either repeat, or elaborate on the answer to the aim. The students provide a complete indication of the answer to the aim, the skills learned and the standard(s) that were linked to the lesson.
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10. Homework assignment.



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