Tuesday, November 22, 2011

PLCs used at Spruce Mountain High School to Examine Writing!!

 On November 9, I had the pleasure of meeting with a PLC group at the north campus.
 Mike Henry lead the group:
Jamie - Health
Carlos - Spanish
Chris - Math
Mary - Reading 180
Sherry - Science
Kristel - English
Mike - Social Studies

This was the first of a series of PLC's focused on student writing. 
I was very impressed with the level of understanding and expertise shared among this group and have chosen to post some of their examples for everyone to share.



Here is the protocol the group used - carefully timing according to the framework and focusing on each topic - NO WANDERING BUT LOTS OF LAUGHING AND COLLEGIALITY!!


Sharing Quick Writes and Exit Tickets


1.    Round Robin Sharing (10 min)

Each group member takes a minute or two to briefly describe the example they have brought. 


2.    Warm Feedback (5 min)

Open discussion time where group members can identify aspects of each other’s work they appreciate. 


3.    Review “Exit Ticket” and “Quick Write” (10 min)

Group members take a few minutes to review texts about Exit Tickets and Quick Writes.  Using the texts may prompt new ideas about warm feedback or prompt new ways of using the strategies. 


4.    Clarifying Questions (5-10 min)

Group members can pose questions about how to effectively use these two strategies.  Questions might be prompted by the group sharing or the texts. 


5.    Round Robin Next Steps (5 min)

Each group member has a moment to identify how s/he would like to use the Quick Write and/or Exit Ticket strategy in the future.  

Here are some of the student samples shared!

Health: Students used "drunk goggles" and then were asked to write how drinking might effect their driving.

Drunk Glasses
     I can honestly say that trying out the drunk goggles is something that I will never forget. Aside from all the laughs, I got a sneak peek about what it might feel like to be heavily intoxicated.
     In this particular situation, I had the ability to take off the glasses and return back to normal vision.  But if I was very drunk, I wouldn't have that option.  I'd be very frustrated and confused, not to mention even scared.  
     This lesson taught me how dangerous it really is to drink and drive.  You grow up learning that it's bad, your parents tell you, your teachers tell you, but you don't fully understand why until you can experience the sensation for yourself.  I couldn't walk in the hallways without stumbling.  I couldn't even catch a basketball or give a high-five.  How could I possibly get behind the wheel and be safe?

Biology:  Before leaving class, complete this ticket and paa it in.  Write down 3 differences between mitosis and eiosis, 2 things that you have learned about homologous chromosomes, and one thing you have a question about, or do not understand.
 

3 - 1. chromosomes are lined up differently
     2. There is no crossig over in mitosis, but there is 
         crossing over in meiosis (during prophase).
     3. Meiosis has more stages than mitosis.

2 - 1. Homologous chromosomes can be mated in 
          pairs.
        2. They can be matched by size, shape, and 
            banding pattern. 

1 - 1. Are all chromosomes homologous?


 Math: 
 1.  What is the difference between complementary and supplementary angles?
2.  Draw an example of an obtuse angle.
                                3.  Name the angle to the right.


 Social Studies:  Following our discussion today about Jim Crow laws that established segregation in the southern states following the Civil War, describe some of your thoughts about these laws.

My thoughts about Jim Crow... I believe that Jim Crow was stupid and a lot of the laws were abused.  So many laws were created just because the whites didn't like the blacks.  These laws were foolish and unequal, some of them took it too far, such as separate schools, water fountains, churches, and restaurants.i believe it was absurd that a black man could have been beaten to death or hanged just because they made eye contact with  white skinned woman.  It's also very overpowering because the government and a lot of the KKK groups would threaten white people if they were to communicate or befriend a member of the black community.  Some laws such as marriage to black people, child custody, and the right to vote were not very equal at all just because our skin is whiter doesn't mean we are superior, we're all humans and we all have feelings.

English - What is freedom?

Freedom
 In my opinion, freedom isn't free.  People go to war to fight for our freedom and many die.  
     There is also the question of are we actually free?  We have rights and freedom to make our own choices, but we aren't truly free to do whatever we want.  People can still get into trouble for writing or saying something doesn't like or agree with. (Teacher feedback - What would total anarchy look like?)
     When I think of freedom, I think of the good, and the bad.  I think of being able to say what I want, and do what I please, but I also think of the men and women losing their lives trying to protect our freedom. (Teacher feedback - The sacrifice is unreal!)       Out of all of the countries, America has the most freedom.  We have the Constitution that states our rights, and also says that no one can be another's slave.  In many countries, people are not free.  Some get beat, or even killed for saying something bad about the ruler of their country.
    

  Thank you all for sharing.  This is inspiring!!  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

6+1 Moving to the Spruce Mountain High School

On November 7, the south and north campuses of the Spruce Mountain High School met to discuss next steps in the district wide literacy initiative.

The afternoon was spent reviewing the 6 + 1 rubric and then selecting - by content areas - those traits most necessary for particular contents.

The hope is to create a common vocabulary and focus in writing that will scaffold students' understanding of the writing process as well as boost their comprehension of content.


Literacy team members facilitated the conversations and shared examples of exit tickets, quick writes and other writing in their content areas.  

Following are the notes taken when debriefing by content areas. 

Thank you for all of your hard work:)


NOTES:

                   HERE IS A WEBSITE FOR SOME MORE IDEAS: http://writingfix.com/index.htm 

PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE DROP DOWN MENU ON THE LEFT.

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THIS IS A K-12 WEBSITE AND SO YOU WILL NEED TO LOOK FOR GRADE APPROPRIATE INFORMATION!   

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Writing Across the Curriculum


Okay, I am going to challenge you today and ask you to think about writing across the curriculum in a slightly different manner.  Following you will find a link to a new site created by Wiki.  It is a place to collect and sort math movies.  Think about it.  Organizing, collaborating, writing, and producing a movie!!! What an awesome way to embed writing for understanding in the content areas.  For those of you not yet familiar with the Common Core, writing to understand as well as tasks involving application of writing as a tool abound!!  Take a look and see what you think.  As always, comments are welcome.

Courtesy of Wikispaces;)


Featured Wiki: studentmathmovies

Shawn Avery started the studentmathmovies wiki in March of 2011.

1. Briefly describe your group, your wiki, and what you use it to do:

Our wiki is a collaborative project aimed to share some of the amazing work happening in classrooms around the world. We focus on collecting math videos made by students that can be viewed and used as a teaching tool. We've sorted the wiki into different math strands so that it is easy to navigate to different math concepts.

2. Besides the Edit button, which wiki feature is your favorite?

My favorite wiki feature is the ability to embed. It's so quick and easy to add any number of different tools to a wiki. For this wiki, the ease in which we can add videos made Wikispaces the perfect place to host our site. We've also been able to easily add other great widgets as a Clustrmap and visitor feed.

Keep reading.