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Showing posts from November, 2009

Great Curriculum Resource

I stumbled upon a veritable paradise for curriculum folks at the K – 12 Curriculum Development blog. The site is led by Steven Weber, Director of Secondary Instruction for Orange County Schools in Hillsborough, NC. I think the title sums up the intent of the blog … to offer tools, research, and insights into all things related to curriculum. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Making Learning Irresistible

Dr. Tim Tyson, former principal of Mabry Middle School in Cobb County Georgia, led his staff on a quest to Make learning irresistible. A quick look at the former website convinces me they were on their way of achieving their their goal with a web presence that is virtually unmatched. It’s not that Mabry had a great website, but that they effectively used their website to further their mission and vision!We talk about sharing examples of high quality student work. Their website showcases exemplary student work. Check out their Film Festival to see examples of student work or go to Podcast Central and see/hear about the successes of their students.We talk about partnering with parents.Staff blogs share homework and classroom happenings. The parent section has its own blog filled with relevant information concerning everything from student council minutes to immunization shots and year book sales. A portal for grades, attendance and discipline was also available. The Parent Teacher Assoc…

The Future of Libraries

Scott McLeod at Dangerously Irrelevant posted 10 Questions About Books, Libraries, Librarians, and Schools. He asks some hard questions about how technology is changing the way information is shared and stored. I am avid bibliophile, yet most of my reading is an electronic format at this point, I am annoyed when I cannot purchase a book on my Kindle. I love libraries and book stores, but love information at my fingertips more. What does all this mean for the structure of current school libraries, information literacy and the jobs of librarians?It is easy to discount Mr. McLeod’s questions, to push them aside or maybe even be a little angry at some of his more provocative questions. However,its been my experience we shape the future or the future shapes us. Rather than be in denial or get angry, let’s take on his questions. We want 21st century learners, let’s not be afraid to talk about shaping 21st century schools. What a great strategic planning discussion!Check out his questions an…

Students as Partners in Reform

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While I had the flu, I picked up Edie Holcomb’s book, Students Are Stakeholders, TooIt combines research on high school reform with practical strategies for engaging students. The book is presented as a case study, based on a composite of the many schools she has worked with as a consultant.  The author contends that “Students can be visionaries, advocates, and change agents--- when given the permission, expectation and some guidance” (Holcomb, 2007, p. 7).I doubt high school reform will ever be simple, but imagine if students as well as staff were helping to craft and carry out a school improvement plan!CONNECTIONS: As we looked at all the AYP Success stories from last school year (schools with high growth or high growth/high achievement) the single thing that stood out from all the school stories was a focus on RELATIONSHIPS!