Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Talk that's not too tedious

When we were planning the midyear SMART goals review process, it probably seemed like this would be a tedious task for Curriculum Team members and teachers. However, from the thirty minute meetings that I have had so far with individual teachers, this talk has been a breath of fresh air.

For some teachers, this has been their first one to one exposure with using Skype, and my online review meetings require some shuffling back and forth between the original goals on Google Docs, the reflection sheet for teachers on another Google Doc, and the Google Form for review feedback. Online meetings go surprisingly well though, perhaps because we can stay focused on the task at hand as there are very few other visual distractions.

These meetings have also produced some gems in terms of ideas. For instance, Ms. McHale was wanting to make better progress with her goals, be a consistent blogger, and launch a newsletter about academic intervention. Now she's going to do all three in one as she transforms her blog into the newsletter and addresses the key issues from her SMART goals - differentiation (especially for ELLs), data-driven intervention, PD offerings for academic intervention, and so on.

Ms. Lovett has proven what a star performer she is, and we have been planning to round up some teachers to be part of two study groups on differentiation.

Ms. Jenkins will be deep in thought about developing our school web-site - with Google Sites being an option - and Mr. Himowitz will be focusing on the development of protocols for offering students feedback on their Google Docs.

It's great to be part of a community of innovators.

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