Weekly Round Up 4/10/16

Welcome back!  I hope everyone enjoyed the week and is raring to go Monday morning!  We only have 32 days of school left in the year, and they are going to be quite busy: testing, Senior events, Dance Maroon, spring concerts, the musical, spring sports, the Art Fair, final exams… whew!  This is a really exciting time for our students, and I am appreciative of all you are doing to make this year special and successful for our Bruins.


  • One of the most important skills our students need to be successful in college and in careers is the ability to write effectively and professionally.  You will be hearing more about an emphasis on writing for next year, but this article has some ideas on how to teach students to write and how to think through writing.
  • I really think this writer provides some excellent guidance on how to get students to ask questions when learning new concepts in order to think more critically and understand more deeply.  No longer do students just need to memorize facts — they need to understand their meaning and applications.  By asking questions (as opposed to merely answering questions), students can dig deeper into new information.


We have now gone through each component of the KY Framework for Teaching, highlighting a different one each week for the past year in order to better understand the characteristics of Accomplished teaching.

As we come to the end of our first year of full implementation of PGES, it is time for some required end-of-the-year reflection and activities.  We are going to spend our staff meeting next week working on this too.

Prior to next Tuesday’s staff meeting, all teachers must pull together their assessment data in order to determine how students have demonstrated documented growth and proficiency on the enduring skill identified for each teacher’s Student Growth Goal.  That information will be documented on an E2 form (which we will do at the staff meeting).  Since you have PLC meetings this Tuesday, you may want to devote part of your PLC agenda to looking at the Student Growth Goals and your data.

Other pieces of our end-of-year reflection are progress toward the Professional Growth Goal identified at the beginning of the school year and Student Voice survey results.  We will be working on all of these things at the staff meeting, so please bring with you to the meeting:

  1. Your Professional Growth Goal
  2. Your Student Growth Goal with assessment data
  3. Your laptop (to look up Student Voice results)
  4. Any other information relevant to reflecting on your growth and effectiveness this year

All certified staff members need to be in attendance.  If you are not at school that day, you will need to schedule a time with me or your supervising administrator to go over this information.  We are all learning this new process together, so we will go through it all step-by-step.


PBIS Tip: “Engage all Learners” – Make it impossible for students to “hide”

  • After posing a question, have students stand by the sign in the room that reflects their answer to the question: agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, disagree.
  • Ask a question and then ask for everyone to give a thumbs up or thumbs down to respond.

Post excerpts or quotes around the room. Ask students to read them all, then write down one they agreed with & discuss with the class


starCongratulations and thanks to teachers Adam Hartigan, Darrell Smith, Patty Bradford, and Dan Morgan for using spring break to take Ballard students to other countries and provide them a memorable experience.

star Kudos to Ronda Fields on a successful presentation at the National Science Teachers Association annual conference in Nashville.  Ronda, Keri Polevchak, and Loretta Roscoe attended and are bringing back all kinds of good information for our Science Department.

star Thanks to all who sent me fun photos to tweet about how they spent their spring break!


√ Save the Date: Our summer professional learning workshop will be June 8-9 this year.  If you attend both days, you will earn 12 hours of professional development credit.  There will be other opportunities for PD through a school-wide book study and district PD on specific content areas (that calendar should be coming out soon).


Happy Birthday in April to: Susan Davis (1st), Michael Harstad (3rd), Debbie Rainey (4th), Andrew Tullbane (4th), Jay Crocker (5th), Patty Bradford (9th), Erica Grossberg (10th), Loretta Roscoe (12th), Michelle McKelvy (19th), Rosemary Dawson (21st), Flannery Musk (21st), Kim Brakmeier (22nd), April Person (26th), Portia Wright (27th), April Davis (29th), Carl White (29th), Donna Evans (30th)!

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