Weekly Round Up 11/21/16


At Ballard High School, our mission is to maximize every minute with our students to provide them high level, responsive, engaging instruction in a safe, student-centered environment where all are treated with dignity and kindness.

As we get ready to take a few days off to be with family and focus on the people and things that add richness to our lives, I hope you will also take time to remember our students who depend on us to provide stability and shape their future and be thankful that we work in a profession that gives us the power to make a difference in the life of a young person every single day.


images (1) An important piece to Accomplished teaching is assessment.  This link provides many different rubrics you can use for different kinds of assessments.  They can be shared with students in advance so that they know what proficient work is supposed to look like and so they can self-assess during the process.

images (1) This article provides suggestions for working with some of our most challenging students.

Power of Positivity

From Jon Gordon:


It Really Happens

A teacher sent me an email with the subject IT REALLY HAPPENS and shared this story:

“I am a teacher of 7th grade students. I have been teaching for a while, last year I was burned out in October. OCTOBER!! I stumbled and clawed my way to winter break and dreaded the day when I would have to go back. I knew something had to change but I didn’t know where to start. As I began searching for a solution, your work kept popping up. I stumbled across thepositivepledge.com and began researching. I asked my students their biggest fear they had when coming into my classroom. I asked them to be true and not flippant because I could see it in their eyes. The answers were heartbreaking. I have students that are two years advanced in math and students that are two years behind in math but their fears were similar. I showed them clips of your speaking engagements I found on Youtube, we set about getting a “word” and I posted it in the room, we read the positive pledge everyday and we talked about feeding the positive dog. I would not allow any negative talk – no energy vampires – and we changed the atmosphere in my classroom.”

You don’t have to let the negativity persist. You don’t have to let apathy and indifference be the status quo. You don’t have to be one of the walking dead who hate their jobs. You can do what this teacher did and decide to make a difference today. You can live with passion, purpose and positivity. You can find your one word, feed the Positive Dog, neutralize the energy vampires, discover some tools and unleash your genius today.


√ We have several new staff members joining us.  Mike Johnson is on our day-shift custodial staff, and Priscilla Murphy will be starting this week on second-shift.  We are also pleased that Adam Johnson started today as our new Area Maintenance Man.  I have made a recommendation to Human Resources for a new Order/Receiving Clerk and am waiting for that to be processed.

√ After Thanksgiving break, we are going to start some new procedures regarding hall passes.  We have become very lax about letting students out of class, and the traffic in the halls has become increasingly difficult to manage.  In order to provide a safer environment, we are instituting the following rules:

  • No hall passes the first 10 minutes or last 10 minutes of class.
  • No hall passes during 5th period. 
  • No hall passes after 2:00.

These also apply to teacher aides.  If you have specific needs during these times, please speak with me. I will announce these new rules on the PA next week, and I am asking each of you to do your part to communicate them and to enforce them.

√ I know that many of you are making plans for the end of the semester.  We will have 2-hour mid-term exams on the last 3 days of the semester.  The schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, December 14

First period: 7:40-8:18

Second period 8:22-9:00

Third period 9:04-9:42

Fourth period 9:46-10:24

Fifth period 10:28-11:04

Sixth period 11:08-12:16

Lunch 1 11:08-11:28

Lunch 2 11:32-11:52

Lunch 3 11:56-12:16

Seventh period 12:20-2:20 (exam)


Thursday, December 15

First period: 7:40-9:50 (Extra time for attendance)

Second period: 9:55-12:15

Lunch 1 11:05-11:25

Lunch 2 11:30-11:50

Lunch 3 11:55-12:15

Third period: 12:20-2:20


Friday, December 16

First period: 7:40-7:50 (Attendance)

Fourth period: 7:54-9:50

Fifth period: 9:55-12:15

Lunch 1 11:05-11:25

Lunch 2 11:30-11:50

Lunch 3 11:55-12:15

Sixth period: 12:20-2:20

*We will send out the specifics on lunch assignments next week, but some of you will have to have the split class during the exam, so you may have to give part of the test before lunch and part after lunch.

**We expect everyone to give some kind of culminating assessment of student learning during this time.  This is not an opportunity to have a party or show a movie – students need to be working during these exam times.

***Students must remain in the classroom for the entire period.  There will be no passes to the library or computer lab during these times.


Happy Birthday in November to: Bryan Rich (2nd), Amy Scott (2nd), Amy Meeron (6th), Marti Hageman (9th), Deb Spano (13th), Jordan Couzo (18th), Ryan Gilliland (21st), Nikki Fisher (22nd), Micah Owen (22nd), Michelle Lewis (22nd), Brad Hultz (23rd), Ronda Fields (25th), Amanda Holguin (26th), Calvin Kirby (28th), and Sarah Niemann (30th)!