Thursday, May 21, 2015

Summer Kickoff

Welcome to Summer!

Congrats on a busy and fulfilling year.

We’ve accomplished a TON this year in science and social studies and I’m so happy to be learning alongside you as we implement exciting changes in our new curriculum.  It’s awesome.

Below is important information for completing summer work:

I can’t believe he forgot…
I guarantee I forgot something or misremember something as I’m trying to keep all the moving parts in front of us.  If I did, please just let me know!

What do I do?!?!
So, I’m working on curriculum, what do I do?  I have combed through our resources, postings on the hub and CNI server and created what will be our "TO DO" list.  I have separated each grade level and content area on slides.  Using google slides all you would need to do is go to the slide that fits the grade level and content you are working on.

Video explaining how to do this here:

SLIDES with Summer To Do list Here:

Change is hard!

It’s important when working with your colleagues to not only be supportive of them through this process but also help figure out what their needs are so we can be the MOST responsive as a leadership team.  Look at this graphic:

As an example, if you are overhearing someone in the louge discussing about the frustration they have with the new curriculum.  Ask them about resources, maybe they are missing something they need.  If they don’t understand why we made changes to the social studies curriculum, ask then if they know the vision for our curriculum, etc.  Be responsive, be respectful and don’t just let them and their feelings go unnoticed.

Here’s a resource to support you in leading that conversation
Leading complex change in Science:
Leading complex change in Social Studies:

Who else is working this summer?
Lots of awesome people are coming together to improve Science and Social Studies.  I put together a sort of list here in case you're nosey :-) or would like to come with with a friend/colleague.

Working on creating an assessment?
I've been thinking about assessments a lot lately.  I'd love to chat with you about it.  I'd love for you to challenge my thinking and really move us forward.  I wanted to share some of my thinking as we begin to author first draft of science and social studies assessments.  Check the video out below:

I think that's it for now.....Happy Curriculum-ing.... :-)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Met with leaders of STEAM professional learning to iron out details for June 2 and 3.

Read this ridiculous article on cell phone bans in schools = student success. (can you tell how I feel about it?)

Prepped for meeting with Asst Supt.

Worked on Summer Task list:

Met with Asst. Supt.

Recorded this video for summer work

Made this assessment introduction

Recorded this video:

Monday, May 18, 2015

5/18 WGHS

Started the day working through emails

Worked on scheduling summer PD locations/events for Social studies and facilitators
6/16 - 324
7/7 - 324
7/8 - Bristol (following summer school)
7/16 - 324
7/20 - 324
7/22 - 324
7/23 - 324
7/24 - 324
8/6 - 324

Sent emails about combining groups...

Met with Webster University Science department about Content Specific Professional Learning for K-12 teachers.

Began list of resources for an assistant.

Worked on creating list of items that would make up our NEW science kits.

Started on Summer facilitator tasks. Seen here:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

5/13 ERS

Started the day welcoming students into the school.

Wrote letter to students no longer enrolled.

Worked on Summer calendar for Professional Learning.

Coordinated MySci Pickup

Sent this email:
Hey Team,

I need to coordinate MySci kit pick up.  Please make sure they are in your building’s main office by Monday 5/18.  I will coordinate with the WASHU team to ensure they are picked up that day or shortly thereafter.

Thanks for piloting!  Please make sure that your feedback has been noted on the google form.  If you have been keeping your own form of feedback, please copy and paste your notes in the appropriate form below:

If you’d like to expand our pilot next year, please make sure you reach out to me ASAP.

Met about Retreat at CIC @4240

Walked around, sat in classrooms, played at recess

Worked on 21st century Technology workshop

Monday, May 11, 2015

5/11 ERS

Started the day meeting with two 5th grade students

Met with MySci partnership liaison to discuss programming for 15-16 and beyond.

Met with 5th grade student.

Investigated Instagram

Met with Hixson teacher about Hixson Author's event.

Met with team at Bristol re: student acceleration

Further investigated Instagram

Assisted with dismissal

Worked on district PD calendar

Friday, May 8, 2015


Started the day at Edgar Road school.  Welcomed in teachers and students.

headed over to Central office for a district leadership team meeting.  We discussed:
DLT Professional Development Focus for 2015-16
Meeting dates for 2015-16
SSD Update
Infrastructure Update
C & I Update
HR Update
Budget Update
Retreat Planning
Superintendent’s Update

Answered emails.

Finished drafting "Complex change" documents for science and social studies. Authored presentation for complex change Science


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

5/5 ERS

Started the day welcomgin staff and students into the school.

Drafted email to K-5 teachers.

K-5 Teachers,

Next year we will be implementing a new social studies curriculum K-5.  If you feel like you need support in making this transition below are some opportunities to support you and your team.
Our curriculum leaders throughout the district are poised and ready to share their vision of social studies with you. Sign up using this google form!
If you’re interested please sign up by 5/15!
Need a quick overview of all the resource to support you, check out this 3 minute video here:
Our team has been (and will continue this summer) putting together  resources, advice, support, examples and cool links on our resource hub.  Check it out at
Over the summer our plan is to clean up and curate the social studies section of the CNI server.  Both the server and the resource hub (above) will replace the blue binders that sit on the shelves in your classroom.
Forgot how to get to the CNI server?  Watch this video here:
Our team has been working hard to ensure this implementation is smooth.  No timeline is perfect and we’re sure we overlooked something, but we’ve put together a comprehensive list of tasks from the time we started through today. We posted our timeline here:
Our team has made sure that topics don’t overlap, content is covered and students are engaged in the most relevant social studies learning possible.  Check out our alignment documents here:
Next year we will return to holding our grade level days where we will review the above material in-person.  We will also organize a implementation “support group” to come together to solve problems as they arise.

Recorded some videos for Edcamp Leadership

Facilitated all school walk with the principal:

Scheduled meeting with Webster University re: Content Specific PD

Scheduled meeting with Washington University re: Content specific PD

Put together budget for summer work for Science and Social Studies

Input data from Avery city government field trip

Summaries of the experience below:



Authored Social Studies document on "managing complex change" in regards to curriculum changes:

Assisted with dismissal

Monday, May 4, 2015

5/4 ERS

Started the day welcoming students and teachers into the school day.

Met with 4th grade teacher regarding summer work

Answered emails

Recorded Monday Memo for the community.

Met with 1st grade teachers regarding sections.

Met with Teacher's Aides regarding positions

Met with counselor and building principal about class rosters.

Met with 5th grade student

Met with Science kit coordinator about:
  • Science kit schedule for next year
  • materials list on MYSCI vs. what we have.

Drafted email to Science facilitators:
Hey Team,

After meeting with John and cross referencing our budget numbers, it does NOT appear as though we will be able to institute the My Sci kits.  The My Sci program is asking for $65,000 a year to provide this program for our district.  Needless to say, we can’t swing that.

So, what’s our next step:
1.  I’m working with the My Sci team to come up with an alternative. (we’re meeting on 5/11)
2.  Mary Ann is inventorying the My Sci kits to determine what’s in them that we have and what we would need to purchase to make our own
3.  Mary Ann and I are working on creating WG versions of My Sci kits
4.  I’m expanding the pilot and offering the MySci kits to more classrooms next year in transition.
5.  Mary Ann and I are working on a kit schedule that makes the most use of the resources we have and the new “kits”
6.  I’m hoping for some inspiration that would provide clarity to what teachers want.  Options could include:
  • Kits at the school to be used when needed
  • Kits for every classroom (expensive dream)
  • A small partial kit for every classroom with essentials and a check out system for larger materials.
  • A kit schedule determined for teachers at first, then as we invest in more kits a sign up form being offered
  • Teachers drafting a schedule for their year and then we build kits from that schedule.
  • Another solution I haven’t though of yet….

All in all I think we are doing what’s best for our kids and what’s best for the financial future of our district.  I’m excited for what we’ll create!

Stay tuned to more info!  Questions? Send them my way!

Supervised dismissal

After School attended IDEA meeting at Central Office.

5/1 Chesterfield Day School, ERS

Started the morning at Chesterfield day school.  Met with their Chief Academic Officer regarding shifting their practice to Standards-based versus traditional grading methods.

Afterwords headed over to Edgar Road.

Walked around to greet students and teachers.

Met with building principal.

Drafted email about science kits (see below)

Happy Friday Eagles!

I am seeking out two important pieces of information for next school year.  

1.  Is our current kit schedule STILL accurate with all the changes that have happened in your building?
2.  Does your team have any interest in expanding our MySci Pilot for science during the 15-16 school year?

Kit Schedule:
Below is the kit schedule for your school.  Is it correct in both order, number of classes and number of kits?

1st Q
2nd Q
3rd Q
4th Q
1st Grade

2nd Grade
3rd Grade
Life Cycle
4th Grade
5th Grade
Chem Inter

My Sci Pilot
This year teachers from around the district are piloting the My Sci units developed through Washington University (Learn more about My Sci HERE  see their lessons and activities HERE).  We’d like to offer to expand that pilot for next year if there is interest.  Below are options organized by grade level and correspond to our new curriculum to be implemented in 16-17.  Please consider piloting as a team for collaborative planning.

My Sci Kit
Make It Go! (Forces Unit)
Sun and Shade (Weather and Climate Unit)
Introduction to Plants and Animals (Plants and Animals Unit)
Birds, Beaks, and Babies (Plants and Animals Unit)
Sun and Moon (Space Systems Unit)
Putting on a Show With Light and Sound (Waves Unit)
Helping Seeds Travel (Interdependent Relationships Unit)
How Things Move (Forces and Interactions Unit)
Observing Weather Patterns (Weather and Climate Unit)
Tools of the Trade (Engineering Design)
Adapting to Change (Life and Environment Unit)
Change over Time (Life and Environment Unit)
Wind and Water Change the Earth (Shaping the Land Unit)
What is Consistent About Matter (Matter Unit)
Wave After Wave (Waves and Energy Unit)
What Energy Does (Waves and Energy Unit)
Earth Cycles (Processes that Shape the Earth Unit)
Using Our Senses (Survival, Senses, and Adaptations Unit)
From Sun to Food (Matter and Energy Unit)
What is Consistent About Matter (Structure and Properties of Matter Unit)
Our Place in the Universe (Space Systems Unit)
Using Our Resources Wisely (Earth Systems Unit)

NOTE:  These kits would be IN PLACE OF our district kits.

What I would need to know from you if you are interested is:
1.  If your team is interested
2.  Which kits you want (all of them or just pilot select ones)
3.  If you team teach you may want one kit with extra consumables, let me know the number of consumables.
4.  Which of the Webster Groves kits you would NOT need.

Once I know the above information I will work with you to finalize drop off and pick up.