BSP – 8/11/17 – My Math Coach stopped by today…

BSP – 8/11/17 – My Math Coach stopped by & i read @ThisIsSethsBlog

I am writing this so i can

  • Revisit details of the event
  • Examine how the elements of the visit connect to my overall connections
  • Look at ways to prepare for and improve these kinds of impromptu exchanges

And i continue to transfer Seth Godin’s observations to education. Most recently,

Questions for the Uninformed

My Math Coach stopped by today to bring me some “sweet treats” (2 mini bags of M&M’s). This treat was to thank me for my instructional efforts in our high school math departement.

To preface her visit she said she was visiting Math Instructors in the building and before she left she wanted to stop by, No particular purpose but to “treat” me.

My classroom (Blended Learning Lab) houses instruction directed toward:

  • Response to Instruction & Intervention (RTI2)
    • Math
    • ELA
  • Credit Repair & Recovery
    • All subjects

The population of this class is, by definition, students who have not responded positively to a High School Classroom environment and are operating either with a performance deficit in Reading or Math or through engagement issues, fallen behind pace in their pursuit of High School diploma.

If you are choosing the “area of greatest need”, this popuplation would be the first stop of any lead academic coach because these are the students who have not connected with the existing system.

If you are choosing the “low hanging fruit”, this is the place you stop as an afterthought, giving the impression that this population is a “sunk cost” with little opportunity to enhance school performance profiles.

An earlier post provided comments on “support article” provided by in-house curriculum coach. It highlights the fact that there is little “existing” support material designed to rebuild reading or math skills or overcome the engagement issues of students who have “dis-engaged” from the education process.

During my brief exchange with the District Coach, I attempted to give an overview of

  • Current class populations in credit recovery
  • Upcoming enrollments in RTI2
  • District’s work in professional development across 6-12 grade bands
    • Math Literacy Standards
    • Item approval process
    • Item review process
    • Item writing process

An indication that there were other things to cover, these topics were delayed 6 months for later PD.

But i am concluding this post looking forward to:

  • Curriculum Coach followup
  • Existing, useable reading tools for informational texts
  • RTI2 implementation support from SECore
Advertisements

BSP – 09/03/17 – Job Gap / Skills Gap / Stakeholders Roles / Vertical Integration

If a profit driven organization’s performance is challenged by the quality of raw materials they act to search out solutions to the situation and actually move toward Vertical Integration.

Open complaints from stakeholders about lack of skilled workers is not served by their lack of action in addressing the problem. The lack of movement toward a self-serving solution is bothersome. These education stakeholders want students to bear all the investment risk with no downstream surety of reward. They want the education system to serve up a complete employee and they complain when their needs go unsatisfied.

NPR Story on Employers Struggle to Match Workers with Open Jobs

It has been 5 years since this article was published in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Help wanted; skills lacking: 36% of available jobs in Chattanooga require a four-year degree, September 6th, 2012 TFP – Skills Gap Article

Current Indeed Search: Sept 3, 2017

Salary Estimate

Job Type

Location

Vertically integrate education.

BSP – 8/31/17 – Screening Started Today

BSP – 8/31/17 – Screening Started Today

I am facilitating RTI2 for Math & English Language Arts for the second year. To prepare i have read exhaustively exemplar program outlines to guide implementation improvements. There are somethings the articles can help to hone the implementation process.

And then there is not scholarly writing on some situations that i encounter. Anecdote:

An application of Blended Learning in our school is its use as the Learning Managament Platform for academic intervention for Math and Reading. It consists of these major functions:

  • Universal Screening
  • Gap Identification
  • Grade Level Placement
  • Customized Content
  • Intermittent Assessment
  • Progress Monitoring
  • Administrative Reporting
  • EXED Referrals

In past academic years, data from prior grades were used to identify potential gaps and place students into Intervention Classes. Following data based assignment, screening, placement, content and progress monitoring plans were implemented, 2016-17 performance after intervention showed that our of a population of 33 students, 6 students were placed at grade level or one year below grade level.

To reduce the possibility of this occurrence, Intervention Class assignments were delayed and were to be based on teacher recommendations based on direct observation of classroom perfornance . A “pitch for recommendations” was made during the school orientation. Six recommendations were made as a result of the initial pitch. To reinforce this message, a message clarifying Tier 3 intervention along with a Google Forms Survey was distributed to provide an digital method for submitting screening recommendations. RTI Message & Survey – 2017.

This clarification of purpose and background on RTI generated 20 faculty recommendations for the Screening Process.

Up to this point the process is procedural, but today the students arrived for screening.

  • Reading Assessment – 40 questions from read passages – 4 hours allotted
  • Math Assessment – 44 questions with ascending difficulty – 4 hours alloted

Placement is based on the number of correct responses and indexed to content linked to grade level work. This placement is also linked to the baseline level of Progress Monitoring on a separate LMS.

Today the students began to arrive for screening. With my blank slate approach, i give each student an explanation of the assessment process and it potential duration.For assessments with an allocated time of 4 hours each, time spent to complete each assessment is a potential indicator of focus and skill set. This will be one of the metrics I will be tabulating at the end of the screening cycle.

Anecdote:

I had three students complete the assessment cycle within the time frame of 50 minute class.

In all but one of these instances I believe they performed at their highest level.

This student, like all others entered the lab for the Math and Reading Assessments as a blank slate. No preconceived notions about capability or interest.

I hand the student the access ticket,

Website

UserID

Password

I offer the student any seat in the lab and their choice is the closest to my desk.

Two assessments,

Math – 44 questions

ELA – 40 questions

Time allowed: 4 hours per assessment before timing out

The student commences work and is complete in under 15 minutes.

I ask, “Did you have any technical issues with the assessments?”

Student answers, “No.”

“Why don’t you come to my desk and we can review your results?” I said.

To which the student replies, “I am not interested in the results. I am not interested in school. I do not want to be here. I am leaving as soon as i can to get my GED.”

The confidence in his words gives me no opening for arguments against this path to completing high school, so i ask “When can you get your GED?

“Seventeen” he says.

I inquire, “How old are you?” and to this the student responds, “15”.

Using advancing questions, “What are your plans for the next two years while you wait to leave school?”

The student replies, “ I guess i could do what i did last year. Spent 9 months in lock-up. You know what lockup is? Am i done? Can i go now? Do i have to come back? ”

I outlined that i would share the results of his assessments with his guidance representative and I would talk with him after Labor Day holiday.

  • Math – 20% (2 grade placement)
  • ELA – no responses offered – no placement available

I requested to review disciplinary record with Assistant Principal assigned to 9th grade but no follow-up on the request.

Could someone direct me to a post on Edutopia on how to respond to this?

BSP – August 10, 2017

Literacty Stategies in Math –

http://www.nctm.org/Publications/mathematics-teacher/2015/Vol108/Issue7/Anticipation-Guides_-Reading-for-Mathematics-Understanding/

Thank you so much for the article and this echoes a number of strategies that were discussed in several of my cohort trainings over the last two years.

· THEC Disciplinary Literacy through Apps

· Core Coach Training discussions for the Tennessee State Standards Rollouts

· Item Writing & Item Review sessions with Questar to develop field test questions for the State Tests

· SpringBoard training on Unit Planning for HCDE Textbook adoptions

The example cited in the text was actually extracted from the Districts last adoption which had a diverse selection of reading supports included with the text but it requires additional constructs developed by the instructor to “get at this protocol”.

The extended discussion of the SpringBoard Embedded Assessments and Learning Targets parallels this protocol and has proven effective in my delivery of Geometry and Algebra 1.

However, the conditions that I am encountering in my population are linked directly to an inability to decode and fluently read math technical texts. This is also stymied by retention of past vocabulary.

The NCTM article suggests that math teachers are ideally suited to train students to read these technical texts; however, the pace at which we cover materials (especially Algebra 2) have to assume fluency which is not present.

Last year in my work with ELA RTI students there was a vast separation between Vocabulary & Reading Comprehension. I am looking for texts that address this issue in a consistent use of research based protocol(s) to enhance performance in Reading Comprehension.

I will “progress monitor” students in the ReadingPlus program and may have some of the Edgenuity content for math switch to text from verbal delivery.

If you have a moment I would like to discuss strategies to migrate some of the Edgenuity materials in text form without corrupting its purpose.

Jim Snyder

Literacy Strategies

Literacty Stategies in Math –

http://www.nctm.org/Publications/mathematics-teacher/2015/Vol108/Issue7/Anticipation-Guides_-Reading-for-Mathematics-Understanding/

Thank you so much for the article and this echoes a number of strategies that were discussed in several of my cohort trainings over the last two years.

  •         THEC Disciplinary Literacy through Apps
  •         Core Coach Training discussions for the Tennessee State Standards Rollouts
  •         Item Writing & Item Review sessions with Questar to develop field test questions for the State Tests
  •         SpringBoard training on Unit Planning for HCDE Textbook adoptions

The example cited in the text was actually extracted from the District’s last adoption which had a diverse selection of reading supports included with the text. But the strategy and the use of this example requires additional constructs developed by the instructor to “get at this protocol”.

The extended discussion of the SpringBoard Embedded Assessments and Learning Targets parallels this protocol and has proven effective in my delivery of Geometry and Algebra 1.

However, the conditions that I am encountering in my population are linked directly to an inability to decode and fluently read math technical texts.  This is also stymied by retention of past vocabulary.

The NCTM article suggests that math teachers are ideally suited to train students to read these technical texts; however, the pace at which we cover materials (especially Algebra 2) have to assume fluency which is not present.

Last year in my work with ELA RTI students there was a vast separation between Vocabulary & Reading Comprehension.  I am looking for texts that address this issue in a consistent use of research based protocol(s) to enhance performance in Reading Comprehension.

I will “progress monitor” students in the ReadingPlus program and may have some of the Edgenuity content for math switch to text from verbal delivery.

If you have a moment I would like to discuss strategies to migrate some of the Edgenuity materials in text form without corrupting its purpose.

Jim Snyder

 

BSP – August 9, 2017

BSP – August 9, 2017

My first two rounds of clients arrive tomorrow and the next 4 rounds in three weeks. 26 students in a classroom environment and 28 in an independent study environment,

They are sharing a need to gain “educational credit” for coursework designated to contribute to their progress toward graduation. They will enter a computer based, blended learning environment to gain access to these credits,

Requisites:

Computer literacy

Willingness & Ability to work in a self paced, isolated environment

As the leader of this group i have choices:

  1. Data Driven facilitation – developing a snapshot of a student’s capabilities from the data trail generated by the student. I connect this approach to the Fixed- Growth Mindset with the data representing a “fixed picture” and outlining to the instructor the areas of “growth”.
    1. Fixed Mindset Search
    2. Growth Mindset Search
  2. Blank Slate facilitation – take the student as they walk in the door, give them a thorough orientation of of the task at hand along with their environment and resources. This method allows a picture to develop of the student’s current capabilities. I connect this approach to Project Based Learning where a scenario is outlined, the student is granted access to a variety of tools and the work product represents a student’s use of the tools.
    1. Tabula Rasa
    2. Tabula Rasa Educational Theory

I choose Blank Slate and will approach it using these models:

Tomorrow commences Blank Slate and I intend to share daily observations with the intent of connecting past pedagogical study,

I would appreciate your feedback as I mount this project,

Schrage & Customers & Becoming

Not since

Stop Stealing Dreams by Seth Godin

Christensen’s Disruptive Innovation

Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (see past posts)

has a concept struck a chord with me as

Michael Schrage’s  “Who Do You Want Your Customers to Become?”

In the next weeks, I will be reading, digesting, and writing about how educators’ primary customers are the students Are Students Clients or Customers? .

I hope I can draw others into the conversation in a Google Group on the topic. Who Do We Want Our Customers (students) to Become?

I look forward to the “read”.

I will be posting topics.

Please join in the discussion.

Covey’s Habit 6 – Synergy

When I began this series of blog postings, I thought it would be:

  • Rereading the book
  • Looking at the material with fresh eyes
  • Deconstructing each rule and reassembling around current education initiatives.

This would be my method of working through these habits and refreshing my personal skills in the practices I had read through at the time of their publication (Simon & Schuster, copyright 1989 by Stephen Covey).

As I progressed through the series of Habits, given their age and their (perceived) amount of adoption, I assumed that they were in widespread use.   However, I observe colleagues, who:

  • Start processes with little or no thought as to obstacles they will encounter (Proactivity).
  • Suggest courses of action without seeing the completion in sight. (Begin w/ the End in Mind)
  • Expect positive trajectories to develop just out ahead of their actions. (First Things First).
  • Push a solution that solely suits their particular part of the solution. (Think Win/Win)
  • Push justifications of failure to affected stakeholders as “the best they could do with what they were given” (Understand/Understood)

This, I believe, comes from a belief that they can accomplish more as an individual than as a group.

Covey says:

To put it simply, synergy means “two heads are better than one.” Synergize is the habit of creative cooperation. It is teamwork, open-mindedness, and the adventure of finding new solutions to old problems. But it doesn’t just happen on its own. It’s a process, and through that process, people bring all their personal experience and expertise to the table. Together, they can produce far better results that they could individually. Synergy lets us discover jointly things we are much less likely to discover by ourselves. Covey’s Habit 6

Synergy requires the action of combining things.

Not a combination of an individual’s actions but the combination of individuals’ actions.

I press for contribution so I can capitalize on cooperation.

I have pursued this action through:

  • Serving as a math tutor with other members of the math department, exchanging classroom experiences and instructional styles
  • Training as a Core Coach with teachers across the state listening to their work with new standards
  • Co-facilitating training in Tennessee State Standards roll-out
  • Pitching & securing access to TechGoesHomeCha grant for my high school
  • Reading, joining and marking BLOG posts and Twitter-chat exchanges (Twitter: amba04jvs3)
  • Maintaining open conversations with various constituencies (public and private)
  • Mentoring students involved in the TNPromise program

Through this I am finding a student-centric voice for “success” that empowers students to continuously advocate for themselves throughout their education pipeline.

Not a series discrete programs that elevate their trajectories just to drop support at critical junctures, but instead a “student fueled” resource that could follow the “pipeline journey” and support incremental decisions they make along the way.

  • Career interest inquiry
  • Mentor specific career trajectories
  • Job shadowing (virtual or real-time)
  • Career camps or internship opportunities
  • Post-graduation placement (high school or college)
  • Web-based & Participant sustained

To initiate this resource it will require individuals who want to join together and share their Synergy and believe in its strength.

They are out there to be cultivated and supported and this network would grow to be an scalable resource for career trajectory information.