New Canaan High School educators whose last name begins with the letter A-R author this blog.
Those whose last name begins with S-Z author nchsneasc13b

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Resources on creativity, critical thinking, and rubric design

A Tweep (Twitter speak for someone you know through Twitter, but have never met face to face: Twitter + peep = Tweep), a retired librarian now living in Florida, Jerry Blumengarten, just Tweeted a link to his Critical Thinking page. This prompted me to ask him about a creativity page, and resources for rubrics. They are all posted on our nchsneasc13 resources page. Twitter = the best PD resource on planet earth ;-)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Steering Committee co-chairs meeting with Principals

In fairness to the recorder, these notes were taken on an iPad during first and second lunch, while standing at the cafeteria ramp :-)

Big Question: How is steering committee going to spend Nov. 8? In Steering Committee, or with standards committees?

Who is writing the first draft of the rubrics? Standards committees? If standards, the steering committee should participate. If not, then steering committee should meet together.

We clearly need a rubric for critical thinking. What indicators should be included? While observing an engineering class, Ari asked if we had an engineering rubric - one that included problem solving. The answer was yes. We should take a look at that.

We agreed to collect all the school rubrics via email. We will need both digital and hard copies (if only a hard copy exists, we will create a digital version). There was some discussion about this - whether to collect them all or just those perceived as relevant to expectations. We decided to collect them all, in case Steering Committee members saw correlation where folks who live with them every day did not.

We will align the rubrics with learning expectations, then assign each one to a department. The department will pilot using the rubric, and report back with recommendations for revision.

The Steering Committee will meet on November 1st, at which point we will sort through the collected rubrics and assign each one an expectation, and then which committee will work on which expectation.

One thing we should address on November 8th is language. Our rubrics should reflect a common language - one that students can understand. The committees will go through their assigned rubric packets and aggregate a list of commonly used terms (word cloud opportunity?). They will also determine which parts of the rubric will cross departments, and which department will pilot which expectation rubric.

When departments meet, at least one person in that meeting will have participated in the committee meeting responsible for that department's expectation allocation, and will be able to explain the rationale for the departments' assigned pilot. Then they will use the collected rubrics and NEAS&C examples to develop new ones.

We had a conversation about indicators and rubric adoption - one I was not able to transcribe - distracted and hungry? Suffice it to say that Mike spoke eloquently on the topic, and that when necessary, I am confident he will be able to reconstruct what he said beautifully :-)

After the pilot, we will look at rubric formats and scales, but we think we should live with them  for a bit before doing that.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Faculty meeting in the library

Faculty meeting in the library (NEAS&C business will not be deterred by space constraints!). After Mike provided a succinct review of the process that led us to craft the Core Beliefs, Values and Expectations, and a "screening" of the nchsneasc13 website, the faculty approved the document without discussion :-)

Shhhhh! Food in the Library!
Habla usted Espanol? 

Ouvrez vos yeux, Mme Swan!
Ms. Brown, Ms. Goldhawk, and Ms. Floryshack Windman

10/3 steering committee co-chairs meeting to organize language to CVB&LE
8/25 faculty work on Core Values, Beliefs, and Learning Expectations
9/15 faculty work on Core Values Beliefs, and Learning Expectations
9/25 student work on Core Values, Beliefs, and Learning Expectation

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Steering Committee co-chairs meeting with Principal

Mike and I met with Bryan today to plan for Thursday's faculty meeting.

It is going to be a succinct presentation. We will highlight the foundations of our Core  Beliefs and Values Statement - communication, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, respect, and empathy. Present the Core Beliefs, Values, and Expectations page of our NCHSNEASC13 website, and vote to proceed with self-study using it as a guide. We will also clarify that this is a living document, it is not written in stone, and that we can update it and revise it throughout the process.

We also discussed rubric templates, pulling together a team to attend a steering committee workshop in December, and self-study survey results.

For more on our process, please read preceding posts.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Selection Committee co-chairs meeting

Mike and I met to decide how to present the first draft of the Core Values, Beliefs and Expectations. We settled on uploading it to the web, and allowing for comments rather than sending a Google Doc. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Steering Committee meeting

Productive Steering Committee meeting. We used laptops to revise our Core Values, Belief and Expectations in Google Docs, and showed the committee our nchsneasc13 portal.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Steering Committee co-chairs meeting

Mike and I met this morning to discuss our technical options for the hover text in the Core Values, Beliefs and Expectations working document. We don't want to encumber the message with wordy explanations, but we want to emphasize its alignment with our Vision of the Ideal NCHS Graduate (our work from the August 25 professional development day and the homeroom activity with students). Darien effectively uses the hover to elaborate on the details of mission and expectations. We like this model and hope to emulate it in ours. We composed the text for those hovers as comments in the existing Google Doc until we upload the final version to the NCHS NEAS&C '13 website.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Steering Committee co-chairs meeting

Mike and Michelle met (impromptu hallway meeting) to review a draft of the draft for the Core Values, Beliefs and Expectations. Mike cross-referenced the preliminary draft against the Faculty Vision of Ideal NCHS Graduate to make sure we'd covered the academic social and ethical criteria the faculty identified on August 25th.

8/25 faculty work on Core Values, Beliefs, and Learning Expectations
9/15 faculty work on Core Values Beliefs, and Learning Expectations
9/25 student work on Core Values, Beliefs, and Learning Expectation