Faculty handbook 2009_-_2010_albert_wicker_literacy_final_july23


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Faculty handbook 2009_-_2010_albert_wicker_literacy_final_july23

  1. 1. 2011 Bienville Street<br />New Orleans, LA 70112<br />Telephone: (504) 373-6200<br />Fax: (504) 571-6317<br />Ms. Sabrina Pence, Principal<br />*Some sections adapted from the Boston Collegiate Charter School.<br />ALBERT WICKER LITERACY ACADEMY<br />ROSTER 2009 – 2010<br />Administrative and Support Staff<br />Sabrina E. PencePrincipalMain Office/Room 3-7<br />Patrice FletcherInstructional CoachRoom 2-11<br />Joan UlmerSecretary (Office Manager)Main Office<br />Maria JonesData ManagerRoom 2-11<br />Elbert ColeCounselorRoom 2-1<br />Keith SchmidtSocial WorkerRoom 2-1<br />Instructional Staff<br />Renee Heinlein4th Grade, ELA/SSRoom 3-2<br />Juliana Persaud4th Grade, Math/ScienceRoom 3-4<br />Wilauna Jackson5th Grade, ELA/SSRoom 3-6<br />Christina Habashy5th Grade, Math/ScienceRoom 3-9<br />Heidi Bowman6th – 8th Grade ELARoom 3-11<br />Gary Crosby, III6th – 8th Grade SS/READ 180Room 3-10<br />Lisa Giarratano6th – 8th Grade MathRoom 3-5<br />Donald Moore6th – 8th Grade ScienceRoom 3-10<br />Kelly ReinkerSPED CoordinatorRoom 3-3<br />Linda WashingtonSPED TeacherRoom 3-3<br />Troy MixPhysical Education TeacherCourt/P.E. Area<br />Wilhamina StroughterMusic/Art TeacherMusic Room<br />Para Professionals/Instructional Staff<br />Betty McKenzieSPED ParaRoom 3-3<br />Kendria RoussevePara-LibrarianLibrary<br />Gayle ThompsonPBISS ParaRoom 3-8<br />Malita ThompsonSPED ParaRoom 3-3<br />Operational Support Staff<br />NurseNurse’s Office<br />Cafeteria ManagerCafeteria<br />Cafeteria WorkerCafeteria<br />Cafeteria WorkerCafeteria<br />Melva PeppHead Custodian1st Floor<br />Denise WalkerLead Custodian1st Floor<br />Rolanda DecouCustodian2nd Floor<br />Ungelle AlfordCustodian3rd Floor <br />IMPORTANT CONTACT INFORMATION<br />Recovery School District<br />Main Line1641 Poland Ave.(504) 373-6200<br />**All staff can be reached via the main line.<br />IT Help Desk1641 Poland Ave. Ext. 24357<br />IT Email Address helpdesk@rsdla.net<br />Human Resources Ext. 20156 <br />HR Newsletters, Documents, and Forms www.rsdla.net<br />Employment Inquiries hr@rsdla.net<br />Albert Wicker Literacy Academy<br />The School2011 Bienville Ave.(504) 373-6220<br />The School Fax2011 Bienville Ave.(504)571-6317<br />Sabrina PenceMain Office Ext. 22006<br />Principal<br />Sabrina Pence - Cell(504) 247-7672<br />Principal<br />Kelly Educational Staffing<br />Kelly Automatic Scheduling System (KASS) www.kellyeducationalstaffing.com<br />Technical Difficulty (866) KELLY-38<br />Service Representative(504) 367-8367<br />Substitute Hotline(800) 942-3767<br />Additional Resources<br />Louisiana Department of Education<br />Teaching/Learning (Educators) www.rsdla.net<br />2009 – 2010 School Calendar<br />RSD Educator’s Handbook<br />RSD Pupil Progression Plan<br />Cultural Collaborations Guide<br />Supplemental Resources<br />Instructional Framework<br />Response to Intervention<br />Positive Behavior Support<br />INTRODUCTION TO ALBERT WICKER LITERACY ACADEMY<br />This book was created in an effort to record what we do. The three primary purposes of this document are to serve as 1) a resource for all staff, new and veteran alike; 2) a means of further establishing consistency in a growing school; and 3) an informal record of what we do best.<br />In a school that is always growing and changing, this book will undoubtedly evolve. It is certainly not meant to be exhaustive but we did try to make it as comprehensive as we could in order to continue the school’s efforts to make Wicker a highly effective organization. Please note that this document does not supersede the Recovery District Employees Handbook Policies.<br />VISION STATEMENT<br />Albert Wicker Literacy Academy provides a clean, safe, and diverse experience-based learning environment which empowers students to maximize their potential with the support of dedicated staff, parents and the community.<br />MISSION STATEMENT<br />Our mission is to strive for academic excellence through a variety of learning experiences so that students will become productive citizens.<br />MOTTO<br />Work hard. Stay focused. Aim high.<br />SCHOOL MASCOT<br />Mighty Wicker Bees<br />SCHOOL COLORS<br />Yellow and Black<br />OUR ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE GOAL/JINGLE<br />“We are the Wicker Bees! We will fly to 75 with ease! How will we get there? (Work Hard.) How do we work? (Stay focused.) Where do we aim? (Aim HIGH!)<br />Our Three Pillars<br />Three pillars lie at the foundation of Albert Wicker Literacy Academy:<br />We believe creativity flourishes within a structured academic environment.<br />Good work can not occur unless there is a safe and orderly environment in and out of the classroom.<br />We have high academic and behavioral expectations.<br />High expectations demand significant amounts of extra support before, during, and after school and on Saturdays.<br />We know that without great teachers, nothing else matters.<br />Teachers must have the time and professional tools and resources to do their work effectively.<br />At Albert Wicker Literacy Academy, we do not believe that there is a panacea that makes a school work. Nor do we pretend that what we do is “rocket science” or necessarily innovative. We work hard and use common sense because elevating student achievement and transforming lives requires constant attention to hundreds of different elements – not one, magical 100% solution but rather one hundred, individual 1% solutions. Individually, any one of these solutions is not THE<br />answer. However, collectively, each of our 1% solutions come together to achieve results. (Please see the Appendix for a list of some of our 1% solutions.)<br />Core elements of Albert Wicker Literacy Academy’s design include:<br />Emphasize College<br />For too many at-risk students, college only exists in the abstract. At Albert Wicker Literacy Academy, we work relentlessly to prepare students to enter a college-prep high school. While our mission discusses preparing students to be productive citizens, the global economy is quickly changing. A college education is necessary for our students to compete at a global level. All teachers should highlight where they went to college in their classrooms to promote this theme, along with discussing where students want to go to college.<br />Focus on Literacy<br />A majority of students enter Albert Wicker Literacy Academy reading below grade level. If a school does not address this dramatic and central issue immediately, students will be at a huge disadvantage in all subjects in high school and college.<br />Target Curriculum Focused on Grade-Level Expectations<br />The RSD develops curriculum directly from the Louisiana Grade-Level Expectations in the form of the Managed Curriculum. The Managed Curriculum ensures students master a core set of basic academic skills before they can master higher-level, abstract material.<br />Assess Early and Often to Drive the Instructional Program<br />The most effective schools use assessment to diagnose student needs, measure instructional impact, communicate with parents and students, and build a culture of continuous reflection and improvement.<br />Provide Structure and Order<br />Students need a safe and orderly environment to be productive. Albert Wicker Literacy Academy creates a calm, composed, and disciplined environment to maximize the amount of time on-task, including a strictly enforced school dress code, a merit and demerit system that defines clear expectations for and immediate responses to positive and negative behavior, and a common blackboard configuration (BBC) consisting of a Power-Up, Aim/Objective, Agenda, and Homework.<br />INSIDE THE CLASSROOM<br />Teachers regularly rise to the challenge of designing academically rigorous and stimulating lesson plans that instill a love of learning in their students. Our success depends on the work of excellent teachers that care deeply about their subject and their students. <br />Great Teaching – 5 essential tenants<br />While great teaching cannot be easily defined, there are 5 basic tenants that we will hold sacred at Albert Wicker Elementary School. Great teaching is differentiated for individual students, is rigorous, is engaging, incorporates literacy at all times, and is well-planned. Below is what we believe teachers do to make this happen.<br />Extraordinary Teachers are Mindful. They are:<br />Aware of what is happening in the classroom at all times and use that awareness to improve<br /> instruction<br />Respectful to students, families, and other staff members<br />Reflect on own teaching practice, constantly honing and refining lessons, units, and instructional<br /> practices<br />Constantly asking and answering the questions: What do students need to know? How are<br /> students going to learn the skills and content they need to know? How will I know if students <br /> master the skills and content that I teach?<br />Extraordinary Teachers are Achieving. They are:<br />Constantly assessing their own instructional practices using data, reevaluating methods, and<br /> re-teaching concepts<br />Planned backwards from June to September<br />Striving to help 100% of students meet Louisiana standards<br />Holding high expectations all the time and never underestimate students’ capabilities<br />Recognizing and supporting students with special learning needs<br />Continuously work to improve instruction by trying new methods, systems, sequences, or other<br /> innovative techniques<br />Taking initiative, doing what needs to be done whether or not he/she is asked<br />Seeking out professional development opportunities and implement new ideas and best practices<br /> in the classroom<br />Striving for mastery of subject-area content and pedagogical methods<br />Setting and measuring progress towards personal and professional goals<br />Extraordinary Teachers are Professional. They:<br />Take personal responsibility for student progress<br />Complete all administrative tasks in a timely manner<br />Give, accept, and use feedback and observation<br />Actively collaborate with peers to improve student achievement<br />Dress appropriately for the school environment<br />Model proper language for students<br />Maintain a positive attitude, especially about students<br />Extraordinary Teachers are Prepared. They are:<br />Planned ahead for class using yearly, unit, and daily lesson plans in a manner that supports<br /> excellent instruction and the managed curriculum<br />Always making clear to students what is expected by using established routines<br />Always ready with appropriate materials for the next task/class<br />Organized in their classroom and with lesson materials<br />Organized with their curricular materials with up-to-date binders<br />I. Overview of Classrooms:<br />The following list of shared ideas that serves as an overview of some characteristics that define great classrooms at Albert Wicker Literacy Academy. While it is not an equation for how to succeed<br />as a teacher at Albert Wicker Literacy Academy, it gives an introductory sense of what is expected and what works.<br />Move Around the Room<br />Be aware of what is going on in all areas of the room, teach from any side, front or back<br />Be mindful of not getting “stuck” at the front of the classroom<br />Be a physical presence near some students, it can serve as a silent reminder to stay on task<br />Use your awareness of what is going on the classroom to improve your instruction<br />Check In with Students<br />During class time, monitor overall understanding of class by checking for understanding (i.e., <br /> thumbs up, thumbs down, or thumbs to the side to indicate general understanding and readiness <br /> to move on, pop quiz, whole-class response<br /> Outside of class time, informally check in with individual students who may be struggling<br /> behaviorally or academically in your class<br />If individual student behavior or attitude is noticeably different, consult with the Student <br /> Support Team (RTI)<br />Create a Positive Rapport<br />Model respect and appropriate behavior with students. Ultimately, treat students the way you<br /> want to be treated. The KEY to student behavior is RELATIONSHIPS, RELATIONSHIPS, <br /> RELATIONSHIPS<br />Create a ‘Community of Learners.’ Reward cooperation, positive collaboration, demonstrations<br /> of respect, and students taking initiative – any behavior that enhances and advances the <br /> community<br />Keep negative interactions out of the greater classroom arena<br />Apologize when you're wrong and ask the same of students<br /><ul><li>Emphasize right time, right tone, right place: these are the elements of having productive conversations between adults, adults to students, and student to student.</li></ul>Use the Board<br />Always display the following on your board: Aim/Objective, Agenda, Power Up, and<br /> Homework (see Daily Lesson Planning)<br />Plan what you will write on the board ahead of time, write down key terms and main ideas to <br /> ensure student notes are accurate<br />Create opportunities for students to use the board to demonstrate understanding<br />Share Enthusiasm<br />Don’t be deterred by students’ initial negative/unenthusiastic response or lack of “buy-in,” they <br /> are waiting and want to be convinced<br />Be a cheerleader, enthusiasm is contagious<br />Share stories from when you were in school<br />Laugh at their jokes<br />Talk about learning in a positive light – for example, if you're taking a class, bring in your grades. <br /> Learning should not be “if you don’t …, you will fail.”<br />Foster Professionalism in Students<br />Thoroughly explain and frequently remind students of the professional behavior expected in <br /> classroom (sitting up straight, no slouching, tracking the speaker, speaking loudly and clearly, no <br /> mumbling, organized work area, listening to peers, book bags on floor or under desk)<br />Model the kind of professional appearance and behavior expected of students<br />Encourage students to greet guests and introduce themselves during breaks or at lunch (firm<br /> handshake, clear introduction of who they are, looking guest in the eye)<br />Give students explicit instructions how to walk through the hall without disrupting the learning<br /> in other classrooms (example: escorting a class to the Computer Lab, Library, etc.).<br />Monitor student appearance and address uniform issues when they arise<br />II. Curriculum Expectations: Building a Standards Driven Curriculum<br />Curriculum development is an important part of what every teacher does, and here at RSD, we<br />spend a lot of time and energy documenting this work in a consistent and useful format. <br />The Planning Process<br />Before the school year begins, mindful teachers answer three questions about their classes:<br />What do students need to know? How will I know if students master the skills and content that I<br />teach? How are students going to learn the skills and content they need to know?<br />What do students need to know?<br />The breadth of knowledge and skills that must be taught throughout the year and the order in which the content and skills are presented are outlined specifically in a Managed Curriculum for each class.<br />The Managed Curriculum describes the course standards for each unit and week. The Curriculum Map includes a list of the units, along with the dates for teaching each unit. <br />From there, teachers approach lesson planning backwards—creating objectives for the unit and day, based on the Managed Curriculum. Finally, teachers create a lesson for each 90-minute class period (please see the Appendix for samples of these forms).<br />How will I know if students master the skills and content that I teach?<br />When planning units and lessons, teachers are expected to assess students’ mastery of content and skills at daily intervals. This may come in the form of a test, quiz or through other assessments like exit tickets (See Assessment). The final assessment of a unit is written in advance of the start of the unit to set clear and specific goals for the content and skills students are expected to master by unit’s end. Frequent internal assessment of student mastery and performance and preparation for external assessments is crucial to our mission. The district will test students on a quarterly basis through benchmark assessments to assure fidelity to the Managed Curriculum and ensure student learning of essential content knowledge.<br />How are students going to learn the skills and content they need to know?<br />When planning each lesson, teachers are expected to plan with several factors in mind including the different learning styles of students, teaching rigorous, age-appropriate skills required for college and balancing time between direct instruction, guided practice and independent practice. Thought should be given as to what, specifically, students will be asked and expected to do during the lesson. Before each class, teachers should consider their means for checking for understanding and prepare a homework assignment that either supports the learning of the day or connects to the next lesson.<br />The Writing Process<br />For each unit plan, extraordinary teachers ensure:<br />Review and testing days, research and other long term projects are considered and<br /> incorporated into the length of the unit<br />Tentative unit beginning and end dates are decided upon to ensure adequate pacing, full<br /> coverage of material, and are connected to the Managed Curriculum<br />Unit standards and skills are broken down into weekly topics, standards and performance skills<br /> which translate into daily lesson plans (See Managed Curriculum)<br />Coverage and sequence of weekly topics, standards and performance skills are planned backwards, <br /> from Friday to Monday to ensure adequate pacing and full coverage of material<br />For each daily lesson plan, extraordinary teachers ensure:<br />Clear expectations for student learning are communicated to students<br />A clear, achievable aim or objective (i.e., ‘Students will be able to…’) that can be easily<br /> assessed<br />An agenda that includes teacher directed instruction, guided practice and independent<br /> practice<br />The "Power-Up" and HW reflect and connect to the lesson aim or objective<br />Daily lessons advance the goals for what students will know and be able to do set out in the<br /> Unit Plan<br />Lessons that employ multiple ways for students to engage and then to show what they know<br /> and are able to do<br />Lessons that leverage multiple learning styles and abilities (verbal, visual, tactile, etc.)<br />III. Daily Lesson Planning<br />When crafted and implemented correctly, the Black Board Configuration (BBC) is a useful tool for shaping and guiding in-class time. The BBC consists of a Power-Up, Aim/Objective, Agenda and Homework assignment. Written clearly on the board before class and in the same place everyday to ensure consistency, students know exactly what is expected of them from the first moment they enter class. The BBC can then be used as a road map throughout the rest of class, to indicate where the class is going and where it has been. At its core, the BBC helps answer the question, “What do I want my students to know and to be able to do by the end of class?”<br />Essential Elements of the ‘Power Up’<br />Written assignment, pen to paper (not review notes, read a book, take a seat, etc.)<br />Silently and independently completed at the beginning of class<br />Takes approximately 2 minutes to complete<br />Although written, still reflects multiple learning styles<br />Engaging and attractive, encourages students to begin class well<br />Builds on previous day’s work or serves as introduction to day’s material<br />Can incorporate LEAP or iLEAP practice questions that serve as a spiral review of previous<br /> content material<br />Expect students to begin the Power Up when they enter class, they need not wait for the bell<br /> to ring<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Hand out at the door as students enter<br />Use a “Week Sheet” for easy collection and documentation<br />Include the Power-Up at the top of the hand-out for the day<br />Use a blank piece of paper kept in student notebooks as the Power Up answer sheet, so students can refer back to it<br />Grade Power-Up’s weekly or randomly and incorporate as quiz grade or classwork<br />Students who finish early read silent reading book or write down homework in their organizer<br />Essential Elements of the Aim/Objective<br />States a specific, student-centered measurable goal for class (i.e., “You will be able to identify<br /> examples of simple machines in complex machines.”)<br />Travel Bloom’s Taxonomy to move students towards higher order thinking skills<br />Introduce and display at the beginning of class, and revisit at the end of class to ensure goal<br /> was met<br />Be consistent, always begin with “You will be able to (YWBAT) . . . ”<br />The goal is to have all students demonstrate mastery of the Aim/Objective at the end of<br /> Class<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Incorporate aim/objective of class into opening of lesson<br />Students write the objective at the top of their notes for the day<br />Give small rewards to students who are able to tell you the objective without looking at their notes during the<br />middle of the lesson<br />Essential Elements of the ‘Agenda’<br />Describes at least 3-4 major components of class period, specifically major shifts in activities<br />Includes sufficient description/details (for example, not simply “Notes” but rather “Note-taking”<br /> on Ch. 4, The Phases of the Moon”)<br />Differentiate from the Aim/Objective, the Agenda is a list of major components while the<br /> Aim/Objective encompasses what you want students to be able to know and do at the end<br /> of the lesson<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Ensure your agenda leaves enough time to both cover the day’s lesson and assess whether the objective has been<br /> met<br />Keep in mind, there is always a lot to cover but sometimes less is more<br />Regardless of the subject, all lessons should incorporate reading and writing practice (collaborate with an<br /> English teacher, perhaps)<br />As a reminder, end Agenda with “Review Class” or “Summarize the Day”<br />Essential Elements of ‘Homework’<br />Assign meaningful homework nightly. Lower and middle school students should generally<br /> receive a total of 1½-2 hours of homework per night<br />Review homework guidelines thoroughly before the first homework assignment is due<br />Link homework with day’s objectives to allow students an opportunity to apply what they’ve<br /> learned (and/or preview the next day’s materials)<br />Be thoughtful in your assignments, assess the value of each assignment, and avoid giving busy<br /> work.<br />All written responses should be written in complete sentences<br />Ensure written assignments are attached to reading or “study” assignments (comprehension<br /> questions, story diagrams, study guides, etc.) and that students understand how to and what it<br /> means to “take notes.” Students should submit something written each day<br />Write homework assignment clearly and completely on the board before class<br />Include specific expectations for each homework assignment (i.e., complete sentences, quantity of<br /> sentences, separate piece of paper, in pen, “show your work,” etc.). When possible, model<br /> expectations with students before they leave class.<br />Lower and middle school homework assignments should be graded on as 10% of the total grade<br />Ensure that every student has written down the assignment completely before leaving class (allow<br /> time for writing and check student homework notebook)<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Post and rotate examples of good homework throughout the classroom<br />Select students to verbally repeat homework assignment to whole class before leaving<br />Explicitly detail elements of “good sentences” versus “bad sentences” and write examples of both<br />IV. Instructional Expectations<br />Starting Class<br />Starting class with an established, consistent routine minimizes the amount of time lost during class changes. Consistent routines and expectations among grade-level teachers, and throughout the school, are important for providing students with reliable structures.<br />Lining Up Outside Classroom<br />Even if the classroom is empty and the teacher is inside, middle school students should wait at the<br /> door to be invited in<br />Students should be quiet in line<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Spend extra time throughout the first week of school explicitly and thoroughly detailing expectations for waiting in<br /> line. You should not have to remind students after the first few weeks<br />If specific students are disorderly or loud in line, do not invite those specific students in until they are prepared to<br /> learn (this may result in being late to class and receiving a demerit). Do not punish the whole class<br />Greeting Students at the Door<br />Greeting students at the door allows the teacher to informally check in with students and gauge<br /> the overall energy level and attitude of each class<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Check the classroom rubric as students enter, and use it to assess the group’s day. Either congratulate or<br /> address the need for improvement. Give reminders of how to earn a “4”<br />Check in with specific students who may struggle with the day’s plan (i.e., a student who struggles with<br /> upcoming group work) and briefly strategize<br />Shake hands with each student as they enter, make each student feel like an appreciated individual<br />Maximizing Class Time<br />After entering the classroom, students move immediately to their seats and begin work on<br /> the Power-Up before the bell rings<br />No student should be talking after the bell rings<br />Any students not in their seats when the bell rings should receive a demerit<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />There is no reason class can’t begin before the bell rings; let students know class begins and ends when you say<br /> it begins and ends<br />Any students not beginning the Power Up as the bell rings should receive a warning and subsequent demerit<br />The Lesson<br />Lessons must ALWAYS be planned in written form. Lesson plans for the upcoming week are due via e-mail to Ms. Pence and Ms. Fletcher by the end of the day Friday. A hard copy must be placed in your teacher portfolio on your desk by 8:00 a.m. Monday.<br />The Six Parts of a Lesson<br />Every lesson, like any good essay or presentation, has a clear beginning, middle and end and is most effective when organized around one clear objective. When planning daily lessons, exceptional teachers are mindful of each distinct part of the whole. While the instructional activities and timing of direct instruction, guided practice and independent practice may vary from day to day, it is crucial<br />that each part is included. (See Appendix for a format.)<br />The Overview/Introduction<br />The teacher establishes objectives/purpose; he/she relates this lesson to previous and future lessons, securing student interest and attention.  (Anticipatory/Establishing Set) This explains to students what they are about to learn, why they are going to learn it and hooks the students into the class. Good openings engage students with a question or quick demonstration and set the class up as relevant to students’ lives.<br />Content Focus (“I Do…”)<br />Activities focus on learning new concepts or skills and begins with the introduction of new material..  This is the “content presentation” portion of the lesson.  Teacher modeling occurs during this phase.  The activities are not always teacher directed, as when discovery lessons are implemented. Some refer to this as the “I Do” part of the lesson, when teachers do the most direct form of instruction.<br /> <br />Guided Practice (“We Do…”)<br />Students practice newly learned concepts or skills in settings where the teacher can easily monitor for student understanding.  Teacher and student complete guided instruction or practice together. Some refer to this as the “We Do” part of the lesson as it can take the form of guided note-taking, reading together or practice problems. Monitoring and feedback are pervasive during this phase of the lesson.  (Have they learned what I wanted them to learn well enough to use it/practice it on their own?)<br /> <br />Independent Practice (“You Do…”)<br />Students work independently or in small groups to practice newly learned concepts and skills.  The teacher does not lead this activity; students work more independently.  Monitoring and feedback occur during this phase of the lesson. Teachers continue to give guidance and support but not direct instruction during this “You Do” part of the class.<br />Closure<br />The teacher engages students in activities that “wrap up” the lesson and emphasize what was learned.  This may include a review of the most important concepts/skills learned in the lesson or self-reflection by students. It also sets up homework for continued independent practice. The close of a lesson is in advance of packing up.<br />Monitoring/Feedback<br />Monitoring (informal assessment of learner knowledge and understanding – checking for understanding) can occur during any phase of the lesson.  Monitoring involves teacher behaviors and practices designed to provide the teacher with information about what students have and have not learned and understood. Like monitoring, the feedback function cuts across the phases in the instructional process.  Feedback occurs wherever a teacher provides a student qualitative information about his/her performance.  The hierarchy of feedback should be implemented in order to increase student learning.<br />Lesson Flow/“Hum of Excellence”<br />All students are engaged and on-task throughout the entire class period – there is a “buzz” of<br /> learning in class<br />Classes run fluidly with clear communication between students and teacher<br />Stay consistent with rules, always address missteps (for example, students should never eat during<br /> class)<br />Beyond what is expected individually by each teacher, every student is prepared with at least a <br /> pen/pencil, paper, and silent reading book for every class<br />Students should know exact procedures for getting a tissue, sharpening pencils, throwing <br /> something away, etc.<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Acknowledge positives by identifying specific students meeting/exceeding expectations (i.e., “Thank you, ___,<br /> for starting your assignment early before the bell has rung.”)<br />Develop non-verbal cues with specific repeat offenders to remind of behavior expectations without disrupting class <br /> (standing near student, tap on the desk, paused speech, specific eye contact, nod or shake of the head, etc.)<br />Minimize your time facing the board with your back to the class<br />If you have a small number of students in your larger classroom, students should sit in a concentrated section of the <br /> room rather than anywhere they want<br />Setting the Pace<br />When planning lessons, write times in the margins of lesson plans to help keep pace of activities<br />Gauge student ability to stay focused on independent seat-work, and plan appropriately<br />Design class work with enough depth so that all students take the time allotted<br />Keep students on their toes by constantly asking them questions and moving all around the room<br />Classes should generally include both teacher-centered and student-centered instruction<br />Take advantage of students’ multiple learning styles<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Backwards plan your lesson starting with the lesson close<br />Check for understanding with specific questions to individual students<br />Informally assess student readiness with "hands-up" or "pencils down" signals<br />Invite students to ‘Rank their own understanding’ on a scale of 1-5 fingers<br />Teaching Rules and Procedures<br />Procedures and signals need to be explained, modeled, and enforced clearly<br />Explain how procedures and routines eliminate wasted time and increase opportunities for creative<br /> lessons<br />Invest students in idea that “this is how we do things” and “in my class this is how we have done<br /> things and it works”<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />At the start of the year, create an Accountability Board with two columns, one on the left titled “Procedures<br /> We Need to Learn” and the other “Procedures We Know”. List all procedures on the left and ceremoniously move <br /> each to the right column as class successfully demonstrates procedure. If at any point many students do not follow the <br /> procedure, the teacher should move it back to the left column<br />Procedures can be mini-objectives, practiced and mastered by the entire class<br />Keeping Students Engaged<br />Plan a “hook” to your opening that helps to convey why learning the aim of class is important or <br /> one that connects to prior knowledge<br />Do frequent verbal check-ins with students throughout class<br />Change activities (i.e., switch from note-taking to brief activity)<br />If an activity is taking longer than anticipated, don’t try to rush through just to move on to the<br /> next agenda item<br />While there is value in lecture and independent seat work, long stretches of either can be <br /> unproductive. Stay aware of the ratio of your voice to student voices over the course of a class<br />Make connections between the specific activity, the overall objective of the day, and goal for the<br /> unit.<br /> Continuously circle back to the BBC<br />Be proactive. Strive for maximum student buy-in and participation during lesson planning<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />It is not always helpful to simply acknowledge that the group has low energy. Instead, create an opportunity for <br /> movement and increased student interaction.<br />Ask students to stand while answering questions<br />Find opportunities for students to practice their public speaking<br />Try to think of one particularly interesting question, idea, or activity (songs, rhymes, call and responses, trivia, etc.) <br /> that will get students engaged, but make sure the activity itself doesn’t replace the point of the lesson<br />Don’t stretch to find relevance between what the class is doing and how it relates to students’ lives but if relevance is <br /> there, use it to engage students<br />Kids like being good at things. The more skills they develop, the more confidence and engagement they will feel<br />Modulate the volume of your voice. Incorporate new vocabulary words into the lesson and quiz students on word <br /> meanings<br />If you’re excited about the material, the students will be excited too<br />Given concerns about student health and obesity, we want to limit the use of food as a reward. While food and<br /> snacks and access to food and snacks can be a good motivation for students, balance it out with other meaningful<br /> rewards and verbal praise<br />Differentiating Instruction<br />While planning lessons, keep in mind that some students learn best seeing and writing, others by listening and discussing, and others by demonstrating and practicing. Especially in the lower and middle school, plan for lesson “chunks” that ask students to experience or use learning in these ways<br />Incorporate into lessons time for students to work alone, in groups and with partners<br />Ask students to show their knowledge by discussing, writing, performing, drawing, building, etc.<br />Be creative with seating arrangements, and mix abilities to encourage peer-to-peer teaching<br />Group by ability in some activities to allow some students to review and some to move on<br />Group heterogeneously in other cases to allow higher-performing students to serve as peer<br /> tutors<br />Group so as to allow students to excel, showing off their learning styles and building confidence<br />Design assignments that have different levels for students to choose from<br />Use assessments that allow some students to go deeper and farther than others<br />Provide extra credit or advanced work (for enrichment purposes only, not to replace missed work <br /> that was expected of everyone)<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Regularly incorporate into lessons activities such as jigsaws, stations, and think, pair, shares<br />Informally or formally encourage higher skilled students to go the “extra mile” on written assignments (differentiate <br /> expectations)<br />Use assessments that start easy so as to engage and increase in difficulty<br />Require selected, higher-performing students to complete advanced work, don’t make it optional<br />Incorporate “Challenge Questions” at the end of daily assignments for extra credit<br />Start an extracurricular opportunity for students to delve deeper into the material<br />Student Support<br />Regularly communicate with students that we all learn differently and there is no “right” way to<br /> learn<br />Work with your SLC and SPED teachers to know individual students’ strengths and weaknesses<br /> and to insure knowledge of the content of IEP’s<br />If an IEP requires, modify tests, quizzes and HW assignments<br />Notify your SLC and SPED teacher in advance of any major assessment to ensure adequate<br /> support for students in need of small group setting or test questions read aloud<br />Maintain regular contact with families and liaisons concerning student achievement in <br /> class: If a student is in danger of failing a class, there should be no less than 3 instances of documented parent <br /> contact!<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Share with your grade level team/SST any information or teaching technique that works best with a particular<br /> student<br />Use graphic organizers for content and note-taking<br />Ask students to repeat back expectations in their own words<br />Distribute photocopies of notes to students so that students can focus on listening during class<br />Inform students in advance which specific question they will be asked during class<br />Transitioning from One Activity to Another<br />Develop and implement specific procedures for transitioning from one activity to another to<br /> minimize distractions and time loss (for example, students know how to break up into group work<br /> quickly and quietly)<br />Spend time early in the year practicing transitions<br />When you’re about to do an unusual, non-traditional, or out-of-the-ordinary activity, make sure <br /> the parameters have been set with the students and that there is a clear link between the objective <br /> and the activity. Younger students especially find the smallest things funny and even the smallest <br /> interruption can throw your lesson off track.<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Use tape to mark desk locations for easy desk rearrangements<br />Allow one group or one part of the room to transition first, another group second, etc.<br />Require individual students or groups to re-transition if it is done poorly or improperly<br />Give instructions, and use “count downs” for students to complete tasks. Issue demerits to students not in their seats,<br /> with pen and paper out, at the end of the count down<br />Asking Questions<br />Ask questions frequently to gauge student understanding and focus<br />e patient and allow sufficient time for the majority, if not all, of the students to process a question and formulate a response. Avoid calling on the first hands you see<br />Call on students who do not raise their hands as well as those who do<br />If just a few of the same students are raising their hands, cold call on other students, do not allow<br /> just the few to answer all the questions<br />Answers from students who call out should never be accepted. Hands should always be raised in<br /> response to questions, otherwise shy or quiet students will be ignored<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Count the number of hands raised before answering the question. Don’t call on a student until a specific number<br /> of hands have been raised<br />Call out the names of students whose hands are raised<br />Repeat the question several times until new hands are up<br />“Sit out” certain students who have already responded to questions and encourage others to volunteer<br />Silently count to yourself before calling on a student<br />Ask students not to raise their hand until a certain amount of time has elapsed<br />Ask students to write down their answers before answering aloud<br />Write each of the student’s names on a stick/card, and draw from these to call on students or select students<br /> for groups<br />Group Work<br />Group work is not simply students doing work in groups, it must be carefully structured and <br /> thought out to maximize its effectiveness.<br />Specific responsibilities for these roles must be taught at the beginning of the year and practiced<br />Students can collaborate together to solve a problem, work together to brainstorm ideas, or allow<br /> you an opportunity to work with a particular group of struggling or overachieving students<br />Set a pre-determined time limit and ensure all students are on-task, focused, engaged, and <br /> participating for the duration of the group work<br />Verify that students have a clear understanding of expectations for group work (focused, quiet <br /> voices, respectful behavior, etc.). If necessary, restate expectations during activity and use students<br /> and their roles to help monitor this<br />Develop a rubric for group work that counts for a significant part of the grade, and provide<br /> feedback on success<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Keep the same group and roles for a week/month/quarter in order to save time and increase efficiency<br />Directions for group work should be both written and verbal<br />Offer both an individual and group work grade to ensure each student contributes equally; do not penalize those <br /> who have done the work<br />Assign a specific role to each student (facilitator/peacekeeper, team leader, time keeper, materials manager, data <br /> recorder/scribe, gopher) so each student is doing something during the activity. Also, try to keep the work equal. <br /> (See Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures.)<br />Circulate through the room to ensure that all groups are on task<br />Encourage team work. If one student has a question, he or she should first address the group. If the group cannot <br /> answer the question, all students in the group raise their hands. The teacher can then hear the question from <br /> anyone in the group because they have first attempted to solve the problem together<br />Independent Work<br />Before beginning, give instructions to students in several formats: recite aloud, read together, <br /> have instructions written on board or on hand out, call on students to repeat instructions back, <br /> put in their own words, explain to class, etc<br />Review behavior expectations thoroughly before beginning independent work<br />Use this time to check understanding of specific students<br />Avoid using the majority of the period for independent work<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Circulate through the room to ensure that all students are quiet and on-task<br />Give reminders throughout class period of expected progress<br />Students should know what to do if they finish ahead of others (for example, take out their silent reading book,<br /> early finisher work, etc.)<br />If some students need more time, allow them to finish whatever is left for homework<br />Using Videos<br />Showing two minutes of a video can be a great hook/focus<br />Refrain from showing videos too frequently or ones that last for more than one period<br />Create written assignments for students to complete while watching videos<br />Set clear expectations for behavior during video<br />Clearly assess student comprehension of the video<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Offer to show students the rest of the movie either afterschool or during lunch periods<br />Stop the movie occasionally to focus students, to ask questions, or to review main points<br />Assign HW related to film and include synthesis questions to written assignments and assessments<br />Student Presentations<br />Model a great presentation and a not so great presentation days prior to the presentation so<br /> students know what they are aiming for<br />Ensure that students are silent and focused during student presentations<br />Explicitly teach students how to behave during presentations (how to clap, how to track the<br /> speaker, how to maintain focus in light of distractions, etc.)<br />Students clear their desks and are not distracted by pens, books, or other materials<br />Assign written work associated with student presentations (either during or in response to the<br /> presentation)<br />Address student behavior which is not respectful of other students’ presentations<br />Set students up for success by giving them opportunities or avenues through which to<br /> Practice<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Students are assigned 2-3 presenters and provide specific feedback and constructive criticism to those students<br />Let students know you will select students at random after the presentation to ensure listening and<br /> comprehension<br />All eyes should be on presenters<br />Have students evaluate their own presentations<br />Closing a Lesson<br />The last five minutes of class are crucial for wrapping up the day’s lesson and ensuring students are<br />equipped with the information they need to successfully complete the night’s homework assignment.<br />Information conveyed in the last five minutes is just as important as any other point in the period.<br />Students should maintain the same focused attention during this time.<br />Reviewing Main Points<br />Do a wrap-up activity with students to review the day’s material<br />Refer to the aim/objective, have students demonstrate that they understand the objective and<br /> can demonstrate mastery<br />Ensure students understand the homework and connect main points to that night or<br /> previous night’s homework assignment<br />Maintain “Check Out” expectations for the room (no trash on floor, materials and resources<br /> returned to proper areas, desks back to original positions, etc)<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Have the same routine each day, set aside the last five minutes for randomly selected students to explain – in<br /> their own words – the point(s) of the lesson<br />Use exit tickets as a way of assessing for understanding<br />Illustrate the bigger picture, retrace the path of the class, from concept to concept<br />Ask students why what was learned might be important or how it might be applied to other situations<br />Ask students to predict how this might connect to that night’s homework or the next day’s lesson<br />Preview the homework assignment by practicing a problem or question together, allowing students to review the<br /> assignment individually, identifying potentially difficult sections, offering an opportunity for help/tutoring,<br /> explaining opportunities for extra credit, etc.<br />Using Agenda Planners<br />Allow students time to write homework in planners at the end of class<br />Check agenda planners to ensure homework is written accurately and completely, as time<br /> permits <br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Assign two students to check if HW is recorded in planners at the end of class<br />Use a completed planner as a “ticket” out of class<br />Use planners as a communication tool with parents, for both positive and negative notices (for example,<br /> parents sign nightly acknowledging assignment)<br />Dismissing Students<br />Line students up ready to walk to their next class; do not dismiss until it is silent<br />Make sure students remain in class until the bell has rung<br />Assert power over the bells. The bells do not dictate when class is over, the teacher does<br />If You Finish Class Early…<br />Be mindful of time when planning lessons<br />Keep students on task until they are dismissed from class<br />If a student finishes early, he/she should read his/her silent reading book<br />Students should never be lined up inside a classroom, waiting for the bell to ring<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Review main points from day’s lesson<br />Review specific contributions made by students<br />Post a challenge question or problem that all are expected to attempt to solve<br />Spend time organizing binder and updating index<br />Do a Fred Jones “Sponge Activity”<br />V. Assessment<br />It is critical that we are always aware of what students know and what they are able to do. Data from assessments should drive daily lesson planning and curricular structure. Design assessments in such a way that they provide information on what concepts are being retained by whom. Analyze assessments to evaluate student understanding of specific frameworks, and plan subsequent units with this information in mind.<br />Informal Assessment During Class<br />While quizzes, tests, papers, and essays offer tangible evidence of progress and student <br /> achievement, it is as important to constantly monitor student understanding during class<br />Don’t be afraid to choose students at random – at any point during class – to assess their<br /> understanding of the day’s objectives<br />Vary the means of checking for understanding (small white boards, pop quiz, exit ticket, extended<br /> response, think alouds, etc)<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Slightly alter questions that have been already answered earlier in class (at the board or in students’ seats)<br />Call on a few students and ask the same question of each. Ask other students to comment on who is right<br /> and who is wrong<br />Ask students how they arrived at their answer<br />Purposely make mistakes and/or put errors on the board, ask students to figure out what’s wrong<br />Poll the class on their answers – make sure every student offers at least one – and put the survey results on<br /> the board<br />If students are working independently or in groups, choose one problem each is working on to see how well<br /> each student or group is answering that particular problem<br />Develop with students a quick, non-verbal way for them to convey their level of understanding<br />Quizzes and Tests<br />Quizzes should not take the whole period.<br />Even if they received a failing grade, students should ALWAYS be able to re-take major tests. We <br /> want to promote an attitude of “you have not mastered a skill YET…” There should always be an<br /> opportunity to show an increased level of knowledge. <br />Students should not grade each others’ tests or quizzes; however, self-grading is appropriate<br />Use a variety of question formats that ask students to select and generate answers (multiple<br /> choice, short answer, essays, etc.) in order to capitalize on students’ varying strengths and<br /> ability to convey mastery of material<br />Questions on written assessments should require students to recall content as well as<br /> demonstrate their ability to apply a skill<br />Students need to know how to study; do not assume that they already know how<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Use folders, propped up between tables, to squelch would-be cheaters<br />Review briefly with students before tests and quizzes<br />Send home “Alerts” that inform families of the date of specific test and the material that will be covered.<br /> Require that students study with families and get the “Alert” signed<br />Call specific students the night before a test to remind students to study<br />Other Assessments<br />Incorporate other forms of assessments (labs, oral presentations, seminars, papers, projects,<br /> problem based learning, etc.)<br />Make sure these other assessments are as rigorous, reliable, valid, and measurable as traditional <br /> exams<br />Utilize rubrics with clear expectations for projects, papers, and presentations. This makes the final<br /> grade clearer and students can connect input with final project and grade<br />Invite families, community members, and other staff to evaluate and observe student presentations<br />Set high expectations for oral/public speaking assessments<br />Display and share examples of good student work in classroom and hallway boards<br />Benchmark Assessments<br />The RSD will supply a set of benchmark assessments every quarter. They will consist of 15 – 25 multiple choice items and 1 or 2 constructed response items. A rubric will be provided prior to the exam for teachers.<br />After the assessment, the scores will be available within 48 hours.<br />Teachers will meet with a member of the Leadership Team to analyze scores and to plan for needed re-teaching<br />Data Walls<br />A data wall is a place on the wall that represents student mastery of standards.<br />Each standard should be written in an “I can” statement. EXAMPLE: I can add three digit numbers.<br />Student names of those who have mastered standards should be placed on the wall. <br />Updated on a daily and/or weekly basis (at minimum)<br />The goal is have students know what they have mastered and what they still need to work on.<br />Students should keep a record of the standards that they must master.<br />Grades<br />It seems obvious to say but students should receive the grades they earn. Families want us<br />to be clear with them regarding their children’s academic and behavioral performance<br />If students fail a class, they fail a class. It’s important that we are not creative with grading.<br />Grades need to reflect both tangible effort and achievement. All work in the classroom should be linked to standards. Skill mastery is the majority of a students’ grades. RSD policy for grading is as follows:<br />Grades 4 – 5<br />50%: Major grades: Tests, Projects, Essays, Labs, etc.<br />25%: Class Work<br />15%: Quizzes, notebooks<br />10%: Homework and participation<br />Grades 6 – 8<br />25%: Exams<br />25%: Major Grades: Tests, Projects, Essays, Labs, etc.<br />25%: Class Work<br />15%: Quizzes, notebooks<br />10%: Homework and participation<br />Letter GradeNumerical GradeQuality PointsQuality Point RangeA93 – 1004.03.5 – 4.0B85 – 923.02.5 – 3.4C75 – 842.01.5 – 2.4D70 – 741.01.0 – 1.4F60 - 690.0Below 1.0<br />No student can earn more than 100 for the quarter. If a student receives a score of 100 for<br /> the quarter, this means that the student completed 100% of the work 100% of the time and<br /> demonstrated 100% achievement in 100% of what the student was expected to do. Additionally, <br /> the lowest F in the grade book is a 60.<br />A teacher must enter a minimum of nine major grades (test, project, essay, lab, etc.) and nine other grades (homework, quiz, etc.) into the electronic grade book each quarter.<br />Exam grades for grades 6- 8 will consist of 50% benchmark test and 50% teacher made items.<br />Teachers will issue Interim Progress Reports from the electronic grade book to parents every three weeks during the year except when issuing report cards.<br />Student conduct shall NOT be considered when computing the quarterly grade. Conduct should be considered separately and graded “O” = Outstanding, “S” = Satisfactory, “N” = Needs Improvement, “U” = Unsatisfactory<br />For promotion, students must attend a minimum of 156 days of school.<br />Classroom Display Requirements<br />Subject specific word wall: Words should be large and bold. When possible, include a picture next to the word to illustrate the concept. This is particularly useful in non-ELA classes, where many new words are nouns.<br />Data Wall: See description of a data wall under “Assessment.” <br />Current Student Work: Student work should be posted on a regular basis. Work should not stay up any longer than 2 weeks, so that it can be replaced with more current student work. Make sure that student work is hung neatly and all edges are mounted/fastened to the board. Additionally, place a descriptor with student work, such as the GLE or skill for the work.<br />Posters/Bulletin Boards That Reflect What You Are Teaching: Your bulletin boards should reflect what you are teaching at the time. Procedural posters should begin to come down after September, as procedures should be known by students at this point.<br />Student Discipline Posters (Demerits vs. Wicker Bucks)<br />Work Displayed Outside of Classrooms: Create a bulletin board outside of the classroom to display student work. Let’s keep our hallways beautiful with items that represent student hard work.<br />Tidy your personal space: If we expect students to be organized, we must also model how to be organized.<br />Black Board Configuration: See BBC under “Curriculum Expectations”<br />If you create self-made posters or words, please look for the following:<br />-The paper is evenly cut.<br />-The words are written neatly, straight and bold. If not, please type.<br />-Butcher paper is hung neatly and seams are not clearly visible.<br />-Borders are hung around the outside edges of the work.<br />Math<br />Number line<br />Place-value poster<br />ELA<br />-Completed Graphic Organizers (Utilize “Thinking Maps”)<br />-Reading Workshop, Guided Reading, and Writer’s Workshop Rules Poster<br />Science<br />-Scientific method poster<br />Social Studies<br />-U.S. Map & World Map<br />-Example of a timeline<br />ADVISORY<br />The goal of the advisory program is to provide a safe and nurturing environment in which each student can develop a strong relationship with a specific teacher who knows him or her best. In this environment, students’ academic, organizational, social, and emotional needs can be addressed. The advisory program ensures that every child at Albert Wicker Literacy Academy is known. Advisors are responsible for both daily administrative tasks and developing personal relationships with advisees.<br />Advisors should review the Student Handbook frequently and periodically throughout the year with their advisees in order to ensure students are kept constantly aware of school rules and expectations.<br />While some staff members do not serve as Advisors, every staff member plays a role during Advisory to be determined at the start of the year with the Principals.<br />Daily Administrative Tasks<br />Morning: 7:45 – 7:50 a.m.<br />Take attendance, enter it into JPAMs and send to office before 8:15 AM.<br />Collect monies and complete the collection log.<br />Collect forms and send to the office.<br />Ensure students are in proper uniform.<br />Make class or school announcements.<br />Morning: 7:50 – 8:10 a.m.<br />Conduct Morning Meeting (see details below).<br />Check and sign student organizers and check that families have signed it the next morning.<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Assign a student to check that all homework assignments have names.<br />Post a list, and give students frequent reminders, of what students need in order to be prepared for each day.<br />Ask students to hold up required materials one at a time to ensure they are ready for the day.<br />Have a “Question of the Day” to discuss with advisees in order to provide structure to down time.<br />Provide students with crossword puzzles, brain teasers, or sudoku puzzles to work on after they’ve entered<br /> advisory.<br />Morning Meeting -- Overall Purpose:<br />To create a structured and safe environment to better foster students’ social, emotional, and cognitive<br /> development.<br />To set a respectful tone for the class and establish a climate of trust within the group.<br />To increase student motivation by addressing two human needs: the need to feel a sense of significance <br /> and belonging, and the need to have positive and fun experiences within a safe group environment.<br />Format of Morning Meeting, taken from the Morning Meeting book: (Balance of routine and surprise)<br />Greeting – students greet each other in a structured way each morning.<br />Sharing –students share an experience, news or something of interest and students learn to respond to<br /> each other, articulating their thoughts and ideas in a positive manner.<br />Group Activity – the whole class participates in a group activity.<br />News and Announcements –teacher and/or students make announcements for the day or week, and<br /> get the students focused on the day ahead.<br />Daily Variations:<br />Not all of the components need to be a part of Morning Meeting everyday, but at least one component<br /> should happen each day.<br />It should take between 10 and 15 minutes depending on how many components are included on a<br /> given day.<br />Interpersonal Tasks<br />Advisors are responsible for knowing the social and emotional needs of their advisees, as well as their academic and organizational strengths and weaknesses. Advisors ensure the advisory atmosphere is safe and nurturing for all students. Some of the following tasks are formal and systematic; others are done on a more informal basis simply by checking in with students.<br />Daily Tasks<br />Be proactive in trying to prevent conflicts that begin to arise, facilitate mediations and resolutions<br /> when conflicts do occur.<br />Share concerns with appropriate staff member(s).<br />Monitor health of students—sick? sad? dressed for weather? clean? rested?<br />Monitor general nutrition of students—eating breakfast? lunch?<br />Encourage respectful behavior among classmates.<br />Learn students’ current family situation.<br />Address students’ individual academic, behavioral, and emotional needs.<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Set individual and class goals for the day/week/quarter/year.<br />Pair students struggling with organizational skills with students who can help them pack their bags and organize their<br /> school work at the beginning of each day.<br />Spend time talking about good movies you saw, things that happened over the weekend, etc.<br />Celebrate birthdays, including students whose birthdays fall during the summer.<br />Frequently ask and chat with advisees about what they are doing in other classes.<br />Bring in a relevant current event article/issue and have a group discussion.<br />Use a central question of the day (Ex: If you were an animal what would you be? What was the craziest?<br /> dream you ever had) to guide discussion.<br />Teach students your college cheer.<br />Write or call your college admissions office or college bookstore to get free, college-related materials.<br />Have students make up an advisory song, cheer, or catch phrase, set a time each day when you sing/say it.<br />Have “Joke of the Week” competitions.<br />Weekly<br />Contact parents early in the year with positive feedback, continue throughout the year (at least one<br /> “positive” parent call a week, logged in the parent contact log). Please plan that Ms. Pence will check this log on a monthly basis.<br />Plan appropriate activities for non-assembly days.<br />Lead advisory group to and from assemblies.<br />Report on advisory’s weekly progress at weekly assembly (perfect homework, goals reached, individual<br /> achievements).<br />Share with staff via e-mail and grade-level meetings issues that may be affecting academic and <br /> behavioral performance.<br />Contact parents immediately with any concerns, especially students that are habitually late and/or <br /> absent or show change in personal and/or work habits.<br />Monitor homework performance.<br />Encourage and track afterschool tutoring and enrichment participation.<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Target an organizational goal or study skill each month.<br />Teach students a fun skill or activity or something you wish you had known when you were their age.<br />Post a list of students who have earned the most merits and what they were able to do/buy as a result.<br />Quarterly<br />Speak with every advisee’s family, ideally by the end of each quarter. Maintain contact at least 3 more<br /> times throughout the year.<br />Call advisees whose progress reports show failure or risk of failure.<br />Call selected advisees’ families before Family-Teacher Conferences to extend personal invitations.<br />Follow up with phone calls to any advisees’ families not attending conferences, especially those failing<br /> or at risk of failing on report cards.<br />Review progress reports and report cards with selected advisees.<br />Reward and encourage positive advisee and group behavior and performance.<br />Plan activities with other advisory groups (lunch exchanges, special activities, and other fun<br /> events).<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Set up informal rewards for meeting daily goals.<br />Set up fun competitions with other advisory groups in the grade.<br />End of Year<br />Ensure advisees have returned borrowed items, books, and materials.<br />Discuss and encourage summer plans with advisees.<br />Lessons Learned/Best Practices from Teachers<br />Have students fill out postcards reminding themselves to do their summer reading, mail them mid-summer.<br />Borrow the summer binder in April and go through it with your advisees during lunch.<br />Work with Program Director, Advisory Coordinator, and Dean of Administration to identify specific programs for<br /> students without summer plans and send home literature.<br />Discipline and Behavior Management<br />Introduction<br />Picture this in your mind: walking through the halls of Albert Wicker Literacy Academy during class time is a remarkable experience. In every classroom, teachers are presenting rigorous lessons and students are rising to the challenge. Teachers hold their students to high academic expectations, and are able to focus energy on effective instruction because of consistent classroom management expectations enforced by every teacher. Classes run fluidly with clear communication between students and teacher. Teachers proactively plan to avoid misbehavior. Consistency in application of consequences drives student actions away from negative behaviors. Positive incentives encourage students to succeed. Teachers use school-wide systems, individual techniques, strong student-teacher relationships, and strong teacher-family relationships to promote and reinforce behavior excellence.<br />Student Achievement as the Primary Goal<br />The school is proactive in discipline, building a strong sense of community, getting students ready for college, and giving teachers and staff the support they need. The goal is to create a culture of ambition in the school. Together, we place the highest value on student achievement and show students the path to college success. We will create a community where students would rather learn than distract, where the college mission is alive and attainable.<br />The School is What We Make It<br />It is critical that we all hold the highest expectations for ourselves. In holding high expectations for ourselves, we need to first realize that the school is our charge, and that the school is what we make it. We need to accept responsibility for what happens in our school. We need to accept also that there are more and less effective ways to assert authority and to strive for effectiveness as a school.<br />We must be firm and positive in our approach to asserting authority. A firm and positive teacher uses the school’s discipline system in conjunction with his/her own systems, non-verbal cues, strong teacher-student relationships, strong teacher-family communication, positive reinforcement, academic motivation, and clear, well taught and re-taught rules and procedures. We must all agree to address and never ignore misbehavior in our classes, in the halls, in the bathrooms, during our planning periods, and outside of the school. Disciplinary situations should never become simply “someone else’s problem”—they are all ours to solve.<br />Choices<br />At Albert Wicker Literacy Academy, there are positive incentives for when a student chooses to follow a rule or procedure and negative consequences for when a student chooses to break a rule or procedure. Students can choose to follow the rules or they can choose to break the rules. Students quickly learn that every positive contribution results in a positive consequence and conversely every negative infraction results in negative consequence. This is the basis of our Code of Conduct. Therefore, students who choose not to meet the school community’s clearly defined standards for reasonable and acceptable behavior will not be permitted to disrupt the education of others.<br />Consistency<br />Straightforward rules coupled with consistently applied consequences make clear to students what is expected of them and what is unacceptable. No misbehavior can go unchecked at any time for any reason. We must acknowledge misbehavior, address it, and offer a consequence every time; it is not the severity of the punishment that deters people from breaking rules, but the consistent application of consequences.<br />Reinforcement of the Positive<br />In order to succeed, our discipline system must contain more positive incentives than negative consequences. Students who choose to follow the rules choose academic success, opportunity, positive recognition, and individual merits and Wicker Bucks. Classes who choose to support each other in being responsible, being respectful, being safe, working hard, staying focused, and aiming high earn recognition, privileges, and rewards.<br />Families<br />Families are our partners. Students know that we communicate frequently with families, reporting on their successes and missteps. The school staff enlists family help in modifying student behavior. Families and students are accountable for continued poor behavior.<br />Our Community<br />We believe in a community where students know what is expected of them, using structure and predictability to allow students to feel supported, safe, and included. In this community they can thrive as students and as people. It is our job to provide this. This sense of community will come from showing and earning respect, being firm and positive, and sharing the commitment to students and their achievement that brought us to this school, even when issuing consequences.<br />I. Prevention and Positive Reinforcement<br />The more we can prevent incidents from happening in the first place, the less we have to worry about addressing misbehavior and administering consequences later on. Good classroom management is a means to an end, not an end in itself.<br />A Ten-Point Plan for successful classroom management:<br />1. Make expectations about proper classroom behavior clear and explicit (develop mini-lessons on how<br /> you want your classroom to run)<br />2. Expect 100% in everything students do, 100% of the time<br />3. “QTIP”: Quit Taking it Personally<br />4. Move around; be a presence<br />5. Use common sense (and instinct)<br />6. Be consistent<br />7. Avoid warnings and individual deals with students that undermine everyone’s authority<br />8. Let the punishment fit the crime<br />9. Take the time to listen – emphasize right time, right tone, right place<br />10. Remember, you are the authority in the classroom<br />Prevention—Long Term:<br />Enter every class with a well-prepared lesson that engages students for the entire period<br />Adult-centered lessons leave students sitting and inactive. Students like to be active and engaged; they<br /> make up their own actions if not given the opportunity to be constructively engaged<br />Know the Student Handbook inside and out<br />Use routines, have structure, and give detailed instructions<br />Be confident; be fair but firm<br />Always project a caring attitude and actively show your deep concern for students. Model what you<br /> expect of students: be responsible, be respectful, be safe, work hard, stay focused, and aim high.<br />Have a sense of humor, be able to laugh at yourself and admit when you are wrong. Students will <br /> appreciate you being genuine and being yourself<br />Make sure students focus on their progress and performance, not on anyone else in the classroom<br />Review with students at the beginning of the year your behavioral expectations, both during class and <br /> during advisory. Revisit the rules periodically during the year, and offer students strategies and tools so<br /> they can deal appropriately with difficult situations, including their response to frustration, authority, <br /> gossiping, cheating, arguments that could escalate, working with others, etc.<br />Practice your three levels of “Excuse Me.” By changing your tone, you can effectively communicate<br /> the following three sentiments:<br />“Pardon me.”<br />“I beg your pardon?”<br />“This will not be tolerated in my class.”<br />The more vigilant we are in the hallways, classrooms, and during lunch, the fewer behavioral issues will<br /> arise<br />We owe it to students and families to provide a safe environment for all students. At any point during<br /> the day, think about whether shy, quiet, or nervous students feel safe. Be vigilant about bullying<br />Prevention—In the Moment:<br />Use proximity control: walk towards students who are about to break rules. No need to make obvious<br /> what you are doing, just stroll over<br />Be aware of what’s happening in every part of the room – including the back and when student <br /> hands/materials are below the desktop – and what’s happening in the hallways and during class changes<br />Use the inherent power of a look or glare (or even silence) as a non-verbal way of communicating: “are<br /> you sure you want to do that.” Practice “the look.”<br />Regulate your volume. Sometimes you getting quieter is exactly what is needed to quiet the class.<br /> Punctuate sentences with loud words to pull students back from day dreams. Sudden silence from you<br /> causes students to re-evaluate behavior.<br />Never talk over students, it shows you are willing to be disrespected. Simply letting them know that<br /> you will wait for them to be quiet can work. Use this in conjunction with giving Wicker Bucks in <br /> recognition of those who are doing it right.<br />Always demonstrate control over your own temper as we expect students to control theirs.<br />Reinforcing Good Behavior<br />Acknowledge it when you see it; praise good behavior<br />Try to give out as many or more Wicker Bucks than demerits<br />Say “thank you”<br />Practice the “great job” look<br />Set up behavior goals with individual students or classes; create class challenges<br />Call home to praise students or send a note home<br />II. Responding to Misbehavior<br />To support our effort of acknowledging and addressing misbehavior, it is crucial to respond consistently and apply consistent consequences. It can’t be “If I do this, I might get caught.” It must be, “If I do this, I know I will get consequence X.” The eventual goal is to move beyond the power of consequences to an internalization of the difference between appropriate and unacceptable behavior.<br />Pause and Consider the Motivation for the Behavior. Is it . . .<br />Attention seeking?<br />Power seeking?<br />Revenge seeking?<br />Motivated by a need to avoid failure?<br />Due to specific special needs?<br />Delivering Consequences<br />It’s all in the delivery. A demerit can be a punitive, insulting consequence. It can also be a pause, an<br /> acknowledgment of digression, a redirection and a starting point for positive choices.<br />Consider the following: “Mark, guess what? Another demerit, how many times do I need to tell you<br /> not to get out of your seat?”<br />As opposed to: “Mark, as you know in our class before you get out of your seat, you need to get<br /> permission from the teacher. You have not followed the procedure so you have earned a demerit. <br /> Please try and make sure that doesn’t happen in the future. Let’s get back to work.”<br />Best Practices for Delivering Consequences:<br />Deliver consequences consistently and respectfully so that no one loses face<br />Give students control over the outcome<br />Make it clear that every behavior is a choice<br />llow students to choose to do it right if they would prefer not to get additional consequences<br />Don’t make idle threats or argue with a student. <br />Students who feel powerless or trapped are not happy students<br />Don’t back a student or yourself into a corner.<br />void escalating a minor problem into a major one<br />Get mad at the behavior, not the student<br />In some behavioral situations, check to see if a student is on an IEP or 504 plan. If you have any<br /> questions, check with the Special Education Coordinator<br />It’s tempting to say more when angry or facing a difficult behavioral situation, but it’s often better to<br /> make your points calmly and succinctly and get on with class. Students respond better to terse<br /> directions that correct their behavior than longer explanations that put them in the spotlight<br />Clearly identify to the student the inappropriate behavior; don’t assume the student knows what <br /> he/she did wrong<br />If you see a violation outside the classroom, act on it, don’t ignore anything, even if you don’t know<br /> the students<br />When in doubt, ask a fellow staff member or the Principal<br />Promoting Respectful Disagreement<br />A student may disagree with a consequence. It is important to give students an avenue through which<br /> they can disagree, but do so with respect for themselves and the adult. An acceptable response to a <br /> consequence is: “Mr. Ferrara, I respectfully disagree with you and would like to talk with you about it <br /> later.” (Right time, right tone, right place.)<br />If a student chooses this response, he or she has chosen respect. The staff member should welcome a <br /> conversation at a later time. It is the responsibility of the student to take initiative in arranging the <br /> meeting<br />If the student chooses another, disrespectful response (verbal or physical display) to the issuing of a<br /> consequence (demerit or detention), he or she will receive an additional demerit for that disrespect<br />In order to prevent escalation, before the auto is issued, you can give the student an “out,” and suggest<br /> the later conversation. For example, “Sally, you know the policy for disagreeing.<br /> The way you chose to respond to the demerit was disrespectful. This, as you know, warrants and<br /> automatic demerit. If you would like to talk about why I issued either the demerit, we can<br /> do so after class. Now, however, it’s time to get back to work.”<br />Students who continue to argue should NOT receive yet another automatic detention. The staff <br /> member should remind the student that he/she will be contacting the family that night and that he/she<br /> can choose to show respect at this point to give the staff member something positive to report in the<br /> call tonight.<br />Approaches to Avoid<br />Making individual deals with students has an adverse effect on the entire school culture<br />Always avoid attacks on dignity, no matter how small<br />Collective punishments of a class for the transgression of one student are not fair – they don’t work, <br /> and families strongly object to them. However, having a class repeat a procedure if it is done incorrectly<br /> or questioning whether or not a class is ready to do a project because of a few students’ poor behavior<br /> choices can be effective<br />While consequences for students who are always in trouble may seem to have little effect, it’s <br /> important for the rest of the school to see the code of conduct being consistently enforced<br />There are never exceptions to student disrespect<br />How an Adult’s Actions Might Inadvertently Contribute to Student Misbehavior<br />Issues that could be resolved with a look, a demerit, a redirection, or a smile can be escalated by the staff member who responds rashly rather than in a way aligned with his or her own behavior plan<br />Confusion is created when the adult is unable to/does not communicate expectations clearly<br />If an adult has not set and reinforced procedures, students will not necessarily do things the way the<br /> adult wants. After this happens multiple times, the adult can become frustrated and express frustration<br /> with a student who was really trying to follow directions. The teacher may also resort to increasingly <br /> severe consequences and run out of headroom, when the entire interaction could have been avoided <br /> with a good procedure<br />When Student Behavior Becomes a Disruption<br />These strategies are best used in-between infractions, not at the time of the next infraction. This gives you additional strategies to use that do not undermine your consistency.<br />Use hallways or another part of the classroom as a space for a discussion to reinvest the student, show<br /> concern, and remind the student of how he/she can do better<br />Ask students to change seats to an extra desk or another part of the room<br />Privately remind the student that while you will be calling home tonight, he/she can still greatly<br /> influence the content of the call, a big change now on his/her part will mean a big change in the tone <br /> and specifics of the call<br />The Last Resort: When to Send Students Out of Class and How to Follow-Up<br />It should be the last resort – cases of gross disrespect, continual disruptions, refusal to follow teacher’s<br /> directions, and safety issues<br />The student should immediately be sent to the In-School Suspension Room with either a Time-Out Request or a Office Referral, depending on the offense. <br />The student will write out why he or she was asked to leave class, using a prompt or writing about the<br /> incident from scratch<br />The student will remain in the ISS room for the remainder of class. The student will return to his/her<br /> next class, unless the offense is severe enough to warrant suspension (examples: fights, bullying, etc.)<br />The teacher will phone the student’s parents that day. If the offense is more serious and requires <br /> further action (i.e., in- or out-of-school suspension), the Dean of Students will make the call to the<br /> family<br />If the offense was serious enough to be sent out of class, students sent out should receive an automatic<br /> detention. The Principal will determine if a suspension is warranted<br />III. What To Do If…<br />Many behavior situations require on-the-spot analysis and decisions. It’s difficult to know exactly what to say or how to act when conversations with students and families lead to confrontational situations. There is no one “right” response, it depends heavily on what works for a particular teacher and for that specific student. However, it is useful to develop a general plan for dealing with these situations. Below are some suggested responses to various difficult situations:<br />Student will not leave the classroom when asked<br />o Try to diffuse situation, and give minimal attention to the student<br />o Call the Principal as backup<br />Student continues to argue after you have ended the conversation<br />o Before you make your final point, calmly let student know that once you are done with this statement, you are done with <br /> the conversation for the moment<br />o Do not otherwise engage the student<br />o Do not allow the student to think he/she has pushed your buttons. Respond with an air of “there will be consequences<br /> for your actions but now is not the time”<br />Student walks out of classroom<br />o Don’t give the student the reaction that he/she might expect. Give the situation and the student minimal attention<br />o Call the Principal to track student and continue on with class<br />o Call the family that evening<br />Student won’t work<br />o Check in with student individually and inquire why—there might be a good reason<br />o Issue a demerit and try to reinvest the student with a private conference if possible. Show concern that he/she is missing <br /> the opportunity to learn<br />o Continue on with lesson and require student to complete missed work during lunch or afterschool<br />Parents side with the student even when the student is clearly at fault<br />o Explain to families that it is clear there is a big gap between what you are saying and how they feel and it’s probably<br /> best for all to schedule another time to meet or get other staff involved<br />o Turn situation over to Principal<br />Student safety is a concern<br />o If you suspect that a student’s personal safety is in question, or if there has been a behavioral incident that has taken<br /> place late in the day, please make sure the student has not left school before the situation has been addressed<br />IV. Family Relations<br />Let families know early on that your door is always open and if they have any questions, they should<br /> feel free to contact you<br />Communication is critical, provide frequent and ongoing feedback<br />Be positive and genuine<br />Never argue with families; if the discussion becomes tense, involve the Principal<br />If you find a situation escalating, stop the conversation and schedule a time to meet again<br />Ask families questions that might help resolve the situation<br />Never talk down to families, they should be treated as partners<br />Don’t take what families say or do personally. They are doing what they think is right for their child. Often times, they are just as frustrated as you are<br />Work with families to develop a plan of improvement which will focus on the appropriate behavior <br /> expected of the student<br />Start the year with a “positive” phone call so that subsequent negative phone calls carry more weight.<br /> Continue the positive phone calls throughout the year, whenever possible<br />V. Documentation<br />Document contact with families according to school procedures<br />See the Appendix for a parent/teacher contact log<br />For on-going issues, keep a log of student behavior in class and refer to this in conversations with<br /> parents. Let the students know that you are keeping a log of their behavior at the beginning of class, <br /> during class, and at the end of class<br />If you feel a situation will become progressively sticky, it’s best to keep a detailed record of exactly<br /> what happened when (including any backup documentation, phone conversations, etc.)<br />SEE APPENDIX FOR CONSEQUENCE SYSTEM AND REWARD SYSTEM<br />FAMILY CONTACT<br />Contact with families is an important part of the life of an Albert Wicker Literacy Academy teacher. It can also be one of the harder aspects of the job. Usually, the more positive and simple your interaction with parents, it’s the better.<br />Make two “positive” phone call to families per week (it helps so much for families to hear out of the<br /> blue how well their child is doing)<br />Send personalized notes to let families know how things are going in class<br />Give tips to help families help their children with their homework<br />Call families back within 24 hours of receiving a message<br />If an unscheduled meeting with a family has the potential to turn uncomfortable, ask for use of <br /> Mrs. Pence’s office for privacy<br />If you find yourself in a confrontation with a family member, end it as quickly as possible and call the<br /> Principal<br />If you see a colleague in an uncomfortable situation, please let the Principal know<br />Please keep in mind that students and parents may be in earshot of staff conversations<br />If you need to send a letter home to families, please send it first to the Principal so another pair of eyes<br /> can take a look<br />Please document any contact with families regarding disciplinary action or general academic concerns<br /> on the parent/teacher contact log (See Appendix)<br />Family-Teacher Conferences<br />No matter how experienced you are, family-teacher conferences can sometimes cause some anxiety. Everyone develops his or her own systems for making them positive conversations, but below are some strategies for coming prepared and feeling confident:<br />Use JPAMS to print out a copy of each student’s homework, class work, and quiz and test averages in addition to their overall quarter average. Basing the conversation on the numbers helps keep it professional and focused<br />Post a sign-up sheet outside the door to help establish that the meeting times are set so that families don’t feel their time with you is unlimited<br />Put a watch on the table in plain view so you can monitor the length of your conversations<br />Sit across from the family member facing the door so that you can monitor the door and other waiting families<br />Consider starting the conversation with a question. How do you feel about your child’s performance this quarter? Are you proud? Do you feel like there are areas for improvement?<br />With families, be prepared to brainstorm students’ specific strengths and weaknesses and to set goals<br /> for the next quarter<br />Analyze your students’ entire report cards in advance of the conferences to deduce patterns so the<br /> conversation can be about classes in general instead of your specific class<br />If you encounter frustrated families, do what you can to resolve the issue. If it seems irresolvable, keep<br /> it