Posted in REDEFINE

End of Semester Q&A Part 1

Last week at the redefine team meeting, there was a lot of discussion about remediation and retakes. A lot of our assessment practices have changed this year, and it may be feeling a bit difficult at this moment, with final exams rapidly approaching, to balance curriculum, assessment, remediation, and reassessment. 

Based on the feedback of this team, I created a list of Qs, and Chris and I collaborated to provide some As! This week, I will post 1 Q and 1 A each day since they are a little long!

If you have more Qs after reading, feel free to reply to the blog or email me! We definitely hear your concerns and frustrations and want to help make the end of term 2 successful for our students AND staff!

Continue reading “End of Semester Q&A Part 1”

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Posted in Uncategorized

Community Service Update

As you may know, community service is an important aspect of Redefining Ready! One of the indicators of career readiness is 25 hours of community service. Additionally, our Harper Promise students are required to complete community service hours to qualify for the Harper Promise scholarship at the end of their four years. Read more about our efforts to engage kids in community service at WHS from our guest blogger, Mike Bosco! (Thanks, Bosco!)

Continue reading “Community Service Update”

Posted in LEAD

LEADing the way to SBG

When the LEAD team met last week, the PLC leaders were able to share all that was accomplished on Monday’s institute day. Clearly, SO MUCH work has happened in PLC during the first term of school! And while all PLCs are at different points in their journeys, the talk of the day was aligned, leveled assessments and standards based grading. 

It is really important that when we talk about Standards Based Grading (or SBG), we all are talking about the same thing. So, this blog is going to function as an SBG Q&A. FEEL FREE to submit more Qs about SBG by commenting on this blog!


Q: What is SBG? 

A: Technically, “Standards-based grading is a system of assessing and reporting that describes student progress in relation to standards” (from A School Leader’s Guide to Standard Based Grading). But what does that really mean? When you are thinking about your class, you know there are certain skills or standards kids need to master. If you are shifting towards a Standards Based Grading model, you are giving kids feedback on their progress towards meeting these standards by formatively and summatively assessing their proficiency of each standard.

Continue reading “LEADing the way to SBG”

Posted in REDEFINE

Getting Kids Talking

In October (yes, I am a little behind in the blog!), the Redefine team met to explore how to get kids COMMUNICATING more in our classrooms. I was very encouraged by this meeting because teacher from all different divisions shared instructional strategies and ideas to get kids communicating, and so many of these ideas were transferrable. We felt UNITED in our mission to increase effective communication in our classroom.

Here were some of my big take-aways:  Continue reading “Getting Kids Talking”

Posted in PREPARE

Student Portfolios

The PREPARE team met last week, and there is so much interesting work happening through this group. From community service, to collaboration between CTE and Math to infuse coding in geometry, to external mentorships for our Nano students, when you listen to this group talk, it makes you proud to be a Wheeling Wildcat!

While these projects are big entities that may not really impact our day-to-day instruction, there is a group of teachers on this team focused on exploring Redefining Ready! One thing this team is discussing is the use of student portfolios to document growth. Continue reading “Student Portfolios”

Posted in LEARN

Increasing Student Engagement

The LEARN team met last week, but with the really short week combined with some sick Kinnee kids, I am just getting around to blogging about it now. I know you have been WAITING for this email to come to your inbox!

The LEARN team is for any teachers to join, and the focus is to study the Danielson rubric to improve our own professional practice. This week, 3 different teams met with 3 different focuses: student OWNERSHIP, student ENGAGEMENT, and formative and summative ASSESSMENT.

I am not going to write about all 3 of these topics in this blog entry because it would be too long. If you are a teacher in 214 reading this and want to join our schoology page to access the LEARN team resources, here is the join code: HP9WS-XQ7BM.

Today, I am just going to focus on student engagement. We KNOW student engagement is important! We KNOW it leads to increased student learning! We WANT students to be engaged in our classes! But, sometimes it feels like that is really, really hard to make happen. Continue reading “Increasing Student Engagement”

Posted in LEAD

Making the Jump to SBG

We have officially entered into fall, and our feet are metaphorically “wet” with Standards Based Grading. This Tuesday, the LEAD team met and discussed our progress towards our building goals in both heterogenous and homogenous groups. Many of these conversations focused around SBG: How is it going? What has changed in your class? How are you managing your grade book? What successes have you had? Challenges? 

Jamie Karavouzis had some powerful insights into how to make this system work in her grade book. Like many, she has an “essential skills” category set up, and in this category, there are just 5 assignments (1 for each essential skill). The students have several attempts to show mastery of each skill. As they progress, their grade for this single assignment changes (instead of her just adding grade after grade and computing an average). Continue reading “Making the Jump to SBG”

Posted in REDEFINE

Redefining 21st Century Classrooms

This Tuesday, the Redefine team met for the first time. Most of the time, we talked NOT about technology, but about getting students COMMUNICATING! Giving students the chance to talk in class can be scary, especially if we are coming from the days where a quiet, orderly classroom was considered “excellent” teaching (as a teacher OR as a student ourselves). If you do a quick google search of “get students talking”, JUST as many hits come up about getting students to STOP talking (as if google thinks we forgot a word!). Continue reading “Redefining 21st Century Classrooms”