Monday, February 2, 2009

Fail to plan = plan to fail - NOT an option at WSHS!

Mr. John and Mr. Phillips plan daily for student success at West Salem High School where failure is NOT an option.
Project Planner promises possibilities for success.
One of my roles as an instructional coach is to encourage visions of what is possible. Since I am in and out of multiple classrooms viewing talented teachers at their craft all day all week long, those visions often include bringing teachers together to collaborate. For example, Cynthia and Teena worked with their students in first semester Study Skills classes on how to effectively use their planners to help them succeed academically, but they realized that once their students left D122 they needed continued support using their planners in their core classes. Without that support, those planners often stayed in their backpacks. It just so happened that Terra needed a project for a post graduate track she is pursuing. The Project Planner was created. Enter Kevin G and Scott W. In classes where they have students in common with Cynthia and Teena, they are providing the same style of planners for all their students. A daily routine for using the planners effectively has been established in all the pilot classrooms, such that students will jot down concepts studied and homework assigned as a class. Terra will be compiling the data. There will also be an academic word of the week written at the top of the planner page to be used frequently by teachers and students alike. The first "word of the week" is compare. Instead of saying, "Let's look at these two pictures," say, "Let's compare these two pictures." (See below) As we do, we will incorporate some more academic language that should become common place in every classroom.

The photo on the right is framed better than the one above. Let's analyze what is taking place in these photos. We are obviously in the foods lab where Janis, Artonya and Chris are functioning as Black Box Judges. They are taking their roles seriously as they consider such factors as visual appeal - contrasting colors and varying textures , taste, and use of a secret ingredient. We know that careful planning occurred in the creation of this festive fare.
Grant assists a student with her layout plan on this first semester final project.

Joe plans to get a lot done while monitoring the halls during finals. And now that second semester has begun, plan to hear more about the Project Planner and other significant endeavors to promote student success in the near future.

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