SUPERINTENDENTS' MESSAGES 2015

MESSAGES 2015 :: APRIL 23, 2015

APRIL 23, 2015 - Teachers' Biweekly Messages

There is no substitute for seeing something for yourself. Fortunately, video provides a great way to allow many people to see new practices and ideas for themselves. Two opportunities for teachers to see good practices are the Home Base Teacher Spotlight video series and the What the Best North Carolina Teachers Do video series.

  • The latest Teacher Spotlight features American Renaissance School teacher Kym Smyth and 5th grade student Molly Smyth discussing creating assessments, and analyzing the immediate feedback it provides via skills analysis and item analysis. Molly discusses how she uses Schoolnet to receive immediate feedback from her assessments along with using the classroom assessments to review for benchmarks and EOGs.
  • What the Best North Carolina Teachers Do: A Video Series provides insight into strategies and techniques that award-winning North Carolina teachers use in their classrooms. We asked district, regional and state Teachers of the Year about what makes them successful and their students soar. Topics addressed in the series include differentiation, classroom organization, “hooking” reluctant learners and advice for new teachers. To find out more about the project and to view the interviews, participate in the mini-module through Home Base or visit the project website at http://rt3nc.org/ncvideo.

Do you have good practices to share via video? If you are interested in sharing your best practices, please contact Educator Effectiveness Web Manager Andrew Horne at andrew.horne@dpi.nc.gov. Interested in showcasing how you use Home Base? If so, please send an email to Home Base Ready.

Regards,
June Atkinson


In this Biweekly Teachers' Message:

  1. Farewell Message from 2014 NC Teacher of the Year
  2. 2014 NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey Research Brief Available; Student Achievement and Teacher Attrition Analyses
  3. The Professional Educator: An Ethics Guide for North Carolina Teachers
  4. Join the Formative Assessment Conversation
  5. Videos Enhance Student Understanding of Mathematics
  6. Indian Ed Advisory Council Makes Available Culturally Responsive Instructional Resources
  7. Give Five – Read Five Spanish Resources Added, Prizes Available
  8. Are Your Students Ready for a Summer Math Challenge?
  9. Save the Date: STEM Conference Scheduled for October


Farewell Message from 2014 NC Teacher of the Year

Greetings to my distinguished and accomplished colleagues all over the state of North Carolina. Regretfully, this will be my final message to you as the North Carolina Teacher of the Year. To serve you in this capacity has been an experience beyond words. I don't think I’ll fully be able to appreciate this year until many years later, but must exit by simply saying, thank you! Thank you for allowing me to be your ambassador, for the many words of encouragement, invitations to come visit, undying support, but most importantly for choosing to answer the call to teach.

Perhaps the sweetest moment of this entire year has been when a veteran educator comes up to me to say how proud I’ve made them feel to be a teacher again. You will never know the true weight of those words. I’ve tried to speak the hearts and minds of teachers all over the state and to be a representation of whom I consider to be the greatest people around. Nevertheless, it is you who does the work, are on the frontline, and making a difference in the lives of students everyday. Our society is forever indebted to you, and if I played a small part in driving this message home I’ve done my job. It is now time to embrace and welcome our 2015 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year Keana Triplett of Ashe County as she prepares for this unforgettable experience.

Again I say to you, my deepest and most heart felt gratitude for enhancing my life in ways I thought impossible. It was and is a blessing to serve you. Thank you North Carolina! James E. Ford, 2014 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year


2014 NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey Research Brief Available; Student Achievement and Teacher Attrition Analyses

Teaching conditions do matter in NC! A copy of the final briefing compiled by the New Teacher Center is now available for download at http://www.ncteachingconditions.org/research. The purpose of this report is to help stakeholders better understand the connections between teaching conditions and outcomes of interest in North Carolina. The research brief:

  • links teaching conditions, as measured by the survey, to student achievement and teacher retention outcomes;
  • provides information on response rates to the 2014 survey;
  • tests the relationship between 2014 survey data, and student and teacher outcomes; and
  • summarizes school-level descriptive information.

For more information, contact Yvette Stewart at yvette.stewart@dpi.nc.gov, or Dawn Shephard at dshephard@newteachercenter.org.


The Professional Educator: An Ethics Guide for North Carolina Teachers

State Board policy TCP-C-014 defines the code of ethics for all North Carolina educators to set standards of professional conduct. This new online module reviews these standards for all teachers and serves as an essential tool for all teachers, especially beginning teachers’ and lateral entry teachers’ growth and development. This module, which is available in Home Base, should take approximately 10 hours to complete and is worth one CEU on completion. Please contact Geetanjali Soni at geetanjali.soni@dpi.nc.gov for more information.


Join the Formative Assessment Conversation

If Formative Assessment is an important element in promoting student learning as teachers, administrators and researchers indicate, what does it mean to practice formative assessment? Join us in our next Cross District Strategic Solutions session scheduled for 3:45 p.m. April 27 to find out. Please register for Cross-District Strategic Solutions Session: Formative Assessment Process online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3912546522173214721.


Videos Enhance Student Understanding of Mathematics

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and The Hunt Institute have produced a series of videos to enhance understanding of the mathematics that students need to succeed in college, life and careers. Beginning in the primary grades, the videos address the importance of developing a solid foundation for algebra, as well as laying the groundwork for calculus and other postsecondary mathematics coursework. The series also covers the Standards for Mathematical Practice elaborated in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and examines why developing conceptual understanding requires a different approach to teaching and learning. You will find a link to the videos here.


Indian Ed Advisory Council Makes Available Culturally Responsive Instructional Resources

The North Carolina State Advisory Council on Indian Education is pleased to announce its new online Culturally Responsive Instructional Resources. These new webpages include a wide variety of accurate and appropriate resources for teaching to and about Native Americans. K-16 teachers will find many useful resources including lesson plans and teaching suggestions, research, text lists, information on all eight state-recognized North Carolina tribes, and contemporary background information on Indian country today. The site includes a

  • Text Resources page listing recommended books for elementary, middle and high school as well as a useful guide for evaluating books.
  • Teaching About Thanksgiving page that recommends books and thought-provoking teaching points.
  • Teachers/Administrators page that lists resources alphabetically, including an American Indians in Children's Literature blog link with great book reviews and information.
  • LearnNC's Curriculum Guide aligned to Common Core State Standards and Essential Standards with information on all eight state-recognized North Carolina tribes.
  • Montana Office of Public Instruction Indian Education for All Companion Guides - Connections With Common Core Standards site with detailed English/Language Arts lessons aligned with the Common Core State Standards using wonderful Native-based texts. Links to day-by-day instructions, summaries, background information, guided reading lesson suggestions and assessment suggestions.


Give Five – Read Five Spanish Resources Added, Prizes Available

Be sure to check out the Give Five – Read Five website at www.ncpublicschools.org/give5read5/ to access documents for Spanish-speaking parents that have been added to the Resources page. Documents now in Spanish include Dr. Atkinson’s letter to parents, Summer Reading Tips for Parents and the Lexile Information for Parents. Also, schools in three different size categories that collect the most books will again win a one-year school-wide license for online literacy tools from Scholastic, Achieve3000 and myON. Don’t forget to report your school’s book collection total to Sara Clark at sara.clark@dpi.nc.gov by June 15 to be a part of the competition!


Are Your Students Ready for a Summer Math Challenge?

Did you know that, on average, students lose approximately 2.6 months of grade level equivalency in math skills over the summer months? MetaMetrics® is trying to stop this loss in math skills by offering the Summer Math Challenge. The Summer Math Challenge is a free, six-week, email-based, math skills program for students who have finished second through sixth grades. As a part of the program, parents receive daily emails with fun, targeted activities and resources to help children retain the math skills learned during the previous school year. The Summer Math Challenge begins Monday, June 22, and runs until Friday, July 31. For more information, including how to encourage your students to participate in the Summer Math Challenge, visit quantiles.com/summer-math.


Save the Date: STEM Conference Scheduled for October

The Fourth Annual Bridging the Gap Conference will be held Oct. 27-28 at the McKimmon Center, Raleigh. This K-16 STEM Education Conference will enable participants to share ideas, resources, and innovative strategies with educators, business leaders, government officials and others who play a role in STEM education. Presenter and poster application process is now open. Applications details are online at bridgingthegapnc.com/presenters.