The first week of what might just be the best school year yet, has come to a close.
Why will this one be the best yet?
Our Teachers received a full Toolkit of assessment strategies, questioning ideas, change idealogy , and learning activities for the school year in our successful and meaningful 2 day Professional Learning Conference.
In our Grade Level Currlculum Planning Day, all EISD Elementary Teachers met by grade level and were treated to a Shabby-Chic theme to integrate new Everyday Math digital tools with the existing ones, and to explore how the new math TEKS are replacing the old ones. Check out the Shabby-Chic Thinglink created by our own Amy Tillman.
Our awesome WHS Chap Band makes our convocation a much anticipated yearly tradition. The Fine Arts Center is packed with every employee in the district including the Superintendent, School Board members, teachers, custodians, bus drivers, nutrition workers, technology services, and more.
Excitement built as we waited for the WHS marching band to come marching down the aisles. We looked for the familiar faces of our elementary students, now matured into high schoolers.
The familiar songs fill the auditorium to cheering and clapping.
This years exceptionally thought-provoking and inspirational speaker was Dr. John Draper, who challenged us to tell the stories of our students and what's going on in our schools to everyone.
The highly anticipated Meet the Teacher Morning finally arrived and the principal, Jennifer Dusek, had a hug, greeting, handshake and personal welcome for every family as they walked into our school.
The first day was full of excitement as students reunited with old friends, and started a brand new year. The Kindergartners and their parents bravely parted and the students embarked on their adventure of a highly acclaimed EISD education.
The Fifth Graders, who are comfortable and accomplished with their school routine and technology were tasked on the first day to create a visual that represents them and their goals for the year. They could use anything on their iPads that they choose. I will be posting some of these soon.
The teachers used a bright and cheery slide show reminding them of the responsible iPad use guidelines they had practiced the year before.
On the second day of school they finished their creations and introduced themselves to the class with them. Among the apps they used were Keynote, Screen Chomp, and Explain Everything.
On the third day of school, I met with grade levels and we talked about technology, planned iPad Orientations, looked at contracts, and scheduled my visits to classrooms.
On the fourth day of school, two classes of second graders explained to me how they SOARed with their iPads last year, and how they plan to continue SOARing this year. SOAR is our Positive Behavior Acronym that we say and live every day: "I will be Safe, On Task, have an Awesome Attitude, and be Respectful to myself and others every day." They washed their hands, got their iPads and carried them in an iHug. Then we set our floating home button and personalized our iPads.
On the fifth day of school, two more classes of second graders talked about SOARing with their iPads, and were issued their iPads. All 4 second grade classes were very glad to have iPads again and were delighted to discover some new apps, and revisit some familiar ones.
Everybody is enjoying a 3 day weekend.
This hashtag sums up the first 2 days of the school year for Eanes ISD:
Eanes Professional Learning Conference.
And what a learning conference it was!!
We heard from some of the foremost educational thinkers in the nation:
Dr. Thomas Guskey
Dr. Anthony Muhammad
Dr. Thomas May
We will he processing and applying what we learned in these 2 days over the course of the school year.
This conference was brilliantly structured to allow
us to hear from many of the same speakers, some in large group settings, some in smaller groups by levels we teach.
This was so important because we now have common vocabulary and shared concepts as we work for change this year.
I saw the topics as foundation information to begin engineering significant change in the way we do school in the future at Eanes.
Some of the broad topics we covered were:
Communication and conversation
Student centered inquiry based learning
Practical assessment tools and strategies
As I reflect back and start putting the pieces together, I see the big picture of what the brilliant designers of this professional learning conference wanted us to experience.
Our district has generated something called the W.H.E.E.L It grew from a year of school and community focus groups working together to clarify and define exactly what the goals of educating our children are. To develop a program that accomplishes this, we need to change the way we do school here.
The ideas, concepts, and conversations that the Eanes PLC has stimulated will help generate this critical change in thinking.
I can't begin to cover all of the important aha moments and truths presented over the last 2 days, because I am still processing all of it. But, the Storify that I created of the Tweets from the #EanesPLC does a pretty great job.
It's pretty huge, so if you don't see the final post by Cathy Yenca dated 2 hours ago, after clicking through all the read more boxes, this Weebly may not have embedded all of it.
You can click the Storify link at the top left to view the complete story. It runs chronologically from the beginning to the end.
Hi, I'm Margie Brown, an Educational Technologist at Valley View Elementary School in Eanes ISD. I love working with students and teachers and discovering new digital tips and tricks everyday!
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