Friday, March 7, 2014

MRVED Business

Agriculture and Industrial Technology Meetings
The agriculture instructors met at the MRVED on Tuesday, March 4 and the industrial technology teachers met on Thursday, March 6.  The morning was spent getting all their program approval forms and documents ready to be submitted to the state as a requirement to obtain Perkins funding.  Both groups filled up on pizza, chicken, mashed potatoes, and salad at Pizza Ranch over lunch hour.  In the afternoon the group participated in a 21st century skills activity and networked.  As usual it was a great time with a great bunch of people!

Communication Briefings (by Mary)
This will be a new section to our weekly blog.  Communication Briefings is a monthly newsletter that our office used to receive. As I was organizing my workspace, I came across a binder of these newsletters and started perusing them.  The more I looked through them, the more I thought that I should share some of the tidbits in the newsletters in an effort to promote clearer communication among our peers and students.  So each week, I will select a little something that I found interesting and worth sharing.

Tricky Pairs is this week's title.
  1. Accept and except. Accept is a verb meaning receive or take. Example: “Please accept my apology.” Except is most commonly used as a preposition meaning excluding. Example: “I like all your ideas except the last one.”
  2. Affect and effect. Affect is a verb that means to alter or influence. Example: “How will the cutbacks affect our budget?” Effect is a noun meaning result. Example: “The cumulative effect will be dramatic.”
  3. Between and among. Use the word between when describing a one-on-one relationship between two subjects. Example: “That is between you and Bob.” Use among when referring to more than two subjects. Example: “I divided my tasks among my co-workers.”
  4. Cite and site. Cite is a verb meaning to mention. Example: “Can you cite your sources?” Site is a noun referring to location; these days it often refers to an Internet page. Example: “I hired someone to update our site.”
  5. Complement and compliment. Both words can be used as nouns or verbs. Complement refers to completeness. Example: “We offer a full complement of products to meet your needs.” “That brooch complements your outfit.” Compliment means praise. Example: “I want to pass along a compliment.” “We must compliment you on your grace under pressure.”
Upcoming Meetings
March 11  FACS
March 14  Title III Paraprofessionals
March 17  CEO meeting
March 18  Guidance Counselors
March 20  Social Workers
March 21  Business
March 25  Pathways to Postsecondary
March 26  Superintendents' Council
March 28  MRVED Professional Development Day - trainings at LQPV and Dawson-Boyd (contact Brandon Raymo - - to register or for more information on these trainings.)

March 28 Offerings

LQPV & Dawson/Boyd will be offering a couple training opportunities for all teachers in the MRVED on March 28, see details below:

Typical or Troubled Training at LQPV from 7:45-8:45
  • Early identification of mental health problems and the importance of intervention. 
  • An overview of mental disorders and the key warning signs. 
  • The impact of a mental health issue on the teen and school community, why getting appropriate care and treatment is critical, and the difference between 'typical' and 'troubled' behavior. 
  • The role school personnel (or other adults in the community) can play in helping a teen get help - and why taking action and referring is important. 
  • An overview of how the school's referral system works and the steps to take action to connect a student to help. 
  • How to talk to and engage teens, parents, or school counselors.
  • For more information visit the American Psychiatric Foundation website.

ACE's Training at Dawson/Boyd from 12:30-3:00
  • An Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) describes a traumatic experience in a person's life occurring before the age of 18 that the person recalls as an adult.
  • 55% of Minnesotans report experiencing one or more ACE in childhood.
  • For more information about ACE visit the Minnesota Department of Health website.
Both of these opportunities are open to all MRVED schools.  If you are interested in participating please contact Brandon ( at the MRVED for more information and/or to register.  There will be limited spots available.

New Series - The First Days of School

During the months of January and February we highlighted a feature called Brandon's Brainwork.  I hope it gave you the opportunity to reflect and think about a few aspects of your teaching.  Our last series of the year will be based on The First Days of School by Harry & Rosemary Wong.  Each week we will highlight a certain chapter in the book and provide resources to go with the chapters.

Laying the Groundwork
According to Harry Wong, the three characteristics of an effective teacher are:
  1. Has positive expectations for students success.
  2. Is an extremely good classroom manager.
  3. Knows how to design lessons for student mastery.
Over the next couple months we will highlight different pieces of each of these three characteristics.

Positive Expectations
  • AKA...High expectations.
  • Means that the teacher believes in the learner and that the learner can learn.
  • Whatever the teacher expects from the learner is what the learner will produce.
  • It is essential that the teacher exhibit positive expectations toward all students.
Classroom Management
  • Practices and procedures that a teacher uses to maintain an environment in which instruction and learning can occur.
  • Discipline has very little to do with classroom management.
  • The teacher must establish a productive and cooperative working environment.
Lesson Mastery
  • Student's demonstration that a concept has been comprehended or a skill can be performed at a level of proficiency determined by the teacher.
  • Student success in the subject matter of the class will be the result of how well the teacher designs lessons and checks for mastery.

Tech Tip

The FBI Safe Online Surfing is a great site for teaching online safety to 3rd-8th graders.  The curriculum is all game based, decision making.  Teachers can sign up and then receive instructions on setting up their classroom.  This way the teacher can then track their students as they go through the program.

Other Online Safety Resources