Friday, April 25, 2014

Perpich Center Music Summer Professional Development

Perpich Center Summer Offerings
The Perpich Center for Arts Education has released their summer professional development information for music instructors.  There are plenty of opportunities for all educators interested in music education.  There are a variety of selections to choose from, such as:
  • SmartMusic
  • SMARTBoard
  • Music Law
  • Finale
  • Moving Matters
  • Cultural Context
  • Many more!
You can access the registration documents below.

Registration Materials

If you have questions, or need more information contact:
Suzanne Bursh - or 763-279-4182

MRVED Business

Summer Professional Development
This is your last week to register for MRVED summer professional development.  All summer offerings need a minimum of 10 registrants in order to hold the class (Outdoor Classroom needs 20).  Summer registration will close on Friday, May 2 at 3:00.  All summer offerings are open to substitutes of the MRVED districts as well.  Spread the word as some of the classes still need a few more people to reach the minimum of 10 participants.

Flyer Link
Registration Link

Communication Briefings
Then vs. than.  These represent a sometimes confusing word pair and a perfect example of a usage mistake that most computers' spell checkers won't catch.  Use then to refer to time.  Example:  "If we miss the flight, then we can't make our presentation."  Use than to introduce a comparison.  Example:  "My flight will take much longer than yours will."

May 28, 2014  Superintendents' Council
June 4, 2014    MRVED Board (7 p.m.)
June 25, 2014  Superintendents' Council

Tech Tip

That Quiz
That Quiz is a website that students and teachers can use for quick quizzes, review, practice, etc...  The interface is very easy to use and best of all, it's free.  Teachers can even create classes and assign quizzes and track scores and attempts.  There is a lot of math content, with some science, language arts, and social studies already on the website.  If you have devices in your classroom, That Quiz would be a great bell ringer activity or something for a student to use to fill time.

The First Days of School - Posting Assignments and Taking Attendance

"Your very first priority when the class starts is to get the students to work." (Wong, 121)

Classroom management begins the moment the bell rings to signify the start of class (actually before that...).  How you manage the first 5 minutes of class is vitally important.  If we allow our students to hand in makeup work, ask to go to the bathroom, take roll, etc... we have wasted 5 minutes of 95% of the students in the classrooms time.  Add up this 5 minutes over the course of a week and you get 25 minutes per week of wasted time, 100 minutes per month, potentially more than 850 minutes per year if we start class without a plan!

Have a Plan
Last week we talked about Prior Planning Preventing Poor Performance.  Keeping this in mind, we need to have a plan for the first 5 minutes of class.  Typically questions are asked at the beginning of the period such as:
  • What are we doing today?
  • Was that assignment due today?
  • Is there going to be an assignment?
In order to alleviate many of these questions, a teacher could simply post their plan or agenda for the day on the board.  Your plan should include, what you are doing today, what is due for today, and what will be due tomorrow.  I used to call this my "Do-Due" page.  Kids would remind me to post my "Do-Due".  This information should be in the same spot every day.  This way kids know what to expect, eliminating many of the anticipated questions.

Posting your plan also assists your paraprofessionals helping students in your classroom.  It can also serve as a guide for your administrator who is walking through observing.  Learning targets should also be posted as part of this daily plan.

When and How to Take Attendance
Taking attendance is an important process in the classroom, but it should not take up any of your class time. Roll-taking does not concern the class, so do not concern the class with the process.  Wong states, "the effective teacher starts the class immediately with an assignment, not roll taking." (Wong, 127)

A typical roll-calling scene involves a teacher reading names off a list and the student responding with "here".  Think about the time it takes to get through the list of names, the many excuses as to why "Johnny" isn't in class, the jokes that are made, etc...  With all this disruption, the class does not start effectively and efficiently.

Outcomes of Ineffective Roll Taking
  • Noise level continues to rise.
  • Cause confrontation between teacher and student about why a student is absent.
  • Valuable time is wasted.
  • Students start class bored while roll is taken.
Effective Ways to Take Attendance
  • Use a seating chart to take attendance, mark on the chart and notify office at a later time.
  • Have folders with student work in a file or box at the door.  Students grab their folder on their way in.  The folders that are still in the box are those of students that are absent.
  • Use a clothespin with a chart.  Students walk in and move the pin to present or you can even do lunch choices.  No more having to go around the room and ask about lunch choices.
"Effective teachers take roll quickly and quietly without disturbing the class."