Friday, April 1, 2016

MRVED Business

FitnessGram Webinar
The MRVED will be assisting in hosting a FitnessGram webinar for all Phy Ed teachers on Monday, May 9th from 3:15-4:00.  The purpose of the webinar is to dig deeper into the software and ask questions of the FitnessGram presenter.  If you need a refresher or just have a few questions, participate in the webinar on May 9th.  Contact Brandon before May 1st if you would like to participate and he will send you the webinar information.

Upcoming Meetings
April 13, 2016  Community Ed
April 20, 2016  MRVED Board (7:00 p.m.)
April 22, 2016  Title III Teachers
April 27, 2016  Superintendents' Council

May 16, 2016  Principals' Council & TAC (11:30 a.m. start)
May 25, 2016  Superintendents' Council

"Building Strong Brains and Bodies" Through Dance and Movement

"Building Strong Brains and Bodies" Through Dance and Movement

Stephanie Johnson, a Dance Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor, will be presenting on the benefits of dance and movement at Dawson-Boyd School Commons on Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. This event is sponsored by Dawson-Boyd Early Childhood Family Education and is free of charge. Child care will be provided with activities planned in the Stevens Elementary gym. Register by Wednesday, March 30 for childcare (320-769-2955 #238).

Stephanie founded Sage Education and Therapy in Minneapolis. Stephanie discusses movement in children and how it affects brain development and engagement in school. She shows how to do certain movements at home with your child that promote these developments. Stephanie works with children of all ages and now even adults. Stephanie talks a lot about how early movement in children relates to brain development. She is a highly sought after national speaker.

Mark you calendars for this worthwhile event. Click HERE for more information.

Better Conversations - Judgement

Last week we looked at belief three, people should have autonomy, from Jim Knights book Better Conversations.  This week we will focus on judgment.

6 Beliefs to Better Conversations
  1. I see others as equal partners in conversations.
  2. I want to hear what others have to say.
  3. I believe people should have a lot of autonomy.
  4. I don't judge my conversation partners.
  5. Conversation should be back and forth.
  6. Conversation should be life-giving.
Belief 4: I don't judge my conversation partners.
"When people judge others, they destroy any pretense of equality.  If I judge you as having done something well or poorly, by doing that very act I put myself one-up and put you one-down" (Knight, 41, Better Conversations Companion Book).  
Again, this is one of the beliefs that we all believe we do well in, but in reality we all struggle with.  When we come into any conversation we bring in tons of assumptions and our own opinions.  If we truly are to have a conversation where everyone feels equal, we care about what others are saying, and we give our partner autonomy, those assumptions need to be left at the door.

Things you can do to be nonjudgmental
  • Listen without assumptions and without prejudging.
  • Begin to let go of the desire to give unsolicited advice.
  • Practice letting go of having to be right.
The last two bullet points are the most difficult.  If you were to record yourself in a conversation, I think you would find that you often times are giving advice that is not asked for.  Also, nobody wants or likes to be wrong, but sometimes we need to let go of that and give your conversation partner some autonomy.

Tech Tip - Front Row

Front Row
Front Row is an individualized math and ELA program that allows students to practice at their own pace. Their curriculum is completely Common Core aligned, and covers every standard in K-8 math.

Students start Front Row by taking a diagnostic test that places them based on their capability. Then, they answer practice questions that vary based on what the student knows. If a student gets stuck, they see remediation material and videos that help them understand the topic at hand. If they do well, they move on to harder material! The kids love using Front Row because it’s so engaging.

The Front Row dashboard is just amazing for teachers. It shows where each student is stuck, and whether they need help, and it also gives materials that can help them! What’s really amazing is the printables feature, which allows teachers to generate a personalized printable sheet for each student that gives practice where they need it.

Overall, Front Row is an amazing time saver, and students really love it. Sign up is super easy, just go to and click on the sign up button. It’s free!

Minnesota ASCD Spring Relicensure Roundup

When: Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Where: Minnesota Department of Education
Cost: $25 per session

Attend the ASCD Relicensure Roundup to earn up to SIX Minnesota educator relicensure credits... Register for individual requirements OR purchase a day-pass for all six and get $25 off!

Session times will be determined by registration numbers and posted online at two weeks prior to the event.

Sessions include:
English Learners
Warning Signs of Early-Onset Mental Illness in Children and Adolescents
Accomodations and Modifications for DIfferentiated Instruction
Reading Preparation
Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies (PBIS)
Technology Integration