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Monday, July 31, 2006

SchoolPad Training

Each school has received several SchoolPads and projectors. To which teachers they are assigned is a decision made by the principal at each school. We have scheduled training for those who are receiving the SchoolPads as follows:

August 3:
Grades 5-8 8:00-11:00 in the lunchroom at Ellis
Grades K-4 12:30-3:30 in the lunchroom at Ellis

Participants will not need to bring any equipment. We will have a supply of SchoolPads on hand and charged so that there will be a "hand-on" component of the workshop.

Each person who is receiving a SchoolPad will need to sign up on PDWeb.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Great Way to Start the Year!

Graham Elementary School served as host for a district wide "I Can Do It" workshop focusing on classroom management. Veteran and new teachers gathered for a day of sharing, laughing, and learning from each other. Thanks to all who participated. I hope it was as fun for the participants as it was for the presenters. A special thanks to Teresa Noell who helped with the training. Remember: Go slow to go fast!

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Monday, July 24, 2006

The record keeping for all professional development activities is now being stored electronically on PDWeb. You will be able to sign up for workshops offered at your school, offered at the district level, offered through the regional inservice center, or offered throughout the state through this one website.

You will also be able to view the training for which you had been given credit. Gone are the days when you wonder if you have been awarded credit for training you have submitted. Gone are the days when you had to sit down at the end of the year and log everything you done from August through May. This website keeps up with all of it.

Like anything new, getting accustom to it will take a little time. If you are brand new to PDWeb, the website is pdweb.alsde.edu

Your login information includes your username (First Initial, Last initial, last six digits of social security number---Example: sd654321) and password (your birthday in this form: MM-DD-YY Example: 05-01-59)

Here are the workshops being offered districtwide. Your individual school will also have activities which will be posted on PDWeb:

194-16 Institute (All certified teachers will need to this one)

194-17 Voyager Training (There is one session for K-1 new hires, one for grade 2-3 new hires, and one for grades 4-5 new hires and all 6th grade.

194-18 Special education teachers will need to sign up for this one

194-19 Math workshop. There is one session for grades 3-4 and one for grades 5-6

194-20 Renaissance Place. This would be for the reading coach and Ellis librarian

Optional technology workshops (Each of these has a session geared for elementary and a session geared for jr. high):

194-21 APT Plus

194-22 Digital Photography and Photo Editing

194-23 PhotoStory III

For teachers new to the Talladega City School System:
194-24 New Teacher Orientation

I am in the process of scheduling training for those who are receiving SchoolsPads. (Your principal would be able to tell you if this is applicable to you.) When that training has been scheduled, I will add it to PDWeb and also update that information here.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Would you like to see your ideas published?

A year ago, Barbara Blackburn published Classroom Motivation A-Z. I submitted several ideas that we were currently using, and she published every one of them in her book.

Dr. Blackburn is in the process of writing a second book, this one to be entitled Classroom Instruction from A to Z. Here's your chance to get your ideas in front of a national audience. What strategies do you use in your classroom that are unique and really work with kids? Other teachers around the country would love to hear about them.

If you would like to submit a idea or strategy you use, send it to: bcgroup@comporium.net

Here is a portion of an e-mail I received today from her:

"I’m still working on Classroom Instruction from A to Z, so if you want to send me any ideas of things you do or any teacher you know does that works in the classroom, just email them to me (for ideas, check on my site under featured book). I’m also collecting some quotes from kids: “What do you think teachers should do to make learning better for students.”, so if you know kids, ask them and send their comments my way. I only use first names of kids (or made-up names) to protect them."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

You never know what the mail may bring...

Going through today's mail, I opened an envelope containing a complimentary copy of "Pro Principal," a newsletter for school principals. The "cover story" was a feature on our use of blogs at Graham!

Amy Shannon, the editor for the publication had contacted me some time ago after having read my article in Principal magazine. I was quite surprised to see the article, especially displayed so prominently and with such coverage of our school.

My thanks to Shannon for spotlighting our school system.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Welcome to Our Blog!

How can we make communication easy enough that it will actually happen? This blog hopes to provide at least a part of that answer. I write the post and you read it—it’s that simple. No going to the Xerox machine to run multiple copies which are then distributed to schools, where even more copies are made, which are then distributed to mailboxes, where others quickly read and toss or try to figure out where to file random pieces of paper. Put your hands on that communication a couple of weeks later? Good luck!

Seconds after I write this post, it is available for you to read. Don’t worry about printing it out and filing it—come back next week, next month, or next year, and it’s going to be here for your review.

Coming soon will be a calendar not only for the system as a whole, but for each school. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what’s going on around the school system with a couple of clicks of your mouse? Stay tuned. It’s going to happen.

Last week, Mobile hosted the School Improvement Summit sponsored by the Alabama State Dept. of Education. Doug Campbell, Pattie Thomas, Jody Parker, and I represented our school system. This blog is a result of discussions amongst our team on ways to beef-up communication.