By Diana Knudson April, 2014
I am on a committee
that is statewide through OPI. It is called Montana Providers of Professional
Learning Network (MPPLN). You will be hearing more about it because we are
working to organize professional development on a statewide calendar and
catalog. This has never been done in Montana and is long overdue. This catalog
and calendar will soon be listed on the OPI website and will give you a peek
into what is going on across the state for training for teachers and
administrators. As soon as they are ready to be posted, we will also put the
link on our website.
Testing is going on. I would love feedback about your perception of student performance, the difficulty of the questions, the time element, or how your technology worked.
We have been holding math workshops around the area for teachers to learn a process for looking at textbooks and resources. It is obvious that many textbook companies are not aligned to the common core, even though they explicitly say that they are. My best advice is still to be cautious and wait if you can. There are many resources on-line that are free and good if you take the time to do some searches relating to your grade level.
If your teachers have not had an introduction to close reading and text dependent questioning, I would love to come and show you how we have to vamp up our reading and writing instruction in every classroom. We are all reading and writing teachers.
Have a great month. The end of the school year is almost here. What did you do this year that made you proud to be a teacher?
Congratulations to Cindy Artist of Fairfield Public Schools. Cindy was the winner of our $100 Wal-Mart gift card drawing.
2014 Summer Institute is now
open for registration! Visit
www.gtccmt.org for full workshop details,
information, and how to register.
Workshops fill quickly so it is best to register online if possible. Hard copies of workshop details and registration information has been mailed to member-school districts.
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Are you tired of being left out of the loop? Need reminding about those Committee meetings? Want to know more about Summer Institutes and other Professional Development? Then subscribe to the GTCC Headline enews. Every month you'll receive headlines from the GTCC enews in your mailbox. Just send an email to
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Upcoming Committee Meetings & Events...
Spring Leadership Conference*NEW
For Montana Schools
Have you struggled with a student who openly defied your authority, became aggressive if confronted or was a threat to other students? Do you feel that you have been seeing more of these students recently? Much of what you may have previously thought about oppositional students may not be completely accurate. For example, rewards and punishments typically don't work. Nancy Hall's Educating Oppositional and Defiant Children combines research with teacher-tested tips for working with these students. (ASCD Books)
Check lists of standards that you can print off and sign and date for when each student mastered the standards...
Wonderful website for teachers.... Choose the 'iPads in the classroom' on the left
Teaching Channel is a video showcase—on the Internet and TV—of inspiring and
effective teaching practices in America's schools. They have a rapidly growing
community of registered members who trade ideas and share inspiration from each
Teaching Channel is a video showcase—on the Internet and TV—of inspiring and effective teaching practices in America's schools. They have a rapidly growing community of registered members who trade ideas and share inspiration from each other. www.teachingchannel.org
Do all your students look forward to each grammar lesson? We didn't think so. With NoRedInk, your students will get differentiated instruction based both on their skills and their interests. (So Miguel Cabrera and One Direction may show up in questions.) If students get stuck, they'll see tutorials to help. You can get charts showing your students' strengths and weaknesses. You can also view their quizzes and homework. The site offers free content for everyone. (www.noredink.com)
Learning about simple machines is a way to introduce students to basic physics. Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry has created Simple Machines, a game to help students learn about of levels, pulleys, planes, axles and wheels. A robot named Twitch roams the museum collecting the parts needed to create a simple machine. But that involves climbing over things (inclined planes), lifting (pulleys and levers) and moving heavy objects (wheels and axels). (www.msichicago.org/play/simplemachines/)
Text messages to parents can be efficient--and more reliable than crumpled messages at the bottom of a backpack! But you may not want parents to have your cell phone number. ClassPager provides you with a free way to contact up to 25 parents. When you register on the site, you will receive an enrollment code. Share it with parents, who then send a text message to opt in. Every text message will go to those who have joined your group. (www.classpager.com)
The Library of Congress should be your go-to site for primary sources. From photographs and films to maps and books, you are sure to find material for your students. The Library has also developed a series of resource guides to help students understand how to use each of these documents. The guides suggest questions to ask students about documents, sound recordings, political cartoons, images and more. All are available online or as PDFs. (www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/guides.html)
There is no question that today's kids aren't active enough. Rates of childhood obesity are skyrocketing. That's why the National Football League launched NFL Play 60. It encourages young fans to be active for at least 60 minutes a day. The Play 60 website has a collection of ideas for how teachers and schools can be part of the effort to get kids moving. The site also includes fun activities targeted especially at children. (www.nfl.com/play60)
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