This week, I want to share Peter Liljedahl’s Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics, Grades K-12 (2021) with you. It is a must read.
Liljedahl’s research codifies necessary changes/revisions for educators to make to develop students’ thinking as the primary purpose of class. Liljedahl contrasts “studenting” with thinking. Studenting are behaviors that lead students to completing tasks efficiently by following directions, answering questions, filling in worksheets, following protocols, as opposed to actually thinking. Liljedahl explains that “[p]roblem-solving tasks...require students to invoke their knowledge in ways that have not been routinized. Once routinization happens, students are mimicking rather than thinking” (p. 20). Creating alternatives to mimicking is one of 14 changes Liljedahl advocates for in his research. This is a text written for teachers, although I highly recommend it to all administrators as well.
The Office of Early Childhood is offering Office Hours for Pre-K teachers to support with lesson plans, Creative Curriculum and Assessment. Please see the dates below, and note the hours are from 3:15PM-4:15PM.
The ELA Department is offering Office Hours for K-8 teachers. In the month of November, we will focus on small group instruction. Kim Mott will offer Office Hours specifically for grades 6-8 teachers to support with lesson plans, unpacking curriculum units, and aligning learning intentions to the NJSLS.
Please see the document for dates, times, and the link. Feel free to reach out with any questions and/or ideas.
Would you like to impact the future of dance? Would you like to inspire young children in the art of dance? The Office of Early Childhood is looking for dance educators to work with our Pre-K students in a Saturday Dance program. Interested? Reach out to Kimberly Ramsay, Supervisor (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Assessment of Classroom Technology Readiness and Needs (New)
The Division of Information Technology (DIT) strives to facilitate digital learning in our schools by providing classroom technology resources and the associated technical support services. To ensure that teachers have the necessary technology resources in their classrooms to perform their daily tasks, DIT hereby requests that all teachers promptly take the following technology readiness survey. The survey results will enable DIT to address any remaining technology related concerns that teachers may have and provide any additional technology resources that may still be needed in the classrooms.
School nurses are now using the SNAP program. The SNAP program is an electronic health record created specifically for school nurses. A SNAP review will be offered to all nurses once a week on Fridays at 2pm to provide ongoing support. The program is the required documentation format for the district. It is tied to the nurse framework and will be an integral component of the evaluation.
Each year, Samsung hosts a national competition for grades 6–12 in which students are asked to consider how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) can be used to create change in their communities. With the help of their teachers, students can apply and compete to win up to $100,000 in prizes for their school, plus the opportunity to work with Samsung to develop their prototypes.
The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest is now open and more information can be found on the website. Applications will close on November 29.
The Office of Health, Physical Education and Athletics will be hosting office hours for teachers. During the months of November and December, we will cover the following topics during the sessions in addition to discussing best practices and providing resources to support student achievement:
K-8th Grade Health Curriculum Guides
KidsFit (3rd Grade Health Teachers) December 5th, 12th & 19th
This is a reminder that all students should have a portfolio for each of their courses. Student portfolios include academic work and other forms of educational evidence highlighting student progress. All ELA, Math, Science, & Social Studies classrooms are required to have student portfolios and be used during parent conferences throughout the school year. Exemplars will be highlighted during walkthroughs.
Please see the section on portfolios in the academic walkthrough document attached for more details.
The next New Teacher Induction session will take place on Tuesday, December 6th, 4-6pm. All teachers who are new to Newark (regardless of previous years of experience) are expected to attend at least 6 of the 10 monthly sessions that will be offered this year. One of the sessions will focus on reviewing and planning for improvement before Annuals, (possible second year panel) led by the Office of Educator Effectiveness.
The next mentor trainings are scheduled for November 16 and November 30, 2022. The November 16th session is for 1st or 2nd year mentors. The November 30th session is for mentors who have been participating for 3 or more years. Please register for your session here: https://forms.gle/GQ5XUDvkfUjZxJ8NA
Training of Vista Learning Resource- Elementary/HS Spanish & French Teachers
Vista Higher Learning initial implementation training will be taking place in person on Friday, December 9th at the Marion A. Bolden Student Center 230 Broadway, Newark, NJ. Spanish and French Teachers must attend during their appropriate sessions. High School Teachers 8:30am-12:00pm and Elementary Teachers 1:00pm-3:00pm. Please see the link below to register.
Cycle 1 marking period ends November 9th and all gradebooks must be finalized by the end of the work day on Thursday, November 17th. The PowerTeacher Cycle 1 reporting term will be locked after school on November 21st.
Please use the Cycle 1 Report Card Timeline to prepare all staff for the storing of grades November 22nd. Administrators, teachers, and the PowerSchool clerk must work as a team to ensure that all students' grades and comments are entered before the deadline.
Report Cards will be distributed December 1st during Parent-Teacher Conferences.
The Summative Assessments and Formative Assessments categories have been delivered to all teachers’ gradebook. Assignments in any other categories will not count toward the student’s overall grade. Use the Inactivating Gradebook Categories document to view and edit your gradebook to make unused categories inactive.
Certifications Team Virtual Office Hours and Professional Development
The NJ Department Of Education no longer uses TCIS. The new portal is NJ Ed Cert.
Please make sure all of your Instructional, Educational Services and/or Administrator certificates are current. The Certifications team can be reached via email at email@example.com to answer your certification questions.
Homework Hotline is open and ready to help students for the 2022-23 school year. Students can call and get assistance on homework, reviewing the day's lesson, or other instructional questions Monday through Thursday from 3:30-5:30pm. For more information, as well as a list of our current instructors and their contact information, please visit the Tutoring Resources page under Students on the Newark Board of Education website.
The Office of Teaching and Learning is still hiring educators to man the Homework Hotline Monday-Thursday from 3:30p-5:30p. We are in need of teachers in the following areas: Bilingual, Chemistry, Physics, and Social Studies/History. If you are interested in possibly joining our Homework Hotline team please email Tim Nellegar at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Office of Mathematics has purchased Group Access for resources from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics for 3,000 math teachers across Newark's public schools. By signing up you receive access to NCTM resources including Illuminations (standards-based resources, interactive tools, and instructional support for teachers and students), Problems of the Week (an extensive library of math problems), Students Explorations in Mathematics (an archive of hands-on activities and materials), and MyNCTM (an online community of math teachers across the globe).
Attached is an informational resource on the NBOE SEL/Mental Health Programming Supports being delivered for the 2022-2023 school year. As you move forward through the school year, should you have questions and/or need support, you may contact our office.
The Office of Educational Technology will have virtual office hours every Monday from 3:00p-3:45p. This will allow educators to drop in, receive a quick training on an educational technology strategy or platform and to ask questions to help them better use technology in their classroom.
Teacher Talk will be delivered every other Monday.
The submission deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
To support and encourage highly effective instruction, Teacher Talk synthesizes information and resources that will help NPS teachers meet the expectations of the framework for effective teaching. Please open the form with Firefox or Chrome in order to add attachments.