Continuous Learning


The Commodore 64

Boy do things change fast!  Remember your first computer experience? I do like it was yesterday. I remember trying to create music on a Commodore 64 in the “computer lab” in the Crane library for hours, programming language and experimenting to create sounds through a machine.  And then, the Apple Mac came.  That was like, whoa, what just happened? Forget about that clunker the Commodore 64, that was a dinosaur!  We were in that lab for hours on end, creating music with all of our neat-o 1980’s gadgets using the Mac, Roland keyboards and the such.  They are all obsolete now, except of course, the newer Apple Mac and the new electronic keyboards are to die for.  Now, it’s all easy, just download an app, like Garage Band on your iPhone or iPad, and voila, you can create a great tune, with all types of instrumental sounds, and use it in a performance. Easy smeezy

You all know that I am a musician and my passion is music.  I am also a techie at heart.  I love technology and have been hooked on to it since music school.  I love new gadgets and trying new things, like getting the new Nexus 7 tablets in and working with them to do a training for K-2 teachers.  (Psych, your K-2 teachers is going to like this one!)  I love to watch how teachers utilize technology and engage and enhance their teaching and watching the engagement of students.  I know that technology is only a tool – it is not the end-all-be-all for our students.  Great teachers are!

What I am getting at is this;  I love to learn.  I think we all do and that is why we are in the profession that we are in.  Every day, I learn something new just by the relationships I have developed with teachers, students, parents and administrators.  I also learn via social media, using Twitter as a professional learning tool and connecting to educators 24/7 is sometimes overwhelming but exciting in the same breath.  How powerful it is to host a Tuesday night Twitter chat and watch 20 connected, engaged educators from Gouverneur engage in conversation about great teaching and sharing strategies along with others throughout the nation, tweeting in to share their thoughts and strategies.  How powerful is that?

I learn from walking around and visiting your classrooms and learn from a  fantastic group of educators who put their heart and soul into providing engaging lessons.  I also love the conversations that are happening when I ask questions such as I did with Kim Johnson about how 1st graders are counting by 10’s and then go to Steph’s room and watch her work on base ten with students, seeing how the Math modules are connected.  Boy they are different, that’s for sure!

So, let’s continue our continuous learning, taking opportunities to learn something new every day, expanding our knowledge and working together through our connections and collaboratively working together. Keep an open mind and let’s grow as a professional learning community.  You folks are the best!!  I am honored!  Have a great week!


  • Bus Duty for Oct. 21 – Nov 1 Team 4:  Jennifer Prevost, Marci Woods, Gina Caldwell Oct. 21-Nov 1 Upcoming bus duty Nov 4 – Nov 15  Team 5:  Kathy Buell, Kate Spriggs, Megan Weldon
  • I heard from Brenda Trivilino.  She went into surgery Friday and is recovering at home now.  The surgery went well, that the lesion was small and the cancer contained in the uterus.  Phew.  She is waiting for the pathology to come back to get cleared.  Keep Brenda in your thoughts and prayers and she recovers!  Thanks!
  • I will be doing walk through’s next week, but not on Halloween!! 🙂
  • Please make sure you are setting-up SLO/LLO meetings with me.  
  • My friend Peter DeWitt writes about delivering effective feedback to everyone.
  • A new letter to parents about testing has been created by New York State Principals’. 
  • My friend Larry Ferrlazo has a great blog he did on The Best Resources for Learning How to  Best Give Feedback to Students. He’s worth the follow.
  • Grant Wiggins puts his two cents about E.D. Hirsch’s tired refrain of main idea.  (E.D. Hirsch’s company is Core Knowledge!) He sites the work of John Hattie, one of my favs!!
  • Please check the East Side Announcement page for updated dates, announcements etc.  Lisa is updating this continually!
  • What are the five things you are grateful for?  Make a list daily.  It does wonders!
  • Be the change agent for kids!  Be a champion for kids.  Every kid deserves a champion!

Other Items of Interest

The Board of Regents has decided that New York State will not implement PARCC in 2014-2015. Whether or not PARCC is adopted at all will be determined in the future. Thispresentation explains PARCC and the rationale for the decision to delay. The reasons cited for this delay are inadequate technology, longer administration times, and higher costs. Field testing will continue and New York will remain part of the PARCC consortium. No matter what, districts should continue to prepare for eventual computer-based testing, whether PARCC or NYS assessments are administered.


Another Board of Regents presentation explains the status of New York’s assessment system. Information about which assessments are required, which are “optional,” administration duration, and myths about testing are included.


SealThe Board of Regents has directed SED to apply for permission to no longer require students taking Algebra 1 in 8th grade to also have to take the 8th grade exam. These students would, however, be required to take and pass an additional Math Regents exam while in high school.


No matter what scale scores are used on the new Common Core-aligned Regents exams, the department will provide a chart to convert it to a 0-100 range. Although the 0-100 conversion will be provided, these should not be interpreted as percentages.

Josh Haner/ The New York Times Thomas L. Friedman


Thomas Freidman reveals “The Secret” to Shanghai’s education success in this column. Shhh.

Teachers Principals
Highly Effective 49.7% 26%
Effective 41.8% 60.9%
Developing 4.4% 7.5%
Ineffective 1% 2.2%
What does this mean?
Preliminary results for 2012-2013 APPR scores:
Politifact has fact-checked some of the arguments against the Common Core.

new study confirms the previous findings that students who come from affluent households have a much greater vocabulary than students from poverty. This study has identified the gap at as early as eighteen months.

This session will feature two different strategies that are key to Common Core-aligned math teaching: designing good fluency activities and using model drawing to solve a variety of word problems.


Contrast NY’s 80%/75% definition of College & Career Ready with theSchool Success Rubric. Which do you think is closer to what our students need for their future?


This report from the National Clearinghouseprovides data about aggregated college enrollment and persistence.

Twenty-eight questions you want your students to be able to answer. These might be more important than most of the questions we answer.
Grades 6-8 | ELA | ELL | CCSS
For a fantastic overview of this unit and the ways texts are being integrated for English Language Learners, this video will be your map!
Grades 6-8 | ELA | ELL | CCSS
Join Ms. Langlois for not only an insightful lesson about analyzing texts, but watch for how she works to build background knowledge for her ELLs.
Grades 6-8 | ELA | ELL | CCSS
Stick with Ms. Langlois as she reveals how she gets her hetergenously-organized classroom interacting with vocabulary on a conceptual level.
A Touch of Humor
Close to Home

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