Tuesday, November 17, 2009

while i was away

ok- lots of things have happened here at our school while i was not blogging and i thought that maybe i could get back at this blogging thing a little more. i have lots of things to talk about but i should probably start with the events that are going on today and then work my way backwards. several posts about all the craziness happening around here are to follow but let's focus on today for now.
today my school is being visited by a team of people from other schools for our school wide peer observation. this is something that we do at least once a year and it is part of how we gauge how we are doing with regards to many of the things that we have stressed as part of our school improvement plan. it is based on the idea of rounds that doctors do. if you want to know how you are doing, you can't be afraid to ask others to come and look at you. that's what this is all about.
so today, there will be 14 or 15 people from other schools wandering around our rooms and our labs looking for answers to questions that we have given them. i will talk about the questions but first a few comments.
question 1
as part of our purposeful design, we created a time for students to work. we are attempting to simulate something of a 21st century work place where they are somewhat more free but still have to get work done.
1. to what degree is the free search lab philosophy of the school helping students develop college ready habits of mind?

question 2
as part of our original mission we were to establish rigor as one of the founding tenets of our school.
2. according to our definition, what evidence do you see of rigor in the classroom?

question 3
we have a fifth day schedule that is a different schedule than the rest of our days. the fifth day schedule is used for tutoring, enrichment, and to develop social and emotional intelligence.
3. does the 5th day schedule enhance the learning of those needing extra help? do kids feel supported both academically and emotionally? are enrichment courses meaningful?

so these are the things that we want to know and we hope that we get some good input back from our peer observation. we will have the observers here from around 11-3 today and then from 3-4 we will have a post rounds session for our school rounds.

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