Differentiation is one of the most important things we do in education yet it is also one of the most difficult things to do well. Differentiation is a term we use in education to describe the way we taylor teaching techniques to individual student’s needs. The goal of our teachers is to meet every student where they are in terms of their learning - in education we call this the “Zone of Proximal Development”. This is the area where learning lives. The Zone of Proximal Development is the place between what we can do independently and what we cannot do at all. There are some things students could never do alone but can learn with some assistance, while there are other tasks that students can complete independently. Educators use this concept to create lesson plans that provide scaffolding and support for students. The idea is to challenge them while at the same time provide the kind of support that will propel them forward. The ultimate goal is to have a student learn how to execute a new task on their own. With the right kind of support, students will be successful.
Educators examine how to use the zone of proximal development to differentiate instruction. In order to effectively differentiate instruction within the classroom setting, teachers need to find the zone that adequately challenges any given student. The challenge lies in the fact that every student has their own zone of proximal development which varies depending on the skill or task at hand. To make things even more difficult, every child has their own learning style and several different types of intelligence. This can seem like an impossible task, given the number of students we see everyday. I would like to describe some of the things we are doing at Central to provide both scaffolded support and differentiated instruction.
This week CMS teachers will be conducting professional development during our Wednesday collaboration time to look at student data. This time of year, after the first trimester has ended, is a good time for us to take a look at the progress of our students. We call this Progress Monitoring. We look at a number of different factors. First we take a look at students’ grades. Next we determine if a student is performing below his/her ability level or struggling and needs additional support. We also take a look at our students who are doing extremely well and discuss if we need to be challenging them more. After we look at student data and performance we create action plans.
This Wednesday we will be working in grade level teams to create plans for differentiation. Each grade level will have two primary goals: 1) Take a look at student data to see what we can learn about each student. It is not uncommon for students to do well in one class and not so well in another. We will be taking a deeper dive into what the data tells us about individual students. 2) We will look at instructional strategies teachers are using in their classrooms. Each teacher will share with their grade level team members what is working for them. They will also look at individual students to examine how best to personalize their learning and what aides in the learning of different types of learners. In other words, what is working? The idea is to learn from one another.
These are major tasks that will not complete in just one Wednesday afternoon. But it is important work. We will continue to have these conversations throughout the year during our Wednesday afternoon collaboration time. Discussing teaching, learning and relationship building is what gets us out of bed in the morning. Examining how individual student learns is at the heart of what we do as educators, it is also why we do what we do.
It goes without saying that driving conditions are a bit challenging in the rain, and unfortunately some folks make poor decisions when taking their kids to school. Even more concerning, our children also make poor decisions on the road.
We would all love to see improved safety on our roads and we can all play our part. Please be extra careful in these winter conditions. Also please be mindful that children do not always act in the most responsible ways. Please take extra care when you know children are present. Also, remember to have continued conversations with your children about how important it is to follow all traffic laws and safety procedures. Sometimes all it takes is a reminder to leave early and allow for extra time to get to and from school.
Volunteers Needed for Hot Lunch
Want a chance to see the kids during the lunch hour? Be a Hot Lunch Volunteer! Shifts range from 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Work monthly or more often. If interested, contact Jen Pedrotti at email@example.com
Lost and Found - please come check out the lost and found if your child is missing any clothing or swag. Our lost and found bin is overflowing. Any item not claimed before winter break will be donated.
SMART-E Survey and Parent Engagement Night
Please take a few moments to complete a short survey about the SMART-E extended day (before and after school care) and enrichment programs. SCSD is interested in the perspectives of all families, regardless of whether or not the family has participated in either of the programs.
Please complete the survey by Monday, December 3rd at midnight. Results from the survey will be shared at the SMART-E Parent Engagement Night, which will be held on Wednesday, December 5, 7:00 - 8:30 PM, in the Heather School MUR.
Parent Education Event: My Digital Tat2
My Digital Tat2
Tuesday, 12/4 @ 6:30-8:00 PM
San Carlos School District Office, 1200 Industrial, Unit 9B
Sign up here: http://evite.me/xwCj94nKpM
SCSD PTA Coordinating Council is funding a special presentation of My Digital Tat2 with Gloria Moskowitz-Sweet PPSC, LCSW. Gloria was a university lecturer for 20 years and has over 30 years of experience as a school social worker, specializing in the social-emotional well being of children and teens.
- Evolving digital landscape and current trends
- Emotional and psychological responses
- Technology and social media
- Responding to challenging issues, such as techno-perfection, digital distraction, sleep, and sexting
- Strategies to engage your child with constructive conversation and promote media balance for the entire family
- My Digital TAT2 has worked with over 20,000 Bay Area students, parents, and educators, facilitating discussions about the role of social media in their lives.
My Digital TAT2 is a non-profit organization. Learn about our mission and how to support our work:www.mydigitaltat2.org
Safe Route to School Transportation Survey
Please take 5 minutes to complete the linked survey. Your feedback allows us to adjust Safe Routes to School (SRTS) education and encouragement program features to best meet the needs of each individual school. Results will also be shared with decision makers throughout the county who can address infrastructure issues regarding safe walking and biking.
English Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/1819_English
Spanish Link: https://es.surveymonkey.com/r/1819Spanish
Honey Bear Trees
Buy your Christmas tree and wreath at Honey Bear Trees and SCEF will receive 15% of your purchase price! Bring a copy of the flyer to take advantage of this offer.
Tree lot locations and flyer can be found at: www.scefkids.org/hbt
End of Year Giving
As we enter the last weeks of 2018, we invite you to consider making your SCEF Annual Fund donation earlier than usual. Take advantage of possible 2018 tax deductions by making a gift of cash or stock to SCEF before December 31st. As our district faces challenging budget issues, SCEF would like to be able to provide a good estimate of our grant to Superintendent Harmeier and her team by March 30, 2019. Donate now at: www.scefkids.org/donate
Double your Donation
Many employers will match your gift to SCEF. Our handy Double the Donation tool will help you determine if your company has a matching program. Go to www.scefkids.org/donate to learn more.
A gift of appreciated stock you've held for more than a year is better than giving cash. If you donate stock that has increased in value since you've owned it - and if you itemize deductions - you can take a charitable deduction for the stock's fair market value on the day you give it away. You'll also avoid capital gains taxes on the increase in value over time.
Go to www.scefkids.org/stock to learn how.
Early Bird Deadline Extended for San Carlos Youth Softball
Interested in playing softball this spring? San Carlos Youth Softball is a great way for girls to have some fun, develop skills and build friendships. We have extended the early bird discount for the 2019 spring rec program registration. Click here to register online.
Our program is for girls ages 4-14 (as of January 2019) at all skill levels. Teams are formed in January so please sign up soon! Early bird prices end Dec 15, 2018.
High School Happenings
Sequoia High School
A shadow day is an opportunity for eighth grade students to spend the day at Sequoia and experience firsthand what it’s like to be a member of the Sequoia family.
Students have an opportunity to observe Sequoia High School for the day, and there is a Parent Information Session the morning your student shadows.
For more information and to sign up see link below (spaces are filling up quickly)
International Baccalaureate (IB) Informational Meeting
January 15, 2018 - 6:00 PM - Carrington Hall (Spanish Presentation @ College Career Center)
Presentation from IB Program Coordinator about IB: an honors program that challenges students to reach their fullest academic potential, while developing both as students and global citizens
See sample course loads for 9th-12th grades
November 10, 2018 and January 26, 2019, Front of School
Approximately 30 minute tours led by current Sequoia Leadership students
Tours will depart between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM. No advanced sign-ups necessary
Highlights points of interest on campus and provides answers to frequently asked questions
Fall Musical The Drowsy Chaperone: November 10, 11, 16 and 17 @ Carrington Hall
Spring Play The Children's Hour: March 8, 9, & 10, 2019 @ Carrington Hall
Fall Concert: October 23 @ Carrington Hall (7:00 pm)
Thursday, March 28, 2019 -7:00-8:30 PM
Open to Current and Prospective Students
Sequoia Day/Sequoia Stampede
Saturday, April 13, 2019 (9:00 AM)
Freshman Welcome Night
Wednesday, April 25 @ MPR 6:30-8:30 PM
Also, for more information about Sequoia and all of our programs, please visit our website at http://www.sequoiahs.org/index.html
Carlmont High School
MIDDLE SCHOOL LIAISONS
• Central, Charter, & Tierra Linda: Chris Cook firstname.lastname@example.org
• Nesbit, Ralston & Non-Feeder: Carol Castro email@example.com
• For non-feeder school ONLY: email CarlmontInfo@gmail.com to join mailing list
Summit/Everest High School
For more information go to summitps.org
Design Tech High School