As mentioned in last week’s newsletter, the staff has been looking at how best to differentiate instruction for our various types of learners. We took a look at student data in order to determine what supports we need to be providing in the classroom. Teachers looked at two different categories; 1) Which students need remediation 2) Who is knocking it out of the park and needs to be challenged.
I overheard some great conversations by our teachers about student learning and was struck by one particular comment that kept coming up. Teachers began discussing how developing positive relationships is so important in the learning process. I love how the staff went from looking at student data and progress to immediately drawing the conclusion that building relationships is one of the most important things we can do as educators. Feeling a sense of belonging and connectedness at school is one of the things that keep students showing up everyday. (This is why we allowed student to throw balls at us last Friday during our dodgeball game).
When discussing differentiation in the classroom, having a teacher that takes an deliberate interest in each individual's potential and possible struggles makes a world of difference. Students respond better when they feel valued.
One of my favorite educational researchers is Robert Marzano. In the article "Relating to Students: It’s What You Do That Counts," he notes, “Positive relationships between teachers and students are among the most commonly cited variables associated with effective instruction. If the relationship is strong, instructional strategies seem to be more effective.”
Because our ultimate goal is to ensure student learning, building bonds and fostering positive relationships is an extremely impactful way to do so. There are also a number of teaching strategies we employ to ensure that the learning needs of all of our students are being met. Below is a list of just a few of the differentiation strategies we discussed as a staff during our last collaboration.
Ways we provide extra help:
- Individualized help (or small groups)
- Make students feel comfortable asking for help (diminish shame)
- Self check for student - they evaluate their progress and make adjustments
- Before and after school check in
- One on one conferences with the student regarding a particular assignment
- Provide additional items to help them organize their thoughts such as graphic organizers and examples
- Written and auditory instructions with visuals if needed
- Student choice
- Use of equity sticks to make sure the lower students are being called upon in class
- Copies of notes to supplement their own notes
- Establishing a relationship
- Preferred seating
- Time to think; peer turn and talk
- Error analysis conference to learn what kinds of questions they are struggling with
- Encouraging parents to read with the student
- Feedback on their writing
- Writing groups to get accountability and feedback from each other
- Audio books
For students who are knocking it out of the park who need more challenges:
- Give independent choices
- Address higher concepts as students ask questions - preview college-level concepts
- Offer more difficult optional worksheets
- Positive feedback, encourage high-level thinking/reasoning
- Student choice in reading and writing and modifying the assignment.
- Offering leveled books.
- Multi grade rubrics
- PBL opportunities
- Challenge higher thinkers to extend their projects/work
- Group work on projects
- Student support and mentoring other students
- Creative writing
- Encouragement to participate in writing contests / publishing opportunities
(available to all, but personal encouragement)
- Partnering with equal-level student to positively push/support/challenge
- Individual feedback on writing (writing coach)
- Personalizing assignments where they get to pick the topics helps all students include more in-depth research.
As a staff, we will continue to have these important conversations about student learning and teaching strategies. It is important work
Thanks so much to those parents who have volunteered to help supervise during lunch. It's great to have extra adult eyes on campus and we've heard a lot of feedback from them about how much they enjoy seeing what goes on during lunch. If you'd like to volunteer to come in (you're welcome to come just once or as often as you'd like), please sign up. Winter trimester sign-ups can be found here. We'll send out a new list for spring in 2019.
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
2019-20 Summit Public Schools Intent to Enroll Forms Now Available
Are you interested in having your child attend a small, diverse, personalized, college preparatory high school? We are proud to report that 100% of Summit Prep graduates were accepted into a 4-year college last year, continuing a long tradition of excellence. Please come learn more at our Open House on Tuesday, Dec. 4th at 7 pm at Summit Prep (890 Broadway, Redwood City).
Additionally, the application for next school year is now live! If you have a current 8th grader who would like to apply to attend Summit Prep for the 2019-20 school year, please visit the "Enroll" page of our summitprep.summitps.org website.
Application deadline is January 25, 2019 at 3PM
Random Selection Lottery will be held February 1, 2019
2019-20 Formulario de Intención a inscribirse está ahora disponible
¿Está interesado en que su hijo asista a una escuela secundaria pequeña, diversa y personalizada que se prepara para la universidad? Nos enorgullece informar que el 100% de los graduados de Summit Prep fueron aceptados en una universidad de 4 años el año pasado, continuando con una larga tradición de excelencia. Por favor venga y aprenda más en nuestra casa abierta el martes 4 de diciembre a las 7 pm en Summit Prep (890 Broadway, Redwood City).
¡La aplicación para el próximo año escolar ahora está en vivo! Si tiene un alumno actual de 8º grado que desea inscribirse para asistir a Summit Prep para el año escolar 2019-20, visite la página "Inscríbase" de nuestro sitio web summitprep.summitps.org.
La fecha límite de solicitud es el 25 de enero de 2019 a las 3 p.m.
La Lotería de Selección Aleatoria se llevará a cabo el 1 de febrero de 2019
Is your 8th grader attending Sequoia High School next year? Do you want to learn more about Sequoia's honors IB Program? Please attend Sequoia's 8th Grade IB Info Meeting on January 15th from 6:00 pm at Sequoia High School in Carrington Hall. This meeting will be held in English. Thank you. http://tinyurl.com/hhfj9b3
Si su estudiante del octavo grado asistirá a Sequoia High School el próximo año ¿Quiere que sea exitoso en la preparatoria y que asista a la universidad? Para que su estudiante sea exitoso en la preparatoria y aprenda sobre el programa de honores de IB, por favor asista a la reunión del Octava Grado sobre Información del programa IB el martes,15 de enero 2019 en la Centro de Colegios, salón 1 de la escuela Sequoia a las 6.00 pm. Esta reunión es muy importante para usted y sera ofrecida en español. LOS ESPERAMOS http://tinyurl.com/hhfj9b3
President's Week Camp - SMART-E
Experience the “MAGIC” of camp through fun activities in
Sports, Arts & Crafts, Make & Build, and the “You CHOOZ Zone”
- February 19th-22nd, 2019
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
- Camp: 9:00am - 4:00pm (drop-off begins at 8:00 am)
- Extended Care: 4:00pm - 6:00pm (must buy separately)
- White Oaks Elementary School (MUR), 1901 White Oak Way
TK-5th Grade Campers:
- 4 Day Camp Only* - $275
- Registration is now open and closes Tuesday, February 5th at 12:00pm
- 4 day Extended Care* - $50
- (in addition to 4 Day Camp)Registration opened on Wednesday, December 5th and closes Tuesday, February 5th at 12:00pm
To register or for more information:
Visit https://apm.activecommunities.com/smartescsd/Activity_Search or
call the SMART-E Business Office at 650.590.5966.
Thank Our Crossing Guards
Here in SCSD we are fortunate to have such dedicated crossing guards supporting our students. Please take time in the next few weeks before the winter break to say thank you to Ronda Copeland (Woodland/Arroyo), Paul Alipate (Cedar/Arroyo), and Martin Pearlta (Brittan/Cedar).
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
In Search of Unique Auction Items
Do you have access to a vacation home, event/sports tickets, fine wine/wine tasting or another fun experience? Does a family member or friend work in the entertainment industry? We’d love to hear from you! Our volunteer committee is hard at work creating unique auction items for our March 2019 Starlight Gala & Auction. Write to our events team at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas and connections and help make this year the best auction yet.
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.
Honey Bear Trees
Haven’t bought your Christmas tree yet? Buy your 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
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.
STEAM Fest on the Square 2019
Save the Date: Saturday, April 27, 2019, from 11-3 at Redwood City Downtown Courthouse Square
All Bay Area students, families, and friends are invited to the Redwood City Library Foundation’s 4th annual free STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) Festival. Attendees will experience a day of hands-on STEAM activities, including projects in construction, robotics, art, coding, forensics, and much more, with a closeup look at the latest energy-efficient automobiles.
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 email@example.com
• Nesbit, Ralston & Non-Feeder: Carol Castro firstname.lastname@example.org
• 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