School Improvement News June 2013

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Administrators and Teacher Leaders

“Collaboration allows teachers to capture each other's fund of collective intelligence.” Mike Schmoker, Results

Teacher Collaboration

A Path to Deeper Collaboration for Educators

Successful Students

Transforming Schools Through Collaboration

Making Time for Collaboration

PLC Tools & Resources

National Education Association - Priority Schools Campaign - Educators are deeply committed to the success of every student. That’s why NEA members across the country are teaming with parents, principals, community organizations and elected leaders through NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign, focusing attention on raising student achievement in struggling schools. The work centers on five research-driven elements that lead to permanent systemic change: leveraging community assets, improving staff capacity and effectiveness, developing family and community partnerships, improving district and local association capacity and collaboration, and improving student achievement and learning. These schools' experiences can inform our practice in West Virginia. The NEA programs provide a vital free service to struggling schools.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. Japanese Proverb

Teacher Leaders

The WVDE Six Levers of Continuous Improvement

All Things PLC

Teacher Leader Brochure

Learning can be maximized when the experts take the lead... that is... when Teachers rise as Leaders. Unknown

Teacher Leader Standards

The standards consist of seven domains describing the various attributes of teacher leadership:

  • Domain I: Fostering a collaborative culture to support educator development and student learning
  • Domain II: Accessing and using research to improve practice and student learning
  • Domain III: Promoting professional learning for continuous improvement
  • Domain IV: Facilitating improvements in instruction and student learning
  • Domain V: Promoting the use of assessments and data for school and district improvement
  • Domain VI: Improving outreach and collaboration with families and community
  • Domain VII: Advocating for student learning and the profession

Professional Development

Take control of your professional development. Use PD 360. Contact your principal or the Office of School Improvement for your Log in information.

Critical Thinking

P21 Common Core Toolkit: A Guide to Aligning the Common Core State Standards with the Framework for 21st Century Skills

The Foundation for Critical Thinking: Where to Begin

Teaching Rigorous and Reflective Thinking

Inquiry Based Teaching

Asking Effective Questions

Visible Thinking

The Visible Thinking Project, Harvard Project Zero

Making Thinking Visible, Johns Hopkins University



Say the Same Thing Using New Vocabulary

If you’ve recently attended trainings focused on the Common Core (Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives), you know the critical role that appropriate and aggressive vocabulary instruction must play. A fun, quick, and easy to duplicate resource is this one-minute clip addressing vocabulary. We know nearly all of our students are deficient in vocabulary—which is an indicator of a lack of background knowledge—which impacts fluency and ultimately comprehension. The most effective methods require few materials and no money. This video, College Talk: Improving Students’ Vocabulary, will provide you with some food for thought and possibly a new strategy for vocabulary instruction in your class. https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/improving-student-vocabulary?fd=1

Office of Early Learning's Facebook Page


Closing the Achievement Gap

The C.A.R.E. strategy guide is one of several online/on paper resources that is available for those who are working to improve the learning experiences of students who attend priority schools as well as other students who are struggling to achieve at high levels.

Principal's Toolkit

Have you visited the Principal's Toolkit? It is updated every week. There are school improvement resources for data collection and analysis, scheduling, articles, books, videos, forms and much more. No need to reinvent the wheel, find it here or contact us if you can't find what you are looking for.


Online Resources for Teachers and Administrators
Next Generation Standards: The Common Core Standards

Family-School-Community Partnerships: Collaborative Strategies to Advance Student Learning

An Insider Look at the Next generation Science Classroom

Getting Students to Do the Readings


The Best CC Resources are Free!

Please be reminded that the familiar gold sticker stating “Common Core Aligned” is NOT an indicator of truth. Frankly, the best resources I know are the ones that are free. The state of New York has created many high-quality resources. One site that is loaded and free is: http://engageny.org. A substantial amount of top-notch work has been done through Expeditionary Learning as they partner in school transformation. This video is one they’ve produced entitled “Close Reading Strategies with Informational Text by Expeditionary Learning.” I found the lesson complex, yet simple. It was exciting to see various scaffolding options demonstrated in the context of the lesson.


Read what teachers from other states think about the Common Core and its tests.

Many Teachers Say They Need Training...



Common Core Action Briefs

Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the Secondary School Leader Action Brief

Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the Elementary School Leader Action Brief

Common Core Implementation Checklist for Principals

  • This checklist has been put together by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.  This checklist can be used at all levels.

Common Core Upcoming Webinars for Principals

  • This site provides upcoming and archived Common Core training webinars presented by ASCD.

Common Core State Standards -Implementation tools and resources

  • These resources have been compiled by the CCSSO.

The Principal’s Role – College and Careers Preparedness

  • This resource can be used at all levels.

Common Core Video Collection

  • Great site to get educators and principals views on the Common Core implementation. 



Common Core State Standards for English Langusae Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

Research Supporting Key Elements of the Standards

Glossary of Key Terms


Contact our the Office of School Improvement for technical assistance in implementing the Next Gen Common Core Standards.

If you have resources you know others will find helpful, please share them with us.

Tech Features

... for the Classroom

Docs Voice Comments

Add voice comments to your students' online writing.


Mapping The Masterpieces

Google Lit Trips: Google Lit Trips is a website dedicated to placing story lines into a Google Earth tour. With something for every grade level K-12, Google Lit Trips is a great way to provide geographic context that coincides with stories students are reading. Students can also create a Google Lit Trip of their own to gain a better understanding of a storyline or showcase their knowledge.


A Teacher's Guide to Going Google: Intergrating Google Technology Tools Into the Classroom



The Google Classroom: Top 10 Google Tools



Googlios: ePortfolios


Discovery Education


Hands-on Science Activities

Classroom Science Activity Videos

How It's Made

Fit For The Classroom

Free STEM Summer Camp Resources

While after-school learning and summer programs provide rich opportunities to keep students inspired beyond the classroom, we know that unequal access to these programs can contribute to disparities in student achievement.

As part of our commitment to STEM education for all students, we are excited to announce the launch of the Discovery Education STEM Camp - a dynamic series of standards-aligned curricula available at no cost to schools, districts, non-profit organizations, and parents for use as part of summer camps, after-school STEM programs or wherever support is needed.

STEM Camp combines hands-on labs, engineering challenges, digital investigations, and more - all designed to immerse kids in the grand challenges of science set forth by the National Academy of Engineering.

Once you have used any of these tools, please contact us so that we can share your experiences with other teachers.


Common Core Lesson Videos

America Achieves- http://commoncore.americaachieves.org/

PD360 On-Demand Common Core Training - http://www.schoolimprovement.com/blogs/free-videos/common-core-classrooms-video-1/

Engage - http://engageny.org/video-library

The Teaching Channel - https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos?categories=topics_common-core

Hunt Institute - http://www.youtube.com/user/TheHuntInstitute#g/u

Southeast Comprehensive Center - http://secc.sedl.org/common_core_videos/

Where to find the Office of School Improvement in Cyberspace

  • ONLINE: http://wvde.state.wv.us/schoolimprovement/
  • TWITTER:  @WVSchoolImprove

The Office of School Improvement has expanded into cyberspace to assist schools more effectively and efficiently.  The SI website offers an array of online resources to assist schools in the development of their school improvement blueprint.  As new items are added to the site, they are also tweeted for immediate use. 

On the School Improvement website, Principals, Leadership Teams, and Districts can access the High Quality Standards and Data Collection Tool, Principal’s Toolkit, Culture Survey, IPI, Conference resources and materials, and other resources for instant integration. 

Send us tools, materials, strategies, books, and articles that have helped your school improve. We will feature it on the Office of School Improvement website. 


Instructional Practices Inventory in West Virginia Schools

Why use IPI?

  • For overall school improvement in learning and teaching
  • To increase student engagement with the curriculum and their own learning
  • To use data collaboratively to help your school continue to grow

The West Virginia Department of Education's involvement in the IPI process has given teachers the ability to reflect upon their collective teaching practices, thus raising the bar of expectations toward higher level and deeper thinking, in addition to developing a more active and engaged student learning environment.  WVDE’s continued focus on student engagement has expanded into 50 counties and the WVSDB.  This expansion has allowed for more than 2,075 IPI coders to be trained and certified statewide.  For additional information about the IPI process and development, please visit Dr. Jerry Valentine’s website at www.ipistudentengagement.com. *(Please note this site is still being developed, but will give you an idea of what type of IPI resources can be accessed).

**IMPORTANT** For those currently using IPI, data should be uploaded when completing an IPI coding.  This data is used for research and continued development of the IPI process.  To upload your data, visit the IPI site at http://wvde.state.wv.us/ipi/.  To upload a WebTop login and password are required.  Each coding should be uploaded once.

Courtesy: Glenna Heinlein, State School Improvement Specialist at gplymale@access.k12.wv.us


A Must Watch Video

This is how we transform learning. A whirlwind of energy and ideas, Stephen Ritz is a teacher in New York's tough South Bronx, where he and his kids grow lush gardens for food, greenery -- and jobs. Just try to keep up with this New York treasure as he spins through the many, many ways there are to grow hope in a neighborhood many have written off, or in your own.

(Filmed at TEDxManhattan.)

Stephen Ritz teaches at-risk kids in the South Bronx.

Here is the link.


We welcome your suggestions. Let us know what you would like to see on this website.

Send suggestions to nmcline@access.k12.wv.us






Archived Pages

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