Hey, y’all! I hope you’re as jazzed as I am that fall has finally come. Here in DC today was the first cool, rainy fall day. It really made me want to drink tea and spend the day curled on the couch ready. That’s pretty mutually exclusive with actual teaching, though. =)
I wanted to share a few ideas with you, and promise you that I’m still chugging way on items for my TpT store. The first thing I wanted to tell you about is APTT. Say whaaat?! APTT stands for Academic Parent Teacher Teams, and it’s a really data driven version of parent teacher conferences. (You can read an interview with the creator of this model here. It’s less lame than I just made it sound.) It was created to be more meaningful in schools with high populations of low(er) income families to share data in a meaningful way, despite the education level of the parents involved. If we’re being 100% honest the first year I did APTT I HATED it. (In retrospect, I think that’s because I was putting a TON of time into the conferences, but not getting the return back.) However, I’m now in my third year of using this conference model, and I absolutely L-O-V-E it. Now, I want to be honest with you, it’s the same amount of work as it was the first year, but now I’m working with other teachers to put on the meeting, so it’s divided among a team, AND the turn out is so much better. Let me tell you a few reasons I love APTT. First, it only focuses on academic data. (I know what you’re thinking, but honestly, I find conferences to be so much more positive when we don’t discuss behavior.) The basic gist of APTT is that as a teacher, you select one long term goal for the year in reading and one in math and then basically you measure each student’s progress toward that goal every 60 days throughout the year. The other thing that I really like about APTT is that these are group conferences and we share all the kids’ data, with all the parents, but we share the data anonymously. It’s really powerful, because it give parents a clear idea of a) exactly where their kids are, b) where all the other kids in the class/grade are performing, and c) what the current expectation is, and if their child is above or below it. One last thing–APTT was originally created to share data with parents in lower income schools/districts, but I don’t think that’s the only environment in which this model would be successful. That’s basically the quick and dirty version of APTT. If you have any questions I’m happy to answer them.
In other news I have to take about 45 seconds of your time to rage about this stupid federal shutdown. It’s so crazy; I mean, really I can’t even talk about it. I mean, it’s so ridiculous that yesterday our principal had to send an email out that we can’t order any more supplies/materials until the shutdown ends/budget is passed, so we all have ONE PACK of copy paper until whenever it is that the shutdown ends. Whether that’s 2 days or 2 weeks. Also, after next Friday schools will (likely) have to shut down because DC’s rainy day fund will be dry and there won’t be money to run the physical buildings. The whole thing is such a mess. Not to mention that federal employees (like the hubs) aren’t getting paid at all right now. Okay. I have to move on.
Last, I’m hoping to glean some knowledge from y’all. So I have a group of about 7 boys this year who are really struggling to get on the classroom community train. They’re just garnering a lot of negative attention, and slowing down the learning of the entire class. Two of them are currently on a behavior plan that, honestly, seems at times to be extremely helpful and at times a huge time suck. I think I’m going to launch table points on Tuesday, but does anyone else have (relatively easy) any ideas to help them settle/simmer and successfully participate in the class?
That’s it. Thanks so much for sticking with me!