Welcome to 2010! In an effort to get our feet back on the ground after break, January has been a quiet month for meetings and curriculum work. Year 1 folks continue to work on their purpose statements and Year 2 folks are entering units into the Curriculum Manager. During the January 4 professional development day all High School and Middle School staff members were required to input one unit in the software that reflected the use of Google Apps, so that forced some of our staff members to input units.
What is so important about this process is the fact that when teachers put the units in the system, we can evaluate if a benchmark is being used during the course of instruction, how many times it is taught, and at what levels. As we work toward implementing the Iowa Core Curriculum this tool is very necessary, as we will have to account for all our core benchmarks and report where they are a part of instruction.
The SIAC group has taken the month of January "off", but will reconvene for work this year in February.
Our winter window of MAP testing started, January 12, and should finish up this week, weather permitting. I've heard good things from some of the teachers - seeing significant gains from their students from the fall to the present. Look for more details about this in months to come. The thing I am seeing is that teachers more and more are looking at this data and using it to guide their instruction, which means our students are getting the skills instruction that they need! ITBS/ITED testing is scheduled to begin February 8.