Sunday, September 14, 2014

Coming Next Month... The Fundamental 5 National Summit

The second annual Fundamental 5 National Summit will be held in Austin, Texas on October 5th and 6th.  Last year over 400 educators from across the country (and Canada) met for the purpose of better implementing the Fundamental 5 on their campuses.

This is a practitioner’s summit, with real live teachers and campus administrators leading the breakout sessions.

The Fundamental 5 National Summit is open to all states, all schools, and all grade levels! Bring your team and experience the power that is unleashed when theory and practice align.



The Fundamental 5 National Summit
Austin, Texas
October 5 & 6, 2014

Open to All Educators
Presented by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “Look at Me: A Cautionary School Leadership Tale” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/lookatmebook 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); Fun 5 Plans (Fundamental 5 Lesson Plan Tool); PW Lite (Basic PowerWalks Tool); PW Pro (Mid-level PowerWalks Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: The Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote Presentation) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Reader Asks... Vision, Mission, Goal, Target - Part 1

In response to the 5/22/14 post, “Vision – Mission – Goal – Target: A Travelogue,” a LYS Assistant Superintendent asks:

SC,

Okay, I’m in the middle of a hornet’s nest!!  I need input from you regarding yesterday’s (5/22/14) blog post.  Our district has a vision of (MASKED TO MAINTAIN CONFIDENTIALITY).  We are doing some work with our principals about vision for their campus.  Should the campuses have a separate vision that supports the district vision or should all campuses share the same district vision????  

Thanks for weighing in!!

SC Response
Excellent question.  And I think the answer for your district (large, diverse, over 30 campuses) is different than the answer for the small district.

Let’s tackle the small district answer first.  This is the one high school, one or two middle schools, and one to three elementary schools district. In this case the district and the campus visions should be very similar.  The district has the ultimate vision for students and in a small district that vision reflects the reality of the few schools in the district.

This is a significant strength of the small organization, there is less opportunity for vision/mission divergence.

Now the large district is different.  Yes, there is still a district vision, but the campuses are a heterogeneous mix of different communities, students and staff.  Therefore, the all encompassing, everyone in lockstep vision is a myth.  Instead, what you what is big picture understanding of purpose coupled with small picture understanding of operational parameters.  This means that the campus vision may be different than the organizations, but the campus vision must directly correlate with the district vision and campus progress in fulfilling the vision furthers the district in its vision quest.

A lot of words for a mushy explanation, so I’ll give you a concrete example.  Let’s take a district with two high schools, one with a very affluent student population and one with a very poor student population. Not an unusual scenario. 

Now in our example the district’s vision is, “Producing graduates that make a difference.” 

The campuses could co-opt that vision and there would be nothing wrong with that. Or based on the campuses unique mix of students, community, staff, resources and leadership there may need to be a variation of that vision.  The affluent campus may look at the district vision and its own mix of operating parameters and may realize that its mission should be, “Enter the student. Exit the World Class scholar.”

The strength of this vision is that it drives that particular campus and in the pursuit of that vision, the campus is also helping the district pursue its vision.

Now let’s consider the economically disadvantaged campus.  That campus could look its mix of operating parameters and develop this vision, “Always compete.”  Again, the strength of this vision is that it drives the campuses forward and in doing so propels the district forward.

The district vision creates a destination; the campus vision creates a logical pathway to that destination.

I hope this helps, or maybe I just should have answered, “It’s complicated.”

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “Look at Me: A Cautionary School Leadership Tale” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/lookatmebook 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); Fun 5 Plans (Fundamental 5 Lesson Plan Tool); PW Lite (Basic PowerWalks Tool); PW Pro (Mid-level PowerWalks Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: The Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote Presentation) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Critical Writing Song

I would like to share the lyrics of my new favorite song with the LYS Nation.  Feel free to hum along.

Critical Writing
Lyrics by the educators from Livingston ISD
To the tune of “Red Solo Cup” by Toby Keith

Now a critical write is a big misconception
For teachers, mentors, aides and principals
And you, Teach, don’t have intestinal fortitude
If you prefer the Scantron way

A critical write is quick and purposeful
And after 12 years they’re still retainable
And unlike state tests, they are not so unreasonable
T.E.A. can kiss my glass. Woo!!!!!!!!!

Critical Write, easy to do
We all teach writing, we all teach writing
I love you critical write, must grade you up
You add the rigor, You add the rigor

Now I really love how you’re easy to use
But I really hate how you’re often confused
‘Cuz when notes are only copied from the board
Well that my friends is quite a bore

But I have to admit that students start squint’n
Admiring how tiny my class notes are written
On the board with a marker that should’ve been darker
Just something to keep them busy

Critical Write, easy to do
We all teach writing, we all teach writing
I love you critical write, must grade you up
You add the rigor, You add the rigor

Now I’ve seen you organize and I’ve seen you clarify
But only you, write, can totally analyze
‘Cuz you are the Rigor to my Relevance
An you are the read to my write

Critical write, you’re not time consuming
You don’t need revising; you’re more than free writing
And believe me that I’m not the least bit sarcastic
When I look at you and say:

Critical Write, you’re not an abstract.
(No, no, Heck no!)
You make it concrete, you make me stick
Thank you for being concrete

Critical Write, easy to do
We all teach writing, we all teach writing
I love you critical write, must grade you up
You add the rigor, You add the rigor

Critical Write, easy to do
We all teach writing, we all teach writing
I love you critical write, must grade you up
You add the rigor, You add the rigor!

A big thank you to the great educators in Livingston ISD!
Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “Look at Me: A Cautionary School Leadership Tale” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/lookatmebook 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); Fun 5 Plans (Fundamental 5 Lesson Plan Tool); PW Lite (Basic PowerWalks Tool); PW Pro (Mid-level PowerWalks Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: The Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote Presentation) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Write It Down

I read recently (I wrote down the idea, not the source) that you increase your chance of achieving a goal when you write it down, BY HAND.  This is much more powerful than verbalizing the goal or even typing it. For as crazy as this may sound, it makes sense based on what we know about critical writing. 

Critical writing is the process of connecting subconscious concepts and ideas and making those connections, concepts and ideas conscious, real, and tangible thru the physical act of writing.

So here is the critical writing effect on goal accomplishment.

I think I want to do something; I get distracted and that thought evaporates.

I say I want to do something: I get busy and what I said becomes open to interpretation.

I write down that I want to do something; Even if want to change my mind the commitment is “real” and my permanent written record holds me accountable.

If it is important, meaningful or critical... Grab a pen and write it down.

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “Look at Me: A Cautionary School Leadership Tale” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/lookatmebook 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); Fun 5 Plans (Fundamental 5 Lesson Plan Tool); PW Lite (Basic PowerWalks Tool); PW Pro (Mid-level PowerWalks Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: The Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote Presentation) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Register Now... The Fundamental 5 National Summit

The second annual Fundamental 5 National Summit will be held in Austin, Texas on October 5th and 6th.  Last year over 400 educators from across the country (and Canada) met for the purpose of better implementing the Fundamental 5 on their campuses.

This is a practitioner’s summit, with real live teachers and campus administrators leading the breakout sessions.

The Fundamental 5 National Summit is open to all states, all schools, and all grade levels! Bring your team and experience the power that is unleashed when theory and practice align.










Austin, Texas
October 5 & 6, 2014

Open to All Educators
Presented by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “Look at Me: A Cautionary School Leadership Tale” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/lookatmebook 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); Fun 5 Plans (Fundamental 5 Lesson Plan Tool); PW Lite (Basic PowerWalks Tool); PW Pro (Mid-level PowerWalks Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: The Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote Presentation) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

Monday, September 8, 2014

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of August 31, 2014

A number of you in the LYS Nation are now Twitter users.  If you haven’t done so yet, we want you to join us.  To let you see what you are missing, here are the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of August 31, 2014.

1. Putting an RTI label on a child doesn't "fix" them. Differentiated instruction and progress monitoring is what helps the student. (By @vhssaldana)

2. Today's Quote:  "For teachers and students alike, there is no education like that which arises out of adversity." (By @DrRichAllen)

3. Teachers, when someone walks into your room the natural tendency is too talk more. Let your students do the talking to really impress. (By @justintarte)

4. You can't learn to love books if you never get to read books. Period. (By @KyleneBeers)

5. "16, 17, 18, 21... This counting is hard." Got to love Kindergarten math. Renewed respect for Kindergarten teachers! (By @LYSNation)

6. Phrases you are unlikely to hear:
"I won the lottery!"
"I was struck by lightning yesterday."
"A policymaker visited my classroom."
(By @BluntEducator)

7. I visited 24 classrooms today. Today was a good day. (By @HoustonSuper)

8. I think people are confusing pedagogy with curriculum. Curriculum determines what you teach. Pedagogy is how you teach. (By @iamDrWill)

9. There is no one right way to teach, but there are a lot of bad ways. (By @BluntEducator)

10. "I woke up very early today and I am still awake..." Amazing but true facts that Kindergarten students will share with you. (By @LYSNation)

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “Look at Me: A Cautionary School Leadership Tale” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/lookatmebook 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); Fun 5 Plans (Fundamental 5 Lesson Plan Tool); PW Lite (Basic PowerWalks Tool); PW Pro (Mid-level PowerWalks Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: The Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote Presentation) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Davis Report: PowerWalks and The Fundamental 5

Recently, Dr. James Davis completed a study on the effect of The Fundamental 5 and PowerWalks on instructional rigor.  Interesting reading and the findings validate what we had been observing in the field.  But Davis added a wrinkle to his study that we weren’t expecting.  Along with all the performance indicators, Davis also asked teachers for their opinion.

I know... Crazy.

Davis asked teachers if they believed that the campus use of PowerWalks had a positive impact on their ability to implement The Fundamental 5.  63% answered affirmative, about 22% were neutral and only about 15% disagreed.

The same teachers were then asked if they believed that using The Fundamental 5 increased the rigor of delivered instruction.  79% answered affirmative, about 11% were neutral and less than 10% disagreed.

Two teacher comments were particularly enlightening.  One teacher shared, "I very seldom receive any feedback on the PowerWalks (SC Note: This should not be the case), therefore it doesn't really impact me. I believe in The Fundamental Five, so I practice them."

Another teacher shared, "I agree but that does not mean I like them."

Improving one’s practice is not easy, but what the report points out is once teachers are aware of what is right vs. what is easy...  Overwhelmingly, they do what is right!

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “Look at Me: A Cautionary School Leadership Tale” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/lookatmebook 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Plans (Fundamental 5 Lesson Plan Tool); PW Lite (Basic PowerWalks Tool); PW Pro (Mid-level PowerWalks Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: The Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote Presentation) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook