Monday, September 1, 2014

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of August 24, 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 24, 2014.

1. "The Court further finds that the Legislature has failed to meet its constitutional duty to suitably provide for Texas public schools... ...because the school finance system is structured, operated, and funded so that it cannot provide a constitutionally adequate education" (By @MoakCasey)

2. "Sure, America believes in education: the average teacher earns more money in a year than a professional athlete earns in a whole day." (By @DrRichAllen)

3. Be aware of the teacher-talking and student-talking ratio in class. Those who do the talking tend to do the most learning. (By @justintarte)

4. If adults look to Internet to find answers they are resourceful; if kids do that, they are cheaters. (By @gcouros)

5. New PowerWalks format is awesome.  Enjoying the information tool.  Very helpful to new personnel. (By @coachwommack)

6. As late as 1992, written word was said to be dying. Internet resurrected essays (blogs), aphorisms (tweets), and letters (email). (By @pmarca)

7. Judge: Texas "has buried its head in the sand” while schools’ problems get worse (By @PatrickMichels)

8. You aren't a valuable member of a team if you never change your mind... (By @justintarte)

9. Looking forward to implementing Fundamental 5. (By @drjolly)

10. The number that's now officially in the rearview mirror, over 65,000 copies of The Fundamental 5 (Cain & Laird) sold! Thank you, LYS Nation! (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

Friday, August 29, 2014

Meet the New Fundamental 5 Classroom Timer App

The most difficult daily task for teachers is perhaps the most mundane, time management.  In a work environment that requires the constant management of personalities, content, behaviors, questions and administrivia – time alternates between flying and standing still.  Which means that teachers need a tool to help them implement the practices they want to do more of, but rarely have time for. If only there was something to fit the bill...



What the app does is allow you to program in the times for your warm-up, small group purposeful talk sessions and closing question. The app also allows you to select and enter the talking and writing prompts that you want to use during a class.  Then at the programmed time, the app chimes and displays the prompt.

You teach, the app cues, and students talk and write. Pure classroom magic!

The app is available at the App Store for I-phone and I-pad users.  Search for Fun 5 Timer, or click on the link:

https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=907096716&mt=8

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, August 28, 2014

Readers Write... PowerWalks 2.0 - WOW!

The early feedback on the launch of the improved PowerWalks Instructional Observation System has been fantastic.  Here is a small sample:

We really like the new system!  The observer notes is really a great feature.  And we love the Rigor/Relevance/Relationship report. We are fans!

I love the new streamlined format and faster speeds! The best observation tool just got better.

I love the new PowerWalks! Displaying a running tally creates a friendly competition between colleagues and schools. And the focus on only positive practice is genius. Good work!  

This is great! We love the new layout and the improved surveys. Thanks!

SC Response
The roll out of any new technology is always a multi-step process, but the switch to the new PowerWalks has been close to seamless. For those of you who missed the announcement last week the PowerWalks site looks different (better), but the basic operations remain the same, with the following enhancements:

The primary classroom observation survey has been streamlined and now focuses on only the positive elements of instructional best practice.

For managing users, there is the ability to create custom observation elements for campuses.

The PowerWalks Instructional Observation System will alert the observer when the most powerful elements of best practice have been observed and will send a positive note to the teacher.

Report building has been streamlined to just a one screen operation.

Additional standing (pre-built) reports have been included on your personal report page.

Report generation speed has been significantly upgraded. 

To be added in the next few weeks, both an Android and Apple App for use on campuses with inconsistent connectivity and a narrative coaching report to facilitate staff coaching meetings and conversations.

Let us know what you think about the new version of PowerWalks.

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!

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “Look at Me: A Cautionary SchoolLeadership Tale” Individual copies available on Amazon.com! 

  • 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 PresentationsThe Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote Presentation)

  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation and like Lead Your School on Facebook
  • Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    A Reader Asks... High School Attendance

    A reader asks the following:

    SC,

    Do you have any great ideas on how to raise attendance at the High School level?

    SC Response
    Actually I do.  As a Principal, I was an attendance fanatic, my mantra being:

    1. Get them in school.

    2. Get them in class.

    3. Get them in college.

    And everyone on my campus, from student to teacher to parent knew that Number 3 would never happen if Number 1 didn’t happen first. 

    Now I was a young Principal, so I had next to no finess. But I made up for that deficit with singular focus.  Here is what we did.

    We built short-term rewards for attendance. Mostly extra privelegdes and preferences. After all, if you come to work, you get paid.  So if you came to school, you got perks.

    We (campus leadership) called parents during first period is the student wasn’t in school.  No robo-calls.  We wanted to talk to a live person, and short of the student pukeing blood, we wanted them in school.

    We (teachers) called our students if they missed two days in a row, to check up on the student and let them know that they were missed. This meant that there were multiple calls to the student that day.

    If neccessary, we would go out and pick students up.

    We let local law enforcement know that if they caught any students on the street during school hours, if they were ours, bring them to us.

    We (campus leadership) sent a certifed letter to parents after the first unexcused absence and the third excused absence.  We didn’t wait, we documented and prepared to take further action, immediately.

    We (campus leadership) filed truancy charges at the earliest allowable time.  And we (campus leadership) attended truancy court.

    I met all of the judges that had jurisdiction over the truancy cases from my campus, in their chambers, to introduce myself and explain our intent to have students attend school and to see if the judge had any issues with the way we supported and enforced attendance.

    I played in all of my truancy judges' fund raising golf tournaments.

    I donated to my truancy judges' re-election campaigns.

    I made it clear to students and parents that I wanted my students in my school and that if they tried to circumvent that, they would not be successful.

    With this labor intensive, top-down model, my attendance rate was always above 92%.
    And I was (and still am) proud of the number.

    But I wasn’t the best.

    Judith Solis (now the Superintendent of La Villa ISD) had better numbers than I did, in an even tougher setting (don’t tell her I actually admitted this).  One of her strategies was to get on the intercom during 1st period and tell her students, “Look around. Is one of your friends not here right now? Take out your cell phone right now and call them.  We have learning going on and they are missing it.”

    Impressive!

    And the best I have ever seen was Jeb Stuart High School when Mel Riddel was the principal (now he is on the Executive Staff at NASSP). At his inner-city high school he kept his attendance in the 96% range. His secret strategy, every morning, everyone of his student received a school generated wake-up call. “Good morning, this is Jeb Stuart High School.  The high today will be 42 degrees. Don’t forget your coat.” 

    Pure Genius!!

    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!
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “Look at Me: A Cautionary SchoolLeadership Tale” Individual copies available on Amazon.com! 
  • 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 PresentationsThe Fundamental 5 National Summit (Keynote Presentation)
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation and like Lead Your School on Facebook
  • Tuesday, August 26, 2014

    New From the Lead Your School Lab... The Fundamental 5 Classroom App

    That’s right, the team down in the lab have created a new tool for teachers, The Fundamental 5 Classroom Timer App

    What the app does is allow you, the teacher, to program in the times for your warm-up, small group purposeful talk sessions and closing question. The app also allows you to select and enter the talking and writing prompts that you want to use during a class.  Then at the programmed time, the app chimes and displays the prompt.



    You teach, the app cues, and students talk and write. Pure classroom magic!

    The app is available at the App Store for I-phone and I-pad users.  Search for Fun 5 Timer, or click on the link:

    https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=907096716&mt=8

    Think. Work. Achieve.
    Your turn...


    Monday, August 25, 2014

    Top LYS Tweets From the Week of August 17, 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 17, 2014.

    1. "The great news is that the BEST days of education are RIGHT in front of us!" (By @cindybogart2013)

    2. The Fundamental 5 is the ticket to college readiness as well as closing the achievement gap...We can make a difference. (By @GBLobo75)

    3. Have students write more. Period. (By @sgorres)

    4. The more students talk purposefully, the better they write critically.  Fact! (By @carikers)

    5. Consistency is paramount when a student has seven or eight bosses during the school day. (By @TinneyTroy)

    6. The framing of the lesson follows the same setup as readers’ and writers’ workshop mini-lessons. (By @AlyssaKnorr)

    7. Writing to learn has to precede writing academically for a purpose. Kids need time in the writing saddle. (By @TinneyTroy)

    8. Should we wonder why some parents come to school on the defensive when our only communications with them about their child have been negative? (By @BluntEducator)

    9. Getting teachers into each other’s classrooms while teaching is an excellent way to improve instruction and school. (By @rachelwalker70)

    10. Officially notified that The Fundamental 5 (Cain & Laird) has eclipsed 64,000 copies sold! Thank you, LYS Nation!! (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

    Friday, August 22, 2014

    PowerWalks 2.0 - It's Kind of a Big Deal

    Dear PowerWalks User,

    We are excited to unveil the updated version of the PowerWalks Instructional Observation System.  As you are well aware, PowerWalks was designed to provide Teachers with “Game Film” to inform their honing of daily practice and to provide Instructional Leaders with a tool to better coach and support their staff, from the large group to the individual. With this updated version, PowerWalks continues to do this, but now easier, faster and with more flexibility.

    The PowerWalks site looks different (better), but the basic operations remain the same, with the following enhancements:
    • The primary classroom observation survey has been streamlined and now focuses on only the positive elements of instructional best practice.
    • For managing users, there is the ability to create custom observation elements for campuses.
    • The PowerWalks Instructional Observation System will alert the observer when the most powerful elements of best practice have been observed and will send a positive note to the teacher.
    • Report building has been streamlined to just a one screen operation.
    • Additional standing (pre-built) reports have been included on your personal report page.
    • Report generation speed has been significantly upgraded. 

    To be added in the next few weeks, both an Android and Apple App for use on campuses with inconsistent connectivity and a narrative coaching report to facilitate staff coaching meetings and conversations.

    We know you will find the new version of PowerWalks to be even better than the last and welcome your comments and suggestions.

    Thank you,

    Your LYS Coaching Staff and Fellow PowerWalkers
    Bob Brezina, E. Don Brown, Lesa Cain, Sean Cain, Sherilynn Cotten, Dr. Jim Davis, Barbara Fine, Jo Hoeppner, Harry Miller, Jeanette Nelson, Gwen Poteet

    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