Thursday, August 21, 2014

The New PowerWalks is Here! The New PowerWalks is Here!

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

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dr. Rich Allen Writes... The Room Set-up Matters

Early in my career I have realized (and experienced) the power on managing environments.  Here is the short version of this understanding: Based on the environment in which you place the learner, you can either accelerate or decelerate learning.  

I loathe leaving performance on the table, so even when I present in conference halls, I do everything I can to tweak the environment in my favor.  Sadly, this is not the case with many educators.  The rooms that many teachers work in actually work against that teacher.  However, point this out at your own peril, because few teacher that are objective on the topic of how they have set up their room.   

One of my friends and mentors, Dr. Rich Allen (one of the really big brains in education) wrote the following for his monthly, Impact Teaching Tip.  For those who don’t receive it, here is the reprint. You can follow Dr. Rich Allen on Twitter (I do): @drrichallen

Room Set-up = Learning Success
 
The physical arrangement of the classroom can support - or undermine – the effectiveness of any lesson.  Make sure you proactively consider how to configure the desks, chairs, or tables in your learning environment to maximize student focus and engagement.

The biggest mistake is only using one room set-up in a classroom.  Students arrive and the furniture is always in the same position.  Instead, consider how to best organize the environment to enhance each element of your lesson, altering its set-up during the course of your teaching as needed.

Here are some possible "room sets" to consider:

Set A.  Single desks, facing the front - when presenting new material.

Set B.  Groups of 4-5 desks facing each other - when students will be interacting with a small group.

Set C.  Desks pushed back, students in chairs only - when facilitating large group discussions.

Set D.  U-shape - when you want students to observe small groups presenting content to the class.

When you want to change your classroom set-up, remember: Always ask your students to change the dynamics of the room!  This serves three purposes simultaneously, it:

1. Saves you time and energy.

2. Provides a state change, giving students an opportunity to move.

3. Gives students ownership of the classroom space.  They arrive, help arrange the room for the lesson, and suddenly - they're ready to listen!

Again, you should follow Dr. Rich Allen on Twitter: @drrichallen

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, August 19, 2014

The GISD Fundamental 5 Camp - The Big Stretch

On August 4, my Twitter time line blew up with tweets from the Garland ISD Fundamental 5 Camp. I’m sharing the final post of this series, the tweets generated from the closing keynote address, The Big Stretch.

"...WE believe adult practice drives student performance. What we do matters!" (By @Honeytres)

Instructional innovation comes from schools facing adversity. (By @drkim2004)

The longer kids are exposed to rigorous instruction there is no ceiling... like a room without a roof... HAPPY! (By @roberson_jenny)

Rigor and Relevance means more Purposeful Talk and Critical Writing (By @runnergirl70)

Analysis/Synthesis/Evaluation = Invisible mental processes. Have to have Purposeful Talk & Critical Writing with the right prompt. (By @runnergirl70)

"The good old days are right now for kids." (By @Jnhicks78)

You set the ceiling... Where will it be? (By @kishaculpepper)

GISD, I look forward to seeing our schools reach the great unknown. Let's ramp up instruction and prepare our kids for success. (By @desstewart)

@LYSNation, Thanks for an awesome Fundamental 5 professional development session! GISD leaders are prepared to have an outstanding school year! (By @wells_jovan)

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

Monday, August 18, 2014

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of August 10, 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 10, 2014.

1. Dear "Cut All Taxes" Political Candidate: Either you're pandering, which is not leadership; or you believe the rhetoric, which is not smart. (By @LYSNation)

2. If you are not stepping on anyone's toes there is a good chance you are not walking the walk. (By @casas_jimmy)

3. Critical Writing in math is a must! Not just because the district says so, but because it is the right thing to do for students!! (By @fosterbkay)

4. "Our eyes are our biggest source of sensory input.  If you see change, you start to believe change." (By @MagnoliaJrHigh)

5. The one talking about the content is the one building improved understanding of the content. Who is doing the talking in your classroom? (By @LYSNation)

6. Encourage teachers to praise only the behaviors that deserve praise. "Good job everybody!" is not specific or accurate. (By @TinneyTroy)

7. When teachers are proactive, time spent on correction in the classroom should begin to diminish. Begin instruction by greeting students at the door. (By @TinneyTroy)

8. Beliefs vs Behavior is not a Chicken vs Egg question. Instructional cues matter. Beliefs follow behavior. (By @JasonJj7)

9. College athlete prospects: If you're going to post stupid stuff on Twitter, better learn how to fill out student loan applications. (By @CoachDPenrod)

10. Just notified that The Fundamental 5 (Cain & Laird) just passed 63,000 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 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 14, 2014

The GISD Fundamental 5 Camp - Critical Writing Tweets

On August 4, my Twitter time line blew up with tweets from the Garland ISD Fundamental 5 Camp.  Today I’m sharing the tweets generated from Leslie Meek’s “Critical Writing” breakout sessions.

Free Write, Fill-in-the-Blank, and Copying from the Board are NOT Writing Critically!!!!! (By @runnergirl70)

"Throw the skunk on the table."  Use data to identify where you are as a campus and own where you need to be. (By @chuckyviernes)

Critical writing is essential for all subject areas. (By @leescotty)

Students need to put their thinking into writing. (By @EldredgeWendy)

As soon as I talk about it... I'm learning. As soon as I tweet about it... I remember! Purposeful talk & Purposeful tweets! (By @roberson_jenny)

Free writing is not critical writing. Make sure that assignments are relevant and connected to student learning/objectives. (By @desstewart)

There should be no “random acts of success.” Working as a team is essential so success is the norm...not a rarity. (By @klmarsh2)

Random acts of success can be multiplied through collaboration! (By @drkim2004)

Critical writing can happen at the beginning, middle, and end of the lesson. (By @triciatatum)

Critical Writing: Putting your thinking in writing...writing with purpose... (By @tbrown6567)

Next up... The Big Stretch (Closing Keynote)

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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The GISD Fundamental 5 Camp - Small Group Purposeful Talk Tweets

On August 4, my Twitter time line blew up with tweets from the Garland ISD Fundamental 5 Camp.  Today I’m sharing the tweets generated from Traci Tousant’s “Small Group Purposeful Talk” breakout sessions.

Increased attention through purposeful talk. Teach a little then let learners talk!! (By @TinaTagsIt)

If learners are silent, are they learning for mastery? (By @TinaTagsIt)

"We want kids talking, not waiting to talk..." (By @Honeytres)

"Student talk: It's about planning, preparation, stopping and WANT TO!" (By @Honeytres)

As soon as I talk about it... I'm learning. As soon as I tweet about it...I remember! Purposeful talk & Purposeful tweets! (By @roberson_jenny)

Frequent, purposeful talk can change the culture of a school! (By @clgoff10)

Frequent small group purposeful talk gives the student(s) ownership of learning. (By @tbrown6567)

Frequent Small Group Purposeful Talk increases student learning. (By @tbrown6567)

Those who elaborate learn...small group purposeful talk. (By @Charboknows)

Next up... Critical Writing

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

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The GISD Fundamental 5 Camp - Recognize & Reinforce Tweets

On August 4, my Twitter time line blew up with tweets from the Garland ISD Fundamental 5 Camp.  Today I’m sharing the tweets generated from Rebecca Dickens’ “Recognize & Reinforce” breakout sessions.

Success is doing better today than I did yesterday. (By @LYSNation)

Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. (By @ElredgeWendy)

Tie recognition of the attainment of the learning goal reinforces any growth. (By @Hollnwall)

Recognition and reinforcement turns reluctant participants into enthusiastic volunteers. (By @LYSNation)

Continued effort over time brings success! (By @reberson_jenny)

Recognition should not only happen when the students meet the goal, it occurs with any progression towards where you want students to be. (By @Hollnwall)

Recognizing and reinforcing is not a gamble... It is a sure thing! (By @LYSNation)

It's all about specific reinforcement and recognition with a focus on ACADEMICS! (By @ZabGon)

Recognition - Think the "S.P.A." treatment...Specific, Personal, and Academic! (By @kishaculpepper)

Misconceptions between recognize and reinforce are evident. Let's focus on academic effort. (By @AngleArivera11b)

Defining success is essential when reinforcing effort. (By @ty_nelson22)

Success means your doing better today than yesterday. (By @leescotty)

Why recognize and reinforce?  Up to 30% increase in academic achievement. (By @trisiatatum)

Recognition and reinforcement needs to be specific, personal and academic. (By @leescotty)

Recognize and reinforce builds growth mindset fosters grit! (By @Charboknows)

Recognition & Reinforcement - transforming reluctant volunteers into willing participants. (By @drkim2004)

The key to student achievement is recognizing the efforts of all. It's not always about reaching a standard. Try looking at growth. (By @desstewart)

Recognize and reinforce all student achievement in your class. It's not about meeting a standard, but showing academic growth. (By @desstewart)

Next up... Frequent Small Group Purposeful Talk

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