Thursday, May 30, 2019

Episode 107: Transitions

Yes, we are still here people, but we are busy principals that barely ever get our schedules to coordinate to podcast. In episode 107 we talk about transitions and Jessica has some big transition news...and she'd love advice/tips from you!

Here's some links of things mentioned in the podcast: allows you to schedule 30 posts


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Episode 106: Initiatives

In this episode, Spike and Jessica catch up on the new initiatives in their school and how things are going. Jessica discussed the progress of PBIS and Playworks in her school. Spike discussed how his school is going through the revalidation process to continue being an AVID National Demonstration School. Based on the feedback from a prior visit, the staff have been working on increasing Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). The AVID site team have provided weekly instructional practices, developed a Google Form to collect best practices, and they meet with Spike on a monthly basis to coach him how to use HOTS in the weekly email, staff meetings, and for teacher feedback. They are also correlating the McREL Walkthrough data from last year as the compare the instances of remembering and understanding with analyzing and evaluating. The revalidation process has definitely caused the school to improve in areas to make student learning better.  


Episode 103: Social Emotional Learning

In this episode, Theresa and Jessica discuss what they're up to with welcome staff back to school. Jessica finally tried out Flipgrid thanks to Eric Ewald's encouragement when she attended his session at the National Principals Conference.  Here's a quick video Jessica made to show her staff how to do this: Flipgrid intro.  Theresa shared some other awesome ideas she's seen Flipgrid used for.

As they talked about Social Emotional Learning, here are links to some of the resources/programs mentioned:

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Episode 105: The First Week of School

First week of school 

In this episode, Theresa and Spike sit down to discuss the first week of school and reflect on their openings. Beth Theresa and Spike discussed how they were in the "cycle of sacrifice" due to the high levels of stress in opening up school for the year. Are you in the cycle of sacrifice? Here are some characteristics:

  • Lack of quality sleep (having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep)
  • Growing "to do" list 
  • Difficulties focusing 
  • Not eating quality food or eating too much/too little
What can you do to battle the cycle of sacrifice? First step is awareness. Realizing you are in it and knowing that it will not last forever. Theresa and Spike discuss ways that they are getting through. Each knows that this will balance out very soon.

Spike discussed the First Three Days project he did with his school. This was an idea that was inspired by the Significant 72 by Greg Wolcott. The Lakeside staff and students spent a significant amount of time building relationships with each other as well as reviewing the expectations of the school. Spike plans to blog about this initiative and also will discuss upcoming ideas for follow up. 

Theresa shared ideas to make the weekly communication more collaborative. Her administrative team writes their information on a shared Google Document which is generated from a weekly reminder email from Theresa through Boomerang. She also uses Boomerang to manage her email inbox by using the tools such as pausing, scheduling and having emails re-delivered for emphasis and reminders. Boomerang can be used for Gmail and Microsoft Office. Be sure to check it out! 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Episode 104: Back to School Part 2

In this episode, Spike and Jessica talked about their school plans for the first days of school. Spike talked about the Significant 72 and Jessica talked about Playworks. 

Spike and his staff took the Significant 72 and used it as an outline for the first 3 days. They made a Google Slides presentation for all staff to use period by period. Within the presentation are "get to know you" activities as well as instructions to cover all expectations. The Significant 72 places emphasis on students knowing teachers, teachers knowing students, students knowing students. Spike and his staff added students knowing the school. Spike will report out on this on the next podcast.

Jessica reviewed the new Playworks initiative at her school to enhance recess and add play into the classroom. She said it was fun and at times exhausting to participate in the training because the staff had to actually play the games. She and her staff learned variations on traditional games such as soccer, kickball, four square and others to eliminate student incidents/disagreements that typically occur and spill over into taking up classroom time. Since all of the traditional games focus on a winner, the variations take it to the next level and focus on engagement and participation. Jess will report out on the progress on the next podcast.

We also learned some differences in weather preparedness between our two you have drills that your school has to practice due to the specific weather of your area?

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Episode 102: Back to School

In this episode, Spike and Jessica catch up on what they’ve been doing to relax in the final days of summer and had a discussion about how we welcome kids back to school. As we’re seeing awesome back to school ideas, like rolling out the red carpet (Click here for the time RM Bacon literally rolled out the red carpet for the welcome back and tied it to the You Matter movement by Angela Maiers), our discussion may challenge your thinking about grand events. A post that started some interesting discussion on Twitter was: Your Back to School Message is Hurting Teachers.

Jessica shared Greg Wolcott’s idea of the Significant 72 and how important the first 72 hours (or 3
days) of school should be all about relationship building. And that also goes for the first 72 after a
break. Read about the Significant 72 here:

If you’d like to pick up a Balance Like a Pirate shirt to remind yourself to stay balanced all school year, go HERE by September 10th. All proceeds will go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in their mission to spread awareness and prevent suicide.

Theresa will be back with us on Episode 103 to discuss social-emotional learning.

Thank you for listening! Connect with us on Twitter @principalpln or #principalpln on Twitter or Instagram.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Episode 1-OH-1

In this episode, Theresa, Spike and Jessica catch up from the summer break. They each discussed how July goes so quickly and provides a much needed down time from the business of the school year. Now, as they are quickly realizing, is the time to make sure all of the Back to School lists are completed such as scheduling, organization of the school and the most important part... the first few days of the school year.

Over the course of the Podcast, you will learn about the following:
Thank you for listening! Connect with us on Twitter @principalpln or #principalpln on Twitter or Instagram.