Tag Archives: Cyfair

RRR Conference – Day 1

RRR Conference – Day 1

The Rigor, Relevance and Relationship Conference was held in Cyfair @ The Berry Center on June 9-11, 2010.  We had some really great speakers and a lot of interesting things to ponder…

Dr. Bob Dagget kicked off the conference.  He shared some advice and scary insights with us…

• We should be thinking 3-5 years out.  What is our plan?

• Our job is to move successful practices to next practices.

• We are about to take a trip down a steep cliff….

–         this year, 42% of every dollar spent is borrowed

–         the US is about to hit a cultural war between baby boomers up for Social Security and the rest of us…especially kids in school

–         as the economy got worse, education didn’t feel it because of the huge amount of dollars from the federal stimulus…but we can’t do business as usual.

• Equity and Excellence are in conflict

–         We educate EVERYONE in the US. Dagget spoke about his daughter with disabilities.  However, the rest of the world doesn’t do this. (side note – I’ve always said it isn’t fair to compare our educational system with the rest of the world!)

• We need to take a look at new initiatives in education….

–         Every state but Alaska and Texas signed on for these new assurances: grants, etc…


Breakout Session with Dr. Robert Brooks – Creating A Positive School Climate

• A person’s mindset is very important – Expectations and Assumptions

• Resilient people ask “what can I do differently to change?”

• What is the mindset leaders should promote to nurture and motivate resilience in staff and students?

• We must be Charismatic Adults – a person whom a child/adolescent gathers strength.

• Features of a Positive Mindset:

–         To believe that all children, from birth want to learn and be successful

–         Believe all students are motivated, but unfortunately, some are dominated by “avoidance motivation” as a way of protecting themselves from situations that they believe will lead to failure and humiliation

–         Believe that if the strategies we are using with students are not effective, we must ask “What is it that we can do differently to help the situation?” rather than wait for the student to change first – this should not be seen as blaming but rather empowering ourselves.

–         To be empathetic: We must see the world through the eyes of the staff and students with whom we work and implement ways to obtain feedback. (Report Cards for Teachers? How do we get regular feedback from students?)

–         To create “motivating environments” that nurture learning and “resilient mindsets.”

• Deci – focus on basic needs that apply to admin., staff and students

–         Need to belong, feel connected and welcome

–         Need for self-determination and autonomy, which are significant features of a sense of ownership and resilience

  • What kind of decisions and choices do we provide staff and students?
  • Do our disciplinary practices promote self-discipline and self-control as well as nurturing a safe environment?

–         Need to feel competent

  • Minimize the fear of failure
  • Do we provide students with an opportunity to contribute and make a difference?


Effective Management Techniques for Every Classroom

I didn’t take too many notes here.

• There is a fine line between leader and ring-leader!

• Stress kills twice as many brain cells as alcohol!

• What are you going to do in regards to Mirror Neurons? – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_neuron


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Rigor, Relevance & Relationships

The Rigor, Relevance and Relationships 2010 conference is coming to Cyfair in early June.  I’m really excited…. I’m excited about the technology use that will be incorporated this year.  But the learning…info….is going to be awesome!  I was looking over my notes from last year.  Just in looking at Dr. Dagget’s sessions, there was a lot of stuff, that I should have looked at a little bit more often throughout the year.  Here are some great points from my notes:

Lessons Learned:
1. The key is instruction NOT structure.
2. We must address both efficiency and effectiveness
3. You’ll never change anything until you change the culture (good pressure).
4. There are NO formulas! But there are 8 characteristics of effective schools…

8 Components of Excellence
1. Create culture
2. Build and use data to guide and reform
3. Create and support leadership teams
4. Define what expectations you want
5. Concentrate on effective instructional practices
6. Address organizational structures
7. Monitor student progress
8. Consistently review and refine the process

The most innovative schools…
1. Have focused professional development
2. Empower staff
3. Loop kids (I can’t really remember what he was talking about here)
4. Move electives to 9th grade (give students time to mature)
5. Use technology effectively
6. Have an early childhood program

8 Brain Compatible Elements (that should go on in the classroom)
1. Absence of threat – A nurturing effect – reflection
2. Meaningful content
3. Movement – to enhance learning
4. Choices
5. Adequate time
6. Immediate feedback
7. Collaboration
8. Mastery and application

During your lesson…
After your direct instruction (10-15 min.), while you’re active monitoring, if a student doesn’t seem to “get it,” you should ask, “What are you thinking?”  Then you can move from there to reteaching if it is needed.

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