Tuesday, March 1, 2011

O.B.I.Y.T.C. - Our Best Is Yet To Come!

...Let's hope so anyway.  My BFF SMG Teacher and I have come up with a radical, outside the box idea for increasing student achievement at our school.  Given that our school scored straight F's on the State Report Card, we've got nowhere to go but up, right?

O.B.I.Y.T.C. is the name of our intervention plan and it basically consists of targeting specific skills and matching them with student deficiencies in the hope of making a positive impact on their achievement.  Call it what you will, it's really all about the test, although my prayer is that we'll be sensitive to the plethora of other needs (and often MORE important needs) in the lives of our students.

If today is any indication, I think it will help both of us be more aware of students who are struggling.  With one teacher teaching  while the other monitors, we have noticed student behaviors and indicators that have enabled us to address issues more efficiently.

Here's how our "big idea" got started...First, we drafted a strategic plan of action.  (I'll post it for any school nerds who may be interested the "gory" details).  Then we sought approval from the administrators by first garnering the support and endorsement of our Curriculum Facilitator.  With her thumbs-up, it was an easy sell. 

Our namesake, Sarah Moore Greene, celebrates her 101st birthday!

She's still got connections with the movers and shakers in TN education!

This is a picture of the weather on our "moving day!"

We were told to evacuate our Locker Room immediately!

This is the pathway into the building.

Here's where we like to fish after school...

Todd Howell is telling us that this would not be a good day to move 14 student desks into the building from the portable, but we did it anyway.

We had our ups and downs with the desks, but Mr. P. helped us out.

All moved in and Day 1 is underway!
Admittedly, both of us were nervous going into this. There were a lot of "what ifs" in the back of my mind, not the least of which was what if this alienates my partner from our grade level.  She's put a lot on the line for me and I don't want to leave her vulnerable to being hurt.

Our sweet, godly assistant, Ms. Sutton, shared her son's morning devotion with me.  "Cast they burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee.  He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."  Psalm 55:22  Each of us carried burdens.  God says to cast these burdens on Him so He can carry them for us.  In so doing, we avoid their adverse effects on us.  Ms. Solomon told me that she prayed for every negative remark to be cast down and stomped on under our feet and sent back down to hell where it came from!  What better source of encouragement can I get?!  These ladies ROCK my world!

Day 1 went relatively smoothly in spite of a mid-morning "Opera" assembly.  We had our usual interruptions...pull-outs, phone calls, early dismissals, and volunteers coming by to lend a hand.  Miss J, Megan, and Logan came to help and the kids.  We opted to revamp our Grade Level Interventions and go to one day per week.

My frustrations are minor.  I don't know where stuff is.  I feel like a guest in someone else's house although my BFF has done everything possible to make me feel welcome and comfortable.  It's just a matter of time before I catch on.  Our kids seem to be adjusting well.  We had no fights or major disruptions.  Just a little whining and negative attitudes.  Nothing major.  

As for our ambitious plans to hit SPIs in large group and drill him down in small groups? Well, we managed to hit context clues pretty well, but we didn't even TOUCH main idea.  We introduced Attributes in Math, and got in a little writing by having the kids assess the day from their perspective in their journals.  We'll see if we can make tomorrow even better than today!

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