March 27, 2008

Selection Policy Debrief

Posted in Assignments tagged , , at 8:34 am by maf

I finished grading all of your Selection policies.

They turned out well, several extremely so. This time, two sets of eyes evaluated each policy. I read every word myself, as one of those pairs of eyes. Admittedly, in some places I worked fast. Overall I was able to focus on important spots and gave them due attention. Thanks to Beth and Stephanie for reviewing half each and helping me to get a running start on each one.

A trouble spot for several teams was this requirement: “Proactive steps are taken to prevent censorship and self-censorship.” In the Order, this requirement shows up again. So, I thought I would provide a few pointers:

  • The big idea is to be proactive as well as reactive. The Reconsideration procedure helps you with the reactive portion.
  • In a Media Committee meeting, discuss the difficulty of self-censorship and ask them to help detect signs of bias.
  • Use selection tools to select for materials in topic areas that seem edgy, difficult, or prone to challenge.
  • List as one of your selection principles that you and the committee will formally reflect upon the possibility of self-censorship on an annual basis.

These are just several ideas. Any one would satisfy the requirement.

Now, for your reading pleasure, here is an incomplete list of Target topics from your projects. It’s incomplete because I didn’t always remember to jot these down as I went along. If shared, you might be able to use the work of others (with permission!) as you formulate orders in the future.

  • hilo leisure reading for upper elementary EIP students
  • science-related biographies aligned with GPS
  • chapter book fiction
  • graphic novels (high school)
  • audiobooks
  • science curriculum support
  • social studies curriculum support
  • books of interest to boys
  • diversity materials to reflect demographic changes: books and magazines
  • contest-related books: HRRB, Reader’s Rally, Battle of the Books
  • professional journal subscriptions focusing on GPS changes
  • Spanish titles, Spanish/English dual language titles
  • literature circle program titles, 3rd grade

Here’s a random item: principle vs. principal. It’s a good idea to learn which is which.

Scores will be posted in WebCT by Saturday. See you at GUC!

March 24, 2008

After-Easter Update

Posted in Assignments, Updates tagged , , , , at 5:43 am by maf

I apologize for a week-long silence – I’ve been buried in an avalanche of evaluative reading on several fronts.  Part of this reading avalanche has been the Selection Policies.  Progress has been made, but I still have a long way to go.

Something I have accomplished: the Order Tags are now done. As you finish up your Order Draft this week, don’t be concerned with these too much, if at all – but I’m happy to have these ready for you.

Now to close with some Q&As regarding the Drafts:

Q: What does “Provide an active link to the appropriate policies” mean?

A: You may either reference your Selection Criteria (especially) and any other parts of the Selection Policy that come into play directly, and/or provide a web link to where that policy might be found (like on your assignment page). This is an expectation for the Order, not necessarily for the Draft.

Q: Procedures and Processing Checklist:  Are both of these the same thing?  Do we need to discuss procedures in the top of the document when we are going to document them with the Processing Checklist near the end?   

A: The Processing Checklist should become a genuine tool you can use in future.  It will likely reflect most of the procedures that I expect to see applied in this whole project.
I don’t believe this is of much concern in this draft, since components are mostly not expected to be complete.  For the Order, we will take them wherever we find them. I’m not expecting to see “extra'” sections to explain procedures. Most will appear in your Processing Checklist or elsewhere.

Q:  “New materials promoted”:  Could this appear only in the Procedures section and in the presentation to the Media Committee or do we need to discuss them up top too?

A: This is an important procedure to include, and it can appear on your Checklist or elsewhere.

March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Posted in Updates at 7:12 am by maf

You never can tell about our weather.  Our last meeting (March 8), we had snow flurries.  One week later at GUC (my other classes met), we had tornado warnings and 80 degrees.  Amazing, really.

Try not to get pinched today.

Your Selection Policies successfully switched hands on Saturday, after reviews from Beth and Stephanie (thanks to them both!).  I will take the next 2 weeks to gradually work through them, with my target completion date of March 29.

In the meantime, here’s a reminder that we do NOT have class this coming Saturday – enjoy the day. I plan to!  This will be my first Saturday of no work commitment since Jan 5. (No need to feel sorry for me – I get my time off, you’d better believe it – but there’s something wonderful about a Saturday off.)

Make sure to check out the “holiday decorations” at Google.  And here’s a new goody from them:

Google Sky – read about it at Lifehacker here.

No, I still don’t own stock in Google (wish I could afford it!) but I continually admire their work.  We SLMS types should take full advantage of the wonderful free tools out there.

If you have questions about your Order Draft, do not hesitate to send them!  Have a nice week.

March 11, 2008

The Plan for Grading Selection Policies

Posted in Updates at 12:13 pm by maf

Although I missed spending the majority of the day with the group of you Saturday, it was really quite nice to interact with so many of you one-on-one. The snowflakes were pretty (and luckily didn’t cause problems). I thank Beth and Stephanie for doing such a great job in leading the class all day, and I misspoke terribly when I said the word “substitute.” That was a brain glitch, and I apologize.

We will try our best to reschedule Marc McMullen. He did, in fact, have an emergency that prevented his coming.

As for the Selection Policies, here’s the plan: Beth and Stephanie are performing Round 1 evaluation this week. On Saturday, I will take them and work with them for two weeks, fully expecting to have finished them by March 29. Yes, this is a three week interval, longer than I like, but you have moved on into new territory work-wise and I suspect that it doesn’t matter much if I take an extra week.

I will keep updating you on things and in the meantime enjoy your spring break (if you’re having one), St. Patrick’s Day, and also all bunny-related events.

March 6, 2008

News for March 8 class

Posted in Assignments, Updates tagged at 7:15 am by maf

It’s funny how a four-day trip can set you back in terms of workload!

My trip to Sapelo was great. Read about it here.

I’m guessing that I may receive some emails and phone calls as you finish up your Selection Policies. Here’s one Q&A that might explain a little more about the tags:

Q: I’m confused about the Reflection tag. There seem to be two: one in the list of elements at the top of the list, and then another under Connections at the bottom. Help!

A: I can see why this is confusing, now that I step back and look at the Tag List. If I have time, I’ll clarify it, but here’s the explanation:

“Connections” has nothing to do with the Reflection. The context for Connections is on the rubric, line 4.3. I’ll admit, it makes no sense unless you look at the rubric – I did that by design. There is only one Reflection. It’s listed up top of the Tag List as a component. The last tags are to be included in the reflection. So, you can just highlight your Reflection heading and that’s sufficient for that tag. Then, include the last three tags in the reflection itself.

I hope this helps. This is an excellent reminder that, despite great care in constructing these things, there’s always room for ambiguity and confusion – and only through your questions do these come to light.

I am home most of today and happy to take any questions. Tomorrow I travel to Athens and you’re welcome to reach me via cell.

On Saturday, Beth and Stephanie are in charge of the day while I do advising. I’ll be happy to talk to any person (my advisee or not) that wants a one-on-one consultation. Reminder: the Advising Notes page is your best friend at registration time (begins March 28).