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The Power of High Expectations Deborah Parker, Ed.D. Principal – Erwin Montessori School Greensboro, North Carolina.

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Presentation on theme: "The Power of High Expectations Deborah Parker, Ed.D. Principal – Erwin Montessori School Greensboro, North Carolina."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Power of High Expectations Deborah Parker, Ed.D. Principal – Erwin Montessori School Greensboro, North Carolina

2 Sunset Park Elem. School Wilmington, NC Demographics ( ) 75% - African American 20% - White 5% - Other 85% - Free and Reduced Lunch Prices

3 Sunset Park Elementary At the close of the 1997 school year…….. 29% - proficient in writing 41% - overall proficiency (reading/math) “Low Performing School” What do you expect from THESE children? (Title 1, impoverished, children of color, ESL)

4 We can, whenever we chose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us….We already know more than we need to know how to accomplish this task. Ron Edmonds, 1979

5 End of Grade Test Proficiency Scores

6 Sunset Park Writing Test Scores

7 Volunteer Hours

8 PTA Members

9 Erwin Montessori End of Grade Test Scores

10 Erwin Montessori Science Scores

11 Erwin Montessori Writing Test Scores

12 Increase Expectations (yes, even for Title 1 children) “Up The Ante” do more and do it better increase rigor and relevance Differentiate Instruction

13 Horse Trainer Mabel, Sweet Mabel

14 Four Major “Up The Ante” Goals 1. Student Achievement 2. Safe, Positive and Orderly School Environment 3. Parent/Community Involvement 4. Empowering Teachers to Differentiate Instruction

15 1) “Up The Ante” Student Achievement 1. Lengthened the school day 2. After-school remediation 3. After-school enrichment 4. Differentiated instruction 5. Focus on literacy (90 minutes, BOB, BIC) 6. Professional development of staff (literacy, differentiation)

16 “Up the Ante” Student Achievement 7. Student Led Conferences 8. Established professional library (staff) 9. Implemented K-5 writing plan 10. Opened media center on Saturdays 11. Graphic Organizers (thinking maps) 12. Utilized looping 13. Increased services of AG teacher

17 “Up the Ante” Student Achievement 14. Expected all staff to tutor (cafeteria employees, custodians) 15. Provided suggestions to support staff (how to integrate reading) 16. Identified “Targeted Students” 17. Interviewed very carefully – (When life buries you, dig)

18 “Up the Ante” Student Achievement Always Before Testing 1. Used “Parker Power” to motivate 2. Students ate “Brain Food” - Protein- used to make neurotransmitters and improve mental performance (cheese) - Carbohydrate – primary sources of brain energy (raisins, grains, bananas) 3. Drank Water 4. Exercised

19 2) Safe, Positive, Orderly Environment 1. Discipline (?) 2. Teach, practice, re-teach expectations, procedures 3. Heavy emphasis on character ed. (announcements) 4. Classical music 5. Peer Mediation/ Conflict Resolution 6. Engaging, differentiated instruction

20 Safe, Positive, Orderly School Environment 7. Staff members made home visits 8. Staff members utilized “Whisper Technique” 9. WEBB Room 10. Parents In - Rather Than Students Out 11. Power Conferences 12. Staff members trained to de-escalate

21 Safe, Positive, Orderly School Environment 13. Changed duty schedule 14. Positive attribute for each weekday 15. Raised expectations for student’s and staff member’s appearance 16. Beautified the school campus

22 3) Parent/Community Volunteerism 1. True “Open Door” Policy 2. Parent Workshops and Parenting Classes (GED) 3. Media center open on Saturdays 4. School Business Partnerships

23 Parent/Community Volunteerism 5. PDS site with local university 6. Students adopted a senior citizen home 7. Students participated in service learning projects and benefits to help others 8. Students entered a variety of community oriented contests 9. Parents signed contracts to help 10. Positive media publicity

24 4. Empowering Teachers to Differentiate Instruction WHY DIFFERIENTIATE???? 9 Volunteers Please

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26 Differentiation in a nut shell……. Teachers should vary instructional approaches and modify the curriculum and presentation of information to learners rather than expecting learners to modify themselves to the curriculum

27 Differentiation Do surveys to find out what children’s interests are Gear some instruction around their interests When it comes to class work - give children some “must dos” and some choices

28 Avoid the temptation to be too wordy. In other words “don’t talk so much”. Children learn from observation, by doing and especially by listening/watching their peers. Highest form of learning is…… (Earl and Bubba ) Don’t do all the work. Never do for a child what he can do for himself, Remember we must make whatever we are teaching relevant to the child -- to what he or she already knows, sees, feels, and cares about. Try to tie the lesson into something that your child can already relate to -- either a personal hobby, interest, or a current event in your lives. Sort of the "that reminds me of a story" approach. Children learn best when the lesson is presented in a meaningful context, in which the lesson relates to their own world (internal or external) Empowerment Guidelines

29 9 Ways to Use Brain Research 9 Ways to Use Brain Research to Differentiate Instruction 1. Breath deeply, full inhale, full exhale 2. Music (classical, soft, jazz, typically music without words) 3. To help children remember to write their names on paper have them circle, square or star on it 4. Reciprocal teaching. “Walk and share” ketchup/mustard, fabulous/successful 5. During note taking; labeling and coloring both help brain to remember 6. Affirmations: when you get back to your seat, say “yes”, pat yourself on the back for taking out your work 7. Jingles, songs, commercials to review info 8. Listening games 9. A 2 minute brisk walk provides an immediate lift in mood (feel good chemicals in the brain are released (misbehaving child – mood changer) (Adapted from notes from the North Carolina Teaching Academy)

30 Empower with “Golden Rules” It’s not what you say, but how you say it….. Say…“ When you”, not “if you”… “For Example, “If you don’t stop talking, you won’t have recess”. “When you stop talking, you will have recess.” Say…. “You have a choice, you can either read the book or do your math problems. You decide”

31 Golden Rules Cont’d Say “next time”, not “don’t” (“Next time, please let me finish my sentence before you start talking” – rather than “Don’t interrupt me” or “Stop talking”) Check yourself – empowers self-management – don’t do for the child, let the child figure out what is missing using “check yourself” Our job is to teach a system, child’s job is to use it. Give lessons, practice 3 times (more if needed) then it’s up to the child to apply the lesson – if we let them figure out what is missing, the lesson is learned sooner and stronger than if we rescue them

32 If you are unsure what to say, lead with empathy: “Oh, how upsetting… (that your paper, lunch, coat is missing)” – “What are you going to do about it?” – gives ownership “You always have more choices than you think you have.” “I know you will be able to find a choice that will work for you.” “I know you can handle it”

33 My favorite for academics……………….. If you didn’t know the answer what would you think it would be. (Many times children will guess the correct answer) Is it really a guess??? I am so proud ____ you – Shows Ownership

34 General Guidelines For Working with Low Performing Children Praise them more (genuine, specific praise) Ask higher order thinking skills questions (HOTS) lesson plans Give more sustaining feedback Teach them how to work with partners/groups “High, Higher, Highest”

35 Correlates of Effective Schools 1. High Expectations 2. Clear and Focused Mission 3. Home School Connection 4. Instructional Leadership 5. Time on Task 6. Frequent Monitoring 7. Safe and Orderly Climate

36 No One Does This Work For Awards But……………………………

37 Awards and Honors Sunset Park Elementary School Sunset Park Model School of Improvement (2000) International Center for Leadership in Education (Research Study of Sunset Park School, (“Schools of High Poverty, High Success”) National Blue Ribbon Schools Finalist (2000) New Hanover County Principal of the Year and Southeastern North Carolina Principal of the Year (2000) National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) National Distinguish Principal for NC (2001 )

38 Awards and Honors Erwin Montessori Excellence in Education Award – 15 Most Improved Schools, GCS Met AYP each year between North Carolina – School of Distinction Magnet Schools of America – Magnet School of Excellence Award – 2009 (highest honor achievable) Magnet Principal of the Year – Guilford County Schools – 2009 Piedmont Triad Association – “NC Signature School” North Carolina Honor School of Excellence – 2009 North Carolina School of Distinction – 2010 Magnet Schools of America Merit Award

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