May 2018

Summer 2018 Bloomfield Teacher Academy -

Bloomfield's Teacher Academy is designed to allow motivated teachers to share their expertise and energy with their peers in after-school, weekend, or summer courses that improve teaching, pedagogy, familiarity with software, and classroom practices to support effective learning. It is only open to Bloomfield teachers and staff. For the summer -

  • Teachers can propose courses that they wish to offer at this site. Click 'New' or 'New Item' and enter the required information. Instructors are responsible for securing the room, except at the HS. Teachers planning to offer their course at the HS should write 'HS-TBD' in the field for 'Room' and note any special tech needs that you have, such as document camera, etc. The HS will assign rooms and let you know the location, as soon as possible. At all the other schools, instructors should reserve the room through the Office.
    1. Discuss your proposal with your supervisor or principal and submit his or her name on the course proposal. (You can return to complete your course proposal anytime up to the deadline.)
    2. Courses should be offered within the first two weeks of July (7/9 to 7/20) or the final two weeks of August (8/20 to 8/31).
    3. Teachers offering courses at the MS and elementary schools should reserve a room through the school office; teachers offering a course at the HS should note 'HS-TBD' on the room in the course proposal. The HS will assign a room, before the summer. Teachers offering classes at the HS should notify Angela Brisini in the HS Library of any special equipment needs. Be ready to notify people where in the HS the class will be held. Instructors hoping to teach a course in a room of the BOE Admin Building should reserve the room with Carolyn Caggiano, Secretary to the Assistant Superintendent.
    4. Since not every course proposal can necessarily be approved, courses should be rigorous, related to Bloomfield curricula, and designed to improve instruction. Topics of special emphasis for next year are as follows:
      1. Items in approved curricula (e.g., Readers/Writers Workshop);
      2. Software to be added or renewed next year, such as Nearpod, Discovery Streaming, DEFINED STEM, Google, etc;
      3. Courses emphasizing cross-curricular, interdepartmental topics and projects.
      4. Another special priority is the audience of HS teachers, since all HS students will be involved in the 1:1 next year.
  • The deadline for course proposal submission is Thursday, May 24.
  • There will be two Registration periods for the Summer.
    • Registrations will open on Saturday, May 26. and close on Tuesday, June 12, in time for submission to the BOE on Tuesday, June 19, for the courses offered in July (from 7/9 to 7/20). Teachers can also register at that time for the August courses (8/20-8/31).
    • The second registration period will be from Tuesday, July 23 to Tuesday, August 14, for the courses that could begin on August 20, in time for the Board submission on Tuesday, August 21.
    • Instructors and registrants need, however, to be aware that courses still have the minimum enrollment level of at least four (4). So if a course by the session deadline does not have that many registrants, it will not be offered.
    • If you sign-up for a class that is cancelled due to under enrollment, you will be notified, but you will not have the opportunity to select another course. You should pay attention to the enrollments for your class on the 'Verified Registration' page.
  • Teachers could register for up to five (5) courses for the summer. In the event of oversubscription to one or more courses, special consideration would be given to those who had not previously taken the course or a closely related topic (i.e., teachers should not have to take three or four courses on Google Docs, or Classroom, for example).

Some New 'Tech' Things To Check Out -

  • As of spring 2018, the District has Ricoh Savin Printers. Teachers, staff and students in grades 5-12 have special 'User ID's' that can be used to log into the Ricoh devices to copy, scan, and print pages sent from computers to the printers. Each school library has a color printer. Instructions are included in this FAQ (requires login). Questions or problems should be submitted to the Tech Spiceworks Help Desk. (Note for the future: The Tech Department is looking into redesigning the faculty/staff ID badges and including a bar code that could be used to log into the Ricoh copiers, rather than the more expensive 'fobs' that have to be attached to the back of badges. At present, staff can use either a 'fob' or their user-id. Students scan their ID badges, or enter their own user-id's.)
  • You can send emails to groups of users, such as 'Directors' or 'Principals' or 'Nurses' or 'Media Specialists.' These groups are managed centrally on the network as new accounts are created and update automatically in Google. To see a partial list of groups and view their members, you can log into a laptop or PC, go to the T: drive, go to T:\Universal\Groups. Double-click on any group to view its members. Send email to the group members by typing the group name. Submit a Tech Spiceworks Help to add or remove someone from a group. (Note: Individual users can have their own groups in GMail that are not automatically updated. You can view your own personal groups in the Groups app in Google.)

New This Summer 2018-

  • The planned summer upgrade to PowerSchool version 12 should address some long-standing requests from teachers. Specifically-
    • Teachers can enter 'Preferred Class Names' in the Gradebook so that their dropdown of classes is more differentiated than at present;
    • Teachers can copy Traditional Grade Setups (with weights for quizzes, tests, etc.) in Gradebook from one course to another (within the same Gradebook);
    • Teachers can import grades into the Gradebook from a spreadsheet.
    • Essentially, many of the features that were included on the old, Java-based Gradebook are finally in the new, html-based Gradebook. There are also some new features for managing student contact information. Still not available in the Gradebook is the ability to move student grades and scores from one class to another.

Technology Do's & Do Not's For Classroom Teachers Closing Up For the Summer

Do's

  1. Report via the Tech Help Desk (Spiceworks) any tech-related work that should be done over the summer (e.g., stability of SmartBoard or LCD projector, performance of classroom computers and peripheral equipment, such as document camera). NEW EQUIPMENT REQUESTS SHOULD BE SUBMITTED THROUGH YOUR PRINCIPAL OR SUPERVISOR. Use the Category "zSummer Work" in Spiceworks (it is at the bottom of the list).
  2. Faculty laptops and Chromebooks that need work should be reported via the Spiceworks system, and turned over to the school Librarian for the summer. Note in your Spiceworks ticket that you have turned-in your computer to the Librarian.
  3. Leave SmartBoards, computers, etc., hooked-up, attached to their devices, plugged in and ready to go.
  4. Secure but make accessible/available in your desk, in the classroom any and all remotes, pens for the SmartBoard or LCD, and related equipment, such as remote keyboards, mice and document cameras.

Do Not's

  1. Do NOT hide away or lock away any remotes, pens, or peripheral devices. The technicians and summer workers HAVE to be able to access the equipment. Leave it someplace where they can get to it.
  2. Do NOT disassemble or unplug any classroom tech equipment. The techs have to be able to check the equipment.
  3. If your laptop or Chromebook needs work (e.g., re-imaging, repair), do NOT take it with you over the summer. Leave it with the Librarian, per the above.

What Bloomfield Teachers Do Well & ...

In 2017-2018, using the 'Bloomfield Model,' there were 1,424 observations. Lots of work by everyone. Most of the observations (1,214) were under the 'Teacher' rubric, with its 20+ indicators over four Domains (1-Preparation, 2-Instruction, 3-Environment, & 4-Professionalism). The five indicators with the highest averages were as follows -

2H, Models effective communication, 3.72-3.77

3B, Creates a safe learning enviornment, 3.80-3.85

3E, Maintains a well-organized space, 3.79-3.84

4A, Interacts with students and families, 3.67-3.72

4D, Demonstrates professional accountability, 3.76-3.81.

The indicators with the lowest range of returns were -

1B, Evaluates and selects resources that ensure engagement with the curriculum, 3.36-3.43

1F, Plans for cross-content connections, 3.13-3.20

2B, Uses tools of inquiry that encourage critical thinking and problem solving, 3.25-3.32

2F, Uses a variety of questioning techniques to promote students’ higher order thinking skills, 3.16-3.22

2I, Assumes different roles in the instructional process to accommodate content, purpose, and learner needs, 3.32-3.39

Here is a graph of the indicators and 95% confidence interval for the Teacher Rubric, with the best returns circled in green, and the lowest in red.

Arguably, technology is a key tool for improving the lower scored indicators. Internet tools and research are almost by definition at least potentially cross-content and open to connections with other disciplines. Moreover, teachers can design online, digital projects and assignments that accommodate student needs and interests. Consider using Teacher Academy courses to expand your curricular-based materials that are cross-content and inter-disciplinary.

Important Tech Information

Really, Read This

    • Next year, K-8 students will only be allowed to download and run the Google apps and extensions on this list. IF YOU UTILIZE AN APP OR EXTENSION IN YOUR TEACHING NOT ON THIS LIST, PLEASE ADD IT ASAP. Otherwise, the app or extension will not be available to your students next year, until you submit a Tech Help Desk ticket and ask that it be added. (Clarification: K-8 teachers MUST enter the app/extension name on the list, if they wish their students to have access next year; HS teachers are encouraged to enter their apps/extensions so that we can have a continuity of instruction.)
    • Tech Budget 2018-19 Highlights: Chromebooks for all 7th-12th graders; additional cart of Chromebooks for all elementary schools; additional cart of Windows laptops for elementary schools; there will be no summer installation of new Epson Interactive LCD's, but money will be budgeted to replace irreparable or the oldest SmartBoards in the fall/spring; this summer, Chromebooks will be evaluated for repair of warranty damage, replacement of battery when needed and possible, clean-up of all Windows devices; new computer labs at the HS for Fine Arts and STEM (Engineering)
    • As of April 2017, thanks to the efforts of the HS Library, every staff and student of Bloomfield have access to the digital resources of the NY Times, but the access must be renewed each year. Follow the directions on this page to renew your current subscription, or create your account. With this account, you not only have UNLIMITED access to the digital edition of the newspaper, but access to a rich variety of resources, including the archive of all editions of the newspaper from the 1880's onward. Incredibly rich historical resource -- even just to look at the advertisements from one hundred years ago!
    • Next year, it is hoped that the Middle School will successfully complete the involved process to become certified as 'Future Ready' and become a 'Future Ready School' (FRS). New Jersey DOE has adopted FRS certification as a worthwhile endeavor to preparing schools to teach students 21st century skills in the most efficient manner. The certification process involves submitting evidence and documentation for over 40 indicators, arranged in three domains: Leadership, Education and Classroom Practice, and Technological Readiness and Infrastructure. Mrs. Vayda-Manzo has already begun to form a school committee and plan activities. The goal of this process is not simply to win an award, but to spur the school and the District to firm up its direction as a tech-ready, 21st century school. The process is supposed to spur us as a District to excellence. It is not all about technology. But technology is infused throughout the process. If the exercise, under the Middle School's leadership, proves successful in 2018-2019, it is hoped tha the High School would complete the process in 2019-2020, and the elementary schools in the subsequent years.
    • NEW district-wide or cross-grade, inter-departmental software for next year and the target audiences, evaluation plans-
GIZMOS- HS Science

Nearpod-Nearpod gives students opportunities for interaction and immediate feedback in a 1:1 environment.  It can be used to flip classrooms and pace slide presentations to student learning.  There are also many features that enhance presentations and make them more exciting.  With many educators taking BTA classes at BMS and BHS, we have nearly 100-teachers at those levels using the technology in their classrooms.  Interested teachers get access to a free version on the website; however, the district purchased additional features that you can access after training in the tech.  We encourage more teachers to take a summer BTA class, engage with Nearpod, and provide us feedback on its efficacy in our classrooms.

RAZ Plus- Teachers in grades K-3, and support classrooms (ex. ELL, intervention) will now have subscriptions to Raz-Kids and Reading A-Z.  Licenses will be provide per classroom.  Below is a brief description of the features of each product. Training will be provided in the fall.
Raz-Kids is an online digital reading program that allows teachers to set individual reading levels for students. Students can read and listen to fiction and nonfiction as well as record reading to practice fluency. They are motivated by teacher feedback and rewards received by completing each book and comprehension quiz.  Teachers can track progress and skills.  Reading A-Z provides a variety of projectable and printable texts.
    • CURRENT software to be renewed for next year and evaluation plans ----
Renaissance and STAR Assessments for Reading and Math will PROBABLY be renewed for all schools and utilized for benchmarking and placements and screening and 'Grade Level Progress';
Study Island from Edmentum will be renewed for only Berkeley, Carteret, and Demarest, for evaluation before it is renewed again;
Discovery Streaming Video Service will be renewed for all schools, but be especially evaluated for use by Demarest school before it is renewed again;
NEWSELA Pro will be renewed for all schools for continued use in all schools for grade appropriate non-fiction and current events;
BrainPop, BrainPop, Jr., BrainPop Espanol
Defined STEM, Science A to Z