Thursday, April 28, 2016

New Curriculum

Publishers of new curriculum from the
California Department of Education website
Next year, Palermo School (and so many others) will be adopting new Reading/Language Arts and English Language Development curriculum. I had the privilege of spending a whole day this week looking at the options and trying some things out. There were four publishers that have met all the necessary requirements for California's adoption process for our middle school. We looked at Collections, StudySync, SpringBoard, and Amplify (not pictured here). It seemed to me that there was only one possible choice. 

StudySync was the curriculum that grabbed the attention of all of the teachers and held it. I went in looking for a dynamic curriculum that would be exciting and relevant for students with a strong digital component. I wanted reading and writing and multimedia options to engage kids. I wanted units that interconnect literature, informational text, poetry, and drama--short passages and long reads. It is important for me that students be able to collaborate with one another and have many opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned. StudySync offers all of that and more.

Here's this from the StudySync webpage:

Teachers Can Support All Levels of Learners:
Simply and Effectively

Teacher Tools for Differentiation and Assessment
StudySync’s management tools put the teacher in control, allowing differentiated instruction based on students’ needs. Teachers can customize, assign, track, and review each student’s work, anywhere, anytime.

Easy Tracking of Students' Performance
Adaptive assessment tools allow teachers to easily track student progress and improvement. By having access to a complete body of a student’s work, teachers are able to give formative feedback and track growth of a student’s thinking over time.
Powerful Academic Supports
StudySync offers a supportive educational experience for a diverse student body. Teachers can access Tier 1 content for universal application for all students across disciplines, as well as Tier 2 and Tier 3 supports.
  • Audio Readings of All Texts, many with Audio Text Highlight
  • Closed Captioning of Video Lessons
  • Background-building Introductions and Video Previews to All Units and Texts
  • Annotation Tools to Aid in Reading and Writing Development
  • Concept, Academic, and Idiomatic Vocabulary and Grammar Support

The final decision has not yet been made, but there is really only one possibility, as far I as am concerned.

The following video made by Catlin Tucker is clear evidence to me that StudySync is a great option for us.
Reason #1- "Blasts" are one cool way to make learning fun!
Reason #2- Catlin Tucker is an awesome educator that I already follow on Twitter @Catlin_Tucker
Reason #3- Check out this information about eating crickets!! That's a weird coincidence, don't you think?

I am really rooting for StudySync to be adopted by our school for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade next year. 

What do you think?


Famous Person
Can you guess my famous person? Here are some clues. My famous person was born on February 12, 1934 in Monroe, Louisiana. He is also 82 right now. The college he went to was in San Francisco from (1953-1956). He got drafted in the first round and was 2nd pick in the NBA 1956 draft. Also the team that drafted him was the Boston Celtics. Next, he played from 1956-1969. The position he played was a center and his number was 6. As a player he won 11 championships, 5 MVP awards, 12 time NBA All Star, and 3 time NBA first team. After his playing career he became a coach and coached the Boston Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics, and the Sacramento Kings.
Takashi T.   

Question of the Week

I asked Hayley about her little baby cousin Kira! She replied, “She loves the trampoline and she likes dogs and she loves her mom! Her favorite color is pink.” On Kira’s free time she plays with Hayley and her trampoline. Kira also likes to wear her hair palm tree style. Kira likes fishies! Kira takes so many naps! Hayley loves Kira because she is chubby and she is super cute! Kira is only a year old and she has red hair and brown eyes. Kira always wants Hayley to pick her up all the time, but if someone else wants to pick her up, she will run. Go ask Hayley about Kira because she has many stories to tell about her!


  1. Takashi- I think I know who your famous person is now.

    Natalie- What is tree style mean? That is cool that Hayley's little cousin has a lot of fun at her home, and with Hayley.


  2. Takashi- I don't know who your famous person is.
    Natalie- I loved your story about Hayley's cousin Kira.

  3. Takashi- I know who your famous person is. :)

    Natalie- I really want to meet Kira know that I am Hayleys neighbor maybe I will meet her soon!

    Ms. Davis- I really enjoy your blog! It was a very smart idea. Thank you for making me a very hard working student! :)


  4. Takashi- I have no idea who your person.
    Natalie-sounds like hailey had fun with her cousin.

  5. Takashi your person is Bill Russell.

  6. Ms. Davis - while I have not seen StudySync in person, I have heard great things about it from several teachers. It does seem like it has all the components we are looking for in a new language arts curriculum. I watched the video by Catlin Tucker and I think the Blasts and Blast Backs are a new, innovative way for students to learn. I am looking forward to seeing it in action!

    Takashi - I am a big basketball fan so I know who your famous person is. Did you know that he won 11 championships in 13 NBA seasons? He holds the record for most championships won. He was also captain of the U.S. Olympic basketball team in 1956 and he won a gold medal. The NBA finals Most Valuable Player Trophy is named after him. That's pretty cool!

    Natalie - The stories about Hayley and her cousin Kira were fun to read. I'm sure Hayley will have lots more great stories to tell as the years pass.

    Where is 2 truths and a lie? I'm missing that!

    Ms. Farrar

  7. Takashi~ I think that your famous person is Bill Russel.
    Natalie~Totally sounds like Hailey had fun playing and hanging out with her cousin. I like playing and hanging out with my cousin but she is moving away so I really don't get to see her anymore.
    Mrs. Davis~ I know that this is nearly the end of the school year but, I will miss you so much even know I really haven't known you for that long, I will still have the remembrance of you being my awesome teacher.

    ~ Kylynn

  8. Takashi- I know this as a fact he is a G.O.A.T, it's Bill Russell

  9. StudySync is also my curriculum of choice. It offers engaging multimedia assignments to students and includes many academic supports! I am also excited that it integrates many different forms of genres into one unit instead of teaching each genre as a separate component.

    -Mrs. Brown

  10. Ms Davis the new curriculum sounds cool.
    Takashi, I do not know who your person is.
    Natalie, that sounds funny.
    -Kaylee J.

  11. Takashi- I think your person is Bill Russel. I'm not very sure.

    Natalie- I have a cousin like Hayley's. The only difference is that my cousin is a boy, his favorite color isn't pink, and he has brown hair. He does love his mom, trampoline, and being carried.

    Ms. Davis- I look forward to seeing the new curriculum the teachers choose. I hope it's a good one!


  12. Ms-Davis I look forward to seeing the new curriculum the teacher choose.

  13. Ms. Davis- I can't wait to see what you chose!
    Takashi- I don't even know who it is bu I will ask you later.

  14. Ms. Davis- I hope the new curriculum is fun!
    Takashi- I'm not sure who your famous person is.
    Natalie- Sounds like Hayley's cousin has a lot of fun.

  15. Ms.Davis- Cool I can't wait to see the new curriculum and I am excited about it!

    Takashi- Don't know who you're famous person is.(I will look it up)

    Natalie- Sounds like Hayley's cousin is fun to play with.



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