<![CDATA[Ms. Alvarado's Digital Portfolio - Culture]]>Wed, 27 Jan 2016 10:59:50 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Pillar 5, Best School in the Universe]]>Sun, 01 Mar 2015 09:23:31 GMThttp://rvlearns.weebly.com/culture/pillar-5-best-school-in-the-universe
<![CDATA[Pillar 4- It's Never Too Late To Learn]]>Thu, 26 Feb 2015 08:00:44 GMThttp://rvlearns.weebly.com/culture/pillar-4-its-never-too-late-to-learn
Is failure a real and regularly option and experience for kids at your school?
At my school site, students are exposed to design thinking. Design thinking allows students to explore through the process of inquire, ideation, implementation, and repeat the process if the desired goal did not answer the essential questions. When students fail in their design and repeat the process of design thinking, this allows students with empowerment and accountability of their own learning. In addition, inquiry learning allows students to ask questions, reflect on their mistakes and insights. "Through the use of collaborative learning, students can explore a concept through discussions and interactions and (at times) able to fail. Through failure, students can learn from their mistakes, which will prevent them from occurring their own errors." Based on past semester's reading on "A New Culture of Learning," the author states how failure is a part of learning. As a result, students are able to fully engaged and persevere towards a real world essential question. 
Through the implementation of design thinking students are able to:
be imagination and analytical thinking, participate in constructive thinking over ongoing learning, make connections to develop creative learning experiences, and promotes cooperation and empathetic learning. 

What conditions exist that make it to late to learn and reach competency in your school? Can you give an example?
Some conditions that exist and foster "too late to learn" environment at our school site "time crunch" during report card periods when district benchmarks and learning tasks must be administered. Grading and limited time to schedule re-assessment of students skills. 

What would you do, if anything,  to introduce/enhance  “never too late to learn” structures in you school if you were the school leader?
Learning occurs in "new situations, they need time to recognize patterns, opportunities to use metacognitive thinking, experiences with success, and opportunities to apply what they have learned in new situations (Bransford et al., 2000)." Therefore, competencies can serve as a progress-monitoring tool that triggers tier 2 (or tier 3) supplemental and intensive interventions in an RTI model. I am the school wide Read 180 instructor and a participant for the Indian Tutoring Program, which allows students to have directed small group instruction to ensure students have a  level of competency in English language. Riverview Language academy is a Spanish Immersion school, so students need to have the opportunity to reach competency in their primary language as well. Students in all grade levels should have the option for learning. For example, Scholastic Read 180 and System 45 is allocated for grades 4 and 5, which is an injustice for students in grad 2 and 3. Overall, allowing students the appropriate structures for learnings because people learn through a process were a purpose is established, scaffold instruction, and provide an opportunity were learner can participate in group work to clarify comprehensible input. Through the direct small group, these children are exposed to "never to late to learn" structure and have the scaffolds in place to ensure they can be successful in their home classroom. 

What can you do in your present position to create “never to late to learn” structures into your current practice and those of your peers?  Are those things in your sphere of influence?
In my sphere of influence, as a leader of education, I would share the structural ways to form a "never to late to learn" environment through collaboration, which allows educators to be proactive and share resources and opportunities to be reflective on their ow practice to best suit students needs. In addition, through the sphere of influence, educational leaders can have an open dialogue about student learnings based on inquiry learning or the gradual release of responsibility model, and homework assignment for independent practice to master skills taught in class. At the school site, through reflective open discussion, we know that we continue to foster a "never to late to learn" environment for students. 
My commitment to increase learning opportunities:
  • Ensure to celebrate "failure" and "successes"  of students learnings 
  • Support the delivery of high-quality instruction based on Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR model) to ensure students acquire cognitive responsibility to gain further comprehensible input. 
  • Inquiry or problem-based learning that provides students opportunities to ask questions and reflect on the content area 
  • Allow opportunities for reflective conversations with teachers about student learning
  • Provide rigorous opportunities by means were students are challenged, but not frustrated to the point of giving up.

Fisher, Douglas; Frey, Nancy; Authors, Ian Pumpian (2012-04-27). How to Create a Culture of Achievement in Your School and Classroom (Professional Development) (Kindle Locations 1582-1583). Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Kindle Edition. 

<![CDATA[Reflection Pillar 3 - Choice Words]]>Wed, 18 Feb 2015 04:27:20 GMThttp://rvlearns.weebly.com/culture/reflection-pillar-3-choice-words
Words can inspire. And words can destroy. Choose yours well.  
- Robin Sharma
How aware are you and your colleagues of the impact our choice of words have on developing students’ agency and identity? Can you give examples?
I belief that the impact of choice of words develops the identity of students in a positive or a negative aspect based on experiences of encouragement or discouragement. For instance, as a young child, my third grade teacher would scold me during math lessons and made me believe that I was not in math in comparison to other students in the class. My perception of my own identify changed in middle school because I had a growth mindset, in which, I was open to new possibilities and opportunities. Thus, allowing me to have aspirations to become a confident educator someday. By keeping the end in mind through positive choice words, I was able to become confident in my math abilities. As an educator, I am aware through personal experience how an individuals' choice words can help develop students' agency and identity. As a result, I encourage all my students, especially my female students, that math is an easy concept because I was told otherwise as a child. 
Commit to 5 things you are willing to do this semester that will make your school choose words wisely?
1. Continue to support and demonstrate the 7 Habits to foster positive relationships in the school during weekly professional development for certificated staff 

2. Attempt to provide a professional development for classified staff on language usage on 7 Habits to increase adult-student interactions

3. Increase classroom praise and affirmations to build students' identity 

4. Continue to demonstrate proximity to show students to foster a community

5.  Empower students though redirection instead of coercion (pg. 77)
Language "creates realities" for purpose, pride and power
What role does school play in building students’ agency and identity?
Schools play a crucial role in building students' identities and realities. Each child spends approximately six hours each day. That's a given 30 hours per week, therefore, a school plays an enormous role on student's development of their own self. To most students, the school environment is the place a child spends most of his/her time. As a result, 
What would you do, if anything, to make using choice words a more conscious and accountable school wide practice if you were the school leader?
As a school leader, I would share Denton (2007) statement on how language has three goals as teachers: "1) help students develop self-control, 2) build community, and foster academic skills and knowledge" (pg. 77). As a result, language can be a gateway into a positive relationship and foster academic achievement. By thinking about "the end in mind", can facilitate the important role that words/language have on children. We all have the same end in mind, which is to foster leaders for the 21st century. This common mission should make staff members accountable for their own practices inside and outside the classroom. 
What could you do, if anything, to make the use of choice words a more conscious and accountable personal practice as well as one embraced by others on your site? Are those things within your sphere of influence?
Based on Kagan Cooperative Learning methods, a practice that I would encourage and embrace collaboration is a practice called 'accountable talk' that is utilized in my classroom. Through the language frames on figure 4.1 on page 88, the practice can encourage courage and respect, which is significantly aligned to Habit 4, Think Win-Win. The habit fosters the ability to speak respectfully about a topic and be able to be considerate to listen to other's ideas respectfully. 
Kagan Cooperative Learning Mat
During IDEAS 2.0, educators have set norms during collaborations, as a result, our time is efficient. My sphere of influence includes my team for IDEAS 2.0 from other fourth grade teachers in Santee and my amazing grade level partner, Cristal Herrera. Also, the practice of the norms have lead to habits of maturity- help them express themselves and recognize in a positive and encouraging relationship between each other. 

Fisher, D., Frey, N., & Pumpian. I. (2012). How to Create a Culture of Achievement In Your Schools and Classrooms. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
<![CDATA[Reflection Pillar 2 - Do No Harm]]>Wed, 11 Feb 2015 03:18:16 GMThttp://rvlearns.weebly.com/culture/reflection-pillar-2-do-no-harm When it comes to the concept of Do No Harm, I believe my actions affects others, so implementing this with students to create a safe environment in the class, school, and community. Students be accountable for their actions. Furthermore, the restorative practice develops problem solvers and empathetic individuals by facilitating Habit 5, Seek first to understand, then be understood.  

Future sphere of influence, as the school leader, how would my beliefs be reflected in discipline policies and practices? 
As a school leader, my beliefs focuses that each child is a leader, therefore, they have a voice and I allow students to talk about their actions and how they affect on people they care about. In addition, I have implemented various behavior intervention plans (BIPs) for SSTs and IEPs to enhance positive behaviors and diminish negative behaviors. All students can participate in a classroom with prompts and cues. Last year, I had three self-monitoring behavior chart and this chart empowered students about their own behavior. Through consistency and praise, my students were able to participate and learn in my classroom. 

Future sphere of influence, as the school leader, how would my beliefs be reflected in program practices and initiatives?
My beliefs reflect on the program practices and initiatives are similar because I allow students to explain themselves and why they felt the need to misbehave. Although, it is time consuming, my students must understand that their actions have a consequence, either a positive or negative consequence. 

Future sphere of influence, as the school leader, how would my beliefs be reflected in our professional development as a community of learners?

Antecedent, Behavior and Consequence (ABC) helps professionals to assess the function of behaviors. After the analysis of the ABC data, educators can develop a plan to best suit the child's needs. My beliefs of BSP and positive reinforcements can foster the RV community of learners on our professional development by sharing my resources based on Special Education Specialist Credential. In addition, implement the new paradigm of restorative practice to understand why their student is behaving a certain way. The restorative practice allows students to create their own solutions and develop empathy. 

Is the concept of teaching students to “first do no harm” integrated into the culture of your school (or workplace)?
Yes, "first do no harm" is integrated into Riverview School culture. For instance,  students are able to speak about the incident and use a 7 Habits behavior management chart. The chart allowed students to reflect on how the other student felt and come up with a plan if the problem occurs again, and what they could have dealt with the situation differently. The behavior management chart embedded the 7 Habits and restorative practice. 

 How does your answer to the previous prompt sit with you? I practice the 7 Habits each day and would like to be more conscious of the "teach-able moments" in were I can reinforce positive behavior. 

Current sphere of influence: Commit to 5 things you are willing to do this semester that will make your school a more positive restorative place:
1. Drop the labels of bully and victim in the school. 
2.  Ask the following questions:
What happened?
What were you thinking during the incident?
How did you feel? Feelings now?
who else has been affected?
What do you need to to fix this?
3. Create a circle time and ask each child "What is important to you?" to develop a safe environment in the classroom. 
4. Be consistent and acknowledge students for their positive efforts. 
5. Have students be accountable for their actions in class and school. 


Fisher, D., Frey, N., & Pumpian. I. (2012). How to Create a Culture of Achievement In Your Schools and Classrooms. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
<![CDATA[Reflection Pillar 1, Welcome]]>Tue, 10 Feb 2015 02:36:32 GMThttp://rvlearns.weebly.com/culture/reflection-pillar-1-welcomePicture

How is the challenge of making stakeholders feel welcome to your school connected to your school mission?
School Mission: Cultivate an awareness and respect for other cultures, and empower future leaders of a global society.
As a result, Riverview acknowledges all stakeholders. We welcome parents, community members and other schools interested in learning about our language acquisition programs. Each month, the school has visitors (parents, educators, district leaders, etc) and participate in a school tour lead by 4th and 5th grade students, who have the role of Ambassadors. Currently, I have three students in my class that take pride in sharing our school culture and mission with stakeholders. So, I belief, our school has allowed stakeholders to feel welcomed and acknowledged.

What did you do to assess which stakeholder group (or subgroup) could be more effectively welcomed? And what did you find? 
Based on my observations and due to our busy schedules, students teachers seem to be the subgroup that could benefit from explicit welcoming. They are a new addition to the RV family and should have continuous acknowledgement for their daily efforts in the classroom. We share a common vision and focus on the needs of our students, so by extending our efforts could make the subgroup feel confident to network and ask questions outside their masters teacher's classroom. During my lunch break, I run into some students teachers, who stay quiet and I initiate the conversation with them, so they feel able to share their thoughts and ideas. As a result, everyone (classified and certificated staff) should welcome student teachers because they dedicatee their hard work to serve the needs of our RV students. 

Future Sphere of Influence: What would you do to improve welcoming this group if you were the school leader?
In order to ensure student teachers feel welcomed daily, to remind certificated and classified staff members to spark a brief conversation with students teachers by asking how their day has been throughout the school day. The conversation can lead possible interest employment within the school. In addition, some teachers could ask about their learning on NGSS or CCSS to share further ideas and expand with the changes in education. 

Current Sphere of Influence: What can you do in your present position to enhance welcoming these stakeholders?
I could encourage some teachers could ask about their learning on NGSS or CCSS to share further ideas and expand with the changes in education. I eat lunch each day inside the teachers lounge and lead a conversation, so I need to extend myself to other students teachers, not only the ones in fourth and fifth grade. I will continue to say good morning or good afternoon to the subgroup and model they way to other educators on campus. 

Current Sphere of Influence: Five Actions to make Riverview Language Academy a more welcoming environment

  1.  I will continue to connect with students from each of the grade levels and share with them about being a positive leader at Riverview Language Academy.
  2.  I will connect more with my colleagues from sister school at Winter Gardens to feel the unity of enhancing student's engagement to promote learning based on the 7 Habits. 
  3.  I will continue to communicate and create meaningful connections with all colleagues from Mandarin Team, Lighthouse Team, Learning Headquarter Team, and all educators. 
  4.  I will make an effort to connect with my administration and develop a PD to empower all educators on technology or teaching practices.  
  5.  I will acknowledge and communicate with parents who continue to share our school's mission. 

Fisher, D., Frey, N., & Pumpian. I. (2012). How to Create a Culture of Achievement In Your Schools and Classrooms. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.