Sunday, April 12, 2015

Welcome Back - Week of 4/13/15

I hope everyone had a great spring break!  The weather wasn't the greatest but the time off was well deserved!  

Our spring sports teams have gotten off to an amazing start.  As the weather final feels like spring, consider sticking around after school and catching a game/meet/match and cheer on your students. They know when your their and they really appreciate it.  
*On a side note related to spring sports, we will not be having a spring pep rally this year.  The Student Councils officers, advisor and I have been talking about pep rallies in general and changes that we think need to be made.  More on this to come.  

As we prepared to move into the world of Google Apps for Education, I have put together five workshops to help with the transition.   Each one of the sessions will have three different time slots for you to attend. These sessions are all optional, but I believe will be very helpful. See link for more details.  
Google Apps PD Series 

The next six weeks are going to be extremely busy with EOY PARCC (4/28, 4/29, 4/30), AP exams (5/4 - 5/15) and the EOY Biology Exam (5/27 & 5/28). Work will kick into high gear on the 15-16 master schedule.  We have the Sticks and Stones Presentation for the 9th graders coming up on 4/21.   This list could go on and on, so I will post all important dates for the remainder of the year so we all can try to stay organized.

Lets finish strong and be the best for our students each and everyday!  #Ownit

PD Corner: Google Apps for Education - Professional Development Series

Google Apps for Education - Professional Development Series 

Link to Flyer:

The link and image below was created using a site called Smore.  

Friday, March 20, 2015

WHS Staff News - Week of 3/23

Thank You - PARCC is officially over..... for now.  

In a previous post I thanked you for all you did to make testing go so smoothly and I just wanted to say it again.  This was not easy.  At times, it was stressful for many of us but we got through it!  We learned things along the way and will be making a few changes which we know will make things easier for everyone.  

For the EOY PARCC test we are planning on administering the test in three days.  The specific dates will be set by next week, but we are trying to get this done with the least amount of disruption.  

MP 3
Marking Period 3 ends on Thursday, April 2.  Grading opens on April 2 and will close on April 15.   We are all busy, but don't forget to find time to make phone calls and keep parents informed.  Keep your grade books up-to-date.  

Sean Fisher Memorial Foundation - Free Heart Screening @ WHS
Next week we will be starting the heart screening for the freshmen class.  This will be the sixth consecutive year the Fisher family has offered this screening for FREE to our students. Over the six years, the screening process has identified students who had undetected heart issues requiring some type of medical care.  This process saves lives!! 

This year I would like to give something back to the Fisher's and their Foundation.  What I am proposing for this Tuesday, March 24, is a jean day/RED out.  There will be a five dollar donation for jeans and all money raised will go towards the Sean Fisher Memorial Foundation.  This event will be for high school and middle school teachers as well as the student body.  Please encourage your students to participate with the RED out.  

Spring Break Projects 
Over spring break there will be a few facility projects going on at the high school that will limit the availability of the building.
  • New drop ceiling and lighting will be installed in the Art Wing up and around to      Room 309
  • The lighting in the gym will be completely upgraded  
  • New tiles and floor abatement will be completed in six locations; both gym closets and Rooms 417, 501, 140 & 142 

PD Corner (last two posts)
PD Corner: EdPuzzle
PD Corner: Plickers 

Tweets using #WaldwickGAFE (3/3 - 3/20)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

PD Corner: - EDpuzzle

EDPuzzle - What can it do for you?  
Instead of writing about it, I decided to create my own EDpuzzle to demonstrate the features and possibilities this tool has to offer. The video starts out with a brief introduction by me, which is one of the cool features.   After seeing my EDpuzzle and reviewing the resources on this post, I hope you consider giving EDpuzzle a try!  

EDpuzzle Resources 

EDpuzzle Twitter account (@EDpuzzle) 
EDpuzzle YouTube Channel - There are some great how to videos here 

EDpuzzle review via Edudemic
How to Create & Distribute Flipped Lessons through EDpuzzle via Richard Byrne

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

PD Corner: Plickers

Plickers is a powerfully simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment date without the need for student devices.  It's quick and requires little setup time once you have create the questions and added your students.   One device does it all!!

*Suggested uses:
  • Use as an exit ticket at the end of class
  • Use during instruction to gather data on student understanding and to inform subsequent instruction.
  • Use to quickly poll your students and share the results.
To get started:

1. Go to  and create an account
2. Create your classes, add students and make your questions
3. Printout the student response cards 
4. Download the App for Plickers form iTunes on your iPhone

WHS Staff Members currently using Plickers and willing to help others:

Rob Rolling
Michael Pepe 
If anyone else is currently using this App please let me know.  

Related Blog Posts: 

Day 20 #30DC14: Easy Formative Assessment with Plickers via William Gumula

*(Suggested uses, came from this blog post)

Plickers: Classroom Clickers without the Clicking via Jonathan Wylie

Monday, March 2, 2015

WHS News - Week of 3/2/15

The last ten days might have been the hardest days of my career at WHS.   I say that not because it was physically demanding on me, or the work load just became too much, but because it was hard on the people around me (Teachers, Administrators, Students, Parents) who had questions, concerns, frustrations, inconveniences, changes, that related to something I had limited control over, PARCC. 
What we had control over was the administration of the PARCC test and I could not have been happier with how that worked out.  Here go the THANK YOUS:
  • Mrs. Baskin and Mrs. Gastman did such an amazing job handling all aspects of the testing.  They handled everything that was thrown at them and pulled it all together.  
  • Mrs. Fortini, Mr. Sussman, Ms. Cassidy and Mrs. Doheny helped in so many ways to make this work.  There are too many things to list, but you know what you did and thank you.  
  • Mr. Meyers, Mr. Clancy, Ms. Angelli, Mr. Mayer, Mr. Rolling and Ms. Sobkowicz each day came in earlier and made sure all of the computers were up and running and helped throughout the entire testing process.   What a TEAM! 
  • The technology staff; Joel, Gary and Dianna.  They pulled it together and we all learned that when there's a problem... Refresh or Ctrl/Alt/Delete will fix most issues.  I have to single out Joel for all of his hard work and the trouble shooting he did to make this round of testing go so smoothly.  
  • To all of the TEACHERS that were "Testing Administrators"- what a great six days for something that was brand new to everyone.   You came prepared and were able to handle Java Issues, Error Codes, Seal Codes, Student Tickets, Starting/Resuming without one irregularity or major issue.  No one can question your professionalism or your ability to step up when needed.  
  • We also had help from our custodians, aides and substitutes throughout the six days, which made things easier for others.   
Now, don't make me eat my words because we do have three more testing days later in March, but I think this was the major challenge and everyone earned a 4.  #Ownit

What will happen with the Common Core?  Will PARCC be around in April or next year?  Unfortunately, I don't think anyone can answer these questions right now.   What we can control is the impact we have on our students.  Be Great for them everyday!   

Google Apps for Education has arrived in Waldwick
This Wednesday all HS staff will be receiving a "Welcome to the Waldwick School District" email which will have your username, password and new email.    At some point in the future all email will transaction to Gmail but for now this gets you into the Waldwick Google Apps Account and gives you access to Google Classroom.  There will be a lot more information on this moving forward.  

Google Resources 
I starting using the hashtag #WaldwickGAFE to tweet Google Apps for Education resources. I am also using a web tool Storify to gather the tweets weekly and post them on The Source. Checkout the links below for the last three weeks of tweets. 

Tweets using #WaldwickGAFE (2/21 - 3/2)

Tweets using #WaldwickGAFE (2/17 - 2/21)

Other Items
Those of you teaching 9th graders, please remind them to get their heart screening paperwork in ASAP.  Link to blog post: Free Heart Screening 

Starting tomorrow we have HSPA testing going on for a few seniors that still need to take it. Testing will be going in the Greenberg Center.

If you would like to use the Chromebooks for a lesson or unit please email me your plans, date(s) and period(s) you would like to use them.

March 17 - Professional Development Day (Schedule to posted soon)

PARCC Testing Continues 3/16, 3/18 & 3/19.  All testing will be done in the morning.