Friday, March 18, 2016

Great day at John Redd Smith Elementary--Superintendent's Office Hours

Learning to play the recorder in students during music class
I had an exciting and busy day at John Redd Smith Elementary as a part of my Superintendent's Office Hours a couple of weeks ago.  During my visit, I had an opportunity to participate in various activities with students.  In addition,  I was scheduled to assist in several classrooms.  I was very impressed with how engaged the students were throughout the day.  I was also happy to see the teachers at JRS working hard to implement innovative strategies in an effort to maximize student learning.  The list below includes some of my activities during my exciting and productive day at John Redd Smith Elementary:

  • Walked the building and visited several classrooms as the school day got started.
  • Visited Mrs. Garrett's room to observe her students as they started an engaging, hands-on learning activity.
  • Participated in Mrs. Joyce's music class as students learned to play the recorder.  I'm happy to report that I'm ready to test for my "orange" belt as a part of Mrs. Joyce's "recorder karate" system.  What a great way to motivate students to learn more!
  • Met with a grandmother to discuss a safety concern related to a nearby road that feeds into John Redd Smith Elementary.  
  • Met with Mrs. Whitlow and Mrs. Sandy Strayer, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, to discuss student data and the school's progress toward meeting established goals.
  • Observed and assisted in Mrs. Campbell's 4th grade class.  
  • Enjoyed school lunch in the cafeteria with Mrs. Whitlow and several 5th grade students who are excited about going to middle school next year!
  • Visited several additional classrooms during the afternoon to observe students and teachers in action.
  • Assisted with dismissal at the end of the school day.  It was extremely busy during this time, but the staff at JRS do an excellent job of ensuring that students are dismissed in an orderly and safe manner.
Overall, it was a great day at JRS.  The students were highly engaged in the instruction and the teachers are clearly working hard to implement research-based strategies in the classroom.  In addition, the teachers and students are excited about plans for the new school, Meadow View Elementary.  Even though the current building has many challenges, the teachers and staff have created a powerfully effective learning environment for students.  Keep up the great work, JRS!  I look forward to future visits.  
Talking with some very bright students in Mrs. Campbell's Class

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