carnold's blog

Science Update

I am so excited about the implementation of our new science curriculum this year. The hands-on approach to investigating science topics is already a big hit with students! I have heard from many elementary students that “science is my favorite subject because it is cool and fun doing the labs and experiments!” I know that having an aligned curriculum focusing on a deeper understanding of science concepts in an interactive learning environment will greatly benefit all students!


This year we will continue our work with Elem Science Grade Level Representatives and Middle School/High School Science teachers. We will be meeting throughout the year (four ½ days)  to  (1) reflect on curriculum implementation and (2) establish pacing and timelines,  (3) developing inquiry common tasks to be used for each unit of study, as well as, focusing on the Science Notebook model and NECAP analysis.


The dates of the PD is as follows:

Oct 20th – HS/MS @ MS presentation room

Oct 21st – NSES/Halliwell @ KD

Nov 29th -  NSES/Halliwell @ KD

Nov 30th – HS/MS @ MS Presentation room

March 21st – HS/MS @ MS presentation room (tentative)

March 22nd – NSES/Halliwell @ KD

April 26th – NSES/Halliwell @ KD

April 27th – HS/MS @ MS Presentation room


The K-12 North Smithfield Science teachers have been nothing short of extraordinary in this curriculum implementation process. I am honored to work with such dedicated teachers who continue to challenge themselves and their students! This work is exhausting and tedious at times, but the level of enthusiasm and commitment to the improvement process does not go unnoticed. Thanks for all you do:)



Welcome to the New School Year!!

Welcome to the new school year, I hope that it is off to a great start for you! Just sending along some information about Curriculum/PD planning for this year. All dates will be posted on the Curriculum website.

We will continue with the Science Professional Development Days for grade level representatives and MS/HS Science departments, these will be 4 (half) days throughout the school year with a focus on Curriculum implementation, common assessments, science notebook and inquiry tasks beginning in October (I am in the process of confirming the dates.)

The McRel “Classroom Instruction That Works” PD and strategy implementation will continue. The HS will be introduced to the strategies on September 30th, our first PD day. McRel teacher leaders will participate in PD on September 20th (High School) and September 21st (Elementary Schools.) We have a new McRel consultant, Elizabeth Hubbel; she is excited to work with NS.

The Educator Evaluation Growth Plan and Student Learning Objectives PD is also scheduled on our first PD day September 30, 2011

Elementary Math- The elementary schools have implemented an additional 15 minutes to their math blocks to focus on grade level math facts (precision and automaticity) throughout the school year grade levels will share instructional ideas and data collection

Both Middle and High School Math programs have been modified to offer Math support classes focusing on pre-teaching and re-teaching grade span expectations. HS Math department will continue to work with Mary Newman implementing identified strategies and practices

We will continue to focus on constructed response and extended response writing using district-wide strategies. Our Elementary School reading teachers will implement a common task at mid (or) end of year. HS departments will continue to use Extended Response as one of the common tasks, scoring and rubrics will be discussed during department meetings

All K-12 ELA/Reading/English teachers are invited to meet with me on 10/26/11 @ 3:15 at KD to review Common Core Standards Writing Samples

NS has purchased DORA (Diagnostic Online Reading Assessment) and DOMA (Diagnostic Online Math Assessment.) Special Education teachers, reading teachers and RtI teams will receive training on the assessments (dates TBD)

The K-12 PE department will begin to work on the PE Curriculum development

I will be seeking elementary grade level volunteers to begin work on an elementary Social Studies Curriculum.

RTTT implementation teams will be contacted throughout the school year as new information filters to us from RIDE

      That's all for now... Go Northmen!

The Khan Academy

The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission... it is a not-for-profit, with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere. All of the site's resources are available to anyone. It doesn't matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy's materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.


I particularly like the math tutorials, for more information go to...

Teachers Invited to Review CCSS

All K-12 Reading/ELA/English teachers are invited to join me to review Common Core State Standards Writing samples on October 26th @ 3:15 in the KD conference room. The samples of student work can be found in Appendix C (click here) of the CCSS document.

Elementary Math Summer Work

I have invited classroom teachers to join me on Aug 5th @ 9:30am at KD to work on revising the math report card attachment. This work will be sort of a "band aid" for this coming year. Honestly, I initially thought that we would continue to use the new math curriculum for years to come, but with the new math program and new common core standards, we will ultimately have to rewrite the curriculum. I will honor all the time, energy and effort the math curriculum team put into our current curriculum and will certainly use it to help us develop the new math curriculum based on the common core standards.

 However, curriculum work will not begin until the State develops its Instructional Management System which will host sample/aligned curriculum documents, I am assuming that we will be ready begin in the fall of 2012.

With all that said, many teachers have approached me concerned about the alignment of the math report attachment. I am happy to assist in aligning the attachment. Keep in mind that we will continue to utilize the current curriculum for this current year.

Although I do not have funds to pay teachers... I will be happy to treat for lunch on the 5th. I know that this is short notice, if your grade level team does not have any representatives... no worries... no pressure... we will figure it out in the fall:)

There's an App for that!

Check out the Common Core Standards App! This free App allows you to view the CCSS quickly by subject, grade and subject category (domain/cluster.) It includes Math K-12 and Language Arts K-12. To find it, simply search "Common Core Standards" was developed by MasteryConnect.

Teacher Technology Institute

The four school districts of the Northwest School Consortium, Burrillville, Lincoln, North Smithfield and Smithfield, are excited to offer a summer Teacher Technology Institute open to all teachers, administrators or staff members from any of the four districts. The institute will consist of four professional development sessions spread across two days during the summer. Each session will focus on a different technology tool and how to integrate it into your current work. All sessions are available to participants free of charge, although seating will be limited.

The summer 2011 Teacher Technology Institute will be held on Wednesday, August 17th and Thursday, August 18th at North Smithfield Middle School. There will be a number of different sessions to choose from, so please go to the link below for specific information about each session. Some sessions are being held concurrently in order to provide a wide variety of opportunities, as well as offer the greatest amount of seating capacity to interested staff members.

Race to the Top

In August 2010, RI was awarded a $75 million Race To The Top Grant. The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) will be using these funds to design and implement five ‘systems of support’ transforming how the Department of Education serves individual school districts. The ultimate goal of each system is to improve student achievement, ensuring that all students are ready for success in college, careers, and life.The five systems of support are:
  • Standards & Curriculum
  • Instructional Management System
  • Educator Effectiveness
  • Human Capital Development
  • School Transformation and Innovation
Teams of administrators and teachers from North Smithfield School Department are currently developing our Race To The Top ‘Scope of Work’ to submit to RIDE outlining our actions and commitments. We have exciting work ahead of us and will keep you posted with progress!
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