Professional Learning Cycle and an Overview of the Workshop Model

This week’s PLC is one that is continued from the 21/22 school year when we introduced the workshop model.


Learning Goals:

  • Participants will review a professional reading about the workshop model.
  • Participants will come to a common understanding of the overall structure of the workshop model.
  • Participants will make connections of how the blended learning environment quality indicators support the workshop model.
  • Participants will review the Professional Learning Cycle

Success Criteria:

  • Participants will be able to articulate connections between the workshop model and the three core areas of a workshop model.
  • Participants will be able to name the three core areas of a workshop model.
  • Participants will be able to articulate how the stages of the professional learning cycle will apply to our adoption of the workshop model.

Framework for Powerful Learning


By June 2022, all learning spaces at Feaster Charter will be designed to promote student independence in support of the implementation of a workshop model as evidenced by the Workshop Environment in classrooms.

Using the Workshop Model to Foster Independence – Edutopia Article

In the past, we have read an article from Edutopia titled, Using the Workshop Model to Foster Independence. Check this link to review the complete article.

Check out the words that most resonated with our staff members from the article description…

2022/2023 SMARTE Goal:

By June 2023, all teachers and students will be able to articulate their roles and responsibilities in the workshop model and implement elements of the model as evidenced by the quality indicators (Teachers, students, Learning Environment).

What Do We Believe and Know About Readers, Writers, and Mathematicians?

During this segment of our PD, Feaster Charter staff members visited a series of posters and noted what they noticed:

Thoughts shared by Feaster Charter Staff:

  • There is a lot of flexibility and creativity in math; allowing students to show their creativity in math can help us understand the thought process of our learners.
  • Providing more opportunities for authentic writing experiences will help build writing skills.
  • When learners get the opportunity to share, they get excited because they have a live audience.
  • The reading block discusses how to chunk time and how some students do not enjoy reading. A teacher shared an idea about holding “First Chapter Fridays” where learners can read just the first chapter and decide if they are interested in continuing with that book or if they would recommend it to another reader.

Structure of the Workshop Model

Teachers who attended this PD were invited to begin their own notebooks in order to model some of the basics of the workshop model. The other workshop basics include:

  • Workshop is built on the idea that students have opportunities to practice bite-size strategies while working independently/in community in authentic ways and receiving lean coaching/conferencing and small group time from the teacher.
  • Workshop is heavily structured in schedule but provides an opportunity for student choice and student agency.
  • Belief that the #1 way to develop readers is to read and writers is to write, mathematicians is to do math, scientists is to do science, etc.

Qualities of an Effective Workshop Classroom

  • Guides towards independence
  • Effective Feedback
  • Data-Driven
  • Relevant
  • Differentiated
  • Values Conversation
  • Aligned
  • Balanced

Qualities of an Effective Workshop Classroom

Guides towards Independence:

  • Designed to build independence in students
  • Students take skills and strategies and apply
  • Workshop classroom is deliberately designed for students’ independence
  • Teaching kids to be the captain of their ship


  • Data drives instruction
  • Constantly gathering informal and formal data
    • Informal running records
    • Journals
    • Drafts
    • Assessments

Data that sit unused are no different from data that were never collected in the first place

Doug Fisher

Differentiated: Mini-lesson is not for mastery

Aligned: Aligned for standards and aligned for student needs

Effective Feedback: The power of empathetic feedback, feedback is targeted, specific, given with urgency, and partnered with a tool (include a resource where the area of growth is demonstrated and shown how to use as a tool)

Relevant: Learning is relevant to students’ interests and cultures. Student Agency includes voice, choice, and ownership

It is literally neurobiologically impossible to think deeply about things tha tyou don’t care about.

Dr. Mary Helen Immodrino-Yang

Values Conversation: “Instructional conversation, the kind of talk that acts like a mental blender, mixing together new material with existing knowledge in a student’s schema. Using discussion protocols like World Cafe, Four on a Pencil…create variety in the ways students talk to each other in the classroom…” – Zaretta Hammond

Balanced: Varying strategies

  • ELA – read aloud, shared reading, book clubs, inquiry, phonics
  • Math – number talks, strategy work, collaborative teams

Workshop Model

  • During the Mini-Lesson, teachers are modeling the learning objective
  • During the Workshop time, teachers are facilitating and gathering data to be used in a future conversation
  • During the Debrief, students have the opportunity to share their learning

Make a Connection

To close out our PD, staff participated in Lines of Communication where everyone formed two lines with their notebooks and after 1 minute, one line moved when the command was given. This gave everyone an opportunity to reflect on their learning and share the notes they took during the PD.

Lines of Communication
Notebook Resources

SWIS Overview for Staff

Introduction to the School-Wide Information System

Purpose: To introduce SWIS as a decisions system for social climate and discipline data along with the benefits, features, and impact on staff procedures

Accurate, Timely, and Practical:

  • The goal of SWIS is to make sure that timely and practical learning procedures occur
  • Demo site (click here for a link)
  • Staff Role: observe the behavior, enter the electronic referral, respond to follow-up communication
  • Click here to see a tutorial video – this video will show our Feaster Charter staff members more about how they will be using SWIS to enter referrals
  • Identify the cause of the behavior, what is the motivation behind the reaction that caused the referral? This piece is important and the category “other” will not give us enough data to identify a pattern and work towards a solution for the individual child.

Options for teachers who share students:

Teachers who are sharing students or who are not with their homeroom canL

  • Communicate with classroom/homeroom teacher to input referral information via phone or in-person conversation
  • Mindlabs teachers will have access to all students in SWIS
  • Be sure to follow up by communicating with the homeroom teacher if you are the one requesting a referral for a different student who is not in your homeroom

Precision Statement:

Next Steps:

  • Explore the demo site linked here
  • Look for an email from PBISApps and get your login set up
  • Explore the system prior to Monday, August 8th
  • Begin utilizing SWIS on Monday, August 8th

Feaster Charter School: Element One of Charter Petition 2017-2022

This week, our staff PD was going to focus on Element One of our Charter Petition. Due to unforeseeable events, we had to postpone this PD. In the meantime, this blog post is meant to share Element One of our Feaster Charter Petition for 2017-2022. Please note that the entire Charter Petition and all board documents can be found our school’s website:

Element One

A description of the educational program of the school, designed, among other things, to identify those whom the school is attempting to educate, what it means to be an “educated person” in the 21st century, and how learning best occurs. The goals identified in the program must include the objective of enabling pupils to become self-motivated, competent and lifelong learners.

Our Vision and Mission

Our mission is to use resources, research, and data to help all students develop the skills, knowledge, and expertise necessary to succeed in work and life. Within a context of core knowledge instruction based on the Common Core State Standards, students will learn the 21st century essential skills of critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration. At Feaster Charter School, students are at the center of our decision-making. We are focused on instructional excellence and accept no excuses for lack of student performance. We are a school where instruction matters, teachers engage in the identification and implementation of research-based practices that make a positive impact on student learning. Our teachers use current research on teaching and learning to improve their instructional practice for the success of all students. All staff is committed to increasing student achievement for all students. Teachers and staff are evaluated and can be rewarded for their performance in moving student achievement forward. Through the focus on standards, assessment, curriculum and instruction, professional development, and learning environments, students leave our school prepared to thrive in today’s global economy.

Our Beliefs

  • A standards-based, rigorous education is the key factor to success in the 21st Century.
  • Student achievement is the watershed benchmark of all we do.
  • Staff members, parents, and the community are all an integral part of ensuring student success.
  • Children benefit from understanding and honoring other cultures.
  • All students will be college and career ready.
  • Teaching students Core Values helps them become productive members of society.
  • Differentiation is the best practice for meeting the varied learning needs of all students.
  • School is a place for learning for children, staff and parents.
  • Parent involvement as classroom volunteers, in parent conferences and attendance at school events is an essential element of student success.
  • Educating and training parents increases the academic achievement for students as well • Staff development and coaching ensure best practices.
  • Proficiency in the Arts, Sciences, and Physical Education supports students in healthy and well-rounded lifestyles.
  • Technology is a tool to be used to increase student engagement, learning, and problem solving. It is a tool to research, organize, evaluate, and communicate information.


At Feaster Charter School, students, parents, members of the faculty, and community members are committed to our common Vision. Together, we value diversity and promote equity for all. We take great pride in our school and always strive to create the best possible learning environment for our children. In order to prepare for the demands of the 21st century, students need to know core curricular areas as well as how to use their knowledge and skills by thinking independently and critically. Students must be able to apply knowledge to new situations, analyze information, and comprehend new ideas, while putting into practice effective communication, collaboration, problem solving, and decision-making. We value the role of education that works with both sides of the brain, emphasizing both knowledge and creativity. We believe that every person has an innate desire to know and to understand, and that learning is the most important journey in every person’s life. The Feaster Charter students and staff are committed to an overall purpose and a set of core values.

Our Purpose

Feaster exists to foster the academic, social, emotional, and physical achievement of ALL students in school and in life.

Core values: • We have a Growth Mindset • We keep all staff and every student in mind • We commit and follow through

Curriculum and Content

Curriculum is defined by the standards adopted by the State of California. Assessments based on standards inform instruction. The school-wide goal is for each child to achieve or exceed master of his/her grade level standards. Differentiated and rigorous curricula include: • English Language Arts • English Language Development • Reading Foundational Skills in K-5 • Spanish Language Development in the Dual Immersion Program • Mathematics • Science • Engineering • History/Social Science • Physical Education/Health • Visual and Performing Arts • Technology

Overview of Research-Based Instructional Best Practices and Strategies

In order to provide a learning environment that fulfills our vision and to enable our students to become lifelong learners, we are committed to developing the highest quality educational program for every student. We provide our students a transitional kindergarten through eighth-grade program with a clearly articulated standards-based curriculum that ensures continuity of expectations and maximizes learning. Our goal is to achieve excellence through the implementation of innovative research-based best practices. We will adapt and modify our best practices as research and data identify new strategies and new best practices.

Current best practices include:

  • A commitment to ongoing, systematic staff development based on current research.
  • Implementation of a comprehensive literacy block to improve reading comprehension through a daily, school-wide literacy block.
  • Organization of instruction around the standards rather than around any particular curriculum • English Learners receive English Language Development instruction on a daily basis
  • Small group instruction in reading and math, organized around the Gradual Release of Responsibility
  • Dual Immersion Program for families who would like their student to have instruction in English and Spanish
  • Targeted, structured teacher collaboration to look at student work, analyze data, and develop standards-based lessons.
  • Use of assessments and data to guide instruction and to provide differentiation to meet the needs of all learners, including but not limited to our high-achieving students and low-achieving students. The desegregation of data by these students and target populations (i.e. English Language Learners, special education students, foster youth, homeless) will allow us to target these learners in small group and whole group instruction.
  • Use of assessments and data will be used to determine and allocate instructional assistants to support classroom teachers in small group instruction.
  • Writing across the curriculum.
  • Hands-on use of technology by all students, TK-8, through the use of iPod Touches (K-1) and iPads (K-8).
  • An active, after-school program offering an array of clubs and projects
  • Positive behavior support system, including a comprehensive school counseling base program that promotes and enhances student success.
  • Students have the opportunity to participate in elective course. The following research-based programs and methodologies have been identified by our teaching staff as current best practices:
  • Writer’s Workshop
  • Research based math curriculum
  • The incorporation of Visual and Performing Arts and Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Physical Education standards.
  • School-wide implementation of differentiated, rigorous curricula that meets the individual needs of each child.
  • Feaster’s Dual Immersion Program is designed to teach students to be bi-literate and have an appreciation for multiculturalism.
  • English Learners receiving English Language Development instruction on a daily basis
  • Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) and Guided Language Acquisition (GLAD), which are used to provide equal access to the curriculum for all students including English Learners.
  • Bi-weekly assessments in English Language Arts, Spanish Language Arts, and Mathematics for diagnosis and measurement of student progress
  • Weekly collaboration time for grade level teachers to plan for instruction, look at student work, and analyze student assessment data
  • Articulation among grade levels to promote rigor and ensure the implementation of systemic instruction and seamless transitions from year to year.
  • Examining student work through a protocol process (Focus on Results) • Identified Title I students receive interventions in small group and/or one-on-one settings designed to address their individual reading needs as needed
  • Utilizing a school wide elective program to provide opportunities for student exploration in a variety of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Visual and Performing Arts fields and real world experience.
  • Utilizing technology as a tool to connect our learning community to the world beyond the walls of the classroom and to help our students become college and career ready
  • Ongoing, targeted professional development
  • Engineering program with industry partnership

Individualized and varied instructional methods address the important differences in the ways children learn. Our school is data-based, therefore data is used to assess students’ performance as well as to adapt our instructional practices to the identified needs of the students. To meet the needs of all students at our school, our instructional strategies utilize practices defined by research on brain-based learning and learning modalities. All students, including English Language Learners, GATE, RSP, etc. receive curriculum and instruction appropriate to their needs. Primary language instruction is provided for Spanish speakers in our Dual-Immersion program.

  • Extensive training and support for staff. Teachers receive extensive pre-service and in-service training and have time built into the schedule for planning and professional development. Teachers improve their practice through peer coaching and consistent, continuous focused professional development.
  • More time for learning. We meet or exceed the state mandated number of instructional days and minutes. At the present time, our students have a longer school day. Learning is also extended through after-school tutoring and/or intersession classes for identified students.
  • A partnership with families. We are committed to working with parents in ensuring a world-class education by providing ongoing and straightforward access to information about their child’s progress. Student Learning Conferences are scheduled throughout the year to provide parents with specific feedback on their child’s progress. We are a community center providing a variety of classes including English language classes, parenting classes, and health education. Mobile health clinics also provide services for our community. There are various events throughout the school year to improve school-home communication: Back to School and curriculum nights, PTO meetings, and other community gatherings.
  • Specifically designed instruction for English Language Learners. All English Learners in transitional kindergarten through eighth grade receive embedded English Language Development instruction throughout the day. Students are grouped by language levels and receive English Language instruction based on their current abilities in the four areas of language; Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. English language instruction is also provided during Science and Social Studies instruction through the use of GLAD strategies, vocabulary development and Accountable Talk. Student progress is monitored throughout the year by the classroom teacher and annually with the state English Language Development Test.
  • A standards-based program for all students. Feaster Charter school staff understands how important it is to adequately serve our students who qualify for Special Education services. Our staff will serve all students who are covered under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. At Feaster we have an extensive Student Success Team (SST) process to determine whether a student qualifies for an Individual Education Plan (IEP). A percentage of the students at Feaster Charter School receive special education services. The Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) provides Special Education funding, personnel and service delivery for students. Students who have an IEP receive special education services through our Resource Specialist Program Teachers and aides, psychologist, and speech therapist (if applicable to their IEP goal). Students enrolled in the Resource Specialist Program receive a standards based academic program that is differentiated to meet each child’s identified learning needs. Students in the Special Education program are provided with the same opportunities as students in general education classes. Students attend fieldtrips, receive awards, sing in the choir, play on sports teams, serve on the student council and participate in student activities.

Our Goals for Student Achievement

In order to measure adequate growth each year we set goals for student achievement. These annual goals align with state priorities. These goals are set with the input of stakeholders and with the approval of our charter board.

Each year our goal is to show growth in the following areas:

  • The overall number of students that met and exceeded on the CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress) exam in Language Arts will increase by 3.5%.
  • The overall number of students that met and exceeded on the CAASPP exam in Mathematics will increase by 3.5%.
  • The overall number of students that met and exceeded on the district Local Measures Reading exam for K-1 will increase by 3.5%.
  • The overall number of students that are college and career ready on the Achieve 3000 lexile exam will increase by 3.5%.
  • The overall number of English Language Learners that met and exceeded on the CAASPP exam in Language Arts will increase by 5%. 10• The overall number of English Language Learners that met and exceeded on the CAASPP exam in mathematics will increase by 5%.
  • The overall number of Special Education students that met and exceeded on the CAASPP exam in English Language Arts will increase by 3.5%.
  • The overall number of Special Education students that met and exceeded on the CAASPP exam in mathematics will increase by 3.5%.
  • The overall number of foster youth and homeless students that met and exceeded on the CAASPP exam in English Language Arts will increase by 3.5%.
  • The overall number of foster youth and homeless students that met and exceeded on the CAASPP exam in mathematics will increase by 3.5%.

We will meet these goals by using bi-weekly, quarterly and yearly assessments to drive our instruction. We will provide differentiated instruction to students in small and whole group to continue building on students’ strengths and target their needs. We will look at student work and assessment data during collaboration so that teachers can share best practices with their colleagues.

We hope that you all took some time to reflect on Element One of the Feaster Charter School Charter Petition. As you read and continue to reflect, please consider what you appreciated in this element and what changes you would like to see. These reflections will help guide our conversations as we begin our draft of our updated charter!

PBIS: CASEL Core Competencies


“The CASEL 5 addresses five broad and interrelated areas of competence and highlights examples for each: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. The CASEL 5 can be taught and applied at various developmental stages from childhood to adulthood and across diverse cultural contexts. Many school districts, states, and countries have used the CASEL 5 to establish preschool to high school learning standards and competencies that articulate what students should know and be able to do for academic success, school and civic engagement, health and wellness, and fulfilling careers.
A developmental perspective to SEL considers how the social and emotional competencies can be expressed and enhanced at different ages from preschool through adulthood. Students’ social, emotional, and cognitive developmental levels and age-appropriate tasks and challenges should inform the design of SEL standards, instruction, and assessment. Given that, stakeholders should decide how best to prioritize, teach, and assess the growth and development of the CASEL 5 in their local schools and communities.” – CASEL Framework

The CASEL 5: Self Awareness, Self Management, Responsible Decision-Making, Relationship Skills, Social Awareness

Social & Emotional Learning

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.

SEL advances educational equity and excellence through authentic school-family-community partnerships to establish learning environments and experiences that feature trusting and collaborative relationships, rigorous and meaningful curriculum and instruction, and ongoing evaluation. SEL can help address various forms of inequity 

Self Awareness

Self-awareness: The ability to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts. This includes capacities to recognize one’s strengths and limitations with a well-grounded sense of confidence and purpose.

Such as:

  • Integrating personal and social identities
  • Identifying personal, cultural, and linguistic assets
  • Identifying one’s emotions
  • Demonstrating honesty and integrity
  • Linking feelings, values, and thoughts
  • Examining prejudices and biases
  • Experiencing self-efficacy
  • Having a growth mindset
  • Developing interests and a sense of purpose

Check out this video from PBS Learning Media for more information.


Self-management: The abilities to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations and to achieve goals and aspirations. This includes the capacities to delay gratification, manage stress, and feel motivation and agency to accomplish personal and collective goals.

Such as:

  • Managing one’s emotions
  • Identifying and using stress management strategies
  • Exhibiting self-discipline and self-motivation
  • Setting personal and collective goals
  • Using planning and organizational skills
  • Showing the courage to take initiative
  • Demonstrating personal and collective agency

Check out this video from PBS Learning Media for more information.

Social Awareness

Social awareness: The abilities to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and contexts. This includes the capacities to feel compassion for others, understand broader historical and social norms for behavior in different settings, and recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

Such as:

  • Taking others’ perspectives
  • Recognizing strengths in others
  • Demonstrating empathy and compassion
  • Showing concern for the feelings of others
  • Understanding and expressing gratitude
  • Identifying diverse social norms, including unjust ones
  • Recognizing situational demands and opportunities
  • Understanding the influences of organizations and systems on behavior

Check out this video from PBS Learning Media for more information.

Responsible Decision-Making

Responsible decision-making: The abilities to make caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse situations. This includes the capacities to consider ethical standards and safety concerns, and to evaluate the benefits and consequences of various actions for personal, social, and collective well-being.

Such as:

  • Demonstrating curiosity and open-mindedness
  • Learning how to make a reasoned judgment after analyzing information, data, and facts
  • Identifying solutions for personal and social problems
  • Anticipating and evaluating the consequences of one’s actions
  • Recognizing how critical thinking skills are useful both inside and outside of school
  • Reflecting on one’s role to promote personal, family, and community well-being
  • Evaluating personal, interpersonal, community, and institutional impacts

Check out this video from PBS Learning Media for more information.

Relationship Skills

Relationship skills: The abilities to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships and to effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups. This includes the capacities to communicate clearly, listen actively, cooperate, work collaboratively to problem solve and negotiate conflict constructively, navigate settings with differing social and cultural demands and opportunities, provide leadership, and seek or offer help when needed.

Such as:

  • Communicating effectively
  • Developing positive relationships
  • Demonstrating cultural competency
  • Practicing teamwork and collaborative problem-solving
  • Resolving conflicts constructively
  • Resisting negative social pressure
  • Showing leadership in groups
  • Seeking or offering support and help when needed
  • Standing up for the rights of others

Check out this video from PBS Learning Media for more information.

Resources from the CASEL Framework

Second Step Curriculum

Using this link to login, we will be utilizing the curriculum that has been purchased for our classrooms!


Banners: CASEL competency banners will be hung and referenced

Competency Awards: Students should receive awards based on the competency

Explicit Instruction: Counselors will present on the competencies

Schoolwide Campaigns: Schoolwide SEL campaigns will be celebrated

Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS)

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidence-based three-tiered framework to improve and integrate all of the data, systems, and practices affecting student outcomes every day. PBIS creates schools where all students succeed.

Consistency of Language

  • School-Wide Expectations:
  • Classroom Behavior Systems:
    • Focus is on positive behavior
    • Have a systematic way of recognizing and reinforcing positive behaviors
  • TIER 1 Supports:
    • Tickets are given to students who are being safe, responsible, and respectful. When students are handed a ticket, they are shown gratitude
    • Calm Down Corner is a designated corner that is comfortable, uncluttered, and inviting. There are baskets and coping tools to be used by the students. All teachers follow specific agreements when the students use the Calm Down Corner.
    • Trust Circles are held daily
  • TIER 2 Supports:
    • Falcon Club: Three goals are given for students to work on:
      • Examples of goals will be: respectful, on task, acting safely
    • Small Group Counseling
    • Individual Counseling

We are looking forward to continuing with these school-wide practices at Feaster Charter School!

AVID Summer Institute 2022

During the summer of 2022, our Feaster Charter staff was invited to attend the AVID Summer Institute! The purpose of this blog post is to reflect on some of the learning we gained and to share resources and practices that we can utilize with our learners as we get into the 22/23 school year!

AVID Resources

Emoji Reactions: The Emoji Reactions document is great for giving students an opportunity to comment or share their thoughts on the work of others. This form of communication can be used to give virtual feedback to others – for example, during the peer editing stage of the Writer’s Workshop, students can use the Emoji Reactions below to share their general thoughts on the work they are reviewing:

Organized Notes: The links below can be used and shared with students to keep notes organized and virtual.

Select your preferred note-taking system:

Cornell Notes TemplatesTwo-Column Notes TemplatesThree-Column Notes Templates
OneNote Cornell TemplateGoogle Docs Cornell Template (Links to an external site.)Word Cornell TemplatePDF Cornell TemplatePages Cornell TemplateOneNote Two-Column TemplateGoogle Docs Two-Column Template (Links to an external site.)Word Two-Column TemplatePDF Two-Column TemplatePages Two-Column TemplateOneNote Three-Column TemplateGoogle Docs Three-Column Template (Links to an external site.)Word Three-Column TemplatePDF Three-Column TemplatePages Three-Column Template

Word Walls: “A word wall (or word bank) is a collection of words displayed either
alphabetically or in subject-specific clusters, in large visible letters on a wall or
other display surface readily visible to students. The word wall is designed to
be an interactive tool for students and contains a variety of words that can be
used during writing and reading in any subject area.” -AVID

AVID Group Norms: AEIOUY can be an acronym used to remember Group Norms

  • Ask
  • Engage
  • Integrate
  • Open
  • Utilize
  • Monitor Your Own Devices

💡Social Contract (Click Here): Have learners share their answers to the following questions – this could be done on a Padlet or another shared resource. This is a great way to discuss norms like what we have stated on our Acceptable Use Policy and when we begin using technology in the classroom.
  • Which AEIOU norm is most important to an engaging learning environment and why?
  • How will we keep each other accountable for our norms?
  • What We Agree to Uphold (Do Not Complete in Round 1)

eBinders and Student Portfolios: “Learning is a story. As with any story, there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. This learning process is best told through the eyes of one who has learned along this journey of discovery. The AVID eBinder is the ideal place to put this story together and share it with others. Students can exercise their agency to customize their eBinders to tell their own unique learning stories.

The purpose of any binder is organization. An eBinder is a place for students to collect work, reflect on the learning process, and then recollect their learning for the purpose of sharing or studying. eBinders promote student agency by empowering students to take ownership of their learning.

The three basic functions of an eBinder are to allow a place for students to collect, reflect on, and recollect their learning.

  • Collecting information in written words during class is important, but so is collecting multimedia, such as pictures, videos, and vocal components, to tie into your reflection later. It just so happens that the only place all of these artifacts can coexist is an eBinder.
  • Students reflect on their daily learning and make connections to the broader Essential Questions for a unit or chapter.
  • Recollection is a product of the organization of an eBinder. Students can easily find and remember what they did based on the learning hooks they created during collection and reflection so that they can apply and share their learning.” – AVID

AVID Celebrations: chants and claps that work as a recall or celebration

Kami: Kami is an online web extension that allows the user to upload PDFs and make annotations directly on the document. This resource can be used to have students make edits on other student’s writing during the Writer’s Workshop, annotate

ClassroomScreen (Click Here): An online tool that allows you to do name generators, timers, dice rolls, video links, etc.

Station Rotations & Flipped Classrooms

Station Rotation: “a course or subject in which students experience the Rotation model within a contained classroom or group of classrooms. The Station Rotation model differs from the Individual Rotation model because students rotate through all of the stations, not only those on their custom schedules.” – Christensen Institute

Flipped Classroom: “a course or subject in which students participate in online learning off-site in place of traditional homework and then attend the brick-and-mortar school for face-to-face, teacher-guided practice or projects. The primary delivery of content and instruction is online, which differentiates a Flipped Classroom from students who are merely doing homework practice online at night.” – Christensen Institute

AVID Padlets

Feaster Charter AVID Padlet for 2022

Made with Padlet
Padlet linked here

AVID Padlet Shared During the Summer Institute of 2022

This Word Wall Padlet will be available until May of 2023.

Made with Padlet

Common Sense Media and AUP Activities

Digital Citenzship Images

This activity is great to do when we are introducing the use of technology or when we are looking at the Common Sense Media lessons.


  • ⭐Each table group has received a number from 1️⃣ to 8️⃣. Please review your number to see which image you will discuss together.


  • ⏰Timekeeper = Monitors the time and ensures all participants have an opportunity to share.
  • 🗣️Spokesperson = Shares out during the whole-group debrief.
  • ✨All group members = Copy and paste comments into their eBinder or digital notes.

Discussion Questions:

  • What do you see in the image?
  • What message could the artist be trying to convey through the image?
  • What SEL skills are connected to the image?
  • How does the image make you feel?

Made with Padlet

Navigating a Digital Dilema – Common Sense Media Lessons

About this Activity: A Digital Dilemma has been assigned to each table group. Click on the next tab to access your group’s dilemma directly or download the article on the right to view the full Common Sense Education document. (see this link for more information about digital dilemas)

Debrief in your Breakout Group:

  • Individually: Review your dilemma, including the questions posed with the dilemma and the connected extension resources suggested by Common Sense.
  • As a group: Discuss how this digital dilemma connects to social and emotional learning and could be used with students in a classroom while teaching about digital citizenship.
  • Identify a:
    • ⏰ Timekeeper = monitors the time and honors equitable voice in the room
    • ✒️ Recorder = Adds the thoughts of the whole group to the Public Chat within the breakout room
    • 🗣️ Spokesperson = Shares out during the whole-group debrief
PL_ Icon of notebook representing eBinderAll other group members should copy and paste the Recorder’s comments into their eBinder or digital notes

Digital Resources

Canva – Tip Sheet
Flipgrid – Tip Sheet
Padlet – Tip Sheet
Nearpod – Tip Sheet
Formative – Tip Sheet
Blooket – Tip Sheet
Thinglink – Tip Sheet
Microsoft/Google Forms – Tip Sheet

Feaster Teachers, be sure to check out the AVID Site Team OneNote for even more resources. 👏🏽AVID Clap! 👏🏽

Strong Connections Make for Effective Learning

This past week, our Madagascar Jr Musical debuted at Feaster Charter School! Our entire crew – the stage actors, tech team, stage crew, directors, and custodial team – came together to build a stage from scratch and put on an amazing production.

Following the show, I was talking with one of our students and she commented on the scene where Marty the Zebra, Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, and Melvin the Giraffe are given a stick of seaweed. The student said, “I finally get that scene from the movie, the herbivores and omnivores love the seaweed, but Marty doesn’t because he’s a carnivore.”

This statement got me thinking…this scene was in the movie, but the student didn’t understand why it was so funny until she had a personal connection with the characters. In addition to putting on an amazing performance, the students who saw this show also made important connections between the scenes and high-level vocabulary. When learners can connect with who they are learning from, with, and for, they are more likely to understand complex ideas. The connections we make with our learners matter; finding those ways to build relationships will create powerful learning opportunities.

If you have not had a chance to see the Feaster Charter Madagascar Jr production, check out this clip from the closing number by clicking here.

Holding Students Accountable for Using Devices for Academic Purposes

This past week, our Feaster Charter counselors held a powerful Student Success Workshop titled, “The Harmful Effects of Social Media.” During this session, our counselors reminded parents to go through their students’ iPad search history and to look through their photos and recently deleted images. This blog post is being written to share a reminder that teachers should do the same with their school-issued devices.

Checking Search History

The search history on an iPad can give us a lot of information about how the student is spending their time on their device. If you would like to have any restrictions enabled on the device, please reach out to your tech team.

  1. Open Safari
  2. Click the paper icon at the top left of the screen below the clock
  3. Click History
  4. Scroll through the history
  5. Long press on a website to preview the site without opening it

If you want to see how long students are spending on certain websites, you can

  1. Open settings
  2. Scroll down to Safari
  3. Click Advanced
  4. Look at how much data is being used on specific websites
To preview the website in the iPad search history, long press on the site and wait for the site to load in the preview screen (see example above)

Looking Through Photos

Another app to check on student devices is the Photos app. When looking through this app, you can

  1. Open Photos
  2. Scroll through images
  3. Click on a photo and swipe up to see more about the time and date when the photo was taken
  4. Go to Recently Deleted photos
  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3


The screentime on a device, if it has been turned on, can tell us how long a student has spent on certain apps and programs:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Scroll down to Screentime
  3. Click See All Activity
  4. Look through “Most Used”
For a video tutorial showing how to check student search history and how to go through photos, check out the video above

It is a great practice to periodically spot-check student iPad devices. This will help students stay accountable for using their devices for school purposes. If you see anything inappropriate on the device, please reach out to admin and your tech team, send the iPad to room 121, and set up a meeting with the students’ parent/guardian.

Professional Development – Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, Chapters 7 & 8

This week, our Feaster Charter staff had a professional development meeting that reviewed chapters 7 and 8 of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain! Teachers rotated between three different sessions. This blog post reviews the key points and activities shared in all 3 sessions.

Information Processing Theory

Information Processing Model

Activity: Provide learners with a set of symbols, show them the set of symbols for 10 seconds and have them write the symbols they recall. Repeat this with partners. Do the activity a third time with a small group.

When we can chunk the information and rely on others to help us identify what is important, we can more easily recall what we are learning.

Information Processing Model:

  • Rehearsal Maintenance: hold information for immediate use
  • Organization – chunk the content
  • Elaborative – store information to aid learning
  • Meaningful Learning – students can make connections to what they are learning; for example, they must know subtraction before they can divide)

Types of Memory

Sensory Register/Sensory Memory:

  • Filters raw data from visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, and gustatory
  • Unconscious – passive process
  • Limited capacity – visual (half a second) and auditory (lasts 3-4 seconds)
  • Seconds before decay – 2-3 seconds or less

Short Term (Working) Memory

  • Encoding, organizational, and retrieval processes occur
  • Defined more by quantity than time (5-9 items)
  • Rehearsal Maintenance – hold information for immediate use
  • Organization – chunk information
  • Elaborative – tap into prior knowledge
  • Meaningful Learning – make connections, use stored information

Long Term

  • Permanent storehouse of unlimited capacity; more or less permanent
  • Organized as schemata (plural of schema)
  • Retrieval of information is extremely rapid and accurate
  • Retrieval of information is extremely rapid and accurate

Strategies to Support Memory:

  • Total Physical Response – adding movements to words
  • Chants – GLAD strategy
  • Songs – rhythmic music that connects to the learning

Information Processing

  1. Input – deciding what is important
  2. Elaboration – making information meaningful
  3. Application – within 24-48 hours, revisit the knowledge

Building Intellective Capacity


  • Cannot start learning until the brain knows to pay attention to it
  • Use culturally oriented attention-getting strategies to wake up the RAS (reticular activating system) in the brain
  • Oral traditions start storytelling or learning with an attention-getting activity – drumming, chanting, music, hand clapping
  • Use novelty, curiosity, or relevance to generate excitement.


  • Call & Response – back and forth chants
  • Music – transition songs
  • Provocations – content in interesting ways
  • Talk – think/pair/share, talk time..


  • Provide the brain with information in amounts that it can retain


  • 7 to 1 (like a phone number)
  • Start with big picture then get into details


  • Unstructured Think Time: give time to process learning
    • 15-20 minutes of instruction followed by 5-7 minutes of think time where students can draw, write with a prompt, or complete one of these discussion protocols.
  • Cognitive Routines: basic mental maneuvers
    • How is this new material connected to what I already know?
    • What are the natural relationships and patterns in the material?
    • How does it fit together? What larger system is it apart of?
    • Whose POV does it represent?


  • Learner must apply new understanding within 24 hours for new neural pathways to consolidate
    • Authentic practice
    • Rehearsal
    • Repetition
  • After 20 minutes –> 60% remembered
  • After 24 hours –> 30% remembered
  • Practice once in 24 hours and once more –> 80% remembered

Shifting Academic Mindset in the Learning Partnership

Mindset Activity

An academic mindset means that learners are more willing to engage, work hard, and persevere through challenges. Completing a Mindset Quiz like the one linked here can us better understand our mindsets and the mindsets of our learners.

Microagressions & Academic Mindset

Microassaults- give more severe punishment to a student of color; overemphasizing military-like behavior management strategies; excluding students from fun activities as punishment
Microinsults- not learning to pronounce a student’s name or giving the student and anglicized name; confusing two students of the same race and brushing it off as “they all look alike.”
Microinvalidations- trivializing and dismissing students’ experiences as in telling them they are being too sensitive or accusing them of “playing the race card.”

Shift in Mindset

  • Help students create a counter narrative about their identity as learners
  • Use images, quotes, and poetry to ignite student’s imagination about what’s possible
  • Notice and acknowledge students when they are acting according to the elements of academic mindset
  • Help students connect with their current expertise and competencies
  • Help students interrupt negative self-talk

We are incredibly appreciative of our lead, counselors, and admin teams for helping to host our PD this weeK! Feaster Charter teachers can see the complete presentations by going to the Feaster Elementary OneNote and looking under the 21-22 tab.

Workshop Model: A Preview into the 22/23 School Year

During our Professional Development this week, we began with a reflection on our purpose and connected that to what we are doing with the workshop model and how that is related to what we are doing with our classroom libraries.

Learning Goals

•Participants will discuss a professional reading about the workshop model and connect it to learning environment.

•Participants will come to a common understanding of what workshop model is.

•Participants will discuss how to organize the classroom libraries.

Success Criteria

•Participants will be able to articulate connections between workshop model and the school’s vision and value.

•Participants will be able to name the three core areas of a workshop model.

•Participants will be able to articulate how they will organize their libraries.

Mission & Vision

Mission: Our mission is to use resources, research, and data to help all students develop the skills, knowledge, and expertise necessary to succeed in work and life. Within a context of core knowledge instruction based on the Common Core State Standards, students will learn the 21st-century essential skills of critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration.

Vision: At Feaster Charter School, students are at the center of our decision-making. We are focused on instructional excellence and accept no excuses for lack of student performance. We are a school where instruction matters, teachers engage in the identification and implementation of research-based practices that make a positive impact on student learning. Our teachers use current research on teaching and learning to improve their instructional practice for the success of all students. All staff is committed to increasing student achievement for all students. Teachers and staff are evaluated and can be rewarded for their performance in moving student achievement forward. Through the focus on standards, assessment, curriculum and instruction, professional development, and learning environments, students leave our school prepared to thrive in today’s global economy.

Connection: Our work to facilitate learning is connected to our vision and mission because both help support our learners in becoming independent learners who are also critical thinkers, problem solvers, communicators, and collaborators.

Workshop Model Goal for 2022/2023

By June 2023, all teachers and students will be able to articulate their roles and responsibilities in the workshop model and implement elements of the workshop model as evidenced by the quality indicators (teacher, student, learning environment).

Using the Workshop Model to Foster Independence – Edutopia Article

Take-aways from the Edutopia article, “Using the Workshop Model to Foster Independence:”


“In the mini-lesson, teachers model a skill, strategy, or step of a project.”

-brevity, direct instruction happens during the mini-lesson, cognitive load is on the teacher

Workshop Portion

“In the workshop portion, students work on their own or in small groups.”

Opportunities for individualized feedback, increased independent time

Whole Group

“In the final portion of the workshop model, students come back together as a whole group for a reflection or debrief.”

Share successes and challenges, option to do a Google Form

Workshop Model

Mini-Lesson: teacher leads the learning and focuses on one standard

Workshop: teacher’s Role during Workshop time is to work with small group based on the content that was just taught while students are working independently

Debrief: students have an opportunity to present their work and get feedback

Classroom Libraries

Learning Environment Goal: By June 2022, all learning spaces at Feaster will be designed to promote student independence in support of the implementation of a workshop model as evident by the blended learning environment and students’ knowledge of how to access resources.

Booksource (loose option)

“Booksource is a leading provider of classroom libraries for school districts, literacy coaches and classroom teachers across the country. We are experts in children’s and young adult literature for the classroom and have spent decades helping build thousands of classroom libraries that fit every classroom need imaginable. We can help you choose just the right book to engage every student.”


Upcoming Dates – 5/19 and 6/2

•Supplies (book labels, tape, colored dots, bins and post-its) will be delivered to your classroom.

•Books will be delivered to individual classrooms, however, feel free to make changes as a grade level if needed. 

•Middle School students will be available on May 19th to assist.  Students will be assigned to teachers.  Additional community service hours can be scheduled as needed.

•Admin, Coaches, and Heather will be available that day to help with Classroom Booksource as is needed. You can also watch this video for more information.

Looking to use Booksource? Check out this tutorial!

Crisis Prevention w/ Shannen McKinney

This week’s Feaster Charter School professional development was hosted by Shannen McKinney who is a Resource Specialist at McMillin Elementary and has studied with The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.


This training is intended to be used as a general resource for recognizing the various levels of behavior escalation and intervention strategies. Shannen McKinney focuses this PD on Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI). CPI is about maximizing safety and minimizing harm. These strategies can be used in a behavior plan, but a plan must be created in order to prevent failure and repeated crises.

Discuss core Nonviolent Crisis Intervention training concepts to specific de-escalation and verbal intervention

Introduce preventative techniques of Nonviolent Crisis Intervention training

Learn levels of behavior for a person in crisis and corresponding staff responses

Promot the Care, Welfare, Safety, and security of all stakeholders in your care

The CPI Crisis Development Model


Crisis Development/ Behavior LevelsStaff Attitudes/Approaches
1. Anxiety1. Supportive
2. Defensive2. Directive
3. Risk Behavior3. Safety Interventions
4. Tension Reduction4. Therapeutic Rapport
Shannen McKinney shares this resource and discusses slight changes that we can make when we are addressing students who may be experiencing the above Crisis Development/Behavior Levels

Anxiety from learner = support from staff

What do you do as an adult facilitator when you are using restorative practices?

  • Hold a restorative conversation
  • Take students to a private location
  • Give time and space and allow for “the story to happen” – an alternative to restorative practices and asking questions
    • “Tell me about it”
    • “Tell me more”
  • Reflect on how the student is responding and how their demeanor may have changed

Defensive behavior from learner = directives from staff

  • Recognize when the learner is not exhibiting typical behavior. If the question being asked is a rational question, that should illicit a rational response. For example, if the student asks repeatedly when lunch is, the teacher can respond and/or write the answer in a visible location.
  • When challenging questions arise, the challenge should be downplayed and the topic being studied should become the focus. The goal is to avoid the power struggle because the second that you are in the power struggle, you lost.
  • Release is a common characteristic of defensiveness when a learner just needs to get their words out. If this is the first time that this has happened, let it happen and ensure that all learners are safe.
  • Learners can be fighters, flighters, or freezers when they are feeling defensive.
    • In the face of danger, what is your body’s first reaction? That is the go-to reaction when they are in a defensive mode?
    • When a learner is in fight mode, the first step is to remove the spectators and connect with admin and support staff.

Risk Behavior from learner = safety interventions from staff

  • Risk behavior is when a learner is exhibiting behavior that creates a dangerous situation to themselves or others.
  • Click this link for Ed Code on Restraint and Seclusion – when this happens, you need to write a report with the school psychologist.
    • Two types of safety interventions are restrictive and non-restrictive, restraints always require 3 adults
    • Non-restrictive strategies are our go-to’s…they should be practiced, risk behavior drills should be held and a system should be in place
From the Feaster Charter School 21/22 Staff Handbook, see pages 22-29 for more details

Tension/Reduction from learner = therapeutic rapport from staff

When a learner is calm and expresses guilt over actions, staff can give it time and we can hold a reflective conversation to learn what in the environment is missing that is not supporting the learner. The reflection should be focused on what the staff member can do to support the needs of the learner.

Nonverbal Behavior: Personal Space

Even when a single word is not spoken, we can create a narrative. This means that we need to get better at people-watching and creating narratives. Observing the signs and non-verbal communications can help us understand the needs of the learner. We can get better at identifying where our bubble is and understanding where the bubble of our students’ is.

Nonverbal Behavior: Supportive Stance

A supportive stance looks like:

  • Toes facing away from the person
  • Appearing non-threatening
  • Hands are down and relaxed
  • Communicates respect
  • Maximizes safety

Nonverbal Behavior: Paraverbal Communication

Rate & Rhythm: how are we making our voice sound interesting while recognizing learners who are noise sensitive?

Tone: remain calm and supportive while also recognizing how learners respond to different tones of voice

Volume: we have students who are noise sensitive and we can be our best selves by recognizing the needs of those learners

Integrated Experience

Behavior communicates our emotions and influences our actions. When we stay calm and consistent, the learner knows what to expect and gives us a moment to take a deep breath and consider the routines we have set.

Rational Detachment

Rational detachment can be the hardest to do because we have put so much effort into our work and detaching feels like failing.

  1. Don’t take things personally
  2. Use a strategy
  3. Engage in self-care
  4. Stay consistent and calm

Precipitating Factors

These are factors that influence behavior, they can be internal and external, but we have little to no control over them. We do not know the situations and the home lives of many of our learners, but imaging what we see as an iceberg where the majority of the emotions are underwater can help us focus on what we can influence.

Following a Crisis – Come Together to Make a Plan

How can we change our behavior to make the environment more supportive for the struggling learner?

Focus on what we can control, orient ourselves with the situation, identify patterns, investigate the cause, negotiate a solution, and give support

This PD hosted by Shannen McKinney was focused on CPI, or Crisis Prevention Intervention. For more information on this subject, visit this link.