History Day Sponsorship, Model United Nations, Data Driven Decision-Making, Curriculum Writing, Accreditation Committee Leadership, and Much More!

The items on this page are a small selection of my current and past curricular and co-curricular initiatives. I shall look forward to discussing how I can contribute to a school community that values academic excellence, empathy, and the development of charity. Please contact me by email mr.wspaulding@gmail.com .

Harnessing the Power of Data to Promote Student Success: Presentation at the Connecticut State Social Studies Conference, 2009

I was privileged to present a seminar highlighting the effective use of data to promote student achievement. The seminar focused on work based with IB World History students and work with the 9th grade social studies team at Windsor High School.

Harnessing the Power of Data to Promote Student Success

Educators use data constantly. We use the affective data we gather from observing our students interact with eachother to make effective cooperative groups, to address social issues within our classroom, and to reach individual students. We also use data from student assessments. In this presentation I use data from two formative assessments with my IB Higher Level World History class. Students responded positively to the use of data to set goals for improvement and I used the data to inform my instruction. Data can be a powerful tool to promote student reponsiblity for learning and success. Click on the image to access a copy of the slideshow.

Pro-Con: Conflict in the Middle East: Web-Published

One unit of our International Relations course has focused on issues that face the Middle East. In preparation for the visit of a guest speaker (see the posting about "Conflict in Israel") students described and evaluated a host of controversial issues as presented on the site sponsored by pro-con.org.
Pro-con.org reviewed and posted this assignment on their site How Schools are using Pro-con.org. The student worksheet materials are posted as number 117.

"Living in Nuclear Free (Almost) World"

Experience is one of the most powerful elements of our learning and growth. In class we have debated, simulated, and discussed a variety of International Relations issues and cases from English reactions to the rule of the Belgian Congo to proposals for solving the current Darfur crisis and how to effectively partition Palestine.

Another aspect of experience is to interact with the decision-makers themselves. Dr. John E. Endicott's visit to our school offered us this type of opportunity. Endicott has served in a variety of positions that have put him at the center of nuclear incidents; from his experience during the Cuba Missile Crisis to his involvement with providing intelligence and analysis during the days following the Pueblo Incident. His current interests include the creation of a nuclear free zone in Asia and the North Pacific, a zone that would include North and South Korea, and parts of China, the USSR and the USA. It was a privilege to host him as a guest speaker and to answer questions from our students. Endicott is currently President of Woosong University in Daejon.

A Paradigm for Instructional Decision Making

We live and work in the midst of a culture that is awash in media and resources. As educators it is our responsiblity to make wise decisions about which materials and methods will effectively provide our students with the best opportunities for learning. I prepared an inservice workshop to introduce our faculty to a model for instructional decision-making that I have developed. See the slide show here or by clicking the cover page image. Simply stated, this model asks us to DBAT our lessons:
a) Define our objectives clearly and based on curricular goals,
b) Utilize"best practices" research in lesson planning.
c) Be certain that the lesson is accessible to all students.
d) Is the proposed instruction time-effective considering the needs of the students, the goals of the curriculum, and the time required for the lesson(s)?

UN Day at TCIS

The United Nations is one actors in International Relations of the 20th and 21st centuries. One of the best ways to learn is to teach others so students of our International Relations class designed display materials and a presentation to the student body to highlight the development of the UNO and some of the present and past UN activities around the world. October, 2008.

Political Cartoon Contest: Election 2008

Authentic assessment, student publishing, real-world experience, experiential education ... any of these terms can be applied to our political cartoon contest. It was a privilege to again collaborate with Dr. Alan Marcus of UCONN's Neag School of Education and Mr. Bob Englehart of the Hartford Courant to sponsor a Political Cartoon Contest. Mr. Englehart's editor at the Hartford Courant proposed the topic of the 2008 election. Top entries were published in the Courant and can be viewed here.

In preparation for the contest Mr. Englehart came to Bloomfield High School and conducted a cartoon drawing seminar for our students. It was an amazing experience to watch Mr. Englehart at work and to have him critique some of the student's projects.

Data Wall I: CAPT Data to Promote Achievement

"Data-driven decision making" is currently in vogue in educational circles. I'm not one to chase the latest and best but I like a good idea and I think that teachers can harness this concept to promote student achievement and inform instructional practice. In the 2007-2008 school year I created a model "Data Wall" in my class to display my collection of class data related to standardized tests. I was initially surprised at the high level of attention students gave to this board and was pleased with their keen interest in analysis and evaluation of the data and updates made to the wall with subsequent formative and summative assessments. One of the many positive outcomes was a sense of seriousness about subsequent assesments and a growing sense of personal responsiblity among the students as we worked together to set specific individual goals for improvement and charted individual and class progress.

I used similar graphing and display techniques to collaborate with colleagues to analyze school-wide standardized test data. A summary of that data can be viewed upon request.

School-Wide Cartoon Contest & Gilder Lehrman Exhibit

I sought and was awarded a display grant by the Gilder Lehrman Instutite to host one of their professional quality traveling exhibits. From early December 2006 to early January 2007 we hosted the “Looking at Lincoln” display. In order to promote school and community awareness of this exhibit and political cartoons we conducted surveys amongst the student body and provided interpretation for the exhibit during the annual winter concert. View images of the display, survey, and interpretation here.

In conjunction with this exhibit I initiated the first school-wide Political Cartoon Contest which was judged by a university professor and prominent, nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist. View the cartoons here.

A.P. Exams Editorial

Providing students the opportunity to seek academic excellence is part of the goal of external exam based programs such as the Advanced Placement program and programs such as IGCSE, A-Levels, and the International Baccalureate. My letter to the editor of the Hartford Courant on February 12, 2007 is focused on the importance of academic excellence and the opportunity for academic achievement inherent within the A.P. program. A full version of this editorial is available here. The Courant edited my original version to fit their space requirements.

Sandwich Board Promotion & Grant Award

I initiated a district-wide publicity program using sandwich boards at each of the district school sites. This program directly addressed one of our district’s Strategic Action Plan points. Working with the Bloomfield Education Association we sought and received matching grant funding for the project. I worked with Association leaders and colleagues and Bloomfield Board of Education collaborated to complete the project, see the sandwich boards installed and maintain appropriate district-wide signage. View the Grant Proposal and details of one of the fourteen sandwich boards.

Pizza and Painting

Inspired by a desire to help students interact with art and develop a more sophisticated understanding of the elements of art I read Nancy G. Heller’s book “Why Painting is Like a Pizza; A Guide to Understanding Modern Art”. Synthesizing some of her ideas and working with the chef/teacher of our culinary arts program I created a program that combines the creation of personal pizzas with the evaluation of art and a field trip experience to the oldest public museum in the nation and local architectural landmarks. View the instructional powerpoint. We successfully used these lesson materials for several years with multple classes.

In conjunction with this series of classes I published (in-house) two work-booklets; one for student notes concerning the pizza-art connection and one concerning local landmarks and student work within the museum. View the museum workbook.

View students and the Culinary Arts instructor making pizzas and at the Wadsworth Atheneum.

Hawk Herald

Seeing a need to publicize the many achivements of our students and staff I began publishing a newsletter highlighting student and staff achivements, accolades, and awards. This year the newsletter has become more comprehensive and is mailed to all student homes. I continue to serve as the editor, publisher, and primary writer and I continue to seek to highlight positive news about the school.

Please click on the title of this posting to see recent editions of the Hawk Herald.