Literacy Newsletter

Fran Misener * Instructional Coach * Radnor High School

February, 2016 - BACK IN THE CLASSROOM!

Over Christmas break, I mentioned to Rob (and shortly thereafter, you all) that I didn't think I could ever go back into the classroom. I've been out for over five years now, I am really enjoying my job as an instructional coach, and feel as though I am hitting my stride.


It is funny how the universe works, because when we returned from the holiday, Dan asked me to step in for an English teacher until the end of the month, when the new LTS, Jennifer Page could begin. So, there I was in his office...where my nerves got the best of me! I teared up, got beet-red, and pitted up my pretty shirt dress. And then I said "YES!" (Uh, who says "no" to their boss, especially a boss that is so supportive his staff?!) Thankfully my department friends rallied behind me, talked me off the ledge, and helped me to plan some lessons. I was set for my stint back in the classroom.


On day one, I walked in and told the kids that this wasn't my first rodeo and not to play me, in nicer terms, of course! And we all got along just fine! Note: A Reading Specialist is much different from an English teacher. I can read Macbeth with students for reading comprehension, but I couldn't highlight the brilliance of Shakespeare from the English perspective. But not being 100% familiar with the content was not daunting because I was able to incorporate a little of what I suggest teachers do to carry out effective instruction, which focuses on the process, not the curriculum. And an added bonus? Students addressing me in the halls as "Mrs. Misener!" I was able to build relationships with students, which to me is what teaching, coaching, and life is about.


Last Wednesday marked my last day as an English teacher, which reinforced the respect I have for those who are in classrooms day in and day out. I learned that my friends and colleagues who teach in classrooms are saints. I learned a positive attitude can carry you through. I learned I can do hard things. I bet you can too!

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HOW CAN I HELP YOU? MORE ON THE COACHING MENU

In the following months, I am going to introduce parts of a “Coaching Menu” on how I can help you. Coaching is a process of professional development that supports growth. The following provides ideas for collaboration. If any resonate with you, contact me.

Raise a Voracious Reader by Telling Stories at the Dinner Table

Family dinnertime is interesting in my house. My children are so hungry by the time I get home that I am lucky if I can keep their paws off the plates I am making at the kitchen counter so they have something to eat when the plate hits the table. I inevitably get up half a dozen times...to get a fork. To get extra napkins. To take a child to the bathroom. To lock the dog in his crate because he got his paws on a kid's plate. To answer the door. Because I forgot my dinner (Go figure!)

This article from Harvard Graduate School of Education's Bari Walsh explains that sitting down at the dinner table at night is an invaluable experience. In fact, the article describes the dinner table as a better means of building a powerful vocabulary for younger children than reading?! I guess all that work is worth it! Check out the article to find out more!

THE READING OLYMPICS

Readers throughout our school are preparing for The Reading Olympics Competition, also known as Battle of the Books. Hosted by the Delaware County Intermediate Unit (DCIU) on the evenings of May 2nd-4th, these battles will take place at Radnor High School. This unique experience is for students who love to read and discuss literature and how cool is it that it will be held on our own turf!?


Every year, the DCIU releases a Reading Olympics Book List and students read books of their choice. In the coming weeks during select Community Periods, the Battle of the Books Club will gather to discuss book summaries, plots, and themes. In addition, they will be designing their own logo for a t-shirt. Come competition day, we fuel up on food and prepare for the competition, where students will work as a team to answer questions related to book content.


With 96 elementary, 39 middle, and 9 high school teams pre-registered for this competition it is bound to be a fun event!

READ ACROSS AMERICA

Wednesday, March 2nd, 7:30am-2:30pm

130 King of Prussia Road

Wayne, PA

March 2 we celebrate “Read Across America.” High school students will travel to the lower schools to read to elementary and middle school children. Throughout the week, we will have:

  • Schoology Polls for various reading preferences and books.
  • Teachers share "Currently Reading" books on video and morning announcements.
  • Opportunities for students and staff to take "Book Selfies" with their favorite reads (see below!)
  • Students fill out a Seuss paper with book title they have just finished. Those will be displayed in the Library entrance. For every title, they are entered into a raffle to win a prize.
  • PA Readers Choice Voting.

It is our hope that you will participate in one of the activities above! I think Dr. Seuss may have been talking about “Read Across America” week when he said: “If you never did. You Should. These things are fun and fun is good!”

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FEBRUARY BOOK CLUB

Join us on Friday, February 19th to discuss the book We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist. We will meet during lunches in the Faculty Dining Room.

THE BOTTOM OF THE NEWS...

Things I Love.

Things I love: my family. Reading. The beach. Basketball. My dog. Tomato soup. My profession. CONVERSATION HEARTS! Oreo Blizzards. Snow (notice I didn't say "blizzards.") MY LIFE.

About Me

Hi! I am your Instructional Coach, focusing in the Humanities. As an Instructional Coach, I wear many hats. I can gather resources, visit classrooms, conduct book study groups, co-plan or demonstrate lessons, co-teach, assist with technology and the list goes on. If you need something that was not covered above, are still confused as to what I do, or want to borrow a hat, please contact me. I am looking forward to a great year!