Title I Tidbits

February 29, 2016

Managing Our Stress

...be the change you wish to see

We all feel stressed at times, especially in education. The pull of many mandates and needs of our students can feel insurmountable and we care so much. How can we find the time to do all that needs to be done?

At a recent Eric Jensen conference of Engaging Students in Poverty, Eric noted the importance of teachers managing their stress so that they can serve the kids they work with effectively. A stressed brain is a less efficient brain. If you are like me, you put the needs of others before your own, however according to research this is not an effective strategy in the long run.

There are many ways we can manage our stressors. Tried and true methods for managing stress include:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Write it down to remember later
  • Follow the 1 week rule. If it will matter in a week - take action, if no - let it go.
  • Focus your attention on what you do control
  • Burn off energy with exercise
  • Reframe the experience - what am I learning here, what is positive about this situation
  • Meditation
  • Hugs - human or animal
  • Laughter
  • Deep breathing
  • Visualizing a calm and happy time in your life
  • Thinking about what you are grateful for

Eric also highlighted the importance of relationships in stress management- good relationships mitigate stress levels. Make time for friends and family. Dr. Jensen recommends working on building relationships with staff and with your students, these relationships mitigate stress at work!

As we go into this solid teaching stretch before spring break and our end of March Tier II meetings, let us give ourselves permission to work on managing our stress so that we can be fully effective for our students and for ourselves.

Peacefully yours,

~ Jenni

Increased Opportunities To Respond - Some Tips from Anita Archer

This year in RTI we are focusing on improving our Tier II meeting model. In these meetings we often look to increase opportunities to respond for students not making the growth gains we expect.

Reading guru Anita Archer offers some advice around reading practices we can use to increase opportunities to respond. Some of our reading programs direct instructors to use Round Robin reading. This is an excerpt of what Anita Archer's site has to say about Round Robin reading:

Often teachers use round-robin reading, calling on individual children to read. But the disadvantages are well-known to teachers: 1) reduced amount of reading practice as it is distributed across children, 2) voices that cannot be heard, 3) embarrassed low-performing children, 4) off-task students, 5) management challenges emerging in the void, 6) boredom, and 7) many more that you can add.

Anita Archer has a 7 minute video highlighting some other reading strategies we can use with students instead of Round Robin that increase opportunities to respond. In this video, which also has a study guide, you see Anita modeling silent reading with the teacher listening in, choral reading, cloze reading and partner reading. Here is a link to this video clip: http://explicitinstruction.org/video-elementary/elementary-video-2/

If you have not checked out her website, take a moment, there is some great resources here including many short videos on decoding instruction, retell, vocabulary instruction among others. These are perfect for a short professional development boost to help support tweaks to ICEL (instruction, curriculum, environment and learner) that come out of our Tier II meetings. Link to Anita Archers Explicit Instruction page: http://explicitinstruction.org/

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Professional Development for our Next TILT meeting

Supporting the Reds in Title and in the classroom

I am so excited for our next TILT meeting and our differentiated P.D. sessions.

We will be spending our PD time looking at Red Zone students. Break out sessions will include looking at supporting deep dark reds from a SpEd perspective, the Orton-Gillingham model to support struggling readers, and a closer investigation of the unused resources we have in Title I and Journeys that classroom teachers can use to support red zones.

As we work to develop our differentiated PD model, I am asking our Title I teachers to help me plan by letting me know which of these sessions they are interested in. I will be sending you a google form survey and ask that you fill it out in the next few days. If everyone wants to go to all of the possible sessions, we can do a series of mini PDs. If people only want to go to two, then we can drop the other and focus in. What is most important is that this work is meaningful to you and your building.

Thank you in advance for filling in the survey!

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News From The Front!

This edition's News From the Front is coming to us from Richelle Wuethrich, Michelle Davis, Kristin Fortune and Michele Cook at Powell Valley Elementary.

In laying out the new Tier II cohort model meetings, Richelle and Michele set up an ideal meeting model including not only the Title I teacher, classroom teachers, ELD teacher and principal, but also the EA interventionists Michelle and Kristin.

Using this format there is a real discussion of student learning and strategies flowing between the full Title team, classroom teachers, specialists and administration. Everyone involved in the instruction of these students is looking at the data and is a part of celebrating successes and finding solutions. The respect and consideration of expertise on all sides is apparent and student learning is maximized.

Powell Valley's data is amazing this year, 15% growth fall to winter, and engaging in this type of high quality collaboration is a piece of that success.

Fantastic job Powell Valley Team in collaborating to improve the learning and lives of your students!

And That's The Way It Is At Powell Valley Elementary!

TILT Meeting: East Gresham Elementary School

Wednesday, March 9th, 1:30-3:30pm

900 Southeast 5th Street

Gresham, OR

DRAFT Agenda:
  • TILT Meeting 2nd and 5th: brief data analysis, most time devoted to sharing what is working for you in supporting your 2nd or 5th grade students.
  • Differentiated professional development for red zone kids
  • Job Alike, Title I room walk though

Don't forget to bring either your 2nd or 5th grade intervention group PM data and computers!

Dr Jennifer Stackhouse - RTI Coordinator

The best way to reach me is via e-mail or cell 971-263-6636