the RAH

December 14-18, 2015 (final RAH of 2015)

The Wisdom of Hubbard

I attended the MARRE Reading Recovery Conference this week. I saw some great presentations. I was proud to see our own SPS Coaches and Interventionists present as well! I attended a session on effective ways to utilize technology in the classroom, presented by Brooke Gantt, Instructional Coach at Nixa. She shared a plethora of apps and websites for reading, word work, and writer’s workshop. Below is a summary (my rambling thoughts/notes) about each along with links. I hope they are helpful to you and your staff. As with anything newly introduced, be sure to model apps and websites before turning kids lose.


Unite for Literacy provides digital access to picture books, narrated in immigrant and indigenous languages. They are for everyone.

Myon App: Reads books aloud to students, can assign books, can share folders of genre or topic. Can pull small group books, subscription required.

Zing! : free, but not a huge selection of audio books. Can highlight, sticky note to capture thinking.

Front Row: Gives non-fiction articles in a variety of reading levels on different topics. Can assign reading. Tons of stuff on math.

Epic! : free subscription, online library. Great choice of high quality literature, not as many informational texts.


Word Work Apps: ABCya!, Starfall, FunBrain

Cimo Spelling: for emergent readers

Chicktionary: Gives a variety of letters and students make all the words they can. For higher level students

Word Ball: from the electric company, great videos on vocabulary words


Reader’s WS Ideas:

Author’s Studies: Use QR codes for author studies, used the real book, but also the digital copy. Students created QR codes and found resources.

Mentor texts: used google docs to share info

Book recommendations: aurasna app: took a pic of cover of the book, links to video of student giving a book recommendations. Students can scan the cover, then put on youtube video/class video of book recommendations. Quick and easy, can make hallway work interactive, cool idea!!!

Response to literature:

Edmodo: for higher grades- Set up by reading groups. Kids pose questions about their books they are reading in groups. Teacher can pose questions and facilitate discussions.


Writer’s WS:

Sock Puppets: animated story creator

Zimmerman Twins: create animated cartoon movies with their stories

Haiku Deck: like a power point with pictures.

Popplet: kids put in pics they’ve taken, can create webs, can research, and publish their research.

Scribble Press: like an interactive whiteboard

Educreations: like an interactive whiteboard

Story Bird: online book creator-parents can buy the created book. Students can do voice overs


Teachers Resources:

Notability app: DRA’s (running record form), student portfolios, have to pay, syncs to google drive, can keep everything in one folder, can keep a folder for each student, can voice record.

Plan Book.com: can put sub-plans in from home. Great collaborative tool for working with other teachers. Paid subscription $12.99 for whole year. Can do by grade level to share cost.

The Real Influence We Have on Students

A nice blog/read from AJ Juliani

Julie Veatch (Title I Math Support Specialist)

Classroom Mathematical Discourse FAQs

It is no news that classroom conversations are crucial to mathematics learning. We know that students who explain the details of their mathematical ideas, engage with the details of others’ mathematical ideas, and have others engage with their own mathematical ideas achieve mathematically. (Kazemi & Hintz 2014) Consider the information below regarding classroom mathematical discourse. Next steps will be to look at four guiding principles of classroom discussions that will help build a bridge between student engagement and conceptual understanding.


Q. Will there be noise?

A. YES, meaningful, engaging, strategy sharing, encouraging, academic vocabulary rich discussion noise!

Q. How does one start?

A. Small. One starts small. One might begin by having students work on a given problem individually, and then share solving strategies in a small group. Such an approach can offer students less confident with sharing in a whole group setting a safe environment in which to learn how to listen to and learn from peers, in addition to experiencing sharing themselves. It’s great preparation that allows for some strategic confidence building.

Q. What is one important thing the teacher can do first?

A. Prepare. Prepare by designing the structure of a lesson specifically to encourage students to talk to one another about the mathematics of the task. A few strategies that can be incorporated into the lesson to foster meaningful discourse are:

· Allow students time to work on the task on their own before discussing the task with others

· Provide and have easily accessible materials for students to use to complete the task

· Provide time for students to view how others solved the task

· Create a safe, low-pressure environment during which students were encouraged to talk about the task in pairs or small groups.

· When the move comes to bring the purposeful discussion topic to full class, model and practice classroom discussion protocols.

Q. Where can I learn more?

A. Intentional Talk (Kazemi & Hintz, 2014) is an excellent text for structuring and leading productive mathematical discussions, as are Classroom Discussions in Math (Chapin, O’Conner and Anderson 2013) and Number Talks, (Parrish, 2010).

From Bret-

The Wrap Around committee met this week to discuss programming. Elementary and middle school administrators were at the table along with representatives from SPARC, YMCA, and the Boys and Girls Club. We discussed strengths and opportunities for improvement. OFIs included playground rules, School Dude, building cleanliness, student management, and IGNITE device care. For specific details, contact Nichole or Janine. Additionally, the providers and I discussed summer services during ExPLORE.


I want to thank SAESP for the gift certificate I received this week. I hope you all have a great winter break and enjoy time away. The students, parents, and patrons your serve each day are truly lucky. I am lucky to work with all of you.

Talk to Me

Good stuff from Jimmy Casas, high school principal in Iowa

from J -

One of the areas I'm currently struggling with is managing my time. I recently read an article that went around the theme "why you're so busy but get nothing done." Everything we do at the office gets called "work." And that may be the problem. There are really two kinds of work:


*"Deep work" is using your skills to create something of value. It takes thought, energy, time and concentration. It is the work of the four Cs.

*"Shallow work" is all the little administrative and logistical stuff: email, meetings, calls, reports, etc. It is the managerial stuff that is necessary. Shallow work most likely gets your school functioning at the minimal level, but it isn't what will drive meaningful experiences.


As part of a mid-year reflection, I ask you to think about what part of the pool your spending time in. Naturally there is needed balance between the two. But drowning in the shallows is below your talent, capacity and skill set. The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare, and it is exactly the skill set you possess and that will help you thrive.


I know next week is full of extra events and energy - thank you for modeling and balancing high expectations for staff and kiddos alike during this time.

The Meaning - Jim Carrey