North Side Paw Prints

Staff Newsletter

September 6, 2013

Volume 5, Issue 4

Mission Statement: "Maximize potential in all people every day"

Vision Statement: "To create a culture in which all children can learn lifelong skills to succeed"

Congratulations Cherri and Denise for Going the Extra Mile this Month!

Quote of the Week:

"We smile at every student we pass in the hallway because it might mean something to them." ~ Todd Whitaker

Weekly Reflection

How are your currently assessing your students daily progress? Could you provide concrete data to parents on their child's performance and provide suggestions to support their learning at home?

Upcoming Dates


  • Sept. 9th - School begins at 8:30 Collaboration in Library with Becca Lamon to discuss tech curriculum
  • Sept. 10th - PTO Meeting in Library 5:30 pm
  • Sept. 16th - School begins at 8:30 Collaboration in Library, Vision Checks K,1st, 3rd and 5th beginning @ 12, SOM names to V by noon
  • Sept. 18th - Mobile Dentist
  • Sept. 16th - Sept. 20th - Book Fair 9-3 M-Th, 9-12:45 F
  • Sept. 23rd - School begins at 8:30 Collaboration in Library, Acuity Testing Window Opens for ELA and Math, Mclass Math window opens; Leadership Meeting 3:10
  • Sept. 24 - Picture Day
  • Sept. 25th - Fundraiser Kickoff
  • Sept. 27th - PD Day 1/2 Day
  • Sept. 30th - School begins at 8:30 Collaboration in Library


Oct. 2nd - 6th Grade to Biztown

Oct. 3rd - Staff Meeting In Library 3:10

Oct. 4th - Acuity Window Closes

Oct. 7th - School begins at 8:30 Collaboration in Library

Oct. 8th - PTO Meeting in Library 5:30

October 9th - Fundraiser Ends; Mclass Math Window Closes

October 17th - End of 1st Nine Weeks; 3rd Grade Focus on Health at South Side

This Week's Case Conferences

September 10th at 3:00 - Jennings and Demske

September 10th at 3:30 - Moore and Demske

September 12th at 7:30 - Maag and Pepple

Featured Video of the Week

Kristina Smekens introduces how to integrate the picture book "Roller Coaster" into both primary and intermediate classrooms with 6 Traits.

Roller Coaster

Featured Instructional Strategy of the Week

Big image

90 Minute Reading Block Idea

Consider Alternatives to Round Robin Reading

Round robin was a staple in literacy classrooms for years. This is the notion of kids taking turns reading aloud from the same passage while the teacher listens. However, there is abundant research that reveals this method is doing more harm than good.

That said, students still need opportunities to read aloud. So what else can you try as an alternative? Replace round robin with the strategies listed below.

1. Echo Reading--The teacher reads a sentence, and the group reads the same sentence mimicking the rate, phrasing, and expression of the teacher.

2. Choral Reading--This technique is used most often with kindergartners in the Pre A/Emergent stages of reading. It includes a small group reading the passage together in unison as one voice. This allows the teacher to give support but not just plow through the text at top speed.

3. Whisper Reading Individually--The average first-grade reader is ready to read at his own pace, although not silently. This strategy has students independently whisper reading aloud the whole passage at their own various speeds.

4. Cloze Reading--The teacher begins reading aloud the first paragraph while the students follow along closely. They are prepared to read when the teacher drops out of the reading on grade-level appropriate words or important words that students need to stress. This may include a word or two in every sentence. This method is often used in the intermediate grades with informational text.

5. Whisper Reading to a Partner--Assign students to whisper read to a partner, taking turns reading sections at a time. Designate places to stop throughout the text for pairs to discuss what they just read. This is used most often in intermediate grades with informational text.

6. Silent Reading--Fluent readers read best silently. Consequently, give students a short text/portion of text to read independently as they also jot their thoughts along the way. Engage in after-reading conversation to confirm comprehension.

For more alternatives for small-group reading, check out Goodbye Round Robin by Michael Opitz and Timothy Rasinski. The book highlights 25 different, effective oral reading strategies.

Character Counts Pillar of the Month

September: Responsibility