STAR Staff Newsletter

Week of February 17 - 21, 2014

A Word from Mrs. Erb

Stay motivated!

Stay encouraged!

YOU can do this!

Professional Development: Word Study Instruction

The following is an excerpt from an article entitled Word Study Instruction in the K-2 Classroom . "Making Words Lesson" video below demonstrates Word Study in Action.

Word study is an approach to spelling instruction that moves away from a focus on memorization. The approach reflects what researchers have discovered about the alphabetic, pattern, and meaning layers of English orthography which is the conventional spelling system of a language.

Teachers use a variety of hands-on activities, often called word work, to help students actively explore these layers of information. When studying the alphabetic layer, students examine the relationship between letters and sounds. They learn to match single letters and pairs of letters (e.g., ch) to specific sounds and, in doing so, to create words. When students study the pattern layer, they look beyond single or paired letter-sounds to search for larger patterns that guide the grouping of letters (e.g., CVCe). Studying the meaning layer helps students to understand how the English spelling system can directly reflect the semantic relationships across related words. For example, students come to understand that the second vowel in composition is spelled with an o because it is related to compose.

Examining each layer of the orthography helps students to see the regularities, patterns, and derivations in English words — how words work in our writing system. Word study also teaches students how to use this word knowledge strategically to support their spelling attempts during writing activities and to help them decode unfamiliar words while reading (Bear & Templeton, 1998).

The primary goal of word study is to support students' development of a working knowledge of the orthography — knowledge that students can apply as they are reading and writing.

Tips for implementing word study

Tip 1: Assess Students' Word Knowledge Using Multiple Assessment Tools

Tip 2: Use a Homogeneous Small-Group Approach to Instruction

Tip 3: Carve Out Time to Prepare for Word Study Instruction

Tip 4: Teach Word Knowledge, Not Just Words

Tip 5: Demonstrate How Word Study Can Be Used During Reading and Writing

Tip 6: Teach Strategies That Support Students' Use of Word Study Instruction

Tip 7: Make Your Word Wall Work

Tip 8: "Word Work" Should Work, Too!

Tip 9: Engage Students in Extensive "Real" Reading and Writing

Word Study in Action: Making Words Lesson



Be sure to keep the appropriate number of grades in TAC so that an accurate picture of progress is communicated to parents.

Teacher Transfer Fair

This year's Teacher Transfer Fair Day will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 18, in the Texas Rooms at the KISD Education Center. All current KISD professional employees (except administrators) who wish to transfer to another campus for the 2014-15 school year can fill out an online transfer request February 12-28.

Electronic Feedback for Calendar - due by Wednesday - more info during Meeting of the Minds

TELPAS: Teacher Calibration starts Monday Feb 17!!! If you have ELL students in your class you must calibrate according to your grade level. It is recommended that all teachers calibrate so that you can keep your certification current. If you are a new rater, you also must take this calibration course. Please review the Power Point presentation Charlie shared with you. The link below will take you to the Texas Training site in which you will complete the calibration.

TELPAS Training Power Point

2nd-4th grade teachers only

The following writing samples will be completed as a class on the assigned dates.

  • O Tuesday, Feb. 18th Past Narrative
  • O Weds., Feb. 19th Math
  • O Thursday, Feb. 20th Science
  • O Friday Feb. 21st Teacher’s Choice
  • O Monday Feb. 24th Teacher’s Choice

All students will write the samples mentioned above, however, only your LEP students samples will be collected. Please add these writing samples to your lesson plans . At the end of each day Araceli will stop by each classroom (around 2:30 pm) to collect each writing sample. Please make sure all your LEP students have completed their writing samples by this time.

Upcoming DCA's

2/18 - 1st GRADE Math DCA

2/19 - 2nd GRADE Math DCA

2/25 - 3rd GRADE Math DCA

2/26 - 3rd GRADE ELA DCA

2/27 - 4th GRADE Math DCA

2/28 - 4th GRADE ELA DCA

CPAA Assessment Results

We will be sending home the parent reports this week. This will inform parents of their student's progress, areas of strength and concern. Please be prepared to discuss these results with parents, should they have questions.

Faculty Meeting

Monday, 2/17, after school - short! If you have tutoring, do not cancel. However, you will be responsible for obtaining the information on Tuesday during your conference period.

Tori Adams

Be prepared to see less of Tori, up in the office that is. Beginning Monday, Tori will be providing interventions to our kinder students, in the area of reading. She will have her own small group table at the end of the kinder hallway. Tori's new schedule

  • 7:30 - 8:30 - front office support
  • 8:30 - 11:00 - Kinder Intervention
  • 11:00 - 1:00 - Lunch duty/Office lunch rotation
  • 1:00 - 2:00 - Office duties
  • 2:00 - 2:45 - Kinder Intervention
  • 2:45 - 3:30 - Office support

McDonald's Night

2/18 - 5:00 - 8:00 pm - Sign up in the lounge

Severe Weather Drill

Wednesday, 1:00 pm - weather permitting

Accountability Report

NEW TEXAS ACCOUNTABILITY REPORT: If you are interested in downloading the report card for WRES, please click