Instructional Coach Weekly Update

Weeks of April 11-15

Strategy Spotlight

Spelling...


I know after conversations we had late fall with Susan O. and Jessica Q many of you dropped the weekly spelling lists as we try and move away from tedious memorization of a list of words that are too hard for some and too easy for others, only to find out that the majority of our students can't spell the words correctly the following week! We know we want to get away from "busy work" around spelling - worksheets, rainbow writes, word searches, spelling packets and non-meaningful spelling homework, the majority of which we know just help students memorize the spellings and don't teach them the rules and patterns behind the correct spellings.


I think we'd all agree that we need to find a better way to teach spelling - a way that focuses on rules, patterns, and syllable types, something that allows students to apply their knowledge to all words they try to spell throughout the day. As we look ahead to next year, we will need to start to brainstorm what spelling instruction will look like and what part of the day will it be taught.


Some things to think about as we look ahead to next year...



  • Susan O. and Jessica Q. both strongly suggest that spelling and reading should be directly tied to one another - the types of words students are learning/practicing to read should be the same types of words they are spelling (decoding AND encoding together).
  • We know that students read at different levels and plan leveled reading instruction, how can we do the same for spelling?
  • If small group reading groups are leveled would it make sense for spelling instruction to be tied into that time of day? If so, is there enough time to do spelling during SGR time?
  • How will these spelling changes be communicated home with parents (both initially and throughout the year)?
  • How will we assess students spelling abilities to track their progress?
  • What (if any) materials do we need to have/use to teach spelling effectively?
  • How will teams include spelling during their weekly team planning sessions?
  • How can we incorporate what we've learned in books #1-3 from LETRS into our plan for teaching spelling next year?

This Week

- Teaching/Co-teaching daily math lessons in 4th grade

- Teaching/Co-teaching daily math lessons in 3rd grade

- Small group work in writing in a 4th grade classroom

- Team planning meetings

- NTC tool updates

- Reading assessments in 5th grade and 4th grade (as they finish the multisyllabic kits in intervention)

- Helping write an IRA for 4th grade

- Arranging ELA observations for teachers to observe each other

- Writing scripts for intervention once students pass out of the multisyllabic kit

- Model interventions in 4th and 5th grade classrooms

- LETRS training

- 1/2 day RCD training

Next Week

- TWO DAYS OF INSTRUCTIONAL COACH TRAINING - Tuesday and Wednesday (I will be out of the building both of these days)

- Teaching/Co-teaching daily math lessons in 4th grade

- Teaching/Co-teaching daily math lessons in 3rd grade

- Small group work in writing in a 4th grade classroom

- Team planning meetings

- NTC tool updates

- Several webinars

- Reading assessments in 5th grade

- Reading assessments in 4th grade

- Helping write an IRA for 4th grade

- Helping design intervention materials for 3 groups who have completely finished the multisyllabic kit

- Arranging ELA observations for teachers to observe each other

Congratulations!!

Our building is doing a phenomenal job at weekly progress monitoring!!


Each week we can see the percent of students who are scheduled to receive weekly progress monitoring that actually get progress monitored (from the TIER home screen select, "Summary Reports" and then click on the third blue bar down called, "Percent of Students Not at Benchmark Monitored with a Reliable/Valid Assessment" to see the graphs for yourself). I know the expectation at the state level and here in our building is that every student that is supposed to be progress monitored each week is actually progress monitored, however it sounds like this is not the case everywhere. This is one piece of data that state is monitoring and collecting at each building level so this is very good for us!


Since February 15 here are our weekly percentage of students who were progress monitored for that week: 99%, 94%, 98%, 98%, 97%, 98%, 98%, and 99% ...so far this week we are only at 16% so make sure you get all your progress monitoring done :)


We even had 98% the week of winter break when we only had 2 days of school!


I know how hard it is to get progress monitoring done each week, especially since the expectation is that it doesn't happen during what would normally be instructional time, but know all of your hard work is paying off and we are seeing great growth in our students!