Friday Focus

Weekly Newsletter for Spring Hill Intermediate Employees

May 8, 2015

Great News:

  • 18 days left in school! Make them count...some kids come to school to be loved!
  • Congrats to Joseph Egbe for winning the PTA reflection award for his original music composition! He will be recognized at the board meeting on Tuesday!
  • GRANTS AWARDED: Education Foundation awarded over $8,000.00 to our campus and PTA Awarded over $3,000.00!! I am so thankful for the support we receive from both these organizations and thankful for the grants that you wrote to help the students of Spring Hill Intermediate!

Check Your Google Calendar for upcoming Events this Week!

Big image

A video to Share...

It's that time...SPRING!! Also, it's no secret that we've got some students with spring, or should I say summer, fever! Heres a quick video about behavior in the cafeteria! It's time for a quick reminder...feel free to share this with your classes!
Keys to Positive Behavior in the Cafeteria

Insight On Inclusion:

From Dr. Fad on creating efficient learners!

For students to be efficient and effective learners, they need to “learn how to learn,” i.e., master not just content but strategies they can use with all new information. When students learn strategies that they can apply in many situations across all content areas, their learning can take off. These students can master reading, writing, speaking, presenting, and creating activities on their own or when working in a group, without always relying on teachers’ guidance or explicit instruction.

While there are many strategies that will help students as they approach new learning, those that are reading-based often provide a solid framework for later academic success. Making predictions and inferences are two of the key strategies based in literacy but useful in all content areas. Here are two good references that provide additional information related to strategy instruction.


Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J., & Pollock, J. E. (2001). Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement. Columbus, Ohio: Pearson.

Kamil, M.L., Borman, G.D., Dole, J., Kral, C.C., Salinger, T., and Torgesen, J. (2008) Improving adolescent literacy: Effective classroom and intervention practices: A Practice Guide (NCEE #2008-4027). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from

How to Use This Tool:

Teaching specific strategies like making predictions and inferences requires a systematic approach. Just telling students to predict or asking them what they can infer about something is not likely to be effective. Here are some steps that can help students learn these important skills.

  1. Gather materials that lend themselves to strategy instruction. These should include a variety of written materials, both fiction and non-fiction.
  2. Clearly define the terms and allow students to suggest their own. You can also use a t-chart like the one shown here to help students understand what key words mean and what they do not mean.
  3. Use lots of modeling. Because strategies are difficult for some students to master, teachers should do “think alouds,” that model for students how to approach written material and how to take a step-by-step approach to a specific strategy.
  4. Allow students to practice individually and with their peers. When students are provided opportunities for practice and get feedback from their peers, they begin not only to master the strategies, but to self-correct when they make a mistake.
  5. Include self-evaluation in the process. We have provided a free form for downloading that could be used for this process. While this form was designed primarily as a self-evaluation tool for behavioral skills, it can also be used with academic skills. The bottom section, called Grade Yourself, allows students to evaluate their performance and decide what to do differently next time. This can easily be used with strategy instruction.
  6. Follow up with feedback and correction when needed. While students may find it difficult to learn strategies like predicting or making inferences, once they “get it,” these skills will help them in all areas. It is worth taking the time to teach students how to use these important tools for learning!

Reference for this Tool

Idea 6. Note. From Practical Ideas That Really Work for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: High Functioning Autism (pp. 25-27), by K. McConnell, G. R. Ryser and J. R. Patton, 2014, Austin, TX: PRO-ED. Copyright 2014 by PRO-ED, Inc. Reprinted online with permission.

If you are interested in the product that this form is re-printed from, here is the link:

- See more at:

Spring Hill Intermediate School

Amy Doron, Principal

Campus Mission Statement:
Spring Hill Intermediate strives to provide a place for learning where all students can succeed with the assistance of skilled staff that inspires confidence, respect, and direction within each student.

Campus Vision Statement:
To create a safe environment in which all staff collaborate to insure an active, engaging and challenging system of education for the improvement of all students.