Priority School Intermediate News

Intermediate Grades

Summer Book Give Away:

We are excited to announce that all 15 elementary priority schools have confirmed their participation in the Summer Book Give Away! Thanks to Dr. Gay Su Pinnell, who donated funds to Columbus CIty Schools to purchase books for Summer reading. Students in Kindergarten through Third Grade will each receive 12 books in addition to 4 Keep books if they participate in two "Guest Reader" evening events hosted by their school. We are so excited for this great opportunity to help fill home libraries with authentic literature!

3GRG Announcement to Third Grade Teachers

If you are a third grade teacher and you do not already have a Reading Endorsement or a Masters in Reading, you will need to take the Praxis 5203. The test is 2.5 hours long and you must register four days prior to the day of the test. You must obtain a score of 162 or higher to meet state requirements. Principals will submit your names to the district and the good news will be paid for! Free study materials with practice questions are available at

Summer PD Offerings!

Our next issue will contain important information about professional development offerings this summer. Topics include literacy, technology, and much more. Stay tuned!

Ohio Standards to Be Revised

As a result of legislation that stipulates Ohio cannot have national standards, the ELA and Math standards need to be revised. This work will be completed by August of this year. Although not much movement as far as grade-level topics is anticipated, there will be some changes.

Science and Social Studies standards will be revised to take effect by August of 2017, and the revised Model Curriculum in all content areas will be ready by August of 2018.

In the meantime, ODE is finishing up this year's EOY assessments before beginning next year's assessments (which will be based on the revised standards).

Confused yet? Let me know and I'll be happy to walk your grade level/department through it!

ORC is Closing!

The ORC, otherwise known as the Ohio Resource Center, is closing. The website will remain open through the end of the school year, however. If there are resources or links that you would like to save, you might want to do that soon! The ORC will certainly be missed by many.

Teacher Q & A: Laura White, ELA Teacher at Mifflin Middle School

Question: Can you share one success from your beginning of the year?

My students were extremely nervous about their first spelling/vocabulary test for the year. Many were convinced they would not do well, so I challenged them. I said that if 90% of the class earned a 90% or higher on the test, then I would "Hit the Quan" on the stage in front of the school. My students were so determined to make me do this that not only did over 90% earn 90% or higher, but 95% of the class earned a perfect 100%. This gave them the confidence and motivation that they needed to continue to study and do their best in my class. Also, several girls ate lunch in my room for a week while they taught me all the moves, and they danced on stage with me. We all had a great experience over all.

Question: What’s something that you are struggling with?

I find it challenging to comprehend all the steps of the various forms of reporting that are new to me as a 1st-year teacher in CCS. This includes, but is not limited to, RESA, SLOs, TBT 5-Step Process, Student Success Plans, MTSSs, etc. I have learned that these procedures are not as difficult as they seem if you just take them one step at a time and stay organized.

Question: What’s your favorite “go to” classroom management strategy?

I find the best classroom management strategy is to build rapport with students by being sincere, consistent and dedicated. If students get off task (such as when entering the classroom), my "go to" strategy to refocus their attention is to say, "I need you quiet in 3...2...1". My students know to be in their seats and quiet by the time I get to 1.

Question: What’s your favorite “read aloud”?

This year my favorite "read aloud" as a class is actually a tie between Darkness Before Dawn, by Sharon Draper and Night, by Elie Wiesel. The content in these novels inspires student to engage in rich conversation and deep thinking, and it compels them to keep reading!

Question: Who was your favorite teacher in school and why?

Hands down, my favorite teacher in school was my AP English Teacher, Ms. Hudspeth. She was known as being "mean" and "insanely hard". She was the first teacher that truly challenged me and pushed me to a higher level of learning and responsibility. Because of this, I learned what I was capable of and was able to be truly proud of myself. It is because of her that I feel in love with English Language Arts and have dedicated my life to trying to instil this same passion in my students.

Question: What is a memorable moment in teaching for you?

I've had so many memorable moments, funny, moving, eye-opening, etc., since I have become a teacher. One that stands out is when I was teaching a poetry unit, which included Shakespearean sonnets. When the unit was over, all students were required to write an original Shakespearean sonnet on the topic of love. The poems had to be in iambic pentameter, in the proper rhyme scheme, and contain three quatrains and a couplet. Students could incorporate their interests and make it fun by writing about their love of sports, music, etc. We held a poetry slam, invited the administrators to judge the poetry/performances, and in the end every single student was able to complete the assignment with accuracy and to perform their sonnet in an entertaining way. In this lesson, I saw students push their barriers and take themselves to a higher level of thinking, demonstrated through written expression and oral performance. I saw students accomplish something they thought they could never do, feel pride and grow in confidence.

Angela Lee Duckworth: The key to success? Grit