Lindsey's Coaching Corner

Keeping Smith Teachers in The Know

"Mistakes are proof that you are trying."

Another great week in the books last week! It is always nice to spend that extra day over the weekend, but WHHEEEW it is always a doozie having a four day week!

I want to celebrate all the new learning on campus this past week....Exemplars kicked off in math, pre-assessments for process standards in reading, Flash Drafts and Grammar Talks in writing, LLI in 1st and 3rd and Tutoring across the board. Thank you always for being risk-takers and doers...I always remember EVERY ACCOMPLISHMENT STARTS WITH A DECISION TO TRY.

Have a great Monday,

One of your BIGGEST Cheerleaders!



- Please let me know if your team needs some guidance with Exemplars. I loved being in 2nd and 4th grade this week and getting my hands on this new perspective. The way students slowed down and really took time to connect to the problem and their own learning was remarkable. I loved seeing "Novice" problem solvers bloom into "Apprentices" by the end of the week.

Nitty Gritty:

  • This counts as your daily problem solving
  • Sept. 8 - Grades K-5 start implementing Exemplars with a focus on the process of Problem Solving
  • The most current Exemplar information can be found on Forethought under Math: Cluster 1: Developing Mathematical Processes or the Exemplars tab.
  • You can choose Exemplars from the instructional task/formative assessment or summative assessment task
  • After the 5 week implementation plan, rubrics can be used informally or formally as a grade
  • On Day 5, you can choose a problem from Exemplars, Lone STAAR, or the district provided problem solving (provided for K-2) to be your formative assessment, if you don't want to create your own
  • Teams will reference their Exemplar Roll-Out Plan document to provide clarity on what each day of problem solving will look like.

The video below titled, "Follow Up With Exemplars Implementation Plan" was sent to coaches, but I think it would bring clarity to teachers as well. I also placed videos for each day of exemplars to build a clear picture of what this can look like in your classroom. If you still have questions or would like to think through this more, please let me know.

Follow up with Exemplars Implementation Plan
Developing the Mathematical Processes Day 1
Developing the Mathematical Processes Day 2
Developing the Mathematical Processes Days 3 4
Developing the Mathematical Processes Day 5


Guided Reading and Professional Library

We are upgrading our ancient library to an electronic system. We are excited to roll out a scanner system, much like the Smith Library. This will take some preparation, and will be a work in progress. If you need to check out books, grab the cards and stack them on my table. (you will see others there). We will get them in the system eventually. Jenny Dutil is taking on this huge task, so if you see her in the halls or in my room, please thank her for the hours she is volunteering.


DRA's and Running Records vs. ISTATION DATA

I asked a first grade this week, "How do you feel when you get to read to your teacher?" The little girl responded, "I love showing her all the skills I practiced over the summer. I also love time with my teacher by myself. I want to show her how much I practiced."

Students are craving that one on one time with their teachers. What a great opportunity to get to know your students through literature. A quick running record will give you gobs of information about your class as readers and fill their heart when they get the chance to spend some time with you. I challenge you to grab each student this week, if only for a bit, and listen to them as a reader. Let them show you what they need from you this year!


Nitty gritty:

- this is a SCREENER, not an official way to collect data on the readers in your class

- I-station will load new studnets each night, Donita and I no longer add students.

- Students will complete I-stations once a month

Strategy group vs. Guided Reading...WHAT is the big difference?

Many of you are kicking off your structured Reading groups this week! For the most part in Kinder, 1st and 2nd, students are LEARNING TO READ. Primary grades are focusing on Balanced literacy workshops...all the components that go into teaching a child HOW TO read.

In 3rd, 4th, and 5th however, it looks a bit different, for the most part. Students are encouraged to find their own books, get buried into novels of their choice and really LEARN FROM WHAT THEY READ. Majority of these students are not focusing on the fundamentals of reading, but gaining information from the text they choose. Therein lies the difference on how we instruct students in reading.

Below you will find a comparison chart that really helps draw a picture of the differences and similarities we experience in our small groups. The video below is of a teacher many of us went to see last year. She was one of the most PURPOSEFUL teachers I have ever seen. Here lesson will demonstrate what a strategy group in fourth grade could look like. ENJOY!

Nichols 4th Grade Strategy Groups
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Grammar Talks


-SUPPORT independence and differentiation in Workshop

- PROVIDE examples of strong, correct wiritng models

-PROVIDE intentional understanding of what craft mentors incorporate in their writing

-CREATE a safe learning enviornment where writers engage and take risks

- APPLY and IMITATE authentic writing crafts in daily workshop

* I am excited to come and learn this week with your kiddos! :)

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Grammar Talks: Overview of Curriculum Resources

District Dates and PD Info

There's always room for more learning...

" Formative assessments are one of the most powerful weapons in a teacher's arsenal. An effective standards-based, formative assessment program can help to dramatically enhance student achievement throughout the K-12 system." Marzano
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What I'm Studying

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