Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Mandy's Message

It's hard to believe it is the middle of October already! How in the world has the first quarter gone by so fast? I want to start by saying thank you to everyone for extending such a warm Fairfield welcome as I begin this new journey. I promise you will not have to look at my picture every time you open the department newsletter. I just thought including this picture would help you put a face with my name. Before joining the Fairfield family, I spent 15 years as a high school history teacher at Taylor High School in Three Rivers Local School District and I loved every minute of it (well...maybe most every minute...let's be real...teaching can be tough). I spent one year as the teacher leader of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development in the district while still teaching AP US History. After that, I became the district's Chief Academic Officer and served in that position for four years. As I start my twenty-first year in education as a Fairfield Indian, I look forward to serving all of you in hopes that this truly is your best year ever!
Click here to view the 2019 Report Card Presentation

The presentation was given at BOE meeting on 10/3/19

Upcoming Professional Learning Events

Kagan Cooperative Learning Day 2

Tuesday, Dec. 10th, 8am-3:30pm

4641 Bach Lane

Fairfield, OH

Interested in attending? Click HERE to register in PD Express.

Kagan Cooperative Learning Day #3

Wednesday, Dec. 11th, 8am-3:30pm

4641 Bach Lane

Fairfield, OH

This event had to be rescheduled due to low registration numbers. If you are interested in Kagan Cooperative Learning Day #3, please RSVP through PD Express as soon as possible. Cooperative Learning Day #4 will be offered later in the year.

The Science Scoop

Revised Model Curriculum is out! The content changes are mostly just tweaks, but the significant shift is in instruction. The Revised Ohio Standards emphasize the nature of science, and the science cognitive demands as much as the content statements. Testing on these revisions will not begin until fall 2020. You can find the revised documents HERE.

Contact Lori Wegman with questions!

Engage with Escape Games!

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction has 12 Breakout EDU kits that you can check out to use with your students! These kits include the boxes, multiple kinds of locks, and various other clue-creation pieces such as invisible ink and UV flashlights. Lock combinations are all customizable to your clues.

To check them out, please download and fill out the checkout form and email it to Lori Wegman. You can also access the form in SharePoint> Office of Curriculum and Instruction>Instructional Resources> BreakoutEDU

You can access FREE pre-made games on the Breakout EDU website. First, create a free BreakoutEDU account. Then click the topic of choice in the library and search in the "user-generated" section.

There will be some Breakout EDU professional learning opportunities offered soon. If you would like to know more or have questions, contact Lori Wegman!

Edciting News!

News from Edcite:

  • Assigning an Edcite common assessment is as easy as clicking on the Common Assessment tab at the top of your home page. Click 'Assign' and choose your classes.
  • Reports are generated by dates, so no need to copy and rename assessments.
  • Edcite Smart Sheets are in Share Point, Office of Curriculum and Instruction. They are easy to find using the filters!
If you need any help, please contact Dan, Lori, and/or Katie. We will be happy to come to you and give you the assistance you need.

MAP Moment

NWEA recently released the Family Report. This report is a summary designed to show parents/guardians how their child is performing academically, as measured by the most recent MAP Growth test(s). The report is family-friendly while providing parents/guardians with guiding questions to ask their child's teacher(s) in order to learn more about their academic progress.

If you haven't already done so, check it out!

Contact Rob Beidelman (858-7130) with questions regarding the Family Report or other MAP-related needs.

Literacy Lowdown

From there to here

and here to there,

LITERACY things are everywhere!

Dr. Seuss with a Fairfield spin :)

Literacy strategies are everywhere! We are so excited to see everyone using the literacy strategies we learned last year. We have seen these strategies being used in core classes and co-curriculars.

Our literacy grant is in its second year. We look forward to our work together this year as we continue developing our strategies while learning how to intentionally structure lessons for the development of literacy in all students.

We would love to hear from you. Send us an email or text with a time and place or pictures. We would love to see all the great literacy strategies you are utilizing with your students.

Lauren Sweeney and Jen Lewis


One of the strategies for teaching word problems to students of all ages is to use Numberless Word Problems. This is an old strategy that is resurfacing and with good reason. The Modeling & Reasoning reporting category is one that our students in Fairfield struggle with on the OST and EOC. The majority of the problems that fall into this category are word problems, no matter the domain.

Numberless Word Problems are treated as a close reading exercise. During the first read, take out all of the numbers. At this point, a series of questions is asked by the teacher to draw student attention to the information before students try to make sense of the numbers. Then numbers are added back in for another read and discussion. Then students use words, numbers, and/or pictures to work the problem.

You can take this a step further and also take out the question for the 1st read. The students try to figure out what the question might be. Add the numbers back in and again talk about what the question could be. Finally, reveal the actual question. You may want students to answer the questions that they came up with along with solving the real problem.

The link will take you to a website with great information on how to get started:


Contact Debi Freimuth if you have any questions about Numberless Word Problems.

Teaching Grammar Using Authentic Student Writing

Just to reiterate how grammar should be taught based on research findings and how it is stated in the standards, there is a link to a blog below (also a 20 minute podcast if you prefer listening). This pedagogy aligns with OWP’s beliefs, for those of you who have had OWP PD, that grammar instruction should be embedded in writing, not taught in isolation. Mini-lessons should be used as an instructional strategy when aligned with writing and student need.

Another thought... The state assessments put more emphasis on purpose: focus and organization (4 points), evidence and elaboration (4 points) than on the conventions: grammar, usage, punctuation, capitalization, sentence formation, spelling (2 points).


There are also other valuable resources that may interest you on the website: www.cultofpedagogy.com.

Contact Laura Griffin if you would like to have conversation about teaching grammar using authentic student writing.

ESL (Excellent Students Learning)

From the 'mouths of babes'...

Crossroads Middle School ESL teacher, Jen Crawley, queried her students about what has contributed most to their academic success. The answers worth noting may not be anything new, but they are highly effective:

taking good notes~learning through games~asking the teacher for help~practice tests~group work and discussions~challenging classes~great teachers~charts, graphs and visual aids~hands-on learning opportunities~labs~computer access~participating in class~

All of these answers are great, and answers in bold especially help ELs navigate the classroom. Something to keep in mind!

Contact Dawn Warren Hildreth for more EL ideas and activities.

Encouragement Corner

This video is an "oldie, but a goodie." I love it even though it makes me cry every time I see it! It always reminds me of how it is so important for us, as educators, to focus more on what our students can do versus dwelling on what they might not be able to do. Teachers have the power to see the best in kids and to help them fulfill their destiny. Thank you for doing that for our students each and every day!


World's Most Amazing Dog! Meet dog surfing extraordinaire, Surf Dog Ricochet