February 17-21, 2014

Principally Speaking: Lesson #3: Follow the Leader!

Geese rotate leadership. When the goose flying in the front of the formation has to expend the most energy because it is the first to break up the flow of air that provides the additional lift for all of the geese who follow behind the leader. Consequently, when the lead goose gets tired, it drops out of the front position and moves to the rear of the formation, where the resistance is lightest, and another goose moves to the leadership position. This rotation of position happens many times in the course of the long journey to warmer climates. When a team is functioning well, various members of the team may take the leadership role for a while because of a particular expertise or experience. Consequently, on good teams, everyone has the opportunity to serve as a leader as well as a follower.

Professional Development: Word Study Instruction

The following is an excerpt from an article entitled Word Study Instruction in the K-2 Classroom . "Making Words Lesson" video below demonstrates Word Study in Action.

Word study is an approach to spelling instruction that moves away from a focus on memorization. The approach reflects what researchers have discovered about the alphabetic, pattern, and meaning layers of English orthography which is the conventional spelling system of a language.

Teachers use a variety of hands-on activities, often called word work, to help students actively explore these layers of information. When studying the alphabetic layer, students examine the relationship between letters and sounds. They learn to match single letters and pairs of letters (e.g., ch) to specific sounds and, in doing so, to create words. When students study the pattern layer, they look beyond single or paired letter-sounds to search for larger patterns that guide the grouping of letters (e.g., CVCe). Studying the meaning layer helps students to understand how the English spelling system can directly reflect the semantic relationships across related words. For example, students come to understand that the second vowel in composition is spelled with an o because it is related to compose.

Examining each layer of the orthography helps students to see the regularities, patterns, and derivations in English words — how words work in our writing system. Word study also teaches students how to use this word knowledge strategically to support their spelling attempts during writing activities and to help them decode unfamiliar words while reading (Bear & Templeton, 1998).

The primary goal of word study is to support students' development of a working knowledge of the orthography — knowledge that students can apply as they are reading and writing.

Tips for implementing word study

Tip 1: Assess Students' Word Knowledge Using Multiple Assessment Tools

Tip 2: Use a Homogeneous Small-Group Approach to Instruction

Tip 3: Carve Out Time to Prepare for Word Study Instruction

Tip 4: Teach Word Knowledge, Not Just Words

Tip 5: Demonstrate How Word Study Can Be Used During Reading and Writing

Tip 6: Teach Strategies That Support Students' Use of Word Study Instruction

Tip 7: Make Your Word Wall Work

Tip 8: "Word Work" Should Work, Too!

Tip 9: Engage Students in Extensive "Real" Reading and Writing


TELPAS: Teacher Calibration starts Monday Feb 17!!! If you have ELL students in your class you must calibrate according to your grade level. It is recommended that all teachers calibrate so that you can keep your certification current. If you are a new rater, you also must take this calibration course. Please review the Power Point presentation Mary and Oliver presented to you. The link below will take you to the Texas Training site in which you will complete the calibration. Teachers who provide Oliver with the certificate of completion by Friday February 21 at 3:00pm will receive a jean pass. The NRES deadline to complete the TELPAS calibration is February 26.

TELPAS Training Power Point


This week students in grades 2-4 will have the following suggested tasks to write about:

1. Narrative writing about a past event (Write about a celebration you have had with your family)

2. Academic: (write an expository piece about an important historical or current event) Perhaps about President's day!

CPAA Assessment Results: We will be sending home the parent reports this week. This will inform parents of their student's progress, areas of strength and concern. Please be prepared to discuss these results if parents have questions. These did not go out last week because we were waiting on more students to be tested to run the letters.

DCAs and Practice Assessments: Mark your calendars. ISTs and specialists, please be available these days to provide necessary accommodations.

Math: Feb. 20th - 4th grade will try out the oral administration using Google.

Reading: Feb. 26th

Science: March 4th

Writing STAAR Field Test(only bilingual 4th grade students): March 4

Soc.St: March 21st


Math DCA – Feb. 26 @ 10:30

Reading DCA – Feb. 27 @ 10:30

SECOND GRADE: Please send Oliver the dates


Math DCA - February 19

NEW TEXAS ACCOUNTABILITY REPORT: If you are interested in downloading the report card for North Riverside Elementary please click

Weekly Happenings

Monday - Spring Pictures

Tuesday - 2014 - 2015 Calendar Review during PLC Meetings

Wednesday: CEIC Meeting and KISD Food Show

Thursday: Staff Meeting

Friday: 4th Grade Writing Professional Development

Where is Everyone this Week?

Monday 17: Title 1 Meeting @ NRES 9:30 a.m. (Jackie)

Tuesday 18: STAAR L Training NRES Computer Lab (Oliver and Jackie). Oliver @ Continuos Improvement training at AD. Building 12:00.

Wednesday 19: Gradebook Meeting @ Admin 9:00 a.m. (Jackie)

Thursday 20: TELPAS and STAAR L Training @ ELC (Oliver 8:30 a.m. /Jackie 12 noon)

Friday 21: AP Cohort Meeting @ Admin (Oliver) / Administrative Consultation @ 12 noon (Jackie and Oliver)


Namchick, Renee 20-Feb

Rogish, Gloria 28-Feb

Word Study in Action: Making Words Lesson