Curriculum Newsletter

January 2016

Going Places in 2016!

As we kick off 2016, we remember four months ago, when we sat in the MTES gymnasium (in the August heat) and listened to the story of Raphael and Maya in "Going Places." It was then that we established our vision for the school year. We continue our commitment to students by celebrating their "creative spirit, collaboration, and thinking - outside the box."


With the new year upon us, our curriculum initiatives are gaining momentum. In January, we will continue our good work across all content areas. Let's see where our vision is taking us!


  • LLI Transition Meetings ~ As the first round of LLI comes to a close and testing begins, the BSI teachers and I agree that it's important to thoroughly communicate student progress with all classroom teachers. This month, Karen, Trenna and Janet will arrange time to meet with all classroom teachers of LLI students. A floating sub will provide you with coverage for these meetings. We believe this is a crucial piece to ensure continued success for our neediest readers.
  • Grade Level Meetings (grades 3-6) ~ Teachers will be given the opportunity to analyze last year's PARCC data. We will use a PLC protocol format to determine strengths and needs, then use this information to plan for improved instructional practices in ELA and math.
  • First Grade Regional Collaboration - An invitation has been extended by Springfield school district to participate in small group reading professional development. This PD will include demo lessons in a first grade classroom, ideas for gathering formative assessment data, and a collaboration session that will review differences between strategy groups and guided reading groups.
  • Kindergarten Teacher Visitation ~ Since full-day kindergarten provides opportunities for more instructional time, Mansfield teachers will visit a full-day kindergarten classroom in Evesham Township. They will have the opportunity to see leveled reading groups, differentiated choice time work stations, as well as literacy independence by way of the "Daily 5." Kindergarten teachers in Mansfield and Evesham will have the opportunity to collaborate and share new ideas for instruction.
  • ACT program ~ Mrs. Szymanski has been working hard to assess potential students and inform classroom teachers and parents. Our new ACT criteria (since the NJASK is no longer being used) have proven to be very informative and appropriate.
  • Teacher Movie Lunch (grades 3-6) ~ Teachers at MTES are invited to attend a voluntary movie lunch to view "The Classroom Experiment." This movie is a two-part series that demonstrates the interesting results when teachers are challenged to stretch their comfort zone with regard to educational theory and practice. A "Popcorn Bar" will be available for all teachers who attend.
  • Report Card Committee ~ This month, our wonderful report card committee will be at it again. The committee will begin to map out content areas and measures for our report cards.
  • Science Committee ~ Once again, the science committee will be busy. Two days this month will be spent receiving PD on the creation of engaging lessons from a professor affiliated with our work at Rider and the president of the New Jersey Science Teacher's Association.
  • BSI Collaboration Meeting - Mansfield teachers are working with neighboring districts, including Hainesport and Springfield, to develop a basic skills handbook. Teachers in these districts will meet to engage in collegial conversation and continue to hone their strategies for our neediest readers.
  • After School STEM Program ~ High achieving students in grades 3-6 will experience hands-on educational experiences in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. This is an exciting opportunity for our students and very closely aligns with the NGSS.

DATES TO REMEMBER...

  • Grade Level Meetings - grades 3 & 6 - January 12th
  • Grade Level Meetings - grades 4 & 5 - January 19th
  • Alternate Rankings Due to BSI Teachers - January 8th
  • LLI Transition Meetings - Hydock - January 27th - MTES - January 27th and 28th
  • First Grade Regional Collaboration in Springfield - January 13th
  • Kindergarten Teacher Visitation in Evesham - TBD - Week of January 25th
  • Kindergarten Teachers Administer Mid-Year Benchmarks - January 14th
  • Movie Lunches - grades 3-6 - January 20th and 27th
  • Report Card Committee - February 4th (tentative)
  • Regional Science Committee Meeting - January 21st
  • BSI Collaboration Meeting - February 3rd

ARTICLES WORTH READING!

Click Here for Formative Assessment Ideas

53 Ways to Check for Understanding

Click Here to Celebrate Science in Texts

Author Katie Wood Ray offers innovative strategies to connect science with non-fiction reading and writing.

Click here for 50+ Tools to Differentiate Instruction

Social media can enhance differentiated instruction if the tools are selected with a careful eye on individual students' interests, readiness, and learning profiles.

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