November Newsletter 2015

Gratitude in Action, Hearing Our Students

Gratitude In Action

Last month, there were so many wonderful things happening in our district, we had to have two newsletters. (I couldn't wait to brag on some of you.) Because this month has a holiday specially devoted to gratitude, this newsletter is devoted to all teachers in the Bayless School District. A few will be highlighted, but all are appreciated.

Teacher Resources

Booksource, a local retailer of discounted books, has expanded their website. In an effort to help teachers, Booksource has created a search feature for teachers to find lesson plans and other teacher resources. Simply create an account, search your book or author, and if there is a "TR" listed, you are in luck. Teacher resources include hooks to engage students, standards that can be taught with the book, companion books, as well as both qualitative and quantitative measures. It is a great tool to help teach a favorite read in a new way. Booksource also has the capability for you to scan in and track your classroom library. Email me if you have questions about either of these features.

Bringing Class Discussions to Life

On Monday, Mrs. Fedke's class practiced standard RL5.1 through class discussion. After modeling how to identify a main idea from a nonfiction book, student were given 4 minutes to discuss a new section's main idea with the rest of the class as a whole. Although the students didn't know, Mrs. Fedke was collecting data on how many student shared, if they used the character's name, and if they used the words "main idea" in their sharing. After the four minutes were over, Mrs. Fedke shared the data and asked what could be better for the next round. The students then set goals for all three criteria and discussed again. The difference was amazing. The students seemed to internalize the content and took ownership over the discussion. It was also fun to watch students build upon each other's ideas and use the language of the text when speaking. This activity took 15 minutes and can be used in any class and at most grade levels.
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