LWISD Bullfrog Bulletin

(The Croaker)-- Friday, November 13, 2015

Inspiring and Empowering Every Student, Every Day!

We Learn . . .

10% of what we read

20% of what we hear

30% of what we see

50% of what we both see and hear

70% of what is experienced personally

95% of what we teach to someone else.

--William Glasser

Resurrection of the Croaker!

When I was principal at Lake Worth High School, I started a weekly update to the staff called the “Croaker”! I think it is appropriate that it is resurrected.

At the start of this school year, I shared with you my story, my connection and my love for Lake Worth Independent School District! I challenged you to share your story with your staff, because I do not BELIEVE that anyone is going to follow us as leaders unless they can see our passion, love and ability to show our vulnerable side. I BELIEVE that was the first step in our getting better! The next step, as we continue to implement necessary instructional strategies for success, is to foster the unbelievable environment that allows for us to create a Lake Worth culture of GREATNESS!

When we reach an all-staff culture for High Achievement, all students on grade level by the end of third grade, all staff working in the POWER-ZONE from bell to bell, all students engaged with other students throughout the class, and when all students create products that demonstrate their knowledge of standards, our students and staff will be in the school district that we described last week in our Professional Learning Community – a Premier School District in the state of Texas. I look forward to that day soon!!

I also look forward to the next few months as we continue to work together in the best interest of our students, parents, staff and community. The months of November and December will bring about much growth in our teachers and students, and I promise some exciting times for Lake Worth Independent School District staff.

Thank you for you dedication to our students and to the initiatives that will help us reach what we deserve – GREATNESS! Don’t stop BELIEVING!

You’re very proud Superintendent,

John R. Hebert


This week, I had the pleasure to attend Guided Reading training. It was wonderful to see such a great group of RTI specialists, TLC coaches, and teachers from all elementary and the intermediate campuses grow in their knowledge of reading instruction. There were many great moments during the sessions, but one thing that I will take with me was something stated by Dr. Sheri Pentecost. She said that we have it all wrong. We believe that reading instruction is all about literary elements, etc., but we only study those things because knowing about characters or plot or figurative language helps us to be better readers. I also realized that reading is so much more than reading words--it is thinking. Maybe I didn't realize that because I have been a reader since I listened to Charlotte's Webb in Mrs. Gooch's second grade classroom each day after lunch. Most teachers are good readers.

--Cara Malone

Best Practice in Reading

1. Reading means getting meaning from print. (The essence of reading is a transaction between the words of an author and the mind of a reader, during which meaning is constructed.)

2. Reading is thinking. (This is an active process of constructing, creating)

3. Hearing books read aloud is a key to learning to read. Students at all grade levels need to hear oral reading.

4. Reading is the best practice for learning to read.

5. Beginning reading instruction should provide children with many opportunities to interact with print.

6. Children learn to read best in a low-risk environment. (Reading experiences should allow students to take risks, make inferences, check their conclusions against the text, and to be wrong without constant penalties for failures.)

7. Young children should have well-structured instruction in phonics.

8. Basal readers are not enough. (Students need access to a wide and rich array of print.)

9. Choice is an integral part of literate behavior.

10.Kids need easy books (They need to read with 98% accuracy books they read alone.)

11.Teachers should model reading. (Teachers at every grade level should read widely along with their students, sharing their reading lives and talking about how they select books, authors, and genres. Teachers should also show students their thought process through think-a-louds.)

12.Effective teachers help children use reading as a tool for learning. (Your content is the “what” that students learn; reading is a “how”, a way they learn or demonstrate their learning.)

13.Teachers should name and teach reading strategies directly.

14.Teachers should support readers before, during, and after reading.

15.Kids should have daily opportunities to talk about their reading.

16.Students should spend less time completing reading workbooks and skill sheets. (There is little evidence that these activities enhance reading achievement, and they consume too much class time.)

17.Writing experiences should be provided at all grade levels in all subjects.

18.Reading assessment should match classroom practice. (The best possible assessment occurs when teachers observe and interact with students as they read authentic texts for genuine purposes and then keep records of students’ developing skills, problems, changes, and goals i.e. one-to-one assessment conferences.)

19.Students should read a minimum of twenty-five books across the curriculum each year (should not be limited to AR reading).

Best practice in reading is defined by the following landmark documents:

1985 Becoming a Nation of Readers, published by the National Institute of Education (Anderson)

1989 New Policy Guidelines for Reading, issued by the National Council of Teachers of English (Harte)

1996, 2002, 2012 NCTE/IRA “Standards for the English Language Arts”

The New Standards Project, a venture of the National Commission on Education

2000, National Reading Panel issued a report called “Teaching Children to Read”

2002 IRA “What Research Has to Say about Reading Instruction) (Farstrup and Samuels) details what works in reading

2003 Reading Essentials: The Specifics You Need to Teaching Reading Well -- Reggie Routman—drew upon this whole body of research to express best practices in reading.

Knowledge further defined by:

Allen (2000), Atwell (1998), Beers (2003), Calkins (2000), Daniels and Zemelman (2004) Fountas and Pinnell (1996, 2001), Harvey and Goudvis (2000), Miller (2002), Taberski (2002), Tovani (2002, 2004), and Wilhelm (1996, 2001)

“Reading aloud allows children to hear the rich language of stories and texts they cannot yet read on their own or might never have chosen to read. Our students learn vocabulary, grammar, new information, and how stories and written language work, especially when we talk about the background of a piece of writing and encourage active participation and discussion.”—Reggie Routman

Things to Come:

November 16th

TAIS Meeting from 12:00 - 4:00 pm at the LWHS Library. Don't forget that your staff members on the leadership committee will need to attend.

Navigator Training from 4:15 - 5:15 pm; we will have a panel of LWISD teachers available for new teachers to ask questions. This should be a wonderful event!

Board Meeting

November 17th

Walkthroughs with Ken McGuire--Thinking Maps Leadership Trainer

I will be conducting walkthroughs with Ken McGuire all day. I would like for either you and/or your assistant principal to be available if at all possible to guide us through your campus. We plan to keep as close to the following schedule as possible:

9:15 - 10:15--Miller Elementary

10:15 - 11:15--Collins Middle School

11:45 - 12:45 --Marine Creek Elementary

1:00 - 2:00--Howry Intermediate

2:00 - 3:00--Effie Morris Elementary

3:15 - 3:50--LWHS

SLAR K,2,3,4 CBA Creation at Admin

November 19th

Leadership Academy--9:00 am at Admin

November 20th

Waiver PD Day

Videos to Watch:

Sesame Street: Janelle Monae - Power of Yet
Michael Jordan "Failure" Commercial HD 1080p
Penny Kittle: Why Students Don't Read What is Assigned in Class

Apps for the Classroom