APRIL

Building Goal #1

Investigate how to maximize and Implement Study Island to improve student achievement.



Some important changes will go into effect when you are utilizing Study Island next school year (2014-2015). Currently, you can select various subjects such as Math, Reading, Science, create your own custom assignments, etc.


Next year, Study Island will have PA Core Standards available for you to select. They will be labeled "Math (PACCS)" or "Reading (PACCS)". This will provide you with the material that is associated with the new standards.


The PACCS material is already loaded into Study Island so you can check them out now!

BUILDING GOAL # 2

To systematically implement formative assessments to inform instruction.


"Informative assessment isn't an end in itself, but the beginning of better instruction."

Carol Ann Tomlinson

How can I make formative assessments engaging?

Formative Assessments are used to check for understanding during the lesson rather than at the end of a unit. These assessments guide instruction and can provide you with valuable information such as if you need to re-teach or review the material with students who simply did not get it.


There is a wide variety of technology that you can use to engage your students with formative assessments. Helpful websites include Socrative, Infuse Learning, Poll Everywhere, Poll Daddy, and much more! All of these tools are FREE so click on the links to find out which one suits you!

BUILDING GOAL # 3

Support teachers and students in the implementation, monitoring, and accounting for Tier 1 interventions in the RtII process.

While research is limited in secondary RtII, there is a great deal of research about effective instruction in the classroom. It is important to evaluate whether the actual teaching practices across tiers reflect this research. In order to assess this research, six questions can be evaluated:

1.) Are students being taught in a variety of ways?

2.) Is the instruction explicit?

3.) Is the content being taught using real world examples?

4.) Do students have multiple opportunities to apply newly learned concepts and skills?

5.) Is students' progress being monitored continually?

6.) Are you using maintenance activities so that students retain prior learning?


Evaluate the answers to these six general questions to help identify your strength and weaknesses in effective teaching. Remember, all students learn differently. Differentiating your instruction is the key to framework of RtII.


Reference:

BUILDING GOAL # 4

Increase metacognitive thinking through the reading/writing process.

Metacognitive Strategies:



These are the strategies that strong readers and strong learners should be using:




Predicting - This encourages students to read with a purpose and to confirm or correct what they predicted.




Self-questioning - Allows learners to actively check how much they understand while reading. Students can pose questions such as, "What is the main idea?" and "Are there examples to help me understand what I just read?" Students who ask their own questions show greater improvement in comprehension.




Paraphrasing - By putting the concepts of a passage or section into their own words, or by summarizing the main points, students get a sense of how much they understand.




Visual Representation - Creating visual models of ideas within a text provides a means of organizing information into understandable wholes, and promotes the visualization of relationships.




Lookback - This strategy involves referring to what has already been read in order to increase understanding of the material.




Changing Reading Speed - When students encounter obstacles like an unusual writing style or too many unknown words, they can modify their reading speed. Good readers are able to determine the appropriate pace for their purpose. For example, they can determine when it is best to quickly scan the material (such as newspapers) and when to read slowly and deliberately (such as a science textbook).