(December 2015 edition)
Interested in participating in a residency? Contact a coach! In the meantime, check out these residencies that are happening now!
Katie Johnston and Stacy Carignan worked together to team teach math in Mrs. Carignan's 4th grade classroom. The coaching residency allowed Stacy to spend more time with her advanced students, pushing their skills and abilities.
High School Economics
Keith Halverson and Kyle Wood have been collaborating to provide appropriate instructional strategies to the students in Mr. Wood's economics class.
Middle School Literacy
Kari Staack, Erika Ott, and Angie Wessel (not pictured) have teamed up to explore a new avenue for literacy instruction called Engage NY. Kari will be team teaching one module of the program in Angie and Erika's classrooms.
High School Economics
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English 9 Book Trailers
Coach Allison Rasmussen was in residence with the HS English Department working on creating book trailers as a form of book reports using WeVideo. The instruction piece was co-taught with Lisa Phyfe, in the 1st and 4th hour class, and assistance was given in Lindy Mick and Michelle Byers class as well.
English 9 Book Trailers
Two questioners prepare another clue for the mystery class on the other end of the line.
A 3rd grade "mapper" deciphers clues in order to pass along information to the class "askers" as part of a mystery call.
Third graders listen intently in order to determine the location of the mystery callers.
The SERG team works to plan for upcoming professional development days.
The PBL team works with district teachers in a learning lab on Monday, December 14.
Keith Halverson and Allison Rasmussen, the Instructional Coaches heading up the mentoring and induction program, offered a BOE workshop for anyone interested.
Middle School Hour of Code
Becca Elsamiller (elementary literacy lead teacher at Southeast Elementary) coordinated with her building colleagues set up a schedule and framework for SIPPS that has shown great early success! 1st and 2nd grade students who were flagged as below benchmark in the fall participate in a 30 minute SIPPS lesson each day. Students who met grade level benchmarks participate in highly structured, independent work or meet with other students for enrichment.
In order to make this a reality, teachers had to be flexible with their schedules, share students, and work collaboratively to analyze student data and progress. After several weeks of running this framework, students are showing promising results. Nearly all students improved in their foundational literacy skills and retained the skills learned in SIPPS lessons. SIPPS is just one way elementary teachers are working to ensure all students have a strong reading foundation.
NCTM Regional Conference
"I attended several sessions using manipulatives which emphasized the importance of hands on, particularly for the struggling student. I also enjoyed a couple of sessions on productive struggle: giving the students a problem with no clear answer and asking them to come up with their own answer and explain it. My favorite session was on using children's books in the math classroom. The thing I enjoy most about any conference in networking with other teachers and visiting the exhibits to see new materials."
"It was great to interact with teachers who are PASSIONATE about mathematics! It was promising to me that math teachers are invested in engaging students in learning that is practical and purposeful. The sessions that I attended were focused on productive struggle. The concept that we engage students in practices that require students to struggle. Teachers help facilitate the learning with probing questions without providing students the answers. The need for students to work through problems, rather than do problems, is also evident in 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions by Smith and Stein. They describe ways for students to construct their thinking and explain their reasoning while solving problems."
"My favorite session of the conference was led by a professor at Johns Hopkins University named Karen Karp. She was one of the best presenters I had ever heard speak and talked about interventions and assessment strategies for students who struggle. It was a powerful session on how teachers are seeking successful ways to assess and build instructional interventions for students struggling to learn mathematics. She has authored an article called "13 Rules That Expire" that is posted on the NCTM website that I highly recommend math instructors take a look at. One other big take away from her presentation were the following quotes she believed strongly in:
1) Telling isn't teaching.
2) Told isn't taught.
3) Explicit instruction isn't telling kids- develop the idea in a heads-on environment and leave them with "mental residue" on a topic that will stick!"
Tech Quest on the 4Cs
Iowa Technology Education Conference
Student Tech Team
Don't forget to utilize one of our fantastic High School Tech Team members: Sanah Munir, Sophie Vowels, Jacob Staines, Noah Solheim, Ethan Young, Zach Mohling, Christian Flege, Sam Stover, and Makayla Fincher.
Here are some of the projects they have completed already this year: designed the new HS Guidance website; created the 6th Grade Social Studies gamified-PBL website; designed the Masquers website; created posters advertising the HS Code Club; written blog posts; fixed iPads and Chromebooks; created video tutorials; designed logos, taken pictures around the district; maintained social media accounts for the Booster Club and various sports teams; and assisted teachers in the classroom.
New Staff Spotlight: Q & A with Mike Hagensick
A: Waukon High School & UNI; will finish my M.A. in Special Education from Morningside in the spring of 2017.
Q: Where did you teach before landing at WSR?
A: Cedar Falls as an academic interventionst, and Waterloo as a 5th grade teacher
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
A: Reading and taking my dogs for walks
Q: What is one of your most positive experiences so far at WSR?
A: Working with a great staff!
With new staff like Mike, it's a great day to be a Go-Hawk!