Read, Write, Talk

WCPS Elementary English Language Arts Newsletter

Late April 2015 Edition

You can find links to all our newsletters on our Portal (left side navigation bar).

Teacher Highlight

Scooping Transferred!

In Joan Barr's classroom at Paramount Elementary, students have been studying verse. Joan has noticed that students who have been in Fundations where reading fluency is developed through the use of "scooping" have had a much easier time reading verse than their peers who have not been taught to scoop. What a great transfer of skills from foundational instruction to reading poetry!


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The Maryland Society for Educational Technology (MSET) is featuring one of our own WCPS teachers in a virtual site visit! Join the class on May 7th from 12:45-1:30pm live (by clicking on the link) to see MSET's 2015 Spring Featured Educator David Dulberger and his wonderful 5th grade Magnet class at Emma K. Doub Elementary School during their ELA time. You'll be amazed at what these 5th graders know and can do!

Intermediate Teachers: Books for Whole Class Instruction

At the secondary level, teachers must use the Protected Book List when they are choosing books for whole class instruction. You can find the list on our Portal at any secondary grade level under Instruction – Texts – Text Selection Resources. Here’s a direct link. You’ll be most interested in the second document (6-8). The first page gives you an overview of the purposes of the list and then you can find the list after that. I want to be clear about two things: first, there is no intention to develop a list for elementary; and, second, just because a book is on the PBL for middle school doesn’t mean you can’t use it in elementary school. Essentially, the list doesn’t “apply” to you the way it does for secondary teachers; HOWEVER, I’m asking that you please review it and consider any titles on it that you might use for WHOLE CLASS instruction – either as a read-aloud or an everybody-gets-a-copy-to-read-and-study sort of thing. The challenge is that teachers at the middle school might also be using that text for whole class instruction. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a student reading something twice – absolutely! But it sure is frustrating when you’ve written an entire unit around a book, secured 80 copies for your students to read, and then find out on the first day that half the kids studied it already. So, all we are asking for is conversation and consensus. I’ve asked the middle school ELA department leaders who have encountered overlaps to reach out to their feeder elementaries to have a conversation, but it would be helpful if you could reach out too in order to give a heads up and come to a consensus on where the book makes most sense to be studied for your community. Perhaps it makes sense in elementary – perhaps it makes sense in middle school. Please talk through any possible overlaps. Again, we’re not so concerned about a few kids who’ve read something in a lit circle or independently; the concern is around whole class instruction. Here are the middle school department leaders – an awesome group of teachers who, I’m sure, would love to talk with you about both books and kids!

· Northern – Chris Gaddy

· Western – Julie Cardenas

· Boonsboro – Amber Woody

· Clear Spring – Joan Myers

· Hicks – Rich Helfrich

· Hancock – Lora Amtower

· Springfield – Kelly Mowen

Teaching Video Highlight

Resources to Explore

LDC K-1 Task Template Collection

LDC 2-5 Task Template Collection

Check out the Literacy Design Collaborative's latest collections of templates to create teaching tasks.

PARCC Vocabulary

This is a list of academic vocabulary that we will find on PARCC.

Leadership & Learning Opportunities

Wilda Storm Summer Workshop

Who: Core content and ELL teachers in grades 2-12 who work with ELLs .

What: Daily writing strategies for even the newest ELL. Focus on various critical strategies such as sentence structure, vocabulary development, academic language, grammar, phonemic awareness, listening, speaking, reading and writing comprehension.

Facilitated by: Wilda Storm, nationally acclaimed PD ELL expert, consultant, and author as featured at national conferences and in Educational Leadership

When: 6/22/15 and 6/23/15 (Must attend both days)

Where: CES Auditorium

Times: 8:00-2:45 (lunch on your own)

Receive: ready to use free blackline masters, resource book, and instructional materials

$25.00/PD pay for active participation
REGISTER through the WCPS Employee Resource Site.
Registration closes April 30th! Don't miss it!

Don't Be Shy!

Have something to brag about? Want to highlight a great idea or resource? Don't be shy! Let Beth know so we can share with everyone!

The Office of English Language Arts

Beth Downin - Supervisor
Carroll Sager - Lead Teacher for Special Ed/ELA
Danae Doubledee - Lead Teacher for Elementary ELA
Elizabeth Lewis - Lead Teacher for Secondary ELA
Linda Lehman - Secretary