Wolcott's Weekly "Whats Up"
Office of Teaching and Learning Update 5.4.2015
Curriculum Update: Schoolwide Reading Fundamentals
We have purchased Reading Fundamentals from Schoolwide Inc. for our core resource to address the Common Core Curriculum in grades 3-6. Reading Fundamentals has a central mission to develop, expand, and enhance the skills, strategies, and tools students can use to make meaning of and interact with text. Reading Fundamentals Units of Study exist inside a balanced literacy framework. Within this framework, there are opportunities to read to students (mentor texts), to read with students (shared texts), and to have students read independently (books and other texts at their independent reading levels).
All units for Schoolwide have arrived. Instructional Resource Specialists will be meeting with 3rd-6th grade teachers in late May to provide a half-day program overview. At this meeting staff will receive the initial "Launch" unit and information necessary to start the year.
Additional professional development opportunities are being planned. Dates will be shared with staff once finalized.
More information can be found at the Schoolwide website:
Curriculum Update: Schoolwide ZING
Zing is Schoolwide's Digital Library. Zing has been purchased for all classrooms. Zing opens the door to a world of teaching and learning possibilities by providing access to thousands of fiction and nonfiction eBooks and short digital texts (articles, essays, poems, and primary sources) in English and Spanish. Zing's unmatched selection of authentic texts includes popular award-winning authors and titles from a vast array of publishers.
Zing's powerful searching and filtering functionality gives teachers the ability to create dynamic, individualized digital libraries aligned to instructional goals and standards and assign just the right books to individual students or small groups of students.
In minutes, teachers can locate and select titles by reading level, genre, content area topic, theme, and/or reading and writing skills and strategies. Zing gives the power to create and curate libraries that evolve with students and keep them engaged all year long.
Master Calendar 2015-2016
The Master Calendar will take on a new look for the coming year. Information you will need to be aware of includes:
- Google Calendar Format. The Master Calendar will be created as a Google Calendar. It will be shared with all staff. Staff will be able to download as needed.
- Grade Level Pacing Charts. Grade level pacing charts for Math, Reading and Writing Units, by grade level, will be made visible for staff download. Key assessment times will be noted as well.
- Good Bye to A Week B Week. Given the fact that we will have fulltime Instructional Resource Specialists in each building and the majority of professional development will be face to face and job-embedded, we will no longer have a need to label weeks. PLCs will occur weekly. Tuesdays will continue to be a District Day with no activities planned that day.
- Building Special Education/No DEB Day. Each building will be assigned a day to schedule special education meetings and collaboration. No DEB will occur on this day. These assignments will be posted on the calendar.
- District Committees. District Committee dates will continue to be added to the calendar so those involved will know when such events will occur.
- Internal University. Internal University course information will be added to the calendar as well. This will serve as a reminder for participants.
The Office of Teaching and Learning has contracted MyLearningPlan to assist with maintaining and scheduling staff professional development activities. MyLearningPlan, the leading PDMS (Professional Development Management System) offers Fast and Easy planning, tracking, and evaluation of all forms of professional learning in one comprehensive online system.
Professional learning involves everyone in our organization. From planning schedules to tracking credits and certification points to evaluating impact, there’s an avalanche of detail.
That’s where MyLearningPlan excels. MyLearningPlan delivers a web-based professional development solution designed specifically for K-12 school districts, regional organizations and state departments of education that facilitates and streamlines planning, managing, tracking, and evaluating the effectiveness of all of your professional learning opportunities.
As specialists…with a proven track record for helping educational organizations of all sizes organize and simplify the management and evaluation of their professional development programs. Their system is fast and easy to implement and their approach is practical and productive.
The program is intuitive and very user friendly. The system will virtually eliminate all paper copies of forms sent back and forth between staff and the District office. Training will be provided in late May.
For more information: