Winsor Faculty Newsletter

February Update

Professional Development- Math Intervention Design & I Can Statements

As we strive to improve our student outcomes in mathematics, it is important to remember the power of "hands on" tools, such as manipulatives. When given the chance to have a tangible, concrete item, elementary students benefit greatly from physically being able to interact with the content. Please see below for some helpful, instructional links:

The National Center for Intensive Intervention has a multitude of easy to find, short videos that can help our students progress. You can access K-5 content here:

This builds upon six, research based practices that help build and maintain Math skills:

1. Provide an advanced organizer- if students have the specific objective of the lesson and an understanding of how the concept fits with their lives, students are more likely to retain the concept.

2. Assess background knowledge- if a hierarchical concept was taught a while ago, it is best to determine mastery via a formative assessment prior to introducing a new concept. Sometimes, re-teaching is needed.

3. Modeling- As you teach a concept, making your thinking visible is key. Students benefit greatly when you say what you are doing out loud while you are doing it. Walking students through a sequence of instruction and asking questions at intermediate checkpoints checks for understanding and keeps students engaged.

4. Guided Practice- Prompt and guide student learning as needed. Ask questions as all students progress through solving problems. Gradually scale back your instruction and transfer responsibility to the students. Most students should be at 85% or higher accuracy before moving out of guided practice.

5. Independent Practice- Students independently demonstrate knowledge and comprehension and skills. Teachers should at this point monitor for understanding and provide feedback as needed.

6. Maintenance- Distribute practice opportunities periodically after students have mastered a concepts. Periodic circling back to newly obtained concepts helps students maintain proficiency.

A full reading selection of these principles is available in the faculty dining area, located in the PD bookcase alongside the Responsive Classroom library and school garden texts. I look forward to further conversation on this and have been pleased to see the use of manipulatives in many of our classrooms.

The Value of I Can Statements

As a means to both affirm our confidence that students can achieve our learning objectives and to draw visual attention to the goals of a lesson, I can statements are a powerful tool. I Can statements can be used for all students, starting in Kindergarten.

I Can statements should be concise and clear.

I Can statements focus the attention of students.

I Can statements should be written so that they can be formatively assessed throughout the lesson.

I Can statements take the essential/focus question of a lesson and frame it in student friendly language.

By writing the learning objective this way and having students repeat the I Can statement, true ownership of the learning becomes active for students. Students then take greater responsibility. This is empowering and builds social/emotional capacity for learning. Success often begins in small steps, gradually building upon previous wins. Not only do I Can statements build knowledge, the ancillary benefit is increased student efficacy. In our coming student recognition assemblies, students that persist and work hard through challenges will be recognized. Please emphasize persistence with our students!

As we all know, there has been much change this year. If we work together, stay the course, and practice a growth mindset, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. We need not be perfect. Please remember that you are supported and valued. Remember, perfection is a roadblock to congress.

Important Dates

Tuesday, February 5th- School Improvement Team

Wednesday, February 6th- Grade 4 NAEP Testing

Wednesday February 6th- Faculty Meeting

Thursday, February 7th- Recess Rocks Training

Wednesday, February 20th- PTO Meeting

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