FHSD ELA Newsletter

October 2015

Curriculum Updates

English Language Arts Curriculum has been updated for all grade levels. The standards assessed through Galileo and on the writing summative assessments have been added to each unit within the curriculum. This will allow teams to utilize curriculum to backwards design their reading and writing block effectively. The curriculum will be delivered to buildings over fall break.


A video modeling how to modify the daily lesson plans so they fit in a balanced literacy model is currently in production. The video will model how to backwards design lesson plans, keeping curriculum, instruction, and assessment in mind. If you are interested in learning more be on the lookout for the video after fall break.

ELA Assessment Dates for Mastery Connect Data Entry

First Quarter: October 5-9

Second Quarter: December 17-22

Third Quarter: March 1-4

Fourth Quarter: May 9-13

Enhancing Writer's Workshop

Teachers have asked about enhancing the units with mentor texts during writer’s workshop. Keeping in mind the purpose of mentor text, which is to provide a powerful example for students as they begin to read like a writer and write like a reader. Quality mentor texts provide wonderful examples of language, sentence complexity, conventions, genre potential, and more!

Knowing everyone’s desire for traditional writers workshop, student choice, and volume writing, it is possible for teachers to enhance the units utilizing quality texts that are within buildings: library, book rooms, etc. However, choosing appropriate mentor texts is important.


How do I choose an appropriate mentor text?

This is a great question! A couple of resources should be utilized when choosing an appropriate mentor text: The Qualitative Rubric and Lexile Leveling. The Qualitative Rubric is a tool used to analyze the qualitative measures of a text: structure, language, meaning, and knowledge demands. The Qualitative Rubric can be located on HowellNET within the Balanced Literacy Resources folder.

Another resource is looking at Lexile levels. The unit writers worked very hard to choose texts for teachers to utilize in their classrooms and one of the requirements was looking at the Lexile Levels.

The Lexile Ranges are:

K-1: 100-500

2-3: 450-790

4-5: 770-980

Veterans Day Activities

Please share the Veterans Day activities taking place in your buildings with Carrie Hepburn.

Recent Writing Scoring Guide Questions

Are second graders expected to write compound sentences with commas?

No, students aren't expected to write the sentences conventionally with commas. The idea is to have students writing more complex sentences, commas will come later.


Shouldn’t kindergarten students learn their letters and sounds prior to writing?

Letters and sounds are being taught daily during phonics instruction. Writing and phonics are related but not synonymous....


For more FAQ's regarding the writing scoring guide and report card visit:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/11W5TxJBmDVjPmFmjj7Gp2HZnyOmgo03Kvf0STdDJ0to/edit?usp=sharing

4th Grade Curriculum Work

Discussions regarding revision of the curriculum will take place on January 12th and May 24th. Each building may send a representative to discuss implementation of the curriculum, review data regarding the curriculum, and make final changes to the curriculum. The meeting on January 12th will focus on first semester and May 24th will focus on second semester. The attendees on May 24th will receive a $150 stipend. Please send Carrie Hepburn the name of the team member who will represent your PLC.

5th Grade Curriculum Work

Discussions regarding revision of the curriculum will take place on January 13th and May 25th. Each building may send a representative to discuss implementation of the curriculum, review data regarding the curriculum, and make final changes to the curriculum. The meeting on January 13th will focus on first semester and May 25th will focus on second semester. The attendees on May 25th will receive a $150 stipend. Please send Carrie Hepburn the name of the team member who will represent your PLC.

ESOL Tip

One motivating, engaging, and inexpensive way to help build the foundational reading skills of students is through the use of closed-captioned and subtitled television shows and movies. These supports can help boost foundational reading skills, such as phonics, word recognition, and fluency

Spectra

Performance Tasks will be pushed out to trackers as benchmarks. They will appear within a teacher’s tracker as a gray bar. The dates for the performance tasks are as follows:

First Grade: April 15-May 13

Second Grade: December 7-January 15 and April 15-May 13

Third-Fifth Grades: October 30-November 30, February 5-March 4, April 15-May 13


Spectra Professional Development

Tuesday, November 24th @ District Learning Center (DLC)