Lewis Learning Log

Weekly Staff Newsletter February 22-26, 2016

Please promote Elementary College and Career Night!

We still need volunteers!

Students need to turn in their RSVP to receive a t-shirt!

Please talk it up!

Ricoh Copy Center

PLEASE ask ME before you request color copies through the copy center! That color copy bill adds up very quick and comes out of our building supplies budget. Misty and I have to manage that account and we don't want a big surprise of a copy bill that drains our account! Thank you!

Saw this posted on Facebook, and couldn't resist!

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Did you know...myON had this?

OK, YOU probably knew this, but I don't use it like you do...so...Just sharing a tip that some 3rd grade teachers have found very useful. myON has a "tools" feature with "sticky notes" and a "journal". Tools is found at the bottom of the screen. Students have been coding text and jotting notes on the virtual sticky notes as they read the digital books. A form of accountability that keeps students cognitively engaged with the texts they read during IR!
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Parking Lot from PD Day

It seems like these two questions go together:

1. How do we find a balance? The "expectation" keeps changing.

2. How do I find time to confer with kids, pull 3 groups a day, and test reading plan kids in 30-60 minutes?

We really don't want anyone to be confused! Sometimes there seems to be a need to remind teachers of items on the instructional menu. It certainly takes a full course meal of opportunity for most students to become proficient readers. But not everything can be done every day. You just need to have a sense of urgency to get as much reading instruction accomplished in a day as possible--instruct as many students as possible each day, meeting the differentiated needs.

In 60 minutes, it IS doable to lead 3 small groups while having students involved with IR and responses. If you take some of that time (let's say 15 minutes 2x a week, or even all 60 minutes 1 day a week) and confer 1:1, that works to meet student needs.

Students on reading plans should ONLY be assessed once a week at the most.

The biggest points we really need to stress with everyone is that during this IR time:

  • Teachers are still TEACHING and GUIDING students (not checking email, grading, preparing materials). There's nothing that can replace face-to-face instruction with the teacher!
  • Students should be spending as much time as possible involved in real reading work with accountability.

3. How do we teach kindergarteners to actually use and do meaningful independent reading when they lack so many skills to do so?

Only the ones who are ready can do it...but they all can practice some behaviors that will lead them toward this goal. Ask yourself what are some things they CAN do, and what are the next steps for them? Get them practicing these things. Sight word reading, Reading the Pictures, Finding sounds/words within simple text, Putting together "puzzles" of words/sentences, Coding text with sticky notes to show something they find interesting, or something they know a lot about, or something they want to know more about, Making predictions. ALWAYS teach them how to do the activity you want them to do. Teach this at the small group table. Practice it several times over the course of a couple of weeks. Show them what it will look like/sound like, etc. THEN put the activity into an "independent reading" practice situation. Books such as Fountas and Pinnell's Guided Reading and Debbie Diller's Literacy Work Stations can give some great ideas.

This Week

Feb. 22-26 Math Core Skills Test #5

Feb. 22-23 Dental Education - see schedule across from mailboxes

Feb. 23 4th grade Arts Partners presentation PAC 9:30

Feb. 24 PLC Collaboration:

Feb. 25 Team Meetings: No More IR Without Support Book Study

Feb. 25 Jump Rope for Heart Day

Feb, 25 Fundraiser Kickoff assembly 3:00 in gym

Feb. 26 PBS Assembly 8:50

Feb. 26 Dist. Title I Meeting

Feb. 26 2nd grade Arts Partners presentation PAC 10:00

Feb. 26 5th Grade Band "try it" day

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Staff News:

It's THAT time of year! Retirements and resignations require new hires and changes. News on that front:

Mollie Porter is going to be a stay-at-home mom for a while. Pending BOE approval in March, a new 1st grade teacher has been selected. I will send out her email and info as soon as she gets approved.

Courtney Sisson is staying home with her twins next year. We currently have the position posted for a certified reading coach, but have not started selecting applications or interviewing yet.

Phylis Wegeng resigned her position with ESSD. But, SURPRISE! Marcie Como is going back to her 2nd grade classroom roots! (So, domino effect, we will be hiring a gifted/talented teacher)

Everyone also knows Candy Teegarden is retiring. We have not started the process of selecting applications or interviewing yet.