Paw Prints

Week of December 14, 2015

Panther News

Click here to view the Panther News for next week.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend,
Troy, John, and Karen

January Car Rider Schedule

Click here to view the car rider schedule for January.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent Teacher conferences are coming up the week of January 11th. We placed sign in sheets in your mailboxes. For this second round of conferences, we plan to meet with all parents. If you have any questions, please let us know.


The DOE anticipates having the Georgia Milestones domain data in the SLDS by January 11th.

Literacy Updates

Please see Literacy updates below.

K-2 Literacy

  • Kindergarten- revised their K writing rubric and updated Mock Writing Guidance in livebinder and L drive. This group decided to adopt a more developmentally friendly rubric and has replaced the LC rubrics with this one. LC may still be used as a resource, especially the writing progression and exemplars.
  • 1st grade- updated their JC K-2 Rubric and Mock Writing Guidance. These documents are loaded in the 1st grade livebinder as well as the L drive.
  • 2nd grade did not make any changes to rubrics, but noted a need to consider how narrative writing is presented and also the need to weave it in more throughout the year.
  • All groups discussed ways to incorporate more text-based narratives and to work on close reading and citing evidence. They also reaffirmed the need to consider text sets and incorporate more writing (in response to reading) as a part of guided reading. They noted the need to embed keyboarding opportunities whenever possible and to help support vertical progression in keyboarding and technology skills by enlisting the help of MRS and support personnel.

3-5 Literacy

  • ** This is an important change** 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade would like to replace the December Mock Milestones with an Informational GCA Assesslet. So that we can get this data back in time to inform instruction before Milestones 2016, we will administer this Assesslet when we return in January. The window for the GCA Assesslet will be January 5-15. I am working on logistics and also looking into the number we will be able to send to GCA to score. We will ask GCA to score a sampling from each school and each grade level, (the district will cover the cost of a sampling from each school), and then teachers will work in their grade level teams to score the remaining Assesslets. When our Curriculum PLC meets again in February, we will have the data back from GCA and will use this to help us calibrate as we score papers together as a team. The Literacy PLC will try to get someone from GCA to join them in February to help us understand the Milestones and Assesslet scoring, and to support us in calibration and use of the rubrics.
  • With the addition of the January Assesslet, 3rd grade opted to use the December Mock Writing Topic as a teaching tool for teacher modeling/instruction. 4th and 5th opted to allow school/teacher choice as to whether to administer the Dec. Mock Writing or use as a teaching tool for modeling. We will report the GCA Assesslet score as the 2nd data point on the literacy profile spreadsheet, since all will be administering those. We will provide more guidance about this and will work together in January/February to understand and use this data to calibrate and build consistency in our proficiency expectations.
  • Amity will send a follow-up email once she has finalized plans with GCA to give guidance about how many we will send for scoring and to give specifics about test administration and packing of student answer documents. In the meantime, it would be best to consider how you could mirror Milestones testing environments as much as possible. The Assesslet will be essentially just like section 3 of the ELA Milestones, so it is intended to be administered in a 90 minute window.
  • All groups spent time analyzing data and using ALDs to drive instructional conversations. The teams talked about revisiting the curriculum maps along with the ALDs with grade level teams to ensure that everyone is on the same page with expectations for writing and the potential need to increase the amount of writing, integrating these with SS and SC whenever possible,to maximize impact. All groups also discussed the importance of modeling on-demand writing, such as Milestones, and also the importance of balancing process writing with on-demand, text-based writing. The RACE strategy is one way we can support this, but also need to model and provide specific feedback on selecting the best evidence, pulling evidence from both texts, and addressing the topic concisely, yet with strong evidence.
  • The groups also discussed the need to support lexile growth. We talked about Newsela, Reading A-Z/AZ Kids (ask teachers to send in questions or concerns so we can address in upcoming training). 2nd and 4th grade literacy teams left with a copy of Donalyn Miller's The Book Whisperer and will use this to help guide thinking about motivating and engaging students in independent reading. We will pass this book on through every grade level throughout the year. Groups talked about the importance of student goal setting and opportunities to read independently.

Noteworthy Trends from Georgia Milestones

Click here to view a GADOE powerpoint with trends from constructed responses from the Georgia Milestones. Starting at slide 46, it provides sample responses with scores.

Georgia Milestones Blueprints

Below you will find the Georgia Milestones Blueprints for Grades 3 - 5. This will provide guidance on domain structures and content weights.

Click here for 3rd Grade Blueprints
Click here for 4th Grade Blueprints
Click here for 5th Grade Blueprints