Joseph Rogers Primary School
March 23, 2015
Rigor and Writing
“We never believed it was acceptable for Tennessee to be ranked in the bottom five to 10 states in the country in education. And we don’t believe today that we should be below the national average. But what we have seen is that change is possible. Our students can grow. It’s happening in Tennessee, and it can happen all across our nation.”
--Governor Bill Haslam, November 9, 2013
Governor Haslam is right. It is NOT acceptable for our students to be below the national average. Over the past few years there has been a shift in thinking and instruction, and with lots of hard work and Tennessee has seen academic growth with our students.
Remember when Common Core Standards came to Tennessee. We started learning about the standards and we said this will never work...and it did. When we began math tasks we said this is too hard...but it wasn't. When we began common assessments we complained that our kids could not do it...were we ever surprised. Now that we are tackling the writing look at how far your students have come. Teaching is difficult and change is necessary to excel our students.
I was in the leadership meeting a couple of weeks ago and research was shared with us about teachers who had the most successful students with writing (according to the TCAP writing assessment) and what resources they used to plan writing instruction.
The most successful writing teachers said the following
- 84% frequently or very frequently used teacher created assessments
- 79% frequently or very frequently used material other teachers at school created (planned collaboratively)
- 57% frequently or very frequently used the practice tasks from www.tncore.org
They were also asked how often certain activities occur in their classroom.
- 89% frequently or very frequently provide direct instruction in writing techniques
- 88% frequently or very frequently have students write in response to text
- 80% frequently or very frequently have students plan or draft a piece of writing
- 80% frequently or very frequently provide individual feedback to students on writing
Think about how you are teaching writing to your students and the best practices listed above. It is our job to lay the foundation for writing for our students. I hope you are listening to the research and are providing your students with best practices in writing.
As of right now k-2 students will not be assessed on TNReady (TCAP), but we need to prepare our students what they will see on this assessment in third grade. On TNReady, we know that Language standards WILL BE ASSESSED AUTHENTICALLY through actual student writing or exercises that reflect real-world activities (i.e. editing a paper)
This is why it is important to teach these skills, not in isolation, but integrated so our students are able to apply what they are learning.
Education is changing every single day. My hope is that you are changing with it.
Welcome spring and a opportunity for new beginnings,
Friday we began something a little different. Instead of morning announcements on the intercom, the morning announcements will be in the gym (along with any recognitions that we need to do - Ticket to Read, bus and car rider awards etc.) This should normally only take 5 minutes or so. I will begin at 7:50 promptly and we will release from the gym as soon as we finish.
Happy St. Patricks Day
Mrs. Lora, Mrs. Carrie and Mrs. Jones celebrated St. Patricks day with some green eggs and ham and a writing activity. Great way to have some fine while incorporating holidays, author study, and writing.
Director Starnes had the opportunity to visit our school last Thursday. Thank you to those that we visited for welcoming us into your classes and giving us a glimpse of what you do every day.
Happy St. Patricks Day
Calendar of Events
fun times at JRP
March 24-March 31 - Book Fair
March 24 - field day/safety day committee 3:15 library
March 25 - faculty meeting
March 26 - Fight Like Mack t-shirt day; Ms. Risner's class will Skype with Mack and his family at St. Judes
Family Game Night 5:00-6:30 - be here by 4:30 to assist in setting up
March 27 - spring pictures
April 1 - AR celebration; scheduling committee
April 2 - board meeting at Volunteer High School
April 9 - Parent Teacher Conferences 3:15-6:15
April 10 - cap and gown pictures (prek and 2nd)
April 15 - faculty meeting
May 1 - 2nd grade parent involvement
May 4 - 2nd grade field trip
May 14 - Kinder to Bright's Zoo; PreK Briarwood Safari
May 15 - safety day/career day
May 18 - PreK graduation
May 19 - field day
May 21 - End of Year programs
*some dates are tentative and subject to change
Teaching today's students is a difficult, but extremely rewarding profession. I hope you are seeing the rewards that come with your chosen career.