Fox Den Newsletter "Expect to Grow"

November 13-27

Our Mission and Goals

Mission Statement:

Our mission at Fletcher Elementary, through partnership with our children, families, and communities, is to educate our students by meeting the individual needs of the whole child, ensuring successful, productive, responsible citizens while providing a safe and nurturing environment.

Congratulations on achieving 5.01 growth last year!

SIP Goal 1: Fletcher Elementary will meet or exceed expected growth and meet all Annual Measurable Objectives.

SIP Objectives:

1. Our K-2 composite Reading scores will increase from 83% to 90% on grade level and our 3-5 Career and College Ready proficiency will increase from 53.3% to 75%.

2. Our K-2 math proficiency will increase from 88% to 93% on grade level and our 3-5 Career and College Ready proficiency will increase from 62.3% to 80%.

Professional Learning Corner

Recently I have had conversations with teachers at both my schools about fluency. I think it is easy for us to get caught up in just thinking about fluency rates, how many words per minute students read, as the only aspect of fluency. Rate is the focus for Reading 3D and I recently learned of the correlation in our county between fluency rate and proficiency on the third grade EOG. Those students reading at 100 wpm are more likely to be proficient on the Reading EOG. So, it is easy to get caught up in the speed of reading, but fluency is much more than that.

Researchers, Rasinski and Hammond (2010), define fluency as “reading at an appropriate rate in meaningful phrases, with prosody and comprehension.” Prosody refers to the patterns of stress and intonation in language. How can we practice fluency and go beyond rate?

Tip 1: The Four Attributes of Fluency

Teach students that fluency is about more than speed. Perhaps an acronym such as REAL could help.

  • R=Rate

  • E=Expression

  • A= Accuracy

  • L= Learning

Creating a student friendly rubric for students to use in assessing themselves and each other could lead better quality fluency stations.

Tip 2: Make the Most of ORF Measurements

Train students to mark where their partner was in the text after a minute. But let the partner complete the reading of the passage. Once both partners have read, discuss the text and practice retelling using key details. A comprehension question could also be included for students to discuss and answer. Before the end of the station, student use the rubric to discuss rate, expression, accuracy, and learning.

Tip 3: Repeated Readings

As students repeatedly read a selection, understanding should be deepening. For example after first reading, students can name the main idea and a supporting detail. After second reading, perhaps students are paraphrasing main events or key facts and can identify the author’s purpose. After the third reading, perhaps students could state the audience that the author was targeting, evaluate the title and evaluate its appropriateness, and identify what was most interesting and why.

Tip 4: Vary Text Selection

Mix things up a bit. Rather than using Fresh Reads or fluency passages, use Readers Theatre, poetry, speeches, and song lyrics as an engaging alternative. Give students opportunities to perform these selections for the class. According to The Reading Teacher: A Journal of Research-Based Classroom Practice, many teachers report the use of such texts in this way has prompted “significant improvement in rate, accuracy, as well as the use of prosody.”

I hope you find these tips helpful for fluency stations that you may have during your Guided Reading block.

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Thank You!

Thanksgiving is always the perfect time of year to think about what we are thankful for in our lives. Words cannot express how grateful I am to work with such an amazing group of people on a daily basis. Each of you has unique talents and qualities that contribute to making our school the wonderful place that it is.

With that said I am especially thankful to Liz Barbour, Cassady Burke, Shanna Chandler, Cheryl Durrant, Susan Garren, Melissa Golden, Debbie Greene, Linda Greene, Catie Grieve, Nadine Head, Carolyn Hyatt, Jackie Jones, Kelly Jones, Julie Ledford, Cindy Norman, Stephanie Patton, Angela and Hart Regtmeier, Meghan Shaffer, Brittany Strysko, Shelley Watts, Dianne Wells, and Amy Youngblood who attended the school board meeting last week to show their support of our School Improvement Plan.

With our motto for the year being "Expect to Grow", I think it's safe to say the school board meeting was a growth experience for us! I had no idea the meeting would take as long as it did and you all are amazing for sticking it out the whole time. So it's easy to just say thank you, but since it was such a long evening I would also like to thank you by giving you our first optional workday due to snow off. For those of you who attended the meeting when you get the first snow call saying it's an optional teacher workday, you need to stay in bed for awhile longer and then do whatever you love to do on snow days! We will credit you for the day. For the TAs who attended we will credit your time to the optional workday you are supposed to work later in the year.

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Fletcher Birthdays!

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Fletcher Fox Family Members! Happy birthday to you!

11/14: Kristin Garrett

11/19: Liz Barbour

11/27: Debbie Walker