Curricular Circular November 2014

A Curriculum & Instruction Newsletter for VTSD Faculty

The purpose of this Curriculum & Instruction circular is to help raise awareness of common instructional trends, provide you with classroom tips and tricks and work towards establishing a shared understanding of strategies, resources, and a familiar C&I lexicon. It was designed specifically for VTSD faculty in mind.

Best Tech Practices

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Grade level teachers are starting to move their instructional files and resources to folders within their Google Drive. Why?

Picture: Mrs. Ryder's students working with Mrs. DeSenzo, RHPS, Gr. 3


  • they’re sharing them with their grade level colleagues, in-class support teachers and curriculum supervisors to encourage consistency

  • they share editing rights so that lessons can be updated and improved upon over time

  • teachers never have to worry about running out of space (like on the H or T drives)

  • they can continue to access the files at home on any device without having to log into the VPN

Have you Read?

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Professional Reading for Educators

Picture: Teacher Wish List: Book Fair Book Display, GMMS, Ms. Yost, Media Specialist


Readicide: How Schools are Killing Reading & What You Can Do About It by Gallagher


Notice and Note - Strategies for Close Reading by Beers and Probst


Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits by Miller


Falling in Love with Close Reading: Lessons for Analyzing Texts--and Life by Lehman & Roberts

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Cedar Mt. Teachers Use Literacy Skills to Engage Students in Real Life Application

Sandy Friedhoff and Megan Alongi created a Social Studies lesson rooted in a cache of literacy rich skill sets. They found an assemblyman who is trying to pass various bills regarding the monarch and milkweed. In a guided fashion, students reviewed the assemblyman’s web page. Students then broke into groups to determine which bill was the one they felt most strongly about. After brainstorming with their group about ideas relevant to the proposed bill, they each wrote a letter which was mailed to the assemblyman. They are awaiting a response!

Differentiation Myth Debunked

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I' Can't Differentiate Instruction Because I'm Already Too Busy and Have Absolutely No Extra Time for Planning

Picture: Differentiation via the use of centers, LHMS, Mrs. Papendrea, Gr. 6


"The idea is not to plan everything the way you always have and then plan differentiation on top of that. Rather, it is to plan instruction in a differentiated fashion from the outset. In addition, it's essential for teachers to pace themselves and move into new ways of thinking about teaching and learning at a level that produces growth and change without being overwhelming."


From: Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom by Tomlinson

Math Resources

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Picture: Math Application Activity, LHMS, Mr. DeYoung, Gr. 6


gregtangmath.com/kakooma- reinforces addition and multiplication facts


http://www.gregtangmath.com/materials- various games, puzzles, and worksheets available for free.


buzzmath.com - reinforces middle school math concepts - PARCC like assessment


www.k-5mathteachingresources.com - math center and project ideas and interactive whiteboard activities
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