Educational Services Newsletter

Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment for January 2015

Mark Your Calendar

January 7th: Analyze Iowa Assessments - 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. This will replace your monthly SAC meeting.

Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) Dates

You can access the NWEA MAP site to see the growth of your students. You will need to use your username (e-mail address) and password to access the web-based information.

In addition, to learn more about why growth indicators are so important, watch the video below.

District Special Education Team

We have developed a District Special Education Team to conduct a Special Education Review. This review of the special education program will give us a good analysis of the strengths as well as what areas need the greatest attention.

Purpose of District Special Education Team: The District Special Education Team engages in dialogue regarding philosophies and policies, programs, best practices (learning, achievement, personal growth) and special education compliance that result in successful outcomes for students with disabilities.

Learning Targets - I Can Statements

Learning Targets are important for both teacher focused lesson planning and increased student learning. The DLC members are beginning to practice the implementation of Learning Targets in their classrooms.

Why Learning Targets are Critical - What the Research Says:

  1. Provides focused direction for the lesson- to the teacher as well as the student
  2. When students know what they are learning, they are better able to monitor and adjust their work
  3. Students are able to connect to prior learning
  4. Clear Goals are articulated so students know where their learning is headed
  5. When students interact with the Learning Target, they have a better idea of what they know and what they do not know, where they are headed, and how to get there
  6. Students area able to filter what they should be doing during a lesson by asking themselves how the task aligns to the target
  7. All Learning Targets add up to a sequence of learning goals in order to meet the expectation of the Iowa Core.

Brookhart, Susan M. & Moss, Connie M. "Learning Targets on Parade" Educational Leadership. October 2014, pages 28-33.

Technology Committee Update

The Technology Committee is currently planning technology training sessions for our February 13, 2015 professional development.

Check Out the Technology Resources Below in this Newsletter!

What Does it Mean to be College and Career Ready?

Student Voices: What Does it Mean to be College and Career Ready?

Common Core Resources and Teaching Tools

Differentiating with Learning Menus

This middle school social studies video shows how to differentiate instruction using Learning Menus (5 min).

Student to Student Assessment

This teacher uses a quality peer assessment method. These students use small groups to review, revise, and reflect on the homework assignment. This will also work for in class assignments. (11 min)

Peer Conferencing

Peer Conferencing is an effective way for students to learn to improve their writing, as well as acting as an assessment tool. Watch how students participate in peer conferences to assess and improve personal narrative drafts. (6 min)

Formative Asessments Using Quality Evidence Rubrics

This classroom uses Quality Evidence Rubrics to assess the quality of their work. (5 min)

Academic Choice: Comprehending and Retelling a Story

Watch this first grade reading comprehension lesson that uses academic choice to help develop student skills for retelling and comprehension. The teacher gives her students an academic choice to choose how they want to learn. (13 min)

Technology Resources


Quizlet's flashcards, tests, and study games make learning fun and engaging for students of all ages.

Read to Me

Stories are read to you by authors/actors/comedians as you watch a video of the book.

Book Trailers

Interactive Whiteboard Activities

Ideas for LA, Math, Science & Social Studies

Free Rice

A great vocabulary builder site that also donates grains of rice for every correct answer you have.


VoiceThread Universal lets you browse threads and hear comments in pages specially designed for screen readers.


Kidblog offers a kid-friendly publishing experience suitable for any K-12 student.


Sumdog's free educational games motivate your students to practice math, reading and writing - while you have full control over what they learn.