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Friday, November 16, 2012

Available Resources

We have several new books and resources that you can check out from my office. Below I have listed some of the new additions that you may want to use. I have highlighted some of my favorites that are easy to implement or just resources you can take and use in the classroom with little preparation.

  • Writing as a Measure and Model of Thinking
  • Differentiating Assessment in the Writing Workshop
  • Early Literacy Intervention Activities
  • 25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom
  • Differentiating Reading Instruction for Success with RTI
  • 3-Minute Reading Assessments: Word Recognition, Fluency and Comprehension
  • The Struggling Reader: Interventions That Work
  • The 10 Secrets to Higher Student Achievement
  • Assessment and Intervention Handbook: Literacy (Grades K-1 and 2-3)
  • Assessment and Intervention Handbook: Math (Grade K-1 and 2-3)
  • Math Assessment Tasks: Quick Check Activities (Grade 2)
  • 180 Days of Math (Separate book for K-5)
  • Strategies for Teaching Mathematics
  • Math Tutor Boxes (Grade K-2) This would be great for learning centers or intervention

Friday, October 26, 2012

Assessment and Accountability Data

Taken from Kentucky Teacher:

The Kentucky Department of Education will release test score and school/district accountability data on Friday, Nov. 2.
This marks the first release of data from the Unbridled Learning accountability model, which Kentucky implemented beginning in the 2011-12 school year. The data to be released on Nov. 2 reflects test scores and other information from that school year.
The Unbridled Learning model holds public schools and districts accountable for five primary areas:
  • Achievement – student performance on subject-area tests
  • Gap – gaps in academic performance among students who are ethnic minorities, have disabilities, are English language learners or come from low-income households and students who do not fit into those categories
  • Growth – student academic growth in reading and mathematics
  • College/Career Readiness – how well schools and districts prepare students for life after high school
  • Graduation Rate – how many students graduate on time
 Each school and district will receive an overall score on a scale from 1 to 100. Those scores will be rank-ordered by district and by elementary, middle and high school levels, then percentiles will be established so that each school and district will receive a percentile rank.
 Schools and districts also will receive overall classifications, based on their overall scores:
  • Distinguished – the top 10 percent of districts or schools from the elementary, middle and high school levels (90th percentile)
  • Proficient – in the top 30 percent of districts or schools from the elementary, middle and high school levels (70th percentile)
  • Needs Improvement – schools/districts falling outside of the Proficient or Distinguished categories and not meeting their AMOs (at or below the 69th percentile)
 The Unbridled Learning accountability model is used for both state and federal reporting purposes. In early 2012, Kentucky received flexibility from the U.S. Department of Education to use this model in place of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) model that had been in place since 2001.
The Kentucky Department of Education has developed several resources that may aid in understanding of the new system.
  • a Frequently Asked Questions document that contains information related to the new system and data
  • a video presentation, including a PowerPoint document, Q&A and questions from parents, aimed at reporters and editors and describing the data
  • A Parent’s Guide to Accountability and A Parent’s Guide to Testing
Go to the following link to view a message to parents about test scores, a webcast on the accountability model and other related resources.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Deconstructed Standards

Here are the links to the deconstructed standards that you will need for our meeting on Wednesday.

ELA Standards:

Math Standards:

Next Generation Science Standards

Below is the link you received this morning that explains how to read the standards and offer any feedback. The deadline to make comments is June 1st. It looks like they will be complete in spring 2013!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Accountability Model

Below you will find the link that we viewed at our staff meeting concerning the accountability model. You will find this video on the link below. The remainder of the video that we did not view addresses questions that educators have about the new model.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Reading Strategies in the Social Studies Classroom

The following information was taken from the website "Teacher Today" that includes teaching tips, lesson plans, technology integration, etc...

Reading Strategies That WorkOver the years, teachers have developed a number of strategies to help students overcome the difficulties associated with reading social studies text. The following techniques are part of the best practices of many classrooms.
  • Demonstrate How to Use Helpful Features of Expository Text Many students fail to use expository text features that promote understanding and learning. Draw students' attention to helpful features, and model how to use them. For example, you might show a class how to use chapter titles, overviews, and headings to determine main ideas, make predictions about content, and set specific purposes for reading. If study questions are interpolated within the text, encourage students to use them to monitor their comprehension of a section of text. If questions are at the end of the entire text, discuss the questions in class before students read the text. 

  • Provide Advance Organizers Certain patterns of organization are key to understanding expository text. Those patterns include cause and effect, problem and solution, comparison and contrast, and descending order of importance. Before giving a reading assignment, determine which structure is key. Then provide an "advance organizer" by defining the structure in class. On the board, list common "signal words" that provide clues to the structure. (For example, point out that cause-and-effect relationships are often signaled by words like because, consequently, and as a result.) Finally, distribute copies of an appropriate graphic organizer and direct students to use it to take reading notes. You could also organize students into post-reading groups and direct group members to complete the graphic organizer together. 

  • Use Word Webs and Word Walls to Teach Vocabulary Before students encounter an unfamiliar term in text, distribute copies of a word web with these labels: "what ____ means," "what ____ is like," "examples of ____." Define the term and give examples of how it is used. Together with students, begin filling in the blanks in the word web. Then direct students to continue filling in blanks on the web when they encounter the word in the content of a reading assignment. Follow up by creating a word wall. Post students' webs on a classroom bulletin board, or have students create other types of visual aids that help make abstract concepts concrete, such as montages of magazine pictures that relate to the concept. 

  • Use Role Plays and K-W-L Charts to Activate Prior Knowledge Before students encounter an unfamiliar term or concept in print, have them role-play a situation that will help them connect the concept to familiar experiences. For example, to teach treaty, compromise, or arbitration, have students role-play situations in which family members who disagree use different techniques to resolve disputes. As an alternative, complete a KWL chart with your class.

Reading Strategies

I came across some information recently dealing with reading strategies in math classrooms that I wanted to share. I have included a list of ideas that you could use with your class!

Graphic Organizers, such as webs, Venn diagrams, and concept definition maps, can be used to compare/contrast, classify, and identify common characteristics.

Vocabulary:  Laminate words on color-coded paper according to the strand in mathematics.  Have students write a definition in their own words and discuss with their peers.  On the laminated paper, write the agreed upon definition and a graphic representation or example of the term.  Post the words throughout the room.

Anticipation Guides:  Develop an anticipation guide for a more difficult reading selection.  Create questions that will activate the students’ prior knowledge, identify their common misconceptions, and highlight key points they will read about.

Text Structure Awareness:  Math textbooks do not always follow the principles of writing that students have learned in Language Arts.  For example, the main idea may not appear in the beginning of a word problem or cue words might not be used.  It is important to make students aware that reading math textbooks is different from what they might have learned about reading in general.

Think Alouds:  Model a “think aloud” by verbalizing your thinking while reading the passage.  Ask students to read and “think aloud” to the class.

Pair/Share:  Have students “pair/share,” i.e., take turns reading/listening to each other and discussing what they know or don’t know.

Bookmark:  Prepare a bookmark with tips for reading mathematics for students to place in their math book. In an article entitled, “Making Math Make Sense” by Doug Buehl, he suggests including the following tips that he calls Keys to Reading Math:

·              Read carefully and make sure each sentence makes sense.
·              Try to summarize what you read, in your own words.
·              When you encounter a tough word, try thinking of easier words that mean the same thing and substitute the word.
·              Talk over what you read with a partner to make sure you get it right and to clear up anything you don’t understand.
·              Be on the lookout for things the author thinks you already know and things you have learned in math before.

Read with a pencil - Work the examples as you read them.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ethical Use Of Information/Ideas

As part of the Digital Citizenship standards it is important that we discuss how to ethically use the information and ideas of others. I am including a great unit geared towards 4th and 5th grade students that focuses on showing respect for people's work. The lesson targets the terms plagiarism, citation, and respect. The lesson clearly defines what plagiarism is and the importance of citing ideas of others no matter where it is found. It also allows students to see when it is good to use the work or ideas of individuals and why it is important to show respect. Parent newsletters and tips are included in this unit! This would be a great unit to use in your classroom before any research project!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Digital Citizenship/Literacy Curriculum

I came across a resource on Digital Citizenship and Literacy that correlates with the ELA common core standards. Towards the end of this school year we will be adjusting our curriculum maps. We need to keep in mind the need to integrate multiple literacies with content curriculum. Integration of speaking and listening skills and dance, music, visual arts, and computer technologies are crucial in our Reading and Writing curriculum. This is free and offers lessons for all grade levels with a standard alignment table to display where the lesson fits in your grade level content. The link that I am providing will take you to a page where you can select your grade level and browse lessons. On the right of the page you will see "related resources" which will provide an overview of the curriculum, assessment tools and alignment to the standards.

This site is designed for students to think critically and make informed choices on how to create, communicate and treat others in a digital world. Units include: Safety and Security, Digital Life, Privacy and Digital Footprints, Connected Culture, Respecting Creative Work, Research and Information Literacy (Searching and Research and Evaluations). Lots of parent resources are available along with videos and formative assessments to correspond with lessons.

Revised Testing Information

New charts have been issued by KDE that updates the time allowed for each section of the K-Prep Assessment. If a student does not complete parts B and C in the expected time, they may use an additional twenty minutes for all content areas except writing. KDE will study the completion times after this assessment and it will be reviewed for its use in the future. Below is the link to the updated testing times.

Also, you may want to discuss with your students the way the answers will be ordered. For example, student choices will be arranged in the following order:

A. Answer Choice         C. Answer Choice
B. Answer Choice         D. Answer Choice

Students will also be working out of two books this year instead of one. So they will be transferring answers from one booklet to another!
Let me know if you have any questions! As I find out new things I will send them your way!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Problem Solving K-2

Mrs. Karen has shared some information from the KCM Conference that has some great information and tools for students that are beginning to learn addition and subtraction. The PowerPoint is a little long but has some powerful information!

PowerPoint Presentation:

I will be sending you an email with the resources that are attached to the presentation!! If you have any questions let us know! This is a great resource for K-2 teachers.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Testing Updates

New materials for the K-PREP Assessment have recently been released. Some of the new materials include:
  • Student Response Booklet Demographic page
  • Permitted Calculator Use Policy
  • Writer’s Reference Sheets
  • Math Reference Sheet
  • Extended-Response (ER) General Scoring Guides
  • Short-Answer (SA) General Scoring Guides
  • Student Response Spaces for ER and SA

New samplers for reading and mathematics K-PREP items have been posted to the Sample Assessment Items for K-PREP page. They include items and student response space for grades 3 through 8.

In preparation for the 2012 spring assessments, please continue to use the existing 703 KAR 5:070 Inclusion of Special Populations regulation, dated February 12, 2009. The new accommodation changes will be effective for the 2012-13 academic year. We need to continue planning for the revised accommodation procedures for the new school year, particularly how we will ensure students become independent readers and are able to perform the required math computations without the aid of a calculator. If you want more information, I have attached an article from Kentucky Teacher that goes into more detail!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Common Core Curriculum Maps for ELA

Look at the free curriculum maps for ELA when working on your pacing guide. The second edition is already out and will be available to you soon. Ms. Amy has lots of the books referenced for each grade level!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mastery Connect

Please go to the following site and watch the video about the mastery connect system. I highly recommend joining the free online community. You can look at other assessments from teachers in the area and upload your own. Our ipods will work great with this system because there are free apps that can be used by the students that correspond to this site. Please let me know what you think about it. You can either comment to this entry or send me an email. Hope you can use this!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Program Reviews Questions and Answers

I am including a link from Kentucky Teacher that addresses many questions about Program Reviews and what will be coming up within the next school year! We will discuss many of these questions in our meeting tomorrow.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Topics for 2012

Click on the link below in order to listen to the following:
In a special video edition of Commissioner’s Comments, Education Commissioner Terry Holliday welcomes Kentucky educators back to school after winter break, and offers a preview of  “what’s hot and what’s coming in 2012.” Among the topics highlighted are the Unbridled Learning: College/Career Readiness for All assessment and accountability system; student growth; Kentucky Core Academic Standards; new professional development resources; and the upcoming legislative session.