Saturday, November 24, 2012

Site Visit on November 30th

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope you had a great holiday.

I am writing to remind you I will be visiting on November 30th.

Cherie Rob have the details of the visit.

Over wheel time I would like to meet with teachers individually and review your running records, your groups, and your DRA 2 data.  Please have a calendar of the times you have met so far.

December is creeping up on us - meaning we only have about 6 1/2 months left of school!! YIKES!!

As always, I am looking forward to seeing you,

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Good Read for us to think about while we accelerate our students.

What Does it Mean to Comprehend What One Reads?
When students understand what they read, they are applying a constellation of skills and strategies to interpret the text based on both the features of the text and their own knowledge. In this paper we discuss the building blocks of teaching reading comprehension. Download the Free Whitepaper

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A reminder about the power of positive expectations - courtesy of ASCD Smartbrief

  • This is a great article on the power of language and the experiences, connotations it elicits in all of us.  It is a great read - clarifying the full impact of the concept of expectations and the use of the term in the classroom.
    A teacher's expectations influence how students learn, suggests middle-school English teacher Ariel Sacks. However, in this blog post, Sacks reminds teachers to focus on the positive connotations of the word, avoiding its use to imply control, punitive measures or inflexible demands. "It is equally important that teachers can be reciprocally influenced by the students' experience and response to conditions or tasks," Sacks writes. Teacher Leaders Network/On the Shoulders of Giants blog (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Co-relation Chart

One of the challenges we have facing us is the variety of texts and levels we are using to measure growth.  The CCSS are using the lexile leveling with qualifiers.  Consequently, it helps us to be able to co-relate materials as we scaffold our students. 

Following is a chart that does just that.  

The post after that one, is an example of how teachers can co-ordinate their teaching efforts by using similar levels. 

 Hope this helps! D

Friday, November 2, 2012

Differentiation - Lexiles in the Classroom and Summer School

My last post on July 5, 2010, dealt with collaboration in effective schools.  Recently, when I visited Winthrop Elementary school I observed collaboration at its best for students.  

I stopped to visit Bill Giasson, a third grade teacher.  He is working with students in summer school as well as working in his classroom throughout the summer - preping for his incoming class.  Bill does this every year - focusing on his students' needs and tracking down info.  He realizes how crucial literacy is for his students and has been thinking about how to support his students' literacy acquisition.  

This year, he has decided to organize his classroom library according to lexiles - taken from the NWEA.  He has labeled his totes and organized his books accordingly.  He has arranged the lexiles with an overlap on each end so students don't slot themselves as 200's or 600's.  Further, he has separated and labeled the fiction and nonfiction.  Third grade embeds nonfiction in its curriculum so students need extra support in this area. 

This organization allows students to practice at an appropriate levels and assures growth. 

This process can be easily applied in all grades where student lexiles are available.

The title 1 program uses the DRA and appropriate guided reading levels.  This is coordinated through the co-relation chart above.

Holly Lachance, title 1 coordinator, has organized the book room for K-5 staff in Winthrop and provides them with this co-relation chart, enabling them to use all of the measures provided by assessments used in the school system.  

A perfect example of the power of collaboration.

For further information on Lexiles, go to:

This approach to differentiation can be used effectively at all grade levels - and used to support our most challenged readers.  Practicing on the appropriate level of reading assures growth.   Best practices work!