Monday, October 28, 2013

October 21, 2013 - Middle School Planning Meeting

On October 21, 2013, the middle school team met to plan how to integrate guided reading into the literacy program.

After reviewing student data, teachers studied the guided reading format and strategies appropriate for the developmental stages of their students.

The day was very successful.

Thanks to:

Robb  Warren, Principal

Emily Cohen, Middle School Teacher

Stormy Dyer, Middle School Teacher

Gloria Delsandro, Curriculum Coordinator

A special thank you goes to Cherie Doughty, literacy coach, and Pat Pacquet, fifth grade teacher and coach.

October 22, 2013 - Visits to Classrooms on Vinalhaven

Following are the classrooms I visited during the day.  The teachers were engaging students and moving them steadily towards success in literacy.

Kudos to all for so much dedication and hard work!

Mrs. Dempster works with her pre-K students to learn to match letters.  Quick visual discrimination is key learning to read fluently.

Pre-K is about learning the connections between text and meaning.  Here is a great example - student created collages.

Mrs. Kayla meets with her small group to learn how to use sources of information when reading a poem.  Students are moving forward quickly.   

First grade students work with Mrs. Sam on a poem - practicing and naming the reading strategies they use while they read.  Students are using all three sources of information to determine meaning.  


Second grade students work with Ms. Mason in a guided reading group as they explore a non-fiction text on bees and then reproduce a text structure replicated from their book. 

Fourth grade students work with Mrs. Osgood in a guided reading group exploring a non-fiction text on bees.  Along with discussion, they make entries in their reader's notebooks.  

Friday, October 25, 2013

Here is a reference for the new reading levels for the CCSS. We need to keep in mind lexiles are not the only measures used to determine rigor and reading level.

"It isn't often that a society gets a chance to start afresh,
and I think that moment is here."
—Chester E. Finn, Jr.*
The Common Core State Standards Initiative offers the following overlapping Lexile bands (or Lexile ranges**, as defined by Common Core) to place texts in the following text complexity grade bands. According to the Common Core Standards, qualitative scales of text complexity should be anchored at one end by descriptions of texts representative of those required in typical first-year credit-bearing college courses and in workforce training programs. Similarly, quantitative measures should identify the college- and career-ready reading level as one endpoint of the scale.
We have realigned our Lexile ranges to match the Common Core Standards' text complexity grade bands and adjusted upward its trajectory of reading comprehension development through the grades to indicate that all students should be reading at the college and career readiness level by no later than the end of high school.
New research was released on August 15, 2012 concerning text complexity. The updates refer to the three-part model defined in Appendix A of the the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, which combines the quantitative and qualitative measures of text complexity with reader and task considerations. The goal of the quantitative study was to provide information regarding the variety of ways text complexity can be measured quantitatively and to examine text complexity tools that are valid, transparent, user friendly, and reliable. We continue to update our tools to be aligned to the CCSS. Most recently, we updated the Lexile Map to include CCSS text exemplars and the new CCSS ranges.
Lexile Band
Lexile Band*
 K–1  N/A N/A
 2–3  450L–725L 420L–820L
 4–5  645L–845L 740L–1010L
 6–8 860L–1010L 925L–1185L
9-10 960L–1115L 1050L–1335L
11–CCR  1070L–1220L 1185L–1385L
The Common Core Standards advocate a "staircase" of increasing text complexity, beginning in grade 2, so that students can develop their reading skills and apply them to more difficult texts. At the lowest grade in each band, students focus on reading texts within that text complexity band. In the subsequent grade or grades within a band, students must "stretch" to read a certain proportion of texts from the next higher text complexity band. This pattern repeats itself throughout the grades so that students can both build on earlier literacy gains and challenge themselves with texts at a higher complexity level. Lexile measures and the Lexile ranges above help to determine what text is appropriate for each grade band and what should be considered "stretch" text.
The Common Core Standards devote as much attention to the text complexity of what students are reading as it does to how students read. As students advance through the grades, they must both develop their comprehension skills and apply them to increasingly complex texts. The proportion of texts that students read each year should come from a particular text complexity grade band. Students must also show a steadily increasing ability to discern more from and make fuller use of text.
Please contact us at or 1-888-LEXILES with questions.

**Please note that MetaMetrics defines a "Lexile range" as text that falls within 100L below to 50L above a reader's Lexile measure.
*Chester E. Finn, Jr. is a former Assistant Secretary of Education in the George Bush administration, current President of the Fordham Foundation and a well-known critic of educational reform efforts.

Lexile Link:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Communicating with Families! Bravo!! Courtesy of Choice Literacy

The Big Fresh Newsletter from Choice Literacy 
It's parent conference season in many schools. Here are two resources from the Choice Literacy archives to help foster better communication with families.
Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan have suggestions for Communicating with Parents About Text Difficulty:
Andrea Smith and her fourth-grade students are Refining the Weekly Class Newsletter to build writing skills, collaboration, and the home/school connection:
Our new month-long series What About Homework? just launched on Facebook. We'll be posting suggestions from Choice Literacy contributors through early November: