Sunday, January 26, 2014

Reading Street Trifold Templates

My days as an Instructional Specialist are busy conducting data meetings, analyzing data, reporting out the data, and participating in lots of professional development.  I recently had a request inquiring about the Reading Street trifolds.  After doing a little searching, I came across a blank template from proteacher.net.  Click {here} if you are interesting in downloading the template.  As Reading Street publishes new versions of their Reading series, the page numbers often change.  Hopefully this template will help those of you with a different version than my district.  Happy Teaching!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Harlem Shake

The staff at my school are very creative!  A few years ago they made a video to get kids pumped up for our NMSBA standardized test.  You can see that video from my previous post {here}.  Now they are back again with another video to get kids excited about testing, which runs all next week.


If you are wondering...no I am not in this video.  I have been at our Professional Development Center all week working with a team to revise our Common Core Pacing Guides for ELA and Math.  I'll post more on them, once everything is finalized.  I hope you got a good laugh watching our teachers and office staff!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Nancy Fetzer Literacy Connections

Back in December I took part in a three day training on Nancy Fetzer Literacy Connections.  We were very lucky to have Nancy Fetzer herself as our trainer.  My district had adopted her writing program many years back and implemented lots of training then.  Now that we have moved to Common Core, my district decided to revisit Nancy Fetzer Writing since it ties in perfectly with meeting Common Core skills in ELA.  If you have never heard of Nancy and the strategies she uses, I highly recommend her!  She is currently in the process of getting all of her video demonstrations and her materials onto her website.  She also has a ton of videos on YouTube that are linked from her website.




In the last few weeks I began training the staff at my school to use Nancy Fetzer Movie Scripts, Word Masters, and Story Blasters.  I started off by having staff look at the Three Tiers of Vocabulary from the Common Core Appendix A.  Once everyone had a better understanding of the Three Tiers of Vocabulary, I had each team begin looking at  choosing 3-4 Tier II Vocabulary words for Kinder - 1st grade and 5-7 Tier II Vocabulary words for 2nd - 5th grades that teams would be using in the next few weeks for their Focus Story.

Once teams had their words decided upon, they would then create a Story Blaster using the vocabulary words that students needed to know for their upcoming story.  Students will practice reading the Story Blaster numerous times.  The teacher will divide the class into two groups – readers and definers.  Readers will read the story blaster and stop when they read a vocabulary word. They will point to the definers.  Definers will repeat the word, provide the definition, and act out TPR.  Here is a sample from the 3rd grade training.

    It started on a sunny winter day at my house. I was for once ecstatic about taking my math facts test at school, because I had studied the night before. I knew if I passed my test I would get to go to a movie that weekend.  As I got ready for school that morning, I kept repeating my math facts to myself. My older brother started to mock me which really made me mad. My mother hurried me into our car which she had let idle to warm up the engine. The car started out of the driveway when it chugged and stopped. I was worried that I would not get to school on time to take my test, and I was on the verge of breaking into a cold sweat from being so nervous.  My mother started the car up and drove me to school. I was on time!!  I took my math facts test and got all the problems right. I guess my mother was right when she said I had the potential to learn the math facts.
    Another component of learning the vocabulary words was to create a Movie Script.  Here is a sample Movie Script in which we used in the training.  Teams were to create one together, and then incorporate the Tier II Vocabulary words (nature, dim, and humongous) into each part of the story.  Here is the sample movie script with vocabulary that teachers would present to their class and then practice saying with TPR each day.



    One cloudy day, the Gingerbread Man was walking through the forest.  As he looked around, he saw all parts of nature--- birds, a stream, rocks, and the wind blowing through the trees. Suddenly, the clouds completely covered the sun making it very, very dim.  The Gingerbread Man started running, but he tripped over a humongous rock and landed on his head.


Another important strategy of the Nancy Fetzer Vocabulary is to have each word posted with a simple definition with a picture of what it means to the students.  2nd - 5th grade students also create their own Word Masters in which they write the vocabulary words with a definition and picture with each Focus Story.  In addition students also create their own Story Blaster using the vocabulary words from the Focus Story.  There are also homework extension activities that kids can read the words to their families, read the Story Blaster at home, or create another story using the vocabulary words at home. 

Once the words have been mastered, they are then moved to a Vocabulary Wall in which the words are sorted according to Nouns, Verbs, and Adjectives.  This is separate from a word wall, as word wall words are suppose to be a place for kids to look for common words that they may need a reminder of how to spell.  The current Movie Script is also posted with the current vocabulary story words.  Once the Movie Script has been retired, many teachers move it into a class book and will revisit them throughout the year.  

Many of the teachers at my school were eager to begin using the vocabulary strategies, although some of the upper grade teachers were a bit uncomfortable with the idea of using TPR to tell the stories.  But then again, the dual language teachers were very impressed and excited to use as much TPR as they could with their ELL kids.  As teachers begin to use more of her strategies and we roll out more Nancy Fetzer Strategies to my district I will continue to post more.


  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sign Up Genius

Now that I am no longer teaching in the classroom, I find that my administrative duties have given me a different view. It's often more difficult to find topics to blog about, unless you want to hear about the newest data I have compiled.  Anyhow, I recently decided to use Sign Up Genius to schedule Professional Development for my school for this semester.  It was so easy to set up.  It sends me an email every time someone signs up for a training.  It also sends the people who signed up a reminder email.  There are many uses for this website.  It would be great for scheduling parent teacher conferences or other volunteer events.  Check it out!



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Creating a School Master Schedule

Yep!  Just like the title says, I've been working on a rapid reset for our elementary school of about 565 kids.  This year, due to the fact that I am teaching reading instruction for two hours daily, it has made some scheduling a bit fragmented.  I lead weekly PLC's and cannot begin them until after 10:00 a.m. each day.  So, after our leadership team agreed that a new master schedule for our school would be best for students, I began working on one.  Let me say that as a teacher, I never dreamed how much of a job this entailed!  After about 15 hours of working on it, I was ready to present it on Monday.  Now teams will present pluses and deltas and we will go from there.


Here is just a snapshot of what I've been working on.  While doing some research on school schedules, I didn't have much luck finding resources or templates.   I did come across this book.


I am curious to know if anyone out there has heard of it and if it's worth getting.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Classroom Walk Throughs

Now that I am an Instructional Specialist, my focus on classrooms has taken on another meaning.  As a part of my position, I am responsible for conducting Classroom Walk Through's each week.  They are snapshots of what we currently see happening in classrooms during a five to ten minute time frame.  Last year our district conducted CWT's through PD360.  However this year we no longer had the option to use PD360 for CWT's.  I began searching the internet for something to use other than the paper and pencil version, as that seemed like a step backwards.  I found this great tutorial for creating a CWT using Google Docs (now Drive) that you can find {here}.  

Here is what I came up with.  You start off by making a spreadsheet in Google Drive.  From there you can go to the live form and input each CWT you conduct.  The spread sheet tracks the information collected.  Each week our admin. team discusses the data.  I copy and paste each teacher's information into a table in Word and distribute.  We then pass on the data to the entire staff in our Weekly Item Sheet.  If you are interested, you can click on the picture and see a sample spreadsheet.

P.S.  I also wanted to do a Shout out to Brenda from Just Ask!  She celebrated her birthday on Saturday.  Happy Birthday!!  I hope is was a great day!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night Game Board

Hi Everyone!  This one is short and sweet.  Here is my latest game board that uses consonant blends.  It goes with Reading Street 2nd grade Unit 1 Week 3.


Click on the picture to download your own game!
That's all for now...