Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Brand New School Year

This school year has brought many new beginnings. We are a new building. We are implementing different assessments and we are beginning a different way of instructing.
To begin with, we are a new building. Last year our building contained kindergarten through 6th grade students. This year we have changed to having only kindergarten through 2nd grade students. In addition we now house ALL kindergarten through 2nd grade students in the city. That means we have 400 ~ 5-8 year old's. This new configuration brought challenges. Now we are concentrated and one very challenging student per class in a K-6 school has become one challenging student in 15 classrooms. It was a shock at first. We are building the plane as we are flying it, so to speak. It took time to figure it out, but things have mellowed and students are progressing! Another challenge is the results of our assessments. We did not feel very good about the results of our Fountas and Pinnell reading scores when we completed our benchmark assessments in September. We have a big hill to climb to get the scores to where we want them to be. Along with the challenges, came some positives. We now have FULL DAY Kindergarten! This is so exciting. I love having those little guys around all day. They are so excited to be in school and they have happy smiles all day. 

Next, we are implementing different assessments this year. We administered the annual Fountas & Pinnell benchmark assessment in September to first and second grade teachers. I trained and calibrated first and second grade teachers so our scores would mean the same thing. We will include kindergarten in the Fountas & Pinnell  benchmark assessment in January. We are also field testing P.A.S.T (Phonological Assessment Skills Test). This assessment helps define which skills students are missing to help them be successful conventional readers. We are field testing it with certain teachers because it was given to staff as an optional assessment. I would like us to test all students in K-2 and use it as a baseline for instruction. Phonological skills are really important foundation skills to conventional reading and the targeted instruction in the missing skills will help our students sore. We are using the P.A.S.T one teacher at a time.

Finally, we are implementing a different way of instructing and running core reading time. This year we are implementing Daily 5 and CAFE with fidelity. I have spent the first several months coaching teachers through setting up Daily 5. I've been in classrooms modeling the Daily 5 lessons, holding mini workshops and a book study to help teachers gain the knowledge they need to successfully implement Daily 5.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

My new techy thing

I found a new techy thing - Vine. I want to start creating vines with students in them to advertise the wonderful things we are doing with reading at our school. I successfully got myself set up to create and post Vines on my Samsung devices at home. However, I am still technologically challenged when it comes to getting it set up on the mini iPad that I use at school. Check out what I've done ~@Jen_Napoleon Twitter

Sunday, March 22, 2015

My New World

I have started this blog to share my teaching world with others. I have never created a blog and technology does not come instinctively to me. I am hoping that, as I share my world with you, I will grow to have a deeper understanding of technology. I may have to enlist the help of my teenage children. As would be expected, they are very tech savvy. 

I love teaching. Most of the students I work with are eager to learn and are excited to see me. I am currently the reading teacher. I have 8 groups of students in grades K-6. Each group runs 30 minutes. I have 1.5 assistant help and they each have groups for 30 minutes each group. Upon consultation with the teachers, I create the lesson plans and the materials to use with the lesson plans. The assistants implement the lesson plans.  

My favorite part of my job is helping teachers improve their practice. I get to meet with teachers and provide professional growth support around reading instruction, reading assessment and Daily 5 & CAFE by The 2 Sisters