''''''468 TEACHING LITERARY DEVICES THROUGH POETRY:'''
With SBAs coming, I found this to be a particularly helpful class. We spent a good
amount of time analyzing different state assessments for the purpose of identifying
how many and what kind of questions deal with literary devices. Turns out, it is a
significant amount for all states. The goal was to get students to recognize literary
devices used in poetry and then connect them with other texts and with their
everyday lives. Since the desired outcome is greater than just identifying the
utilized devices, instructors should ask questions that require the students to elicit
how the device supports understanding of the poem. My class and I are having a
ball doing this. My room is awash with the colors of pictures both found and created
that make the connections that are bringing the poems to life.
'''662 RAISING THE QUALITY OF TREASURE HUNT AND STORY TEST RESPONSES:'''
“Wow!” I thought I modeled plenty during my instructional tirades, but much to my
chagrin, I was wrong. On a daily basis, I would expound on the importance of using
a question stem in the team talk and test answers, but how many times did I model
my written response on the board? At first, students may offer very general or short
responses to the questions they encounter. Students must learn how to provide
more detailed and complete responses. In order for this to occur, teachers must
model expected responses, and they must do it in a manner that is both seen and
heard. Another helpful aspect I am learning to appreciate is QAR. Question-answer
relationships can help the students by developing an understanding of the type of
question being asked and where the answer might be found. After attending this
session, I realized that I modeled clarifying skills plenty but was expecting leaps of
faith on the part of my students without showing them concrete examples of my
skills and expectations.
'''460 USING LISTENING COMPREHENSION AND BUILD BACKGROUND TO
CONNECT SKILL INSTRUCTION:'''
This session was all about teacher behavior motivating students to learn by making
connections between objectives, practice, and assessment. This is an area where
most of us feel that we define and model fairly consistently, and I can’t say that I
heard anything new in this session. Bur, I was absolutely blown away by the skills
of this session’s presenter. He literally had me eating out of his hand. His attention
to tiny details, voice, and mannerisms inspired me to return to return to site and put
together all the things I learned as well as those I already knew but often failed to
strive for. This session proved to me that the model of effective instruction is only
as good as the instructor’s delivery.
'''930 WHAT’S STOPPING YOU?'''
When trying to accelerate low-performing students, there are two broad but
separate avenues we might cruise. The first is aggressive placement and the second
is program modifications. Speaking to the first, aggressive placement can either be
made or refuted with a plethora of data in its myriad forms. The 2nd avenue is more
up my alley. The teacher’s goal is to release responsibility for learning to the
students, which is made possible by providing enough of the right kind of partner,
team, and individual practice until student mastery is achieved. Examples of
instructional modifications might include: providing content background for
important concepts or vocabulary not in students’ environmental experience;
extending guided practice with additional examples until students can practice
independently, or occasionally reducing time and expectations for one lesson
segment (such as writing). Materials can be modified to focus on the most
necessary skills for student mastery. Examples of material modification might
include: changing or reducing vocabulary words, enlarging the text, substituting
comprehension questions, revising the assessment, and restructuring writing
'''455 MOVING BEYOND THE CLARIFYING STRATEGY LESSON:'''
This session was all about setting goals and charting progress along with soul-
searching analysis of where instructional goals and student achievement are falling
short. First we looked at data sheet that tracks the specific skill of clarifying for the
purpose of noting the frequency of students utilizing clarifying strategies either or
prompted, independently, or not at all. After you know where your students are at,
you can start to search for possible root causes for disappointment or celebrate
their success. There are four main areas to review for intervention strategies:
routines and structures are not consistently used, the task or routine is unclear,
expectations are unclear, or students are not engaged. The suggested interventions
are too numerous to list, so I will post my fave five: Use think-alouds to explain
tasks, model the task, review student routines, ALLOW TEAMS WHOSE MEMBERS
MET EXPECTATIONS TO BE MODELS FOR THE CLASS, and use team cooperation
goals and routines throughout the entire day.
'''420 READ AND RESTATE: SUMMARIZING IN EXPOSITORY TEXT USING SQRRRL:'''
Have you ever felt like you are trying to do so much that nothing gets done to
satisfaction? If so, then this is the session for you. Since expository text differs from
narrative text in both purpose and structure it follows that it requires different
strategies for reading and comprehension. Students need to know how to organize
information so they can show they have understood what they read and can put the
knowledge to practical use. This is where the SQRRRL strategies are effective. The
acronym stands for Survey, Question, Read and Restate, Review, and Learn. My
“Aha” moment came when I learned that I should only pick one section from each
day’s listening comp. section to list on an organizer. For students, assign one section
to each group to do an idea tree on then share out. Previously, I had tried to have
every group do every section on idea trees, which was way too much. If the focus is
summarizing, then frontload by explaining text words and vocab before students
survey. My personal favorite was when the instructor had us professionals create a
list of main ideas then shredded us as she went though and systematically removed
half of the fluff that didn’t belong.
SFAF Experienced Sites Conference San Francisco, CA February 2-4, 2009
The conference as a whole was one of the best professional development
experiences of my career. The sessions were a great time to network with
colleagues and all had valuable information that I can and have taken back to site
and start implementing right away.
'''Keynote—Dr. Slavin''' talked about evidence being the basis for change and the
importance of using proven programs. Discussed the Best Evidence Encyclopedia
that is a Consumer Report of sorts to compare educational programs and curricula.
'''Dr. Crystal Kuykendall—'''GREAT speaker! Lots of energy and had great things to
say. Children need Affection, Appreciation, and Achievement. They will satisfy their
needs for all three in some way. I really enjoyed her examples of how the style of
the teacher and climate of the classroom can make such a HUGE impact on the
learning of the students. It reminded me of our BSSD slogan “Attitude is everything”
'''136—Class Council Meetings: Making Them Work'''
This session had some good ideas for strategies to use to create a positive classroom
atmosphere as well as reviewing the agenda for a Class Council meeting and what
should be happening during each component. The four key areas include: Teacher
Affirmations, Encouraging Words, Class Concerns, and Skill Building. We were able
to talk about what people have done in each area.
175—ADHD and the SFA Classroom'''
This session was mostly focused on ADHD strategies in ANY classroom and wasn’t
limited to SFA. The presenter was very knowledgeable and offered lots of tips and
tricks to use with students who have attention difficulties. The thing that struck me
most was the discussion of ADD as a disability. You wouldn’t tell a blind person to
“look harder” and you’ll see it and learn it; but we constantly tell students with
attention difficulties to just “pay attention.” This analogy has really helped me in
explaining to some of my parapros what the difficulties some of my students are
facing and that “trying harder” to pay attention may not be the answer. I’ve already
implemented some of the behavior management techniques in my classroom and
had some great success with my students!
975—Bring Back the Joy of Teaching'''
I greatly enjoyed the self-reflection time in this session. The instructor focused on
the fact that we all make choices; things don’t just happen to us. We also had
discussion on things that are a crisis versus things that are an inconvenience. It was
nice to put that in perspective since it seems we face many inconveniences in our
rural schools. Emphasis was put on finding ways to bring joy into our own lives as
well as reaching out to others to help hold us accountable in our pursuit of that joy.
931—Observing and Giving Feedback'''
Use of the ISAG in observing and giving feedback to teachers as well as the roles and
purposes for our observations were the main focuses of this session. Much of the
discussion was on building-wide observations by multiple support staff that we just
don’t have so that wasn’t particularly helpful. We also talked about the importance
of observation within the Goal-Focused Implementation Process especially when
determining areas of concern, interventions, and future actions.
'''720—Using Reader’s Box in Reading Edge'''
Apparently I’m not the only one who’d never heard of Reader’s box before. This
session was offered because point people have discovered that Reader’s Box has
been overlooked in most schools. We explored some sample lesson formats and
walked through a Reader’s Box lesson. These lessons are meant to be at least 2 days
of each quarter of Edge instruction and offer some great real-world applications. I
can’t wait to see my Edge teachers try them out!
'''466—Increasing Vocabulary Acquisition in Wings'''
We learned many fun ways to incorporate vocabulary within the Wings schedule
and make it more meaningful. Time was also spent looking through the schedule
and identifying the parts of the day when we can incorporate more intentional
'''662—Raising the Quality of Treasure Hunt and Story Test Response'''
Using the Wings schedule we identified times during the day where we can teach
and model written responses as well as times when students practice and the
teacher can monitor and reinforce their progress. We discussed that a good written
answer stems from a good discussion. If partners and teams aren’t having the
discussion then the answers aren’t going to be as great as they could be. The QAR
was also reviewed. Students are expected to classify the question before answering
'''813—Families and Fast Track Phonics'''
I found this session to be particularly helpful as the PTB is basically all the material
needed to hold a workshop for parents on the use of Fast Track Phonics. It includes
some take-home games that parents can use with their child to help them in their
phonics lessons as well as basic instruction in the various parts of Fast Track
Phonics. I think once parents have a better understanding of this aspect of the
program they will be more able to help students at home. We also had time to
discuss strategies for getting parents to attend these workshops as they will only
obviously be successful if we can get the parents in the door!
I, Nancy Dean of Wales, enjoyed the conference. Working with other teachers from
many parts of our country using cooperative learning was refreshing. It also helped
me remember that our students are truly able to do anything we teach and ask of
them—our attitude can determines the quality of the response. The keynote
speaker, Dr. Crystal Kuykendall, demonstrated this with her versions of two
teachers, the negative one and the one who believed in the students. Her high
energy and belief in the ability of children set the tone for all the sessions.
Using the Four Core Comprehension Strategies in the Reading Edge: It takes teacher
modeling at the beginning to get students to demonstrate the skills of questioning,
predicting, clarifying and summarizing. The Edge hour includes daily practice of
those strategies. Graphic organizers and strategy cards are necessary to encourage
acquisition of the skills and comprehension of the materials. There are check lists
for the teacher to use to note observations of how the students are progressing
giving clues for the need to reteach or celebrate. We know we are successful when
the skills are used throughout the day in other classes.
Teaching Literacy Devices Through Poetry: Teaching one day poetry units between
other units is necessary to acquire the skills to interpret poetry. Imagery,
personification, simile and metaphors are on standardized tests. In the first part of
the double session we worked as a group through some given poems and then
shared using a jigsaw format. The second part we looked at a sample question from
a standardized test to give us a better idea of what the students will face. We were
supposed to come up with a lesson to use, but were not given any
materials....bummer. However, there are web resources in the PTB.
Bring Back the Joy of Teaching: I love to teach but feel overwhelmed at times this
year due to the k-3 spread of my students and the upper wings SFA class. Rating our
personal skills on the 'joyful teacher compass' was interesting, but focusing on a
skill we already have was not very useful. There was quite a bit about how to build
resilience. Quite a bit of useful, down-to-earth suggestions to keep problems from
getting out of hand.
What's Stopping You? Acceleration for Low-Performing Students: Something that
always keeps me thinking. How???? Possible solutions included: aggressive
placement with support, appropriate modifications, high expectations and careful
monitoring. The PTB has a good checklist.
Class Council Meetings: Making Them Work: We might need to modify our schedule
to have a real homeroom to allow for class meetings, frequent celebrations and
better communication. The purpose of the meetings is to create a sense of
community, resolve issues and reinforce Getting Along Together skills. Students
should be able go to a predetermined space in the room to fix their issues whenever
they arise with the taught skills of the “I” message. The school environment will
only get better with the ability of the students to fix issues on their own in a win-win
Increasing Vocabulary Acquisition in Reading Wings: There are moments for
working with vocabulary throughout the Wings class. Hink Pinks defeat me. I find it
difficult to come up with any quickly, but like trying to figure them out. I will try
some (that others invent for me) on my class.
The Child Who Just Can't Do It: Building a success plan for struggling children and
frustrated teachers: Common sense approach of finding strengths and creating a
plan. Picking the one piece that will make a difference in the classroom first might
save the sanity of the teacher. Some good worksheets in the PTB to do this along
with contracts for the student. Celebrating successes as they occur and then
resetting goals is necessary.
Vocabulary Development in the Reading Edge Levels 1=8+: Reminded us that it
happens during the entire class. This one had the activity to rate how well a
vocabulary word is know on a scale of 1 to 4. This discussion was fun for us as
teachers with technical words. I can see some of the older students truly enjoying
and learning from the activity too. Knowing words, it was interesting to rate
contexts as directive, generally directive, non-directive and mis-directive. Too often
students are led down the wrong path with mis-directive clues (or they do not read
carefully enough to get all the clues).
AnnMarie Rudstrom -- Brevig Mission
“Good Leaders Ask Good Questions”
This was the best session I attended at the SFA conference in San Francisco and
possibly one of the best I’ve ever attended. Mark Rolewski does a great job of
getting you focused and giving us as educators a wake up call. “Good questions ask
about what’s important to what you do.” Which brings up the question, what is
important in education? As teachers we are (or should be) focused on student
achievement and instruction. However, too often we are overly concerned with
stuff, busywork, things that do not directly influence student achievement. It’s time
we look at what we’re doing in a day and stay focused on what’s important.
“Getting Unstuck: Making Systems Work”
The big thing I walked away from in this session was the idea of “Systems
Thinking”. Here’s a part of the philosophy of systems thinking, “Systems thinking
assigns most of the differences in performance to the system – not to the people.”
When we’re not making progress, when we’re stuck, we need to start focusing on
the system. What can we improve in the system to increase student achievement?
“Getting Your Munchkins to Talk About Math”
This session focused on the importance of doing problem-solving activities on a
regular basis, even in kindergarten. Asking open-ended questions during math is a
great way to get all kids to start making observations and using their math
language. This session was a perfect compliment to the training with Jan
Christianson about teaching a balanced math program.
“Bring Back the Joy of Teaching”
This felt like a therapy session, but in a good way. In the time of high stakes testing
and depressing data it’s important not to let it bring you down and take the joy out
of teaching. We were encouraged to remember the reasons you went into teaching
and to take care of ourselves. If we don’t we won’t be any good for anyone else. . .
our employer, our students, our staff. Whatever it is that is bringing you down,
don’t let it. In the session, we made plans on areas we could bring back the joy of
teaching and improve our instruction.
'''''John Lindula-- Elim'''''
SFAF Experienced Sites Conference
San Francisco, CA February 2-4, 2009
Keynote Speakers- Dr. Slavin:
If something works, keep it and expand it. If it doesn’t work, end it. In all other
fields (technology, agriculture, medicine) we use what works based on evidence.
<www.bestevidence.org> shows studies behind educational programs. Sticking
with the program is key (the median length of an SFA school is 8 years).
Crystal Kuykendall- Kids are going to use their creativity and ingenuity for
something, either good or bad. They also WILL succeed at something, either by
doing good schoolwork or by bugging a teacher. Having no hope leads to rage. We
can’t get the most out of our kids without giving the best of ourselves.
Assessment in KinderCorner: Nancy Manning- We need to find issues with our
Kindergarteners ASAP so we can intervene and right the ship. There are too many
assessments to use them all; we need to find the ones that work for our school.
Make sure we have the newest SOLOs. We NEED to use the stepping stones
Increasing Vocabulary Acquisition in Reading Wings: Diane Schnoebelen- Students
need to add 2000-3500 words per year to continue being successful! We need
multiple vocabulary acquisition materials; 1 is not enough. Teachers should be
using vocab words outside of reading class. Rating sheets are good partner practice
resources; the students rate each other on each word. Acting out vocabulary words
help make them stick. When a student asks for help on a vocab word, ask them what
clarification strategy they used first. If kids don’t reread to clarify (or use context
clues or whatever) MODEL IT! Use examples for vocab words as well as non-
examples. Make predictions based on the vocab words.
Motivating your staff in a high-stakes Environment: Dee Dee Hendricks- No one
really likes NCLB, but make connections between what teachers believe (all
students can learn) and the legislation. <ed.gov> gives additions to state AYP
qualifications. Just advocating compliance with NCLB does not motivate staff very
well. Teachers should know AYP rules. It is a waste of your time and energy
working with someone who isn’t going to change. Instead of telling a teacher what
to do, have them come up with an improvement plan. Show each teacher what their
class needs to do to make AYP.
Targeting Inferences: Elizabeth Harper- (interchangeable with ‘drawing
conclusions’) An inference is what an author wants you to know but doesn’t come
right out and say. You use background knowledge to draw inferences, but
sometimes this can get you into trouble. Don’t take for granted kids know what
things are (like a clothes pin). Have students PROVE IT. Not all inferences are
predictions, but all predictions are inferences. We need to be familiar with state
reading standards so we know the appropriate language to use with our students.
Immediate feedback is crucial. Start with easy inferences, then work up to harder
Bring Back the Joy of Teaching: Dan Maluski- I chose my reactions to you, no matter
what you do to me. Remember our successes to pull us through the challenging bits
of teaching. Your joy is your responsibility; no one else is looking out for you. No
matter what job you have, it becomes mundane eventually. You can chose to
become a better teacher or leave the profession. If you’re not doing what you want
to do it’s time to change jobs. You always have an impact on your students; it just
might be good or bad. Don’t awfulize things; the copy machine breaking is not a
crisis, it’s an inconvenience. You can get through any situation stronger than when
you started. Pick your battles; decide if something is worth your time or not.
Schedule time for yourself. Do what’s most important to you first.
Questioning in KC: Kelly Ryan- (this was the most useful session in my opinion.
These were strategies that could be useful in any level in any content area) Ask
open ended questions. Not “what shape is this”, but “what things does this shape
look like”. Discussion lets us know where our kids are at. Students learn by doing;
teachers learn where our students are at by observing.
Success in Phonics Instruction in KC: Patrice McFadin- Put Reading First is a
valuable resource that lists the 5 components of reading instruction. This is put out
by the government, not SFA. In at risk schools students come in to Kindergarten
approximately 18 months behind in their vocabulary usage.
Effective use of SOLOs: Shirley Lassig- Teachers should test 2-3 students per SOLO.
Recording the students and listening to them later is a good way to do it so students
aren’t wondering what you’re writing. This is, however, more time consuming.
Make connections between what they know and the stories. You need a minimum of
2 SOLOs per student per quarter. Some students could use more. Use this data to
drive instruction. The classroom teacher should administer the SOLOs so they know
where each student is and where to go with their instruction.
I would like to thank the district for the opportunity to attend this conference. It is
always a time to learn and reflect about reading and teaching in general.
I was most excited about the session that outlined the writing program that they are
currently doing. It is an 11 day cycle and very much like SFA READING-there are
team points and score sheets----but it is so easy to follow and any educator coming
in would have an excellent blue print to follow. It would give any teacher a much
better view to follow than what we are currently doing----some are doing
workbooks only (and not "writing") some are just pulling stuff out of the sky
according to the six traits. The language mechanics lessons are great--they are day 5
and 8 on a CD where the kids can see real people going through the concepts of basic
sentence structure. This is targeted for grades 3-6--but what I saw could easily be
done at the first grade level. I just really believe that this would give educators a
better view of the process of writing and force them to actually TEACH the writing
Bring back the joy of teaching--of course who would not go to this???? It was a great
light conversation about what the individual needs to do to stay fresh and TO HAVE
A LIFE!! Much of the session was about putting things into perspective-setting
goals,taking action, and maintaining a hopeful outlook ON YOURSELF--This is
something I know that I do not do--I get so caught up in the negative and do not look
back on the positive. Taking care of yourself is most important. If you are not
feeling good about what is going on, how are your students supposed to? It is all
The ABCs of Behavior-managing the difficult student. The main focus was that there
needs to be a team action plan for these students-a team-wow-I have always felt out
there on my own with some of these problems. But just like our solutions team here
in Shishmaref-we get a lot of support and connections made with our team
approach. It only makes sense that working with a team would benefit everyone.
There are pre and post observations checklists that can also help you really look at
the situation and take a different perspective.
Using Standardized Tests in Reading Wings. This session gave information about
what tests SFA support such as Gate-MacGinities/SRI/4Sight-much talk was about
the validity of these tests and that they give a snap shot of what a student can do.
There were good sheets that show at risk, basic, proficient, and advanced as far as
the SRI scores go, and I will definitely go through those with staff so they can get a
better look at where their kids are at and share that information with their students
on an individual level. So they can set goals for themselves.
Student Goal Setting in Reading Wings-The information that I will use is setting
EFFECTIVE GOALS. These can be for whole class, team, or individual students. By
asking students to make connections about their own goals and goals for reading
they will see the need for goal setting and how that can affect their learning and
progress. ALWAYS making sure that the goal is a SMARTS goal--student-centered,
measurable, appropriate, realistic, timely, and specific will ensure that the goal can
be met and measured. This goal setting also is a motivator for the students to take
responsibility for improving class, team, and individual learning.
'''Linda Lou Peppers''' - The '''2009 Success for
All Experienced Sites Conference''' was held in San
Francisco, California from February 2-4 this year. The following is a list of the
The keynote speaker was '''Dr. Slavin'''. He stressed that if a program
works, keep using and improving it. On the other hand, if a program is not working,
find one that is research-based and stick with it. As always, his speech was
extremely positive and informative.
The guest speaker was '''Crystal Kuykendall''', and she was a ball of
fire! Her speech was entertaining and informative. I could have listened to her
speaking all day.
The first day of the conference was devoted to the Reading Edge program, as I feel
this is the area where I need more information and training.
'''735 Using Informal Assessments to Target
Instruction in the Reading Edge''' - Kelly Cook was our
trainer for the session. One of the most informative things I got from this session
was the Implementation Self-Assessment Guide where it breaks down each
component of the program and explains what the teachers should be doing and
what the students should be doing. Although I have seen this on many occasions, it
never hurts to refresh one's memory. The session was rather broad, hitting on
fluency, the four core strategies and the Quarterly Assessment Summary. The PTB
has a lot of information in it that one can utilize for the Edge program.
'''702 Motivating and Teaching the Adolescent
Student--Strategies that Work''' - One of the interesting
parts of this session was the discussion on the difference between intrinsic and
extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is a short-term solution, it increases in
middle school, is linked to negative feelings of confidence, and is linked to rewards
and incentives. Intrinsic rewards have a long-term effect, is linked to positive
feelings of competence, is linked to student achievement, and it decreases in middle
school. We want our students to take pride in the work they do and do not expect
rewards for doing a good job. Negative motivation factors included sarcasm and
labels, while positive motivation factors were praise, relationships, and celebration,
team points, and student buy in.
One of the most important things a teacher can do is to set a tone of respect in the
classroom. Also, teachers need a positive classroom environment where they feel
accepted at all times. Students feel more motivated when they feel confident in what
they are doing in the class. A teacher has a lot to do with increasing student
achievement by their attitude towards students and the classroom environment. If
they feel accepted and respected, academic achievement should result.
'''712 - Fluency in the Reading Edge Program''' -
This session was, as the title suggests, about the importance of intentionally
targeting and focusing on fluency and how to help students develop their fluency.
First of all, we were informed about the importance of a student reading fluently.
Fluency greatly affects comprehension of a passage. Fluency bridges word
recognition and comprehension. Studies show that students who scored lower on
reading fluently also scored lower on comprehension skills associated with fluency
for comprehension, accuracy, speed, and appropriate expression. Guidelines were
given as to how often students need to be assessed both formally and informally. We
also discussed where in Reading Edge program fluency can be practiced -- primarily
during partner reading time. The Fluency Rubric on page 14 of the PTB should be
used when assessing students informally on fluency on a regular basis. it is
important to model fluency as a teacher at all times. During listening comprehension
it is extremely important for teachers to model reading smoothly, accurately, and
with expression. Another method for modeling fluency is called Echo Reading,
where a a teacher models reading a sentence fluently and has the students mimic
what the teacher read. Another method is to model not reading fluently and to get
students to give you ideas on how to improve your fluency. This session gave us a lot
of good ideas.
'''931 - Observing and Giving Feedback''' Something
that I had never thought of doing before was to create a schedule for observations. A
lot of times it seems like I spend the majority of the SFA day taking care of the
highest needs -- helping a teacher who is having discipline issues, rearranging the
classified staff so that the classes that need the help the most are getting help during
SFA, gathering data, etc. Along with this, they suggest maintaining consistent
records of your observations. It is also important to observe classes at different
points in the reading block. The examples of the Observer's Log were very
informative and easy to use. The forms on pages 24 through 29 give the observer
specific things to look for while in the classroom. Copying these and using them
while observing classes gives me specific things that teachers can do to improve
instruction. The pages with the list of general Orders of Activities for Roots and
Wings is just another way the facilitator can make sure the teacher is following the
schedule. This was a very informative session that gave me specific things to look
for while observing classrooms.
'''950Making the Most of Your Grade
Summary Report Data''' - This was the best session I attended this
year. The presenter was energetic and gave us a lot of good information. I am trying
to decipher my shorthand, which is not too good anymore. Anyway, some of the
facts presented are as follows:
It takes three years for a good teacher to turn around students that had a bad
teacher for one year.
In the Roots program, if students start on Book 6 they only have a 20-25% chance of
being on grade level at the end of the current school year. If a student begins with
Book 11 they have a 50% chance of being on grade level at the end of the school
year. Students that began in Book 16 have a 95% chance of being on grade level at
the end of the current school year. That was pretty scary, as we have a lot of
students that need to start on Book 6. Hopefully next year we will have students
coming into Kindergarten at a higher level and will not be forced to play catch-up.
Once again it stresses the importance of having a good preschool program.
It is really important that we get 80% of our first and second grade students on
We cannot be responsible for those we do not teach. We are only responsible for
those we teach the entire school year. Right there it shows you a possible reason
why we have such a hard time improving the percent of students reading on grade
50% of its first grade students will not be leaving third grade on grade level.
One of the key factors that students in second grade are not on grade level is that
teachers in not using Word Power correctly, and the best indicator of this is fluency.
As soon as I returned from San Francisco I presented this information to the staff,
and we have really put a good focus on Word Power.
'''977 Engaging Teachers with Data: A
Leadership Perspective''' - This is another really informative
session. It stresses the importance of having common goals when working with a
team. It seems like we spend the majority of our time focusing on negative things,
such as behavior and attendance. Of course this is important, but it would be nice to
spend more time looking at data and setting goals for increasing the number of
students on grade level, as well as having more students become proficient on the
SBA. The presenter gave a lot and of ideas on ways to look at data. A Classroom
Continuous Improvement Planning Cycle was presented in which included five
Analyze and interpret data.
Set a target related to reading comprehension strategies.
Plan and implement.
As I stated previously, I got a lot of good information from this session; however, the
only obstacle would be the time factor.
'''982 - Coaching Cooperative Learning''' - This session
was designed to help facilitators track the cooperative learning in a classroom and
help teachers become more aware of what they are doing in class and ways they can
improve their strategies in order to make cooperative learning more of a targeted
goal that is hit directly in the class. A lot of good ideas were given to the facilitators
which can easily be used.
'''Success for All'''
'''Experienced Sites Conference'''
'''February 2-4, 2009'''
'''Monday, February 2'''
Dr. Slavin opened the conference with data. The data was from each state according
to the high stakes reading tests. The comparison was between SFA schools and non-
SFA schools in each state. The SFA schools from each state showed more growth
than the non-SFA schools did. The data should certainly sell the program!
Dr. Crystal Kuykendall was a motivational speaker that got everyone out of their sits
and moving. She said, “Teachers have the power to change a child’s life. They can
empower a child to take the “down road” or the “high road”. What kind of teacher
are you going to be? Can we change our attitude, our presentation our respect?”
Recognizing the Need to Clarify: Remedies for Sticky Situations
Sonnet CXVI by William Shakespeare was used for our session to see how
clarification works. This was an excellent session. We went through the process of
sticky notes and team collaboration. This was at a level that had the adults
struggling with clarifying.
Motivating and Teaching the Adolescent Student-Strategies that Work!
There are two types of Learning Theories. The Behavioral Learning Theory that
uses extrinsic rewards or incentives. These are short-term motivators for a
particular situation. The other type of Learning Theory is the Cognitive or
Attribution Theory. These are internal or external locus of control. First one has to
find out what makes the students work. What do they like? Then whatever it is, it
has to reflect on the student’s achievement. Students who feel positive about their
competence in subject areas will use their motivation to internal sources. Students
who hold negative perceptions of their capabilities will be extrinsically motivated.
The environment has to support and encourage students to be self-regulated.
Instructions needs to be meaningful and real-life. Feedback and praise should be
specific, timely, meaningful, and focused on effort.
ADHD and the SFA Classroom: Making Success for All Work for the Hyperactive
ADHD doesn’t get fixed-it gets managed. Managing the environment plus behavior
management plus medication therapy equals A COORDINATED MANAGEMENT
Students should take ownership in the classroom rules. The rules should be posted.
Students should be prompted to follow a rule and students should have modeling of
the rules and practice. Motivation consequences should be positive, meaningful and
have appropriate guidelines. A teacher should put a red dot on a wall in the
classroom. When he or she sees the red dot, give a positive and meaningful
response. The rules that are posted should be a beginning of instruction. If a student
is doing one of the rules, a teacher should go over and touch the rule and praise the
student for accomplishing the stated rule. Some techniques for teachers to use with
active children are: Let kids use a pipe cleaner, a piece of felt, Velcro, timers, colored
page dividers or wands as pointers. Teachers need to keep a disability in
perspective, practice forgiveness, maintain a sense of priorities, get to know the
whole child and don’t take things personal.
The next 3 sessions were building off of each other. They were on The ABC’s of
Behavior and the Cycle of Off-Task Behavior - Managing the Difficult Student –
Managing the Disruptive Student- With difficult behaviors the proactive approach is
the best. What we say and do impacts the behaviors and reactions of the children.
In 1970 J.S.Kounin wrote and published the book titled Discipline and Group
Management in Classrooms. J.S. Kounin said that effective managers are those
teachers whose classrooms are orderly. They had a minimum of student
misbehaviors and high levels of time-on-task. Ineffective managers are those whose
classrooms lacked these qualities. It really comes down to organization and being
prepared for each and every minute of the day.
Fluency in the Reading Edge- Reading instruction must include the following to
build fluent readers: good models of fluent reading, students must have practice in
repeated reading, and assessments both formal and informal must be given in order
to see growth. Teachers must show fluency to students. They need to give students
time to read in groups and with partners. Some of the strategies that improve
fluency in Reading Edge are models of fluent reading, listening comprehension,
meaningful blending practice, word lists, identification strategy and pronunciation,
spelling activities vocabulary building, repeated reading, specific feedback.
Vocabulary Development in the Reading Edge Levels 1-8- The web site
www.bestevidence.org was given to us. It is from the John Hopkins University
School of Education’s Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education, and funded by
the US Department of Education. It features: Consumer Reports-style reviews of
reading, math, ELL, and other programs. Interviews with educators using research-
proven programs. Tools to support your improvement team.
Students in Reading Edge could take vocabulary home as homework. This would
help the students further in language development. A teacher could give points as
students use vocabulary words in team discussion. Instead of Vocabulary Voucher
the Edge students could do the same thing and call it Word Wise. Smart boards
could be used for showing vocabulary. Make it real. Cooperative Learning is a
strong component in Middle School and High School. Teachers struggle with getting
kids to do cooperative learning but it needs to be done consistently and in other
content areas. Reading Edge is an extension of Wings. Just relate things to Middle
SFA Experienced Site Conference
2/4-6 Kelly Pernu, Golovin
Keynote speaker: Dr. Slavin
He made two points that stuck out in my mind: If it works, keep doing it. If it
doesn’t, find something that will based on research—look for proven strategies. He
gave a resource of www.bestpractices.org which lists popular published curricula
and how well it uses research-based proven strategies.
Guest speaker: Crystal Kuykendall
She was very inspirational and made an excellent point that students need to feel
achievement, acceptance, and affirmation. If they don’t get it in a positive way, they
will get these things in negative ways.
Going Beyond the Wall with Team Cooperation
This session allowed for a lot of time sharing effective ways and justifications for
doing cooperative learning in the classroom. The best thing I got from this session
was the leader reminding teachers to give specific examples of what the 5
cooperative learning goals look like and sound like. The more specific the teacher is
in giving examples, the better the students will know exactly what is expected.
Motivating and Teaching the Adolescent Student
This session offered an excellent look into extrinsic versus intrinsic motivation.
Students who have a positive feeling of competence with a subject attribute their
success to intrinsic motivation. Those who feel a negative feeling of competence say
they feel motivated by extrinsic factors. Also, intrinsic motivation starts to lessen as
students reach adolescence, so it’s all that much more important to nurture intrinsic
motivation at a younger age so students go into adolescence with high feelings of
success and self-motivation as self-motivation tends to wane as time goes on. If
extrinsic motivation is needed, students should have a say in their “award” to give
them some ownership in what they are working towards. Finally, teachers should
remember to allow students to start each day as a fresh day. Try to stifle any
feelings of what the student did yesterday or last week and allow them to start with
a clean slate.
The ABCs of Behavior
Students pass through typical stages of “behavior” weather the behavior be positive
or negative. There is a trigger, behavior, then a consequence. The most beneficial
idea I pulled from this session was the team action plan. I hadn’t heard of this
before and it seems like a great idea to take some of the monitoring off of yourself
and allow the kids to help monitor each other. The different team members have
roles for a specific teammate. Roles can include “cheerleader” when the teammate
performs the preferred behavior, “reminder” when the student seems to be off task,
and so on. This system might be difficult to keep positive, but I think would work
well if implemented right.
The Cycle of Off Task Behavior
A student in crisis is not a teachable moment. The stages of a crisis situation can be
compared to a fire: calm, smoke, fire, extinguish, and ashes. Students need to fully
reach ashes and back to calm again before “teaching” is applied to learn from the
outburst/behavior. Teachers must learn what the different stages look like for each
student so as not to push the student too far too early. Also teachers must develop
their own calming techniques.
Managing the Disruptive Student
Teachers must distinguish between distracting behaviors and disruptive or unsafe
behaviors. In other words, pick your battles. The PTB had a great list of strategies
for dealing with disruptive behavior and it was a great opportunity to take a close-
look at strategies I have tried, will continue to use, and might want to start using.
Cycle of Effective Instruction
The session began with the instructor giving us a lesson in French. She told us some
parts of the body in French, then we repeated it. Then we had an oral “test” on how
well we remembered the parts. In contrast, a second lesson provided us a chance to
see the French word, write it, and work with our groups to come up with strategies
for remembering the new word. The leader followed the cycle of effective
instruction the second time, showing us first-hand how much better it is to use the
cycle than tell and test.
What’s Stopping You?
This session focused on 7 strategies for acceleration. Aggressive placement,
modifications, active student engagement (cooperative learning stressed), adequate
support (solutions team, family, providing a safe learning environment), ample
monitoring (from all people involved including informal, portfolios, fluency, tests,
etc). We weren’t able to get really in-depth for any of them as we did a jigsaw
activity that only provided us time to look at one component. The PTB is a good
resource on tips of effective implementation of acceleration strategies.
I took this session not knowing it would be the same exact one I had in Unalakleet.
And, I was with a group of people that felt the need to “one-up” each other on how
much worse their school was than everyone else at the table. This session gave me
the opportunity to practice “quiet professionalism.” =o)
== 02/02/09 Experienced Sites Conference ==
The Key Note speakers were motivating, Dr Slavin created the positive stress
atmosphere in which we all accept and understand as the main challenges facing our
schools, Next came Crystal Kuykendall- This lady Rocked! She had a charisma and
style that captivated and motivated the crowd. She spoke of rage and how it can be
turned into a positive fuel, but only those with the right techniques and an ability to
go beyond the daily realm will be able to sustain and create the change needed or so
many of our students.
== 619 Challenging above level readers ==
We looked at the principles of effective instruction: Active instruction: teach, model,
guide practice, Partner team practice: prompt reinforce, Assessment: monitor
assess, Celebration: recognize,celebrate. The session also focused on the use of
"questioning" to expand the use active instruction through the use of graphic
organizers, journals and daily "Big Questions".
It was also stressed that teachers really need to focus on including all students in all
areas if active instruction and higher level discussions.
== 978 Assessing and Establishing the Desired School Climate ==
This session set out to help all involved define school culture: To actively assess the
real world "climate and culture of your school"
and to gain insight as to how "others" might perceive the culture as they enter the
facility. We talked about the impact of the culture in schools, the history culture
plays in school development of reputation, and examined everything from rituals to
the role of the leadership within the building.
== 164 Student Goal Setting in the Reading Edge ==
The goals for this session were to identify the many different types of goals, to
develop and identify the tools and resources that are in the reading edge program
that support goal setting and to explore the various ways students may set
individual and classroom goala as well as how to "just get the ball rolling" and
effectively use these methods.
== 982 Experienced SFA Facilitator session ==
Experiences of various facilitators from all over the country, sharing of ideas,
methodology and data collection techniques, we talked about data driven
component meetings and examined the most recent research on the use of data and
the power within the data.
== 158 The Child Who Just Can't Do It ==
Session examined multiple "best practice" techniques for reaching the students who
just do not progress through our systems.
== 945 Research for All ==
This session was all about the collection of data and how it effects the "big picture",
how SFA as a large entity, collects data on multiple levels and uses this data to drive
the SFA machine. We looked at how schools are select to participate in studies and
how that data is used to determine the effectiveness of a given program.
SFA Conference Summaries
1. Using LC and Build Background to Connect Skill instruction in Reading Wings
This session focused on increasing student engagement and decreasing teacher talk:
The sage on the stage vs the guide on the side and on motivating/modeling for
teachers how to weave the skill (requires planning!) and drive it through the
instruction. The skill needs to be the focus from start to finish and the teacher needs
to be previewing and planning how to intentionally use every opportunity to
reinforce the skill. Some ideas given: Don’t tell them—show them. Use graphic
organizers, body language, realia, and use partner work to increase participation.
Increase strategy use by modeling how to clarify during LC (make an error and say,
“turn to your partner and suggest a skill…”)
During Set the Stage teachers are giving students a glimpse of the skill. During Build
Background, they remind students of the skill and make a visual and a written
definition of the skill. LC time is for working the skill for the students to see. When
it’s their turn, the teacher encourages student responsibility, “You know what I like
about that? I didn’t come up with that. You came up with that.” And connected to
that is metacognition…”How is this better for you as a learner?”
2. Text Structures that Improve Student Comprehension
This session focused on teaching students strategies for recognizing text structures
in order to help them “hardwire” for metacognition—thinking automatically about
how text is organized in order to improve comprehension. Posting large graphic
organizers along with signal words as the structures are modeled and practiced
helps students anticipate text organization as a strategy for their working memory,
improving comprehension. The five main text structures, signal words and graphic
organizers taught for each are as follows:
Text Structure Signal Words Sample Question
Main Ideas/ (Look for the topic Explain the main idea of this section. Give supporting
Supporting Details sentence—usually the 1st evidence from the text. Does this detail tell me about
or last sentence of a
Sequencing First, begins, began, What happens after the law is passed by the Senate?
starts, started, steps,
when, second, next, later,
during, while, then, third,
after, last, finally, ends,
Cause/Effect Because, cause, reason, What caused people to move west in the mid 1800s?
result, why, lead to,
effect, happens, due to
Compare/Contrast Like, unlike, similar, How were the homes on the plains different from the
different, although, but
Problem/Solution Problem, dilemma, issue, How do plants solve the problem of living in a desert h
(sometimes referred solution, question,
to as answer, solve, deal with,
Conflict/Resolution on struggle
3. Raising the quality of Treasure Hunt and Story Test Responses
As in all of my sessions this year, modeling was emphasized as the most important
factor in raising the quality of responses. And not just any kind of modeling, but
intentional, planned modeling. Modeling with intentionality takes the ambiguity out
of forming answers. The point is to not tell students what to do, but to show them
the process so they can improve what they do. After modeling, the teacher needs to
plan ahead to give students immediate practice and feedback. The teacher needs to
plan ahead and become aware of what effective and ineffective strategy use looks
like in order to reinforce or to offer suggestions for improved use. One idea
presented in this session that will be useful for teacher training is to have teachers
mark TM (teach and model) or PMR (practice, monitor, reinforce) on the
Instructional Process for Wings or Edge in any area where TM or PMR are
appropriate. A second idea presented was QAR or Question-Answer Relationships.
This strategy is useful to help students become more aware of text and the type of
question presented. Using this information, they can target their response
Type of Type of Response
Right There The answer is right there on the page.
Think and Search Connect ideas from different parts of the text as you
Author and Me Interpret what the author says along with your own
On My Own Use your own experience, not the text.
Also provided was a list of key questions/prompt words and their definitions:
Prompt Target Approach
List Write several or more related words or ideas. Complete
sentences not required.
State Write a few sentences telling your point of view,
position, or facts about something.
Compare Write to show how things are the same and different,
with more emphasis on how they are the same. Use
Contrast Write to show how things are different in one or more
important ways. Use examples.
Describe Write to create a picture with words. Use words and
phrases to tell how something looks, tastes, sounds,
smells, and feels. Use phrases like “it has…” Tell about
characteristics or traits.
Summarize Write to present the main ideas in a shortened format.
Details, illustrations, and examples are usually not given.
Justify Write to tell why a position or point of view is good or
right. A justification should stress advantages rather
than disadvantages; why something is right rather than
why it is wrong.
Evaluate Write to give an opinion about the value of something
by giving pluses and minuses backed up with evidence.
Define Write to give a short and clear meaning for a word or
words. Generally, when we define something we
identify the group, or class, to which the word or words
belong and then tell how it differs from other things in
Classify Write to place persons or things together in a group
because they are alike or similar.
4. G.R.E.A.T.E.R. Coaching for Classroom Success
This session was a day-long leadership workshop that focused on the instruction
and practice of coaching SFA teachers for the purpose of engaging teachers in goal-
directed behavior. The process of coaching is always ongoing…teachers are
provided with feedback and guidance on achieving specific goals in a way that is
centered on student achievement while keeping the teacher’s learning style
(Analyzer, Intuitive, Watcher, Doer) in mind. Research shows that compared to a
lecture style of learning, where a teacher’s skill may increase by 5 percent, by
coaching that skill level can increase to 98-100 percent. The percent in transfer to
student also jumps from 5 percent (when a teacher learns by lecture) to 75-100
percent (when the teacher learns by coaching).
The process of coaching can move along a continuum of Push and Pull, directive and
nondirective behaviors that are intentionally used in order to guide the coachee.
These behaviors move from instructing to giving feedback to asking questions, to
listening to understand. Some pull behaviors of listening include parroting,
paraphrasing, and summarizing. Asking questions is another pull behavior that
utilizes open or closed-ended questions, depending on the situation.
GREATER stands for: Goal, Reality (barriers to meeting the goal), Exploration (of
interventions), Action, Timeline, Evaluation, Renegotiation. As a facilitator, I can
effect student achievement more powerfully if I can focus my own thinking/
classroom observations to be more goal oriented (prioritize!) and if I blend my
component knowledge with knowledge of student needs and teacher behaviors to
create a narrowed focus and practice this process in my conversations with
teachers. “…Have you thought about what you’re shooting for in terms of…” “…so
part of what we should talk about is…”
5. Moving Beyond the Summarizing Strategy Lesson
This session focused on how to troubleshoot problems so that students are able to
summarize narrative and expository text orally and in writing. We looked at
possible root causes for problems with summarizing related to instruction,
task/goal, scaffolding, student readiness, and text and worked on how to create
SMART goals to target such a need.
Root Causes/ Troubleshooting for summarizing
Instruction Task/Goal Scaffolding Student Text
Consider: Consider: Consider: Consider: Consider:
The efficacy The gap The students’ The level of
If routines and of instruction between the comprehension difficulty of the
structures are and the level students’ level skills. text being used.
in place. of student of
desired level of
Is the Cycle of Do the Is the Is it fluency that Is the text too
Effective students instruction keeps the difficult?
Instruction understand appropriate for students from
being used what is the students’ comprehending?
consistently? expected? level of
Is cooperative Is the task What is the Can the students Is the text
learning in clear? gap between clarify words and interesting to
place? the students’ larger parts of the students,
current level of the text motivating them
understanding successfully? to read?
Are the Are the Is additional Can the students Do the students
students students teaching and make predictions have enough
participating in engaged? modeling and ask a variety background
the routines in necessary for of Think knowledge to
their strategy the student to questions about support text
units? become more the text? comprehension?
Are short-term Do the students Do the students
supports have the get sidetracked
necessary to necessary by interesting or
help the background surprising
students move knowledge? details?
level to the
Do the students Do the students
understand how look carefully at
to complete the first and last
graphic lines of
organizers that expository text?
such as the story
map and idea
Do the students Do the students
refer to their attend to
ideas on their nonfiction
organizers to features that
retell important signal
events or importance,
information? such as fonts
and effects, cue
Do they Do the students
understand text rely too much on
features and visual cues to
how to summarize text?
6. Using the Four Core Strategies in the Reading Edge
This session focused on making strategy lessons intentional and apparent to
students as opposed to an isolated piece of the lesson. Previewing the lesson to look
for opportunities to reinforce the skill, identifying the type of question asked,
teaching/using/posting cue words, using think alouds (a barrier for many ms/hs
teachers because they want the kids to be involved. Think-alouds are not about
involving the kids, they’re about showing the kids how to use the skill), use of
appropriate graphic organizers, effective monitoring, and consistent pattern of
clarify/retell in partner reading were some strategies discussed.
7. Who’s Responsible for Making Cooperative Learning Work, Teachers or
This session included a discussion of shared responsibility and an emphasis on the
cycle of effective instruction and routines. It is the teacher’s responsibility to plan
ahead for cooperative learning and ways to effectively model the skill and tasks that
he or she wants the students to be practicing and to reinforce and to follow through
with the routines, structures and tools that will help maintain the structure. It is
also the teacher’s responsibility to release responsibility to the students to practice
the skills, strategies, and routines as the teacher instructs, models, and reinforces
8. Student Goal Setting in the Reading Edge
This session focused on working with students to help them take a closer look at
their achievements and the use of goal setting as an instructional tool that helps
motivate students. The use of Learning Guides and improvement points from one
week to the next can be very powerful in motivating students to target areas for
improvement. This also encourages cooperative learning as students can bring their
progress into a team setting and the team’s score for that week is effected by each
individual’s growth. Teachers need to reflect on the individual needs of their
students and be creative about rewarding these team scores in order to attach value
to team points.
9. Experienced Facilitators’ Session: Coaching Cooperative Learning
This was a valuable session that included several tools for facilitators to help them
with observations. Here is one that I will use for TPS. As a teacher uses Think or
Pair, or Share the observer (even another teacher) circles the appropriate letter.
Sometimes teachers will do just Pair and Share, omitting think time. This is a useful
tool to share with teachers to make them more aware of their use of TPS. There are
other versions of this form that align with Bloom’s Taxonomy and the kind of
Opportunities for use
T P S
T P S
T P S
T P S
T P S
T P S
T P S
Julie Egli- Educational Support
I found this years conference one of the best that I have attended. Keynote speaker Robert
Slavin, as always was
very positive and had lots of positive SFA data to share from all over the country. Dr.
Crystal Kuykendall was
the best motivational speaker I have ever had the pleasure of listening to, I wish there had
been more time to
listen to her share. She was an absolute WOW! It was nice to see our district point people
sessions. I attended several really good sessions.
160 Classroom Management in Early Childhood Classrooms
The objectives for this session were to:
Determine key elements of classroom management that are integral to the early childhood
Analyze how the elements relate to the developmental domains and appropriate child out
Engage with curriculum materials that support classroom management.
Design a plan for your classroom.
814 Home Links for Curiosity Corner
This turned out to be an open discussion session where the presenters were actually trying
to gain information
from CC teachers about how effective Home Links is in their classrooms. Bette
Chambers, the creator of
Curiosity Corner led the session. She and her staff have applied for a grant that will
provide funds to implement
a different approach to Home Links. The plan is to have at least 10 thematic DVD that
will include vocabulary
words, Alphie clips, Between the Lion clips and Sesame Street clips that reinforce
letter/letter sounds. The
kid/parent DVD will have a parent commentary and games. There will also be a DVD for
teachers with a
commentary discussing the purpose behind the theme. Very exciting ideas for getting
0275 Effective Use of SOLOs in Curiosity Corner and KinderCorner
The goals of this session were to:
Define aspects of oral language measured by the Structured Oral Language Observation
Effectively administer SOLOs to children throughout the school year.
Use information gathered by the SOLOs to plan instruction that will meet individual
We were provided with some tips for effective administration of the SOLO
• Provide a context for the topic of the SOLO.
• Extend questions to see if the child can give the desired response.
• Make reference to previous items on the SOLO as appropriate.
• Acknowledge additional information that the child provides, and continue to the next
• Give time if needed, for the child to respond to the prompt.
• Provide the correct response when the wrong answer is given. (The child does not earn
the points for the
item in this case.)
• Take time to record the child’s response before moving on to the next question if
The steps for effective administration and use of the SOLO are as follows:
1. Prepare-Make sure you are familiar with the SOLO being administered so there are no
2. Administer-As you administer the SOLO make sure that you are in a quiet, distraction
3. Record-Be sure to record all of the student’s responses even if they are incorrect.
4. Score-Carefully score the SOLO using the rubric provided at the bottom of the page.
5. Plan-Make intentional interventions plans for children not successful on the SOLO.
What skills does this
child need? What can you do to help this child? When during your day can your reinforce
**Check on KC WIKI page for a recording form you can use to track SOLOs.
0131 Who’s Responsible for Making Cooperative Learning Work, Teachers or
Great session. What it all comes down to is that all stakeholders are responsible for
making it work. In order for
cooperative learning to happen processes need to be in place.
Structures and Routines
Zero noise/Active listening/1-2-3- Move/Think-Pair-Share/Numbered Heads/Ask Three
Getting Along Together
A social problem-solving curriculum that teaches social and conflict-resolution skills
using the Cycle of
Team Cooperation Goals
Practice Active Listening
Help and Encourage Others
Explain Your Ideas/Tell Why
Critical Attributes of Cooperative Learning; The Three Central Concepts
Individual Accountability- The success of each partnership and team depends upon the
individual learning of
each team member. Team members focus on helping one another. Making sure everyone
Team Recognition- Partnerships or teams may earn certificates if they achieve at or
above a designated
Equal Opportunity for Success-All students can contribute to their team’s success.
It’s a teacher’s responsibility to be RELENTLESS.
• Problem solving
• Never giving up
• Trying different solutions
The ultimate teacher role and responsibility is to:
Fully use cooperative learning to scaffold instruction, gradually releasing responsibility
for learning to the
students and supporting them until they’re successful with taking responsibility for their
achievement, and behavior.
Student Roles and Responsibilities
Being there—Prepared and Ready to Learn!
Lots of really good information in this PTB. Let me know if you would like to see a copy.
GOAL + TEAMWORK = SUCCESS
Individual Equal Opportunities Team Recognition
Accountability for Success
0670 Writing in Early Childhood
The objectives of this session were to:
• Review the stages of writing that children go through when learning how to write
• Look at different types of writing in the early childhood curriculum
• Examine ways to integrate writing throughout the KC and CC components
• Look at ways to assess children’s writing.
0331 Volume 3 Fast Track Phonics
• Understand the purpose and organization of FastTrack Phonics Volume 3 lessons.
• Understand the role of assessment in FastTrack Phonics Volume 3.
• Learn to use student assessment data and your school calendar to plan for lesson pacing.
0665 Writing in Reading Roots
• Identify the parts of the Reading Roots lesson that contribute to the development of
• Identify the expected student outcomes for each lesson part that includes writing.
• Identify ways to assess whether students have met the expected outcomes.
• Identify ways to help students in need of additional support.
• Learn about additional ideas for motivating students.
• Think about connections between what students are learning about writing in Read
Roots and other
writing instruction that occurs during the school day.
Monday, February 2, 2009
1. “Bring Back the Joy of Teaching”
First we discussed some of the qualities of a successful teacher.
We chose the quality that we most wanted to work on, the one we thought
we help us “bring back the joy of teaching.” Then, we made an action plan of
practical goals with realistic means in which we planned to carry the goal
out. Finally, we got a partner and agreed to check-in with each other on the
progress of attaining that goal.
2. “Increasing Vocabulary Acquisition in Reading Wings”
We first discussed some of the root causes of vocabulary acquisition deficits:
o Limited/lack of background knowledge
This is what I think holds so many of our kids back…
o Lack of balanced vocabulary curriculum
o Failure to reach young readers when the time is ripe
o Lack of assessment tools to monitor vocab. Achievement
We talked about what it means to “know” a word, to “own” it.
Effective vocabulary instruction and how to effectively infuse it throughout
curriculum and throughout the school day. Mostly, this meant:
o making it useful and meaningful
o allowing the kids to be exposed to the vocab. In a number of different
o student to use in their daily writing
o engage in word-part learning strategies
o use word play and games to enhance acquisition
When to use strategies in Reading Wings
o Listening Comprehension
Select only one-two words to highlight
Ask questions about the word that will invite learning at a deep
level by restating and rephrasing student responses
o Vocabulary introduction and review, Listening Comp, Class Discussion
Provide definition and add info
Draw it out
Act it out
Make connections using examples and non-examples
Riddle using words that rhyme such as: heavy-feline =
3. Developing and Monitoring Fluency in Reading Roots
First we identified and discussed the components of Fluency:
Fluency: “The gate keeper to higher order thinking skills”
o The bridge between word skills and comprehension
o Students read the text several times – 4 times is the recommended
o Students read aloud for meaningful guidance and feedback
o Teachers model fluent reading
o Teachers offer specific instruction in reading fluently as they model
o Model making intentional errors/students identify the errors
o Read choppy, then read smoothly
o Fluency rubric
o Reading Olympics
o Fluency flyers
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
1. The ABCs of Behavior and the Cycle of Off-Task Behavior — (Managing the
Difficult Student Parts I and II)
There is always an Antecedent to undesired behavior
o No behavior occurs in isolation
o When kids are really wild, take 5 min. to simply ask kids how they are
The goal is to have as much control over classroom behavior as possible
o Peer Teacher Observations with a collegial approach
Conference with the observer let them know specific things on
which to focus their attention.
o Team Action Plan
o Teacher Self-Reflection
From the given list, mark all behaviors that impede successful
List the things you do to prevent these behaviors
Identify the behaviors with the greatest effect on
What consequences are used to discourage the
Patterns of Off-Task Behavior
o Consider the cycle the child goes through
o Who are these children?
o Is the behavior chronic or isolated?
Five stages of an Off-Task behavior
o Fire-NOT a teachable moment!!
o Ashes – (It’s finally over…)
Take proactive steps
o Design an accommodating physical space in the classroom.
o Make a practical schedule
o Identify and practice classroom and teacher expectations
o Establish classroom routines
o Manage instruction
Actively engaged in learning
Consider these three instructional areas
Assessment and curriculum planning
Intervening during instruction
2. Managing the Disruptive Student
Levels of Misbehavior
o Distracting behaviors
o Disruptive behaviors
Refusing to participate
Disrespectful towards teacher
o Unsafe behaviors
Loud, abusive language
Obey the T H R E E C A R D I N A L R U L E S
o Remain in control of yourself.
o Use your own “chill” technique
o Limit your words.
Level One Strategies
o Use appropriate body language
o Don’t take it personally
o Make an appointment
o Listen and empathise
o Involve the student
o Concentrate on positive behavior
o Offer a face-saving way out.
o Role Play
o Maintain a calm voice
o Speak privately
o Slip a note
3. Volume 3 Fast Track Phonics
There is a minimal number of new sounds for students to learn.
Character Cards are used in every lesson.
Lessons are now 6 day lessons as opposed to the 2 day lessons in the
There are three –day lessons as well.
Lessons are arranged by letter-groups according to their sounds ie., long
vowel /a/ and etc.
Students find the words with the target sound from a passage called,
There are two types of words daily:
o Mean Monster/Tricky words
o Alphie’s words
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
1. Boost Student Motivation with Improvement Points
This is primarily and Edge tool, but it can be used across the curriculum.
Motivates students by comparing past to present performance. The greater
the improvement, the more points earned.
Promotes long term, intrinsic motivation – In 7th grade, it’s at its lowest point.
Team recognition with individual accountability
The use of the Improvement Points and Team Score Sheets must be taught.
Celebration is essential to the success of this tool
2. Formal Assessment in Reading Roots
We mostly discussed the format of the Reading Roots Assessment
o Classroom Assessments
Rubrics from QAS
o Formal Quarterly Assessment
Reading Roots Formal Assessment
Purpose of the Assessments
Monitor ind. progress
Monitor class progress
Inform instructional decisions
o Formal Quarterly Assessment one-to-one
Does all of the above, plus it determines mastery level
Helps to create reading groups monitor global progress.