Weekly Update: November 30, 2015

Welcome back. I hope that you enjoyed a relaxing week with family and friends.

Staff Meeting:

We will meet this Wednesday, Dec 2 from 1:45-3:15. I look forward to seeing you there.

Fountas and Pinnell:

The District has committed to ordering Fountas and Pinnell Kits for all of us who do not yet have our own. We expect to have them in your hands by mid/late January. (that’s really only three and half school weeks:)

From Lucy Caulkins and colleagues: What do Readers need?

-Teachers who demonstrate what it means to live richly literate lives, wearing a love of reading on our sleeves

-Opportunities to read high interest, accessible books of their own choosing

-Enormous amounts of time for actual reading 

-Access to books that allow them to do a high volume of high success (independent level) reading

-Read increasingly complex texts

-Direct, explicit instruction in the strategies and skills of proficient reading

-Opportunities to talk in response to texts

-Support for reading information books and building a knowledge base and academic vocabulary

-Assessment based instruction, including feedback

-Children who struggle with reading can not be taken from the ELA classroom-from reading, writing, word study, or read aloud- for extra help in ELA

-Children who read below grade level spend 100% reading texts they can read with ease

-During extra-help time, children who struggle with reading need help that is assessment based, tailored to the child, and in sync with what is happening in the classroom

Donors Choose:

This is a free and easy way to ask for stuff for your classrooms. Last month, AT&T “flash funded” all current San Diego projects. Many individuals and businesses are looking for tax write offs during the month of December. Click here to learn more.

Coach’s corner: 

Our new regular feature from our favorite (and only) coach Chris.

Classroom Libraries

Fortunately, we have two parent volunteers that are ready and have started leveling and labeling classroom libraries.  They have labels and the scanning apps for the process.  If you are interested in having volunteers work on your library, please let me know.  It is also a goal to get the books in the library be leveled and labeled.  Eventually, our hope is to get this coordinated by the volunteer center and get more volunteers to be able to do this important work.

Coaching Cycles

During the last couple of months, part of my work has been participating in coaching cycles with teachers.  A coaching cycle is working with a teacher on a focus area of his or her choosing.  The coach spends time observing around the area and then together we discuss next steps in learning.  These steps can be teacher observing model lessons by the coach, planning lessons with coach, team-teaching with the coach, visiting other classrooms, etc.  These would address the area of focus.  From there, the teacher would incorporate any learning in their own instruction and have the coach observe.  Throughout this process coach and teacher would meet and discuss progress in the focus area.

I have found this work very rewarding.  The time spent in the coaching cycles has been a great learning experience for all involved.  If you are interested in participating in a cycle, I would love to hear from you.

PLC Flip Flop:

Thanks to our Third Grade and Fourth Grade teachers for their flexibility. On Tuesday, 4th Grade will have their PLC in the morning and 3rd grade will meet following recess.

Changes to the Payroll System:

Please see this Letter from Superintendent McNamara, SWTA President Lorena Garcia, and CSEA, Chapter 59 President Beth Gillen regarding the transition to our new Human Resources/Payroll system. You will want to review your pay stubs in advance of the transition (January 1).

Question of the Week:

How can Chris and I support your professional learning?and/or what would you like to know more about?

Quote of the Week:

9 thoughts on “Weekly Update: November 30, 2015

  1. I would like to observe classes at other sites doing independent and guided reading in action so I can get a better idea of what it looks like in an upper grade classroom. I would specifically like to see reading recovery small groups in action.I would like to learn more about reading recovery for upper grade students.

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