Initiative: Adopting ELA modules|
We recognize and celebrate the success of our collective efforts in math last academic year and the advancements we made regarding NYS math scores. With those achievements in mind, we’d like to refocus our combined energy into a new initiative, adoption of the ELA modules K-6.
This initiative will help to ensure our collective UPK-6 curriculum is aligned with the pedagogical shifts (link attached) in the ELA common core as well as minimize the teacher-identified gaps between grade levels. The common core ELA modules identify student skill benchmarks including K-2 strands in listening and learning, skills, guided reading and accountable independent reading. The 3-6 modules focus on reading, writing, listening and speaking in response to high-quality texts. For additional information on benchmark skills, visit Engage NY through the referenced link.
With the ELA curriculum in place, students will be assessed on their mastery of skills or progress made towards proficiency. These assessments will be an essential progress-monitoring tool used within our Teach, Reteach, Enrich blocks, affectionately known as TREE. TREE is a daily block that provides K-6 students the opportunity to master essential skills and knowledge before moving on to the next level. With a concerted K-6 effort based on the mastery of ELA skills, we anticipate growth in ELA state assessment scores for the 2014-2015 academic year. For more on TREE, see the article below.
For a successful launch of a cohesive K-6 ELA program, we will work together to ensure a set of clear action steps. To minimize curricular gaps between grade levels, teachers have begun to meet on a weekly basis with both their own grade level teams as well as a vertical K-6 ELA team. Together they work diligently to ensure alignment with common core. Teachers work together to
- identify deficiencies in student skills by grade level,
- measure skills with an assortment of assessment tools,
- develop intervention strategies to reteach skills,
- reassess students to ensure mastery of skills.
Additionally, progress-monitoring data will be collected on a bi-weekly basis. TREE, AIMS web, Star and Reading Records assess progress toward mastery of skills and allow for feedback to teachers. Data collected through direct classroom observations and walk-throughs during ELA blocks will also serve as a feedback mechanism for teachers and a conduit for direct conversations regarding ELA.
To ensure a comprehensive ELA curriculum, teachers have dedicated the October 24 staff development day as a writing workshop. PhD and literacy expert Kristen Munger will lead the EH staff in effective writing in classrooms K-6. This workshop will include identifying writing skills, measuring writing though assessment and techniques in writing intervention. Each grade level team will have the opportunity to work directly with Dr. Munger to develop a writing curriculum that fits their particular grade level needs.
Common Core Pedagogical shifts: http://www.readingrockets.org/content/pdfs/CCSS_ELA_Shifts.pdf
Engage NY ELA curriculum:https://www.engageny.org/english-language-arts
SCCS Reteach & Enrich Initiative (TREE)
The goal of the Reteach & Enrich initiative is to provide K-6 students the opportunity to master essential skills and knowledge before moving on to the next level. On a daily basis, teachers will meet with students who are struggling with a concept to provide additional time and attention, while students who have already demonstrated mastery of the skills will be provided the opportunity to explore the curriculum at a deeper level.
The initiative is based upon clearly articulated curricular objectives which are measured on a weekly/bi-weekly basis. Depending on the assessment results, grade-level teams assign students to either a reteach or an enrichment session the following week. As areas of strength and concern vary among students, almost every student will be assigned to both groupings during the course of the year. Students will see the opportunity to focus on their individual needs and to learn a particular concept better than they did the first time.
Collaboration is essential to the success of our students. As the district is piloting a new math curriculum, our initial focus for Reteach & Enrich will be mathematics. During our recent professional development days in June, each K-6 team identified instructional priorities, developed formative assessments, and began planning a range of activities to meet the wide range of academic needs of our students. The assessments will be quite brief and designed to provide a snapshot of each student’s progress so teachers can address any needs promptly. The team will meet on a weekly basis to review the latest results, to identify students who are struggling, and to help plan instruction accordingly.