Leaders & Literacy at the Lake



For our Early Release staff development yesterday afternoon, I did a few things off the agenda...I did get my principal's blessing (because he really is very focused about sticking to our agendas)...but as we are ending week 3, heading into week 4 (almost halfway through the first quarter)...I thought it was really important to remind everyone A) what a wonderful school we have; B) what wonderful students we have; C) what wonderful teachers we have; and D) how wonderful the last three weeks truly have been...so much 21 century teaching and learning going on.  I also know how much teachers would like to get in and see other teachers' classrooms but just don't have time, so in addition to capturing the warm fuzzy love we feel at Lake Myra, this video also (tries) captures the amazing teaching that goes on at Lake Myra on a daily basis! From the feedback we've recieved so far from our electronic plus/delta form (made in Google Docs and accessible to the staff through Edmodo), they loved it! I hope you do too.
This is the very short ppt I created and used today to stay on track for our PD today. 


It has a lot of hyperlinks and embedded handouts that should link if you hover over them. 

We only had 45 minutes to devote to Literacy at the Lake, which we all know is not enough time to really do anything, so I shared a few resources with them and we did a collaborative brainstorm on different strategies for teaching Tier 2 vocabulary words.  The research behind the huge importance of teaching Tier 2 vocabulary words (in addition to Tier 3 content words) has been around long before the Common Core...and most recently (within the last 10 years of so) by Isabel Beck and Margaret McKeown in their book Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction. If you look at it, you'll also notice a mention of the Fountas and Pinnell Literacy Continuum's...the green one is for K-2 and the blue one is 3-8.


Embedded inside these two books (which are from the first edition Benchmark Assessments Kits...the new Literacy Continuum cover is white in the 2nd edition kits) for each grade level is a little treasure (hence the gold medal clipart) page called "Writing About Reading." Each page per grade level is divided up into written reading response options for Thinking Within the Text (lower level factual information), Thinking Beyond the Text (higher level inferential information) and Thinking About the Text (author's craft).  Regardless of the fact that this is how students are assessed on the comprehension on the benchmark assessment kit books, there is a wealth of information on each page of this book...it's really hidden inside and has so much to offer.   Planning for this type of independence in your young readers is essential with the new common core standards...it's simply not enough for them to always respond in the same few ways...these lists are diverse and give wide options that align with the new standards.

In addition, I have scavenged the internet for Revised Bloom's Taxomony resources, beyond just RBT question stems...to give teachers some options for independent literacy activities/assignments at the Analyze, Evaluate and Create levels (just the highest three...isn't that where we really want kids to be?)


Download Create, Evaluate & Analyze Teacher Cheat Sheets {HERE}

Oh, I forgot to mention...after the Animoto and before the bits about Tier 2 vocabulary instruction and HOTS, teams did the Paper Chain Teams Challenge...a great little cooperative activity I found at Kris Bordessa's blog called Great Solutions to Team Challenges.  As a school with The Leader In Me as our theme this year....I thought it would be great to have team participate in demonstrating Habit #6: Synergy "Together is Better".


I stumbled upon this activity through a team building activity I found on someone's Leader In Me Pinterest board last week...and have since created my own Leader in Me board.


Follow my Leader in Me Pinterest board {HERE}
Email me {HERE} if you still need an invitation to Pinterest.

Ali Scott of www.mrsscottsscoop.blogspot.com, one of first grade teachers at Lake Myra, asked me to whip up a cute door sign for her Leadership themed classroom this year...and this is how her door turned out.  Since I made the sign for her because I Ali Scott (not to mention she's my carpool buddy for our 1 hour round trip commute LMES everyday) I thought I'd pass the freebie onto you, too, since I am soooo appreciate to everyone that reads and follows by blog...followers and comments truly fill up my love bucket.


Download one for your classroom door (or any leadership theme you do) HERE.  Pre-K through 6th.

Next week, I'll be blogging about my own reading groups, 3rd and 2nd...where we are implementing the Common Core Curricular Plans for Reading Workshop by Lucy Calkins.  We have created lots of anchor charts, and put some great systems and structures in place.  I will share pictures, reading logs and parent letters that I have created.

I'm currently reading....Rigor is not a Four-Letter Word by Barbara R. Blackburn



  Until next time....happy reading! - Jen


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8 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for the teacher cheat sheets!

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  2. Thank you! I've downloaded the cheat sheets and am going to go back and look through the F & P continuum. I'll have to check out the books - they are new to me.

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  3. I love the Leading the Way signs....I looked for one that said Leading the Way in Literacy! Was going to put that on my door! I am a Reading Specialist and this year, new Literacy Coach. Your blog is inspiring and helpful. Thank you for the free downloads and the treasure trove of ideas!!

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  4. Thanks for sharing this. Sometimes we forget to celebrate what we do well because we are so worried we about what we need to improve. I hope you do not mind if I share your ideas with a link back to your blog.

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    1. Definitely!!! We need to celebrate us more!!!

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  5. I noticed Blackburn has several books on the subject of rigor. Would you recommend this book as a good book to read first or another one of her books? I am a first year ELA teacher ;)

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  6. Rigor is not a four Letter Word is a fantastic book.. and an easy read! I loved it!

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  7. Just downloaded your Bloom's Revised sheets to help when I am writing my objectives for lesson plans. Do you plan to go back and do the remaining sections of Blooms?

    Jennifer Smith-Sloane
    4mulaFun

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