Summer Update, Common Core & More

The Jones Family in Key West...this year David's ALE (Association of Leadership Educators) conference was in Key West, Florida.  We had never been there before and we had a great time.  We decided to take a  family photo near Sunset Pier where "our yacht" just happened to be docked...;-) I wish! Anyway, our trip was not complete without several night visits to see the Catman...what a character! 

After Key West, we headed out to St. Louis for my brother's wedding reception.  It was great to see my so many family members, both my side and Becky's side.  Here's a photo of my mom and I at the reception...she is my all time creative design inspiration!!! I just love her to pieces!!!

Now, onto school and work many of you know, I teach at a year-round school so our 3-week summer break (track-out) is rapidly coming to a close...although I do have to be at school all day tomorrow to present bits and pieces of the New to Lake Myra Staff Orientation, Friday is my last day before I must officially start back to work on Monday.  Like many many schools, we are rolling out the Common Core this year. Last winter and spring, much of our staff development, in both math and ELA, focused on understanding the shifts and thinking behind the Common Core documents. Below you will find the ppt and digital handouts I created and used during the ELA staff development. 

And here is the digital hyperlinked handout/agenda, that I also created and used to present more details about the Common Core roll-out for ELA to the Lake Myra staff. I have been told that this document is very helpful and should be shared, so here it is.  I also heard from many staff members that they appreciated the paper-free zone of this meeting and the ease of accessing it in their Inbox whenever they wanted to go back and refer to it later....vs. "those lost handouts..."

{Download the hyper-linked handout here}

HERE is also one more CCSS resource document that you might find helpful,
 shared with me by a good friend and staff developer in California, also a state adopting the CCSS. 

 In addition, we are rolling out Writing Workshop (supported by staff development and a grade level writing per grade a Coach the Coaches model).  We will continue on with Marzano's High Yield Strategies, Classroom Walkthroughs and adding a new vocabulary layer this year with a school-wide focus on Tier 2 vocabulary words from novels in the read-aloud titles in the lexile stretch bands.  I will share these documents as we create them.  For the most part, we are following C-MAPP ( very closely this year with such high accountability at stake. C-MAPP is our district's curriculum management platform with the pacing guides, lessons, curriculum, resources, assessments, etc.  We have also purchased the Common Core Curricular Plans by Lucy Calkins for Reading and Writing and plan to use those as a "nice marriage" with the C-MAPP curriculum for reading and writing.  The district literacy department is also endorsing Daily 5 for  a reading block structure, so although we are not "officially" a Daily 5 school, NOT doing it seems to be more fight than just doing it.  We have always been a Readers Workshop & Guided Reading school, but so so so so many of the district documents we are being provided with, are 'riddled' with Daily 5 resources.  If you have any insight or positive comments to share regarding the transition from Readers Workshop and Guided Reading to Daily 5, I would sure love to hear them.



Andi said...

I LOVE the Catman! He is amazing with those cats. Does he still have sweet Colette? She was my favorite. Looks like a great trip.
I also love the Daily 5. Transitioning from Guided Reading to strategy grouping and conferencing was hard for me since I was so used to doing the traditional guided reading. It requires a lot of support from your coach, plenty of quality mini-lessons, and maintaining a current conferencing schedule. Some teachers shy away from it BECAUSE of that part. It is a lot of work they aren't used to doing. However, once you get it started and have your routines down, it is much easier and much more rewarding (for you and the kids.)

mary b. said...

Enjoy your last few days of freedom! As always, thank you for the information.

Jen (Hello Mrs. Sykes) said...

Thanks for sharing your CCSS resources!! I especially like the hyper-linked doc. We are already in the 2nd week of school, and are having trouble with following the CMAPP expectations, since they are not designed for year-round schools. (For example, the math assessment for Day 9 - tomorrow - is not available yet!) It's the price we pay for an amazing schedule, I suppose!! :)
Hello Mrs Sykes

Primary Possibilities said...

Looks like you had a great time! I wish we would have more professional development opportunities with the Common Core. We were just kind of told to start teaching them!


awebster said...

Jennifer I teach kindergarten right down the road from you:) I have been using Daily 5 and CAFE in my room for 3 years and love it! Less work for teachers and classroom management is so much easier. I still do guieded reading during this time. Students rotate every 20 minutes. In between rotations we meet on carpet for quick mini lesson. My students reading, writing, and vocabulary scores have continued to rise and I feel like its because daily 5 puts the responsibility back on students and they are making their smart choices:)

Kate said...

Sounds like you have a lot of great stuff planned for this year! I have been doing The Daily 5 for the past two school years and I'm sure you will love it! I've had the best success(first and second grade) with a set schedule for the beginning of the school year, the first few months. It helps with quick transitions and I can schedule the groups I meet with regularly. Mid-year, my kids are always ready to have more choice freedom and I have just taken it from there. You will definitely have plenty of time for small group instruction - whatever you need that to be or look like. Some of my most successful readers participated in a guided reading-like book group with discussion and common core lessons. Or I could pull three kids who needed decoding. It just helped to know who I was meeting with ahead of time, hence the schedule in the beginning.

I also ended up needing more time for my one of the focus lessons. It gave me time to do a read aloud and have some instruction. So I usually have a 25 minute lesson to start, then shorter ones later.

We also do Writer's Workshop, which eats into my literacy block. That's a tricky balance which I'm still working out the kinks for.

The best Daily 5 advice I can tell you is that during the first few weeks, follow what the book says EXACTLY. It really is tempting to stray from their plan and give the kids more freedom, or ignore that one kiddo, or add a different daily five - but if you stay the course it is worth it!

Ok, that was a ridiculous comment!! Sorry Jen!! It's almost like I miss work!! ;) Happy Literacy-ing!

Second Grade Sparkle

Brigid said...

I too wish there were more Professional Development opportunities! I just found your blog from following you on PInterest! If you have time stop by my blog and follow if you want!
Thanks for sharing!
Brigid's Daily Lesson Log

Kristina Stepan said...

Okay so we are shifting to all common core and I tuaght my first year last year. One thing that I did last year, which took me a while to get the hang of, was Daily 5 and CAFE. However, I am finding that reading instruction will be delivered in more of a "unit" format instead of small minilessons taught throughout the reading block. I loved how I taught last year but I did find it hard to have someone observe me in my reading time because it was in segments and had short lessons where students really didn't get time to "practice" the skills taught. I am nervous yet excited about this upcoming school year. Excited to teach in a unit plan format but nervous to let go of the entire format of Daily 5 and CAFE. I think I will need to merge the two but I'm not sure how yet....

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