Assessments to Zalphabets...and Everything in Between!

You may think I've gone MIA for the last two weeks...and in a way, I have, if you count assessments and meetings...because it seems that's all I've been doing for the past two weeks since Open House.  As some of you may remember our school switched from Aimsweb to mCLASS this year and since we're schoolwide Title I, there's a whole other host of  red tape requirements necessary for keeping our funding.  In all seriousness, it really is all in the name of accountability which is a good thing, but can really be time-consuming.  I have to keep reminding myself..."it's what's best for kids...and growth...and progress...etc." The rollover to mCLASS is pretty much statewide in North Carolina (paid for by the Department of Public Instruction, which is paid for by Race to the Top, etc, etc.) and tied to Standard 6 of the Teacher Evaluation Instrument and feels very much "big brother-ish." Let's just hope we cross all our t's and dot all our i's. By the way, I have updated my Universal Screening Assessment Binder with mCLASS headers if you are interested in organizing all your student probes. This binder works for DIBELS, AIMSweb and mCLASS.

So, here's a few snapshots from the last two weeks...

Here I am two Sundays ago, presenting my "Signal Strength Bloom's Posters" while being one of sixteen teachers here in the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill) to receive a Creative Freedom Award sponsored by Duke University.  Here I am talking with some teachers and the representative from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Among the gifts that came with the award is a one year site license for my school for the electronic field trips to Colonial Williamsburg...among other things, the kids can write to John Adams and he will write them back. 

This is the 2nd grade PLT that meets every Tuesday morning from 8:00-9:15 (while TA's cover their classes from 8:45-9:15) we have an opportunity to collaborate, monitor SMART goals, create assessments, and 95% of the time, answer the 4 essential questions (c/o the DuFours)...

What is it that we want students to know? 
How will they show that they know it?
What will we do when they don't know it?
What will we do when they do? 

And in other meeting...this one was our Best Service Meetings that we held all day on Friday with each grade the name says, it's a meeting to determine eligibility for "the best service" for students in the most need of intervention.  We meet with each grade level in the conference room, on their planning time, throughout the day.

With all the stress of the beginning of the year (although tomorrow starts week 5) my sweet hubby brought me this...a candy and card stuffed bouquet of flowers...isn't he the sweetest? 

Oh, and here's what popped up when I entered "mCLASS implementation" into YouTube...

Does that tell you something?  Seriously, like this is going to help me? Zero help right now is about where we're at with it...we have benchmarked, we have TRC'd, we have run a few reports and we think we're liking the Small Group Advisor and Item Advisor, but that's as far as we are....

This weekend I got to spend some time with my Mom, who actually lives in town, and we see regularly about once a week, but time with her is always special.

And these are the NEW Common Core Lucy Calkins Units of Study...they arrived literally on Friday afternoon, so tomorrow I get to label and distribute...who wants a writing workshop coach?  So excited to begin book studies with this new series...we fought hard for these and they are finally here. 

Needless to say, with all vast amount of assessing the interventionists have been doing the the last four weeks, we have not started reading groups (core or intervention) but when we do I'll be ready.  I made myself a brand new set of Alphabet posters this year with clipart from a new designer I LOVE. 
Here is a peek at the's fresh off the laminator and stretched across my living room floor...

click on the image to see a preview

...I can't wait to hang it up in my room.  If you're using it with Pre-K and K, I would put them up backwards and as you introduce each letter to students, have them guess what picture could be on the front.  Then when you put it back up on the wall, they have an "anchor" for that letter. There are several other "goodies" in the set, so be sure to check it out.  

And last, and definitely least, I have updated by profile picture, on this blog and my TeachersPayTeachers store in honor of the new "round" profile buttons that will be debuting on TpT tomorrow.  My family said it was time to update, so you get a fresh me.  



Whitney said...

This is my second year teaching, and we have been using mClass both years. The assessment is not that bad (for third grade anyway) once you get the hang of it. Some of it is just slightly time consuming. I have not used anything but the assessment and that small group advisor, but hopefully we will explore other parts soon. Good Luck !

Andrea Monroe said...

I love your new alphabet cards. That clipart is super cute! Thanks for sharing!
Also, I am very jealous of your Lucy Calkins' Common Core set. I have been trying for years to get ANYTHING Calkins at my school to no avail :(
Happy New Year!

Jennifer Jones said... me. I can email you the old e-units I have.

Mrs. Cutile said...

I would love the e-units too. I have old units, before they were common core aligned.

Tania said...

It was great meeting one of the 16 talented teachers (and getting my autograph)! I look forward to attending every year :)
PLTs during school and Lucky Calkins Units?! I may have fainted more than once after reading this. I have to show up at 7:40 for PLTs (barely awake) and every time I mentioned Lucy's units I get a no :( I need them! I want them. I wish I could afford them. Mentor Texts with it? Fainting again. I must be teacher in the wrong building ;)
My Second Sense

Jennifer Jones said...'re too cute! I enjoyed chatting with you in Durham! Yes, come on out to Lake Myra! Expectations are high, for both students and teachers, but it's a great place to teach and learn! I love it! I wouldn't pick anywhere else to have the latitude and professional liberty that I do! Jen

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