Monday, December 15, 2008

12-15-08 Report to Board


Scholastic Reading Counts

PIE committed during the 07-08 year to purchase a reading quiz program for the district. Due to administrator turnover and other various issues installation and implementation was pushed back to this year. New information about the program came out this fall, the system was on a per quiz purchase price and they switched to a per pupil cost, which changed the scope of the project and allowed us to be more comprehensive in our coverage of the library, but also cost us more to implement. PIE came through with additional funds and now the program has been installed. There are still some setup steps to take place, as well as identifying some teachers who would like to use the system, but we have made good progress over the past few weeks.
Thanks to the members of PIE for their commitment to this project. It has gone beyond the financial commitment to time spent in the library working with Ms. Burrows on the labeling of books and identification of Lexile levels in our library system.

A quick synopsis:
1. Students select an appropriate book from our library by connecting them with their interests and Lexile Level
2. After testing students take a computer generated quiz. Congratulatory screen at the end for a passing grade. If a student does not pass they can retake the quiz after reviewing the book – with a new set of questions.
3. Teachers can track the reading reports to help inform and differentiate instruction. They also provide feedback for struggling students needing help.

Look for more information to come.
Year 1 folks are now coming to a point where we will be splitting into two groups. We have one group of folks who are working on developing and articulating their standards, benchmarks, and descriptors for the first time in written form here in Earlham. This process is more time consuming and a bit specialized because of the content (Vocal/Instrumental music, Guidance, TAG…) so I will be working with this group a bit differently. The second group of folks are those teachers involved in the Language Arts/Reading review.

This group of teachers already have standards and benchmarks that are defined through MISIC common core, but we need to look at them and determine grade level expectations (what the benchmarks “look” like when done) a very different process from development. We also are working on vertical alignment, alignment of the curriculum from grade to grade. At this point I have met with all the different grade levels to discuss 3 questions:

1. When students come to you what do they do well?
2. When student s come to you what skills need work?
3. How is Grammar part of your daily instruction?

As I ask the questions I am looking for themes from the discussion and some interesting things have surfaced that will be part of our discussions after the Christmas Break.
Year 2 folks have done some initial work with the curriculum manager software, but not much progress at this point. I’m not too worried as we have several months left. They have also started pulling in materials for review.