Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Would You Like To See The Process?: Part One

Monday I shared my plans here. Now I thought I'd share how I've been implementing this plan.  I mention in this previous post, I start with my assessment plan first. This process happens in 2-3 week cycles. Usually after data meetings with the team. Given all data from intervention and classroom teachers I have a good starting point. 

After Reading Recovery training,  a Master's in Literacy, and ten years' experience as an interventionist I've come to discover that, like most things in life,  learning must be approached in a holistic manner. For the past ten years, I've done my best  to apply action research so that I'm constantly growing and changing. I shared a tad of this action research in this post and hope to continue sharing as I learn and grow.

Any-who... Enough of my geek talk ... on to the action, right?

1)  Let me clarify by saying when I say assessment I don't just mean paper/pencil tasks. The most authentic and accurate assessments are when students don't even know I'm assessing.

By allowing him to play this game I was able to determine that while he's making progress on C-V-C word, isolating and blending he is unable to hear and break apart initial blends. and short /u/  is still tricky for him. He is a third grade,  ESL student so we've been concentrating on the English alphabet and English alphabetic principles.

This week started a new learning cycle that will last until the semester is up. So my target phonological plans look like this:

2) My phonics target plan will consist of my ESL student  "writing the room" and sorting short a words and my other student having  to find long a, long o. and long e vowel patterns to sort. 

3) My comprehension target plan is retelling and I used the picture matching retell from How Santa Got His Job to gather my formative information. 

We will practice the retell using the sentence strips and pictures together. It looks like this: 

Come back for more target plans and activities on Friday.

Peek at my Week: Target Plan Week Two

It's been awhile since I've linked up with Mrs. Wills Kindergarten. Even though,  I had such great intentions to. 

The past couple of years have been a little stressful and sad for me due to the loss of my Gram and my Mom's battle with breast cancer. This time was especially difficult because it was hard to celebrate under the burden of loss. 

However, this year I hear my Gram's voice among the Angels and I feel at peace. I've been more present at home and work and I really feel like I've seen marked improvements in my teaching and my students learning. I think this partly due to the fact that I have such a patient boss who gave me room to grieve yet continued to push me to be better and to do what we are here to do: teach our children! Thanks, Joe!

This brings me to this week's peek at my week. My PDP this year includes using formative assessments to target plan (plan with intention) I'm starting small so as not to overwhelm myself. With our switch to building wide Title I, I've been given the opportunity to work with all 200ish students in our building. 

So I choose two. I choose these particular two for a reason but that's for another post. 

So here's the activities, feel free to click on the link below to download the plans with links to some fabulous goodies! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Formative Assessment: Target Plan

Many forms of instruction happen throughout our day in the classroom. Such instructions include: whole class, small group, and individual. All three are important and have a place in our classroom structure. What we need to remember, is how to use each to maximize student learning.

Targeting student need and adjusting instruction to support those needs creates optimal learning. This happens when we are able to asses student learning, scaffold (this can mean supporting students who are having difficulty understanding the concepts or including enrichment for those who are not), and apply the "gradual release of responsibility" model.

Today, I'm going to focus on "targeting instruction." When I'm planning for instruction I ask myself 5

Where are these students on the literacy learning spectrum and what do they need to continue making progress and instill literacy learning concepts to their life?

After doing some reflecting on this question, I like to create questions that cause my students to reflect where they are, where they want to be and what this learning means for them. This can be done with with all students, including my kindergarten kiddos.

What have we learned so far and do we need to review any concepts before we continue? 

How are we going to learn this?

What goals can we set before, during and after learning?

How will we assess learning? Both summarize and formative assessment.

Next, I create an assessment plan. Remember, nothing created is set in stone, my plans are incredibly flexible and change as needed.