Weekly newsletterPosted by Kathleen Taylor on 1/6/2017
It has been quite a while since my last blog post, and a lot has changed in the interim. I am now located in room 251, and I have been working with high school students recovering credit in certain classes via an online program. Additionally, I was recently asked to work with seventh-grade students again -- this time in increasing their reading and writing skills by using the Read 180 program.
The Read 180 model begins each class with a whole-group instruction in close-reading strategies, academic vocabulary, writing, and academic discussion with the whole group. Then the class breaks into smaller groups that rotate through three "stations," which include independent reading, student application, and smaill-group learning, before coming back together at the end of class as a whole group for a Wrap-Up activity.
During independent reading, students select texts from a variety of hard copy and on-line choices. Students also work independently on the Read 180 Universal Student Application online, following a personal path that accelerates his or her learning. Small-group activities ensure that each student receives targeted, data-driven instruction unique to his or her individual learning needs.
We anticipate students' reading and writing skills will increase as they delve deeper into the Read 180 program. As we discussed in the third lesson, mindset matters. In other words, our attitudes about a certain subject, whether it is reading or math or being successful at a sport, make a big difference in how hard we try. The more effort we put into something, the more success we are likely to have. Therefore, if we give up easily or see effort as pointless because we think we will never be good at something, we will probably be right -- because we won't try as hard as someone who keeps trying or learns from his or her mistakes instead of giving up when things get hard.
Happy New Year! Embrace challenges; keep trying; learn from your mistakes. Have a GROWTH mindset in 2017!
Weekly NewsletterPosted by Kathleen Taylor on 8/17/2016
Summer School classes are over; regents exams are taking place, and then we will have just a couple of weeks until the new school year begins. There will be a lot of changes for students to adjust to this year, not the least of which is a new hallway. Seventh-grade classrooms are now down the hall in which the eighth-grade classrooms are located. Come check out our new digs on Thursday, August 25th at 6 p.m. during the 7th grade orientation.
It was good to meet some of you at the 7th grade orientation last week, and I did get some parent email addresses at that time. Within the first few days of school, the seventh-grade students will be bringing home a 2-sided informational sheet which will also ask for email addresses, as well as outline my expectations of the students and what they can expect from me. To motivate them to return the hand-outs in a timely manner, the students will be offered a 100% Bonus grade when those papers are returned completed and signed by parents. Two of my classes will also have a co-teacher present, Alicia Jankowski, and we will work together to teach those classes and ensure that your children have positive educational experiences.
I believe that the first week back to school will consist of a lot of school-wide team-building activities, so hopefully the weather will cooperate for the activities that are planned for the outdoors. The following week, everyone can expect to make good use of their new school supplies as we get down to business. As for school supplies, a binder dedicated to English class is very important, and some type of spiral or other style of notebook to write in, and one thing that seemed to be in short supply last year -- something to write with! I don't care if it's a pencil or a pen (preferably not red -- black or blue are best), but it would be appreciated if the majority of students would come prepared with writing utensils of some kind!
Having participated in several professional development sessions after summer school ended, I am optimistic that the strategies we learned about will make this a very positive year. I'm looking forward to getting to know the class of 2022!