Our Community of Practice initiative is going strong. The premise of the initiative is simple; by visiting other classrooms we can gain exposure to varied teaching practices, reflect on our own practices and encourage conversation about the art and craft of teaching. We appreciate the support of the Northwest Consortium districts for the support. We have recently visited classrooms in Smithfield, Lincoln and Burrillville. All grade levels had positive feedback. After the school visitations all ELA grade level teams met with the Curriculum Director to discuss our writing focus “prose constructed response” and share expectations and student work. This week the High School English teachers will be conducting observations and participating in the planning sessions.
Also, through the Northwest Consortium (North Smithfield, Lincoln, Burrillville and Smithfield), our High School Science teachers will be participating in a full day professional development session with East Bay Collaborative focusing on biology, chemistry and physics lesson development aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.
Pathways are programs of high school study that connect learning in the classroom with real-world applications outside of school. They integrate rigorous academic instruction and field-based learning. Mr. McGee and Mr. Boss are working with HS Department Heads to develop and refine pathways/plans of study. Some of the draft pathways include: Finance, Business, Music/Arts, International Studies, Public Policy, Pre-Engineering, and Law and Justice.
A Team of eight teachers in grades 3-6 participated in the Bureau of Education and Research PD focusing on guided math instruction. Guided math allows teachers to work with students in small groups at their level of understanding and need. Using classroom-proven techniques to implement guided math in the classroom, teachers will be able to differentiate math instruction in ways that better meet the diverse needs of your students.
Grades three through five are implementing the McGraw-Hill My Math program this year. The My Math program provides the rigor, personalization, and student engagement needed to be successful with the Common Core State Standards. The program adoption committee members expressed enthusiasm and excitement about this program due to its online features, the large variety of lessons, rigor of problems, comprehensive assessments and ease of use.
Middle School math teachers are working in professional learning communities to refine assessments and calibrate scoring.
Our K-2 Math Program Selection Committee will participate in two upcoming sessions with vendors scheduled for February 15th and February 27th. I am thankful for the teacher volunteers to participating on this committee.
The Professional Development Advisory Committee is a volunteer team of K-12 teachers that meets quarterly to help develop and refine the district’s professional development plan. The team has worked over the years to revamp the system and structure of professional development days which has received positive feedback.. Typically each PD day is broken into three separate sessions in an “un-conference” format. Teachers are provided a menu of topics and chose from, session instructors include teacher leaders, administrators and consultants.
The next professional development day is scheduled for February 17, 2017. We will be running 20+ different sessions including: Personalized Learning, CPR overview, Math Problem Solving, Hyper Docs, ELL Resources, Next Generation Reading Instruction, Osmos, Technology Troubleshooting, Teaching Empathy, Amazing Race-The Google Form Way, and many more.
Our last Professional Development Advisory Committee meeting was held on January 23rd @ 3:15 in the Middle School. A special thanks goes out to committee members for their help planning the upcoming PD day as well as working on the 17-18 school calendar. The PDAC members include: Alyssa Koerner, Jennifer Daigneault, Brittany Robichaud, Amy Wright, Tracey Nangle, Deana Cook, Sarah Glover, Adam Stanley, Corinne Ferri, Tracy Lafreniere, Diane Jolin, and Kimberly Rawson.
Wilson Fundations provides research-based materials and strategies essential to a comprehensive reading, spelling, and handwriting program. Wilson Fundations makes learning to read fun while laying the groundwork for life-long literacy. Students in grades K-1 receive a systematic program in critical foundational skills, emphasizing: phonemic awareness, phonics/ word study, high frequency word study, reading fluency and spelling. The instruction aligns with states’ rigorous college- and career-ready standards, including the Common Core State Standards. We are purchasing materials for kindergarten and first grade this month and teachers will participate in professional development sessions this spring.
January 12th- Community of Practice – Grade 6
January 13th- Community of Practice – Grade 2
January 19th- Pathway meeting (NWSC HS Principals) in Burrillville
January 23rd- Professional Development Advisory Committee Meeting
January 26th- Standards Based Report Card Committee (all day)
January 31st- ELA Professional Learning Community 3:15 @ NSMS
February 17th- PD Day
February 17th- NWSC High School Science PD
February 28th-Grade 8 Science (Waves)
March 9th- Grade 5 Science (Earth and Sun)
March 10th- Grade 3 Science (Motion and Matter)
March 14th- Grade 4 Science (Environments)
On many traditional report cards, students receive one grade for reading, one for math, one for science and so on. On a standards-based report card, each of these subject areas is divided into a list of skills and knowledge that students are responsible for learning. Students receive a separate mark for each standard. We developed the standards based report cards in 2013 to align with the Common Core Standards. This year we will modify and refine our work. The committee will meet in January to begin this work. Committee members include: Andrea McKay, Anna Piasczyk, Alyssa Koerner, Jane Foster, Tracy Lafreniere, Carla Iadevaia, Jennifer Albrecht, Clarissa Russell, Amanda Melfi, Sherry Senecal, Sarah Glover and Andrea Lafleur.
A professional learning community, or PLC, is a group of educators that meets regularly, shares expertise, and works collaboratively to improve teaching skills and the academic performance of students. We have implemented a grant funded PLC focusing on Grades 3-8 English Language Arts. The team of teachers are working on projects to fine-tune instruction, collaborate scoring and develop a repository for online materials. The team first met in December and will convene again in January. I special thanks goes out to the members for their time and effort: Jaclyn Cunningham, Heather Santauri, Corinne Ferri, Sarah Glover, Tina Shepherd, Jane Franklin, Leah Latimer, Keri Blais, Colleen Gendron, Tracey Nangle, and Nicole Buckless.
The Professional Development Advisory Committee is a volunteer team of K-12 teachers that meets quarterly to help develop and refine the district’s professional development plan. The team has worked over the years to revamp the system and structure of professional development days which has received positive feedback.. Typically each PD day is broken into three separate sessions in an “un-conference” format. Teachers are provided a menu of topics and chose from, session instructors include teacher leaders, administrators and consultants. Our next Professional Development Advisory Committee will be held on January 23rd @ 3:15 in the Middle School. A special thanks goes out to committee members: Alyssa Koerner, Jennifer Daigneault, Brittany Robichaud, Amy Wright, Tracey Nangle, Deana Cook, Sarah Glover, Adam Stanley, Corinne Ferri, Tracy Lafreniere, Diane Jolin, and Kimberly Rawson.
Clare Arnold, Assistant Superintendent