Tuesday, December 13, 2011

EOU Benchmark Testing Protocol

After feedback from teachers across the district and a conversation with the curriculum guide committee about the degree of text difficulty in the EOU Benchmarks we have prepared a small change in the protocol of administration.
The EOU Benchmarks are still in their infancy and we’ll most likely find small errors throughout the guides. In order to honor what you have already taught and any planning you might have done for future units we do not want to alter entire assessments. Please use the protocol when administering your assessments.

EOU Benchmark Testing Protocol:
  • Prior to the day of the assessment, teachers may read the text aloud or have students read the text to become familiar with the text. Teachers do not set a purpose for the reading, other than to become familiar with the passage.
  • Teachers administer the assessment with the text, allowing students to reread text on their own and use text to answer questions. Teachers may follow accommodations for students with IEPs or LAPs.
  • Teacher scores the assessment following the proficiency levels AND protocols, as listed on the assessment.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Literacy Learning Labs!

Attention TCSD Literacy Lovers -

Our new learning labs are scheduled for second semester! Boy, do we have some extra special literacy love planned for you! 

Choose the literacy lab that's write for you!  Sign Up Here:  Literacy Learning Labs

Friday, December 2, 2011

Barometer Children

We all have a couple kids in our classrooms that struggle with stamina.  In the Two Sisters' Tip of the Week, they suggest small confined spaces for students to read.  Allowing students their "own space" often cuts back on the maintenance that goes with barometer children! 

Check out the link and more pictures at the Daily Cafe

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Building Reading Fluency

Independent and performance strategies for building reading fluency have been add to the Documents page in the file titled Building Reading Fluency. Please check out these resources and provide comments based on strategies you have found to be successful with your students.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Write To Learn FAQ

"What do I type for a prompt in WTL if I want students to use one or more of their writing pieces they submit to the district?"
If you choose to use the same writing piece for WTL and the District you can create a prompt as such:

5th Grade

Narrative Piece (Unit 2)

Write a narrative a piece about a real or imaginary experience or event with an introduction, sequenced events, descriptions, pacing and a related conclusion.

Opinion Piece (Unit 3)

Write an opinion piece on a topic or text with an introduction with reasons and information supported by facts and details and a conclusion.

Informational Piece (Unit 3)

Write an informative piece about a topic with an introduction, organized paragraphs with facts, definitions, details, quotations and information, and a conclusion.

7th Grade

Narrative Piece (Unit 2)

Write a narrative to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

Opinion Piece (Unit 3)

Write an opinion piece that supports claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

Informational Piece (Unit 3)

Write an informative/explanatory text to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

These come directly from the learning goals on the curriculum guides. Please let me know if you need further clarification. Best of Success!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Building Reading Fluency

Small-group and partner strategies for building reading fluency have been add to the Documents page in the file titled Building Reading Fluency. Please check out these resources and provide comments based on strategies you have found to be successful with your students.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Literacy Learning Lab Postponed

The November Literacy Learning Lab, The Gist of It: Comprehension Strategies scheduled for November 10, 2011 is postponed. It will now be offered on January 12, 2012 and February 9, 2012. The sessions will be alike but we wanted to offer 2 dates for participants to choose from.

Please visit the link: LITERACY LEARNING LAB to sign up for one of the sessions.

Thanks you your patience!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Vocabulogic Bridging the Verbal Divide


I find this is an excellent resource for all grade levels. It is filled with best practices, research, hands on practical tips, and includes the expertise of several leading scholars in the world of vocabulary. It also frequently posts teacher generated ideas and videos.
Enjoy! Julie Popham

Building Reading Fluency

All schools have had the opportunity to analyze their students' AIMSWeb data. As a result, there have been many inquires as to how to build reading fluency. Check out the Documents page for whole-group strategies. Look forward to the addition of small-group, partner, independent, and performance strategies as well.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


The assessment train of 2011-2012 is off!  AIMSWeb, DRA and QRI are all on their way!  There have been a couple of questions about the windows and report forms for DRA and QRI - here is an update:  

The DRA window opened this week and many of you have already dove in! The window will remain open until Oct. 7.  Please refer to the literacy calendar found on the land page of every grade level on the Language Arts Curriculum Guide:  You can access it here:  First Grade Landing Page and Calendar

The DRA report form that was issued earlier had some mistakes in the benchmarks.  Please refer to the revised report form found in the Documents section of the Language Arts Curriculum Guide.   You can access it here:  Documents

The QRI is wrapping up this week.  Due to training, the window was extended another week.  The report forms, passage cycles and the answer sheets can be found in the Documents section of the Language Arts Curriculum Guide.  You can access it here:  Documents

When tests have been administered and scores reported, please send you report form to your literacy coach no later than five school days after the close of the window.  We will contact you later when Mastery Manager is open to enter data.

Just focus on gathering the data and discovering all the wonderful things you're finding out about your readers!   

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Setting Up Your Writing Workshop

Are you wondering how you can meet the needs of all the writers in your classroom?  

Are you tired of coming up with prompts for students to write about?  

Are you having trouble just getting those kids to write?

Your answer is here:  
Living a Writing Kind of Life:  Setting Up Writing Workshop

Sign up for this literacy lab by the end of Thursday, September 15.  Literacy Lab Sign Up

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Write to Learn & the 1st Literacy Lab!

Welcome back from the long weekend!  I hope you are all energized for a busy week of teaching and learning.

Write to Learn Trainings for teachers of 5th, 7th and 10th grade students kick off this week.  If you have not signed up for a training please do so at this link:  Write to Learn
Our first literacy lab of the year - Teachers Inspire, Students Perspire: Setting up Reading Workshop will be held Thursday, Sept. 8 from 4:17 to 6:17. 
Our goals for all teachers attending:
  • Know and understand all of the components of the workshop format 
  • Create a well-organized plan to implement workshop in their classroom

We will meet at the Office of Instruction Support (aka the old Falcon's Nest Daycare).  Please bring your laptops.   Teachers are welcome to bring resources and documents they use in their own workshops to share with colleagues.  Your experience is invaluable!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Literacy Lab - September 8th

Today is the last day to sign up for the first ever Todd County Literacy Lab!  Next Thursday (Sept. 8) teachers from Kindergarten to High School will come together to learn new information about setting up workshop, share how they've implemented workshop and walk away with an individualized plan for their own classroom.

All Literacy Labs will be held at the Office of Instructional Support (the old Falcon's Nest Daycare) from 4:17 - 6:17.

Sign up by following the link listed below!

Todd County Literacy Labs

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Teaching Prefixes and Suffixes

Good morning Literacy Teachers!

Many of you have been asking about strategies to teach prefixes and suffixes.  Here are some specific page numbers from the Vocabulary section of the CORE Sourcebook to consult:
  • Page 304-307
  • Page 527-532
Second and Third grade teachers:  Some of you may have noticed that Fountas and Pinnell doesn't align with how the Curriculum Guide divided the word parts.  Word parts are still very much in their infancy for the elementary guides and we appreciate all of your feedback! 

Our suggestion is to roll out the word parts for each unit as intended, using the Fountas and Pinnell resource as a guide for lessons.  Many of you may realize that mastery of these word parts won't come right away - which is fine!  The word parts that have been taught are reassessed after each unit with a comprehensive test at the end.  That way we can work towards mastery of all the word parts by the end of the year. 

If you have any questions or suggestions for teaching prefixes please post a comment below!  If you have a specific document you use email Erin or Katey and we'll post it to the Documents section of the Curriculum Guide. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First 6 weeks

Many of you are having great conversations around setting up workshop in your classrooms.  A good place to start is reviewing the principles page on the Curriculum Guide and downloading the Todd County Literacy Plan.  

A problem that many teachers run into is finding the right resources.  What resources are you using?  Daily Five?  Fountas and Pinnell's First 20 Days from Guiding Readers and Writers?  Lucy Caulkin's Series? 

Please post a comment and share your insights! 

If you need support in finding these resources please contact Katey or Erin. 

Happy Planning! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Welcome to the TC Literacy Blog!

This blog is your one-stop shop for current literacy happenings in the Todd County School District!

Updates, assessment windows, and deadlines will be posted here along with any relevant news. Feel free to share your own questions or ideas by leaving a comment!