Elco Intermediate School

Team Members: Dennie, Gretchen, Laurabeth, Laurie, Lindsey

Community: IU-13 Year 1, 2010-2011

In an effort to bring consistency and comfort to the teaching of reading in our Intermediate School, our PLP group created a reading wiki designed to house information for all teachers. Our wiki provides links that display various teachers using successful methods for teaching reading. The site also offers leveling information as well as links that will help all teachers determine DRA levels for all students. Our wiki will eventually be set up to allow collaboration within our school and with other schools and educators. Our goal is to bring as much information to our teachers concerning powerful teaching practices in the area of reading. Hopefully, as a result of our wiki, all teachers in our building and district will benefit and feel more comfortable teaching and assessing all students as they guide students to be the best readers possible.

We combined four separate elementary schools into one Intermediate building, which created a need for collaboration in the teaching of reading. With the adoption of the Developmental Reading Assessment to level students, there was a need for professional development in guided reading. In order to provide tools and resources for our teachers, we created a reading community, which is a warehouse of information that includes a book room inventory, teaching resources, video tutorials, professional development presentations, grade level data goals, and blog discussions.
Teachers will be able to collaboratively level students based on information gathered through the DRA. Assessment: Teachers will submit students groups/levels to the principal in the fall, winter, and spring.

Teachers will used the information gathered through the DRA to differentiate reading instruction for each child. Assessment: Teachers will be observed teaching small groups and completing progress monitoring probes.

Teachers will select appropriate text for their leveled groups. Assessment: Teachers will sign out books from the book room and use the Book Wizard widget to check book levels.

Teachers will participate in the reading community on the wiki. Assessment: This will be measured through conversations taking place on the wiki.

September 2010 – discovered the need for professional development in guided reading

October 2010 – initial survey and informal staff assessment of guided reading practices and knowledge

November 2010 – data meetings where goals were set

December 2010 – Action Research Project refinement

January 2011 – DRA data compiled

February 2011 – in-service presentation where wiki was introduced to the staff

March through April 2011 – 11 DRA training sessions

May 2011 – final DRA assessments and wiki usage survey results compiled

We learned that initially we bit off me than we could chew. We streamlined our project to make it more pertinent for our building’s needs. This is a project that is going to continue to evolve with the staff’s comfort level and professional development needs. According to our post-survey results, we will be able to determine the success of the project. Ultimately, the improvement of student reading ability will be a reflection of teacher effectiveness and ability to teach guided reading.
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Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice. She works with schools and districts from around the world helping them to infuse technology into their curriculums and by leading other digital conversion efforts. Sheryl also consults with governments, educational organizations and non-profits in development of their various professional learning initiatives. Sheryl is a sought-after presenter at national and international events, speaking on topics related to digital and online learning, teacher and educational leadership, online community building, and other educational issues impacting children of poverty. Sheryl served on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Board of Directors for six years. She co-authored The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age with Lani Ritter Hall. Sheryl has four children and four grandsons, Luke, Logan, Levi and Tanner and a trio of dachshunds. You can find out more on her blog and on Twitter @snbeach.
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