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K-5 ELA Meeting 4/13/2009
English Language Arts: Reading-Writing Committee
Meeting Agenda: April 13, 2009
Present: Karen Moody (chair), Sarah Brown, Tiffany Cockrell, Sara Barrows, Ira Michaud, Cynthia Snow, Deb Carey, Mary Jo Stevens, Kris Canning, Amy Whitman, Alma Ranslow, Kelly Green, Susan Shepherd, Wendy Oakley, Mercy Polhemus
1. Karen shared the Special Education Assessment proposal for SPIRE. Concerns were voiced regarding how Grade 5 special education students would access the current report card using SPIRE data. Grade 5 only reports “analyzing fiction and non-fiction” at this time.
2. Vocabulary Discussion Continued:
a. Committee members reviewed the Vocabulary survey results that were returned. The following was summarized:
# of times: Most teach vocabulary 0-5 times a week. One teacher reported 25+ times. Most integrate vocabulary instruction.
Challenges students experience with vocabulary instruction:
•Lack of background experience
•Using words correctly
•Applying/assimilating new words into language
•Understanding vocabulary in directions
•Using even familiar words correctly
•Using parts of speech/verb tenses
Resources Teachers Use:
Fountas & Pinnell
Daily Language Review (Evan Moor)
Steve Buehl Organizers
ABC books in content areas
Lexia ( a little)
Time 4 Kids
Bonus Spelling Words
Words I Use When I Write
Vocabulary Instructional Needs:
Training in best practices
More non-fiction resources
Quality literature with rich language/vocabulary
Strategies for integrating vocabulary
Word lists by grade level
General Comments Noted:
•Teachers do not want a vocabulary program!! This was a common theme!
•Materials appropriate for lower grades is needed.
•Create a partnership with the public library. They are a wonderful resource. And NO LATE FEES!!
Committee then discussed:
•Consider teachers drafting content area vocabulary lists. It was decided that this would be too overwhelming.
•Make a list of grade level agreed upon read alouds. This was put on hold for now.
•Check vocabulary resources in NECAP and NWEA assessments.
Next Steps: The committee agreed that the next step would be to use district resources to train teachers in best practices in teaching vocabulary. Focus would be on teaching strategies. The Literacy Specialists in attendance agreed to organize and present training to teachers. Karen had already spoken to Howie who supported the idea of using our Literacy Specialist in this way. The Literacy Specialist would meet with the rest of their team to discuss this further.
The trainings would be organized by grade level groups:
Grades 2 and 3
Grades 4 and 5
The literacy specialists would decide who would present to the different grade levels. They would also pool best practice resources from teachers to validate the work already being done in this area. Some resources that will be looked at further for training would possibly include:
Non-fiction Cloze Stories
Buehl Reading Strategies
3. Writing Prompt Decisions:
a. Teachers administer prompt during the week of May 11-15th.
b. Teachers will copy High, Medium, and Low papers and give to their grade level facilitators at the May 20th grade level meeting.
c. Writing Committee members will meet May 26th to select benchmark papers and revise the rubric. A revised packet will go out to teachers by June 1st for use in scoring papers.
d. Papers will be scored during the week of June 1st-5th. Scores will then be submitted to Howie.
Next full ELA meeting: June 1st Items to be discussed include spelling and summer work.