Happy New Year! New school year, that is! Those of us in education get to enjoy another festive season, one filled with new ideas, bright colors and the sweet smell of Crayola.  With this new year upon us, there are many changes afoot.  We will be developing as educators more than ever before.  This site is designed to help you on this roller coaster ride.  To the right, you will notice you can search this blog for items of interest by how the item was tagged.  However, there are also several pages with very useful information. 

  • The RtI Procedures page will help you with some changes for this year and some frequently asked questions, as well as links to necessary forms.  
  • The Research- Based Interventions page will help you with providing all your students with necessary interventions.  As a classroom teacher, you are responsible for implementing Tier 1 and 2 interventions!  
  • The four ELA RF pages are for the Reading Foundations CCSS.  No longer will there be whole-group phonics or phonemic awareness lessons, rather, students will be identified along a continuum of Foundational Skills and will work in small groups. These pages will be designed to help you lesson plan and assess these foundational skills groups.  There are links to the Education Directors' ELA Units.  From the Common Core Maps:
 "The Pacing Guides for Reading Foundations begin at a level appropriate for students who do not already know how to read. This will be the majority of students in most school systems, including those who enter school with limited language and/or literary experience and those who simply lack the phonological, decoding, and encoding skills needed for beginning reading and spelling. The pacing of code-emphasis instruction and the amount of time allotted to it will vary according to student skill levels, as measured on early screening, diagnostic, and progress-monitoring assessments. Nevertheless, all students need to master these essential building blocks.  Some students enter school having already learned the alphabetic principle and basic word recognition and are reading above expectation for these early grades. Those students should be allowed to progress more quickly through the foundational skills sequence, as long as they demonstrate mastery of the concepts. It is conceivable that in the same class, one group of students may just be finishing Level One at the end of the first kindergarten unit, but another group of students could be finishing Level Three at the end of the first kindergarten unit if the pace is accelerated.  At times, the content maps might seem incongruent with the skills in the Reading Foundations. An important fact about our maps is that the activities are simply “sample” activities. They represent a range of activities. Also, in keeping with the Common Core State Standards, we continually use developmental options for writing such as “using a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing.”  Differentiated instruction is at the heart of effective classroom management. Teachers may need to deliver the literature-focused and content-focused part of the lesson by reading to and dialoguing with the students, taking care to ensure that they also teach a code-emphasis, explicit and systematic program to all those who need it."
  • Finally, there are some additional pages with useful information sorted by category.  Don't skip over my Pinterest link, with 30+ Education-related boards! 

Think of this site as your "Intervention Kit" that would normally come with a big-boxed curriculum. If you are looking for something and can't find it, let me know.  Also, if you have something to add, let me know that as well!  :)


Behaviorism, Constructivism & Cognitivism, Oh My!

by Stacey Mundo

Behaviorism as a psychological theory is generally attributed to B.F. Skinner and is often summed up as the belief that learning occurs through means of reinforcement and punishment. (Wyatt, 2001).  Though Skinner’s work was published more than 50 years ago, there is still great debate in the educational and psychological fields.  Popular culture is even familiar with a behaviorism experiment, often referred to as Pavlov’s dogs.  In this experiment,


Got Behaviors?

It’s a difficult time of year, and I feel like the pot is bubbling and is soon going to boil over. I want you to know that I am here to support you.  I am here to listen and offer you solutions.  There are times when I carry your burden without you even knowing it.   Please do not give up on teaching appropriate behaviors and providing interventions to students who desperately need it.  Simply punishing students with behavior issues it not effective.  There is always a reason a student is misbehaving, and if you simply push back in a power struggle, you will likely lose. 


Number Sense Activities & Links

Number sense is as important to doing well in math as knowing the alphabet and sounds are in reading.  You must find 101 ways to practice these vital skills in the elementary classroom!  Here are some ideas to get you started:

Math Intervention

Focus kindergarten through fifth-grade interventions on whole numbers. For kindergarten through grade five students, Tier two and Tier three interventions should focus almost exclusively on properties of whole numbers and operations. Some older students struggling with whole numbers and operations would also benefit from in-depth coverage of these topics.


Dr. Seuss March Read-Across-Imagine-Town-Center

The Academic Growth Task Force is hosting a Read-Across-ISTC Challenge.  We will be kicking off the month by celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 1st.
  • Thing 1 and Thing 2 visiting classrooms and performing The Cat in the Hat
  • thematic lessons based on Seuss' books school-wide
  • classes "Reading Here and There" (outside, under desks, on the bus, etc.)  
  • middle school students will perform Dr. Seuss' books  in primary classrooms
For the month of March, we will continue celebrating literacy by:
  • door decorating highlighting a Seuss' book and a character lesson. 
  • daily character quotes from Dr. Seuss will be read on the announcements 
  • students meeting the Read Across ISTC AR challenge for their grade level will be able to take photos in a Dr. Seuss-style photo-booth at the end of the month

Here are some links and pictures to help inspire you!  Be sure to check out my Dr. Seuss Pinterest Board, too!

Tim Tebow reads Green Eggs & Ham http://pinterest.com/pin/196117758745411549/
Justin Beiber reads The Cat and the Hat http://pinterest.com/pin/196117758745411538/
Full version of The Sneetches http://pinterest.com/pin/196117758745411545/
Biography: http://pinterest.com/pin/196117758745411542/

One Fish, Two Fish
Estimation http://media-cache-ec5.pinterest.com/originals/c2/eb/01/c2eb01c86f8e3935d44f49053b8deff0.jpg

The Sneetches 
Anit-Racism Activity http://www.tolerance.org/lesson/anti-racism-activity-sneetches
Philosophy Discussion http://www.teachingchildrenphilosophy.org/wiki/The_Sneetches
Lesson Plan http://www.teachpeace.com/drseusssneetches.htm

The Lorax

The 500 Hats

Yertle the Turtle

Bartholemew and the Oobleck
Recipe http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Oobleck-Recipe-From-Dr-Seuss-Barthomew-and-the-Oobleck

Read Across America
Blog Links: http://learningwithmrsparker.blogspot.com/2011/02/read-across-america-linky-party.html
WordSort Freebie: http://www.classroomfreebiestoo.com/2012/02/dr-seuss-word-sort-freebie.html
Seussville: http://www.seussville.com/Educators/educatorLessonPlans.php

Data or Statistics http://pinterest.com/pin/196117758745058548/
Even and Odd http://pinterest.com/pin/196117758745411492/

The Lorax http://pinterest.com/pin/196117758745058697/

Dialogue Bubble Seuss characters http://www.redkid.net/generator/seuss/3.php
Creative Writing Speck Worlds http://pinterest.com/pin/196117758745058503/

Political Cartoons
http://libraries.ucsd.edu/speccoll/dswenttowar/  Political Cartoons by Ted Geisel