Last year, when I asked my students to graph their MCT2 test scores, they were shocked when they began to realize how many people really looked at their individual test data. One said, "Does Mrs. Smith and Mr. Bohannon really know what we make?" I was even in a meeting with a group of parents and a father said he never really understood when he was in school taking the California Achievement Test that anyone every cared about his scores.
The world of education has evolved in a practice of science, with research and best practice strategies that depend of data to drive the instructional practices of the educator.
Research says that students grow in reading and comprehension with practice, sustained reading. Reading Workshop give students time to cultivate this sustained reading period.
Vocabulary graphic organizers help student match meaning to new terms, but using the Fryer model that encourages students to write definition in their own words, use it in context, draw an illustration, find a synonym or a antonym. This is a six step process that includes games with the words. There must be time allowed between the steps, because research shows that is the best way to make new vocabulary stick!
I have also found that when students take part in graphing their own work, they get more serious about it. Here is an example of how I have students track their test scores.
With a focus on Academics and Fitness, we have been busy with our Project Fit America Celebration, our fist Family Academic Night, Homecoming and the Attendance Celebration where we won (tied) first place!
I love teaching in at a small school like Baxterville but it does require for me to wear many hats. Homecoming is a tradition at Baxterville where all the students are given an opportunty to perform during the half time. Mrs. Hawthorn, former cheerleader, did the choreography for the K-2 group. Not having a dance background, I turned to Google. Tottenham, a community located northeast of London, England had young people who rioted and made the community look bad. Gladsmore Community School wanted to show the world their community pride after an outburst of student riots had shed a bad light for Tottenham. The students created the music and dance called EVERYBODY DREAMS; performed a flashmob on the one year anniversary of the riots and posted it on YouTube. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3E5qAklU-M) The song fit our PBIS them of Dreaming, Believing and Reaching goals so I bought the music and started working with the kids. I was so glad Gladsmore Community School kids had also had a training video on Youtube as well. Mrs. Armstrong and I stayed late for two weeks painting and putting glitter on banners and signs. After a couple weeks of practice, our kids look like rock stars. They did so well during homecoming, they had an encore performance during the Project Fit American Celebration!
Project Fit America Celebration:
Coach Josh Hawthorn wrote and won a grant funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Family to purchase outdoor exercise equipment. We know that fit kids come to school more often and have better test scores. We had Dr. Ben Burnett, Representative Bill Pigot and his wife Doris, and Mr. Landrum former Atlanta Falcons Football player as well as a representative from Blue Cross Blue Shield. The students demonstrated how to use the equipment and our dancers had a great performance. You can find the article in the Lamar Times Newspaper this week. Way to go Coach! See the slideshow below.
Serving as Collaborative Team Leader, I heard the teachers sentiments about wanting to better inform parents of what their children need in order to be successful academically. The school has sponsored a family reading activity for years, but we felt like it should cover more than reading. I bought a few books and started researching the idea of a Family Academy or Academic Night. Mrs. Robertson and I put together the games and made resource packets tailored to the individual student containing MCT2 test score information as well as "how to" information on math. Mrs. Frazure talked to the lady at the Lumberton Library and she agreed to bring books like the old fashioned "bookmobile". We made posters, flyers, and talked it up at the car line every day.The PTO funded pizza and drinks for all those that attended. The students loved the make-and-take games and Mrs. Morris wowed her group with a snazzy flipchart and activoter session. We plan to have a session each nine weeks, highlighting the work ahead for students each time. We got good response and all that came said they wanted to come back! See our flyer below.
On Thursday, October 24, 2012 we only had three students absent; we tied for first place for best attendance in the Lamar County School District. For a treat the students were allowed to view a live webinar, hosted by Scholastic, featuring Taylor Swift. Swift told the audience how she had always loved writing and how book and reading had influenced her song writing. Ms. Swift topped of the day by singing one of her new singles from the RED album. Every single student in the auditorium seemed to know the lyrics. It was fun watching their sweet faces!
You can watch the webcast by clicking on the link below:
I am a wife, mother and love being an educator at East Marion High School.