One Sunflower

One exciting “new” this year….

on September 24, 2009

I have been teaching in this district now for 9 years.  Every year has been different – I’ve been moved to different sites, assigned new assistants or given new guidelines and curriculum to use.     Our assistant superintendent had a good point when she said, “this is a sign that we are always trying to do things better.”  I want to improve but I am sympathetic to our most reluctant students who have trouble with transitions and learning new things.  I have a lot that is new and not-so-fun on my plate this year but…..

The exciting “new” this year is that I am finally part of a “vertical” team at my school.  There are two kindergarten teachers and during our in-school professional development we will be meeting as a team.  The task our school is working on this year is “word work,” how to improve the work we do with students around phonological awareness, phonics and spelling.  Since almost 30% of our students are ELL, this has become a crucial task.  Our students seem to do okay with their comprehension but they struggle with decoding skills. 

The Pk and K team are examining the tools we use in our classrooms to teach these skills.  One of our K teachers came from another district that used a basal reader program, the veteran K teacher uses the Readers/Writers workshop model that the district has had in place for years.  Part of the curriculum I use (Let’s Begin With the Letter People) has a scope and sequence for introducing alphabet letters and typical preschool concepts – shapes, colors, sorting, classifying, graphing and patterning as well as stories that support preschool themes.   But I am in the process of adding a whole new layer to my literacy work this year.  (see notes on literacy)  We are all trying to be more similar in our work so we are sharing the tools we use in the classroom and making plans to spend time in each other’s classrooms to observe what each of us does.  This kind of collaboration makes my work credible and substantiates my efforts to teach and assess my students.

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