Feedback on Progress
There are a lot of good things in place and the teachers are encouraged to keep up the great job. It was evident that teachers look at and care about every kid’s success. The text structure lessons are right in line with what is assessed later in school. It’s amazing much progress the students make by the end of 1st grade. Great graphic organizers are used with guided reading and there is a strong focus on spelling in Saxon phonics. The whole communications program seems to be very balanced. There are provisions made for students new to the district. The writing curriculum focuses on standards and is demonstrated with the creation of a product. There is a great focus on an authentic assessment of understanding and an integration of multiple subject areas. The Community in a Bag project in 3rd grade puts an emphasis on community pride. The dedication of the teaching staff is evident. The fact that the staff attended the Kansas Reading Academy allowed them to share in a “vision” and focus on text-types which are integrated into the Title program. Using Marcy Cook letter tiles to ingrain prefixes and suffixes is an innovative idea. The “Show Me Packets” are an excellent method to teach students vocabulary. Focusing on oral reading fluency is obviously important. Consistent practice in all areas seems to be effective. AR is used and monitored efficiently and the use of the “5 finger rule” is important.
It was suggested that a video of guided reading groups be available for viewing. It was also suggested that more emphasis be put on correct spelling and that pen pals letters to Japan be edited for spelling so that they can be translated more easily. It was suggested to use Lakeshore Nonfiction Overheads for test preparation.