September 8, 2013

MTSS Symposium Follow Up

Just as anticipated the MTSS Symposium was AMAZING!  I was able to see Anita Archer....not once....but TWICE. Regrettably I didn't get a picture with her.  I (and my teacher friends that attended with me) decided it would be a tad creepy.  The first time I saw Anita she was presenting on reading foundation skills and the second time I saw her she was presenting on increasing middle and high school engagement. Both sessions were equally informative and entertaining, but it was Anita Archer we are talking about, so I don't expect anything less! 

At the conference I also saw Jan Hasbrouck, Deborah Glaser and representatives from MiBLSi (Michigan’s Statewide MTSS Project).  Dr. Hasbrouck presented on how to use your reading assessments to inform instruction.  She is just as engaging as Anita Archer and always presents excellent information.  Dr. Glaser was a real treat as her presentation was on various hands on writing and reading routines one can use to help struggling readers.  Last but not least, representatives from Michigan’s Statewide MTSS project came and presented on the function and impact data coaching can have in your district.

I would go into further detail, but I am planning a blog post over each of the sessions I attended.  The information was so great---I just have to share it!  So stay tuned for future posts!

This past week, my school finished up AimsWeb testing....which is awesome for a data nerd like myself.  Now that the data is in....I can finally start forming my Tier 2 and Tier 3 groups!  Typically my reading intervention classes consist of helping students with decoding and fluency...but this year our kiddos are quite a bit higher and I will mostly be working on comprehension. This is a very encouraging data trend to have :).  

I have decided to use interactive notebooks with my students (like I did with my summer school kids) and I can't wait!  In case you haven't heard about interactive notebooks---they are personalized textbooks or a working portfolio of notes, classwork and even quizzes and tests.  Interactive notebooks are a great organizational tool for students and a perfect way for students to review reading strategies. I have decided to organize the interactive notebooks my students use by sectioning the notebook off into key comprehension strategies that are proven to increase comprehension: story mapping, questioning, meta-cognition (thinking about thinking),  making predictions, inferencing, vocabulary, main idea, text structure, and drawing conclusions.  So far I have only made the story mapping pages for the story map section.....hopefully I get the rest of the pages done before my Tier 3 kiddos start!!  

Pictured above is an easy (and cheap) way to organize the interactive notebooks---write on small sticky notes and place on the first  page for each section in the notebook.  Use tape to secure the sticky note to the page for extra durability.
Above is one example of a story map you can use with your students.  I always have my kiddos label each page with a number, the title of the story and the author.
Here is yet another example of s story map you can use with your students.  Students can draw a picture on the outside of the tab or make a bulleted list.  Flip the tab open, and have students fill in more descriptive information.
 This story map foldable for the interactive notebook  is perfect for transitioning into writing a summary.  Students can fill out the foldable and then use the writing stems on the foldable to help them with the summary.
 If you have struggling students use a differentiated story map with easy to understand vocabulary and less sections.

Last but not least here are a few more tips that I am going to make sure and tell my students for their interactive notebooks.
  1. Date and number each page
  2. Keep a table of contents
  3. No doodling that doesn't relate to classroom notes
  4. Notebook will only be used in my classroom
  5. No tearing out pages
  6. Always write title and author at the top of the page
  7. The left side will be used for students--this is where they will keep their diagrams, cartoons, drawings, poems, foldables, etc.
  8. The right side will belong to me (the teacher) for guided notes, comments to students and graded tests and quizzes. 
If you are interested in these interactive pages...visit my TPT store!  I hope to have the rest of the pages done soon! :)

Have a great Monday tomorrow!

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