This Year’s Priorities

Principal’s Forum:  Focus on K-5 Mathematics
Thursday, October 3 – 8:00-9:00 am – Library

Please join us for a presentation by Math Specialists Anu Advani, Katy McGraw and Malia Scott. Learn about changes in the K-5 mathematics curriculum as Brookline makes a transition to the updated Massachusetts Mathematics Curriculum Frameworks.

This Year’s Priorities

Part I. Literacy

Lawrence enters the third year of a multi-year initiative to enhance our literacy program. This effort includes several key components.

What’s New This Year?

Grades 3-5 Readers’ & Writers’ Workshop

This year all teachers in grades 3-5 will learn about and begin to implement a model of teaching reading and writing workshop every day based on practices recommended by the Literacy Collaborative at Lesley University.  Last year, Literacy Coach Dianne Muendel participated in intensive training at Lesley while piloting and co-teaching the model with Jon Weinberger in 5W.  This year, Dianne will teach a 40-hour course for all grade 3-5 teachers and will provide individual in-class coaching to support implementation. To model best practice, she will continue to co-teach, shifting to grade 3 to work with Sharon Kiernan in 3K.

Grades 6-7 Guided Reading

Our two middle school English teachers, Peggy Avakian and Alison Closter, are also working with Literacy Coach (and former 7/8 English teacher) Dianne Muendel to implement a guided reading model in sixth and seventh grades that will provide opportunities for more differentiation and small group instruction

Grade 8 Writing Across the Curriculum

Our eighth grade content area teachers are collaborating to develop common expectations for writing and to pilot a common grading rubric for use with selected pieces of writing in all content areas.

What’s Continuing?

Reading Assessment (Benchmark AssessmentSystem or BAS)

Full implementation of the BAS, an individually administered reading assessment, will continue for a second year.  In grades 1-5, all students are assessed twice a year (October & March).  In Kindergarten, students will be assessed in March.   In grades 6-8, students who did not score “Proficient” or higher on MCAS are also assessed.  Teachers use this assessment to get to know their students’ strengths and weaknesses as readers and to set goals and plan for instruction.

Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI)

The Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) program will enter its third year (K-2) and second year (Grades 3-4) of providing more intensive support to struggling readers. Literacy Specialists Jill Demsey and Terry Jewell will continue to implement this program, seeing students in groups of three or four, five days a week for thirty minutes (four days x 45 minutes in Gr. 3-4).  This year, we will provide additional opportunities for parent education about this program.  Watch for details about a planned parent session on October 23.

Grades K-2

Teachers in grades K-2 have identified a focus area for their own professional learning in literacy: K – Phonics and Word Study; Gr. 1 – Writing Workshop; and Gr. 2 – Literacy Connections to Science and Social Studies.  Teachers will work with a Literacy Specialist to enhance these aspects of our Literacy program.

Literacy Leadership Team

Our Literacy Team will continue to guide and support our literacy initiative, by analyzing school data in English Language Arts, assessing implementation of BAS and LLI, and identifying new goals for continued growth.

This work in literacy demonstrates our faculty’s commitment to continuous improvement in an area in which they already bring considerable knowledge and expertise.  This work will enhance student learning through a more focused use of time, as well as the development of students’ stamina, skills, and thinking abilities as readers and writers.

Rick Rogers

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