Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Habit 1 Celebration

We had our first School Wide Habits Recognition last week. The focus was around Habit 1. The time started with a school meeting to discuss our accomplishments in our first month's goal of school wide expectations and procedures. We also discussed areas for improvement. We practiced our assembly procedures and reminded ourselves of the importance of our mission. 
Moving into the celebration part of the assembly, each teacher had the opportunity to recognize a student that models Habit 1- Be Proactive. 
Being proactive involves being in charge or your choices, having a can do attitude and carrying your own weather. It is important to empower students and give them the tools for being successful leaders. Habit 1 is the foundation for this work. 

2nd grade ,led by Ms Ihnen, performed "The More We Get Together" in both word and American Sign Language. 

1st grade was awarded the Belma Spirit Award (more about this in a later post)

We are proud of all the students for working on procedures and school wide expectation. 
Below are our students recognized for modeling Habit 1.
5th Grade
4th Grade
3rd Grade
2nd Grade
1st Grade

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

MAP Testing

Our K-5 Students will be taking an online assessment this year called MAP. Students in K-5 will take a MAP math assessments and 2-5 will take a MAP reading comprehension assessment. The MAP testing takes the place of DistrictAssessments  and SRI/SMI testing and is administered in the fall,winter and spring. 
The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)are electronically administered achievement tests designed to measure growth in student learning for individual students. The tests provide accurate and immediate scores to help teachers plan instructionally. 
 MAP is a computerized adaptive testing system that tailors tests to a student’s achievement level. Each student takes a test that is developed for him or her as the test is being administered. The program instantly analyzes the student’s response to each test question and, based on how well the student has answered all previous questions, selects a question of appropriate difficulty to display next. The MAP assessments are aligned to the IowaCore Standards.
Each testing setting lasts from 60-75 minutes but students can have has much time as needed to complete the assessment. 
Although Measures of Academic Progress has been around for years and used in districts across the nation, MAP is new for Des Moines Public Schools. Teachers and administrators are learning how to read the data, set goals for student and our school and make instructional decisions based on this data. Scores will be shared with parents during conference season. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

FAST Assessments

Formative Assessment System for Teachers (FAST) - is a series of  assessment tools designed for universal screening, progress monitoring, and program evaluation Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) model of service delivery.  Iowa adopted the FAST literacy assessments to assist districts in the implementation of MTSS practices and in meeting the requirements of the Early Literacy Initiative as part of Iowa Code Section 279.68. 

FAST Assessments that are  currently used include: CBM Reading (Spring 1st - 3rd Oral Reading fluency) and early Reading (K-1 – Concepts of Print, Onset Sounds, Letter Names, Letter Sounds, Word Segmenting, Sight Words, Nonsense Words and Sentence Reading). The assessments are done one on one with students and teachers record data on the Iowa Tier web based system. 

The MTSS process depends on a balanced assessment system of valid and reliable universal screening and progress monitoring measures.  Students at Hanawalt participate in universal screening three times a year (fall,winter,spring). These screeners enables us to identify which students are on track to reach end of year goals  and which students may be at risk.  This practice aides us in identifying potential at-risk students as early as possible so interventions can be put in place. It also gives us data to use when identifying students that need acceleration or enrichment to meet our growth goals, as well as helping us evaluate the effectiveness of our core instruction.  The progress monitoring measures enable teachers to collect data more frequently on at-risk students in order to make decisions regarding the effectiveness of the targeted/intensive instruction.

You are welcome to contact me or your child's teacher if you would like to see examples of Fast Assessments or want to see your child's data. We are currently conducting the Fall universal screening and should have it completed by the end of next week. 

 Additional information regarding Iowa TIER and FAST, as well as Iowa Code Section 279.68 (Early Literacy Initiative), can be found on the Iowa Department of Education website.

Next Blog post: MAP assessment a new frontier! 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Learning Spaces


Many of you have noticed or will notice some changes in our classrooms at Hanawalt. One of the areas teachers are trying out is flexible seating in the classroom. In the educational world this is a hot topic. This effort aligns with our overall focus of student centered classrooms. In a world that runs on constant collaboration, creativity and problem solving our classrooms must reflect the real world decisions and opportunities we want students to navigate in the future. . As the world changes so should our classroom design.  The idea behind the movement is that classrooms design offers choice, spaces for independent, partner and group work. Research shows that students learn better when given choice. We want  students to have a say in how the classroom is designed and  how the learning happens. I've included some posts and articles about classroom design in case you want to learn more about it. The PTA has been generous in donating some items for teacher that are experimenting with their set up. I hope you will support teachers at Hanawalt that are stepping outside the norm and sometimes their comfort zone to make 21st Century Learning come alive for students.


Flexible Seating

Creating a Student Centered Classroom

Flexible Seating is just one of our steps towards Student Centered Classrooms. We are using the following rubric this year as we work to offer students the opportunity to lead in their choices for their learning. Teacher want to move across the rubric going from Teacher Centered Classrooms to Student Centered Classrooms with Rigor.

As we grow and change we are excited about the opportunities to live our Mission this school year. Ask your child about their day, what leadership opportunities did they have, what is the seating plan in their classroom, what choices did they make in their learning, how they feel they learn best? Education is not something we do to our students, it is something we do together with our students.
Kelly L. Schofield