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august/september 2010

NOT ES FR OM THE
LI TER ACY COACH
I N T HI S IS S UE :
TCRWP- Jen’s Thoughts Important Dates Curriculum Teams Other...
NYC! What a town! New ES plans and projects: When will we meet next? Upcoming professional
Find a link to my blog post(s) On-Demand Writing, Words development and collaborative
as well as information about Their Way Inventories, DRA, opportunities.
the conference. ERDs, Meetings...

TEACHERS COLLEGE WRITING


INSTITUTE: JUNE 29-JULY 3
1,000 participants from every state and across the world came to NYC to learn more about
the workshop approach.
As I mentioned last week, attending Teacher’s College was well worth it. The only thing
better was probably attending with colleagues. There were many other international schools
there, however I didn’t find another school with as many representatives as ACS.
Daily, the program began with a keynote address which everyone attended. These were
hour-long inspirational talks from master educators and writing instructors such as Lucy
Calkins and Carl Anderson❤. From there we moved into small and large group sessions for
the remainder of the day. For me, my large group session time was spent with Lucy Calkins
New York! New York!
and the 3-5 teachers. My small group time was with
As for the conference and our
principals and other literacy coaches and led by Cory time in the city, I think
Gillette the co-author of the Breathing Life Into Essays everyone enjoyed New York.
book. The work at the institute was
While I wondered whether or not being with the mentally draining and there
was often homework each
principals was the most productive use of my time, I did
night. However, some of us
learn a lot about what the administration in a workshop
managed to visit Broadway
school should and could be doing to support learners of and/or Yankee Stadium.
all kinds: parents, teachers and of course students. Columbia University was
If you are interested in reading more about my thoughts beautiful and the subway was
following the conference, check out my blog posts at Two easy to use. Once I figured
out the lunch situation, hitting
Writing Teachers: http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com/
the grocery store across the
2010/07/09/funofhardwork/
street from our hotel before
AND on my blog Literacy Bytes at www.literacybytes.com breakfast ensured I ate while
Your comments are always welcome! attending sessions.

Jen munnerlyn • american community school of abu dhabi


august/september 2010

I MPO RTAN T DAT E S


August:
August 22-26: KG2-5 On-Demand Writing:
We will only be “prompting” students to write 2x this year. Using the TCRWP On Demand Assessment Tool, we will
be analyzing each child’s writing and using it as a part of our data correlation. The “prompt” we will all be using is
very open ended and encourages students to write a small moment/personal narrative: “Write about a person, place or object
that matters to you.” TCRWP recommendations I heard included: only taking one class writing period to complete this work.
Then when students are done, have them write within your unit (finish working on what you started yesterday) or have
them read. The emphasis of this assessment is on content- what they wrote, rather than on how they fixed it up. If
everyone commits to completing the On-Demand during the week above, we will analyze the results together at our first
Early Release Day meeting- Sept. 23.

September/October
ES Back To School Night: Tuesday, September 7th
Jane will be talking about all of our literacy initiatives as well as explaining the new “No Excuse Words” in the ES.
(Plan to have your GL NEWords info ready to go home that night!) By then I will also have asked for your TA to help me
display NEWords around the school and in the atrium.

September 19-23: KG2-5 Words Their Way Spelling Inventory


We will be giving the WTW Spelling inventory this year to track the needs of our students in grades K-5. (This
data will also be helpful for our data correlation work and collaborative goals. ) At one of our final meetings of last
year I handed out the forms you would be using for this inventory. If you haven’t yet, put it in your assessment notebook!
If you’ve lost it, let me know and I’ll get you that information again. To give the inventory, follow the directions outlined
on pages 2-3 of the document “Word Study at ACS”. We will come together to “grade” these inventories at our ERD
meeting on Thursday, Sept. 23.

September 19-23: Map Testing Grades 3-5:


MAP testing data is useful to compare with DRA and in-class data. This year we are going to try and imbed that
information into the Tinkerplots you are given for the DRAs. To make the data even more useful to you and your team,
I’m going to ask Brian how best to get the program installed on everyone’s computer. We will discuss MAP results at our
DRA Data meeting on Tuesday, October 12 3:30-4:30.

September 23: Early Release Day!


KG2-5: This meeting will focus on tying up all the loose ends mentioned in this newsletter. Following ERDs will
mark the return to our work with Regie Routman.
KG1: New this year, I will be meeting with KG1 teachers (and any other EC teachers from KG2 and G1 who are
interested) to collaborate on professional development on Creative Curriculum and Early Childhood best practices.

September 26-October 7: DRA Fall Reading Assessment Grades 1-5:


Hard to believe, but the DRA is right around the corner! Similar to the format we used last year, we will be testing
over a two-week window with individual teachers and grade levels determining how best to schedule their tests. I will go
over the ACS DRA Testing Guidelines and provide you with more information on that assessment at our ERD on
September 23. Our discussion and analysis of the results will take place on Tuesday, October 12 from 3:30-4:30.

Jen munnerlyn • american community school of abu dhabi


august/september 2010

OT HE R
Sunday Lunch and Learn:
Beginning on Sunday August 22, I will be hosting lunch and learn discussions in my room for any and all that want
to attend.
Ramadan Schedule for our lunch learnings:
Session 1-12:00-12:25/Session 2- 12:30-12:55
August 22- Starting off with predictable structure and classroom organization= success. This was a BIG topic in my sessions at
TCRWP. How do you organize your room, your materials and your learners. How do you ensure that kids aren’t spending
(wasting) time on routines when they should be busy learning? How/when do you return to routines and practice them again?
August 29- TCRWP- More about what we learned from the institute.
September 5- Getting classroom libraries organized and used as part of everyday instruction.
Regular Day Schedule for our lunch learnings:
Session 1-12:05-12:35/Session 2- 12:40-1:10
September 19- Conferring w/video from Carl Anderson. ❤
September 26- Taking, using and analyzing anecdotal notes.

Report Card correlations


Your hard work on these correlations has not been forgotten. At the team meetings I attend over the next week I will bring you a
copy of those correlations along with the information necessary to start working on Q2 correlations. At our curriculum team
meetings we will discuss the correlations and make changes to them following each reporting period this year.

Organizational Grids/Teacher Notebooks/Assessment Notebooks/Continuums


These are topics we started talking about and need to revisit. I will be bringing the bulletins with me to team meetings I attend.

Curriculum Team Work- The


NESA and PD Opportunities 2010-11!
HEART of what we are doing!
Over and over this summer when I spoke with There are many opportunities for everyone to participate in PD this year:

professional colleagues they were amazed (and


October, NESA Fall Leadership Institute, Katmandu:
impressed!) at the emphasis we’ve put on learning Jen and Jane will be presenting about the coach/principal relationship- how to
together in vertical teams. make a good thing great.

November, NESA Fall Training Institute, Dubai


Please plan for the following meetings... ANYONE who wants to have more training on the workshop approach or who isn’t
K-5 Word Study: Tuesday, September 14th 8:30-10:30 planning on attending TCRWP in NYC will find the K-2 and 3-5 reading/writing
K-2 Writing: Tuesday, September 14th 11:00-1:00 workshops beneficial.
3-5 Writing: Wednesday, September 15th 8:30-10:30
K-2 Reading: Wednesday, September 15th 11:00-1:00 January, NESA Winter Training Institute, Doha
3-5 Reading: Thursday, September 16th 8:30-10:30 GREAT opportunity for the WS team to learn more about Structured Word Inquiry
*Of course... if you see a HUGE conflict, let me know and I’ll see with Pete Bowers
about moving everything around.
July, TCRWP- Reading Institute in NYC!

Jen munnerlyn • american community school of abu dhabi