Thanks for returning to hear about our journey to meet the needs of every student!
Anchors Away ....
What do building-wide catch-up growth minutes look like? Scheduling is the key to making a true intervention/extension plan. We have made tremendous modifications to our schedule, but below is an example. We have this document shared on Google Drive. You will see the dark areas are the times we need to push-in all support for instruction. No new instruction occurs during this time. Instead, based on data, students get what they need. We call it OWL Time, which stands for Our Way of Learning. One week a child might need intervention, another week they might need extension. The system is responsive to the child's needs. The document below is not live, but on our Google Doc anyone in the building can click on the 'link for formative assessment documents' to see current assessment data as well as the corresponding intervention. As you can see, some grade levels have interventions in both math and literacy. Our goal this year, was to use the OWL time to focus on math since we had a slight drop in our math scores last year.
|Building-wide blocks of time with links to our data collection by grade and subject|
Once we used the formula (see Anchor's Away Blog #2) to determine the students who were behind in reading, we established schedules to provide addtional, direct reading instruction to those students during the OWL time. So, students who are behind in reading do not get math intervention/extension. Instead, they get additonal reading instruction to ensure they attain grade level reading skills before they leave elementary school. We do update the data for the reading interventions at the end of each 9 weeks. At semester we used MAP data to make adjustments; in the spring we will use DRA, running records, and anecdotal information.
What happens during “OWL” time? Students requiring 160+ minutes of catch-up growth receive direct reading instruction through the use of Leveled Literacy Learning (LLI) by Fountas & Pinnell. LLI is conducted by a certified teacher. All other students receive targeted interventions or extensions determined by formative assessment data. When we studied the green book, the Kennewick District did not have the technology that is available to students now. We decided to capitalize on the amount of technology we had in our building to create smaller groups and create lessons specific to intervention or extension groups.
We are able to provide smaller groups due to the use of technology, as well as hiring extra certified staff that we call Point in Time (PIT) Teachers. This year, with the use of Title Funds, we were able to purchase 4 additional certified staff (in the role of substitutes) to provide the additional support. Our hope is that we can close the gap each year a little more to not need the additional staff to provide the interventions.
We still have some scheduling issues to work out as you can see from the chart below.
Once we identify which students are behind, we then use the formula to determine how many minutes of direct instruction in literacy are needed to "catch" them up. We then create a plan embedded within our daily schedule. Technology is a necessity to make the groups smaller. We have created some guidelines about the use of technology to ensure it is effective. We require that the technology intervention tool includes an immediate error correction procedure. Here are a few tools that have helped guide our intervention this year:
Keep in mind ...
- Most at need students need BEST teacher of that content or skill. What does the data show?
- Most at need students need more time! Change the schedule; don't let outside circumstances tell you how the day should look.
- EVERYONE at that grade level must be vested.
- Monitor the intervention/extension often.
Where we started
When we began this journey I mentioned that we use several resources. One was the book entitled, Five Levers to Improve Learning. From our study of this book, we examined how many of the 5 levers we were moving to impact student instruction. Based on our work, we determined we are using the impact of all 5 levers: structure, sample, standards, strategy, and self. In order to assess our progress and identify next steps to improve, we are doing a book study of It's About Time, the elementary version. The teacher team leading this study created a format to benchmark against the other schools highlighted in this book.
|Form created, based on 5 Levers book, to benchmark our work against other schools from the It's About Time book.|
We are compiling this information to help make modifications to our current system, so we can serve students at even higher levels next school year. We want to get better each year. Our staff will take part in a 12 hour (yep, they voted for it) in-service this summer. We plan to create our pyramid of intervention, as well as focus on what is happening at Tier 1. The stronger our Tier 1 is the fewer students that will need intervention.
We are also currently creating a literacy professional development series that will be used to train all new staff each year is building-wide, non-negotiable best practices to ensure strong instruction remains constant.
Another change we will encounter in late spring will impact our assessment. Previously we have used the Developmental Reading Assessment, but we are changing to the Benchmark Assessment System to align with higher standards and expectations.
This school year we started with over 1/2 of our kindergarten in need of intervention because they came to us behind. We assessed within first few weeks and intervened quickly. Because of that type of urgency, we have these results. Hoot, hoot!
|K data after 4 weeks of focused intervention.|
Stay tuned for my next blog ... Social Media: a Multi-purpose, Educational Tool.