Changes in the West Coast

As you all heard from the phone message that went out yesterday, there are a few teacher changes with the West Coast.  We also implemented a different schedule today for the new semester.

First transition:  New Teachers

Mr. Miller is now helping with technology, behavior issues and our wonderful gifted and talented scholars.

Mr. Napoli will now be teaching Social Studies and Science.

Mr. Miller and Mr. Napoli will be supporting an intern, Mr. Scott Gartmann, who will be teaching Science for the West Coast this semester.  He is currently attending Cardinal Stritch University pursuing his Master of Arts in Teaching and he previously graduated from UW-Stevens Point with a Bachelor of Science in Biology & Water Resource Management Minor.  We are very lucky to have him and his knowledge for this semester.

Ms. Xiong will be teaching our scholars their math.  She was an intern last semester with the East Coast and was supported by Mr. Dooley.  We are happy to add her to our team.

Second transition:  New Schedule

With the new semester, we looked at and reflected on our previous schedule.  We found ways to better fit the needs of all our scholars and increase the rigor of their work.

Students now all have Science and Social Studies from 8:00-9:30 (1st and 2nd block).  They rotate between three rooms and work on different tasks and receive their direct instruction.  We took over some classrooms by the cafeteria for this.  It’s great having a whole school available to us.  This allows more time to set up and execute science experiments since the area is specific for our science time.

Students then focus on Math and Balanced Literacy (Reading/Writing) for the rest of their time with us.  On Mondays/Wednesday, each scholar receives a math seminar, a Balanced Literacy collaboration block and a Balanced Literacy small group.  On Tuesdays/Thursdays, each scholar receives a Balanced Literacy seminar, a Math collaboration block and a Math small group.

Math seminars and collaboration blocks are led by Ms. Xiong; Balanced literacy seminars and collaboration blocks are led by Ms. Kaestner.

A seminar is a 45 minute block of direct instruction.  Students are grouped by ability and getting taught by a teacher standing in front of them.

A collaboration block is a 45 minute block of teacher guided collaboration.  Teachers find appropriate tasks focused around the skills we are working on.  Students work in a small group to accomplish the task. This, not only, reinforces skills taught in seminar, but also allows them to practice meaningful collaboration.

The small groups are led by Mr. Napoli and Mr. Gartmann.  They are focusing on enriching specific math and literacy skills.  Each student is in a group of 5 and getting an additional 20 minutes of specific support.

The students organized their new schedules on Friday and we implemented them today.

Please feel free to email or Class Dojo message us with any questions!

Thanks again for all you do for your scholars.

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