On Tuesday evening, I had the opportunity to attend a Legislative Listening Session with multiple members of the Georgia House of Representatives Educational Committee and State Senator Lindsey Tippins. The purpose of this meeting was to allow administrators and superintendents a voice regarding education issues before the next legislative session begins. One focus Chairman Brooks Coleman addressed was Georgia’s focus on ensuring quality reading instruction in grades K-3.
Cobb County and Mt. Bethel are ahead of the curve with this initiative – as our focus has been on ensuring quality professional learning for our teachers in Orton-Gillingham phonics, spelling, and decoding methodology paired with the Lucy Calkins Reader’s Workshop Model to ensure comprehension and literary analysis at high levels through multiple-genres of texts is setting our students up for success beyond elementary school. Training has taken place over the past several years and continues today!
This week, all grade levels attended two hours of training with Jill Hawes, Literacy Expert. Teams looked at reading levels through the lens of individual student data, classroom data, and grade level data. They then discussed characteristics of readers and necessary actions to move students forward – through differentiation and SMALL GROUP INSTRUCTION – through guided reading, strategy groups, and individual student conferences.
Thanks to the Foundation, our teachers were given The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo that outlines at least 300 strategies to use to help students improve fluency, comprehension, and will help our teachers develop reading skills across all grade levels!
Our teachers were excited – and grateful – as The Foundation’s funding of training and resources continues to ensure that we are not only in alignment with the goals of the State and the District – but on the cutting edge – guaranteeing that we are providing exemplary reading instruction for all Mt. Bethel students – with teacher training on differentiation – a way of teaching that asks teachers to know their students well so they can provide each one with experiences and tasks that will improve learning. Differentiating instruction means that you observe and understand the differences and similarities among students and use this information to plan instruction.
Reading impacts every other subject – and we are grateful to our Foundation to supporting our teachers so we can improve learning for every individual!
ENRICH. EMPOWER. EXCEL. It is true. Our Foundation makes this happen – in ways that will benefit our students beyond Mt. Bethel!