Today my 8th grade ELA teachers, 8th grade assistant principal, district ELA director, district math director and myself went on a journey. A few weeks ago I read this blog post from Mark McCord (@MarkMccord10) Principal of Katy Morton Ranch Jr. High School in Katy, Texas. After reading Mark's post I could not stop thinking about what he discussed in the area of TEKS based proficiency scales and how this guided the conferring sessions between teacher and students during Readers & Writers Workshop.
Mark and I have both been fortunate enough to be a part of the Texas Principals Vision Institute #TXPVI as well as connected through Twitter and attended the first @EdCampKatytx earlier this school year. I reached out to Mark on @Voxer and before too long we were able to set a date for my teachers and I to visit his campus to see their Readers & Writers workshop in action.
We were fortunate enough to see his Rockstar ELA teachers work Readers and Writers Workshop like the pros they are! 8th grade students were reading texts of choice, completing quick writes, discussing topics, and refining their skills with simple, compound, and complex sentences all in 45 minute class periods!! Teachers were conferencing with students purposefully because their TEKS based proficiency scales guided their conversations with students.
The real power of our visit came with the conversation we had with Mark and his teaching staff during their PLC time. In the conversations Mark and his staff shared the success and struggles they have experienced in their journey with transforming their instructional practices. The take home message was the process is the key. It will take the teachers spending time working through the curriculum while having instructional based conversations to shape the outcome needed for student success.
The outcome is having teachers that are well versed in their curriculum and a teaching tool that is tailored to the needs of the students they serve daily.
When I say that our team left his school energized I mean we left his school energized! The thinking, ideas, and conversation were non stop.
So I am sure you are wondering where all of this is going...
I am sharing this because all of this happened due to the power of connecting with other educators. We live in an increasingly smaller world. We are all connected in one way or another, even when we do not realize it. When you do see an opportunity to connect I encourage you to take full advantage of connecting. There is so much to learn from one another if we just take the time.
Think. Achieve. Succeed.
7th & 8th Grade
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are
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