Stingray Staff

Stingray Staff
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Intermediate Teacher Feature: Chelsea Riley

This week our intermediate teacher feature is coming to us from the 5th grade team.  This week's featured teacher is Chelsea Riley. 

Chelsea Riley is someone I truly admire.  She is calm and consistent in her classroom.  She is always thinking and is innovative in what she does.  Chelsea has amazing journals across all content areas and she has some amazing tools in her classroom that she uses to help her students achieve to their highest potential.  If I end up back in a classroom during this crazy journey that I am on, I can only hope that I would be half as effective as Chelsea is highly effective. 

Chelsea and Leanne Lapointe recently participated in a professional development session which was primarily focused on increasing engagement during the language arts block.  One of the components that both brought back from it was a tool called mentor text.  Using a sentence from a text in the classroom, they have begun to implement a five minute a day routine that spans across five days, which is a way for them to squeeze in the foundational grammatical components in a highly structured, engaging way.  Here is how Chelsea brought back some of those pieces into her classroom: 

 Students have a review of the parts of speech, something that is vital as they go forward and master the FL standards.

 On day one, students simply state what they notice in the mentor sentence.  Mostly identifying parts of speech and having brief discussions about what these mean for the sentence.

Students then go through a few days where they are manipulating pieces of the sentence to make it "better" or more "powerful". 

Students then interact one on one with the text. 

I am not doing the strategy justice, if you want to learn more about this strategy, or you have been trying to find a quick routine for incorporating daily grammar into your language arts block, see Chelsea or Leanne for a better explanation of this routine.

Chelsea's classroom is filled with so many tools and high yield instructional strategies.  Here is a highlight of just some of them: 

 Students have access to a variety of graphic organizers to suite their individual learning needs.  Students always have the freedom to choose the graphic organizer that helps them to make the most sense out of the information being presented.  This makes them more aware of why they are using the graphic organzier. 

 Students monitor their progress in relation to each benchmark with their assigned number on the math board.

 Chelsea is exploring different ways to incorporate opportunities for students to express their thinking.

A document that looks similar to the science success criteria is also in their math journals. 

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