January 2016
Happy and Healthy New Year to all!
The English/Language Arts department  has been very busy this school year. We were fortunate to be awarded a Department of Defense grant in the amount of one million dollars in order to improve literacy teaching and learning K-8 and address social-emotional needs of our students. We have contracted with Columbia University's Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP) to implement their writing workshop Units of Study. This entails an embedded professional development model in which coaches from TCRWP visit GPS to work directly with teachers and their students to improve instruction in writing.
 The great news is the kids are writing and loving it!! Teachers have expressed that this has been the best professional development they have ever experienced!
Performance Assessments 
Each grade level 1-8 is in the process of reviewing and revising their Performance Assessments(PA) to be given in the spring. These assessments are modeled on the SBAC performance assessments and involve students watching an informational video (2-3 minutes in length), reading two print texts, and then writing a position paper about the topic. Grades 1-8 gave a PA in fall and the spring PA  will be one indicator of student growth this school year. 
Grammar instruction is coming alive after our professional development day spent with international grammar guru, Jeff Anderson. Andrea Davis has been working with grade 8 teachers, Linda Cady and Deb Swanson-Guth, to design and co-teach lessons based on Jeff's book, Mechanically Inclined. The kids are loving it and the teachers are enjoying it as well. Getting students to think about grammar in an invitational rather than a punitive way is a wonderful approach. Thanks, Jeff.  

Below are some general resources for you to explore. 
SBAC information flyer:
Please feel free to contact me via email at adavis1@groton.k12.ct.us