Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Library or media

Media is layered to included appropriate literature, technology, internet safety, and library skills . Students check out books and had a skills, literature, or technology lesson every week. The media specialist also ran the media retrevial system known as Synergy during the 1990's. Around 1996 to 1998 students put on a TV school wide show with school news. It was produced by the media specialist but the students did the acting and ran the camera. By 2008 this system was obsolete. When funds were available, author visits were also provided for the students. Patricia Polacco, Caryn Yacowitz, and Marissa Moss were some of the authors. The media specialist also coordinated the yearly Young Author Faire which is no longer in existence in New Haven. The media specialist is a librarian, teacher, and technology mentor for staff, teachers, and students. The media specialists often operated the school wide book fair. The media specialists also trained students from the middle school library to shelve books, do research for new students projects, and help students find information.

As new technology came out it, was often introduced to the students. When Google Earth appeared 4th and 5th graders explored the application for a look at the seven wonders of the world, the oceans, rivers, and countries. Melinda Steffans was the librarian through most of the 1980's. In 1987 Rhonda Neagle became the media specialist. In 1990 through 2008-2009 Sharon Chambers was the media specialist. Alisha Valine became the media specialist in September of 2009.

I-Buddy Internet Safety

Intervention: What? Why? How?

What is intervention? Intervention is designed to help students who need help learning to read. The students can range from Kindergarten students to 5th graders who are English language learners. There are a variety of types of intervention that have been used at Alvarado including intervention by the classroom teacher, during class and after school; Reading Recovery; and group before or after school reading classes. Intervention does not take the place of the regular classroom instruction. Intervention is in addition to classroom instruction.

Alvarado has started a new program this year (2010-11) called Leveled Literacy Intervention. It is a supplementary intervention program designed to provide powerful, daily, small-group instruction for the children in the early grades. There can be no more than three students in each group. There are comprehensive lesson plans for three levels from beginning reading in Kindergarten or Grade 1 to beginning reading for Grade 3. Leveled Literacy Intervention is designed to be used with young children who need intensive support to achieve grade-level competency.

This system uses both sight words (memorized words) and phonics. There are hundreds of leveled fiction and non fiction books provided for the students. Students read one book the first day, work on phonics, sight words, and take the book home to read. The second day they reread a previous book, write about the story, and again take home a book.

Mrs. Desandies and Students

Mrs. Desandies a former 3rd grade teacher with many years of experience has been selected to teach these daily 40 minute classes. According to Mrs. Desandies these are the strengths of the system:
1. The books are excellent: interesting, attractive, well-designed on many levels.
2. The literature covers a wide variety of genres (very strong on non-fiction).
3. The program is comprehensive: reading (word work, comprehension, fluency), and writing (letter formation, spelling, conventions, content).
4. The skills are introduced in a very systematic and sequential way, in small increments, and consistently reviewed.

5. Excellent follow-through and spiraling.
6. The daily lesson plan supports extensive reading, discussion, review, and writing in a fast-paced, engaging manner.
7. The small group format maximizes individual growth.
8. The consistency of 5 lessons a week over a long period of time promotes accelerated progress.
9. Early intensive intervention prevents emerging literacy difficulties rather than corrects long-term failures.
10. Continuous assessment pinpoints precise and on-time teaching points for each individual student.
Mrs. Desandies also uses one of her favorite tools to motivate students. Students learn to form letters of the alphabet and build words with the moveable alphabet with her personal ipad.