Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Year of Practicum Work

As the year comes to a close, as does my work for my reading practicum.  I am in the process of finishing up my work to complete courses to achieve a Reading Specialist 317 license.  The work was very demanding, but well worth it.  In the state of Wisconsin, a reading specialist license is required for any person who directs early childhood through adolescence reading programs or works with reading teacher, classroom teacher, administrators and others as a resource teacher in reading or literacy coach.

Per s.118.015(3), Wis. Stats., a reading specialist shall: develop and implement a reading curriculum in grades kindergarten to 12, act as a resource person to classroom teachers to implement the reading curriculum, work with administrators to support and implement the reading curriculum, conduct an annual evaluation of the reading curriculum, and coordinate the reading curriculum with other reading programs and other support services within the school district.
It started by looking for a mentor and I was very fortunate to have my former Reading Coordinator from a different district accept our elementary principal position.  She graciously agreed to be my mentor, even though her first year as an elementary principal was likely to be demanding.  I also worked very closely with our District Reading Specialist, School Psychologist and Director of Pupil Services, as my work centered around Response to Intervention.

The year began by meeting as a team and confirming where we were at with Rti and where we were going.  It was decided to focus on Reading Tier II and Tier III first, as we had the reading staff to do this.  I networked with my PLN on Twitter and on Google + to find out what other districts were using.  From here the team decided we needed to use Educlimber to track our intervention progress monitoring and to develop intervention fidelity protocols and checklists.  We focused on the areas of basic reading skills, reading comprehension and reading fluency.  We were pleased to discover we had multiple interventions in place that would fit these areas.  After designing the protocols and checklists, I was tasked with creating a google site that would house the information.  This took some planning with our District Library Media Specialist, because I was far from fluent in using the site.  I then created a audio/visual presention that future interventionists could use when becoming familiar with the site.

In March, we hired a Math Coach/GT teacher, who is going to continue to work with our team to develop math intervention protocols and checklists.

I look forward to digging into Tier I interventions to improve our core instruction, and I also look forward to improving the google site.  It was a long process, but I believe the team is happy with how far we came in just one year.  I learned that it does take a team of people to accomplish something this in depth, and I appreciate all the people I was able to work with and gather information from.

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