During periods of the
school year staff may be out of the classroom, attending professional
development opportunities. Although we
try to limit the amount of time our teachers are out of the classroom, this
time is important learning time that directly benefits students and student
• "Short, one-shot
workshops often don’t change teacher practice and have no effect on student
achievement (Yoon et al, 2007; Bush, 1984).
• In order to truly change practices, professional development should occur over time and preferably be
ongoing. Studies show that effective professional development programs
require anywhere from 50 to 80 hours of instruction, practice, and coaching
before teachers arrive at mastery (French, 1997; Banilower, 2002; Yoon et al.,
• Coaches/mentors are found to be highly effective in
helping teachers implement a new skill.
In coaching, teachers work with a master educator before, during and after a
lesson, getting feedback on their implementation of a newly learned teaching
skill. Numerous studies have shown coaching to be successful at changing
teacher practice and improving student learning (Showers, 1984; Slinger, 2004;
Knight 2007; Batt, 2009; Stephens et al., 2007; Knight and Cornett, 2009).
Before coaching, however, teachers need to get a solid foundation of knowledge
about the teaching strategy. This presentation of knowledge should be active,
not passive (Roy, 2005; Richardson, 1998).
Further, modeling by the coaches has been shown to be very effective at
helping teachers grasp a new teaching approach before they attempt
implementation (Roy, 2005; Goldberg, 2002; Rice, 2001; Black, 1998; Licklider,
development is best delivered in the context of the teacher’s subject area.
Regardless of whether teachers are working with coaches or in professional
learning communities, teachers need to be working with the content they teach.
Teachers don’t find professional development on generic topics useful (Peery,
2002; Redding and Kamm, 1999; Dunn and Dunn, 1998). However, professional development that
focuses on teachers analyzing the specific skill and concept they’ll teach in
their discipline is not only well-received by teachers, but has also been shown
to improve both teacher practice and student learning (Bland de la Alas and
Smith, 2007; Carpenter et al., 1989; Cohen and Hill, 2001; Lieberman and Wood,
2001; Merek and Methven, 1991; Saxe, Gearhart, and Nasir, 2001; Wenglinksky,
2000; McGill-Franzen et al., 1999; Darling-Hammond et al., 2009)."
Our staff will be
participating in a variety of academic trainings that complement the work they
are doing in their classrooms with students, is ongoing, parallels the work of
teacher Professional Learning Communities as well as the work from the district
Literacy and Math Instructional Coaches.
If your teachers are out
for professional learning days - it's good news! They're continuing to grow in their practice
in order to provide the best support for our learners.
Questions? Reach out to your child's teacher or feel
free to contact me!
Students in grades 3-5 are invited to join Principal Leonard for a Math Challenge morning. Thursday morning, 2/25, starting at 7:45am.
Students in grades K-2 may join Principal Leonard for a Math Challenge morning on Friday, 2/26 from 7:45-8:15am. Due to the activity materials and supervision there are limited spots available. Those that want to participate in the K-2 morning are asked to sign up here: www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0E45ABA72EA6F85-k2math
Join Mrs. Leonard and stretch that math brain! It won’t be easy – but it will be challenging and fun! Hope to see you there!
This message is a quick safety
reminder for our school community for Valentines and 100 day fun. Even with these community celebrations, we
need to ensure student healthy, wellness, and safety. We will continue to
follow the Health & Allergy Guidelines implemented in all Reading
Public Schools which prohibit candy and food sharing in classrooms. I have
included the information taken directly from our policy below. We appreciate
your support in keeping our students safe & healthy during these
All elementary classrooms should be "food
free." Food-related activities are prohibited in classrooms (with
the exception of daily snacks that students bring from home). To
reduce contact reactions and potential for cross-contamination, no food
should be used as part of curriculum, class lessons, projects, arts,
Classroom celebrations or parties will find safe and
inclusive ways to celebrate without involving food. Instead, the focus
might involve a shared activity such as a craft or game, and rewards or
prizes might include special pencils, stickers, etc.
Want an opportunity to support and volunteer at Barrows? We are looking to invite some of our fabulous Barrows parents and guardians to join us to volunteer and help support our students during recess/lunch. Ideally, we would love to have a consistent set of parent volunteers to join our staff during this important time of our school day. The volunteer spots will include 3 volunteer spaces per day for 2 hours per day. Recess and lunch are valuable parts of our students’ day, providing a time for our students to get fresh air, enjoy a movement break, and engage in social exchanges with their friends and peers. Any parents that are interested in volunteering for this time of day will be provided with a training opportunity prior to the start of the volunteer session and will need to have a CORI check and a fingerprinting check.