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Articles from June 2016

Keep up with the work of the Word Study Team

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As part of the District Literacy Plan, the Ames Community School District formed a team of preschool through second grade teachers to study District-identified gaps around phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, and handwriting. The team convened in January 2016 and is charged with studying research, identifying gaps, and creating recommendations to fill those gaps. The team is currently conducting a pilot study of materials in order to make a final decision for implementation during the 2017-18 school year.

Follow these posts to stay updated on the most recent work in this area. 

Word Study Team and Literacy Pilot Updates

Note: this link is posted on the District homepage. Hover over the menu for “Our District,” look in the first column marked “District,” click on Word Study Team and Literacy Pilot Updates.

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Ames students showcase ITech skills at state competition

Ames High School Industrial Technology students garnered top awards at the Southeast Polk Expo state industrial technology competition held May 13. ITech teacher Craig Boylan said the students did an amazing job and deserve recognition.

“They earned 18 blue ribbons and three gold medals,” Boylan said. “Students also earned one red ribbon and three silver medals and two bronze medals.”

Sixteen students represented Ames High School at the competition.

Students and their awards:

  • Michael Ylonen, blue ribbons for butternut box and scroll saw wild turkey
  • Austin Clayberg, blue ribbon for scroll saw deer silhouette
  • Brandon Cable, blue ribbon for scroll saw cherry
  • Ryan Cole, blue ribbon and gold medal for cribbage board
  • Garrett Cooper, blue ribbon and gold medal for walnut goblet
  • Rylee Gibbs,  blue ribbon and bronze medal for cutting board
  • Alex Gindt, blue ribbon and silver medal for walnut table
  • Brian Glenn, blue ribbon for walnut bowl-blue ribbon
  • Yushi Hattori, blue ribbon and gold medal for  wooden pendulum clock
  • Cole Haverkamp, blue ribbon and bronze medal for chess set, blue ribbons for ribbon box, four-fold picture frame
  • Matt Holtzbauer, blue ribbon for walnut gun rack
  • Kaden Peterson, blue ribbon and silver medal for candy dispenser
  • Colby Shane, blue ribbon and silver medal for  multi-wood bowl
  • Gauge Sletten, red ribbon skateboard
  • Max White, blue ribbon for walnut bowl
  • Zach Vince, blue ribbon for carved skull
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Moving Forward

As part of the District Literacy Plan, the Ames Community School District formed a team of PK-2 teachers to study District-identified gaps around phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, and handwriting. Convened in January 2016, the team was charged with studying research, identifying gaps, and creating recommendations to fill those gaps. Follow this blog to stay updated on the most recent work in this area. Thanks for your interest in our Word Study Team work.

June 27, 2016–After spending time investigating the research, conducting a gap analysis and providing recommendations, on June 2, 2016, representatives of the PK-2 Word Study Team presented administrators, including principals and program directors, with options for moving forward. The administrators finalized a plan to enact our recommendations around common professional development, common assessments, common scope & sequence, and common materials & language. We presented together to the school board on June 20th. The plan involves:

  • Broadening our review of materials to include more options for commercial materials created to support foundational skills.
  • Selecting and building consensus from all administrators, instructional coaches and Word Study Team teachers around a rubric to use to evaluate materials in August 2016.
  • Conducting a materials review during August – October 2016.
  • Selecting one set of materials to purchase for all PK-2 teachers by late October 2016.
  • Ordering materials for a December 2016 arrival.
  • Providing professional development for all teachers:
    • Fall 2016 – research around phonics, phonemic awareness, spelling, and handwriting instruction
    • Spring 2017 – introduction to new materials with time for teachers to use materials with students
      Implementing new materials in all PK-2 classrooms in 2017-2018

Check back here again to find out how our work is progressing as we move forward with our plan to improve our instruction around foundational skills.

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Moving Forward

As part of the District Literacy Plan, the Ames Community School District formed a team of PK-2 teachers to study District-identified gaps around phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, and handwriting. Convened in January 2016, the team was charged with studying research, identifying gaps, and creating recommendations to fill those gaps. Follow this blog to stay updated on the most recent work in this area. Thanks for your interest in our Word Study Team work.

June 27, 2016–After spending time investigating the research, conducting a gap analysis and providing recommendations, on June 2, 2016, representatives of the PK-2 Word Study Team presented administrators, including principals and program directors, with options for moving forward. The administrators finalized a plan to enact our recommendations around common professional development, common assessments, common scope & sequence, and common materials & language. We presented together to the school board on June 20th. The plan involves:

  • Broadening our review of materials to include more options for commercial materials created to support foundational skills.
  • Selecting and building consensus from all administrators, instructional coaches and Word Study Team teachers around a rubric to use to evaluate materials in August 2016.
  • Conducting a materials review during August – October 2016.
  • Selecting one set of materials to purchase for all PK-2 teachers by late October 2016.
  • Ordering materials for a December 2016 arrival.
  • Providing professional development for all teachers:
    • Fall 2016 – research around phonics, phonemic awareness, spelling, and handwriting instruction
    • Spring 2017 – introduction to new materials with time for teachers to use materials with students
      Implementing new materials in all PK-2 classrooms in 2017-2018

Check back here again to find out how our work is progressing as we move forward with our plan to improve our instruction around foundational skills.

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Maker Camp sparks summer learning

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Isabel Conner and Claire Cleveland manipulate robot components at the Edwards Maker Camp held June 6 – 10.

The chance to invent and create, explore, learn,and collaborate drew elementary-age students to the second annual Edwards Maker Camp this week. Open to all area students entering second through fifth grade, the camp ran June 6 to 10. There were 25 students who participated in activities that included 3D printing, creating sun-dyed T-shirts and making mousetrap race cars. Several students from Ames High School volunteered their time to assist Edwards Media Teacher Librarian Teresa Green with the camp. Ames High School student Dagney Paskach helped Green coordinate the camp, which was sponsored by the Edwards PTO.

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Juicebox Interactive