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Waunakee’s ‘Literacy for All’ approaches reveal positive impact

Waunakee Tribune:  A report on the “Literacy for All” initiative for the Waunakee School District indicated that it is having a positive effect.

“We’re happy with the results,” said Assistant Director of Instruction Amy Johnson, who gave a presentation on the program’s efforts at the Jan. 8 school board meeting. “It speaks to the longevity of the project and the professional development.”

Writing in the K-6 grades is an area that will be receiving scrutiny in the coming months, as educators mull over which of two writing programs to use in to teach the subject in the future.

Teachers in those grades are currently piloting “Units of Study,” published by Heinemann and written by Lucy Calkins/Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project, and “Being a Writer,” published by the Center for the Collaborative Classroom. A decision is expected in April.

Johnson said the plan originally was to have teachers use both books to teach writing. She explained that the schedule wouldn’t allow it.

“We had a lot of eager pilot-ers,” said Johnson.

Read the complete article on Waunakee’s ‘Literacy for All’ initiative.

Madison East High School teacher named global educator of the year

Claudine Clark image

Channel3000.com: A world language teacher at East High School was named Global Educator of the Year, by the Wisconsin Superintendent’s International Education Council.

Claudine Clark was awarded the honor in Milwaukee on Friday at the General Session of the Wisconsin State Education Convention.

Clark is being recognized for the third annual award for her contributions to East High School, by raising substantial scholarship funds for her students to travel, bringing in international teachers to the school, helping students become lifelong learners and collaborating with other educators.

Read the complete article on Wisconsin’s Global Educator of the Year.

Madison elementary students illustrate, translate book about Ho-Chunk culture

Students translate Ho-Chunk story

Wisconsin State Journal: In a cross-cultural literary feat two years in the making, a class of dual-language immersion students at Lincoln Elementary School in Madison has helped create the first trilingual children’s book about the Ho-Chunk Nation.

Now in fifth grade, the students as third-graders in teacher Emily Schroeder’s class worked for several months with a Ho-Chunk tribal officer and Ho-Chunk students from a language school in Nekoosa to record, transcribe and illustrate a traditional Ho-Chunk story about a boy on a quest, and translate it into English, Spanish and Ho-Chunk.

“I wanted to dive deeper into this whole idea of Madison history before European contact,” Schroeder said. “Plus there are not a lot of children’s books, fictional or nonfictional, in general about the Ho-Chunk Nation.”

 A tribal grant recently paid to print 2,000 copies of the book, titled “The Ho-Chunk Courting Flute,” which will be donated to all public schools and libraries in Madison and throughout the Ho-Chunk Nation after a book release party at Lincoln on Friday. The release party is open to the public.

Madison teachers focus on building better relationships with and between students

students

Wisconsin State Journal: Midway through the first semester, a top-down directive to strengthen learning by teachers building deeper, more trusting relationships with and between students is playing out in classrooms throughout the Madison School District.

“Strong, authentic relationships are crucial to our work,” said Superintendent Jen Cheatham, who set the districtwide focus. “Achievement gaps can persist in part when there is a lack of the safe community and support to engage in challenging and meaningful work.”

The push is seen as especially important for students of color, whose test scores as a whole lag far behind white students’ academic performance in the district. Helping them get ahead may require teachers and administrators to take a step back, in a sense, as they focus first on breaking down walls to let learning happen.

“Kids aren’t going to be able to take risks and push themselves academically, without having a trusting support network there,” said Lindsay Maglio, principal of Lindbergh Elementary School, where some teachers improved on traditional get-to-know-you exercises in the first few weeks of school by adding more searching questions, and where all school staff are engaged in community-building lessons in small-group sessions with students taking place at set periods throughout the year.

While noting that getting to know their students is already “something we do feel strongly about,” fourth-grade teacher Beth Callies, now in her 11th year at Lindbergh, said she saw value in a districtwide strategy emphasizing it. “It’s a good push to remind us,” Callies said.

Read the complete article.

Student-run business at Middleton High offers hands-on education in production

Middleton

Madison.com: The business education and engineering-technology departments at Middleton High School are partnering on a joint business to make products and market them.

Called Cardinal Enterprise, the student-run business manages all aspects of production, from budgeting to ordering materials to distribution, through a class with the same name.

“I’ve had an interest in all facets of business and manufacturing,” junior Sean Bertalot said about taking the class. “This is more than a simulation.”

Two of the products are ready to buy, including a wooden puzzle cube that is selling for $10. An aluminum hitch cover with the standard Cardinal mascot costs $35, or $40 for customized lettering. In addition, they will sell a portable red cedar table with a clever folding design for $45 starting Wednesday, and a flip-top grill with a stainless steel grate should be ready by Friday for $125. Products can be ordered at https://tinyurl.com/ycrl7zbf.

 

Profits will go back into the class for future expenses, not counting some money from grill sales, which will be donated to Middleton Outreach Ministry.

Students had to apply for the semester-long class, which is being piloted this year with plans of making it a year-long class next year. About 40 students are currently enrolled and the class is spread out among several classrooms and shop space. Most of the students are juniors and seniors.

Read the complete article.