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Teacher Leadership

Our Teacher Leadership continues to evolve at Benton Community as we learn and grown.  One of our mantra's is "Know better...do better!"   As we continued to focus on using data to drive our instruction in every classroom at Benton Community, we transitioned from Model Teachers to Data Team Leaders for the 2016-17 school year.  We found that we were not tapping into the expertise of our Model Teachers at the level we had expected in our grant application - so we made a change.  Here's a link to the Data Team Leader job description that was created for this new position and focus.  Our Data Team Leaders help facilitate the data team process with our grade and content alike teams (Collaborative Learning/Data Teams  or as we call them CL/DT's).

We use the book "The Data Team Experience" as the basis for our learning and Erikka Vosmek, School Improvement Consultant with GWAEA, has been our lead instructor for this learning.   This past summer, Erikka led our entire #BCTLT in 2 days of training and we then started the school year with a "ball theme" in our introduction to data teams with our entire staff on August 17 and 19th.    As part of this process, each CL/DT completes on-line minutes and shares them with the entire District, so we are all able to access what other teams are focusing on and where their challenges and successes are.   We are making our learning transparent and focused on student learning.  

We continue to have Instructional Coaches in each of our buildings.  They are a vital link to our entire system.   Andrea Townsley shared some of our learnings as a #BCTLT team from the first two years of implementing teacher leadership at the end of the 2016-16 school year within her blog.  We are a system of learners.  Just like in this clip from the movie "Moneyball" our entire system is focusing on using real time data from each and every student to personalize the learning experience for our students.

We are more than willing to share our journey and help support others.  If you have any questions or would like to contact us -- please use the information in this link to contact us.  

What's the Big Deal About 20 Minutes?!

Do you want you or your child to be a better reader?  The answer is simple: READ!

I came across this visual last winter, and I think it is one of the most inspiring and shocking pieces of information a parent can see. I am certain there are several research studies on the importance of reading and how it relates to impacting a child's vocabulary.

In 1987, William Nagy, Patricia Herman, and Richard Anderson published the article, "Learning Words From Context" in Reading Research Quarterly.  Their research concluded that, along with some direct vocabulary instruction, students also must be able to be independent word learners by studying the context of words in text.  This happens with independent reading.  This visual puts it into perspective for me as a teacher and as a parent.  I hope this poster allows for some reflection and conversation about the importance of reading in your daily activities.  I will certainly think twice when my child asks me to skip our 20 minutes of reading!

Here is a link to a printable version of this poster.
Original research - Learning Words From Context
Original author: Andrea
District Contact

Phone: 319-228-8701
Fax: 319-228-8254