Cardinal, Briggs, and Middle School have been taking their fall MAPS assessments in reading and math the past two weeks. These scores will be used to direct instruction through ideas downloaded from resources found on the MAPS website. These resources provide ideas on both strengths to build on and weaknesses upon which to focus supplemental work.

When examining the implementation of the WONDERS reading program, one enlightening event for me was to view the use of differentiation provided within this program. In a classroom student work on varying levels is provided based upon assessment data. For example, when working on idioms, student response work is found in a range from matching, underlining/circling, to short answer and longer, detailed answers. Work with the same focus provides an opportunity for all to take part in a whole class discussion but also challenges each student based upon their abilities. A light bulb went off as I realized differentiation does not necessarily mean a whole different program but rather the differentiation comes from asking students to do varying levels of responses with the same focus. I emailed Doug Fisher with the following words:

“The reading program WONDERS is amazing! In our district I teach 8th grade literacy in the morning and serve as Director of Professional Growth and Student Learning for the rest of the day, so I have the honor of being in classes K-6 that are using the WONDERS program. The materials are motivating, the differentiation is exactly what is needed with our students, and the technology component prepares our students for the 21st Century. Thank you.

Now, when, when, when will you have a reading program for grades 7-8? We want to be first on your list to pilot this program. We are in desperate need. Please keep us posted on the progress towards this program (hint hint – please write it soon). Thanks for all you are doing to improve education in the United States. You have made a difference in the little town of Maquoketa, Iowa!”

Love what is happening in our district!
Jane Schmidt