Sunday, November 18, 2012

Exploring the Gradual Release Model

Source: The Teaching Channel

Upcoming Professional Development

Bel-Aire Elementary will host two workshops on the Common Core Standards (English/Reading) and Close Reading. The PD's are posted on the portal for master plan points. The easiest way to find the session is by searching by location --> Bel-Aire Elementary.

Unpacking the Common Core Standards: November 20th at 3:20
Close Reading: November 29th at 3:20 

Please notify Ms. Thompson if you have any questions or concerns about the content of the sessions or Ms. Chapman if you need assistance registering! We hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Centers! Centers! Centers!

Coming up with a kid-friendly, efficient way to organize centers is not always easy. Here's some inspiration from around the web to help spark your creativity in posting center rotations.

Word Walls Galore! Get inspired!

Word Walls can be done in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors! Browse the photos below to see a gallery of word walls used for diverse purposes and see how you could infuse some of these ideas into your own rooms. Get inspired!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Instructional Focus PLC Reading

The reading team is excited to kick off our Instructional Focus PLC. Teachers representing grades K, 3, 4, 5, and SPED met to disaggregate data in order to realign our school IFC based on student need.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Campaign Snapshots

The Bel-Aire coaches have begun collecting pictures from around the school to add to the campaign snapshots page. Check it out via the link at the top of this page.

Currently Spotlighted
  • Common Configuration Boards
  • Text Mapping Strategy
  • Classroom Library
  • Graphic Organizer Posters

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pardon our Dust!


The blog layout and design does not fully download on the school server. The background image appears to be blocked. As a result, the page shows as black and difficult to read. We are aware of the problem and working to fix it shortly. Thanks for your patience!

--"Management" :)

Interactive Journaling and ETO Forms

As discussed at opening of school (via ETO Collaboration Hub):

Journal Forms and Process

Lesson Plan Templates

Data Chat Forms

Instructional Focus Calendars (Reading) and Other Important Documents

Intermediate Reading Teachers:

Your IFC can be downloaded here. Click on the grade level to download the document.

3rd Grade

4th Grade

5th Grade

Other Important Documents:

Updated Reading Coach Request

Monday, August 13, 2012

Depth of Knowledge - DOK

We now have an updated DOK chart. Please utilize this chart in your lesson planning. Download it by clicking on the preview below.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pacing Guides and Common Core Center Activities


The district has released revised pacing guides for reading, math, and science. The writing pacing guides will be available by July 31, 2012. You can access them via Learning Village found at

Also, FCRR has aligned center activities for Language and Reading Foundational Skills to the Common Core. You can access the activities for K-5 at

Friday, July 27, 2012

Differentiated Instruction Tracking: Kinder

Our fabulous K teachers came up with these sound tracking and monitoring sheets for DI during the '11-'12 school year. Download them below:

DI Spreadsheet Checklist
DI Individual Student Folders

Month by Month Sight Word Tracking:


Thursday, July 26, 2012

MDCPS Reading/Writing Rigorous Planners

The Division of Language Arts has provided some planning templates that may be helpful to you as you prepare for the upcoming school year. A special thank you to Ms. Perry who has shared these documents from the district Grade 3 Common Core training she attended earlier in the summer. Click the picture to download the editable planner.

Grade 3 Writing Planner

Planning for a Rigorous Reading Lesson
Planning for Instructional Rigor
Daily Planner

Friday, July 20, 2012

Donor's Choose

A special congratulations to all of the participants of our May PD on Grant Writing! All of the projects submitted as follow-ups for this session were recently funded. That is well over $3,500 worth of materials coming to our school this fall!

If you haven't created a project yet, now is a great time to start. This is a great way to get those much needed resources for your classroom. Go to for more information.

The following teachers were recently funded:

Ms. Kohn
Ms. Rivera
Ms. Mangan
Ms. Seaman
Ms. Lazier
Ms. Franklyn
Ms. Carerro
Ms. Perry
Ms. Chapman
Ms. Goldberg
Ms. Willis
Ms. Chambers
Ms. Smith
Ms. Lawson

Way to go!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Common Core: Professional Reading

Common Core is here! Below please find the suggested list of professional reading texts for the Common Core.
  • Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement by Lucy Calkins, Mary Ehrenworth and Christopher Lehman
  • Common Core Curriculum Maps in ELA, Grades K-5 by Common Core (Common Core Series)
  • The Common Core Lesson Book, K-5: Working with Increasingly Complex Literature, Informational Text, and Foundational Reading Skills by Gretchen Owocki
  • Text Complexity: Raising Rigor in Reading by Nancy Frey and Diane Lapp Douglas
  • Teaching Students to Read Like Detectives: Comprehending, Analyzing, and Discussing Text by  Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey  and Diane Lapp Douglas
  • Teaching the Youngest Writers: A Practical Guide by Marcia Freeman - Primary 
  • Building a Writing Community: A Practical Guide by Marcia Freeman - Intermediate
If you have a copy of any of these books and are willing to allow your colleagues to borrow, please comment on this post with the titles that you are willing to share. Thanks!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

What does a literacy rich classroom look like?

Start planning now for the upcoming school year! Below you will find useful information on what a literacy rich classroom should look like.

A well-organized, positive learning environment includes:
•    A sense of order (schedule, management, tone) (sample
#1   #2)
•    Room is well organized, nurturing, & supports learning  (sample )
•    Room is free of clutter
•    Room reflects teacher’s personal style
•    Procedures are established & students follow them routinely without need for
      repetition (sample 
#1    #2 )
•    Appropriate guidelines are in place, which enables students to engage in real learning   
      through inquiry
•    Smooth transitions are evident
•    Materials are organized, labeled, & easily accessible to students (sample
•    Student seating supports interaction & cooperative learning activities
•    Perceptive teachers listen attentively to students, observe learning styles, teach to
      needs, & incorporate strategies to increase learning
•    Provides print-rich environment which includes:
o    Labeling (samples #1 #2 )
o    Concept charts (samples
#1 #2 #3 )
o    Definition charts (samples
#1 #2 )
o    6+1 Traits posters (
posters )
o    Comprehension posters (
posters )
•    Provides opportunities for authentic literacy practice rather than worksheets
•    Displays student writing (on walls, in class books, etc.) (samples
#1    #2    )
•    Creates a classroom library that consists of narrative and informational texts in a wide variety  
      of genres, that are appropriately leveled for independent reading (samples #1    #2   #3 )
•    Provides literacy centers or independent study literacy materials (samples 
#1   #2  #3   #4  )
•    Provides writing areas (samples
#1   #2 )
•    Posts Word Walls that are focused on literacy including content words (samples
#1    #2 )
(#3    #4)


Writing Resources

All of your writing needs by the click of a button.  See below.

Format for Writer's Workshop download here.

Writing Terms Glossary can be found here.

Reading Necessities for Planning

For your lesson planning needs, please use the downloads below...

Common Core Task Cards 
First Grade

NGSSS Task Cards
FCAT Task Cards

Webb's Depth of Knowledge
Webb's Depth of Knowledge-Reading

Reading Instructional Block Sample
Download Here

FCAT Reading Glossary
Download Here

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Lesson Planning Necessities

For your lesson planning needs, please use the downloads below...

Kindergarten - 2nd Grade Common Core Standards

K-5 Math Vocabulary Word List

5E Science Lesson Plan Templates

It is strongly recommended that Science teachers utilize the 5E method of planning. Click the links below to download two different lesson plan templates for you to use that fit this model.

5E Lesson Plan Template

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Science Journal Templates

Science teachers,

Mrs. White created templates that you can use for your interactive science journals. Templates were created for both primary and intermediate journals. Feel free to download the documents and make any suggestions as to how we can improve this great resource for Bel-Aire.

Download Primary Template Kindergarten First Grade Second Grade
Download Intermediate Template Third-Fifth Grade

Sunday, April 29, 2012

End of the Year Procedures

Below you will find a summary of the end of the year procedures stated in the Close of the School Bulletin.

  • Classroom Celebration Activity details (Please notify correspondents)
  • Articulation Placement Cards - Due to Ms. Mingo no later than May 1, 2012
  • Textbook Inventory beginning May 14, 2012
  • Cumulative Record Checklist beginning May 21, 2012 (please ensure that every student has a folder)
  • Classroom Inventory (make sure the form is completed and turned in to Mrs. Baldessari by May 25, 2012)
  • Turn in self addressed stamped envelopes for report cards by May 30, 2012
  • Grade level supply list has to be sent home with students on May 31, 2012
  • Box and store student work folders to be kept until the start of the 2012-2013 school year
  • Follow technology procedures found in Close of School Bulletin
  • Classroom cleaning (make sure to clear all bulletin boards and walls prior to leaving before the close of the 2011-2012 school year)
  • Return classroom keys to Mrs. Travieso by June 8, 2012
  • Be sure to complete the Closing of the School Checklist form and turn in to Ms. Mingo prior to leaving for the close of the 2011-2012 school year.

Welcome to the Coach's Corner

Welcome teachers and staff!  This blog was created for you to check in at any time for instructional resources and communication with your fellow colleagues.  If there is anything that you would want added, let me know.  Also, your input is vital to making this blog a great resource for our growing learning community.  Make sure to check for updates and I look forward to hearing from you.