TODDCAST RADIO, WWW – After several consecutive weblog entries about movies he’s seen recently, Toddcast Radio has gone dark.  Will it return to the Web once again to propagate ripples of zeros and ones through the information superhighway?  Or has its signal silenced permanently? *crackle, buzz, static* Hello, faithful listeners!  I thought I’d let you know what I’ve been up to.  If I just said “work,” no one would be impressed, so let me share with you some details on the exciting new initiatives I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of at our school.

…let me share with you some details on the exciting new initiatives I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of at our school.

First of all, I’m in charge of our school’s AIMSweb management.  AIMSweb is an online software tool that assists in student benchmarking and progress monitoring.  I’ve been putting in “overtime” learning the program, managing login accounts for our school, and putting together tools and resources for our assessment team to utilize during this year’s three benchmarking periods.  As the year goes on, I’ll be working hard behind the scenes taking and managing our school’s data and generating all manner of reports from the program, in preparation for its use in our building’s “response to intervention” (RtI) implementation over the next few years.

Speaking of schoolwide initiatives, I’m also the Data Manager for our Schoolwide Positive Behavior Supports initiative.  In this capacity, I’m working hard with our committee of teachers who are identifying ways to improve the way our school addresses student behavior.  My specific role in this will be to work with our principal to analyze the data from office referrals and to help the committee make decisions about implementing consistent schoolwide standards for behavior.

Thirdly, my classroom will be getting a good deal of technology in our classroom thanks to our successful eMINTS grant.  This includes computers and a SMARTboard interactive whiteboard.  Oh, and did I mention lots and lots of  teacher training throughout the school year.  In between these after school four-hour trainings come assignments and planned observations.

Fourthly, I’ve been asked to serve on our school’s CSIP panel to help draft our school’s mission and improvement goals for the next few years.  I’m serving on the “Student Achievement” subgroup.  Not only will we update our school’s goals, but we will generate strategies to reach them over the coming years.

There have also been many changes this year that have required time to get up to speed on, including new assessments for determining eligibility for special services and a new student information system and gradebook database.  Once we all get over the learning curves on these new things, I’m hopeful that the end result will benefit our students.

Finally, I’ve been doing a lot of independent research on the topic of educational approaches for the teaching of mathematics to elementary-aged students.  This is an exciting area, and I hope to have something tangible to show for these efforts that will help students, especially those who struggle with traditional approaches, acquire math skills and reasoning at least as well as their peers do.

It’s exciting to be on the “cutting edge” of so many initiatives.  They do take a lot of time, but I hope to be able to carve out a little time now and then to touch base with this blog and all of you Gentle Readers.