Articles from "Food for Thought":
Teaching has its own seasons and its own calendar. Whether you are a brand new teacher or a veteran, it’s a new year; and a new year can be anything from exciting to nuts - or both. Schools in some parts of the country started weeks ago and others have not started yet, but from our office, we can hear the energy (a combination of enthusiasm and anxiety) in the voices on the phones.
If you are using the Stevenson Reading Program, here are some thoughts we hope will help. We will expand on these thoughts in another issue of Food For Thought to be sent in few weeks, when all public schools are in session. In the meantime, call or email us if you want guidance: 800-343-1211 or email@example.com.
As we said above, we will be sending another Food For Thought in a few weeks. We will repeat this information for teachers who have not yet started and add more details. In the meantime, do not hesitate to reach out to us: 800-343-1211 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck in the new school year.
The Stevenson Program has some assessment tools for progress monitoring, and other publicly available tools can be used as well. We do not have or recommend any placement tests. If you want to know where to place your students in Stevenson, you have only two major options, and the criteria for selecting which option to use requires only some very basic, common sense knowledge of the students current abilities. We can provide this information or you can get it on our website.
At this point in the year, a most common question is to what to use for a pre-test. If you are starting with the Beginning Green Level, use the pre-test in the Beginning Level Mastery-Management Test Manual. If you are in the Overlapping, go to our website under Teaching Resources and scroll down until you see “Overlapping Strategy Word List Assessments.” If you are in the middle of a level, and you haven’t yet decided what Mastery-Management test to use, call or email us and tell us where you are in the program.
If either you or your students have already used Stevenson, and you are continuing the program, there is always the question of how much review the students might need and how to manage that process. Veteran Stevenson teachers have usually dealt with this issue already, but some of you might not be aware that review is built into certain parts of the program. We can explain where that review is already supplied or how to select review sections where they are not already given. (By the way, reading the introductory sections of the manuals may answer some of these questions.)
If you and you students are starting the Stevenson Program for the first time, you will either start with the Beginning Green Level Teacher’s Manual or the Overlapping Strategy Manual. Contact us if you both and are not sure which to use.
If your students have used Stevenson before but you haven’t, you need to know where they left off last year. Various sections of the Basic Blue Level Core Manual, have specific directions for such teachers, but if you are not using that manual, we can help you by phone or Skype to fill you in on what your students have learned. (you need to make an appointment for a session like that, but there is no charge.
If both you and your students have used Stevenson before, you will probably know what to do, but you should feel free to contact us if you do have questions. (Any questions is welcome.)
Spring and hope go well together, as many writers have observed. So it seems appropriate to say a few words that might help lift the spirits of educators out there working with struggling readers: Whatever difficulties you or your students are experiencing, there is hope.
We are currently updating the "Events and Workshops" section of our website to reflect workshops scheduled for January 7, 2016 in Columbus, OH and February 11, 2016 in Dallas. In late February, Bill Stevenson will go to Florida (as you might, if you lived in Massachusetts), and he is making arrangements for school visits now. Other training and support activities are scheduled for March, April and May, but may not be finalized until the first of the year. E-mail announcements will be sent to the local areas.
The winter school break is very important. Teachers and students alike need a change - and usually some rest as well. Have a great time with friends and family, but do not forget to take care of yourself!