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A Year In Bloom’s(Part 1): Word Power

What is Bloom’s Taxonomy?

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a classification of educational objectives, which is based on the research of Benjamin Bloom and colleagues that was released in 1956. There are six classifications: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, evaluate and create/synthesis. (I prefer using the word Synthesis.)

Many of the skills that kids are taught are aligned to the rigor matrix and guide many teacher’s instructional practices. 

In this article, I’ll detail my experience using these classifications to create a Word Study routine called “Word Power” , and the impact that it had on my student’s growth during the 2019-2020 school year.

Intro: The Origins of Word Power

At the onset of the 2019-2020 school year, the focus was on phonological awareness. Understanding that kids need phonics and vocabulary instruction, as well. The challenge was finding a way to incorporate those components within a 25 minute block.

Throughout the first nine weeks, I brainstormed a system to integrate those other elements. Utilizing Bloom’s Taxonomy progression, “Word Power” was birth.

1. Purpose of Study: Meeting All Student Needs

This was not intended to be a study. I created this routine because I wanted to meet all my student needs. Aligning the cycle to Bloom’s Taxonomy accomplished that, though. 

*It should be noted that I’m not the first person to have a Word Study routine, but the components are traditionally done on different days of the week and not in concert with one another. 

2. Framework: Align To Bloom’s Taxonomy

Knowledge: Day 1

A. Phonological Awareness: What’s The Word? (5 Minutes)

In this part of the routine, I stand on a table and review the weekly words. For example, I say

The first word is park and then ask the scholars: What’s The Word?!!!

Kids then chant: Park!!! (And I repeat for the other 14 words.)

B. Phonics: Underline The Pattern (5 Minutes)

After teaching the words, I have the kids underline the pattern. The kids will say the word and then say the pattern and underline it. (I normally call them up using voices.)

C. Vocabulary: Teach Definitions/Vocab Trailers (15 Minutes)

Originally, I would teach the definitions to kids. After receiving advice from vocabulary expert, Joanne Billingsley, I used the Vocab Trailers technique on the first day to tie visuals with the word.

For this technique, I show a picture that relates to one of the weekly words. Then I give the kids a sentence stem: In this picture or This reminds me of…

The kids turn and talk and then share out their answer. (I’d do this with four images.)

Thanks Mrs. Billingsley.

Comprehension: Day 2

A. Phonological Awareness: Clap It Out (5 Minutes)

To start the day, I break the weekly words into syllables and clap out each word with the kids, which embeds blending into the Word Study cycle.

B. Phonics: Sorts  (10 Minutes)

This is quite simple. The kids sort the words according to the pattern. For example

Example of a table that you can make for Control-R Vowels.

C. Vocabulary: Picture This!!! (10 Minutes)

For this exercise, the kids draw pictorial representations of four of the weekly words.

Example of a Picture This!!! for Blends.

Application: Day 3

A. Phonological Awareness: Read and Build (5 Minutes)

On this day, I have the kids apply their skills. First, I call out words and have them spell it on their desk.

B. Phonics: Spell (10 Minutes)

Then, I call out words and have the kids spell them. While they’re spelling words, I walk around the room and assess what errors that they’re making. 

C. Vocabulary: Spell and Draw (10 Minutes)

For this portion, I’ll have the kids spell the words and draw a pictorial representation, as well.

Extension: Read Connected Text

I have this as an extension exercise but many times it was the main exercise. In the exercise, the kids read a short paragraph with words centered around the weekly words pattern. They underline the words with the pattern and sometimes answer a few literal comprehension questions. (Teacher Pay Teachers has some good Phonics Fluency Passages. If you’re not comfortable with TPT, you could use Decodable Text.)

Analysis: Day 4

A. Activity: “Conver” Stations”

This is an activity that incorporates all skills. In one station, the kids would sort the weekly words and explain why. One activity might have the kids write a paragraph based on the weekly word(s) and picture. My favorite activity is when the kids incorporated the words with a reading skill.

For example,

I would ask the kids to make a drama about a girl. It was a fun way to get the students to use their words in different ways.

Evaluate(Assess): Day 5

A. Phonological Awareness: Go Noodle Clap It Out

I didn’t assess Phonological Awareness but I would do “Go Noodle Clap It Out” as a brain break, so the kids can get that component.

B. Phonics: Incorporate In Other Disciplines

I didn’t assess spelling on this day, but I’d try to incorporate in the other subjects or disciplines.

C. Vocabulary: Context Clues Assessment (5 to 20 minutes)

To assess vocabulary, I’d give the kids a story and they’d have to fill in the blanks with one of the weekly words.

Create/Synthesis: Day 5

A. Vocabulary: Draw A Picture/Write A Story/Info Text/Poem/Drama/Opinion

After the assessment was completed, I’d give the kids several options. They could draw a picture with a self-selected weekly word or write a story, Informational Text, Poem, Drama, or Opinion using one or many of their weekly words.

3. Methodology: T.P.R.I./Classroom Discussion/MAP Growth

To gather data. I used T.P.R.I., a Texas-based assessment which measures the kids foundational growth in Word Reading(Decoding), Graphemic Knowledge (Spelling), Vocabulary, Fluency and Comprehension. In addition to that, classroom discussion was used to measure vocabulary development. 

MAP Growth was used as a measurement too, as well.

Below you will find the results.

4. Interim Results: Phonological Awareness and Phonics Growth

Phonological Awareness

Figure 1.1

*I was able to test for phonological awareness virtually at the End of Year.

From the BOY(Beginning of Year) to the EOY(End of Year) my students grew 19.74 percent in their Phonological Awareness. Students who tested 90 percent or above in Word Reading don’t have to test again. They’re considered developed, so students could have grown five or ten percent more.

There were several glows.

  • One student grew from 25 to 90 percent.
  • One student grew from 30 to 80 percent
  • As a class, only one student didn’t finish the year under 80 percent in Word Reading, but that student grew from 0 to 55 percent.

Phonics

Figure 1.2

*I didn’t test my kids spelling in 4th nine weeks due to Covid-19 and not being in formal classroom.

In this graphic, you’ll see that my students grew 31.57 percent in Graphemic Knowledge (Spelling). The biggest jump was from the BOY to MOY–where the kids grew 19.21 percent.

There were several glows here, as well.

  • One student grew from 15 to 80 percent.
  • Another grew from 30 to 80 percent.
  • Six students grew 40 percent.
  • 11 out of my 19 students spelled at 80 percent proficiency.

5. Overall Results: Growth Above The Norm

Figure 1.3

To get a complete picture of the success of the “Word Power” routine, you have to look at my kids BOY 2019 to BOY 2020 MAP Growth. (Due to Covid-19, there was no MAP Growth assessment at the EOY.)

Desegregating the data, the students grew 24 points, which equates to 2.4 years. As a class(198 average), they were a full year above the Norm (nationally average).

Naturally, there were glows here, too.

  • One student grew 38 points(close to four years)
  • Another grew 35 points.
  • Nine students grew 20 points or more.
  • Four students grew 35 points or more

*I took a sample size of 15 students–as a few students moved.

6. Discussion: Enhancing My Knowledge

Evaluating the routine and year, the main limitation was my lack of knowledge of the proper scope and sequence for Word Study instruction, which resulted in weekly words being a little random. Also, the age of the students(2nd Graders) didn’t allow me to embed writing as much as I would have preferred to do. 

Additionally, if there were school assessments, I could have measured the kids vocabulary development through mastery of TEKS/Skills.

7. Conclusion: New Way of Doing Word Study

Based on the data, the “Word Power” program is an effective one. It can be improved, though, by following the proper Scope and Sequence for Phonics instruction, adding more activities and tracking data weekly. To further validate the method, I’ll use other educators from different grade-levels and environments. 

This much is certain: Word Power is a new way of doing Word Study. It naturally embeds phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, writing, fluency while building reading skills. (All of the Daily 5 that the Reading Panel suggested in 2000.)

If you’re interested in learning more about “Word Power” or would like professional development conducted on the routine, email thephenomenalstudent@gmail.com

Jeremiah Short, Educator

Up Next: A Year In Bloom’s(Part 2): Reading

Phenomenal Intervention: S.T.A.A.R. Prep

Using A Structured Test Prep Model To Boost Performance

Jeremiah Short

Abstract

STAAR test performance is critical to student’s confidence and informs accountability for K-12 schools in Texas. This article details the six-week model used to boost performance of scholars at a Title I school in Houston, Texas. To illustrate the structure, I (a) state the purpose for the intervention, (b) explain the interventions utilized over a six week period, and (c) share results of the intervention. 

Keywords: Intervention, S.T.A.A.R., Reading, Data, Test Prep

Intro: Making A Plan

Following a disappointing STAAR Simulation performance, the ELA(English Language Arts) team convened to determine the proper intervention for students in danger of failing the upcoming Reading S.T.A.A.R. test(State Assessment). 

We decided to…

1. Provide 80 minute Intervention for 3rd and 4th Graders

2. Use Assessment Data to Drive the Intervention

3. Method of Intervention Differentiated By Grade Level

I was asked to intervene with 30(Became 29 4th graders) in four different groups. To eliminate “Ability Grouping”, I requested that the groups be collapsed into two groups. 

Purpose of Intervention: Boost Test Performance

Of the 29 students that I’d be providing intervention to for six weeks, 16 failed the S.T.A.A.R. Simulation. My goal was to reduce the 16 to 0 failing the actual S.T.A.A.R., although 8-10 was more realistic. If I “recovered” the requisite number of students, then the actual pass rate for the grade-level would increase from 59 to 80-plus percent. 


Pre-STAAR Prep

Figure 1.1: Daily Skills Tracker

Week 1: Main Idea and Elements of Drama

Evaluating the data from the S.T.A.A.R. Simulation, Main Idea and Elements of Drama were the two TEKS(Standards) where the 4th grade students displayed gaps. 

As a scaffold, I taught Key Details, which is a prerequisite for Main Idea and enhances scholars ability to find Text Evidence, on Day 1 of the intervention. Both groups exhibited varying levels of proficiency with the skill.

On Day 2 of the Intervention, students were introduced to the Elements of Drama(Characters, Dialogue, Acts, Scenes, etc.). Teaching this concept helps scholars analyze Dramatic Literature. Both groups displayed proficiency with the skill. 

Upgrading the rigor, students were shown how to determine the Main Idea of a text and use Key Details to support the Main Idea. I was encouraged that both groups built upon the previously learned skill–Key Details–and combined it with the Main Idea to become proficient. 

With students knowing the necessary skills to analyze, I modeled answering questions and taking notes on a Drama and Main Idea passage.

Friday, the students were given a quiz on Main Idea and Drama.

Skill FocusGroup 1: PerformanceGroup 2: Performance
Day 1: Key Details52.2777.27
Day 2: Elements of Drama76.1586.64
Day 3: Main Idea84.0987.5
Day 4: Drama/Main Idea77.3/65.3880/70
Day 5: Quiz68.4674
Figure 2.1: Week 1 Average score By Group

Week 2: UNRREAL And Author’s Craft

Coupling Test Prep with Skills, I taught students the test prep strategy: UNRREAL.

U:nderline the title and Make A Prediction

N:umber the paragraphs.

R:ead the questions and label them.

R:ead the passage and annotate.

E:liminate Wrong Answers.

A:nswer the question.

L:ook for evidence

I focused on Author’s Craft Skills: Author’s Purpose, Author’s POV, Text Organization, and Persuasive Text. The students displayed a level of proficiency with Author’s POV but struggled with Text Organization and Persuasive Text. Text Organization was a glaring weakness, so I emailed the results to their classroom teachers, in addition to resources for small groups.

Skill FocusGroup 1: PerformanceGroup 2: Performance
Day 1: Author’s Purpose50.756.9
Day 2: Author’s POV60.472.9
Day 3: Persuasive Text59.37556.6
Day 4: Persuasive Text/Text Organization60.41/56.2555/36.66
Day 5: Author’s Craft Quiz63.6155.6
Figure 3.1: Week 2 Average score By Group

Week 3: Text Analysis

In the final Pre-STAAR Prep week, I decided to focus on building comprehension and reader’s response by using Text Analysis. The method of instruction is rigorous but effective.  (Explanation of Text Analysis)

Throughout the week, students used their critical thinking skills. They were primed to begin “Test Prep.”

Skill FocusGroup 1: PerformanceGroup 2: Performance
Day 1: Fiction94.1692.66
Day 2: Persuasive Text84.1689.33
Day 3: Info Text8290.58
Day 4: Quiz5657.76
Figure 4.1: Week 3 Average score By Group

Figure 5.1: Example of Daily TEKS(Standard) Mastery Tracker

STAAR Prep

Now that the students had acquired the necessary skills, I moved into Test Prep utilizing my self-created structure. It’s intensive but effective.

The Structure

1. Skill Review(15-25 min.): Pre-Teach one key skill. 

2. Lesson Within A Lesson(5-10 min.): Pre-Teach key words, vocabulary, activate or build background knowledge, and one or two minor skills.

3. Daily Passage(30-45 minutes): 6-10 question passage where you model test taking strategies.

4. Exit Ticket(5 min.): Multiple Choice question on daily core skill. 

Week 4: Fiction

Fiction was the focus in week one of Test Prep, which was a short week. I hit on the three core genres: Drama, Realistic Fiction, and Poetry.

I created a bit of competition between the two groups by reviewing and posting data daily. Students cheered when their group did well on specific TEKS and Exit Tickets. 

Genre FocusGroup 1: PassageGroup 1: Exit TicketGroup 2: PassageGroup 1: Exit Ticket
Day 1: Drama90608686
Day 2: Realistic Fiction1008810094
Day 3: Poetry/Paired Passage91557176
Day 4: QuizN/AN/AN/AN/A
Figure 6.1: Daily Passage/Exit Ticket Pass Rate By Group for Week 4

Week 5: Informational Text

In week two of Test Prep, I focused on Informational Text, which is typically the toughest genre for multiple reasons.

1. Requires high-level of background knowledge

2. Heavy on Tier 2 and Tier 3 words

3. Students have to re-read and look back into passages for answers. 

As the week progressed, the students understood the importance of finding and citing their evidence. I embedded it within instruction–as students weren’t allowed to answer without “showing their proof.”

If they showed adequate proof, they were given a reward. After a while, it became a habit, which was my goal.

Genre FocusGroup 1: PassageGroup 1: Exit TicketGroup 2: PassageGroup 1: Exit Ticket
Day 1: Info Text75N/A74N/A
Day 2: Lit. Non-Fiction9283.38478.9
Day 3: Historical Fiction/Paired Passage501005959
Day 4: Info Text9063.68872.2
Figure 7.1: Daily Passage/Exit Ticket Pass Rate By Group for Week 5

Week 6: Paired Passages

Closing out Test Prep, I focused on Paired Passages, which are two passages from different or the same genre. The question set asks students to determine similarities and differences.

Both groups didn’t master the skill but they did show that they were approaching proficiency with the skill.

Test Prep concluded. I was confident that the students would transfer their new skills to the Actual STAAR Test.

Genre FocusGroup 1: PassageGroup 1: Exit TicketGroup 2: PassageGroup 1: Exit Ticket
Day 1: Realistic Fiction831007277.7
Day 2: N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Day 3: Historical Fiction8358.39589.4
Day 4: Info Text/Paired Passage9191.691N/A
Figure 8.1: Daily Passage/Exit Ticket Pass Rate By Group for Week 6

Results: Benchmark To STAAR 


Overall, the students improved from 45 percent passing the Benchmark to 79 percent passing the STAAR Reading 2022 test. It helped the grade-level improve from 59 percent to 78 percent pass rate with 54 percent Meets/Masters.

Highlights

  • 6 students improved 30 points 
  • 10 students improved 20 points
  • 15 improved 15 points
  • 5 students Mastered the STAAR
  • One students went from Did Not Meet to Masters
  • Group 1 Improved from 49.66 to 60.41 average score
  • Group 2 improved from 53.76 to 69.76 average score

Limitations of Study

  • Friday assessments were inconsistent
  • Approach varied by grade-level
  • More fidelity needed
  • Not enough synergy with classroom teachers and small groups

Conclusion: My findings weren’t shocking but confirmation of the structure that I developed in my 3rd year of teaching. In this iteration, Pre-STAAR Test Prep was added, to go along with proper administrative support. 

It’s gratifying to help students grow from Did Not Meet to Meets with some Mastery. The Test Prep model gives a blueprint for Test Prep cycles and ensures success on future State Assessments. 

Jeremiah Short, Reading and Writing Interventionist

Up Next: Phenomenal Intervention(The Playbook)

#WisdomWednesday: “Hone Your Skill Set”

Last week, I took part in two training sessions. One on Adobe applications and another strengthening my knowledge of data and how to use it properly. 

Monday, I looked to grow my skills further by attending a Google L1/L2 certification training. I’m pretty good with a few Google Workspace applications(Sheets, Docs, and Drive) but I didn’t know much about utilizing the others productively. 

Also, I thought: Why not? It’s free.

Quickly, I saw the value of the training–as I started to learn about the other Google Apps: Drawing, Forms and Sites. In addition to that, the training facilitator made us aware of Grouping Tabs…a cool little feature. (I actually used the feature that night with a few of my Google Sheets)

By the end of the day, I finished all the Level 1 coursework.


Day 2: Level 2 Coursework

To start the day, I completed the Level 1 certification exam. I passed. Nice little confidence boost. 

Once that was done, I got started on the Level 2 coursework. I made it through all the challenges, although it was a little tasking sitting still for hours on end. I see what the kids are going through. It wasn’t easy but I finished all the coursework.

Later that night, I actually applied some of the newly-learned skills by starting a Google Site for my upcoming resource Phenomenal Intervention: The Playbook.


 Day 3: Google L2 Certification Exam

The day started off on a positive note. I passed the L2 practice exam. So, I felt pretty good about the certification exam. After I registered for it, I took the 35 question test. Then, I submitted. 80 percent was needed to pass. I made a 75…two questions off…boooo.

Disappointed…yes. Deterred…no. I can retake in three days. Not gaining that certification was a reminder that you have to “Hone Your Skill Set.”

Be Phenomenal, Mr. Short

#WisdomWednesday: Invest In Yourself

Today, I attended a Region 4 Data Conference: Learning From The Numbers(Strengthening Data Practices). It was a training that I had to pay for myself, but I know Data is “my jam” and honing that skill is something that I want to do.

A keynote from Dave Nagel kicked off the conference. That initial address to the attendees was incredibly impactful. I learned about the three things an assessment:should accomplish Purpose, Evidence and Inference.  

Be Patient and Thorough were my major takeaways. 


Breakout Session 1: Using Protocols To Drive Impact Into Evidence(Data)

In the first breakout session of the day, which was conducted by Mr. Nagel, I learned what an efficient Data-Based PLC looked like. We were a school’s performance and asked to desegregate it with five questions. That task was completed in 11 minutes…terrific exercise on the power of collaboration.


Breakout Session 2: Compelling Action Through Data Stories

The second breakout session was conducted by Sharon Benson. As a session starter, she had us get in groups and discuss a bar graph on the board. Our task was to guess the purpose of the visual without knowing its origin. 

After allowing us time to brainstorm the purpose, she revealed that it was 2019 and 2021 data for Region 4 schools. There were two key noticings.

+25 percent of kids mastered grade-level in 2019 and 2021. I couldn’t believe that the number remained the same.

-The overall pass rate dropped around eight percent…an area for growth.

It was so refreshing and fulfilling to discuss data. 


Keynote PM: Dave Nagel

Another keynote by Mr.Nagel got the evening sessions under way. He touched on two key subjects: Teacher Credibility and Learning Walks.

He broke down the four components of teacher credibility: Trust, Competence, Dynamism and Immediacy. To simplify, kids got to like you and think you know what you’re doing. 

Then we learned about and discussed the three types of Learning Walks: Ghost Walk, Capacity-Building Learning Walk, and Faculty Learning Walk.

Ghost Walk: Happens when no one is in the room. Is the room conducive to learning?

Capacity-Building Learning Walk: Administrators walk the school and give teachers feedback on their instruction. Or Is Learning taking place?

Faculty Learning Walk: Teachers observe each other. 


Breakout Session #3: ABC, 123-The Building Blocks of Data in Early Childhood

Interestly enough, I made sure that this would be a beneficial presentation beforehand. I was assured by the presenter, Brandy Alexander, that it would be. She was right–as I learned about Curriculum-Based Coaching, which is a concept where teachers conduct a lesson with other teachers before they enter the classroom. 

I found out that Ms. Alexander is “free” support for Pre-K teachers in the Region 4 zone. (Yep,Free. Hit her up)


Breakout Session #4: Centralizing Your Data Into A Single Source Of Truth

To conclude my day, I took in a session by John Warren, who works for OnDataSuite, a software company that supports districts with their Data Analysis tool. 

Admittedly, the training doesn’t benefit me in the short-term–as it was for district-level data people and Superintendents. Buttttttt…The software and its efficacy will be a valuable resource once I begin the process of opening The Phenomenal Leadership Academy. 

What’s the old saying? Dress(Prepare) for the job you want, not the one you have.

Invest In Yourself.

Be Phenomenal, Mr. Short

#PhenomenalFriday: “Don’t Compete, Dominate

#PhenomenalFriday: “Don’t Compete, Dominate”

As I reflect on the week, I thought about the theme for the week in The Phenomenal Room: “Don’t Compete, Dominate.”

For the first three weeks of the 4th quarter of the school year, I’ve taken my two Bubble Groups(May or May not pass State Assessment) through Pre-STAAR Prep–where I retaught some core skills.

This week, I started official STAAR Prep and activated STAAR Mode–my version of Mamba Mentality. 

To illustrate the new focus, I shared the theme with the students and related it to them. I told them that competing is dangerous. When you compete, you’re the same as the competition. Even if you score 90 percent, someone else probably did. 

You gotta separate yourself.

Would they take heed to the message? They did.

Tuesday

Skill Focus: Analyze Characters

Daily Passage: Tom Sawyer Whitewashes A Fence

Group 1

This group stepped their game up and brought it, although they could have done better on the Exit Ticket.

Pass Rate: 90 percent

Exit Ticket: 60 percent

Group 2

The evening group was locked in but came in a tick under the morning group but performed better on the exit ticket. 

Pass Rate: 86 percent

Exit Ticket: 86 percent

Wednesday

Group 1

Skill Focus: Figurative Language

Daily Passage: OMG! Where Is Danny?

The morning group decided that they wanted to set themselves apart. They all passed the daily passage. Adding to that, there was a glow. 

When I gathered data for the TEK Tracker, the kids saw that all of them got a question correct. They cheered.

Me(In My Head): Let’s go. 

Pass Rate: 100 percent

Exit Ticket: 88 percent

Group 2

The morning group attempted to pull away from the evening but 100 percent of them passed the daily passage, as well. They did better on the exit ticket, too.

Thursday

Skill Focus: Making Connections

Daily Passage: Grocery Store Pirate, Pirate Story

Group 1

Understanding that Poetry and Making Connections was the genre, I expected the kids to dip a bit. They did but not by much. 

Pass Rate: 82 percent

Exit Ticket: 55 percent

Group 2

The evening group dipped, as well, but I had an encouraging conversation with a student transitioning back from the session.

Student: “I had a bad day.”

Me: “How did you do?”

Student(Pausing before speaking): “Five out of Eight”

Me(In My Head): Yea…she’s internalizing her performance. 

Friday, I realized that kids aren’t the only ones ready to Dominate. I am, too.

Collaborating with one of the teachers, we were able to confirm her student at a level O. A 7 level improvement from the beginning of the year. Another one of her students improved from an I to a P.

A third student tested at a level L, which is 5 levels from when I first received her in the 3rd nine weeks. 

These students’ individual results ended a banner week.

Students put the team above themselves, Set High Expectations and they’re displaying exponential growth.

Don’t Compete, Dominate.

Be Phenomenal, Mr. Short

#PhenomenalFriday: “I’m Getting Recognized”

#PhenomenalFriday: “I’m Getting Recognized”

As I reflect on the week, I thought about how I’m Getting Recognized.

Thursday, I received an email from a LitCon 22 representative with the evaluations(ratings) for my presentation: Adding Rigor To A New Word Study Approach. 

Me: 👀👀👀👀👀👀

Did people like the training? Apparently so. 

I was graded in five areas.

1. The ideas and information I learned have value for my work. 

2. Instructional methods were appropriate for content. 

3. Sessions met my expectations. 

4. Instructor was knowledgeable about the subject matter. 

5. Instructor’s delivery was effective

My ratings 

1. 4.43

2. 4.43

3. 4

4. 4.57

5. 4.57

A few comments.

I love the student engagement in this presentation. Seeing a student participate helped my understanding of what Jeremiah described. Thank you for sharing your ideas and for providing so many examples.” 

I love the student engagement in this presentation. Seeing a student participate helped my understanding of what Jeremiah described. Thank you for sharing your ideas and for providing so many examples. 

I am so pleased to have learned about specific ways to incorporate word study into my teaching. One big take away I had was using the Vocab Trailer to get students talking in complete sentences.

According to my friend, Reggie(who has done a few presentations himself), I’m in the 90th percentile…too cool.

I’m grateful for the help that I received. Sandra Simpson, my brilliant aunt, was my co-presenter. Elizabeth Gibson did an awesome job as the student participant. Tareva Hill and Brittaney Horner made the session more interactive with their participation.

I’m appreciative of the feedback from two co-workers, Ashley Stewart and Nancy Motley, who is one the GOATS of Professional Development.

Their feedback helped me make adjustments and enhance the presentation.

In the time since the presentation, fellow educators have started using my resources and routine. 

I’m beyond humbled. The person who was once asked to teach Behavior is now Teaching Pedagogy. 

I’m Getting Recognized.

Be Phenomenal, Mr. Short

#PhenomenalFriday: “Bringing Value”

#PhenomenalFriday: “Bringing Value”

As I closed out the week, I set up my Intervention Room for more students. While doing that task, I couldn’t help but reflect on the week. 

Starting with Tuesday. On that day, I showed another teacher my Word Power resources. She liked them and said that she’d use them. The next day, she came into my room with student samples. Of course, I uploaded it to Facebook.

After starting the process of setting up groups Thursday, I learned of my new groups today but was given space to keep working with Primary Groups(Kindergarten-Second), which pleased me. They’re making progress.

Once dismissal was over, I talked with a coworker. She said that she was using some of my resources for homework and small groups. Apparently, the resources came right on time–as she had been asking for more the entire year. It warmed my heart.

I’m eight months into a new environment and others are using my creations, using resources and relying on me to boost performance. 

I’m Bringing Value.

Be Phenomenal, Mr. Short

Response To Intervention: Phenomenal Analysis

Two-plus years ago, I created a Word Study routine called “Phenomenal Word Power”, which was originally conceived for the traditional classroom.

Spending the past six months as a Reading Interventionist, though, I’ve found ways to adapt for small groups. One of those modifications is Phenomenal Analysis, or incorporating all the components of Reading in an assignment. 

A Breakdown of the sequence.

Sample Student Sheet

Phonemic Awareness: Sound It Out

Once the students say the word, I have them map it by sounding out each phoneme. 

For example, the word Wait broken apart is W/ā/t. 

Phonics: Spell It

After the word is mapped, the students dictate but by using colors. (Kids like to color.) In addition to coloring, I’ve had kids Sky Write. 

Vocabulary: Define It

Next, the kids define the word with me or I have them write characteristics of it or Concept Map.

Fluency: Read It With Expression

Then, they read the word with expression. I give them a few phrases that are usually associated with the word–including idioms and sarcastic remarks. 

Comprehension: Answer A Question With It

To cap off the routine, I have the students answer a question–whether they’re Making A Connection, Sharing an Opinion or Analyzing the Characters’ Feeling.

Student Sample

Conclusion: Only The Beginning

Phenomenal Analysis is in the infancy stages but I’m pleased with the early results and engagement. I look forward to making exercises for every sound and pattern. 

Be Phenomenal, Mr. Short

Jeremiah Short, Sixth-Year Educator

Follow me on Twitter @Mr100Teacher or subscribe to The Phenomenal Student Podcast. (Also, can be found on Spotify)

#PhenomenalFriday: “It’s The Culture”

#PhenomenalFriday: “It’s The Culture”

Tuesday, a new student entered my classroom.

My students: “Welcome To The Phenomenal Room.” 

She immediately got to work…learning Verb Tense and pushing through the challenging Reading assignments that day.

Wednesday, I opened the day with what I’m calling the Gem of the Day: “Ball Is In Your Court.” To make the figure of speech real, I showed a clip of Jeremy Lin hitting a game-winning shot during the Linsanity craze. Then I told the kids that it’s on them. It’s on them to be responsible for their own success.

The message seemed to hit home–as the kids rocked their rough draft: a news report. Later in the day, they did a terrific job of Analyzing the Main Idea, too.

Thursday, I employed the idea given to me by Dr. Hardy. I chose one word–admire–and built the rigor through each station. 

Station 1: Who do you admire?

Station 2: Why do people admire TikTokers?

Station 3: Should kids admire TikTokers and YouTubers? Why or Why not?

Station 3 created a good debate as two of my scholars faced off.

Yes Student: Yes people should admire them because you can learn stuff on TikTok.

No Student: No you shouldn’t admire them because it can distract you from what you’re doing.

The class voted for the Yes student but one of my other students shared a good response as to why she agreed with the No student: Some of that stuff on TikTok is inappropriate.

Friday, the kids closed out the week by writing their final draft of their News Report and doing well on their Word Power quiz.

They’re “Friday Dance Off” was well-earned for the hard work they’d put in. To end the week, I said: We’re what…

Kids: “Phenomenal!!!”

After they got done chanting, my new student: Yea, we are Phenomenal.

Of course they are.

It’s The Culture.

I leave you with two things.

1. What’s the culture of your workplace or school?

2. Is it a good one?

Be Phenomenal, Mr. Short

#PhenomenalFriday: “Thanks For The Cut”

#PhenomenalFriday: “Thanks For The Cut”

Reflecting on the week, I thought about one of my favorite Eric Thomas quotes: “If you want to shine bright like a diamond, you have to be willing to get cut.”

This week, I got “cut.” 

Let me give background. 

Two years ago, I created and developed a Word Study routine called “Word Power.” I’ve achieved results in the classroom and through individualized tutoring. In addition to that, a friend and fellow educator students displayed a couple years growth.

After some fine tuning, I proposed to present at LitCon, a national conference. It was accepted. 

The routine is rock solid and beyond critique, right? Maybe not.

Monday, I shared the method with my teammate as an example of what she could use for Word Work(Study). 

Dr. Stascia Hardy, the “rigor lady”, asked where I got the words and wondered if it was similar to the old spelling test.

Me: 😳😳😳

I attempted to answer her questions but wasn’t ready for the critique. 

Later that night, I came to a realization: These are the questions that will be levied my way at LitCon, and I need to be prepared for them.

The next day, I asked Dr. Hardy if she would meet with me. 

During this meeting, I explained that the words are tied to a story at the end of the cycle. Also, spelling is part of the routine but on Day 3(Application).

Following the explanation, I asked what to expect at a national conference.

She told me to lead with the standard. Also, know the exact research with the name attached to it. And provide data with specific details. I’ll be in front of academics. They want to know that information. 

She actually gave me a few ideas to spruce up “ConverStations”, as well. I can’t wait to implement them.

Because I didn’t get offended and upset, I acquired knowledge which will enhance my instruction and strengthen my practice.

Dr. Hardy.

Thanks For The Cut.

I leave you with one thing.

1. Are you receptive to constructive criticism?

2. If not, how would your performance increase if you were?

Be Phenomenal, Mr. Short