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Instructional inquiry


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Instructional inquiry

  1. 1. Instructional Inquiry: Skaneateles, NY<br />Alanna Matson and Abijah Gath<br />
  2. 2. Skaneateles, New York<br />Skaneateles is set on a pristine lake in upstate New York and is home to a thriving residential and business community and host to thousand of visitors and vacationers each year. Skaneateles (Skan-ee-atlas) is an Iroquois word meaning long lake and it's just that, a 16 mile stretch of one of the cleanest lakes in the country.<br /><br />
  3. 3. Demographics of Skaneateles<br /><br />As of the census of 2000, there were 2,616 people, 1,104 households, and 705 families residing in the village. The racial makeup of the village was 99.16% White, 0.08% Black or African American, 0.31% Asian, 0.04% from other races, and 0.42% from two or more races. 0.31% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.<br />There were 1,104 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.9% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.1% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 3.03.<br />In the village the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 4.3% from 18 to 24, 22.9% from 25 to 44, 27.6% from 45 to 64, and 19.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 87.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.1 males.<br />The median income for a household in the village was $57,083, and the median income for a family was $85,403. Males had a median income of $60,529 versus $36,797 for females. The per capita income for the village was $29,170. 3.0% of the population and 0.9% of families were below the poverty line. 0.8% of those under the age of 18 and 5.9% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.<br />
  4. 4. Waterman School Information<br /><br />The district has been nationally and state recognized for excellence.  The district is a high performing district with a low need resource capacity.  The district has a Combined Wealth Ratio of 1.3 and is deemed an affluent community which has a high capacity to support the financial needs of the district.  The operating budget is approximately $29,500,000.  Local taxes support approximately 70% of the district’s operating budget with the other 30% coming from state and federal funding. <br />  <br />The district’s average per pupil spending, both for general education students and for students with special needs, is well below the average for similar schools and for all schools in New York State. <br />  <br />The community is very supportive of the school district and has high expectations for the graduates.  The district has a very high graduation rate and a high completion rate, both averaging in the mid 90% range.  The vast majority of our graduates (mid 90%), go on to higher education (two or four year colleges and universities).  Students perform exceedingly well on state assessments and the test results are among the highest in Central New York as well as in New York State.<br />
  5. 5. Test Your Skaneateles Local Literacy!<br />What is a watershed?<br />Who is the milfoil monster?<br />Are zebra mussels good or bad? <br />What is duck itch?<br />
  6. 6. Facts About the Watershed<br /><br />Pure water from Skaneateles Lake flows unfiltered to more than 220,000 households. Skaneateles Lake is the primary source of water for residents in and around the City of Syracuse. Being some 16 miles long and averaging about 3/4 miles wide, Skaneateles Lake is home to 413 billion gallons of pure water! It sits about 863 feet above sea level. The watershed is also home to 2,600 residences, of which 1,000 are along the 35 miles of shore line. This also includes 60+ farms with about 2,000 livestock. The relationship between the relatively small watershed and the large volume of water in Skaneateles Lake provides a kind of natural protection to the Skaneateles Lake that few other lakes enjoy. The watershed is only 59 square miles, and the lake has a surface area of 13.6 square miles, for a ratio of 4.3 acres of watershed to each acre of lake. In contrast, Oneida Lake has about 17.3 acres of watershed/acre of lake surface and Cayuga Lake has 12.2 acres of watershed/acre of lake surface. This helps to account for the long retention time of about 18 years in Skaneateles Lake.<br />How is This Local Literacy?<br />Local lifelong Skaneateles community member Jack Edward says that everyone growing up in Skaneateles knows about the watershed and how important it is to protect. The watershed is the lifeblood of Skaneateles and young kids can usually be heard expressing their concern for keeping the watershed clean and well cared for. Jack says that it is vital to educate everyone in Skaneateles from a young age about the importance of the watershed because one day it will be their responsibility to protect and care for.<br />
  7. 7. Who is the Milfoil Monster?<br /> Are zebra mussels good or bad?<br />The Milfoil Monster was introduced to the Skaneateles Community by the chamber to increase awareness of the invasive Milfoil species that was threatening the Lake. Jack Edward explains that by using the “Milfoil Monster” people of all ages were introduced to the facts and information about milfoil and what they could do to help the problem. Edwards continues that every young person in the town can give you a lesson on milfoil!<br />Everyone in Skaneateles knows why they need to wear shoes in the lake! Edward explains that as soon as children can walk they have to know not to jump right into the lake barefoot. These little zebra mussels attach themselves in droves to the rocky bottom and while they are responsible for the crystal clear water, they are also responsible for countless sliced open toes!<br />
  8. 8. What is duck itch?<br />Don’t feed the ducks! Jack Edwards says that every resident of Skaneateles knows not to swim in the public swimming areas because of this nasty reaction! Ducks fed human food produce waste that can infect humans with duck itch: an itchy rash on the skin that can ruin your week. Nearly every young person in the town can tell you how to spot a tourist: those feeding ducks, and those with duck itch!<br />
  9. 9. Literacy in Waterman School <br />Carrie Danaher, a reading teacher at Waterman School stated that:<br />“Waterman Elementary School is committed to providing quality education programs and establishing high levels of performance for all children.” <br />Please navigate to<br /><br />AND<br /><br />To see an overview of philosophies and practices of the Reading department of Waterman School.<br />
  10. 10. Individualized Assessments<br /><ul><li>Carrie explained that each student is screened every year they are at Waterman School (K-2).
  11. 11. Main source of assessment is the Fountas and Pinnell leveling system
  12. 12. DIBELS is used as well, however she explains:
  13. 13. “While I like DIBELS because it gives you good information, the way it is executed, with the one minute timer, is ineffective for students at this grade level. They focus more on the timer than the task at hand. Often times DIBELS will give scores that are inconsistent with how the student actually performs within the classroom, and their actual reading and comprehension levels.
  14. 14. Students are also screened at Fountas and Pinnell benchmarks, as well as some local bench marks. </li></li></ul><li>A Normal Day in a Waterman Reading Classroom<br /><ul><li>The classroom has a reading center, group work tables, individual desks and a story time carpet
  15. 15. Each day all areas of the classroom are used
  16. 16. Reading groups are formed mostly by the teacher and based upon the students’ own strengths
  17. 17. Students are given time to read individually in the reading center
  18. 18. Circle time is conducted as least once per class using books from Rigby Press Book publishers</li></li></ul><li>The instructional time spent with the class was…<br />- Informative- Teacher pointed out connections between reading and recently learned concepts as well as connections to the “theme” of the week (the beach) <br />- Engaging- Teacher was very interactive with the students, brought in different visual aids (beach blanket, umbrella, plastic palm tree) to enhance the theme and excite the students<br />- Effective- When asked at the end of the lesson some follow up comprehension questions, the students all had their hands up actively engaged with answering them. They were all right on point and really enjoyed the interaction.<br />Group time was…<br />- Somewhat inefficient, students were distracted and giggling <br /> - Teacher and aide had to remind students to be on task several times<br />Individual Reading time was..<br />-Quiet<br />-Students seemed very engaged in reading<br />
  19. 19. Parents are given access to the following web page for at home resources and information:<br /><br />Parent Connections<br />-Students are sent home with a short book every night to read with a family member to practice their fluency.<br />-Parents are given a reading log to document which books have been read as well as space to provide any comments regarding the student’s success with the book.<br />
  20. 20. Literacy Connections<br />Weekly themes are used to address local issues such as milfoil and the watershed. <br />Topical books, mini projects, worksheets and discussions are presented to the students<br />
  21. 21. Literacy Connections<br />Students are exposed to different themes through various books, lessons and in class activities.<br />Many themes are very relevant to the local literacy topics.<br />This is an excellent way to make cross curricular learning relevant to the lives of the students, and prepare them for the community they live in.<br />
  22. 22. What a parent had to say..<br />We have high standards for our students in the community.<br />Literacy is important in the community from a functional standpoint.<br />The community supports students and reading in several ways: library time, community events, etc.<br />Librarians set up book sections for different reading levels and works with teachers on themes.<br />Our schools have been nationally recognized for preparing students academically and communially<br />
  23. 23. Considerations and Suggestions<br /><ul><li>Parent connections seemed a little idealistic: more follow up was needed on at home reading reflections as well as how to address concerns brought up
  24. 24. Parents often ask for more classroom books for use at home: They should set up a classroom library loan system so students can use any resources available
  25. 25. The reading website is a fantastic resource, but there was a disconnect between parents using it and feedback. They should set up a system that parents would use the system for a purpose, not only a resource.</li>