Just take Ben Langer's 4th grade classroom. On one of the last days of school, his students are arranged on the carpet, their eyes and ears locked on him as he reads aloud Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
Over the past two years, at least 70% of their students have achieved their MAP reading growth goals.
While there's no crystal ball showing what the 2017-2018 school year has in store, Lindbergh Principal Lindsay Maglio and her staff are eager to build on what has worked well over the past few years.
You might not come across any Quidditch balls, invisibility cloaks or pet owls at Lindbergh Elementary. But peek inside any classroom, and you’re bound to find something magical happening.
Just take Ben Langer’s 4th grade students. On one of the last days of school, they are arranged on the carpet, their eyes and ears locked on him as he reads aloud Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
This group of students, along with Pam Vitale’s 4th grade class next door, are leading indicators of sustained growth at Lindbergh. Schoolwide, over the past two years, Lindbergh has steadily increased their number of students who score proficient in reading by 16 points (from 28% to 44%). What’s more, reading proficiency for English Language Learners (ELL), who make up 37% of the school, has grown by 26 points.
As for Langer and Vitale’s 4th grade classrooms? Over the past two years, at least 70% of their students have achieved their MAP reading growth goals.
Teacher teaming leads to higher levels of student achievement
No potions or spells are at work here – just strong, consistent, grade-level teacher teaming, a practice backed by research that links higher levels of student achievement to teacher collaboration. It started five years ago, when these two 4th grade teachers came together to learn from each other, share students’ strengths and strategize to meet the learning needs of all of their students.
In time, with the help of Instructional Coach Quinn Marx, their academic planning grew more structured, intentional and aligned to Lindbergh’s School Improvement Plan (SIP) goals, which center on reading instruction and using data to drive decisions.
By examining this data, they can see areas in need of intensified support and identify strategies for providing it. One example is GLAD, or Guided Language Acquisition Design. It offers differentiated instructional strategies so that all students, native English speakers and ELLs alike, can access academic content and read and write grade-level text. In 2015, Vitale and Langer became GLAD-certified.
Looking toward the future
While there’s no crystal ball showing what the 2017-18 school year has in store, Lindbergh Principal Lindsay Maglio and her staff are eager to build on what has worked well over the past few years, as evidenced by the school’s latest Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction report card, which shows Lindbergh exceeding expectations overall and in three out of four priority areas.
“What we’re doing is working,” Maglio says. “We’re just honing in and going deeper. And it will be really good to do that.”