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Welcome to the 2016-17 School Year, Teachers and Parents!

Welcome to the new school year at Grand Ledge Public Schools!

My name is Francie Skarritt and I will be teaching Language! Live at Hayes Middle School this year. I have been teaching for 29 years and am looking forward to another year using this wonderful program. Language! Live is designed to help your child improve in reading skills.

Part of my days will be spent as the district’s literacy coach, as well. I provide support to any elementary or secondary general education or special education teachers who teach literacy through the Language! Live or Language! Programs.

Please look around on my website for teacher or parent tips, videos of lessons taught, and for more information about my classroom and myself. Check out a great (and short!) video on what Language! Live is all about. Click on “Parent Tips” in the Parent section, and scroll down to the fourth entry. In addition, there is a short power point on the elementary reading programs we use. Just look over on the right side of this page and click on the icon. Feel free to leave comments on any posts you see throughout the coming year. I love feedback!

If you would like to reach me, the best way is by email (skarrittf@glcomets.net). My classroom number is 925-5649. The best time to reach me is after 2:30.

Here’s to a great year ahead, and to LOTS AND LOTS of reading!

EdWeb.net a Great FREE Resource for Teachers

EdWeb.net may be just the thing you’re looking for if you need more FREE professional development hours and are not sure where to get them. The webinars are very user-friendly, and you can watch them when they are on and interact or listen to them whenever it fits into your schedule. You can print out a certificate that says you attended, as well.

Some examples of upcoming webinars are:
–Recognize, Respond, Report: Preventing and Addressing Bullying of Students with Special Needs (3/31/16)
–Universal Design for Learning in Action – Ensuring Every Student Can Create and Collaborate (4/6/16)
–Integrating Autism & Mental Health Interventions with Behavioral Strategies
Engaging All Learners (4/14/16)
–5 Steps to Creating More Inclusive Classrooms (4/14/16)
–S/he Hit Me First: Learn Proactive Solutions to Teach Social Emotional Skills through Daily Conflict (4/21/16)

I hope this helps in some small way.

Giving Thanks

This is the month for giving thanks so I am sending out a big THANK YOU to each and every one of you fabulous folks that I have the privilege of working with.  Thank you for showing those around you how dedicated and passionate you are about the job you do every day.  Thank you for asking the good questions that make you a better teacher.  Thank you for supporting your fellow special education teachers and helping each other grow and improve each day, week, month, year.  Thank you for collaborating with your general education staff to bring your expertise to them and their classrooms.  Thank you for taking time on your evenings and weekends to finish those IEPs on time, to read up on that new student that is starting next week, to work on your lesson plans.  Thank you for finding out what makes each and every student special and letting them know you care.  Thank you for being an emotional support to your colleagues/friends to help make their days fuller, happier, more meaningful.  Thank you for sharing with me tidbits from your toolbox of strategies and tips to help make me a better teacher.  Thank you for caring the way you do to make the world a better place, one teacher at a time, one student at a time, one day at a time.  You are remarkable and I am thankful!

A Few Retirements at Year’s End

We, at Beagle, said a fond farewell to three incredible staff members in June. Congratulations to our beloved music teacher–Linda Winters, our chef de cuisine–Tammy Rademacher, and our secretary extraordinaire–Leah Horn.

Linda Winters:

Tammy Rademacher

Leah Horn:

Fluency Passage Organization Tip

If you’re like me, it’s no fun at all to make multiple trips to the copy machine, and all those fluency passages per student add up to lots of pages.  This is what I do to make things much easier organizationally…

Let’s say a student is on Level N in fluency.  I would copy all the passages for Level N, O, P, Q and R and put them in the student’s binder in the Fluency section.  That way, each week it is so easy to go on to the next one because it is right there.  That’s enough for approximately 30 weeks!  (I also put a sticky note on the first page of each level as a visual reminder that a new level is starting.)

So, what if the student is zooming ahead and doesn’t need all those passages?  Simply take them out and file them away for the next student who needs them.  More often than not, our students need most or all of them, but when I have a student who is doing really well at a level and he asks to move up to the next level, I check him on the next leveled passage and if all checks out, I move him up.  It’s that easy.

When you copy the passages, I suggest you copy them in packets (all of the passages for Level N together in a packet, for example.)  If you keep them that way in your filing system, they are easy to pull out and put into binders.

If you have any suggestions for your fellow teachers on organizing fluency, feel free to comment on this post!


How to Take a Screenshot!

Here’s a quick tidbit:  If this has always been a mystery to you, it’s rather quite simple.  Go to the screen you want, click on command/shift/4.  You will see the cursor on your screen.  Use that cursor to frame the part of the page you want, let go of the cursor, and it will take the shot.  It should automatically go to your desktop.  That’s it!

Welcome To My Site!

Well, as I venture into the world of blogs and websites, I have to say, it’s certainly a learning experience!   I decided to look at this as the next big adventure in my life.
On my website, you will find the following things:

  • information about me.
  • information for teachers, such as the Helpful Hints section, my Twitter feed, my classroom and blogs.
  • training videos for teachers
  • information for parents, such as my classroom, and ideas on how we can best work together.
  • ways to connect with me.
  • ways to get support.

I hope you decide to join me on this next adventure into the vast world of electrons!