Last spring elementary school teachers, Implementation Specialists, and staff within the Office of Academics, worked through a process to more closely align the Houghton Mifflin Reading materials to the Common Core State Standards. A specific writing protocol was followed, developed by the Council of Great City Schools, in which teachers read through an entire HM selection to find major themes and student takeaways. This was followed by using a text complexity rubric (here) to identify challenging sections and areas in which comprehension was most likely to be break down for students. Finally, participants used a guide to writing text-dependent questions (here) to assist with keeping instruction anchored in the text.
The team consisted of Kitty Gillette, Revae Henry, Robbie Gilmartin, Jen Wigfiled, Trish Hermesky, Lori Bell, Chris Hayes, Jane Miller, Erin Dawson, Linda McMillan, Gail Corthell, Jolene Hamilton, Connie Frazer, Traci Mendoza, Chauncy Ashby, Ann Warren, Mandy Grotting, Megan Pruitt, and Terry Boyden
Their hard work and contributions are allowing Washoe to take advantage of rewrites for the entire HM series as well as Imagine It!, Trophies, Story Town, Medallion, Open Court, Treasures, and Reading Street. You can read how to access the materials here.
About Aaron Grossman
I am a 5th grade teacher at Roy Gomm Elementary in Reno, Nevada. I started working with elementary students as part of the Montana Reads program and AmeriCorps. In 2001, after graduating from the University of Montana and moving to Reno, Nevada, I student taught at Rita Cannan Elementary before receiving a 6th grade position at Veterans Elementary. I moved out of the classroom to be a Literacy Coordinator, then an Instructional Coach, and finally a School Improvement Program Coordinator. In 2011, I began working on the Nevada Academic Content Standards in the district’s Curriculum & Instruction Department. I returned to the classroom for the 2015-2016 school year to teach 4th grade at Huffaker Elementary.
Before returning to the classroom, I helped develop the Core Task Project that has been featured by National Public Radio, the Gates Foundation, American Radio Works, Eduwonk, the Fordham Institute, Vox, and the Center for American Progress. In 2014, I received the Leader to Learn From Award for my teacher-centered initiative and work to bring college, career, and civics ready outcomes into Northern Nevada classrooms (here).
In 2015, I was appointed by Governor Sandoval serve on the Statewide RPDP Council. The same year, Nevada’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Steve Canavero placed me on the state’s State Improvement Team. This year I will be part of the National Council on Teacher Quality’s Teacher Advisory Group. I am Google Certified Educator and a Nevada Teacher Ambassador.
I believe strongly that teaching content is teaching reading and I make sure my students have ample opportunities to work with social studies, history, science and art outcomes. I do what I can to blend the learning for my students and this blog is part of that effort. You can contact me at email@example.com