Model Elementary is committed to creating enriching opportunities for students. The Model staff are diligent in on-going assessment of all of the students’ progress in academics. Our programs are designed to ensure our students succeed. Our co-curricular programs combine art, music, and gym with core classes like science, math, and language arts in authentic activities to provide meaningful learning.
Literacy assessments are given at the beginning and end of the year through the Rigby comprehension program and the Literacy Collaborative observational survey. The guided reading groups are determined by these assessments. Small and whole group instruction goals are planned to create growth in fluency, phonemic awareness, comprehension, and literacy analysis.
The newly incorporated math program emphasizes math reasoning. We want our students to utilize reasoning and analysis in this form of higher-level thinking. Presently we are working on implementation and forms of assessment.
The Writer’s Workshop format is utilized so that students can progress at their own pace in writing development. The emphasis is on ideas and content, organization, style/voice, and language mechanics. A corporation-wide writing prompt and rubric used every nine weeks provides the opportunity to compare growth and to develop instructional strategies.
Model Elementary School’s Library always has something going on. Classes visit the library as a group once a week, however students are always welcome to come in and check out another book. Mrs. Kennedy reads to every class that comes in to check out books. The stories offer a variety of fiction and nonfiction subjects. The Lifeskill of the Month is also highlighted. The classes look forward to the storytime in the reading corner. Mrs. Kennedy sure knows how to make reading fun! The library is always decorated for the current theme or season. We have even seen Mr. Grinch’s sleigh at Christmas in Model’s library!
Family Reading night is one of Mrs. Kennedy’s many contributions to Model. The second Tuesday of every month is set aside for a special reading night for Model’s families. Parents bring their children back to school at 6:30 for special activities that revolve around reading. Some of the special nights in the past have included a magician, a play put on by one of our third grade classes, a professional photographer, and a Young Author’s Night featuring a published author.
Mrs. Kennedy also offers special incentives for reading. She hosts an “American Girls’ Party” in the spring for all those who have read a set number of American Girls’ books. This year the party consisted of a sleep-over at the school with special activities planned for the evening and into the night! Young Hoosier books are also read by 4th and 5th graders. If you read 10 or more of the Young Hoosiers’ you attend a pizza party. If you read all 20 of the books, you attend a pizza party and receive a free ticket to the Linway Cinema and $5.00 for treats.
The library has a computer area for students to do research or work on a Living Book or other activity. These two computers are also connected to Model’s local network so students using them are able to access the curriculum from the computer lab and their portfolio where their work is stored. There is a separate area with two computers that are used as a card catalog. Students are able to look up a book on these computers and can tell if any school in Goshen owns the book and if it is currently available for check out.
The LC (Literacy Collaborative) Library is housed in the student library. This library is for teachers to choose books for literacy instruction in their classrooms. The LC Library is available for all grade levels, and is part of Model’s reading curriculum.
Model now has 2 computer labs, one primarily for grades 3-5 and another for grades K-2.
The lab for grades 3-5 has 32 window computers that are connected to Compass Learning’s Tomorrow Promise Curriculum, Type To Learn, and the internet. The Compass Learning program has reading, and math lessons for all grade levels. Language Art lessons are added for grades 3-5. Students may access the web directly by using icons on the launcher to access the sites their teachers have chosen for them to use that day. Math games, grammar games, unit projects on the Iditarod, health, and immigration are just some of the activities available to the different grade levels. Spellingcity.com is a popular website that many classes use to reinforce the week’s spelling list. Many teachers have a classroom website on Goshen’s moodle page that lists educational websites along with assignments for their students to access in the lab and at home. Grades 3-5 come to the computer lab twice a week for 30 minute sessions.
The lab for grades K-2 has 25 computers that run Waterford Early Reading Program. This program is designed to help students with phonetics so they can better decode words. Grades 1 and 2 come to the lab every day for 30 minutes. Kindergarten classes come 4 times a week for 20 minute sessions.
Each classroom has one teacher computer and at least 2 student computers. The classroom computers are connected up to Model’s local network and are able to access the curriculum from the computer lab. All computers are also connected to Goshen Community Schools’ local-area network and the internet. Students may work on assignments their teacher has given them for lab time in their own classroom. Teachers also have the option to make computer assignments from their classroom. Teachers are able to access documents that their students are working on in order to proofread or grade each project.
Typically grades 4 and 5 work on word processing documents, however they do spend time in the Compass Learning program when they are finished with their assignments. They are all learning keyboarding skills through a program called “Type to Learn”. Third graders also use “Type to Learn” along with the Compass Learning program.
The primary grades at Model also may sign up for time in the Compass computer lab. Their teachers pick out the lessons for them to work on in the lab and it is integrated with what they are doing in the classroom. Starfall.com is a popular internet site that the lower grades frequently use in the lab.
Goshen Community Schools tests students on the computers to monitor their progress. The computer lab is closed during testing weeks in order to conduct the testing. We are currently using Acuity tests to measure student growth in reading and math. The students are tested 3 times a year. Twice a year 4th graders are tested in science, and fifth graders are tested in Social Studies.
The computer lab is also used for remediation. System 44, a Scholastic product, is a program that helps students in grades 3-5 learn to decode words with an emphasis on phonics. All students in grades 3-5 are tested to see their phonetically awareness. Based on their scores on this test, they are then tested to see how well they can read and understand passages. This test then places them in System 44 at their individual reading level.
The grade levels carefully assess student data on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. This analysis provides opportunities to determine the best means of remediation for students who have not grasped the concepts or processes entirely. Teachers have instructional strategies to improve instruction and provide more ideas in working with students.
During grade level collaboration, the teachers organize their schedules to provide extra practice for remediation during the school day on a weekly basis. Enrichment for students who need more in depth challenges is also provided during this block of time.
Assistance of Other Resources
- Hope mentors – Adults from the Goshen Christian Reformed Church provide one-on-one assistance to many of our second and third grade students. The mentors read with their mentee weekly and provide the encouragement needed to succeed.
- Boys & Girls Club Power Hour – This resource is available at Model for Monday-Thursday for students in grades four and five. The supervisor provides educational support in completing classroom assignments. Transportation is provided after the 1.5 hour session.
- Special Education Intervention – If a teacher determines that a student is struggling academically and the interventions the teacher is using are not enough, the child is taken to our Child Study committee, which consists of the counselor, special education staff, classroom teachers, and school nurse. Additional building-wide interventions are recommended and the team reconvenes to revisit the child’s academic progress.
- English as a New Language (ENL) Department – A team of three full time and one half time personnel offer additional assistance for our ENL population. Mrs. Zehr provides learning units for 0 -1 level of English students to acclimate them to the school setting. The remaining team members collaborate with the classroom teacher to provide prior experience and introduction to unit vocabulary. The staff also provides additional instruction of various academic concepts and processes.
English as a New Language (ENL)
At Model, we have a combination of a pull-out and in-classroom programs. First grade English as a New Language (ENL) students are helped during center times in the classrooms. Beginning ENL students from first through fifth grades are pulled out of the classroom for ENL lessons. More advanced students in second through fifth grades are pulled out to receive help with reading and/or classroom work in different subject areas. Students are tested upon entry into Goshen Community Schools. This testing enables us to determine the help necessary for each student to become proficient in English.
ENL es el programa de Inglés Como Nuevo Lenguaje. Aquí en la escuela Model tenemos una combinacíon de clases de inglés dentro y fuera del salón regular de clases. Los niños de primero reciben ayuda en su salón durante el periodo de centros. Los principiantes de primero a quinto van al salón de Inglés Como Nuevo Languaje para recibir lecciones de inglés. Estudiantes más avanzados de 2do a 5to van al salón de inglés para recibir ayuda con lectura o con las tareas de sus clases. Todo nuevo estudiante que entra a las escuelas de Goshen toma una prueba en inglés o español. Esta prueba nos ayuda a determinar la ayuda que el estudiante necesita para ser proficientes en inglés.
Speech, Language and Hearing
Students in grades kindergarten, one, and four have their hearing screened yearly and others are tested by referral or if there is a history of ear problems. A doctor’s referral is made for students failing either the hearing screening and/or a hearing threshold exam. Hearing is retested as needed.
The speech/language/hearing program at Model servess students with disorders in communication skills. The goal of the program is to improve the speech therapy student’s ability to communicate effectively. Parents or teachers may make a referral to the speech language pathologist at any time with concerns or questions regarding a student’s speech, language, or hearing.
Students may qualify for services in a number of different communication areas such as fluency (stuttering), vocabulary delay, receptive and expressive language disorders, articulation errors, auditory processing, and hearing loss.
Students enrolled in speech/language services are encouraged to practice their goals while assisted at home to help them make progress. Their speech and/or language services at school typically take place in small groups or on a consultation basis, which is determined by their needs and by the case conference.
The Special Education teachers at Model Elementary assist children with learning disabilities in and out of the general education classroom. Models of inclusion and direct services are used to service students. Another integral aspect of the Special Education Department is the referral and evaluation of students who are suspected of having difficulties in learning. The process involves a referral from a parent or teacher. A team of educators then meets to discuss the next appropriate step in the process to services. Classroom modifications may help some students while others may go through a testing procedure with the school psychologist to determine academic potential.
Each child who qualifies for Special Education services has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) tailored to their strengths and weaknesses. Agreement of services and needs is determined by a Case Conference Committee involving parents and school personnel. It is the goal of the Special Education staff to remediate each child’s learning so that they may reach their full potential.
Goshen Community Schools uses Follett Destiny Software to manage the district media centers resources. Students can use the destiny website to research what literature and media resources are available for all there classroom research needs.