It’s Sunday and I’m going through my usual ritual of settling back into the flow of my household, getting laundry done, cleaning up the little things around the house that my family doesn’t seem to see while I’m gone and basically taking a breath before traveling again on Monday. This week at training it was a bit more stressful because we were all wondering, as Reac3h Coaches, whether or not we will have a job again next year. After all the training we’ve received, connections we have made and understanding the vision of this job we have been charged with its hard to think that we might not continue. This whole year was funded through a federal Ed Jobs grant, and therefore, the state of Oklahoma did not have to take on the expense of 60 Reac3h Coaches and the extensive training we have received over the last 10 months. Not to mention the room and board in bringing us to Oklahoma City each month. But the grant was only for one year. The legislature is now considering the funding to keep the Reac3h Coach initiative going.
Spirits are high at the Oklahoma State Department though that Reac3h Coaches will remain for many years to come. We were offered a bit of insight as to what our future would look like if allowed to continue our charge. Since we’ve had extensive training in LETRS and Numbers, from Sopris, Cambrium Learning and Voyager, it’s only natural that we share this knowledge with our region’s educators in some organized fashion. It’s thought that we, the 60 Reac3h Coaches, be certified as LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) trainers and be able to bring LETRS training to all our districts within our region for free (only expense would be to purchase the books that go along with the training). This will take some time to accomplish since in order to become a trainer you must go through the program twice and complete successfully assessments that measure your understanding of the 15 different modules. Each module stands on its own and is treated as a separate certification. If this structure is our future we see that each month after we are certified that we will begin offering that module(s) training to our districts. For those who aren’t familiar with LETRS I will offer this:
At the Reac3h Network Summit a lady posed the question as to what teachers are expected to do when they have students who lack foundational reading knowledge when they, themselves, are unfamiliar with foundational reading concepts. LETRS will give educators that foundational reading knowledge to assist their students at all levels to become better readers.
We have also been in math training with the Numbers program. This program is structured to give educators the understanding of what math looks like in the Common Core era. The best way for me to explain this is to show it to you. The following link is to a Teaching Channel video of a teacher asking fourth graders to rationalize and defend their thinking about a division problem. While watching this video look at the way this teacher sets up her examples (visuals) for students to see the problem beyond the numbers. This is a great representation of the Numbers training we are receiving as Reac3h Coaches.
Also at the Reac3h Network Summit I was asked to present a summary of the training we have received as Reac3h Coaches. The following is that presentation which was five minutes of a 30 minute presentation from Reac3h Coaches. It sums up the extensive training that the Ed Jobs grant paid for over the last year.
It strikes me it would be a shame to give up on the potential this could have on the future of sharing knowledge to Oklahoma educators. If you feel the same contact your legistators and let them know.
Thanks for listening!