BDUSD November School of the Month
By: Nicole White – BDUSD Communications Officer
Beaver Dam Unified School District’s School of the Month for November is Jefferson Elementary School. Jefferson is home to 295 students and has won many awards in recent years including eight Wisconsin school of Recognition Awards. Jefferson Jaguars take pride in their school and show this through a variety of team approaches to academics and social/emotional learning.
READY MATH: Jefferson Elementary School was the first school to get their hands on our new math resources, Ready Math. They not only piloted the program last year in their school, but they are also taking full advantage of the technology components of the curriculum as young as kindergarten. Kindergarteners through fifth graders have large group instruction in math, and then technology time with tablets to guide their individualized instruction. Each student uses the tablets and the program keeps track of how they are doing, where they left off, which skills they need to keep practicing, and which skills they have mastered. Each kindergarten student spends 45 minutes a week using the online component which allows not only individualized learning approaches, but teachers are then able to rotate through each student to assess their learning needs and provide unique instruction to each student. At the end of each lesson, each student completes a graph on how they did on that lesson. At the end of each two week period, the students complete a “Data Chat” worksheet reflecting on their progress in narrative form. This is a great example of how teachers are integrating writing into their math curriculum, and also allows students to learn the art of self-reflection, and teachers the ability to conference with individual students and provide accurate goals and instruction for the next two week session.
Principal Mary Klawitter states, “One of the things we like about Ready Math and iReady is that teachers have easy access to individual student data, and they can meet regularly with students to discuss the data and help them set personal goals. Students see their progress toward their goals and really gain confidence in their math skills.”
ATTENDANCE INCENTIVE: The entire school district is focusing on attendance, and Jefferson Elementary has taken the attendance goal and incentivized it with a “We Belong” chart. Each classroom at Jefferson has the letters “We Belong” hanging on or near their classroom door. For each day that the classroom has perfect attendance, they get to fill in one of the letters to “We Belong”. Each day those classes are recognized during the daily announcements, and once the “We Belong” sign is filled in, the students in that class get to choose a class reward. Rewards thus far have included 15 minutes of extra recess time and 15 minutes of extra tablet time on iReady Math. Way to go kids for choosing rewards that are beneficial for our health and academics!