PARENT AND COMMUNITY INFORMATION:
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Click on the link below for some great Literacy websites
MORSE MEMORIAL SCHOOL
Morse Memorial School is situated in Brooks at a site formerly called the Ryder lot. The estate of Willis Morse left $61,000 for the construction of a new school and building materials began arriving in April 1931. The building was completed in December 1931.
The original Brooks High School burned in 1947. At this time, a group of concerned citizens organized a movement to construct an auditorium on the site. The construction of this auditorium became a town project and was entirely funded with donated monies, materials and labor. Work was completed in the spring of 1949 and dedicated to Bob Grant, an enlisted soldier of World War II. The building was named the Grant Memorial Gymnasium
by Principal Matthew Faragher Houghton
Over the past six weeks, both groups of staff have been meeting weekly to build their skills through a new program called Fred Jones' Tools for Teaching. This program focuses on three key areas for increasing student learning: discipline, instruction and motivation. Over twelve lessons, our teachers are learning to build a classroom management system that teaches students to be more responsible and accountable, and increases teachers' ability to focus on instruction. The program gives staff a common language to use with each other and students to talk about instruction and discipline, which we didn't have before.
In recent weeks teachers have used what they have learned and discussed, and have rearranged their rooms to allow them to "work the crowd" and have walkways to be in close proximity to all students in the room. This eliminates off-task behavior and disruptions so all students can learn better. We also have discussed "visual instructional plans" which involves teaching lessons one step at a time, using pictures for each step, which eliminates teachers having to teach the same concepts over and over. Another key piece of this program is "Say, See, Do" teaching, which means the teacher explains what to do, students watch the teacher show them how to do it, and then students do it themselves.
The weekly lessons for teachers happen in a specific format. First, the teachers read several chapters from the Fred Jones textbook. Then, at our weekly meetings we view video clips of Fred Jones modeling and highlighting the skills for that particular lesson. Then teachers practice the major skills and run through a performance checklist to make sure all the pieces are there. They learn in the Say, See, Do model, discussed above. There also is an informative and helpful website available through the program - www.fredjones.com - which teachers can use to ask any additional questions or gain more information.
I have been very pleased to bring this program to Morse Memorial and Monroe Elementary Schools, and facilitating the weekly lessons is exciting and motivating for me. I have seen this program work in my other principalships and it not only positively impacts instruction and learning, it can change the climate of a whole school community. The teachers at both schools previewed the program and elected to take part in this program on their own time and I am proud to be part of this powerful learning experience. I plan in the future to offer another component of this program which is geared specifically to parents, so you will be hearing from me soon about that
Last Updated (Friday, 08 March 2013 10:57)