Laura Belle Wallace Middle School in Kyle, Texas is KUCRL’s first named SIM Profile Showcase School. The SIM footprint is clearly evident in this school; it has become a part of the school culture and is observable daily. View evidence of this SIM footprint in this YouTube video, featured on the school’s website.
Teachers implement Content Enhancement Routines in all core content classes and in most elective classes. SIM devices are collected on a shared drive for collaboration across faculty; student notebooks and binders contain CER devices constructed and used in classes; the Paragraph Writing Strategy is embedded into core content classes as well as being integrated with an expository writing strategy used by the District. Learning Strategies are taught in a reading intervention course for struggling readers, and student folders and data are available for viewing. A Region 13 SIM coach works with strategies teachers to ensure they are implementing with fidelity. Xtreme Reading will be implemented in the 2016-17 school year.
The school is implementing four of the five Levels of the CLC, and Levels 1-3 are being implemented with a high level of fidelity and quality. The principal and SIM coach have discussed implementation of Level 5 and are investigating ways to integrate the Speech Language program.
SIM reaches beyond this school. The Hays Community Independent School District (CISD) uses SMARTER as a lesson-planning template for planning and instruction and in Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings. Visitors can observe PLCs and witness the SMARTER template in action to create integrated Unit Organizers.
An examination of the last three years of data tells a happy story. Each year, an increasing number of students have met or exceeded the state standards and the students’ scale scores across all three grades showed a positive trajectory. The teachers examined their class data and learned that, across the past three years, there was notable growth in student achievement in their courses – more students were successful and the level of success had increased.
In comparison to other district schools, Wallace has a larger number of 8th graders complete Algebra, and the 2016 passing rate was 93%! The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test results show that 82% of Wallace Middle School students were successful in math and 88% were successful in Reading.
What Students Say
• “I really feel like the course organizer helped me in all of my classes because it helped me to …see where I was and what I need to improve on.”
• “I think the FRAME helped me the most this year, mostly because it was easy to remember how to fill it out and it helped me to organize the details. “
• “The comparison table helped me find the definitions of the words and helped me remember what they meant.”
• “I think the paragraph diagram really helped me out this year because it was really simple…it organized everything for me.”
• “The clarifying table was really helpful for me because I’m bilingual. It’ll help you break down what you need and don’t need and really be successful.”
• “Frame is easy for me to organize my thoughts and go over and review or study later on for a test.”
• “I like UO because it’s fun to see what we’re going to learn throughout the unit.”
What Teachers Say
• “Possible Selves was one of my favorite strategies because it let me listen to my kids hopes and dreams and really get to know them.”
• “The learning strategies helped my students [to] be more organized about how they read a passage and figure out the vocabulary and answer questions.”
• “SIM allows me to focus on the content that I know I can deliver to my students in a very easy way that they can then go back and review to enhance what some of the kids may not already know and build upon it.”
What Administrators Say
• “The Strategic Instruction Model is research based and it has done nothing but wonderful things for the students that use it. Personally as a teacher and administrator, I’ve seen the value of it. Most students will tell you that it helps them organize what their thoughts are, the content specific things that are important, as well as cut away things they don’t need.”
Christy Henry, SIM professional developer and SIM Instructional Coach, led the effort to gather and submit the evidence for this recognition. The effort included people from across the district and school to garner this recognition. To also be recognized are:
• Susan Maxey, Director of Professional Development
• Lucio Calzada, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary School Performance
• The Literacy Leadership Team – Jenna Crail (Science), Lindsey Crain (Math), Jennifer Cude (ELA), James Davis (Science), Rudy Gonzalez (Assistant Principal), Tina Hansen (Social Studies), James Noble (GTT – Gateways to Technology), Jennifer Patterson (Assistant Principal), and Lacy Tambunga (Learning Strategies)
• Also, Rachelle Hill, Rachel Gomez and Kim Pena
What is Your School’s SIM Profile?
SIM implementation varies from school to school. Some schools may implement a number of Content Enhancement Routines (CERs) and integrate the routines across classes and content areas. Others may have a great deal of Learning Strategies (LS) implementation and others may implement some of each (CERs and LS). Still others have established all levels of the Content Literacy Continuum at their sites.
We invite you to submit your school’s SIM profile.