New writing program helps boost test scores 2013.05.01

Written by David Green.

Good teachers, good intervention specialists and a good writing program.

Those three factors contributed to Morenci's success on the state MEAP test that led to the highest scores in the county on the fourth grade writing test. In addition, the school improved its writing scores from 25 percent for the 2011-12 school year to 60 percent in the 2012-13 school year.

The writing and grammar program WriteSteps was adopted by the school three years ago and principal Mary Fisher is pleased with the results.

After several years of low writing scores, the rise to 60 percent is remarkable, Fisher said, and WriteSteps gives teachers a different perspective for teaching writing.

Fisher says the lower level teachers have really embraced WriteSteps and are excited about what their kids are doing. She consistently hears “Can you believe this, look at what my student wrote!” and has noticed exceptional writing from students. 

Fisher’s one requirement prior to purchasing WriteSteps was to make sure her entire staff was on board and prepared to use the program. Her teachers found success through the support of professional development as well as the sufficient time given to them to implement WriteSteps into their classrooms.

“Who knows what will happen next year,” said Fisher, “but what I’m seeing coming out of second grade is exciting. Our second graders are writing like experts.” 

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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