CSRA Regional Education Service Agency

4683 Augusta Highway SE
Dearing, Georgia 30808
Fax 706-556-8891


March 2017

Media Specialist PLC

March 6th, 2017

Tour and Collaboration

with Susan Noland,
Mulberry Elementary School Media Specialist

Recipient of the
Judy Serritella Georgia
Exemplary Library Media Program 2016.

Please click here for more details and to register.
It is not too late to register for the Media Specialist PLC! Come join us for this session. During our visit and tour, Ms. Noland will discuss the rubric and application process for the exemplary library media program.

Professional Learning Courses
Upcoming courses at CSRA RESA

  • March 6 - Media Specialist PLC

  • March 10 - Social Studies GSE Rollout for Rural Districts
  • March 16 - GaPSC Teacher Leader PLC Training
  • March 17 - Social Studies GSE Rollout for Rural Districts
  • March 22 - Economic Concepts for Middle and High School Teachers

To register for courses, please click here.

Mr. Wayne Burke

6th Grade Science Teacher
Jenkins County
Middle School

Mr. Wayne Burke, 6th grade Science Teacher at Jenkins County Middle School, is 25 years into his second career. He began his teaching career after retiring from military service. He became a sixth grade teacher in 1992 and is still going strong today. He has also been very active in working with technology since joining the faculty in Jenkins County. The first website for the Jenkins County School District was created by Mr. Burke and his students use his website, Kudzuacres, everyday as they work on their science units.

Some would describe his class as a Flipped Classroom environment, however he refers to it as Karaoke Science because the students are constantly exposed to all of the science standards on a weekly basis.

Google classroom and apps are used for sharing expectations, assignments and resources, as well as Nearpod and YouTube.

Students create videos using the Explain Everything app to demonstrate their understanding of the content. "I like using the Explain Everything app; it allows me to explain what I've learned and I can create it my way," said Allen Bennett, a 6th grade student in Mr. Burke’s class. While visiting one class, I observed two students sharing their project with the class via Apple TV.

Science course units are set up by standards. They are very much student-centered with Mr. Burke monitoring, supporting, challenging, questioning, teaching within the groups and conferencing. One can hear lots of conversation within the groups and between the teacher and students in each group. Students were using appropriate content language in the conversations.

The units are all required, but student choice is allowed in the order of completion and accountability is evident. One group was working with Rocks and Minerals, while another was working with Climate and Weather and yet another with Plate Tectonics. A pretest and a posttest is completed by each student for each unit of study and each student delivers a presentation at the completion of a unit.

I observed interesting phenomena in the groups: student experts worked with those who needed technology support, collaborative discussions of ideas, questions being asked by students to the teacher and to their group members. I observed different types of chairs available for different types of work and collaboration. He uses different kinds of maps, mini-posters and objects, some student-made, to enrich the content.

Mr. Burke has been working on Karaoke Science for three years. He’s learned many new things himself. He acknowledged that there are challenges for the teacher who uses these strategies and this type of work with the content standards. He said “the teacher really has to know their content.” He said it is important to establish expectations and norms for learning to take place. He uses a variety of chants with hand and arm motions and short songs to gain the class’s attention to draw them back together as a whole class. In addition, he noted that the teacher needs to be able to handle students moving about and talking in order to be successful.

Two important advantages of his Karaoke Science program are that it is much easier and less expensive to have hands-on science materials for four or five students than for a full classroom. The other even more important advantage is the teacher/student interaction. As a teacher, if you are working with small groups everyday, you can really get to know your students individually. You have a lot more opportunities to provide individual help to the students who need it. Differentiation just happens, it doesn’t have to be planned.

Stay informed, get involved! @GetGaReading

Connect on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/getgeorgiareading


Teams of teachers in Burke, Emanuel, Taliaferro, and Warren counties have been working as a team to create balanced literacy classrooms. They are participating in the GOSA grant called "Growing Readers". This grant is being facilitated by all 16 RESAs across the state. Last year alone it served over 520 schools across the state.

Year One teachers have used part of the grant money to select specific resources to add independent and guided reading materials to their classrooms. Year Two teachers have focused on adding mentor texts to their classroom instruction and improving conferring methods.

Both groups of teachers are working diligently to tweak guided reading practices, use mentor texts to support teaching reading strategies, set time aside for conferring during independent reading time, and create targeted intervention strategy groups. They have set targeted goals for each reader and mid-year scores have indicated a lot of growth for many readers.

Both groups of teachers have also been given a one year subscription to www.readinga-z.com and www.raz-kids.com, These resources are being used not only at school but also at home by many of their students. The teachers are amazed with the plethora of leveled readers, lessons, strategies, and other assessment components. These reading sites are available for all readers. They are using the leveled readers from www.readinga-z.com to assess their readers based on 96% accuracy, fluency, and comprehension.

Both groups are delving into several resources to help strengthen their instruction. They are creating strategy lessons and strategy folders using Jennifer Serravallo's Reading Strategy Book. Year Two teachers were introduced to a variety of ways to confer and were given the book, Conferring with Readers by Serravallo. Each of the schools in the county that are participating will also be receiving the Literacy Continuum Book by Fountas and Pinnell.

Many of the schools are incorporating school-wide incentives for students to reach personal reading goals. Principal Hinesley, who has been an active participant and supporter of the Growing Readers Grant for two years, shared that her school, Mildred E. Freeman Elementary, will be hosting a seated dinner/movie night for students who exceed their individual reading goals. The students will come dressed in their Sunday best, be seated at tables with tablecloths and fine china, will be served their meals by teachers, and will enjoy a movie! Kudos to Warren County for planning an event that their readers will not forget! Each day students who score 100 on an AR test take a trip to the office to receive a peppermint and receive a high five! At the end of the day, as part of the daily announcements, they get to hear their name announced acknowledging their accomplishment!

Those participating in the Growing Readers grant believe that all it takes is the child, the right teacher and the right book to help readers grow. They want their readers to understand the magic that can be found in books so that they can become lifelong readers.

Submitted by Debbie Callan

Math Updates

GCTM Summer Academy

This summer, GCTM is planning presentations that will highlight the effective teaching strategies for the mathematics classroom, include engaging, higher order thinking tasks for each grade-band, and focus on meeting the needs of ALL students.

The cost for this 2-day workshop is $120 for non-members and $90 for GCTM members. They will be hosting academies at four different locations throughout the state. The dates and locations are:

  • June 13 - 14th - Albany High School in Dougherty County
  • June 20 - 21st - Statesboro High School in Bulloch County
  • June 27 - 28th - Allatoona High School in Cobb County
  • July 11- 12th - Morgan County High School in Morgan County

To register, Click here.

E-mail questions to academies@gctm.org

Save the Date – May 4, 2017

Get a headstart on K-5 Math Instructional Strategies
for the 2017-2018 school year.

Come experience how manipulatives can deepen understanding of mathematical concepts from counting in kindergarten, number sense in lower grades, to fraction understanding and operations in the upper elementary grades. Discover new tools and learn new ways to use familiar manipulatives. Leave with new and exciting lessons and manipulatives to use with your students!

Look for more information coming soon!

Gin Sellers


Math Consultant

Spotlight on Literacy Lessons
Check out all the lesson plans on the
Literacy Library page at
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