carnold's blog

Newest Book Club Book - The Literacy Cookbook

All teachers are welcome to participate in our newest book club book. Thus far we have 15 participants. We will be reading The Literacy Cookbook which has been described as a resource filled with classroom-tested techniques for teaching reading comprehension to even the most hard-to-reach students offering a review of approaches that are targeted for teaching reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. If you are interested in joining, please email me at and I will add you to the group.

Breakout Edu

We are excited to have recently purchased a “Breakout Edu” kit for each school for all teachers to access. The team of NS educators that went to the Google Summit in Burlington, MA this spring were introduced to this engaging kit and excited about the many possibilities for lessons. Each kit comes with a collection of locks, hidden contraptions, timers, keys, and other “diversion hardware” that can be used to play the Breakout challenges available from the store. It is a type of scavenger hunt that involves teamwork; clues, hidden messages and problem solving that can be applied to any grade level or content area. At the end of a Breakout, players will be eager for the next! Specialty K-12 Breakouts can be used to teach core academic subjects including math, science, history, language arts and have embedded standards that apply problem solving strategies within a real world or collaborative context. Breakouts can be developed by the teacher or can be accessed through the website housing free already made challenges.

RIDE Holding Summer PD Opportunities

RIDE will hold summer workshops for professional development regarding understanding PARCC ELA/Literacy expectations. These workshops will focus on expanding educators’ understanding of the PARCC ELA/Literacy expectations by having participants complete either a literary or informational calibration exercise using PARCC released student-work samples. Please note that this calibration exercise is a repeat of the calibration exercises we offered earlier this year (January through March) as part of our workshops on Understanding PARCC ELA/Literacy. 

INFORMATIONAL Focus- Understanding PARCC ELA/Literacy 
This two and a half hour workshop will focus on informational texts and the informational standards of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). It will focus on expanding educators’ understanding of the PARCC ELA/Literacy expectations by completing an informational calibration exercise using PARCC released student work samples.  
LITERARY Focus -Understanding PARCC ELA/Literacy 
This two hour workshop will focus on literary texts and the literary standards of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). It will focus on expanding educators’ understanding of the PARCC ELA/Literacy expectations by completing a literary calibration exercise using PARCC released student work samples. 
You may register for the summer session at:  Or  you may use the direct links below. 
 The session that will focus on Informational texts will be held on July 21st from 8:30-11:00am @ the Northern RI Collaborative.  

The session with the Literary focus will be held on July 21st from 11:00-1:00pm @ the Northern RI Collaborative.

Summer Technology Institute - Mark your calendars!

We will be holding another NWSC Technology Institute. The four districts in the North West Consortium are: Smithfield, North Smithfield, Burrillville and Lincoln. The summer Teacher Technology Institute is open to all teachers, administrators or staff members from any of the four districts. The institute will consist of four professional development sessions spread across two days during the summer. Each session will focus on different technology tools and how to integrate them into your current practice. All sessions are available to participants free of charge, although seating will be limited.


The summer 2016 Teacher Technology Institute will be held on August 9th and August 10th at Lincoln Middle School. There will be a number of different sessions to choose from, many focusing on the tools within Google Apps for Education. If you are looking to improve your skills or learn something new, these will be great opportunities that are completely free!
If you are interested in presenting a session and sharing information and knowledge, please contact Clare Arnold or Adam Stanley.
Who: Teachers and Administrators
What: Summer Technology Institute
Where: Lincoln Middle School
When: Aug 9th and 10th

CIA (Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment) Night

Please mark your calendars and join us on Wednesday, March 9th from 6-7pm in the North Smithfield High School library to learn about CIA (Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment.) Our Curriculum Director and Principals will be sharing information and about the common core standards, curriculum, instructional strategies, PARCC assessment and much more.

Who: Middle School and High School Parents
What: CIA (Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment) Night
Where: High School Library
When: March 9, 2016 @ 6pm 

PARCC Assessment

Every year, our students take a number of state assessments. We share the results of these assessments with you in order to give you an idea about the progress your child is making in school. We also use the results of these assessments to help us improve classroom instruction and to identify areas where students may need some extra support. The North Smithfield School Department will be implementing the PARCC assessment this Spring.

A few changes based on feedback have been made to the assessment:
• Consolidation of the two testing windows that stretched from March to June into one testing period
• Reduction the number of test units
• Reduction of the testing time for students by 90 minutes overall (30 minutes in English language arts, 60 minutes in mathematics); and
• Flexibility in setting testing schedules within the testing period


3rd Grade – Week of May 16th-20th

3rd Grade – Week of May 16th-20th
4th Grade – Week of May 2nd-6th
5th Grade – Week of May 9th-13th

Middle School
6th Grade – Week of May 2nd-6th
7th and 8th- Week of May 9th-13th

High School
ELA- April 25-29th (morning 9th grade, afternoon 10th grade)
Math- May 23rd-25th (morning Alg I, afternoon Geo)

We are holding a PARCC Parent Information Night on Wednesday, April 6th, at 6:00 p.m. in the North Smithfield Middle School Cafeteria. 



General Information

Certification Info:
The online renewal is now open for educators with certificates expiring in August 2016. This is super important! If you let you certification expire you will have to reapply and meet all the new regulations. RIDE will be notifying educators of their upcoming cert expiration via email. Please make sure that RIDE has your current email. You can update your contact info and/or renew your certificate on the My eCert portal on RIDEmap.

Grades 4-8 Roster Verification:
In the past, teachers in grades 3-7 would have to verify rosters due to the grades we tested using necap. As we transition to the parcc and conduct spring testing, teachers in grades 4-8 will have to verify rosters. Because this is the first year that Grade 8 will be included we will want to ensure that all TCS data submitted to RIDE includes the contributing educator flags for grade 8 ELA and math.

PARCC Released Items:
Just a friendly reminder that PARCC has released tests from last Spring. I know that we have begun to examine the sample items and responses, but thought I’d send the link as a reminder that they are available. The samples give teachers a powerful tool to inform and improve classroom teaching and learning.

Upcoming Dates

Just sending along a reminder of some important upcoming dates... 


January 6th- Science Curriculum HS Chemistry

January 7th- HS Community of Practice – Grade 9 English

January 8th- HS Community of Practice- Grade 10 English

January 13th- Science Curriculum HS Chemistry

January 20th- Science Curriculum HS Chemistry

January 25th- Professional Development Advisory Committee

January 27th- Science Curriculum HS Chemistry

January 27th- Halliwell Book Study (Daily 5) @7:45am

Febebruary3rd- Science Curriculum Grades 3&4

February 3rd- (tentative) Math Textbook Committee meeting (grades 3-5)

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