February 2023 Elementary ELAOK Newsletter

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ELAOK: Elementary

February 2023 

Meet Julie Osburn, Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Finalist

Julie Osburn is a 2023 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Finalist. Julie is a 2nd grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in Pryor Public Schools.

I see myself in many of the learners I have worked with. Over the years I have gained a toolbox of ideas that continuously grows, to help learners self-regulate in and out of the classroom. It is so rewarding to work with a learner who has struggled in the past and watch them feel success.

Julie Osburn

How many years have you taught? I have been teaching for 28 years in public education. I taught pre-k for 21 years and have been in 2nd grade for the last 7 years.

What is your favorite children's book and why? My favorite children's book would be either Stephanie's Ponytail or Get Out Of Bed! both by Robert Munsch. I love to show my silly side while reading to my learners. I also like them to understand how I have chosen my favorite books and authors. Hopefully, this will help them choose books that interest them!

JO Photo

What is your favorite literacy lesson or instructional strategy? My favorite part of literacy instruction is reading aloud to my learners. I make it a point to read-aloud to my class every day. We take time during this read-aloud time to discuss the book, talk about new vocabulary, and share our thoughts about the book.

After finishing a book I try to incorporate a culminating activity for example:

  • Charlotte's Web - take a field trip to the county fair to see the animals and the exhibit. 
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - do a STEM challenge to create a new smoothie flavor for Willy Wonka's factory!
  • Wonder - having a guest speaker (my son that was born with a cleft lip and palate) come in to share his experiences, thoughts, and feelings and answer questions.

I have found that adding these activities really builds excitement to our read-aloud time! I also love to use themes and centers in my classroom to reinforce the standards being taught.

Post Office

What advice or message do you have for elementary teachers about literacy instruction? My message to elementary teachers about literacy instruction would be to create an environment that facilitates literacy in a way that is enjoyable and meaningful to all of your learners. Also, to continue your own learning in literacy instruction through ongoing professional development. 

Elementary Ed Chat

Are you looking for ways to keep your students focused and engaged in the classroom? If so, join our next live Elementary Ed Chat on Monday, February 27 at either 4pm or 7pm. We will be discussing strategies for keeping students focused and increasing student engagement. During these sessions, you will have opportunities to collaborate with educators from the state and the OSDE Elementary director team. Register below to attend one of these sessions:

Monday, February 27 4:00

Monday, February 27 7:00

Feb 2023 Elementary Ed Chat

If you would like to provide input about future topics, complete this survey. Below are resources from the previous OSDE Elementary Ed Chat

October 2022 - Meet the OSDE Elementary Team

See the recording and presentation slides to learn more about the OSDE elementary content directors and their favorite classroom strategies.   

December 2023 - Tackling Challenging Behaviors: Starting Fresh in the New Year

See the recordingpresentation slides and session notes to learn more about strategies to manage difficult behavior. The recording will be coming soon! 

Oklahoma Literacy Association Annual Conference

The Oklahoma Literacy Association (OKLA) invites you to attend the 2023 OKLA Annual Conference on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at Oklahoma Christian University. The theme is Energizing the Reading and Writing Connection. 

Dr. Carol Jago will be the keynote speaker. Her keynote will be titled, Reading and Writing in the Digital Age.  Oklahoma author, Alton Carter, will be speaking at lunch.  Alton Carter lives in Stillwater and is the author of children's and young adult books including The Boy Who Dreamed Big and The Boy Who Carried Bricks.

There will also be vendor tables, prizes, give-aways, and breakout sessions related to content from pre-k through 12th grade literacy. Breakfast and lunch are included with the conference.

Register at this link

For additional information, please email oklahomaliteracy@gmail.com.

Oklahoma Literacy Association

National Teacher of the Year Finalist

Congratulations to Rebecka Peterson, Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, on being named as a top-five finalist for National Teacher of the Year 2023!  Please take a few minutes to listen to her inspiring words of support for teachers. 

Peterson will travel to all 77 counties in Oklahoma, interviewing teachers who are making a difference and sharing their stories to offer words of encouragement for teachers, students, and their communities. Help celebrate a special teacher in your life by completing this short nomination form. Feel free to nominate a deserving colleague!

National TOY Finalists

Conversations About Family Engagement (CAFEs) Opportunities

Family Engagement

Beginning February 28, OSDE’s Family and Community Engagement Department will host in person CAFEs (Conversations About Family Engagement) for Oklahoma educators. The CAFEs will introduce a new course on OSDE Connect: Pathways to Engaging Families, Schools, & Communities: Oklahoma’s Framework. The course is an in-depth look at The Oklahoma Family Engagement Framework and invites educators from around the state to examine evidence-based practices for supporting student learning through partnerships with families and community members.

The dates, locations, and links to register for these free events are provided below. Any Oklahoma educators involved in family engagement at their school, district, or program are welcome to attend.

If you have questions about any of these resources, please call the Family & Community Engagement Office at 405-522-6225.

AIM Symposium: Why is Reading Comprehension So Difficult to Comprehend?

AIM Symposium

The annual AIM Institute Research to Practice Symposium will be Monday, March 13 from 7:30am-2:30pm. This is a free, virtual event that will focus on the complexity of reading comprehension and provide educators insights for classroom practice. 

Website for more information: https://institute.aimpa.org/programs-research/research-to-practice-symposium/2023-symposium 

Registration link: www.aimpa.org/symposium