• Dana Vruwink, Math Intervention Specialist & Substitute Teacher

    Email: vruwinkd@willmar.k12.mn.us

    Location:  Willmar Public Schools, Roosevelt Elementary
    Phone:  (320) 231-8470

    Welcome!  My name is Mrs. Vruwink.  I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia College, Moorhead, in 1994.  I have been a Reading Interventionist for 3 years and Substitute Teacher for the past 7 at Roosevelt.  This year will be my first year working as a Math Intervention Specialist.  My occupation combines three things I love:  teaching kids, reading books and math!  It is exciting to see returning students and I can't wait to meet new students as well.

    I work directly with the classroom teachers, RtI specialists, instructional math coaches and other certified staff to provide 25 minutes of daily small group instruction for students in each grade level.  

    The goal of RtI (Response to Intervention) in reading is to teach and strengthen reading skills, such as letter naming, letter sounds, phonics (blending sounds to make words), working with digraphs (when a letter is added to  another letter and their sound is different from the individual sounds, such as 'ph', 'sh', 'ch' and 'th'), reading accuracy (reading words correctly and carefully), reading fluency (reading with good expression and volume, smoothness, pace and phrasing), and reading comprehension (being able to answer story questions and find text evidence, as well as being able to summarize a story). 

    The goal of RtI in math is to teach and strengthen math skills, such as problem solving, manipulating numbers and understanding the importance of using mathematics in everyday life. Most learning takes place through games and fun activities.  We have an amazing team of coaches, teachers and interventionists this year and I'm really excited for a great school year!

    I ALWAYS encourage parents to read with their children.  Reading 20 minutes a day can have a huge impact on developing reading skills.  To find book suggestions for your child's reading level, check online book lists, ask your teacher or check out the public library.  Some of my favorite children's book authors are:  Kate DiCamillo, Mo Williams, Eric Carle, Kevin Henkes, Steven Kellogg, Ruth Krauss, Arnold Lobel, Beatrix Potter, Margret and H.A. Rey, E.B. White, Margaret Wise Brown, Ian Falconer, Madeleine L'Engle, Judy Blume, Jonathan London, Judith Viorst, Maurice Sendak, Dr. Seuss and R.A. Montgomery.  Especially with young ages, repetition in reading is important.  Kids enjoy reading the same books over and over.  In time, they'll begin to retell the story from memory.  They'll also let you know when you've skipped a page!  Parents, as you read to your child, try to read at a slow enough pace (adults tend to rush), read with expression and discuss the book by asking your child questions to help them understand the story.  Remember, reading leads to imagination, curiosity, discovery and creativity!  
    1.  Before reading, look over the cover and title and discuss what you think the book will be about.  After reading, see if your predictions were right. 
    2.  After reading, retell a story with puppets or dress up in costumes and act out the story. 
    3.  Draw pictures of the story or make your own book. 
    4.  Have your child pick a silly spot to read books (the stairway, tree fort, swing set, tent, closet, etc.) 
    5.  For reluctant readers, you can find graphic novels, comic books or choose your own adventure books, where every choice leads to a different possibility.  
    6.  Ask your child to read to the cat, dog or other pet.  Pets love to be read to!
    7.  Take turns reading pages.  Adult reads one side, child reads the other.
    8.  If you are not sure what reading level to select for your child, follow the Five Finger Rule.  If your child reads and only has 1-2 errors, it may be time to move to something more challenging.  If your child has 3 errors, the book level is challenging, but not overwhelming.  If you have 4 or more errors, try going to a lower reading level, so they can build confidence and not get frustrated.        
    If you want to be a world changer for people everywhere, start by being a day maker for the people right next to you.  - Kid President (Kid President's Guide to Being Awesome by Brad Montague and Robby Novak)
    The proper question is not "How can people motivate others?" but rather, "How can people create the conditions within which others will motivate themselves?"  -Edward Deci

    "Reading is important, because if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything."  - Tomie dePaola