Kim McDonald is an Intervention Teacher for students in grades K-5 at Falls Elementary School in International Falls, Minnesota.
Kim has spent more than 30 years working with a broad spectrum of students in Minnesota. She began her career as a teacher at a level-5 residential treatment facility in Bemidji, working with emotionally and behaviorally challenged youth at the junior and senior high level. She later moved to International Falls where she continued her work with emotionally and behaviorally challenged students as well as students with Specific Learning Disabilities, followed by a long-term sub position as a K-2 multidisciplinary special education teacher. Some time later, her career path led her in a different direction, when she became a 1st-grade teacher. Over the years, she has also spent time teaching 5th grade, 6th grade and most recently, 4th grade. She has recently transitioned into the role of a reading and math interventionist at the elementary school level.
Kim has dedicated herself to seeking out research-based best practice strategies that support the needs of all students and families using a whole child approach. Kim also utilizes resources to ensure that her students and the students at her school have everything they need to succeed. Along with her husband, Kim has spent many summers working with disadvantaged elementary students, providing them with opportunities like camping, fishing, and enjoying nature on Rainy Lake. She also served as an educator in the summer wraparound program, focusing on healthy minds and healthy bodies.
Over the last 20 years, Kim has immersed herself in understanding how to support children learning to read and discovering the joy and knowledge that comes with it! She is an AFT trainer for Instructional Strategies that Work for all Disciplines as well as an AFT trainer for Reading Comprehension Instruction. She and a colleague have done several trainings within their local school district as well as other districts in Minnesota. She spent many years studying the work of Gaily Boushy and Joan Moser, modifying the practices to best meet the needs of her various groups of readers. Most recently, she independently trained herself in the Reading Horizons Phonics program and was trained by an RH facilitator at her school, alongside her colleagues, to use this phonics approach. This past year, Kim has also been trained as a Fastbridge facilitator for her school. This has allowed her to dig deep into student data, support the newly launched MTSS program at the elementary school, monitor progress weekly as well as participate in quarterly data meetings. She spent the past 2 years working towards becoming a “LETRS Local Certified Facilitator.” Kim has provided training for her colleagues for the past year and a half.
Kim is a lifelong learner with a passion for looking at data and finding the best path for supporting all learners at her school while helping them achieve at their highest level with confidence.
Kim graduated from Bemidji State University with a degree in Elementary Education and a license to teach EBD students K-12. She has her Master’s in Education from the University of Minnesota Duluth.
This session will focus on the science of reading and how to effectively and easily follow a step-by-step plan to set your students up for reading success. We will start with a brief survey to take the temperature of the group and to see how I can best support everyone. The session will focus on assessments and screeners, phonemic awareness, phonics, and fluency for grades K-3 and struggling learners at higher levels.
This program aligns with the Simple View of Reading and Scarborough’s Reading Rope.